Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home Decor: "Know you are loved" Tutorial

Note: This project first appeared on the October Afternoon blog on February 15. 
These are the instructions to make that project.

So I don't know if you've seen it, but on Facebook there has been a crafty "pay it forward" going around. The idea is that someone posts on their wall that they will make 5 crafty things for 5 people sometime during 2013. In turn those 5 people promise to re-post the same offer on their wall and do the same for 5 other people.  I did it last year and found it really fun, so I thought I'd do it again this year.

I've been trying to think up fun, crafty surprises that are perfect for those who signed up on my wall and then it dawned on me:  I have a friend who loves hearts... and it's February which is all about love and hearts... she's recently become obsessed with quilting... and of course everyone could use a little October Afternoon in their life, so I came up with the idea to make a quilted heart home decor piece for her using one of the Farm Girl Papers. She happens to be a "clean and simple" kind of girl too so I just used a single pattern, but I think this could be fabulous if you used a mix of different patterned papers too.

Here's a list of the supplies that I used: Floral patterned paper from the 8x8 Farm Girl Paper Pad; Thread - Coats n Clark; Embroidery floss - DMB; Heart digital die-cutting file - my own design; Digital cutter - Silhouette; Font - KG Makes You Stronger; Linen fabric & 10 x 10 shadow box frame- Joanns; Glue - EK Success

1.       Creating the linen background
a.       Cut a piece of heavyweight cardstock to 10" x 10."
b.      Put a strong runner adhesive around the edges of the cardstock. (From personal experience, I would recommend the Xyron Tape Runner, the Kokuyo Dot n' Roller, or the Thermoweb Memory Tape Runner XL.)
c.       Place the cardstock adhesive side down onto a piece of linen fabric that has been ironed so that it's smooth. Press so the adhesive bonds to the fabric. (Take care to keep the adhesive away from the areas where there will be stitching.)
d.      Trim the linen fabric about 1/2 - 3/4 inches around the perimeter of the cardstock.
e.      Apply another strip of strong runner adhesive along the edge of the cardstock and fold the linen to wrap it around the back. Once you have it laid down and held with the runner adhesive, put a strip of tape (clear tape, document tape, strong washi tape, whatever) to cover the edge. Repeat this for the remaining 3 sides.

2.       Cutting the heart pieces
a.       Open the heart cutting file and place in the upper corner of the cutting mat. Size to 7.095" wide x 6.510  tall. I choose to cut from the 8x8 paper pad piece instead of a full size sheet because I liked the smaller scale of the pattern for this project, but that means that you'll have to be careful about where you place the cutting image on the cutting mat because you only have a 1/2 inch margin on the left and right sides.
b.      Once you've got the heart shaped cutting image in the right spot, cut it out. Once you're done cutting, be careful to remove ONLY the 8"x 8" piece and make sure not to rip or tear it as you remove it from the cutting mat. This is going to be your template for laying out the heart pieces onto the linen background.
c.       Do not remove the square pieces from the cutting mat yet!

3.       Putting the heart on the linen background
a.       Put a few little spots of runner adhesive on the back of the 8"x8" piece, center it from left to right and place it about 2" from the top, then  lightly tack it to the linen background.
b.      Bring your cutting mat (with the heart shape pieces still on it) to your work area. Beginning lightly affixing each square to the canvas background by adding a little bit of adhesive just to the center of each piece. (Try to avoid the edges where we'll be stitching later.) I used an EK Success glue pen, but you could probably use runner adhesive here too. As you place the pieces, try to keep the pieces from overlapping the template. This will make it easier to remove the template in the next step.

c.       Once you've affixed all of the pieces, carefully lift up and remove the template that you used to place the pieces. Be careful no to flick off the little pieces. I found that it worked best to start along the straight edge where you began gluing and then work across to the pieces glued last.

4.       Adding texture with a little stitching
a.       To give the heart a little texture, without disrupting the visual lines of grid pattern, top stitch in yellow over the individual squares. In mine I tried to stitch about 1/8" from the edge, but I'm not the best seamstress so I wasn't completely perfect about that... plus I wanted to have a little imperfect stitching to give it a homespun feel.
b.      Once you've stitched it going both directions, stitch an outline around the heart in yellow as well.
5.       Creating a place to "ground" the eye
a.       The open edges of the heart allow the eye to wander away from the focal point. To draw the eye in and visually tie the heart and the words together, stitch around the outside of the heart twice. The more that you allow the lines to intersect, the more visual interest you will add.
6.       Stitching the text
a.       To stitch the words "know you are loved," I first printed it out on paper, then cut it out with scissors and used the glue pen to temporarily adhere it to the linen background.
b.      First I went along the words and poked holes for where the stitches would go. Then, for the actual stitching, I used 3 strands of embroidery floss and what I think would be called a backstitch (?) to embroider the letters.
c.       After I finished stitching the words, I put document tape over the back to keep it from snagging and to hold the stitching.
d.      To finish off the words, gently tear away the paper that you used as a stitching guide. I found it helpful to use tweezers to work the paper out of the centers of letters.

7.       Completing the project
a.       Once you've finished the steps above, pop it into the shadow box frame and you are done!

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