Well, it has finally come round to being my turn to set the challenge - and we are sponsored this time by Di's Digi Downloads who are offering a $10 Gift Voucher!!
Now, I love making cards, but I also love making a whole host of other things from boxes to notebooks, and gift bags to bookmarks. So, for this challenge I decided to ask you to make anything other than cards, tags or ATC's. I want to see and celebrate all those other things that I'm sure you make out there - boxes, gift bags, paintings, bookmarks, notebooks, sewing projects, knitting projects, glass painting, encaustic art etc etc BUT no cards, tags or ATC's please!!
So, what do I have to offer as inspiration? When I first thought about this challenge I had a few possibilities in mind - including an MDF box and an MDF wastepaper bin both of which are just crying out to be painted and decorated. But in January, I treated myself to a new sewing machine. I haven't really done any sewing in years (and even then I only ever did basic stuff) but I had a fancy to have another go. So, I decided to challenge myself as well as all of you, and try something that I haven't done before. I decided to make a patchwork cushion cover. Now this was a longer project than my usual, and you don't need to make anything near so involved - although I expect the more experienced of you could put this together in a lot less time than it took me!!
In searching for some suitable fabrics for my cushion cover, I have begun to learn a whole new language - charm packs, stash packs, fat quarters, jelly rolls and layer cakes to name just a few!! I eventually bought a few stash packs (consisting of 10" squares of fabric) from Pelenna Patchworks and some mini charm packs (2.5" squares) from The Cotton Patch. I also bought a 2.5" Omnigrid and a rotary cutter, so I could cut the small squares I wanted to use. The fabric for the back of the cover came from my local Fabric Land.
Once I had cut out all the squares, I played around with the layout until I was happy with it, before piling the squares up ready to stitch together.
Now, I knew that in order for this to end up looking OK, I would need to measure things at each stage, and my Tim Holtz ruler came in very handy to do this. I marked 0.25" in from the edge to sew the seam.
For each subsequent patch I measured 2" across from the previous seam, and marked the line for the next seam.
After ironing open all the seams, I had seven strips ready to assemble for the cover.
I measured and assembled these in the same way as the individual patches.
After pressing the seams open, I then measured the finished size of the front of the cover. This allowed me to then follow the instructions found HERE on how to make the envelope-style back of the cover (thanks to one of my lovely forum friends for pointing me in the direction of this). The only thing I will say is that because I had a 16" cushion pad, and the front was roughly 14", I allowed an extra 2" on the longer of the two measurements she gives you.
When marking the seam for the outside, I measured 2" from the patch-seam towards the edge. The hope was that all the patches would be around 2" square once the cover was turned in the right way.
I was pretty pleased in the way this turned out. So much so that I have made another - this time in red. Both of these were gifts for friends (I blogged about the 'matching' cards back in May - 'Felt Fun') - and I intend to make a few more!!
So, I hope that I have inspired you - and not frightened you off. Pop over to Crafty Cardmakers to see what the rest of the Design Team have been up to - there's a real range of projects there!! Let's celebrate the diversity of crafts that are out there - and whether your project is large or small I am really looking forward to seeing it. And any experienced sewers and quilters out there - please feel free to leave me some tips!!
I would like to enter my cushion cover into the following challenges:
Moving along with the times - Anything but a Card
Try it on Tuesdays - Anything Goes