Friday, January 28, 2011
ScrapbookPal.com's Valentine's Blog Hop!
Welcome to another fun blog hop with the ScrapbookPal.com Design Team! This is the first stop on the hop, so you're in the right place!
I just love Valentine's Day -- a chance to get out of the doldrums of winter with all sorts of love and warmth and fun -- so I'm very excited to share these adorable felt pillows with you. I love the warmth of felt, and being able to cut it with the Cricut makes it possible to get very fancy with very little time and effort!
For these pillow covers, I first created envelope-style covers to fit cushions I already had on hand. (That way after the holiday I can just tuck the covers away and not have to find storage space for more pillows than I already have. You can find many tutorials for this technique online -- I'm no seamstress, but I'll include my basic instructions at the end of this post.) Then I used my Cricut to cut the letters from the Country Life (LOVE), Opposites Attract (i), and Printing Press (u) cartridges, and hearts from Create-a-Critter. Thanks to the iron-on stabilizer (see tips below) I was able to iron them right on to the pillow covers.
I added some fun embroidery just to give it a little more personality and tie the colors in the two pillows together.*
I also cut a scallop border to use as a template to cut the edge of the red pillow. Plantin Schoolbook has a great one. I just cut it to the height I wanted, then traced the scallops onto the back side of the felt with a pencil and cut along the lines.
Tips and Tricks for Cutting Felt with the Cricut
1. Only use wool felt. The cheap polyester stuff from the craft aisle that comes in sheets, or the stuff you buy on the bolt won't work. Wool felt is actually a blend of wool and rayon, and it is much stiffer and nicer than the polyester stuff. The best source I've found for wool felt is www.woolfeltcentral.com. They have over 70 colors, and the price is the best I've found. I've also bought wool felt locally at a quilt shop. Do not wash your felt before cutting -- it changes the texture. This application is for things that aren't going to get a lot of wear and tear, because wool felt doesn't machine wash very well. So you wouldn't want to cut felt pieces for a baby onesie unless you just love handwashing in cold water so so much. And you happen to know that the baby in question will never spit up or have a blow-out... and let us know how that works out for ya... :)
2. Use a stabilizer, just as you would to cut out other fabrics. I use Heat-n-Bond Ultra Hold. But please, for the love of all that is holy, peel the backing paper away before you load it onto your cutting mat. That backing paper sticks to the mat terribly and isn't needed during cutting. You'll save your mats and your sanity if you just take it off beforehand! (This works for other fabrics as well.) Seriously -- I have spent half an hour trying to scrape little scraps of backing paper off my mat.
3. Load the felt onto the mat adhesive-side down. That smooth surface created by the stabilizer (without the backing) adheres really well to the mat surface, and you won't get nearly as much fuzz on your mat.
4. I cut mine at blade depth 6, speed and pressure at max. You may need to adjust for your machine. Check your blade housing frequently to remove the felt-fluff buildup. You may need to use the multi-cut function to get a finished cut. I've found that if I use the deep-cut housing I can do it in one pass, but I usually need two if I'm using the regular housing.
5. Make sure you run a lint roller over your mat after cutting so get any remaining fibers off.
6. If you are ironing your felt pieces on to another fabric piece, make sure your iron heat isn't too high. It will adversely affect your felt. It doesn't work super well to adhere felt to felt, so you might need a little fabric glue to tack down any rogue edges that won't stay down.
Now, on to the goodies! We all know that ScrapbookPal.com is THE place for good deals and fast and FREE shipping on orders over $25. Seriously, you can't beat that! And with this weekend's blog hop you can also win a cartridge of your choice from any that ScrapbookPal.com has in stock! All you need to do is visit the blog of each member of the Design Team, then finish up at the ScrapbookPal Blog, become a follower, and leave a comment that you've completed the hop. Good stuff! If this is your first stop, make sure you go back to the beginning and check out all the adorable V-day projects.
TomiAnn <--- You are here! Now get hopping!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy hopping!
*If you'd like to try this style of embroidery, I highly recommend Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching book.
Envelope Pillow Ideas
For these cute pillow covers, I first measured the pillows I was going to use as inserts, then cut squares of felt big enough to create the fronts and backs. I added 1" to the measurement for the back square so that I could create an easy envelope covering, as shown here:
4. Sew the two sides together. Usually you'll want to do this with right sides together. Because I was using felt and I wanted a different effect, I sewed them wrong sides together.
Hopefully that makes sense -- like I said, I'm not a seamstress at all and I was kinda making this up as I went along. This technique worked well with felt especially because it doesn't fray.