Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hello, Ollie Blog Tour: Swan Princess embroidery hoops

Hey guys! Today is my day to showcase the beautiful 'Hello, Ollie' fabrics by the lovely GoingHomeToRoost! Here's how she describes this soft and sweet line: Like the delicate trace left by a Swan’s dance on the water, this collection illustrates the image of spending an afternoon in the meadow by the lake. Named after Bonnie’s daughter, Ollie, sweetness is brought to life with dabbling swans, feathered fellows and garden blooms.

I was asked to create a few pieces for her fabric market booth to promote this beautiful line of organic fabrics so, of course, I put my own twist on things and somehow turned this into a hand-embroidery project. (If you're following me on Instagram you'll notice that I hardly sew anymore and only have the energy for hand work!) For my projects I decided on two size hoops, a 10" and an 8". I started with some swans, shimmery gold and perfectly matched embroidery threads.

I snipped up some tiny crowns using fabric and faux leather then attached to my hoop fabric with spray adhesive. Using a disappearing ink, I played around with different floral features. The wraps around the swan necks were my favorites, giving them a sense of play mixed with elegance. This was also my first time working with gold floss. Initially I was nervous about it, but it wasn't nearly as scary or stubborn as I had heard and even if it was, the end result would be worth a struggle.

If you've never tried your hand at embroidery, I highly recommend it! It's very soothing, rewarding and simple. Just follow some videos to learn basic stitches if you're a visual learner like me. I usually tell people to start on a favorite fabric, something you can match colors to and add detail work simply by 'coloring' the print. It's a very easy and fun way to learn. Here are some details from my two pieces:

For a more finished look, I wrapped my hoops with lace and bits of twine or coordinating fabric strips. A little bit of hot glue here and there (on the inside of your hoop) as you're wrapping will help keep everything in place. Don't forget to glue at the beginnings and ends of each part as well. Wrapping a hoop really adds an element of detail and makes your work look incredibly complete. Feathers here and there add a bit of whimsy as well. Basically, these hoops were all about the details for me. I wanted to take Bonnie's incredibly sweet print and just bring it to another 3D level.

And let's talk for a minute about the backs of those embroidery hoops. Don't just hand them to friends with all your threads hanging about for everyone to see! I trim my fabric in the back once i'm finished and everything is tightened. I use a thin layer of hot glue on the interior of the hoop back and press all the trimmed fabric to the inside. I use the wood hoop as a guide to cut out a piece of felt, stamp with a 'handmade' stamp and use some hot glue to attach that to the inside back hoop as well. Be careful to avoid any hot glue hitting your fabric work! You'll end up with a very professional looking piece of hoop art and you won't have to be ashamed of your backside!

I hope you guys have enjoyed these hoops and maybe I've given you enough information to go make your own! You really should look at ALL the gorgeous prints in the Hello, Ollie collection here. Bonnie's mother sells fabrics here, although I can't say I've never ordered from her. If she's anything half as nice as Bonnie, I'm sure it would be a great experience. A couple of my favorite (and frequently used) etsy fabric shops are: sewstitchinghappy and llamafabrics, both sweet women with amazing customer service, fast shipping and great selection.

Also, do me a favor and continue on the tour! Check out all the past and future makers here. We work hard to make something pretty and inspiring all the while trying our best to showcase the designers gorgeous fabrics. Bonnie from goinghometoroost posted an amazing free quilt pattern yesterday, and Lisa from mabeyshemadeit is up tomorrow!

Keep calm and craft on!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour: apple tree wall hanging

Hello! It's my day for the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour and let me tell you, this book is adorable! (Published by Tuva Publishing and written by Kerri Horsley of Lovely Little Handmades.) I chose to make the Apple Tree Pillow project from page 111, but with my own little twist.

I decided to add a little embroidered phrase which you can download here, and turned this baby into a fall art wall hanging! (I used a light table and a disappearing ink pen to transfer the phrase onto my linen.) I love the idea of a pillow but with the embroidery, I really wanted to keep it away from little hands so I chose to hang this. You could also add the pillow backing according to the book and then have the option of hanging or using.

I even did a little in-the-car stitching (I used three strands of thread for the embroidered writing to get a thin handwritten look)! Also, a couple of little details on some of the apples, along with a leather tag add-on from the lovely people at DailyLikeCanada. I grabbed a bunch of fabrics from my scrap stash and went to town on the appliqués which went faster than I thought. The hardest part for me was stitching around all the apples and leaves. It seems I need a bit of practice with machine appliqué. Ha!

All in all though, I'm super happy with how this piece turned out! If you want to see more talented makers from the book's blog tour, check out Instagram and search hashtag #lovelylittlepatchworkblogtour!

Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Forest Floor Blog Tour: Large pocket Boho skirt

Guess what?! Today is my day to showcase the beautiful Forest Floor fabrics by the lovely GoingHomeToRoost! I've been asked to join Bonnie's Blog Tour and I couldn't be more excited. I love all the beautiful fabrics she designs and Art Gallery Fabrics are incredibly soft. It's a match made in fabric heaven.

Anyway, onto the main course! I decided to test my hand at garment sewing and although I have a lot to learn, I kept it simple and am pleased with the results.

I didn't follow a pattern but instead used a skirt I had in my closet as a guide. It's just a simple gathered skirt, and the hardest (and by hard, I just mean time-consuming) part was the pockets. I thought about skipping them, but it just wouldn't be the same without it. And let's be honest here, we all need giant pockets to hold phones, keys, shells, rocks, twigs, the occasional bug and whatever else our toddlers qualifies as treasure.

Another downfall of sewing clothes for oneself is attempting pictures of them! If there's an arm missing, I took the pictures with a remote, if you can see both my arms, my four year-old was honing her mother-given photography skills. I was happy to have help and she was ecstatic to hold mama's big camera.

Large hem, large pockets, relaxed style. It's perfect for these hot summer days. If you're interested in viewing the Forest Floor collection, you can see it here. I love to buy most of my online fabrics from Llamafabrics on etsy because of the impeccable customer service, great prices and fast shipping. Bonnie's mother also sells fabrics here, although I've never ordered from her. If she's anything half as nice as Bonnie, I'm sure it would be a great experience. I used a yard for my skirt here, about a 25" cut but you would have to measure, add a few inches on each end for hems and elastic and work from there. The pockets are 7x8" with rounded corners on the bottoms. If anyone has any questions on how to make your own skirt, please let me know.

Also, do me a favor and continue on the tour! Check out all the past and future makers here. We work hard to make something pretty and inspiring all the while trying our best to showcase the designers gorgeous fabrics. Sue from needleinafabricstash posted yesterday, and Annika is up tomorrow! Cant wait to go peruse myself. I've got a little of this print left and I want some inspiration on what to make with it.

Happy making!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tinks Hexie Coaster: a tutorial

Are you guys ready to make some adorable hexagon coasters? I thought you might be, so let's get started!

Fabric and coordinating fabric for backing
Fusible interfacing
Ribbon (optional)

With my template, I actually glued it onto thin cardboard and trimmed them to size. Now I have studier templates for use in future projects.

Step 1: Once you have your templates trimmed and ready, start cutting out all your front and back pieces using the 'fabric template', and your interfacing pieces using the 'interfacing template'.

Step 2: Iron an interfacing template onto the back of your front coaster fabric. Do this for however many coasters you've cut out. Leave the back pieces of fabric blank.

Step 3: This one is optional. Ive decided to embellish my coasters at this point with some hand-embroidery. Totally unnecessary, but completely adorable.

Step 4: Place the back and front pieces of your coaster together, right sides facing. Follow your interfacing as a template and stitch all around the coaster, leaving a 1.5"-2" opening on one side (I've made purple marks where my opening is).

Step 5: Trim the corners of your coaster and flip inside out. Push the corners out from the inside using a pencil or chopstick (or a fancy tool if you have one). Clip or pin the opening. I like to give it a good iron at this point to make sure it looks the way I want before finishing with a top stitch.

Step 6: Top stitch around the edge of your coaster on your machine.

Step 7: (Optional) Add a ribbon embellishment.

DONE! That's it, you've made a pretty coaster! (Or several....) Enjoy guys, and join me on Instagram to show off your creations. Just use hashtag #tinkshexiecoaster so I can see what you make! Thanks again and happy crafting!

xo, Tink

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Tiny Tink Basket: a tutorial

I know you guys are going to want to make a million of these! They're so fast and fun and useful. I'm already planning several for friends. these three are currently living in my sewing space and holding all sorts of things like pincushions, clover clips and rolls of thread.

Start by gathering your supplies: coordinating exterior and interior fabric, embellishments and some thicker fusible interfacing.

Cut four 5.5"x7" pieces of fabric, two from your exterior fabric and two from your interior fabric. Now cut two 5"x6.5" pieces of fusible interfacing. (These are horizontally laid out.) Now iron your interfacing onto the backs of your exterior fabric pieces. At this point you can choose your front piece of exterior fabric and stitch on your embellishment choice.

Once you have that done, place the right sides of your interior fabric pieces together and stitch along the sides and the bottom, leaving an opening at the bottom, about 2.5" long. See my purple guidelines in the top left photo. Take the exterior fabric pieces and place right side together. Machine stitch along the sides and bottom using your interfacing as a guide. Now cut out 1.5" squares from the corners, lining up your ruler with your stitches and measuring from there. See the lower right picture.

Now machine stitch the corners together on both pieces so you have flat bottoms. Put the interior fabric inside your exterior, right sides facing and machine stitch along the top to join your pieces together.

Flip the basket out through your bottom opening in the interior fabric. Once you've got it turned the right way out, you can close up your lining opening and machine stitch it closed. Now position your interior lining just a bit over the top edge and top stitch to finish your basket. You now have a cute little fabric basket! Go ahead, make a whole lot more, you know you want to!

Okay guys, I hope this is helpful for you and if you're on Instagram, use the hashtag #tinytinkbasket so I can see your creations. Happy crafting!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Sending some Elephant Love

Susi over at TinyToffeeDesigns makes the most adorable tiny paper pieced patterns ever. I was super excited when she asked me to be a part of her blog hop BUT also, really perplexed. You know I'm not a paper piecer, right Susi? And then I looked at the pattern and thought, she gave me the hardest one?! But oh boy, was I wrong because there are no hard ones! This little pattern was so easy to whip up. And if I can do it, anyone can.

I started with the little elephant, making one slight change, which was adding the 'ground' he's standing on. Then I extended my image size by adding extra fabric to match the sky I already started with. Susi designs these for 1" hexies but they're so versatile. Once I had a picture that was large enough to fit a 4" embroidery hoop, I ironed the whole thing onto a piece of adhesive stabilizer (Pellon 987, or whatever weight works for you). The hearts were created using Pellon 805 Wonder-Under, a dual sided interfacing that basically turns any fussy cut fabric into ironable 'stickers'. After the hearts were placed and adhered, I started adding the details like a tail and the air.

Once I was all finished, I tightened that little elephant into the hoop, trimmed the excess fabric and hot glued the edges to the inside of the back of the hoop. That's it! This was such a cute tiny pattern to work with so check out TinyToffeeDesigns etsy shop to get yours. And if you have any questions, just let me know!

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Paperie Blog Hop: The true love pincushion

I'm so excited to be a part of the Paperie fabric blog hop along with so many other talented makers (To see the list, just visit the NanaCompany blog). Paperie is the first line of fabric from Amy Sinibaldi of NanaCompany and it's adorable! Perfect for just about anything, but I like to keep my projects short and simple, because that's about all I ever have time for! So, if you're making some of the other larger projects with your fabric bits and need something small to use up the leftovers, this is perfect.

To make the linen embellished pincushion you'll just need a few supplies. Linen, iron-in stabilizer, your favorite Paperie print, some matching floss and a little ribbon or lace for embellishment.

Now here are your cuts to get you started:
4" square piece of the iron-in stabilizer
3 3/8" x 3 1/8" hearts (or your choice print) fabric
5" square piece of linen (for the back)
1 1/4" x 3 1/8" strip of linen (x2)
1 1/4" x 5" strip of linen (x2)

To get started, just center your middle fabric and machine stitch each side linen strip down to the stabilizer. After you give it a quick press, attach the top and bottom linen strips. At this point, you're ready to hand embellish your pincushion top.

Once you're happy with your handy work (I did a simple running stitch around the center), you can put the right side of your front and back together, add your ribbon loop facing inside, pin and machine stitch closed following along your stabilizer as a guide. Don't forget to leave an opening on the top or side to allow for turning right side out and stuffing.

Now that you've trimmed the excess, turned your pincushion right side out and given it a quick press with a hot iron, it's time to stuff it and hand sew the opening closed. I prefer to fill my small pincushions with crushes walnut shells which you can find online or at your local pet shop (as reptile bedding). There, you're done!

It's a very easy make, using equally adorable fabric. I hope you guys enjoy making this as much I did. Look for Amy's line Paperie from Art Gallery Fabrics. You won't be disappointed!

Cheers and happy making!

The Paperie Blog Hop: Embellished tags for giving or keeping

So, I promised a project for crafters, and a project for sewists. They're both equally cute and useful and each are great ways to bust some scraps and use up every last precious bit of Paperie.

Paperie is the first line of fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics designed by Amy Sinibaldi of NanaCompany and i'm sure it won't be her last. So let's make some gift tags.

If you follow me on Instagram, I gave you guys the heads up to buy some gift tag packs from Targets dollar spot but if you didn't get a chance to, any old chipboard tags will do.

Here's what you'll need to get started:
Chipboard tags
Ribbon or lace
Wood buttons or scrapbook embellishments
Fabric scraps at least larger than your tags
Mod Podge
Foam paintbrush
Hot glue gun

Cover about three quarters of your tag with a thin layer of mod podge. Lay a scrap down on the tag and press down flat so no bubbles form, making sure to press firmly near the edges.

Now cut some ribbon or lace bits to length and hot glue them to your tags to hide the raw top edge of the fabric. Once you've finished all your tags, you can start to trim the excess from your edges using a ruler and an exacto knife, rotary tool or scissors.

Now you can start to hot glue on some wood buttons or stars or hearts for the finishing touch. That's it! Just add some twine or ribbon to tie them onto packages and gifts and don't forget to make a million because you'll be sad to see them go!

I hope you guys enjoy this little project and head over to Instagram (I'm tinkerellen) for a fun giveaway (all the supplies to make your own AND some already made tags!) from me and a chance to win a charm pack of Paperie from Amy!

Thanks guys, happy making!
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