Monday, 1 September 2014

Origami Fabric Butterflies from Across the Pond

Summer is drawing to a close and with it comes the end of the sights and sounds of summer.  But never fear - there is a way to keep hold of the beauty of summer all year round with this month's Across the Pond sew-along project – fabric origami butterflies. 
Creating these beautiful insects is very simple - all it requires is a couple of pieces of fabric, some folding and pressing and a few stitches to help the butterfly keep its shape.
I used the paper origami tutorial by Ralph Matthews.   
Large and Small Butterfly
Start with two fabric rectangles per butterfly.  For the large butterfly I cut two 6½” x 5” rectangles and for the smaller butterfly the rectangles measured 4½” x 3½”. 

With right sides together stitch the two rectangles together using a ¼” seam but leave a small gap in the middle of one of the long seams for turning.  Clip the corners and turn the rectangle right-side-out.  (A chopstick is very good for pushing the corners out.) You can either slip-stitch the opening closed or do as I have done and topstitch all the way around the rectangle, close to the edge.  Press.

From hereon it is simple – follow the origami instructions and press as you go along.  Once your butterfly is complete, stitch the wings together along the centre as indicated by the arrow:

I added two short lengths of knotted ribbon to mimic antennae, stitching them in place with a couple of stitches. 

These colourful fabric embellishments are so much fun and they can be used in so many ways.  Pop over to Susie’s Sunroom to see how she used her butterfly. 

What did I do with mine?    The little one is a book-mark fitting neatly onto the corner of my current notebook ..... 
Butterfly Bookmark
... whilst the larger butterfly seems more at home amongst the flowers, as a plant stick.  This was easily achieved by inserting the blunt end of a cane skewer into the fold of the butterfly and stitching it in place.    (I am thinking this would make a lovely gift - especially if accompanied by a Butterfly mug rug.)
Butterfly Plant Stick
So why not join Susie, Amy and I as we catch a touch of summer this September.  And when you are done, post a photo onto the Across the Pond Flickr page so we can all see where your butterfly has settled.

Until next time ...... 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets from the Patchsmith
Check out all those Quilty Secrets
1.         I keep all scraps that are 1” square or bigger – yep, really!

2.         I often use ‘sew’ for ‘so’ at the end of my blog (for all you dislikers-of-sew-and-so - you have been warned).

3.         I get bored really quickly which is why I make small mug rug patterns.

4.         I press 4oz batting with a clean cloth and a hot iron to make it as thin as 2oz batting!

5.        I find it difficult to part with a quilt once made – they are like my babies.   And what type of a person gives their baby away?

6.         I press my seams to the side, up, down, open and anyway they’ll go – on the basis that they wont be seen!

7.         I don’t like perfection.  I like to see a mismatched seam or two, wonky binding and uneven stitching.  I call is ‘rustic’ and ‘homemade’.  I don’t want a mass-produced look to my creations.

8.         I get bored sewing squares onto corners to make triangle corners.  One or two, now and again is okay but for a whole bed-sized quilt – I think not!

9.         I don’t even know the name of most of the sewing thread I use – Aurifil, Moon, Coats, whatever.  And not all of it is cotton – some of it is polyester.

10.       I have been known to cut up a WIP for fabric scraps rather than finish it!   
Sew there you have it (I did warn you – see no. 2 above).

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Drop Anchor on the High Seas
I love it when you can take an item or block from a quilt and make it your own.  This is exactly what I did with Summer Crafter's High Seas pattern.  This fun little wall quilt is made of four nautical blocks - each measuring 12" finished.
Summer Crafters' High Seas Pattern

Together they make the perfect decoration for a nursery or child's room.  Separately they can be used for cushion tops, table mats or a mini wall quilt, as I have done.  

I chose the anchor block and added a chain stitch rope complete with bright red button.  I also patched the background using 2½" squares.  The result - a stunning patchwork reminder to 'drop anchor' and slow down awhile.
And where have I placed this mini beauty?  Above my work desk of course!