Friday, December 31, 2010

Sweetheart Valentine Banner Tutorial

There is a very exciting announcement and preview at the end of this post, so scroll to skip to that if you don't want to read the step by step. I think this Sweetheart Valentine Banner is simple enough for you to duplicate without illustrations on the step by step tutorial that follows. I just ask that you link to this post if you want to share the instructions. Also, if you want to make them for sale, go ahead and give me credit for the idea. If you have never purchased one of my patterns, just know that the instructions here are representative of how I explain things, but my patterns for purchase include pattern pieces and loads of illustrations and extra notes on tools and materials. Here is the how to:
Materials list (makes 112 flags for 16 yards of banner)
2 yards Décor bond interfacing—A heavy weight, fusible interfacing
1/4 yard each Pastel cotton fabrics—I used pink, yellow, green and purple
1&1/8 yard Pink cotton duck fabric
16 yards 1/2” heavy cotton twill tape plus 1/3 yard for every separate banner. If you are making 16 one yard banners, you need 5 & 1/3 more yards of the twill tape for tails. If you are making 2 eight yard banners, you need another 2/3 yard.
3 or 4 sheets of iron-on light T-shirt transfer for ink jet printers
Step 1:
Print backwards words onto the transfer paper. If you want to make your own sheet of words, either make the sheet backwards, and print normally as I have done, or make the sheet forward and tell your printer to print a mirror image. The font I used is Arial Rounded MT Bold. The font size varies between 30 and 36. These need to dry for at least 1/2 hour before you use them. Make the words red.
Step 2:
While the transfer paper is drying, make your paper heart pattern pieces. To make your own heart pattern, mark a 3” square in the corner of a sheet of paper. Fold the paper in half, then in thirds, keeping the 3” square visible. Fold the 3” square in half and cut 1/2 of a heart on the fold through all layers. Take up as much of the 3” square as you can with the heart. When you open this up, you will have 6 identical 3” heart pattern pieces.
Step 3:
Following manufacturers instructions, adhere décor bond interfacing to the pastel fabrics to make them stiff. This makes cutting the heart shapes much easier.
Step 4:
Pin heart pattern onto pastel fabrics and cut out heart shapes. I layer the fabrics and cut through 2 fabrics at a time.
Step 5:
Following manufacturers instructions, iron the words onto the hearts. If you ever wanted an excuse to buy one of those mini irons, here it is.
Step 6:
Cut the light pink duck fabric into rectangular background flags. The size of the flag is 4.12” wide by 4.5” long.
Step 7:
Stitch each heart onto a background flag. Use thread that matches the background fabric or the hearts. Use either a small zig-zag stitch or a blanket stitch.
Step 8:
Stitch flags onto the twill tape. Leave a 6” tail on either end and leave 1.25” between each flag. This will produce banners that have 7 flags per yard. These flags are fun to make and customize for different people and occasions.

Here is the exciting announcement part: As I was making these Sweetheart Valentine Banners, I was wishing I had a pre-printed fabric with the hearts and words. I could do away with the need for a pattern piece. I could do away with the tedium of cutting out and transferring words onto the hearts. Hummm. So, after telling several people including my husband that I was not really interested in designing fabric...I designed my first fabric. I ordered a yard of it last night. As soon as I see it in person and verify that it is just what I wanted, I will make it available for order. This is a preview of what you would see on a fat quarter of fabric. The full yard has 125 hearts with 25 different phrases and the 5 basic colors you see here. It will be $18 per yard at Spoonflower, which is pretty cool since a yard of fabric will make 17+ yards of banner.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Camera Christmas Morning

I bought Rory a new camera for Christmas. Here is a still life he made playing with the settings and learning the camera. I am looking forward to Rory doing more of my photography now that he has a camera he is excited about. Many thanks to Amber who was on the Israel trip with me for selling me her camera. It is a Cannon S5IS. We love it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Goodies for the party

Goodies for the party
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I am writing up the tutorial now for these ribbon tied goodie baskets that store flat. A lot of work went into this photo shoot, but the reward is delicious. Fabric by Debbie Mumm. Baked goods by
Each basket uses 8 grommets - the same large eyelets I use for luggage tags. The tutorial will include the formula for plugging in the size and depth you want to make any size square or rectangular fabric basket. If you like to use heavy duty snaps instead of the ribbon ties, just use the snaps in place of the grommets. The baskets are fully lined and they are finished without the use of bias binding. (After making 6 aprons recently, frankly I have had enough bias binding for the year - I am counting 2011 as well.) They are super quick and easy. I love how they dress up a hostess or neighbor gift. My last minute Christmas project. Plenty of time for New Years parties. Of course, these will show up in the shop as a Valentines suggestion as well, along with another fun craft project especially for Valentines. Holidays just make me feel so crafty. It's not like I don't have 50 bags to make as well...These are a fun distraction.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Notes to self

If you read my notes from this morning, you will see, blogging is not among them, yet, here I am. Shower is also not on the list, but I better do that if I am going to deliver veges and do a photoshoot. The light is good today, so I must carpe diem. This often happens that as I sip my morning coffee and sit with pen and paper - not my notebook, that would be too easy - a piece of scrap paper - not even a full sheet of paper... I start thinking about a project and go ahead and draw out ideas. Now I am going to have to add this piece of paper to my sewing journal because I will want to reference it as I build the bag. As you can imagine my journal resembles a scrap book - a disorganized, random scrap book. I wrote the notes clockwise, but when I read them, I read counterclockwise. It must have to do with always searching for a new perspective. As you can see from the lack of writers group posts, we have not met in a while, and I have not written. That is on the master to-do list in my head. I hope you find some relaxation when you pop in here to look in on me. I know my random world touches yours through this blog and I appreciate it when you take a minute to post a comment. When Gretchen comment last week, that really touched me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thorn Tree - Israel

Thorn Tree - Israel
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
We visited this park where our guide said David trimmed down the number of men in his army by how they drank at the stream. Does that sound familiar? Now I am going to have to look it up - later, I mean. It was near Ein Gedi. So as the guide is talking and explaining the significance of this place - I was feeling pretty toured out - this unusual tree caught my eye, and I wandered off a bit to photograph it. Next time, less tour, more time to relax and enjoy. This park would be great in season - see the empty swimming pool in the background? I wandered away from my sewing room for a minute to post this. I am pretty excited about the new bags I am working on. The great thing is I don't have a boss (or a tour guide) cracking the whip (or saying "Let's go folks!")

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The fortune cookie

Rory fairly roared as I read my fortune cookie. After my big trip and all of the loot I brought home... So I thought maybe this fortune was for you? You can still get $20 off a duffle for yourself with coupon code RTS20. It is good on any of my ready to ship duffles - I have 5 of them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sunrise on (and in) the Dead Sea

The sun rose from behind the mountains of Jordan and shone on the Dead Sea. As I watched from my balcony, I thought - what would Rory do? If my husband had been with me, he would have been on the beach to greet the sunrise with his camera. I pondered that for a moment, and since this luxury hotel room had no hot pot for instant coffee, I slipped on my shoes and headed for the beach. I was surprised by the number of sunrise bathers already floating in the sea. This is the only photo I took. I am not usually such a miserly photographer. I must have needed that coffee... The experience of floating in the dead sea was interesting - we did it the night before. The best way I have of describing it is that you have to let your body become a boat. You can not swim or kick. If you do, your "boat" will capsize. I thought lifeguards on this beach were the silliest idea, until I saw a man who kicked his way into a mess of trouble and had to be saved. That is another story.