Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Wonderland Countdown Calendar

Hello friends,

I'm back with another Wonderland project that I created for the fabric YouTube Live.  It was an idea that just came to me and I had to give it a go! It takes a bit of math to work it out, but it really was easy once I figured out the size of everything. I'll try my best to walk you though the steps and hopefully it will make sense to you. 
  • I always sew with a 1/2" seam, so all seams are based on that measurement.
  • Each pocket is 2 x 2" when finished.  Choose a tag that will fit (#2) or resize to fit the tag you are using. You really can just use the basic concept/idea and make it any size you wish.  
  • Pockets could be made larger if you want to add candy or toys.  
  • You could also make the calendar without the cotton batting if you want something lighter weight.
STEP1: cut front and back
I cut two pieces of "Tidings Type", 13 1/2 x 24" (you'll need 2/3 yard).  
STEP 2: cut strips
I cut SIX different strips of Wonderland fabric, each 3" x 44".
STEP 3: sew strips
I went to the sewing machine and stitched the strips together, using 1/2" seam allowance.  Iron all seams flat. You will only use about 2/3 of this piece, but it also gives you options when it comes to pattern (this will make sense in just a few more steps).
NOTE: it is important that any directional fabric (like the red text) run horizontal at this stage.
STEP 4: cut strips
Using a rotary cutter, cut five 3" strips of the pieced fabric. I cut a couple extra to be able to have a choice of fabric, since the collaged fabric (called "25th") has a different motif in every strip.
If you are following along, you know there are 6 patterns in each strip, but the calendar only needs 5 pockets per why did I make you sew 6?  Because I did not want all the strips to be exactly the same as they run down the calendar.  So this is where you get to choose which square to remove from each end.  Yes, you are going to need a seam ripper. 
STEP 5: pattern
Here are the 5 "pocket strips". Right now I do not care how far apart they are, I'm only looking at the patterns.  
Row 1 and 5 are the same, but one is turned around (that why the red directional fabric needs to run up and down - so it can be flipped over and still be "right"). Then I just removed the square that is hanging off.
Row 2 and 3 are the same, but again, one is turned around and one square is removed.
Row 4 - I removed the holly on the right end and replaced it with a collage fabric that I had removed from one of the other strips (just because I wanted to be difficult, lol!).
STEP 6: 
Go back to the ironing board to iron 1/2" hem on each pocket strip.  This is the top hem of the pocket.  You could sew this down but I did not. Make sure you do this one at a time so they go back into the same order.
Now back to the front fabric to lay out the pockets, hem side up.

NOTE: Can you see my mistake in the photo? in row 4 (third row down from the top), I ironed the hem on the wrong side, so when I added  the pocket strip to the backing, it was upside down.  I know that because the red square is out of place! Of course I did not figure that out till I had sew it on, so I just picked out the seam, re-ironed it on the correct side and sewed it into place again. 
Using your clear fabric ruler, make a line with a fabric marker for the 1/2" seam. This was nice to have something to follow.
Make another line on the backing fabric, to the left of the strip edge (this will help to space out the pocket strips as you add them to the back).
Should look like this...
You can double check to see if you have a 2" pocket.
Pin the pocket strip into place along the blue line.
STEP 10:
Then go to your sewing machine and stitch on the 1/2" blue line.
There are 3 1/2" between the blue lines. You could make the marks for all pocket strips using this measurement.
Fold the pocket strip forward and iron flat.
I did add a pin or two to keep it in place while I sewed the other strips.
STEP 12:
Add a second strip above the last on the 3 1/2" blue line, then repeat the steps of marking, pinning, sewing, ironing and pinning to secure...repeated 4 more times.
STEP 13:
Sew the second pocket strip to the backing.
STEP 14:
Now that you are done adding all the pocket strips, go back to the iron and iron flat once again.
STEP 15:
Go back to the machine and stitch between each pocket. This time you will need to backstitch at the top of each pocket.
STEP 16:
Take the panel to the cutting board and square up.
STEP 17:
Add the cotton batting and backing.
I chose to use a temporary adhesive between the top and the cotton batting to keep everything in place as I sew the top to the bottom.  Totally optional.
I also pinned everything together before going back to the machine.
STEP 18:
I sewed right under each pocket strip to bind the layers together.
This is what it looks like so far! Each pocket will be 2 x 2" except for the ones on the edges, they will still be 2 x 2 1/2" because we still have to add the binding.
You can go online to see how to make binding (lots of people on YouTube can show you how).  I made very simple binding using 2 1/4" strips of "Leaf Medallion" fabric.  The fabric is only 44" long (at most) so you will have to combine strips at least 2 strips to go around the calendar.  

Cut two, 2 1/4 x 44" strips.
Sew a diagonal line where the two strips com together.
Cut the diagonal line.
Then open and press flat.
For more information on binding anything, I will direct you to YouTube.  It is best to watch someone actually sew the binding (or at least that is what helped me).  I practiced a couple times on a scrap piece until I got the concept and then went to the real thing.  Here is an short video to watch or just type in "how to bind a quilt.

As for the tags that go in the pockets - I cut mine using Watercolor Cardstock and the Sizzix Tag Collection die because I did not want a hole at the top of the tag. If you must purchase manilla tags, you will need a #2 tag (3 1/4" x 1 5/8").  
The number stamps are from Stampers Anonymous, called Merchant. One of most used stamp sets because it is timeless.
I also added a pocket on the back of the wall hanging for the tag numbers when not in use.

Well, I hope this epic blog post is helpful in making your own countdown calendar.  It was a fun process to figure out the pattern and it really is doable for anyone with a ruler and a sewing machine.  I added some small metal hangers on the back (Walmart) for hanging but you could clip it or pin it up too.
If you missed the live, you can always go back to watch a replay. 
If you do watch the replay, Tim shows the Countdown Calendar at the 29 minute mark.

Now carry on,

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Wonderland Cards

Hello Friends,

Today I thought I would share the three cards I made using Wonderland Fabric.

To start I cut three card bases 4 1/2 x 6 1/4" from Distress Watercolor paper. I love this paper as a base because the weight of the cardstock makes a great base to build on.
For the first card, I cut another piece of Watercolor Cardstock slightly smaller than my base so I could use the new Sparkle 3D Embossing Folder.  It worked perfectly as a backdrop for the flannel fabric strips.
I mounted the embossed paper to the card base using thin foam tape.  

To prep the flannel, I added heavyweight iron-on interfacing to the back, then cut the strip with my rotary cutter. The flags at the bottom were hand-cut with scissors that have a sharp tip.  I topstitched each strip, then added them to the card front with wide Scor-tape (only at the top half).
I bet you can guess that I had to add the string and the painted bell BEFORE I added the Scor-tape to the back.
I cut a couple sizes of circles for the focal point. One in Watercolor cardstock and the other in silver metallic Kraft Stock (I also sanded it lightly). I stamped the sentiment with Archival Ink then sprayed the circle with Frozen Fog Mica Stain and drying before slipping it under the strip.

 CMS 474 Jolly Holiday 

For card two, I used the collage fabric, "25th".  With this fabric you can chose smaller prints from the group the work well together for size and scale.
I cut the blocks using the same process as the last (adding heavyweight interfacing to the back), but this time I used the square wafer dies I have from Simon Says Stamp to cut the shapes. I just placed the die over the image I wanted and ran through the die cut machine. I had all 6 squares in no time. I love that the dies works like a little window to see exactly what you are cutting.
I adhered each square to gold metallic cardstock with a light coat of Collage Medium (the interfacing helps to keep it from soaking through the flannel).  I did all the machine stitching before adding the red layer and mounting it on the card front that I had already stamped with a saying from a favorite stamp set, Scenic Holiday.

And for the last card, again, I went back to the "25th" fabric, repeated the interfacing and the cutting before adding the blocks to the stamped card front. I stitched around each block to add some interest, then added the ribbon and tag.
The velvet Ribbon is from the idea-ology pack.  I used a strip of 1/4" Scor-tape on the back of the long strip, then added the bow with hot glue.
The small tag is from my junk drawer.  I just stamped my very FAVORITE #25 from the Department Store Stamp set. I just love this card!
ps) If you open the card, there is a sentiment on the inside.

CMS458 Department Store

I hope you have enjoyed these cards as much as I did making them. It is amazing to me how even just a hint of fabric can make such a difference. Maybe it's the texture of the flannel or the colors of Christmas...whatever it is, I love it!

If you missed the Wonderland Fabric live, you can watch the replay HERE
Now carry on,

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Festive Art Card File

Hello Friends,

Glad to be here sharing my Festive Art Card File. My Card File is all about ideas for the the new Festive Art stencil pack. I challenged myself to only use the Festive Art Stencil Pack + new Mini Stencils pack + new Christmas stamps from Stampers Anonymous. It wasn't much of a challenge because these products work so perfectly together! Follow along and I'll show you what I created.
Lets start with the Card File itself.  I used Christmas Backdrops paper to cover the box. I painted the metal pull with Candied Apple Distress Paint, then after it was dry, I sanded it with steel wool to distress the metal.
The fun dotted tape comes from the Design Tape Trims pack.
I decide to use the Festive Prints stamp set to stamp simple images on the sides of the Card File. I had already adhered the paper to the box and added a layer of Collage Medium over the top, so to stamp, I needed to use Staz-On ink. If I had stamped before I added the Collage Medium, I could have just used Archival Ink.  After the ink was dry, I went over the box with Sparkle Texture Paste to give it a bit of shine.  I cannot stop using this stuff!
I used the File Card pack for this project.
The pack come with:
4 tabbed cards
4 folded cards
4 pockets
4 flat cards
I kept the tabbed card very simple - using the stamp sets CMS473 Christmas Cartoons + CMS472 Festive Prints.
As I said, the pack comes with 4 flat cards.  I wanted a total of 12 so I could have one for each stencil. So I cut eight more cards (3 x 4") from Distress Mixed Media Cardstock.
I used a variety of Distress Inks and a few Oxide Inks along with the new "Festive Art" Element Stencils. There are 12 mini stencils in the pack so you can create a huge range of images!

Distress Ink used: Peeled Paint, Rustic Wilderness, Candied Apple, Saltwater Taffy, Kitsch Flamingo, Evergreen Bough, Broken China, Squeezed Lemonade, Bundled Sage

All the splatter in the background is various colors of Mica Stains. 
Unfortunately, the gold embossing does not show up in the photos (it just looks flat), but things like stars on top of the trees, the top of the ornament, the bow on the present, have all been embossed with gold.

4 folded cards - more sewing, more embossing...
4 pockets - each have the pattern of one of the new Mini Stencil (3 pack)
These three fold at the top (I cut them myself).  Lots of pink to go with the red.  The pink on the two cards on the right is Spun Sugar Oxide.
Then just for fun I made some little cards from the Backdrops Christmas paper + transparency that has been stamped (Festive Prints stamp set).

Hope you will give the Festive Art a go! So many ways to use the stencils to create some fun art!

Now carry on,