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!

Without doubt, the most popular and most searched-for posts on my blog have had to do with cutting felt with the Cricut.  Can you cut felt with the Cricut, you ask?  You most certainly can!  I thought I would take the opportunity with the blog hop to get all my best tips and tricks on cutting felt with the Cricut into one post -- and if you're participating in the blog hop you'll even have the chance to win your own choice of Cricut cartridge!  (See details on that below.)

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!
Tammy
Amy
Cheryl
Jamie
Crystal
Leah
ScrapbookPal


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.

44 comments:

Stacy said...

I have never heard of that kind of felt. I will try to check it out!!

Stacy

Lillian Child said...

Absolutely delightful pillows! And great tutorial too! Thanks so much!

shelly said...

love the pillows tomi thanks so much for the awesome instructions and felt tips!

shelly said...

back just to say , what a fun bloghop this has been

scrappinmomma said...

BEAUTIFUL PILLOWS TFS

http://ikolinda-scrappinmomma.blogspot.com

Karie said...

Hi! I have tried using a Cricut to cut felt before and I've had no luck. I'm definitely going to try your method - thanks so much. A few questions tho...Doesn't heatnbond require ironing? Does this mean you iron it onto your felt and then peel off the backing and stick that side down on the mat? Sorry if I'm being really thick! Thanks...

Aimee said...

WOW! Now I know I can cut felt with my cricut. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and tips!

Debra said...

So glad to read your felt tips! I've been wanting to use felt with my Cricut and your tips have encouraged me to try it! luvreading53 @comcast.net

Debra said...

So glad to read your felt tips! I've been wanting to use felt with my Cricut and your tips have encouraged me to try it! luvreading53 @comcast.net

hla2425 said...

I love your pillows!!! Great instrucitons...

hla2425@yahoo.com

The Fillhard's said...

very nice, I now need felt, I actually would like to cut some for some cards too, thanks for sharing!
Christi

Charlotte said...

These are such cute pillows. I really appreciate the instructions about cutting felt with the cricut. The is excellent information. Thanks so much.

Cheryl Walker said...

Awww these are sooo pretty, I love how you used felt, wow, that is awesome. One day I will have to try this, so thank you for the advice on what type to use :)
Beautiful job hun!!
Hugs,
Cheryl

Mary Jean said...

cute cute cute!

Sharon G. said...

Love the pillows! I will have to try cutting felt with my cricut, you make it look and sound easy. TFS!

sharongeiser@aol.com

Sandy S. said...

I love making crafts with felt. Thanks for the inspiration! Gotta try making these!

K-E Kreations said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for all the great tips.

Jana said...

That is so cool! Never thought of that. This is my first blog hop, I am so excited to see all of the great ideas! Thanks for your valuable time :)

polkacabana said...

I had no clue! Will I try it? I don't have a clue, but it is very cute! Stopping by on the blog hop!

polkacabana said...

Oh my goodness....Tomianne...the same one that is my favorite svg's on ETSY!! I think those cut files I bought from you long ago are still my favorite...I just recognized the name!!!

Heidi said...

Neat seeing felt cut with the cricut - have to give that a try!

jenni said...

I have been dying to cut some felt on my cricut! These are excellent instructions and your pillow are adorable!
jpshirley@ymail.com

CathyinMN said...

I love your pillow covers! Great idea to just make covers so you don't have to have so many pillows to store. TFS!

LesleyfromWI said...

Wow.....these pillows are fabulous! Love them.

Pamela said...

This is such a neat idea and the pillows are awesome!

Paula Puckett said...

Such cute pillows! I'll have to try this out! And thanks so much for the tips on cutting felt, Tomi.

Fleasbenz said...

I love this idea. Pillowcases for every season. thanks for the felt cutting tips

Marilyn said...

Wow! Thank you so much for your detailed instructions and your pillows are great. I love the idea that these do not take a lot of storage space.

Leah said...

Oh my goodness Tomianne! Fabulous project! Where do you get your heat n bond, I can't seem to find it anywhere. I love the embrodiery you added, just perfect:)

Amanda said...

SUPER cute! I have never tried this with my cricut and will have to give it a try. Thanks for the tips.

amandawoodau at hotmail dot com

KSD Creations said...

Your instructions were wonderful and very helpful. I need to think about what I would like to make.

PAT said...

I love your pillows!! Love your blog and I'm off to another on your blog hop!!!

Thanks

My stuff blography said...

very cute pillows

Carol said...

absolutely gorgeous! I love it. TFS

stefeni said...

Great pillows! I was actually wondering about cutting felt. Now I know the tips and tricks. Thanks!

spunkycrayon at yahoo dot com

nikkigirl said...

I never thought about cutting felt. I love your pillow idea :) Great job!!!

SuziQ said...

Oh my goodness, Tomi, these are so cute! Your blog is kind of evil because it always adds to my crafty to-do list, which is already way too long! :)

Heart2hand said...

THese pillows are adorable.I had not thought to use felt in my bug...but will try it now..thank you for all the tips on the HOW to's as well.

HUgs
rhonda

Clare D. said...

So, thankful I found you on the hop! I love wool felt and now I know how to cut it on my cricut! Thanks for the chance to win! cjdempsey9 at msn dot com

ruthann said...

I love everything you do, Tomi. I don't know how you squeeze it all in.

Ms_Dee said...

You did excellent for not being a seamstress...Look like a lot of work....and the end product was well worth all the work.....Nicely done and TFS.....I am now off to the next blog....

Ms_Dee said...

Oh, and I am also now a follower

Karen S. said...

Wow! I never even thought cutting felt was an option with my Cricut! Your pillows are adorable! Thanks for the helpful instructions!

Amy C said...

I adore these!! You are so creative my friend!!

P.S. I shared a link to this post on the Cricut MB for someone who was wanting to cut felt in their Cricut machine. ;)