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Satin Kanzashi Flower Ornaments

So I kinda dropped the ball blogging last week, and can’t even blame Christmas preparations (because those are STILL not done!)  I’m really looking forward to sharing all the stuff that I have been working on, hopefully soon.  One of the big projects this week was putting together a huge pattern order.  I’m so excited to announce that Brewer Sewing  is now carrying all of my patterns! Now it’s even easier for your favorite local quilt store to carry any or all of my designs.

For this week, I wanted to share a quick and easy Christmas decoration.  These sew together super-quickly for gift tags, ornaments, or gifts.  All you need is Clover Kanzashi makers, scrap fabric (I used satin for most of these, and love the glossy effect), buttons, cording, felt and tacky glue.  I’m not going to post a full-blown tutorial, but I will hopefully give you some inspiration for your own holiday creations.

mistletoe and peppermint kanzashi ornaments

The first set uses the round petals.  Alternate red (or green) and white petals, and make a typical kanzashi flower.  Add a button to the front, and glue a bit of cording on the back.  Hide the back of the flower and the cording ends by gluing on a bit of felt in a coordinating colors.  Voila, kanzashi peppermints!

The bottom left ornament is kanzashi mistletoe.  I made four large round petals from green satin, then gathered those petals, took a tacking stitch and added the two small round petals on top of the large round ones.  I covered up all the loose ends with buttons on the front, and the same backing as described for the peppermints.

Pointsettia

Here’s some snowflakes and a pointsettia made from the pointed and and gathered petal shapes (although the daisy petal shape would also work for the snowflakes).  These are made just like a typical kanzashi flower.  On the snowflakes, I alternated petal size, shape and colors.  The pointsettia is simply 6 large pointed petals from red satin.

Easy peasy!  I love how the flower makers make it so simple to sew with slippery fabrics like satin and tulle.

Happy Stitching!

emily

Sweet Strawberry Pincushion Tutorial

strawberries

I’ve been on a bit of a pincushion kick lately.  Today I’ll show you how to make a darling little strawberry with a couple of great tools.  These are so quick and easy to make!  My daughter and her best friend made the “blueberries” (as pictured in the top of the picture above).

 

Let’s get started!  You will need:

supplies

A 4 1/2 inch square of red or pink fabric, a 2 1/2 by 7 inch scrap of green fabric, stuffing, a Clover heart shaped yo-yo maker (I used the large size), a small Kanzashi flower maker (daisy, pointed or gathered shape), a bottle cap (found in the jewelry section of most craft stores), a ball chain or ribbon, hot glue, hand sewing needle, strong thread and thimble

1. Make a heart yo-yo according to the Clover instructions, using the square of red fabric and a LONG thread, and stopping once you’ve partly gathered the yo-yo.

yo-yo

HINT:  you can use the outer part of the yo-yo maker to “fussy cut” a motif on the center of your strawberry.

fussycut

2.  Fill the yo-yo with about a silver dollar sized wad of batting.  Be sure to get batting in the curved upper part of the heart.

stuffing

3. Gather the stitching tightly, and knot the thread near the opening on the yo-yo (it’s okay if the batting shows here, just focus on a pretty shaped heart from the other side).

front-and-back

 

4.  Make three Kanzashi petals from the green fabric.  The second picture in this step shows how the pointed, daisy, and gathered petals look, respectively.

leaves leaf-options

5. Hand sew the petals to the back of the strawberry.

sewtoyoyo

6. Hot glue the strawberry to the bottle cap.  HINT:  Place the bottle cap on a flat surface.  Apply hot glue to the back of the yo-yo and petals, then press firmly onto the bottle cap.  Resist the urge to pick up the bottle cap and press it to the petal, because hot glue + metal= burned fingers.  Don’t ask how I know this!

sew

7. Attach a ball chain or ribbon to the loop on the bottle cap, fasten to your sewing box, and you’re ready to roll!

Go!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  If strawberries aren’t your thing, check back early next week for another cute pincushion tutorial.

Happy Stitching!

emily

 

A Great Use for Binding Scraps

I have accumulated piles of scrap binding.  I’d much rather have a dozen inches left over than be half an inch short.  But the scraps are tough to use with the crease mark down the middle.  Then I realized those scraps could be used to make Kanzashi flowers.

Binding-kanzashi I used the daisy, pointed and gathered petal shapes (small and extra small sizes) on the straight grain binding scraps, and the orchid (or rounded) shapes on the bias binding.

Binding-kanzashi2

Ta Da!  Those are much more fun to see sitting around my studio than piles of binding!  Not sure what I’ll use them for, yet, but I like having a basket of Kanzashi flowers sitting around anytime I need a quick embellishment.

Check back later this week for a new pattern release, and a special post next week to celebrate my 2 year blogiversary.

Happy Mother’s Day!

emily

Kanzashi Flower Wreath Tutorial

first

I wanted to make something special for my daughter’s First Communion.  Headbands give her headaches, so I came up with this simple wreath instead.  If you’d like to make your own, here’s how I made it.  Enjoy!!

Supplies:

supplies*Satin fabric remnant, about half a yard
*Sparkly tulle remnant (about 4″ by width of fabric)
*Clover kanzashi makers (I used the Small Orchid, the Extra Small Orchid and the Extra Small Daisy)
*white floral wire (I used a package of 24 precut wires)
*White, pearl, or clear buttons (about 16)
*strong quilting thread, needle, thimble, scissors
*2.5 inch wide  white satin ribbon, about 4 feet

 

wire-loop1.  Take one of the floral wires and bend it into a circle.  Form little loops at the end of the wire and link them to secure.

 

 

 

flowers2. Make Kanzashi flowers according to the maker instructions.  Sew buttons to the center of the flowers.

3. Cut the remaining wires in half.  Insert a half wire through the backside of each flower, up through the center and button, then down through the center.  Twist the two ends of the wire together snugly.

lots-of-flowers

For this wreath, I used a total of sixteen flowers.

flower-on-wreath

 

 

 

 

 

4. Wrap the flower wires from step 3 around the circular wire from step 1 to secure the flower to the wreath.  Repeat with remaining wired flowers, arranging the flowers as you go.

more-flowers-on

 

 

 

 

full-wreath

 

5.  Leave a little gap at the back for the bow.

 

 

 

 

add-bow

6.  Tie on a bow with wide satin ribbon.

 

 

 

 

done

7.  Enjoy!  At this point, you may want to dab fabric glue or fray check in areas where the raw fabric edges stick out.  Pin the wreath in place with bobby pins.

 

 

Happy Stitching!

emily

New Clover Kanzashi Flower Makers

I haven’t played with Kanzashi flowers in a while.  But the other day, I decided to surf the net for some visual inspiration, and found a treasure trove.  Not only has Clover released two new petal shapes, orchid and daisy, but they’ve created an extra-small size!  The extra small flowers measure about an inch and a half in diameter, and are just cute as buttons.  Half the reason I started making Kanzashi flowers without the Clover makers was that I wanted a smaller size.  I have to admit, though, I vastly prefer using the Clover makers over doing it myself.  I find that the uniformity achieved with the Clover makers and the ease of catching all the petals in the sewing results in much prettier flowers than simply folding, pinning, and then sewing the flowers.

So, I ordered a small orchid petal, and an extra small orchid and daisy.  Then I bought a white satin remnant at JoAnn’s and started to play.  I’m making all of these white flowers for a flower headband for my daughter’s First Communion.  I’ll post a tutorial on how I make it in the next week or so.  But for now, check out these darling flowers:

satinThe top two are the small orchid.  Bottom left is the extra-small orchid, and right is the extra-small daisy.   tiny

Here’s a sense of scale on how bitty those extra-small flowers really are.  May I just add that they are still exceptionally easy to sew, even that tiny!  No, I’m not affiliated with Clover, just love these products.

scaleHere’s a sense of scale of their different sizes.  Far left is a large flower (made with the round petal), then small and extra-small.

I can’t wait to play more with these.  It may be hard to see in the photos, but both the new daisy and orchid shape are more intricately folded than the older petal shapes.  I love the dimensionality of the new shapes.

So, that’s my world for the moment.  The kids are off school for Spring Break this week, and their grandparents will be in town.  I’m looking forward to a week of helping the girls finish some of their sewing projects, and hopefully finishing a few of my own as well.  I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Stitching!

emily

Colossal Kanzashi Flowers

This weekend is our school’s fall carnival.  On Tuesday, we were brainstorming ways to decorate the booth that our new American Heritage Girls troop is managing.  Since the theme has to do with school spirit, someone suggested decorating with homecoming mums.  Which caused many baffled looks.  Evidently homecoming mums are a Texas tradition, and as a native Texan, I had a hard time explaining them.  Sort of like trying to explain why we say “y’all”.  How else do you pluralize “you”?!

Homecoming mums are monstrous, loud, and rather heavy ways to show your school spirit.  They’re worn before the homecoming game, of course.  When I was in high school, your date gave you a mum.  And your parents.  And all of your twelve or so best friends.  Some girls I knew couldn’t put their backpacks on for the number of mums pinned to their clothes.  I never had that problem, lol!  Anyway, google “homecoming mums” for more visual inspiration.

So, I’ve spent the last couple of days making homecoming mums in American Heritage Girls colors.  After seeing the prices for custom mums at Hobby Lobby, I decided to make my own.  And put a little spin on them.  Usually mums have an artificial white mum (or two) in the center.   I made mums from white felt, as I’ve been dying to try out some of the tutorials for felt flowers.  I used the Crafted Sparrow tutorial.  Very fun.  In the picture below, the top left one is smaller.  That one used the “straight mum” instead of the “looped mum”.  And it came out half the size.  I should have realized that would happen, even though the felt used in each was the same length.

For the base, I used recycled cardboard.  No, we don’t always eat granola around here.  The third base is from a Pop Tart box.  Just being honest! 🙂

Here’s how I made the mums, in pictures.  Between each photograph is at least one stick of hot glue, a burned finger, and bunches of those little hot glue stringies.

You can’t add too much ribbon.  For these Kanzashi flowers, I cut felt into 9″ squares.  Then I cross-cut it on the diagonal to make large triangles.  Each triangle was folded into a basic petal (skipping the traditional first step of folding your square into a triangle).  You can find lots of tutorials on the web for these rounded petals.  Or reference Kanzashi in Bloom.

Bells are crucial to authentic homecoming mums!  I used jingle bells on these.  Most mums have cow bells instead.  I kind of resent the notion of wearing something with cow bells, though!Ta da!  After all the quilting projects lately, I really enjoyed making something I could finish in a day or two.  Now it’s back to pattern edits, and a book review.  Both of those should be making blog appearances next week, so stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!

Teacher Gifts

Remember those big Kanzashi flowers I  wrote about last week?  Here they are, backed with felt and pins and ready to go for my kids’ teachers.  I fastened them to 1/2 pint mason jar lids.  The jars are filled with a lovely peppermint hand scrub that the kids made.

I’m so tickled with the way these came out.  All in all, they were very inexpensive to make, and the kids were so excited to take them to school.  I had to smile when my oldest, very politely, said the white flower was a bit “too plain,” and could I make a flower for that teacher in blue instead?  Of course I wasn’t offended.  I’m just trying to decide what kind of accesory to make for me with the white one!

And no, I didn’t come up with the idea all on my own.  The mason jars filled with hand scrub came from the latest issue of Stitch, Craft, Create.  If you haven’t checked out that magazine yet, you should!  It’s like finding an awesome blog written by someone you know you’d be best friends with.  I love that it includes a range of creative projects, not just quilting.  They even had the recipe for the hand scrub!  Later this summer, I’m going to try their super-easy-sounding yarn dyeing techniques with the kids.  Even though I don’t knit, or crochet, the technique just looks like too much fun to pass up.

Today is the kids’ last day of school.  I’m more excited than they are, I think.  I’m planning to use the time we would normally spend driving and doing homework on crafty stuff with the kids.  My oldest has several hand-sewn felt monsters he has designed that we need to turn into reality.  And the girls have a backlog of projects, from doll slings and jumpers to purses and pillow cases that I want to work on with them.  I have a feeling the summer is going to fly!

Happy Stitching!

More Kanzashi Fun

Only one more week until summer vacation, yippee!  In the midst of the end-of-year insanity, I’ve been playing more with Kanzashi flowers.  I got a fabulous book, Kanzashi in Bloom, which shows you how to make three petal shapes.  The book is gorgeous.  The projects are incredible, as she provides instructions for all different sizes of flowers, and lots of materials (including leather and vinyl!)

You may be wondering, what about the templates from Clover?  I still love those.  They’re great for making kanzashi in the car, and I like the way the thread holds the petals together so effortlessly.  BUT, with the folding techniques in this book, you can make flowers with any size petals you like.  Remember the rounded petals from my earlier posts?  Here’s the same shape, but teeny tiny: 

Love it!  These are going into my idea for kidlet #4’s birth announcement wall hanging.

The book also teaches a ruffled petal, which you can’t make with the Clover makers.  This petal makes a stunning flower.  I’m working on the following flowers for teacher gifts (more on that next week!)

The fabrics pictured above are random scraps from my stash.  The funky buttons came from Wal-Mart, of all places.  So much fun.  If you’re looking for more inspirational kanzashi, be sure to search on the etsy website.  They have some incredible items and patterns!

So that’s been the extent of my crafting week.  I’m also working on a mug rug for an online Inklingo swap, and I hope to have pictures of that ready next week.

Happy Stitching!

A Change in Plans

I was all set to write a blog post raving about my new favorite product, Frixion pens by Pilot, for marking quilts.  They disappear when you iron your project, and I have been using them like crazy for all sorts of purposes.  Then I went to find a linky for them so you could try them yourself.  I found a slew of blogs warning against using them.  Why?  Because if you expose your quilt to extremely cold temperatures, the blogs said, the lines came back.  I just finished a baby wall hanging quilt with the black pen marking my embroidery lines.  Surely this cold tempterature thing cannot be true!!

After less than ten minutes in our deep freezer, that baby quilt now has lines again- black, on white and yellow fabric.  They are faint lines, but definitely visible.  A string of unkind epithets is running through my head right now.  I stitched those words with a wonderful royal purple perle cotton.  The other blogs said to wash the ink out with cool water.  I shudder to think at what water may do to that thread bleeding.  And, of course, procrastinator that I am at times, I was intending to present that little quilt to my niece tomorrow.  Live and learn, I suppose.

However, I did take pictures before sticking the little wallhanging in the freezer. . .

I know, I’m not showing the whole thing, for two reasons.  One, I don’t have the proud parents’ permission to post their baby’s name online, and two, I’m thinking about writing this up as a pattern.

What do you think?  I see baby announcement wallhangings all over the cross-stitch aisles of craft stores, but I’ve only seen one such quilted baby announcement, and that was in a Nancy Halvorsen book, Winsome Baby.  I highly recommend that book.  Of course, I highly recommend anything of hers.  She has such simple and adorable patterns, I buy her books compulsively.  But I actually get around to making stuff from them too, which says a lot about them.

Seriously, though, I’d love the input on baby wallhangings.  They’re so fun and quick to make, but I’m wondering if it’s one of those things people would see in a quilt store and think “Hey, cute!  I could do that without a pattern, though.”

Well, I’m off to wash black lines out of that quilt.  Have a great weekend!