Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 2010 Craft Night - Appliqué and Cut-Away

Hello again! It's been a while since we've had a Craft Night post. This past Tuesday evening was a really fun project that Trina and I had a blast with. We were inspired by Alabama Chanin and her beautiful designs. We set out to try our best at making our own projects using appliques, embroidery, and cut-out techniques.

Supply List:
- 2 t-shirts (or any 2 items of knit fabric - dress, skirt, scarf) (probably solid colored or evenly printed) one needs to fit you well - it will be your finished product; the second shirt can be of any size. You will cut your designs from it.
- sewing needle (get one strong enough to go through a few layers of knit fabric)
- embroidery scissors (any small, sharp scissors will work)
- a stencil or design printed out and then cut out (ie. you will bring your own handmade stencil, for this you will need an exacto-knife - consider pasting it to a piece of poster board before you cut it out to make a stronger stencil you could use again)
-embroidery hoop
-washable fabric marker for tracing your design
-Optional: spray adhesive (if you are appliqueing small pieces - you won't need this for the cut-out version)

We used various material that for the most part we already had at home. I had an old gray t-shirt and a red knit dress from Target and Trina bought some cute baby t-shirts and used scrap fabric she already had.

There are 2 versions of our projects. One is the version Trina did, where you're embroidering on a shape ON TOP of your fabric, to create an applique. The second version is what I did, where you're pinning the secondary fabric to the BACK of your work and embroidering ON TOP of your item of clothing. You then cut away the top fabric, revealing the secondary fabric underneath.

First we'll go over the applique version of the project. For this version, you start by creating your stencils (if making your own). Then, cut out the pieces/shapes you want to applique onto your item of clothing. In Trina's case, she cut out a bird, a couple of paisleys, and a horseshoe. Next, place the shape onto the clothing with a bit of spray adhesive. Then, embroider on top of your shape in whatever manner you think looks best. You can add details like eyes and legs or you can just follow the shape of the object a 1/4" inside the edge. Voila!

Look how cute Trina's pieces came out!! She made 3 within the 2 hours we were together. These are a great, quick, unique baby gift.

Next, we'll discuss the steps of the cutout version of our project. For this, first cutout your stencil, if making your own. Be sure none of the parts of your design are too narrow, since you'll be cutting the fabric away inside your stitching.

Secondly, stencil the design onto the piece of clothing. Then, cut a piece of your secondary fabric (the dark gray in my case) that is big enough to cover your entire design.

Pin this fabric underneath the piece of clothing, making sure the right side of the fabric is facing you and making sure it covers your whole traced-on design. Place your embroidery hoop over the design.

Next, embroider just outside your stencil lines making sure to catch both layers of fabric. You can use a thread that matches your clothing, or use a contrasting thread as I did with the green.

When you have finished embroidering, use sharp, tiny scissors to CAREFULLY cut away the top (red) fabric, just inside your embroidery stitches. You do have to be careful, but this was easier than I thought it would be, and fun!

Repeat these last 5 steps with any other parts of your design to create a really fun piece of clothing that is very unique and special!

Here's a close-up of my starburst design.

And here's the finished dress with the new cut-out and embroidery. I couldn't be happier with this process! It was so rewarding and actually very quick. I have aspirations of making a whole quilt out of knit fabric using this process. We'll see :) For now, I'm happy with my dress.

Thanks so much to Trina for showing up and creating some adorable pieces! I know summer is a busy time for everyone, but I look forward to seeing more crafty ladies at our future craft nights! Miss you guys! Happy July :) xoxo

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Craft Night May 2010

Well, despite the devastation that has occurred in Nashville over the last few days, we carried on with Craft Night last night for May. If you follow this blog and do not live in Nashville or haven't heard about the flooding, please take time to visit one of these websites and consider donating to the people effected by this disaster.,,

Different areas were effected more than others and Nashville is really showing it's spirit by jumping in to volunteer to help. If you read this and do live in Nashville, check out Hands On Nashville ( to donate your time, money, and supplies. Many people lost their entire homes. Thanks so much for those of you that will help and already have.

On to craft friend Pam is a rep for Club Scrap paper company and we had been wanting to get together to make some cool hand-sewn books. She came to show us how last night! We had such a blast. Here is her example of a book she made:

It was such a fun and rewarding process. We learned how to fold the page signatures, glue ribbon in for the binding, sew the binding with waxed linen thread, cover the book board with decorative papers, and finish the books off with a lovely ribbon tie. Here are Katie, Jenny, Moriah, and I working hard.

Here's a shot of some of the supplies:

These are some examples of some other books Pam has made in different sizes. She also has many cool kits she sells to create books as well as awesome scrapbook page layouts.

Here's Pam showing Jenny and Moriah a few things about book making.

Here is the book I made!

Thanks for coming out Pam!!

We all wound up with lovely finished projects. We're planning on giving them for gifts: birthday, Mother's Day, graduation. They make lovely journals or photo albums.

If you'd like to learn more about this project and others, you can visit her site at to check out their great items. They also have some free videos and instructions on how to make some of the projects. You can even host your own book-making party if you want! Thanks for coming out ladies. It was a fun evening. Look for the June craft night details coming soon!

P.S. Jill, we miss you! Hope you're having fun with little Addison :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2010 - Freezer Paper Stencils

Time for another Craft Night wrap up! We had a blast last night making cute stencils out of freezer paper. It's a super quick and easy project for great gifts or items for yourself and your home. Many of us made stencils to use on onezies, great for baby shower gifts! Katie made an adorable pillow for her classroom at school, and Carrie made an awesome t-shirt. I can't wait to see those when they're finished!

Here are the materials and instructions you'll need if you want to use this process:

-fabric paint (we recommend Tulip brand found at craft stores)
-Freezer paper (found at your local grocery store)
-brush or sponge brush
-exacto knife or small scissors
-lightbox or bright window (if needed)

The first step is to decide what you want your design to be. It's best to choose a fairly simple silhouette/shape without a ton of detail, but it's up to you and your patience level :)

Next, you'll trace or draw your shape onto the papery side of the freezer paper. A lightbox or bright window is helpful, but the freezer paper is not too opaque, so most of us didn't need the lightbox.

Third, cut out the INSIDE of your shape/design. Remember that what you cut out will be what prints on your fabric. Be careful not to cut into the surrounding freezer paper because paint could bleed through.

Then, iron your item (your t-shirt, onezie, pillowcase, etc.). Place your freezer paper stencil with the papery side up (the "sticky" side down) where you want it on your fabric. Iron over the freezer paper with a hot iron for a few seconds, making sure you get all the little edges of your design ironed really well. You don't want paint seeping under and ruining your project!

After the fabric cools for a minute, then paint on your design. Be sure to cover it well. Depending on your fabric, you may need two coats. If so, let it dry for a few minutes before applying the second coat.
Then, comes the hard part. Waiting! You need to let it dry overnight. This was tough because we all wanted to see our designs! But trust us, leave it overnight. Then, peel off the freezer paper and your design is revealed! It's a very exciting step.

Lastly, you'll want to 'set' the paint with a little heat. Get an old cotton tea towel or something similar and place it over the painted area. Iron that for a few seconds being sure to cover the whole design. That will set the paint so it will be washable.

Step back and admire your work! You can easily do quite a few stencils in one evening and you can create a nice set of items in a variety of colors. I did a blue and a black bird using the same design so I can give these as a gift set. It would be fun to do that on tea towels, too!

Here are a few more pictures from the evening. Enjoy! P.S. Jill will be a mommy at our next craft night!! We'll keep you posted on the baby updates and on what the next craft night will be!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another finished x-stitch!

You can ask the hubby Russ...I could not put this down this weekend until it was all finished. This piece is going up in our baby boy's nursery as a part of the whole Woodland theme! Yay for one more piece of the nursery puzzle being completed :)

How are your cross stitch pieces turning out?!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Finished Cross Stitch

So, after Jill's lovely post, I decided I'd post my finished deer head cross stitch that I completed the other night. You can't see the green color of the thread too well, but it was relaxing and fun to do a little stitching! Send us your pics when you finish your pieces!


Cross stitch!

This past Tuesday we took on the task of Cross Stitch for our February installment of Craft Night! Although somewhat tedious, I think we all agree cross stitch is fairly easy, and totally awesome! Here's a list of what you'll need for your cross stitch project, and some tips for all of you first time cross stitchers...


*DMC floss in any colors you want for your design
*Cross stitch fabric (called Aida cloth) There are many different sizes of this cloth.
A 14 count Aida cloth will fill a 6" diameter embroidery hoop (so, the design is approx. 6" wide
and 6" high). The count of this size cloth means there are 14 x's in 1 inch.
**The larger the number of the cloth, the smaller your design will be and vice versa. If you buy
a pattern or kit, it will recommend a size of cloth.

*Cross stitch needle/Tapestry Needle (these have a blunter end on them than embroidery needles, so b
e sure
to get a cross stitch needle!)
*Embroidery hoop that will fit your design (if you're guessing, a 6" hoop is pro
bably good)

Tips to get you started:
* Before you put your Aida cloth in your hoop, fold it in half to find the center of your fabric. Then find the center of your design on your pattern. Using these reference points will keep your design in your hoop, and not trailing off of your hoop!

* For our project we needed just 2 strands of the floss. Cut a length of DMC floss (approx 12 - 18"), and separate 1 strand from the floss. Next thread the 2 ends of the floss through your needle so there is a loop at the end. When starting your first stitch, to avoid knotting the end, after you've made your first diagonal stitch, thread the needle through the loop at the end and pull to secure (see pic below)

(sorry for the blurry pictures...this was the best my iphone could do!)

*To keep your stitches from looking jumbled, work half of the cross stitch from left to right (always pulling your floss through the cloth the same direction, ie: top left to bottom right) all the way across one row, and then go back across the same row right to left finishing each cross stitch (see pic below)

Here is a great link with more explanations on cross stitch, techniques, etc:

I haven't finished my cross stitch piece yet,

but hopefully this...

will look something like this...
when it's all said and done!

Also wanted to give a quick shout out to a super sweet Cross Stitch blog chez sucre chez. We just love her designs, and her love of Cross Stitch. Check out her etsy for art, kits, and other beautiful cross stitch and embroidery things!

We'd love to see your craft night projects when they're finished, so send your pictures to or and we'll post em here on the Craft Nashy blog!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Craft Night of 2010

It's ccc-cold here in Nashville, but our next cups of coffee will be quite cozy (and eco-friendly!) with our new handmade coffee sleeves. We had a great time making these easy-to-sew cozies out of scraps of fabric, buttons, and embroidery.

Jill added a cute yo-yo and button to the front of hers. She's going to add snaps for closures.

Directions: Just use a cardboard sleeve from a coffee shop as a template. Cut 2 pieces of fabric 1/4" bigger on all sides than the sleeve.

At this point, embellish the top piece as you wish with embroidery, buttons, etc.

Next, either iron down and then pin or just pin with 1/4" seams wrong sides of the pieces together. The curved sides are a little tricky, but just mess with it until you get it pinned together. Then sew with a running stitch (contrasting thread is cute!) around the edges.

At this point you can either sew snaps for closures or just sew the sleeve closed. Then, go buy a cup of coffee to show off your new creation!

And here is a cute picture of Katie H.'s coffee cozy. I love the yellow buttons:

The next craft night will be February 2nd. I'm not sure exactly what we'll be doing yet, but possibly cross stitch or needlepoint. Stay tuned!