Happy New Year to you! As the old saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun". I can't believe it's already the new year. I'm looking forward to all the things I have planned for this year and hope you are along for the ride!
Do you do the New Years Resolution thing? I used to come up with very specific, grandious resolutions that usually fizzled by March, well some by February. Ha! But this year instead of specific resolutions and plans to lose weight and eat better (which I'm going to try to do) I'm also going to try and live a little more in the moment, laugh a little more- whether it's just laughing at myself or laughing with others. Take my work and goals seriously, but not take myself too seriously. Try to spend less of my limited time worrying and more of it laughing and smiling. I've also started a Gratitude Jar. Mine is actually a gratitude make-up bag because I am using an old make-up bag I've had for years. That way I can throw it in my purse and take it with me. I'm not going to force myself to write something down everyday, even though that wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Instead, I am going to try to make note of things I am grateful for both big and small when the moment strikes. (You reading this is something I am grateful for!)
I've got a new Valentines Day tutorial in the post. It's a sweet table runner to add some love to your home for not only Valentines Day but all year! It was inspired by the tried and true Valentines Candy Hearts we see every year.
There has been alot of action here in the sewing studio with 11 new patterns in the process of being tested right now, and some great projects for a few magazines. I can't wait to get them done and ready to show you! We've also taken some time to plan out some great things we'll be doing on our blog. We've got a new editorial calendar for ourselves to keep all of our new blog ideas organized and ready. You can expect to see much more from us throughout 2013 and hopefully beyond. :-)
Here is the tutorial for the Sweetheart Table Runner-- I hope you enjoy it!
3, 7" squares
4, 4" squares
60, 2.5" squares
(great way to use up leftover layer cake squares, charm pack squares, and pre-cut 2.5" strip scraps)
24" x 52"
Cutting Neutral Fabric:
1. Begin by cutting 4, 4.5" x WOF (Width of Fabric) strips from your neutral fabric. First, cut 2 strips into 4.5" x 40.5" units (top and bottom borders). Then with the remaining 2 strips cut 4, 4.5" squares (small heart backgrounds) and 2, 4.5" x 12.5" units (side borders). Now cut a 8.5" x WOF strip. From this strip cut 3, 8.5" squares (large heart backgrounds) and then with the remaining part of the strip cut 2, 2.5" x 12.5" units (sashing between blocks).
For the hearts use whichever applique method you prefer. For myself I didn't fuse or stabilize anything. After tracing and cutting out the large hearts from the 7" colored squares and the small hearts from the 4" colored squares I just used a dab a glue from a glue stick in the middle of the heart and slowly stitched around the edge with a standard zig-zag stitch. This may not be the preferred method by most people but for this project I'm happy with the results. The most important thing to remember if you don't stabilize or fuse your fabric is to stitch slowly around your hearts to keep everything flat and not to create any puckers. But...before we get to the stitching we need to align our hearts on our background fabric.
Take your 8.5" neutral fabric squares and make 2 folds to create a center intersection. First fold the square in half to create a horizontal fold and finger press the fold. Next, while the square is folded, fold again in half to create a vertical fold and finger press.
Next you'll want to do the same type of thing with your hearts. First fold the bottom or the point of the heart up, so the tip is even with the top of the 2 curves and finger press the crease.
Next, unfold the heart to fold it in half to create a vertical crease and finger press.
Now you will have a intersection of creases on both the background squares and hearts. To keep the spacing even, simply match up the crease intersection on the hearts with the crease intersections on the background squares. I put a very small dab of glue from my glue stick right in the middle and then zig-zagged slowly around the heart. I would recommend stitching the hearts with your needle in the needle down position for easy pivoting. Also, if you use the glue stick method make sure you don't put any glue around the edges or where your needle will go in. If your needle goes through the glue you could have a big gluey mess in your bobbin case.
For the small hearts makes the same folds and creases on both the hearts and background fabric but rotate the heart as shown in the picture below.
Next, divide your 2.5" squares into 6 groups of 4 squares each and 6 groups of 6 squares each. Sew the squares together in each group, pressing seams all the same direction. Now sew a 4 square unit to the top and bottom of each large heart block. Press the seams towards the middle. Then stitch a 6 square unit to each side and press towards the center.
Next, sew a 2.5" x 12.5" neutral fabric unit between the blocks and press towards the neutral fabric. Proof your runner, it should measure 12.5" x 40.5".
Decide on the placement of the 4 corner hearts and sew one to the top and bottom of your 4.5" x 12.5" units. Press away from the 4.5" square.
I put together a few other color options for this runner. Other than my inspiration from the retro colors of the candy hearts I also like the idea of raiding your red/magenta/purple scraps and making a runner with those bright tones.
Thanks for stopping by & Happy New Year to you!