Reported by Erika Martin
I then stitched an olive green chain stitch along the white line. (I like to use three strands of embroidery floss for most of my stitching.)
I added chain stitches for the blossoms an light purple french knots for the little flower buds.
As you can see, my stitching very closely resembles the stitch combination shown in the book.
Next, I started going through the stitch index to pick out some stitches I either hadn’t done in a while or that I had never done before. I chose to go with the Lazy Daisy Double stitch. While I’ve done lazy daisies before, I never thought to do a double.
I stitched my row of light purple lazy daisies to create flowers along the top of the soon-to-be purse.
Then, I stitched a dark purple lazy daisy around each to finish off the double stitch look.
Because I do a lot of my stitching free-hand (without drawing out guide lines to stitch along), I realized that my flowers were open in the middle. I filled in with some bright yellow french knots to create some really cool textured flower centers.
My next step was to create some leaves and vines so I used a back stitch for the vines. Then, I looked at the book’s stitch index and picked out a leaf stitch for the vine. I chose the Fishbone stitch (one that I haven’t done in ages). I used my white marking pencil to draw out the leaf outlines.
The outline made stitching well-balanced leaves a breeze.
Along the bottom of the purse, I did another of the stitch combinations, but tweaked it up a bit to include a Colonial Knot, and used back stitching instead of the curved buttonhole stitch that it called for.
Two of the ribbon flowers that I liked creating the most were the Freeform Flowers and the Five-Petal Gathered Flowers. The diagrams were very clear and I loved the way they came out. I can see myself making more of these for other projects and not just on fabric projects. I will definitely be making more using a lot of the different width ribbons that I have and putting them on scrapbook pages, shadow box art and mixed-media creations.
I added some small faux pearls that I found in my grandmother’s old button tin for the centers of my small flowers.
After I added a bunch of Japanese Ribbon Stitch leaves, I used a ball point pen to very lightly write out the words I wanted to stitch on my project. I used a back stitch to embroider the words.
- Convenient size to carry on-the-go
- Wire bound for easy flipping and flat-laying of pages
- Easel feature so that the book stands up for easy use
- Very exhaustive collection of 180+ stitches and combinations – great for new stitchers and veterans alike
- Alphabetical stitch index
- Right- and left-hand instructions and diagrams (in full color)
- Full color thumbnail photo of actual stitch
- Tips, chart and “getting started” section for needles, thread/yarn, ribbon and fabric
- Variation of stitches also included on many of the stitch diagrams
- If you’re a very visual learner, some of the more complicated stitches might take you a little longer to master despite the illustrated diagrams.
- The price could be off-putting for some, but when you price it out, it’s only 13 cents per stitch tutorial!
Have you used C&T Publishing’s Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stick Tool? Where do you find your stitching inspiration? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Reported by Erika Martin
As a mixed media artist, I’m always on the lookout for new media to use with my creations. I was excited to try out C&T Publishing’s Lutradur Mixed Media Sheets. The packaging describes it as a versatile cross between fabric and paper. According to the website, it’s a “fabulously versatile non-woven fabric. You can cut it, sew it, paint it, print it, stencil it, stamp it, pleat it, dye it, distress it, draw on it, die-cut it, punch it, sculpt with it, bead it, do gel transfers onto it, weave it.” That description totally fascinated me.
When I received my Lutradur sheets, the first thought that went through my mind was that it reminded me of heavy-duty type of interfacing that one would use in sewing. There are two different weights of Lutradur in the package. They are 8.5 x 11 inches in size and there are five regular sheets (70 gram) and five heavyweight sheets (100 gram).
For my first project, I created a canvas project and used my die cut machine to cut shapes out of the Lutradur. At first, I tried the skinnier Sizzix die (also known as Sizzlits). The first run through the machine didn’t even cut into the Lutradur.
Next, I tried one of the biggest dies from Sizzix (the Beauiful Butterflies die from Stampin’ Up – one of the Bigz Dies) and had flawless cutting. I tried a few layers on the die at once and they cut beautifully.
I wanted to see if the Lutradur would hold an embossed impressions so I put the butterflies into different embossing folders and ran them through the Big Shot and I love the texture that it resulted in.
Because the Lutradur sheets are sized at 8.5″ x 11″ inches, they fit in a printer perfectly. I used a thicker sheet (the heavyweight, 100 gram sheet) in my printer to print a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it. The printing went perfectly.
Next, I used some Shimmer Spritz to add a bit of distressing to the image. Because I used an ink-jet printer, my image started to bleed and it lost its detail. When it finally dried, it had a blurry and hazy look to it, but I could still tell it was the Eiffel Tower. I chose some embellishments to add to it so that the blurry picture would be complimented by them.
I sewed together a couple pieces of fabric with two pieces of denim inbetween (I didnt have any batting, so I cut a couple pieces of denim from an old pair of jeans that I had used parts of for another project) to create the cover of an artist’s journal. I pinned the Lutradur on top.
I then sewed the Lutradur onto my journal cover with my sewing machine.
I used my embossing gun to melt and shrink the pieces of Lutradur down. The effect that I got was a really pretty tattered and textured look. The Lutradur took on a harder feel to it after it was melted with the gun and that made it even more sturdy.
The sturdy feel of the Lutradur was perfect for beading. My grandmother recently sent my daughter a little baggie with a couple of fake pearl necklaces that had broken, along with a couple of maroon bows. She figured that my daughter would come up with some sort of craft project to use them on. Instead, I took the beads and bows and made something for my daughter out of it. I used black thread (so that it would blend in with the background of the little purse I was making) and threaded the fake pearls on.
I did the beading on both pieces of Lutradur that I had cut and then sewed them to the front and back panels of the little purse that I created. I recently took up some pants for a friend’s son and I saved the pieces that I cut off the bottom of the pant legs because I knew they would come in handy for a project – I turned one of the pants cuffs into a purse.
To keep it all in one place, I wrapped it around an empty glue bottle that I had hanging around. This keeps it from getting it all tangled and ready to hang up in the next place I want to add some color.
- Two different thicknesses in one package
- Great price point for 10 sheets total – $9.95
- Can be used in a multitude of ways – sewing, cutting, printing, etc.
- Can hold a lot of different artist’s media – gels, paints, inks, etc.
- It can be melted and molded
- Convenient 8.5″ x 11″ inch size for putting through a printer
- Not easily found in most big-box craft stores. I called around to the different crafting stores in my area (7 stores in all) and only one store carried this product (a high-end fiber and quilting shop). The upside is that it’s easily found online.
- Die cutting has to be done with heavy duty die cuts to get a clean cut (Sizzix brand “Sizzlits” don’t give a clean cut)
- While the 8.5″ x 11″ inch size is great for putting through a printer, this is the largest the 75 and 100 gram weights come in (although the Ultra-light comes in a 20″ x 72″ inch piece)
Have you tried Lutradur Mixed Media sheets? How do you use them? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Reported by Erika Martin
When I cut a circle, I want perfection. I don’t want there to be any bumps where there shouldn’t be. I don’t want jagged edges or an oval. I want a circle – a perfect one. But that’s been hard to do on my own. I’ve used a protractor when I need an exact size, but the cutting doesn’t always go as I planned. I’ve traced around plates, bowls and cups and the results have never been quite what I wanted. Having the opportunity to review the Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter was something I REALLY wanted. Let me tell you….Mama likey!
I then appliqued all of the circles using a zig-zag stitch and going for a primitive look (my kind of quilting) by not worrying about making sure the zig-zag stitched precisely on the edges of the circles. When the quilt is eventually washed, the edges of the circles should fray nicely and give it a homey look.
The Rotary Circle Cutter was a great way for me to use up my scraps for this quilt and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. The plan is to have it on the couch for whoever wants to cuddle up with it, but my 11-year old daughter is going to summer camp for the first time ever and I told her she could take it with her. That made her so excited and she said that she can’t wait to show it off to her cabin mates. I’m just hoping that it makes its way back to the couch and not into her room. If that happens, I’ll just make another one since this one was so easy.
Now I wonder if she’ll expect me to make her a new quilt every year when she heads off to summer camp!
I honestly don’t doubt that this fabric would still be sitting in my fabric cupboard indefinitely if it weren’t that I were able to use the rotary circle cutter to finally get it done.
Now my poor yoga mat can stay clean in its new bag instead of sitting on the floor of the van at the mercy of the kids’ shoes and the dogs’ paws.
Here’s my pile of circles ready to go on a card.
The only drawback to cutting paper materials with the circle cutter is that the pivot spike does leave a pin hole right in the center of your paper circle.
Here’s my finished card. A simple stamp with some brown ink on top of one of the circles completed my card.
My last project was a felt covered journal. As you can tell, I like the look of overlapped circles, so that’s what I did with this journal.
I cut out different-sized felt circles, combined with some really small circles that I cut with a die cut machine, and then hand stitched them onto the felt. The cutter sliced through the felt like a hot knife through butter.
- Cuts easy and perfect circles every time.
- Ratchet handle for smooth cutting and cuts with one fluid motion.
- Designed for left and right-handed crafters.
- Cuts circles from 1 7/8 to 8 1/2 inches
- Cuts cloth, leather, paper, vinyl, film, wallpaper and more.
- Reduces wrist fatigue.
- Blade and pivot spike both have safety guards.
- Lightweight and simple to use.
- Olfa has a “forever guarantee” on their products.
- Super sharp and durable stainless steel blade.
- Measurements on handle are only marked by lines, but do not include inch or centimeter numbers.
- Product only comes with a small photo diagram on the front of the packaging to show how to use the product. For more information on how to use this product and how to change the blades, you need to access a video demonstration and PDF file on the Olfa website. This is a disadvantage for those without internet access.
- Pivot spike leaves a pinhole in the center of any paper materials you cut.
Our friends at Olfa have given us gift pack to give to two lucky readers. Leave a comment answering the following question to be entered:
One comment per person per article (this is the fourth of four, over a two-day span), please. Winners will be chosen on Saturday, July 9, 2011.