Friday, December 9, 2011

There's still time!

Each year, when the December calendar hits double digits, I start to get a little bit nervous. I count the days left to Christmas and then count the number of gifts I still have to make. I normally have plenty of fingers to count the days left, but I run out of fingers when tallying up how many gifts I have left to make. H-m-m. Have you noticed that, too?

Here's a quick little idea for a fun-to-make sewing gift. These cute little flower pot pin cushions are so easy - I bet you have time to make a couple! Be sure to make one for yourself, too!

Run out to the craft store and pick up some supplies. You'll need a 1-1/2" diameter clay pot, a glue gun, an Olfa circle cutter or make a 2-1/2" diameter circle template - you can also raid your stemware cabinet - I bet you have a wine or juice glass that is just about the right size. You'll also need a miniature button, needle and thread (regular thread and pearl cotton), and some leftover batting or fiber fill. To make mini flowers, add pearlized pins to your shopping list. And dig out your felted wool scraps.

Then go into your ScrapTherapy scrap fabric bins (naturally) and choose four 2" scrap squares and one 3-1/2" scrap square. The 2" scraps should coordinate, but the 3-1/2" square doesn't have to be matchy-matchy; it will not be visible in the end product. Make a four-patch from the four 2" scraps.
Two four-patches, one sewn, and one pre-sewn.

Cut a circle from the four-patch, centering the seam intersection. If you are not using the circle cutter, trace the circle onto the four-patch and cut out with scissors.

Place the four-patch circle right sides together on the 3-1/2" scrap square. Sew a scant 1/4" seam around the edge of the circle, leaving about an inch or so unsewn for turning.

Trim extra fabric from the larger square, and turn inside out. Stuff with leftover batting or fiber fill. Don't be shy with the stuffing! Sew opening closed by hand with a whip stitch. Neatness isn't terribly critical to close the opening, but try to maintain the circle shape.

Thread your needle with pearl cotton and knot the end. Starting from the bottom, pull the thread up from the back and through the center of the four-patch. Then pull the thread around the side of the cushion and back up from the the bottom in the middle. Pull thread tight. Turn the cushion, one quarter turn, then repeat pulling the thread up from the back three more times, pulling tightly each time. The cushion should be nice and "poofy." Secure the button over the center of the four-patch. End with the thread in back, and knot.

Next put some batting scraps in the bottom of the clay pot.

Add a bead of hot glue along the inside rim of the clay pot, then position the four-patch cushion in place. It will be a little larger than the mouth of the pot, so squish it into place gently hiding the side seams. Work quickly while the glue is still warm.

To make flower pins, cut small flower and leaf shapes from felted wool and stick them onto a pearlized pin, layering one or two flower petals, then a leaf. Place a small bead of hot glue between the bottom flower petal layer and the leaf layer, then press toward pin head

And that's it. Ready for gift giving!

Now, how many more do I have left to make. . .

Happy holiday crafting!