Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been using my new sewing machine quite a bit since my parents gave it to me for Christmas. I've been wanting to use it to make cards, but I couldn't get motivated until I saw this simple Valentine's Day card idea. I altered this idea a little, by using card stock I had on hand instead of buying something fancy, and I made the card a single layer, more like the cards you passed out in grade school. 

I've been wondering how in the world anyone sews a curved line with their machine, and I knew that working on this project would help me figure it out. The answer: very patiently. 

I gathered some scrap fabric, cut out some hearts, and started out by practicing the zig-zag stitches. 

It was hard, and I knew that if I waited until I could do it perfectly, I wouldn't send the cards out in time. So I practiced until I could basically trace the heart, and then I went into production mode.

Step 1: cut out hearts using scrap fabric. The link above includes a template, but I just made my own by sketching on card stock. 

Step 2:  sew the border stitches using a straight, short stitch. Make a few extras to take the pressure off for Step 3. 

Step 3: experiment with your zig-zag stitch setting and stitch length until you find your favorite one to use for outlining the heart. Secure the fabric heart to the paper, with a bit of glue or double-sided tape. Then it's the fun part--zig zag stitch on a curve!

Step 4: I wanted to create the ragged edge like the cards on the purlbee. I followed a link on their site to learn how to create that edge using my sewing machine. Remove all thread from the machine and then "sew" close to the edge using short stitches so the needle creates a perforated edge. Fold several times, then tear away the excess paper from the edge. 

Making the perforated edge was too much fun, and it made the cards even more like grade-school valentines: remember how they came in sheets and each card was folded and torn away? 


Karen said...

Very creative! The PURL bee site is interesting. So glad you are having fun with the sewing machine. Love, Mom

Kate said...

still waiting for mine!