Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dimensional Ice Skate Tutorial

Miniature, dimensional strap-on style skate ornament
cut file design is now available
from SnapDragon Snippets through
Silhouette America's online store.
Ornament measures approx. 1.5" tall (plus strap loop) x 6.25" (blade tip to tip).
Skate is created as a "lid" and a "base" which fit together
to form the platform where heel, toe and blade are attached.
Large hole at heel top allows for a ribbon loop
to hang from tree, peg or gift.

Step 1. Identify and cut the parts required. Shown here are pieces for one LEFT skate. LEFT "COLUMN" includes blade, base boxing shapes and sole base shape (blade connector holes)
COLUMN" includes contrast toe band, heel piece, contrast buckle, strap, toe piece, upper boxing strips and upper sole

(Not shown are the contrast "rivet" circle punches that are included in the cut file.)

Step 2. Build sole upper assembly. Identify upper boxing strips. Strip 1 includes the "H" cutout in the "heel" tab at the right end.

The other upper boxing strip has NO symbol at the tab end. (The BASE boxing strip 2 includes a small triangle symbol to identify it as the base boxing strip, and the BASE strip 1 has "h" lower case symbol for the "heel" tab.)

Step 3. Fold back the tabs of upper boxing strip 1 (with "H"). Add curl (toward the face side) along the center, multi-slash area by pulling between thumb and finger. It will be easier to curl with the tabs straightened.

Step 4. Add glue to the "H" tab, then position at the center edge of the more-rounded end which is the heel end. Hold in place until secure.

Step 5. Apply glue to the next 3 tabs, then align one at at time to the corresponding edge and hold in place until secure.

Step 6. Identify the boxing section BEYOND the part that corresponds to the curved part of the sole. Apply glue to the tab, align and hold that section in place.

Step 7. Apply glue to the curved tabs, then adjust the the ridge and sole edges to match, then apply pressure from inside until the entire edge is secure.

Step 8. Prepare second strip as for first strip. Attach second upper strip end over tab.

Step 9. Align and attach remaining toe tabs, curved edge tabs and heel tabs as previously done (but see step 10 before attaching all tabs).

Step 10. Overlap final end and tab and glue in place. When secure, re-position heel tabs and secure in place.

Step 11. Insert buckle tab through buckle center post. Fold tab inward on perforation.

Step 12. Apply glue and attach tab on inside of heel piece. 

Add inward curl to the heel piece edge as was done for the curved portion of the upper sole tab. 

Step 13. Locate the small cut guidemarks at the center of the heel straight edge. These will align with the side edges of the center back boxing section. Apply glue to that boxing section, overlap heel so that bottom edges of each line up, then hold until secure.

Step 14. Attach one heel side, then the other by applying glue to the boxing and/or the heel inside surface in the areas that correspond, then wrap toward the center of the sole and hold surfaces together until glue is secure.

Step 15. Fold the toe tabs back slightly. Identify the center tab, then apply glue to the tab backside, Align tab sides with center section sides, also align tab fold "ridge" with ridge of sole/boxing. Hold in place until glue is secure.

Step 16. Apply glue and attach tabs to the boxing on one side, then on the other. Tabs should align fairly closely to the sections of the boxing.

This is what the upper assembly should look like to this point of the construction.

Step 17. Add some curl to the toe strip . . .

 . . . then apply glue to the backside, center guidemarks at center boxing section, and hold in place until secure. Align and glue each side into place, covering all the toe attachment tabs. 

Step 18. Add slight curl to the strap, then overlap circle cut outs and glue end of strap in place. Insert a small brad through holes, if desired. 

NOTE that there is an "extra" strap shape without the hole punch which can be substituted for the one shown here. Just align the end to hide the heel hole.

 Step 19. Prepare blade by folding inward along perforation, folding end tabs back as shown. Apply glue evenly to the inner surface that will touch opposite surface, then attach the two to each other. Hold and smooth to make sure there is even and thorough attachment.

Step 20. Apply glue to blade tabs, then align and attach to base sole face side. 

Step 21. Prepare and attach the base boxing strips in a similar fashion as was used for upper, beginning with "h" heel end, etc.

Step 22. Fit completed base into completed upper assembly as shown. Apply glue between the boxing layers, then apply pressure appropriately to secure the two parts together. 

Step 23. Cut contrasting "rivet" circles and apply as desired.

Suggestions: a) Attach one at center and each end of heel halfway up the boxing depth, then center one in the space between center and side dots for a total of 5 for the heel. b) Attach 5 in similar fashion to toe strip, including the punched end holes. c) Attach one over the strap hole if not using a brad. d) Attach one over each blade tab hole for a total of 4.

If desired, insert a hanging loop through the heel center back hole. In this image, a 13" length of satin ribbon has been looped and inserted through the hold, then the ends passed through the loop. Ends are simple knot-tied and ends trimmed to size.

Create a "right" skate by reversing the pieces to be cut.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snowflake 3D Box Construction Tips

Now available from SnapDragon Snippets
through the America online store is this
"3d snowflake box".
Download the file and then use it as a "winter" treats box,
or as a dimensional object for your shelf or cubby,
or use the lid alone as an element in a winter wreath,
or a dangler between letters on a "WINTER" banner or swag.
Be creative: glue rhinestone jewels where the
circle punches are cut (crystal, blue, light blue, or a combination).

Step 1:  Identify and cut the parts needed to create the box.

As top row are the two LID boxing strips (with built-in rim reinforcement) and lid "star".
As bottom row are the two BASE boxing strips and base "star" (very slightly smaller).
Shown also is the decorative snowflake shape for the LID.

Step 2.  Follow the illustrated construction steps for the "Sun Flower 3d Tutorial" to prepare, attach and join boxing strips to LID and BASE shapes.

Step 3. Apply glue to the snowflake shape backside and attach, centered, to the LID face.

Step 4. Slide the LID over the BASE to finish the box. NOTE that the LID fits quite snugly over the BASE.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pinecone & Star Mini Quilt: Terial Magic Prep for Cutting Fabric

This tutorial will show the construction steps for this mini quilt,
including applique layering and stitching, star block shape creation on screen 
in the Silhouette software, fabric prep to cut using the fusing alternative
liquid spray called "Terial Magic", block construction, final rinsing, etc.

1. Prepare the pinecone layered appliques from the "pinecone a6 card" design download. Scale the design to fit as desired within the 5" seamlines square of the block used for this project. 

NOTE that I have traced the seamline squares with temp marker on one panel with sufficient cutting/handling space between, then fuse the shapes and leave the panel larger for easier handling.

2. Position and fuse the base constrast layer and the semi-cirOver edge the applique raw edges with a blanket stitch or zigzag stitch.

3. Position and fuse the next layer (holly leaves), then the third layer (ribbon base long shape), then the fourth (ribbon knot) one by one, completing the over edge stitching for each layer individually with less interference from subsequent layers.

Trim the block sizes 1/4" beyond the temp marked lines, so that the cut block size is 5.5" x 5.5".

4. Prepare the fabric to cut the patchwork shapes with the Silhouette digital cutting tool. Follow product instructions  to spray, partially dry, and press the fabric in shape sizes that will allow the color A and color B patches to be cut.

Here I am spraying for good saturation.

Here I have folded the fabric into multi layers and am squeezing the layers to distribute the liquid thoroughly.

Here I am pressing the fabric that has been allowed to air dry to approx. 80" dry state.
5. Here is the screen shot that shows how I have created squares and rectangle patches for my block (design may be available later as download).
Cut: (8) red squares 1.375", (1) red square 2.25", (4) background squares 1.375", (4) background rectangles 1.375" x 2.25", (2) background side strips 1.25" x 4", (2) background top & bottom strips 1.25" x 5.5"

6. Load the appropriate fabric on a cutting mat into the Silhouette, then cut the shapes from color A (red for star, for example) and color B (background).

Here you can see the patches removal. Sometimes the corners will need to be clipped for final cut.

Here you can see the cut patches in their approximate positions to create the block.

7. Trace a diagonal .5mm pencil line on the back sides of all the small red squares. This is a stitching line.

8. a) Position small square on background rectangle end with line oriented as shown. b) Stitch 'on' line, press triangles to corner. c) Trim allow. to 1/4". d) Repeat for second square.

This process completed one "flying geese" (FG) unit.

9. Join FG units to opposite sides of large red center square; press toward center.

10. Join background squares to ends of remaining 2 FG units; press toward center.

11, Join side and center columns; press seams outward.

12. Join side, then top & bottom rectangle strips in order; press each seam outward as it is completed.

Complete two blocks for the project shown.

Here you can see the block from the backside to verify seam pressing direction, if desired.

(NOTE: working with the cut patches that are still stiffened with the Terial Magic spray solution makes patchwork feel even more precise than usual.)

13. When block is complete, place it in a bath of clear room temp water to soak out the spray. Soak for 30-40 minutes, then allow to air dry, then press. The fabric "hand" will return to 98% of its original softness.

14. Join the pine cone and star blocks into rows, then join rows. Press seams flat. Add narrow accent borders (cut 1" wide in this project) and outer borders (cut 2" side in this project); press outward.

15. Layer and quilt as desired. This project was machine quilted using a home domestic machine and walking foot. Prepare and apply binding. Add a fabric sleeve to the upper backside that is attached in the binding seam before it is finished, if desired. The mini quilt is pictures here with a decorative Ackfeld Wire star hanger rod inserted through the sleeve on the back.

Watch for more tutorials for patchwork using the Silhouette cutting system and Terial Magic Spray.

Fabric Gifts Using Cut Shapes: Group 2

Group 2 projects include (clockwise from back left):
holly wreath stocking, pod jar wreath cuff, pinecone and star mini quilt,
cookies for santa plate vinyl, canning jar topper,
holly cluster pillowcase, ribbon & holly mesh travel bag.
Three of these projects were created using "fusible" appliques
from the "christmas basic shapes" cut file available
from SnapDragon Snippets through
the Silhouette America online store.
The other four use additional cut designs that will be listed
with the specific notes for that project.

The wreath stocking tutorial and info can be viewed in a separate blog post.

The pinecone and star mini quilt tutorial for applique and patch cutting with the Silhouette electronic tool can be found here.

Separate information for the mason canning jar lid creation can be found on this separate post.

PROJECT 1: Pillowcase Band
1. Purchase small yardages of "body", "band", and "accent" insert fabrics, cut and apply holly leaf, pinecone and ribbon streamer shapes into a "spray" shaped cluster on the center of the front band, then construct the case.

(This is a miniaturized version, so if the scales seem unreal that is because the case is a child's size.)

2. Cut the pieces:
body - 28" x width of 44" fabric
band - 10" x width of fabric
accent - 1 1/2" x width of fabric

(Seam allowances are 1/4". Find a "how to" link here.)

You can see the approx. location of the applique on the FOLDED band (folded on the left side in this image, but UNFOLDED top to bottom so you can see the crease).
3. Follow the other link's instructions, or modify as shown here:
Press accent strip in half lengthwise, then align and pin raw edges of strip along band. Layer body top edge with face sides together, as shown, then stitch this seam. 

Press all allowances toward body. Serge or zigzag over edge the raw edges.

4. From the front side, topstitch neatly on body next to accent strip seam through all layers.

5. Fold assembly with face sides together and align bottom and side raw edges. Also make sure that the band fold edges are exactly aligned at the opening. Pin if necessary, then stitch seam. Finish raw edge by serging or zigzag stitching. Turn face side out and press flat.

To keep inside seam raw edges of peeking out, top-stitch tack an inch or so near the opening, stitching through all layers and backstitching, or repeating the length of the stitching.
PROJECT 2: Plastic Mesh Travel Bag
Great for traveling to hold makeup, toiletries, first aid kit, snacks and more.

For this Christmas gift, a bright green fabric was chosen, then an easily "detachable" embellishment panel of cut appliques on double-layered wool felt with oversize center button is "tacked" in place with two decorative end star buttons.

1. Purchase a roll (or co-op this with friends) of screen door replacement plastic mesh, then select a fabric scrap for the banding, and obtain a nylon coil zipper at least 12" long.

Cut the bands: (1/4" seam allow. included)
top band - 3" x 13"
bottom band - 5.5" x 13"
mesh - 20.5" x 13"

2. Fold  the fabric rectangles in half lengthwise with the face sides out. Align raw edges of each with mesh ends, pin an stitch 1/4" seam. Over edge or serge the raw seam. Press fabric strips away from mesh (take care with hot iron to test that it won't melt the mesh).

3. Topstitch neatly on the fabric band next to the seam.

4. Pin fabric fold edge along one side of closed zipper, with end of strip approx. 1/2" beyond metal zipper "stop" as shown. It is okay if your zipper top ends extend past the strip ends opposite. They will be tacked and trimmed in the next step.

Top stitch neatly next to fold. Repeat for opposite side.

5. Open zipper slightly at top, align fabric strip ends, then zipgzag a bar tack across the zipper teeth to secure, approx. 1/2" from fabric ends.

6. Fold the bag with face sides inward.; make sure the zipper is slightly unzipped. Arrange the top mesh fold to be approx. 1" from the top band (narrower) seam; crease by hand or lightly press.

7. Pin and stitch the side seams on each side of bag. Finish the raw edges as before (serge or zigzag)
8. Prepare the fusible applique design on an oversize scrap of wool felt, working within a 2.5" x 9-10" design area. When fusing and/or edge stitching is complete, trace an appropriately-sized rectangle around the design with temp marking tool. Layer with second scrap piece of felt, then neatly topstitch ON the marked line. Trim 1/16" beyond stitching. Attach center button or other embellishments as desired.

Pin panel in place centered on lower band, then attach buttons through all layers.
 PROJECT 3. Decorative Pod Cylinder
1. Obtain a glass cylinder or recycle from second hand store. (Mine was a flourist's roses vase.)

2. Select a body scrap and trim strips/lining scrap. You will also need approx. 1.34 yards of decorative (sheer) ribbon, appliques of choice, small buttons for berry accents.

3. Determine your cut sizes to fit your cylinder's height and circumference. For mine, the center panel was cut about 3.5" tall, and .5" shorter than my tape measured around the jar. (You will want a tying knot gap between back edges when complete.)
The bands/lining combination rectangle was cut center panel height plus 4" (provides approx. .75" bands on top and bottom with 1/4" seam allowances.

4. Join center panel to one edge of band/lining piece. Press seam back toward center panel. Press 1/4" seam allow. back on both ends.

Now bring band and center panel edges together and complete seam. Press toward center panel as before. Turn face side out.

Press the cuff flat with equal widths of band on either side of center panel. 

5. Cut ribbon into four equal lengths (approx. 12" long each). Insert ends of ribbon pairs between cuff layers, pin in place. Pin remainder of pressed fold edges together, then neatly topstitch through all layers. Take care to secure ribbon against the tying stress it will need to withstand.

6. Place the cuff on your cylinder and tie ribbon ends at the back, as shown. If the cuff seems prone to slipping down, consider securing the front invisibly in place with a strip or two of double-stick tape placed behind and below the cuff edges.

Fill your cylinder with pods, nuts in the shell, small shiny ornaments, potpourri, or other interesting contents.