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Tag Archives | stitching

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: American Girl Crafts- Funky Felt Pins

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

With summer quickly approaching it is a great time to plan some creative activities for my kids.  It is always wise to have some fun and easy kids crafting supplies on had to entertain the kids.  Since the American Girl dolls have always been popular in my household,  the idea of trying out the American Girl craft kits was met with enthusiasm by my girls.  The kit we tried out was the “Funky Felt Pins” which is recommended for children 8 years old and up.  The kit retails for $12.99.  

The packaging on the “Funky Felt Pins” is very colorful.  From the outside of the package, it does not look like you get much in the way of supplies.  However, I was happily surprised to find it was jam packed full of enough supplies for my girls and their friends to give this kit a try and learn some basic embroidery skills.
This kit comes with the following:
● Project & Idea Booklet
● 12 yards of embroidery floss in 4 colors
● 33 plain felt pieces
● 5 embroidered patches
● 12 adhesive pin backs
● 10 sequin flowers
● 1 piece of white practice felt
● 1 needle
● 1 needle threader
The instruction booklet does have some nice colored simple instructions for their versions of the following stitches and knots:
● running stitch
● applique stitch
● cross stitch
● french knot
● finishing knot
The kit is color coordinated with enough materials to create at least 12 pins.  Since it includes instructions and materials, it would make a fun scout troop project.  However, you would have to pick up extra needles for each girl; this kit only comes with one needle.

The first thing we did was to lay out the pieces and then pick out a few different shapes to sew together.

Then I sewed the small floral sequin onto the green felt flower using white thread to make the stitches stand out.
I then sewed the green felt flower onto the orange felt flower.

Which was followed by sewing those pieces onto the darker felt flower.
The kids took a vote and wanted to add some bling to the flower.   So I added beads to finish it off the piece.
As you can see, the steps are very simple and easy to follow.  However,  I did find that it was a little bit challenging for little fingers to negotiate the needle and accomplish the smaller stitches.   

However, even with that frustration, the project certainly kept her attention.

A different size needle did make the difference for her and she enjoyed making her project.
Here are some other projects we made with the die cut felt pieces provided in the kit.  The first is a felt owl pin.
The second is a funky felt ring.  A quick note on this one, my daughter sewed the different pieces together. However, since she wanted a ring we felt that adding glass beads would add some sparkle and interest the ring.


The third is a funky felt hair band.
The fourth is a funky felt  hair clip for one of their American Girl dolls.
These projects are so fun and easy for the kids to do.  They also provide a great surface for adding beads, buttons, rhinestones, and more.  I like this because it allows for creative self expression and personalization.  Since this kit was such a hit with my girls, I will be purchasing some of the other American Girl Craft kits this summer to keep them entertained.
Tips:

  • Lay everything out so you can pick your colors and shapes.
  • If you are using the kit for younger children, you can help avoid frustration by using white glue to adhere the pieces together.  Let dry.  Then sew together with simple stitches.
  • Use up those fun beads and charms you have around the house to use as accents for these fun pieces.
Pros:
  • Plenty of material for a fun party activity or scout craft project.
  • The materials in the kit are versatile, you can use the pieces to create more than just pins.
  • Kit appeals to more than just 8-year-olds.  My 20-year-old thought they were pretty cute and wanted to make one.
Cons:
  • The felt die cuts are a little difficult for smaller hands to negotiate.  I would recommend using a different needle for smaller hands and perhaps backing the die cut felt materials onto a slightly larger piece of felt.
  • Not enough needles, it would be nice if they included more than one needle in the kit.
  • Some of the accent stitches are little challenging for some 8-year-olds.  I would recommend sewing or gluing on beads or rhinestones, if the child gets frustrated.

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at EK Success are giving away kits to two lucky readers. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.
What are some of your favorite summer projects for your kids?  Do you have any hand sewing tips for kids or kid craft ideas?  We would love to hear from you.

Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!

Disclaimer

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Aunt Martha’s Hot Iron Transfers

Reported by Susan Reidy

Last summer, my family and I visited a quaint little town in Missouri. And as I like to do when traveling, I visited the local craft stores. In one such store, I found a quaint, old-fashioned craft that I just had to try — Aunt Martha’s Hot Iron Transfers by Colonial Patterns.


Along with my transfers, I picked up some flour sack towels. I already had the embroidery floss and hoop, so I was all set.
The transfers are printed on an 18-inch by 24-inch sheet of newsprint paper. Each pattern is printed with black transfer ink, and each packet contains several designs. Here’s the pattern I bought unfolded.


Colonial Patterns says there are more than 250 printed pattern packets, including angels, animals, birds, butterflies, cars, animated dishes, flowers, fruit, holidays, kitchen, monograms, nursery, religious, Southwest themes, vegetables and more.
I opted for some cute kittens and wine country motifs. The transfers can be used for many kinds of craft projects — embroidery, fabric painting, quilting, wearable art, needlepoint and just about anything else you can iron onto.


I started with the image above and a flour sack towel, also by Aunt Martha’s.


Per the directions written on the back of the packet, I first cut out the image I wanted to transfer onto my towel. I ironed the towel first because the directions say hot fabric stamps more quickly.

At first, I opted not to pin my image down. I was too lazy to find pins. Big mistake. As you can see from the transfer below, my paper slipped. No, you’re not drunk, you are seeing double.


So then I decided to find those pins, and pinned my image to my towel. I moved my iron back and forth slowly, for five seconds.


I lifted up a corner to check the image, and went over sections that hadn’t transferred completely. The whole transfer process took less than 15 seconds. On my second attempt, the image was very crisp and visible.

I used the image twice, and had good results each time. According to the directions, each image can be used several times.

Next, I busted out my embroidery hoop and some floss, and got to stitching. I had totally forgotten how fun and soothing stitching can be.


I’m very pleased with how this turned out, and can’t wait to make one for each day of the week.

I wanted to try something else with the transfers besides stitching. I still have some Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth left (read that review here), so I cut out some squares and painted them a neutral color. After the paint dried, I ironed on my images.

The image was just as crisp and clear on the Roc-Lon as it was on the flour sack towel. At first, I thought about painting, but I couldn’t find the right colors in my stash. Instead, I used my Koh-I-Noor pencils (read that review here) to color in my images.


After coloring, I outlined the images with the black pencil. I love the rustic, almost watercolor look of the final images. I attached three panels together with some jute, tied on some burlap strips for a quick banner for my dining room.


I had fun with this quaint, old-school craft, which also happens to be very affordable. The Hot Iron Transfers are available at major craft stores for less than $2 per packet. The flour sack towels are inexpensive as well; I found individual towels for about $1.50 each.

These images can be used for so much more than towels. I’m thinking of more possibilities — fabric painting, quilting or adding them to some cute, vintage aprons.

I love all the different images available, especially the vintage look, which is so popular right now.

Pros:
  • Lots of images available to suit every taste, from cutesy to vintage.
  • Super affordable at less than $2 per packet.
  • Very versatile, can be used for many different projects.

Cons:

  • Image can slip during transfer if you don’t secure it in some way.
  • That’s all I got!

Have you tried Aunt Martha’s Hot Iron Transfers? How do you like to use them?

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA- Tools : We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy

Reported by Simone Collins

In recent years, We R Memory Keepers has become pretty well known for their crafting tools like the Crop-A-Dile.  Well, now they have developed a tool to make stitching on your paper projects simpler.  They call it the Sew Easy.

Now you can add stitching to your projects without taking out your sewing machine or lugging one with you when you’re crafting on the go.  Each Sew Easy Piercer makes a different pattern of holes and allows you many options for stitch design depending on how you thread the embroidery floss through the holes.  You can also run your piercer in a variety of shapes, so you are not limited to straight stitches.
The Sew Easy stitch piercer (roller-type tool) creates indentations, or perforations, on your surface. Use the piercing mat to protect your dining table! Then with a handy needle that comes with your tool, and some Sew Easy floss, you can make some hand-stitched, groovy borders, focal areas and embellishments along the tracks that you’ve made. There are scallop, zigzag, and blanket stitches to name a few. There are 10 main floss color options and 6 different roller heads (three different stitches on each).

So, do you think the Sew Easy will make you add more stitches to your projects and make it easier?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!