Saturday, November 24, 2012

'JOY' 3d Letter Box Ensemble Project

Presenting a jolly bunch of Silhouette papercraft designs 
that are combining to wish you a Merry Christmas! 

The main players are enlarged 3d letter boxes from Snapdragon Snippets and designer Kenzie Daley. (You may note that I "created" a different 'J' than Kenzie's so that I would have a base "stage" for the slice form Christmas tree. My 'J' began life as 'U'.) 

Other elements include the 3d star, intricate Christmas wreath sized to fit the 'O', plus berry buttons, 3d box with 3d bow, 3d star ornaments that are sized small and end-glued to 
bring to mind fairy light bulbs. The elf hat is stitched from fabric with a wool felt pointy brim.

Following you will find a brief tutorial for modifying the 'U' unto the 'J'.

If you would like to receive details about which design files were used along with the size modifications I used, email me with that request: hearthsewnpatterns(at)yahoo(dot)com.


This image shows the original U cutout enlarged at the prescribed 200%.
In red is the 'J' that has the left arm trimmed 4 1/2" shorter.

Modifying the J shapes for Lid and Base by marking, cutting
1. Cut the full 'U' Lid and Base shapes. 
2. Use a measuring tool to mark the trimming position on the arm to be modified. Make sure trim line is perpendicular to upright edges. Also make sure that BASE is  reversed from LID.
3. Use rotary cutting tools or scissors to trim to size..

Modify the J shapes for Lid and Base by adjusting points
1. Open the 3d letter box 'U'.
2. Select and ungroup all shapes. (This may require two 'ungroup' steps.)
3. Delete all accent shapes. 
4. Move all parts away from design canvas.
5. Select 'grid tool', select 'show grid' and 'snap to' boxes. 

6. Move 'J' shape onto canvas in upright position with the LEFT vertical boundary line of the left "arm" and the top straight edge ON a grid lines. Zoom in to see better.
7. Select the 'J' shape, then click until the Edit Points mode appears.
8. Use the pointer tool to select the upper left arm corner point.

9. While selected, pull/drag it downward to re-position it 4 1/2" shorter; you will also need to remove an extra point. Release point.
(Use the grid to determine this position. As the change is made, the shape will distort as shown below.)

10. Repeat step 6A, except place the right line of the left "arm" on a grid line.

11. Repeat steps 7 through 9 to grab, drag the upper right corner point down
to the 4 1/2" shorter position. Save your work.

Cut-out shapes for Lid
You can easily identify the 'J' LID shape and the two small boxing ENDS.
Boxing OUTER EDGE (to be glued to right edge) will be cut out in two pieces, upper shape without notches for the curve, and the lower shape with the notch cutout "teeth".
Boxing INNER EDGE (to be glued to the left edge) already includes un-notched portion.

When enlarged at 200%, the boxing side strips will be too long to fit on the cutting area. Modify these either by changing the design file, or by strategic positioning 
on the mat when preparing to cut.

A. For both the INNER and OUTER edges, the plain section without the tab "teeth" that correspond to the eliminated part of the left "arm" can be eliminated as well.
B. For the INNER EDGE piece, the plain section at top remains in place as part of boxing shape.
C. For the OUTER EDGE piece, the plain section at top must be cut separately, then joined. 
D. Make sure you can identify the design file shapes that appear on the screen. The INNER EDGE boxing piece is the shorter of the two.


A. Arrange the long boxing shapes to be able to cut the pieces needed. When the cutting operation is complete, carefully remove the incompletely cut shape from cutting mat, then cut straight end edges needed using rotary tools or a traced line and scissors.
B. When boxing plain and "teeth" sections need to be joined, allow length on one piece to act as a tab to over- or under-lap and glue in place. (Perforations are not needed.)
C. Rotate and position INNER edge so that the shape remains on the mat to be cut, with the unneeded portion off the mat. INNER strip will be cut as shown in one section.

D. Rotate and position OUTER edge to cut the center "teeth" section.

E. Re-position OUTER edge to cut just the upper "plain" section. NOTE that OUTER boxing will be cut as 2 sections that will need to be glue-joined.

Prepare the Inner Edge Boxing
Step 1. Drag a box around the Inner boxing to select it and un-group.
Step 2. Double click to make the design point squares appear.
Step 3. Point and drag the left end corner point inward to align opposite the last "tooth" of the tab cutouts. Release.

Step 4. Point and drag the other left end points inward to create the remainder of this new cutting edge. You may need to eliminate a couple of the extra points and some of the perforation line segments that are left hanging in space.
Step 5. Once the desired new shape is achieved, drag a box around everything to re-group and SAVE the changes. Use the text tool to identify this shape as the Inner Edge Boxing.

Prepare the Outer Edge Boxing
Step 1. Drag a box around the Outer boxing to select it. Copy one shape. Designate original as the lower portion and the copy as the upper portion.
Step 2. Drag a box around each to un-group. 

Step 3. Repeat Steps 2-5 of the original, selecting and moving or eliminating the points at both ends so just the "teeth" portion remains. Identify this shape as Outer Edge Boxing 1.
Step 4. Refer to the screen shot above step E, then repeat Steps 2-5 on the copy, selecting and moving or eliminating the points at one end so that just the upper end "plain" section remains. Identify this shape as the Outer Edge Boxing 2.

While you are at it. . .The 'JOY' Ensemble project requires a 1/4" hole (or custom-cut to your stem wire size) punched or cut in the center of the upper end boxing piece. As you are re-designing the pieces on screen, you can use the 'draw a circle' tool to add one to both Lid and Base pieces in corresponding position.

Base Modifications
Follow the preparation method selected previously to repeat the process for the Base J boxing sections.
This image shows the shapes for the J Base.
Note that they are reversed from the Lid layout, with the INNER edge boxing now shown on the right, and the OUTER edge boxing now shown on the left.

With the enlargement, the tabs sections of the boxing pieces are too long. Trim them by scissors or rotary cutter to 1/2" beyond the perforations, as shown.

Follow the prescribed process (demonstrated in tutorials at ) to join the inner, then outer, then end pieces. Trim away excess notched tab portions of boxing even with the newly-cut edge. Use ruler or other tool to make sure this cut is perpendicular.

'JOY ENSEMBLE' DETAIL: Elf Hat Brim template shape
You can prepare your own pattern and cut it as a template to trace by drawing
on the Studio page with the "show grid" and "snap to" grid features ON.
Study this screen shot for spacing, then re-create it yourself.

Hope this has been helpful and empowering!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Decor Inspirations

Happy Thanksgiving 
to you, and a bountiful Harvest season of decorating with the wonderful colors and symbols so abundant this time of year. I am posting a baker's dozen photos as my small part in stopping the rush of the general populous into the buying frenzy that has become Christmas recently..

Following this introductory image, I will begin with some projects and focal points that can be created using Silhouette paper crafting. The other images include needlework or favorite collectibles we have "gathered in" over the years.

Hope these vignettes provide some inspiration for your own space and collections, or your plans and dreams. Here is a framed cross stitch piece with a twig wreath and miniature Indian corn.
 My regular collection of birdhouses, brought into seasonal focus with a "single" thrift store plate that is decorated with a Silhouette leaf wreath design and text saying cut from vinyl and easily applied.
 Here are two of my favorite Williraye figurines, standing atop a recycled wooden box (I collect these of all sizes, too) which has been embellished with a Silhouette design of text and leaf.
 A small part of the decor, this be-ribbon'd oversized wrought iron key gets changed out for each change in season. Here the oak leaves and acorns are enhanced with a multi-layered banner tag that was cut using Silhouette files, combined and manipulated to the right size and configuration to suit my project.

An autumn grouping that features a vinyl design on a wheat-colored ceramic tile. This one was a gift from daughter Kenzie, whose creative genius and imagination has led me down this new path of paper crafting and digital design. (Bless you!)

Our entry-way wall provides a changing canvas and an opportunity to greet visitors in a new way each month. Here you can see the two-color vinyl text design with a wooden pilgrim (created by friend Lisa Glauser), with a row-style wall quilt I designed a few years ago for a House of White Birches publication "Harvest of Autumn Quilts".

Here you can see the whole wall ensemble.

 A shelf unit that has held many of my precious knick-nacks over the years, specifically my miniature houses collection. Showing here a few that still fit in the color scheme of autumn. A miniature patchwork quilt "Autumn Reverie" hangs to the side, and on the chest a collection of Pilgrim and Native American figurines.
 A cross-stitch pillow sleeve adorns the wing-back in the sitting room.
 A wooden cutout is featured on a narrow wall space. (This lettering was done with a digital cutter, too.)
 A tiny patchwork quilt in a miniature quilt stand adds color to the mantle.
A thrift-store find, this "handled" container was just the right spot for a cluster of silk and artificial orangerie. The Williraye cat always finds a way into my groupings, because his wonderful creamy color adds the right contrast.

Framed cross-stitch with other favorite folk art pieces.

Adding a house here and there is my way of remembering that Home & Family are the highest in my long list of Life's blessings.

Wishing you the best of the "giving Thanks" season. Please enjoy the reflective gratitude before you step into the Christmas festivities.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Binding Tutorial: Finishing the Second Edge

 This tutorial continues the binding instruction begun 

Step 1: Fold the attached binding toward the quilt's back side. Align the unattached fold edge along the stitching that joined the binding to the edge. Fold should barely cover the stitching. Quilt layers and binding raw edges are all enclosed.

Pin or baste the binding in place so that the invisible hand stitching can be completed.
At each corner, re-create the miter fold in the binding on the backside. See how the "approaching" binding portion is folded and basted. The "departing" portion is still "flat". Finger-crease the diagonal fold line at the corner, and note that a new "corner" at binding's edge is created. (In this photo, it can be seen at the top, barely above my right thumb.)

Step 2. Fold new side binding over to bring this "corner" point to meet at the seam lines intersection, where it will meet the already-in-place binding fold edge. Continue to position and baste binding, repeating corner process.

Step 3. Begin the invisible edge stitch to attach the fold edge. Thread hand needle with binding-color matched single thread. Knot the end. To hide the knot and anchor the thread, INSERT needle through the seam allowance layers beneath the binding fold edge and COME UP next to and inside previous permanent stitching. Then bring the needle through bottom edge of binding to EXIT through the fold edge being attached. (This demo is using RED thread for visibility.)
Step 4. Begin the first stitch. PIERCE the seam allowance of quilt layers next to the previous permanent stitching, then COME UP AND OUT through binding lower edge, exiting through the fold of binding. Pull thread through to remove all slack. The needle trajectory is nearly parallel to the  binding edge, angled only slightly. 

Note how this example shows the needle moving right to left and also toward the stitcher as it progresses. This allows the point of entry to be more visible. (Reverse and reposition for left-hand stitching, of course.)

Step 5. Begin the second stitch. INSERT the needle RIGHT NEXT TO the place where thread is exiting the binding fold, piercing the quilt layers' seam allowance next to (or through) permanent stitching. Push needle through on the angle to COME UP through binding fold edge, just as before. Pull needle and thread through.

Distance between insertion points (stitch length, that is) should be about 1/8" or slightly LESS. Thread will wrap over the binding fold edge as visible stitch is formed.

Repeat the stitching until entire fold edge is joined in place. At corners, be sure to tack in place as part of the binding stitching the fold-over corner point that created the miter corner during the basting process.

FOR UTILITY USE QUILT BINDING: Machine stitching the second edge may be better for a quilt that will endure repeating laundering. Best practice for these quilts will be to attach the first binding edge on the BACK of the quilt, then wrap the second binding fold  over raw edges to the FRONT. Baste it in place, including corners as noted in this tutorial, then machine stitch next to fold edge, overlapping stitching to secure ends.

Binding Tutorial: Attaching, Miter Corner Turn & Splice

 This tutorial continues the binding instruction begun 

Step 1. Begin in a less-conspicuous place on a quilt edge, such as the lower right edge, about 8-10 inches from the bottom (less on smaller project). Open the binding, place face sides together with the quilt layers, and position the right edge fold on the 1/4" seam line. Skip down about 2-3 inches from the chisel-cut lead edge. Pin in place if necessary.

Step 2. Begin stitching, without back stitching, with needle piercing the fold of the binding. Stitch toward the first corner, but stop EXACTLY 1/4" from the opposite quilt side and back-stitch 2-3 stitches to lock .
Here you can see the stitching and back-stitching as the work is pulled away from the machine. Clip the threads close to fabric surface.

This image shows the binding folded back, exposing the quilt layers beneath. You can see that the stitching was stopped 1/4" from opposite quilt edge.

Step 3. Fold binding back, as shown, with unattached end EXACTLY on top of previous joined portion, then finger press the short fold at the end of the stitching. 
Step 4. Mark the "pivot" point - where the next side's stitching will begin. A length of binding must be "skipped" in order to allow binding length exactly at the corner for the width of the finished binding to create the miter fold.

Here, the seam gauge measures off 3/4", since in this example, the distance between the SEAMLINE folds of the binding equals 3/4". If a larger binding width is selected and prepared, the "skip" distance would be adjusted to match this distance.
Step 5. Insert a straight pin at the "pivot" mark, through the binding fold.

Step 5, cont. Now insert the straight pin at the intersection of the quilt edge 1/4" seam allowances. This should be the same place that the stitching approaching this corner was stopped and locked.

Slide the binding along the pin so it is snug to the quilt, arrange the binding length into position to stitch it along the second quilt edge, with the extra "tuck" of corner skipped binding making a neat fold.

Step 6. Begin the stitching for the second quilt side by inserting the needle exactly where the pin is holding the corner pivot mark. Remove the pin; stitch 2-3 stitches forward, back stitch to the corner, then stitch the length of the edge. As stitching progresses, continue to position the binding fold exactly on the 1/4" quilt edge seam line.

Stitch along the length of the second quilt edge. Repeat the process from Step 2: stop stitching at the 1/4" corner where seam lines cross, and lock by back-stitching 2-3 stitches.

Remove from machine; clip thread ends close.

Step 7. Repeat the corner "skip length" measure and marking, pin insertion, binding arrangement, etc. from Steps 4 & 5. Then begin and stitch binding to the third quilt side as in Step 6.

Repeat the corner process and stitching for the fourth side, and then again for the final corner, and for the part of the first quilt edge where binding has not yet been attached. Stop approximately 5" from the lead edge of the binding (see Step 1).

This image shows where the lead chisel end is in relation to where the stitching ends. You don't need to backstitch. Clip thread ends.

Step 8. Measure 9-10" beyond where stitching ends in Step 7 and trim away excess. In this photo you can see the straight-cut end of the final binding end as it was trimmed. 

Step 9. Arrange binding layers with lead end on top of final end, all excess length adjusted out so layers are smooth and even as they will be when finally stitched. Use a marking tool to trace along the chisel cut end of lead binding edge. 

Step 10. Move lead binding end out of the way. 

Use a see-thru ruler to mark a CUTTING line 1/2" beyond the line traced in Step 9. Make sure the new line EXTENDS the final end length - this is the seam allowance being added to the final end (1/4" plus 1/4" for the two ends to join). 

In this photo, the first line traced is UNDER the ruler, aligned with the 1/2" line of this 1" wide ruler.
Step 11. Trim excess of final end on the CUTTING line traced in Step 10.

 Step 12. Bring binding ends together, align cut edges, then arrange so that the 1/4" seam lines match up edge to edge. 

Step 12, cont. Note that edges will "offset" slightly, so that the angles created at binding long edges should be the position of the 1/4" seam lines.

Pin the ends together and pull them away from the quilt surface so the seam can be stitched. This will result in the folding of the quilt layers AWAY from the binding, and is the appropriate result needed to keep them free from this stitching.

When stitching is complete. trim away the "ears" corner points that can be seen in this photo at each seam end.

Step 13. Allow the binding and the quilt layers to re-align. They should now match up exactly, with no excess or lack in either. Carefully press the new binding seam open.

Step 14. Arrange remaining free binding so fold is on the 1/4" seam line. Complete stitching. Clip thread ends.

To see the final steps of the binding process, view