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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Making it Up

The other day I was putting together some more of the craft packs for the website and found myself speculating as to what I would make if one of these jars landed on my desk. So on Sunday I took up the challenge and chose one randomly from the store and set to.

When I originally devised the packs I worked on the basis that the contents – although perfect for adding to all kinds of other projects – should also be able to be made into an item on their own. So I began with the idea of making a decorative panel.

The finished piece is large enough to form part of a cushion or quilt, or even to hang on the wall. I’ve been investigating calico bags, to add to the packs, so I decided to sew mine onto one of those – I have to say, I rather like it!!

You are probably bursting with your own creative notions, if so please send in a photo to post on the blog – it would be brilliant to create a gallery of ideas. If you want to make something similar then the guidelines for this panel are laid out below - they are based on the contents of the craft packs at

In this make the larger piece of fabric was overlaid on the white backing fabric and the two stitched together. This gives stability to the piece and helps to stop it puckering as you sew and add more elements.

Then start to play around with the elements that you have. This pack came with a doilie, but a vintage hankie would work as backing too. The flowers were cut from a smaller piece of fabric and the embroidery was cut out and laid on.

The vintage trims were added as a frame and a heart was cut out of the smaller fabric piece. The buttons went in the corners and more were later scattered across the image. Once you are happy with the design – start stitching, or sticking.

Everything in this make is stitched  using a machine threaded with invisible nylon thread in the first instance. Hand stitching would also work as would Bondaweb or a similar product.
All of the elements are simply cut and stitched – no hemming or tidying up the edges. Slight fraying over time will add to the charm!

The cut out heart was looking a bit bright so some lace trim was sewn over the top and then cut to shape.

Various buttons were then scattered over the design and sewn in with the red embroidery thread – 2 strands.

Once everything is fixed in place you can embellish it even more if you feel the urge. Here I threaded the machine with some rayon embroidery thread and traced rough outlines over some of the shapes. Hand embroidery like stem stitch would also have worked.

And here’s the finished panel. As I said this could make a cushion front, the centrepiece of a quilt, a picture… This one was sewn onto one of the calico shopping bag – a bit of red on the handles would finish it soff perfectly!

I used the leftover paper bits, stamps and fabrics to sew onto a postcard and framed it. If I'd decided to make a panel for the wall I would have sewn some of the paper ephemera into that... So many possibilities!


Kandi said...

Only just found you via your comments on another blog, and glad I did. I love your style, beautiful ~ I too get lots of pleasure from making things from discarded bits and bobs too.
Kandi x

Handmade and Vintage said...

Thanks Kandi, have just popped over to yours - I love your stuff -those tapestry badges are completely fab. I've joined as a follower so look forward to seeing more.

cupcake said...

Absolutely beautiful! You are so clever and creative :) Just fab on a bag! So happy to have found your blog. Look forward to seeing what wonderful things you have in future too. x