Thursday, February 3, 2011

proof that I am insane (or at least a bit OCD) - a little garden flag mini-tutorial

Last night, sometime after 9pm...let's say it was 9:30...I realized that some corner of my brain was obsessing over the fact that I didn't ever quite finish taking down the Christmas decor.  I couldn't bear to take the star-lights from the windows. I mean, it's still DARK. Which means all the snowflakes are still stuck to the windows too. I left the wreath on the door because it was not overtly Christmas-y (I told myself). And there are a couple of random decorations that I missed when I took everything down and I haven't managed to tuck them away.

But what's been bugging me every day, at least twice a day, is the snowman garden flag that graces our front steps. 

It's February. This guy is no longer seasonal.

But since I don't have seasonal garden flags for every season, they tend to stay out there way too long. I needed a Valentine's Day flag.  So I decided to make one. At 9:30 at night...

By around 11:15pm , I'd managed to put together this flag in time to swap out in the morning and avoid one more day of shame!  (although the starlights and snowflakes are still up - Wild Thing needs to help me make some valentines to put on the windows!)

Tutorial of sorts:  
Here's the recipe for a flag like this - but since I didn't take photos of the process, you'll have to fill in with your imagination.  I promise I will do better next time! There are similar techniques for this scrappy applique type project out there all over the place...

- scraps of reds and pinks
- scraps of fusible interfacing (other tutorials I've seen use stuff that will fuse to both sides - that would be even easier, but I didn't have any on hand)
- one piece of white muslin the width and length to make 2 times the flag size plus 3 extra inches length for loop at the top.

 - cut out a heart shape and letters of your choice from the fusible interfacing
 - select scraps to cover the interfacing and trim and arrange until you are satisfied
 - fuse the scraps to the interfacing with a nice hot iron according to the instructions (or until they stick in my case since I don't have the instructions anymore
 - trim the scraps to match the interfacing cutouts and pin to the bottom of the muslin (be sure to include 1/2 inch for seam allowance when you choose your placement. (if you used the 2 sided fusible stuff - now is when you fuse the other side to your muslin)
 - stitch around the outside of your shapes (I used regular foot for the heart, and tried free-motion with the letters which turned out a little wonky stitch-wise)
 - stitch along all the little overlaps of your scraps - looks cool and holds them down better in case of damp weather conditions
 - fold your muslin in half, wrong sides together and stitch around edge with 1/2 inch allowance. Leave a 4 inch opening somewhere for turning.
 - turn the flag right side out and press (press the opening seams in to match the rest of the seam allowance)
 - topstitch all the way around, closing up the hole during the process
 - fold the top over to the backside 1 and 1/2 inch (or as big as you need for your flag holder), press, and stitch across.

VIOLA!  you have yourself a new flag!  

I plan to use this scrappy applique approach again for other projects - it was fun and very easy - improv is more forgiving than a pattern (well, until you hit a dead end with your improvised non-plan. which can happen. but it didn't this time!)

1 comment:

  1. Well, depending upon where you live in this country, you may find a snowman to be a fitting symbol of February. Especially, this year! Brrrr! Regardless, I love your Valentine's flag and the pretty patchy heart. (Seems symbolic for all of us, no?) Happy Feb to all of you guys!

    p.s. This is my second try at leaving a post. Don't know where the other one went!