Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Cover with Magnetic Closure

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

The addition of magnetic clasps provide a neat and clean way to put a closure on purses and accessories. After being unable to locate my magnetic clasps for a project that I was working on, I came up with the idea of using regular old craft magnets instead. They take a little bit of forethought to use in a project, but they work well. They're very economical too!

Two things to note: Take care to ensure that your magnets aren't opposing when placed into your project or your closure will not work. Another is to remember that thin fabrics work well around the closure areas. Too many thick layers of fabric will provide you with a very weak closure. Because there are layers of fabric between the magnets, you will not get as strong of a hold as direct magnet contact would give you.

To begin, I give each magnet a coat of clear acrylic spray to protect the fabric from the black coloring in the magnets. I have found that most magnets do not shed it's color, but some do. I say that it's better to be safe than sorry.

For this book cover, I am using a hexie flower as a closure. I placed the magnet into the center of the wrong side of the flower and placed another hexie over the magnet to secure it.

The hexie is then hand sewn in place before being covered by another hexie flower.

After determining where the second magnet should be placed in the book cover (determine this by where the hexie flower closure will be), place the magnet onto the wrong side of the lining. Cover the magnet with a small piece of fabric and sew it in place. I've used a zipper foot to get close to the magnet. Neatness isn't too much of an issue in this step as the magnet will be hidden in the lining and will not be visible on the outside of the book cover.

I have used my bone folder to point out where the magnet is. As you can see, it is barely visible as I have used matching thread in securing the magnet to the lining.

This photo shows the bone folder pointing to the location of the magnet on the book cover front. As you can see, it is barely visible. Also visible is the underside of the hexie flower with the magnet in it's center.

The completed note book cover with a magnetic hexie flower closure.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my improvised version of a magnetic clasp closure.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful comments and emails. I continue to be overwhelmed with your kindness and generosity. More than I deserve, really.

Have a fabulous day!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pink Poinsettia

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

There is a cat that lives at our house. A very big and lovable cat. One of his favorite pastimes is to sit in front of the screen door and watch bugs and lizards go by. He is a very spunky and eager kitty who loves to pounce on the screen and often creates tears in it. Suffice to say, the screen often needs replacing.

This has left me with quite a collection of remnant fiberglass window screen.

I decided to use the pieces of screen to make poinsettia Christmas tree ornaments. (What can I say, I am already dreaming of the holidays). I cut petal-shaped pieces from the screen and painted it with acrylic paint. I also added dabs of pink glitter paint for a little glitz. (Please note that the petals can also be painted with spray paint which would be faster and less messy).

With needle and thread, I took running stitches along the base of seven petals, tied them into rounds, sewed two petal rounds together, and topped it with seed beads, sequence, and buttons. I think that this would make a nice Christmas tree topper if made larger and with the addition of a few more petal layers.

Christmas is in the air. I can feel it already and it has nothing to do with the air-con that I have on full blast. *wink* Or the steamy hot mug of apple cider sitting at my desk. If you're anything like me, you're heavily immersing yourself in thoughts of cooler days and evenings. Even if it means you're relying on your air-con to put you in the mood. Whatever works, right? And this really works for me.

Hope you're having a good day!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Ruffled Christmas Tree

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

Hi everyone! I'm back! Rested, refreshed, and ready to get back to the business of creating once again.

If you've been following my blog, you know how much I rely on cardboard circle templates. I keep a plastic bag filled with as many different sizes as possible. I really don't know what I would do without them.

This project relies heavily on circle templates. You can create your circles using a circle cutting system, a compass, or from items around your house . The kitchen is a great place to look...plates, bowls, and plastic lids all make wonderful templates. Better yet, if you have a circle cutting system meant for cutting fabric, use it instead and skip the cardboard templates altogether.

You will start out with 8 circles:
Cut the following sizes from fabric.
8-1/2", 8", 7-1/2", 7", 6-1/2", 6", 5-1/2", 5"
Keeping the circles in descending order will lessen the confusion.

Here is where it gets a bit tricky so we'll take it step by step.

Starting with the 8-1/2" circle: Remove a 4-1/2" circle from it's center. (You will be using some of the center circles for this project, so cut each one out carefully.)
Set the 8-1/2" circle aside. Take the 4-1/2" circle and remove a 2-1/2" circle from it's center. Set the 4-1/2" circle aside. Take the 2-1/2" circle and remove a 1-1/2" circle from it's center. Set the 2-1/2" circle aside and discard the 1-1/2" circle. (When I say discard, I really mean set aside for future project use).

For the 8" circle, remove a 4-1/4" circle from it's center. Set the 8" circle aside and discard the 4-1/4" circle.

For the 7-1/2: circle, remove a 4" circle from it's center. Set the 7-1/2" circle aside. Take the 4" circle and remove a 2-1/4" circle from it's center. Set the 4" circle aside and discard the 2-1/4" circle.

For the 7" circle, remove a 3-3/4" circle from the center. Set the 7" circle aside and discard the 3-3/4" circle.

For the 6-1/2" circle, remove a 3-1/2" circle from it's center. Set the 3-1/2" circle aside. Take the 3-1/2" circle and remove a 2" circle from it's center. Set the 3-1/2" circle aside. Take the 2" circle and remove a 1-1/4" circle from it's center. Set the 2" circle aside and discard the 1-1/4" circle.

For the 6" circle, remove a 3-1/4" circle from it's center. Set the 6" circle aside and discard the 3-1/4" circle.

For the 5-1/2 circle, remove a 3" circle from it's center. Set aside the 5-1/2" circle. Take the 3" circle and remove a 1-3/4" circle from it's center. Set the 3" circle aside. Discard the 1-3/4" circle.

For the 5" circle, remove a 2-3/4" circle from it's center. Set the 5" circle aside. Discard the 2-3/4" circle.

Whew, are you still with me??? Remember, this is simple if you take it one step at a time. I tried my best to utilize most of the center pieces so that there would be minimal fabric waste for this project.

You will end up with 14 donut-shaped pieces in the following sizes:
8-1/2", 8", 7-1/2", 7", 6-1/2", 6", 5-1/2", 5", 4-1/2", 4", 3-1/2", 3", 2-1/2",and 2"

With a scalloped edge scissor, cut around the outside edge of each circle.

For the base and trunk of the tree, you will need an empty thread spool and a drinking straw. Take a small piece of fabric and glue this around the spool of thread. Glue the drinking straw into the center of the spool of the thread.

Take a running stitch around the center straight edge of the 8-1/2" circle.

Place the gathered circle onto the straw, gather tightly, knot off, and slide it down to the base of the tree.

Continue adding gathered circles in descending order.

Use a little bit of glue to hold the top piece in place. Clip straw if needed. Glue a decorative button to the tree top.

A view from the top. Scrumptious, ruffly goodness.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Now go on and create a forest of ruffled Christmas trees to call your own!

Have a fabulous day everyone!