Signature Butterflies

Signature Butterflies

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When I was planning my projects for my new Signature fabrics collection for Art Gallery fabrics I created rooms and looks, then designed my sewing around what would fit into those rooms. 

One of the looks is what I'm calling the Signature Baby Room. I wanted a gender-neutral room for a baby or young child that loves nature. Using my granddaughter as my model toddler, I knew there had to be butterflies, because she LOVES butterflies!

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My original inspiration for making butterflies using fabric came from Kim of Go-Go Kim. Kim has a great tutorial for gluing fabric to paper to hang butterflies in shadow boxes. I wanted to make a bit sturdier butterfly with all fabric and came up with a hybrid of sorts...

Materials Needed for Making Signature Butterflies:

  • Signature Butterfly Templates
  • Fabric scraps at least 1/4'' larger around than template size
  • Heat n Bond Lite iron-on adhesive or similar product like Pellon EZ-Steam one-sided pressure sensitive fusible web (optional, see next item on list)
  • Pellon TP970 Thermolam Plus Sew-in fleece (Note: If using a fleece with an adhesive side, omit iron-on adhesive product from the line above)
  • Iron and pressing cloth
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Air-solvable marking tool
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Frame or shadow box

Making Butterflies

Download the Signature Butterfly Templates and print out at actual size. Check for accuracy using the 1'' reference square on the PDF. Cut out butterfly shapes. Tip: For a more durable template, print onto card stock paper. 

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On the Pellon Thermolam Plus Sew-in fleece, trace around desired butterfly shapes, leaving at least 1/8'' between shapes. Note: There's no right or wrong side to sew-in fleece but if using a fleece with an adhesive side then draw on the non-adhesive side. 

Following the manufactuer's instructions, adhere the iron-on adhesive (Heat n Bond or EZ-Steam type product) to the unmarked side of the fleece. Omit if using a fleece with an adhesive backing.

My butterflies only have fabric on one side and those wishing to do the same can move onto the next step noting that my tutorial images reflect only one side with fabric. But, if you're planning on fabric backing both the front and the back of your butterflies then adhere iron-on adhesive to the marked side of the fleece as well before moving to the next step, leaving the paper backing on until ready to adhere to fabric.

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Cut out butterfly shapes.

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Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the adhesive side(s) of the fleece butterfly shape to the wrong side of desired fabric(s). 

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Cut out butterfly shape using the edge of the fleece as your guide.

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To add even more durability to your butterfly, add decorative stitches around the shape, add details like body shape, or embellish as desired. 

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I always love playing around with materials and thinking outside the box. Because I wanted to add a bit of bling to my butterflies and include some metallic elements I decided to try spray painting the backs. 

Using a piece of cardboard and pin to hold the butterfly in place while I sprayed it I was very pleased how the gold spray paint took on the fleece backing. It didn't change the feel of the fleece and gave a nice gold tipped edge to my creations. 

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After the spray paint dried, I could go back in and add more dimension to my butterfly by folding and sewing very close the the folded body edges. 

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Let Your Imagination Soar!

Once know this technique for fusing fabric to fleece and making butterflies, the sky's the limit to what you can create. 

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My largest butterfly became an unique piece of art when I hand stitched it to the center of a rush placemat from Target. 

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I used this technique to cover a mirror with fabric faced fleece and simply glued the fleece in place with Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue so it's non-permanent and can easily be removed with water in the future. 

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To fill the gaps between my mirror backing and the frame I used fabric glue to attach some Dritz natural-colored Twist Cord to act like decorative molding. 

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A 3-D butterfly was simply pinned with a decorative straight pin directly to the fabric backing. 

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For this bejeweled shadow box I fleece backed fabric in the same technique as in the above projects and cut a backing size to fit a dollar store shadow box frame that had a saying printed on the backing. The opaque quality of the fleece blocked out the saying on the picture. Before hot gluing the fleece back fabric to the frame I pinned vintage brooches to the fabric for a one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired wall art. 

Hoop Art

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For a more traditional way to create art for your walls and bring nature inside is to use prints from my Signature and embellish them with embroidery and appliqué. For my Hoop Art I fussy cut a bouquet from my Extempore Celebration print and appliquéd a dragonfly, bee, and butterfly from the Small World Sprightly print. 

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Starting with an over-sized square each I sandwiched the following materials: Extempore Celebration right sides up on top, Hobb's Tuscany Silk batting in the center, and a Pure Element solid right side out on the back. I embellished the main print with embroidery and quilting stitches then added needle turn appliquéd cut outs from the Small World Sprightly print with blanket stitch edge detail. 

Once all the needle work was done, I re-stretched the art in the hoop, secured it tightly with the screw at the top, then trimmed the edge of the fabrics even with the edge of the hoop. 

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I hope this gives you some new ideas for how to customize and create art for your home. So many more things can be done with these techniques--I hope you'll give it a try!

Paperie Fabrics Blog Tour

Meet Amy Sinibaldi, the super sweet and extremely talented new designer at Art Gallery Fabrics. I had the pleasure to get to know Amy in person at Quilt Market this fall in Houston. My AGF sister was in attendance to launch her Limited Edition fabric collection--Paperie

   Amy Sinibaldi showing off her Paperie fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics

 

Amy Sinibaldi showing off her Paperie fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics

When Amy asked me if I wanted to be part of her Paperie Blog Tour I jump on the offer in a heartbeat! These prints are so adorable it was hard to choose. 

I knew I wanted to make something for my granddaughter and remember my daughter saying she will need to pick up some bibs eventually and didn't have anything yet. I bought "The Bapron" pattern from Cratiness is not Optional patterns. A super easy project that comes in two sizes and has a clever construction to fit around the baby's (or toddler's) shoulders for more coverage and better fit. 

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I put my own spin on the pattern by layering some thin cotton batting between the front and backing materials. Machine cross hatch quilting was done to the layers before stitching on the bias binding. I made my bias binding and instructions for making your own binding are included in the pattern. I cut a 1-3/4'' wide binding because of the batting adds some extra thickness. These cute aprons are completely reversible!

To spice up the blue apron I appliquéd a heart made from Art Gallery Fabric knit material. Because knit does not unravel or fray, I left the edges raw. I am not a fan of the stiffness fusible webbing creates on appliqué and wanted another alternative. The saying, "necessity is the mother of all invention" couldn't be truer. Knit can curl so to hold the shape of the heart while I cut it out and sewed it in place, I used freezer paper. 

Here's how to appliqué using knit:

Cut desired shape from freezer paper

Using a dry iron, press the shiny side of the freezer paper to the right side of the fabric

Cut out shape using the edge of the freezer paper as a guide

Leave freezer paper in place and pin the cut out shape, fabric side down to the right side of fabric to be appliquéd

Stitch in place as desired through all thicknesses, including freezer paper

Carefully remove freezer paper

The apron is a little big on her but before you know it she'll be making big messes when eating and her Mommy will get a lot of use out of these over the years. Maybe a brother or sister some day will also enjoy these?!? Isn't she adorable--kiss, kiss--love those cheeks :)

Be sure to visit Amy's blog Nana Company to see the full line-up of talented bloggers for her tour. Yesterday, Cheri Lehnow of tinkerwiththis.blogspot.com posted a tutorial on how to make a cute and easy pincushion. Tomorrow Jemima Flendt of tiedwitharibbon.com will be posting her project on the Paperie fabrics blog tour. Follow along for chances to win fabric and be inspired by more great projects! 

 



Hostess Gift

This is the time of year that many of us go to parties and get together with friends to celebrate the season. Sometimes, you just cannot keep up with all the little gifts needed here and there. It is great to have a quick project to make that will be the perfect hostess gift in just about any situation. ThisCoffee Cup Dish Towel project is fast, fun and fabulous. You only need a few supplies on hand for this project.

  • Plain dish towels
  • Double stick fusible web
  • Scrap material
  • Zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine

The full directions for this project are on myProjects page and have a full-size template for making the coffee cup. It is super easy and fast. You will want some for yourself!