Sunday, 12 February 2012

Heart Embroidered Card

Just in case you need reminding, Valentine’s Day is only 3 days away!  Singles often dread the apparent pressure to be in a relationship and many couples try to avoid a commercialised event which seemingly dictates how and when to show that you love someone.  

Well I am all for showing someone that you love them on any day of the year, so whether man or woman, single or taken, crafter or non-crafter, I have a little gift card idea which I think you will love.  

This little beauty will set you back only an hour of your day and is guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face.  There’s no special skill involved and for those of you new to crafting let me tell you that handmade gifts are appreciated for the time, effort and thought that goes into them. 

Speaking of time, there is still plenty of it left to whip up this card for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.  Pass it on to say ‘I love you’ to someone special or send it to a close friend in celebration of being single and happy!  Alternatively, why not enjoy making the card and saving it for another occasion, such as a birthday or engagement?  There are endless possibilities to explore through adapting the design, some of which I have included in my ‘Adaption’ section, so unleash your creative side!  I also feature ‘Why not try...?’, a section on alternative ways of showcasing your hard work other than a gift card.  What can I say, there really is something for everyone.

So what are you waiting for?!

  1. Sewing machine and cotton.
  2. Tomato puree tube:   Cut off the ends, cut down one side and open flat.  Clean.
  3. 1 scrap  of fabric and (optional) 1 scrap of a net style fabric, both 5x5 inches:  Colours of your choosing.
  4. Interfacing, 5x5inches. 
  5. Scissors:   You may wish to have a separate pair for cutting the tomato puree tube and for cutting your fabric.
  6. Double sided tape.
  7. Card and envelope:    Utilise what you have – A4 card cut down would do fine.
  8. Self  adhesive stickers e.g. ‘I Love you’; ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’; ‘To Someone Special’ OR rubber stamp and ink, again with a simple greeting.  

  • Free draw a heart onto paper.  Cut out and use a small amount of blue tack to stick onto the shiny side of the tomato puree tube i.e. what was the inside of the tube.  Cut out around your template using kitchen scissors.  Alternatively if you have a marker pen you may want to draw the heart directly onto the outside of the tube and cut out.
  • Use a small amount of PVA to glue your heart cut out onto the interfacing.  If you have an embroidery hoop I would recommend placing the interfacing in it so that the heart is in the deep well of the hoop rather than on the outside (this is because we will be placing the hoop under the machine needle). 
  • Thread up your machine with the cotton; I choose a metallic thread to compliment the gold colour of the heart. 
  • Either put a darning foot on your machine or if you don’t have one just leave the machine without any foot on it.  Then drop the feed dogs (usually a little switch near the bottom bobbin but see your instruction manual if you are not sure how to do this).  Make sure the presser foot lever is in the down position. 
  • These steps will allow you to free machine embroider, which essentially means to stitch wherever you want without having to go in straight lines.  Select the straight stitch on your machine and turn the stitch length to 0 (this will allow you to be in control of how long each individual stitch is).
  • Raise the needle and lower the design into place.  Wind the needle down into place so that it pierces the heart at any point.

  • Embroider in any pattern you wish. Essentially you want to secure the heart and create a decorative pattern; don’t overdo the stitching – you do not want a dense mass.
  • When you are happy, raise the needle and cut the thread, trim loose ends.
  • Cut the interfacing down to the heart shape.  Select the fabric that you want to mount the heart onto and secure the heart in place with a small amount of PVA.
  • If using a net fabric also, then place this on top of the heart cut out so that you have sandwiched the heart in between a solid layer of fabric on the bottom and a see through fabric on the top.  Then use a few pins to secure this top layer to the bottom layer near the edge of the fabric pieces.
  • Adjust your machine back to normal stitching and machine embroider around the edge of the heart to secure it to the fabric(s).

  • Trim the design to you preference.  Place double sided tape onto the back of the design.  Centre onto your card and secure.
  • Use any adhesive stickers or rubber stamps you have to add a personalised message to your card.
  • Admire your work!

  • You could cut out other shapes from the tube – from basic shapes such as diamonds and circles to the more adventurous stars and flowers.  Get creative with fabric and cotton colour choices.
  • Don’t cut out a shape from the tube to begin with.  Instead embroider the whole piece of tube and then cut out strips in different widths.  Use the strips to make beads (simply roll a strip and glue the end) or to use in collage work.
Why not try?

  • Using a larger piece of fabric and making a small cushion cover with your design.
  • Placing 3 hearts in a horizontal line onto a canvas and hanging on the wall.