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Feature Friday: Pennants

I don’t know about you, but it seems I’ve been seeing pennants everywhere lately!  I love the look and I’ve been using clusters of them in my cards lately, I’ve also seen lots of scrapbook layouts utilizing these long and skinny banners.  Well, today I have a quick video showing how you can lengthen the Die-namics Mix & Match Banners to create this fun effect.

What you’ll essentially want to do is cut just the leading edge of the shape with your Die-cutting machine, and then back the Die-namics die back out only partially cutting the shape.  You can see just what I mean in today’s Feature Friday Video.

If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to the MFT YouTube Channel here. 

I love that you can use up your patterned paper scraps, mix and match and create a fun cluster on your card or scrapbook page.  Here I’ve combined it with the Just My Type Stamp Set and Die-namics. I’ve ordinarily used these pointing downwards, but for today’s layout, they worked best pointing up.

They work great for either masculine or feminine projects too. This project features the
Clearly Sentimental about Romance  (this month’s Triple Scoop) and the Jumbo Monarch Border Die-namics.

How about using your Mix & Match Banners to create fun scrapbooking accents?

I hope that this video is helpful to you, and more than that, I hope that you’ll
put your Die-namics Mix & Match Banners and your scrap bin to work and have fun!

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Feature Friday – Sewing

Many of you have asked about a Sewing Tutorial here on Feature Friday.  Today I’ll be showing a few tips and tricks for working with a Janome Sew Mini.  This is the perfect machine for paper crafters. It is reasonably priced, and perfectly sized to easily fit onto your desktop.  I’ve seen it from time to time on, and I’ve just found it over on here and you can get it at Hancock Fabrics here.  Keep your eye out for sales and online coupons!

The Janome has a variety of stitches including shorter and longer stitches, both straight and zig zag.  You’ll a key to each of the the stitches right on the front of the machine and you’ll select which stitch you want to work with by turning the front wheel….

I’ve seen many of you saying in blog posts, or on Facebook, that you already HAVE a machine and haven’t put it to work just yet. Go ahead and take that baby out of its box and let’s play! Like any other technique it just takes a bit of practice!  Some advice for newbie paper sewers….

  • Go slow, there’s no rush! Consider stitching on a patterned paper that you can follow along, maybe follow along a grid line, or on a set of polka dots.  Till you get used to it, this will help you to stitch straight.
  • Check your stitch setting before starting. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been on the zig-zag stitch when I wanted to go straight, but then I was committed to zig-zagging!
  • When making a turn, always stop stitching with the needle through the paper.  Then you can raise the presser foot and turn the paper while the needle is marking your place.  Then place the presser foot back down stitch away!
  • When you’ve finished sewing, be sure to pull your loose ends back through the card stock and secure on the backside with tape. This will keep your card front neat and clean!
  • Don’t try to stitch through too many layers at a time.  You can stitch an accent piece individually and then add it to your project with adhesive. It looks like it is sewn in place without forcing your machine to go through too many layers all at one time.
  • Do not stitch directly over adhesive.  This will gum up your needle and damage your machine.  I use just a bit of adhesive in the center of my panels, then stitch around the edges.

Some ways to incorporate stitching into your projects include:

Selective Stitching – switch up your stitch selection, use a straight stitch on some elements, a zig zag on others.  Partially stitch only certain areas of your panel.

Switch where you stitch! Maybe inside the border instead of around the edge…

Pleating – zig zag fold paper scraps or ribbons and then stitch down the center for a fun pleated treatment

Add extra detail to your Die-namics dies….

Circular Stitching – this is a tricky move, sew very slowly to gently manipulate the turns.  Consider moving the needle up and down by turning the wheel on the side of the machine by hand, versus using the foot pedal to power the machine.

If you’re having trouble, I suggest pulling out your spool of thread and try re-threading the machine. Even on times when I was sure it was threaded correctly, when I re-threaded, it worked perfectly!    Dust your machine. Little bits of paper will eventually collect and can damage your machine. I periodically take a bit of that “canned air” and dust!

Just practice, practice and have fun.  I think you’ll decide that sewing adds just that extra touch and the more you do it, the better your stitching will look!  Let me know if you have any questions,  here to help!  And we look forward to seeing YOUR stitched projects!



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Feature Friday

A few weeks ago, as part of Feature Friday I shared a video on How to Tie a Loopy Bow.  I promised that I’d also share a quick and easy bow with similar results, called a Cheater’s Bow.  To tie a Cheater’s Bow you’ll use two lengths of ribbon.  One just a bit longer than your card front which you tape in place, and then you’ll tie a longer piece of ribbon around that to create the bow.  You’ll see just what I mean in today’s Feature Friday Video.  I’ll admit, this is how I first learned to tie a bow when I first got into stamping…

And, I’ve done a second video for you today too.  I often get questions from readers about the sizes of my cards, and it reminds me that while we have many customers that have been with us a long time, there are also new people taking up this amazing hobby each day.  So, I’m going to work on a series of Feature Friday Basics videos.  As always, if there are any topics you need help with, please let us know how to help with a comment on the blog, or a comment on the MFT Facebook Page, we’re here to help!

Today’s second video is going to share information about making a card base. This was a tricky one for me when I first started, I couldn’t visualize where to make the cuts and had a lot of waste.  I also didn’t know what products were going to work the best for me…  so here’s a quick video for any newbies out there!  Welcome! We’re glad to have you!





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Feature Friday: Bow Tying

Of all the things I’m asked when I teach classes, the most frequent question is almost always, “How do you tie those bows?”  Or how about “I give up, will you tie my bow for me?”  I’ve put together a quick video on tying a nice loopy bow.  I think the biggest piece of information I have to share, is that it is not going to look great right off the bat.  For me, the bow tying is all in the primping and preening of the bow. Adjusting the tails to go just where you want before you fully tighten things up.  That, and start with a “generous” amount of ribbon….

I’ve shown how to adjust the bow so that you have one tail forward and one tail behind, and I’ve also shown how to adjust the bow so that both loops are up top, and both tails hang below.

Stay tuned for future videos on how to tie a “Cheater’s Bow” and how to create a “Tailored Bow.”

Sample uses Pure Innocence: Snow Day and the soon to be released Mini Wavy Pennants (available 1/3/12)

 I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any questions!

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Feature Friday: Paper-Piecing with Lots of Layers

Our designers often use the Paper-Piecing technique, and a few weeks ago, we shared a video with the basics on Feature Friday. If perchance you missed it, you can find the first installment here on YouTube.

supplies used: PI Bedtime Story and October Afternoon Farmhouse

Today, we’re sharing a second video with this technique where we show how to create a fully paper-pieced scene like the one above, which includes lots of layers.  This video focuses on how to assemble those layers back together in a little more detail. If you’d prefer you can view the video directly on the MFT YouTube Channel.

We hope that this video helps you look at your images and patterned paper scraps in a new way! Have fun and enjoy! We can’t wait to see what you create!


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Feature Friday! Using Fabric with your Die-namics Dies

I’ve got a Feature Friday video today, and its in response to a customer question over on our Facebook page. We’re here to help, so please give us a shout out if there is a special topic you’d like to see covered.  Today I’m going to show you some tips for working with fabric and your Die-namics dies.

Today’s video uses a Vagabond, and I’ve also cut these materials before with a Big Shot.  I’m sorry to say that I can’t personally vouch for other die-cutting products as these are the two I have on hand.   As you’ll see in the video, for cutting the cotton canvas and the burlap, I’ve shown how I add extra pressure upon the blade pressing into the fabric by adding a piece of thin cardboard (or two) to your sandwich stack.

The very important information here is to investigate how much additional thickness you can add to your machine safely.  Do not ever *force* material through. If the machine is not accepting the additional thickness, do not force it, or you may permanently damage your machine.  Increase your shims by only a single piece at a time, for instance, I’ve added a single piece of thin cardboard for cutting the cotton canvas, and I then used two pieces to cut the burlap. After seeing the performance of the first layer, I was fairly confident that the machine would accept the additional layer of card stock.    If you ever sense that your machine is under stress, do NOT force through an additional layer.

In today’s tutorial, I’m using a product called Heat and Bond, I found mine at my local craft store. I’m using the “LITE” version, which you can sew through if you choose to.  (After all, I didn’t want to accidentally damage my sewing machine….)  The Heat and Bond will serve as a fabric stiffener, and will give you a clean edge, with no fraying once the fabric has been die cut. All you need is a very brief press with your iron.  The important detail is to not use the  steam setting, only a dry iron.  Here’s a quick tip: I chose to iron on top of  a piece of card stock so that I didn’t get any extra adhesive on my ironing board.  The extra step of adding the Heat and Bond is well worth it for me for these neat, clean edges! I’ll show you how to cut fabric, lightweight cotton canvas and burlap in today’s video with the Simply Scallops Die-namics.  I love the fresh texture this will add to your projects! I’ve also used this technique to create a Burlap Die-namics Large Rolled Rose embellishment.

For anyone that is loving the paper it is October Afternoon: Farmhouse 8×8 paper pad.  I’ve used one of my favorite go-to sets, Own Your Story.

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Feature Friday – Introducing By the Letters Die-namics

Welcome back to Feature Friday!  Today I’ve got a video for you introducing the new By the Letters Die-namics. These letters are the same size as our By the Numbers Die-namics so you can easily mix and match them.  This alphabet set will work fabulously with patterned paper, card stock, felt, cork etc.  Rhis week’s video will have a quick and easy tip showing you how to use your Die-namics dies to create your own chipboard alphabet collection.

Here’s just one of the samples included in this week’s video….look how nicely a five letter sentiment will nestle onto the Clearly Sentimental Label Die-namics.


You’ll find even more product samples within the video below where you’ll see this Die-namics in action.  I hope you enjoy this week’s Feature Friday video. Die-namics by the Letters will be available as part of our December release on Tuesday, December 6th at 10pm EST!


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Feature Friday

Welcome back to another Feature Friday Session!  I hope that among all your  weekend plans that you find at least a little time to sneak away and make something crafty.  Lately I haven’t had a whole lot of time to craft, so I’ve been focusing a lot on gift tags, and bookmarks.  This seems to satisfy my “need” to so something crafty, and slightly streamlines my process. Also, I’ll be putting these tags to good work in the form of gift wrapping and creative gift giving.

Today’s Feature Friday video focuses on Heat Embossing and Watercoloring.  I’ve put my new Twinkling H2O’s to work, and already, I’m excited to buy a few more!  Heat embossing is also a fabulous feature when you want just a little more definition in your image, or even in your sentiment treatment.  I’ve used it to waterproof my image so that I could paint, and than again to give a little more weight to my sentiment.  You’ll see how I used the technique both ways in today’s video.

For today’s project I’ve used Inspired by Flowers (set three) the sentiment from Inspired by Flowers (set two) as well as the Solid Bracket Border Die-namics and overstamped the image with the text block included in First Class Friend.  Patterned paper is from Echo Park: Times and Seasons.


I hope this video is helpful to anyone that hasn’t tried heat embossing before, or if you’ve picked up either Twinkling H2O’s and not used them!

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Feature Friday: Assembling the Die-namics Rosette

In today’s Feature Friday video I’m going to show you how to assemble the Die-namics Rosette. After all, when you first buy the Die-namic, it isn’t completely apparent how you can make this beautiful adornment with this shape….


supplies used: 1/4 Rosette Die-namics, Tag, You’re It (sentiment only)
Open Scallop Doily Die-namics, Just the Ticket Stamp set and Die-namics,
Homespun Birdhouse Die-namics (tiny heart only)  

this sweet gift box is filled with four matching 3×3 notecards

And here’s a fun tip….you can also use the same Die-namics to make a mini-rosette.
You can see what I mean in in this sample.

supplies used: 1/4 Rosette Die-namics, Open Scallop Doily Die-namics
Layered Label Die-namics, Clearly Sentimental about Friendship

I’ll show you step by step how to assemble this Die-namics in both sizes in the video I’ve prepared for you today.

You can watch it here embedded in the blog post, or over HERE on MFT’s YouTube Channel.

As always, if you have ideas for future Feature Friday videos
please leave a comment on this post, and we’ll see what we can do!

I hope this is helpful and have a wonderful weekend!

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Feature Friday: Paper-Piecing

It’s Feature Friday and today I’m focusing on one of my favorite techniques, Paper-Piecing. Whenever I teach paper-piecing in a class, it is always an a-ha moment. It is such a great way to incorporate texture and pattern into your projects, and let’s be honest, it is also a great way to put those paper scraps to work.

For anyone that hasn’t tried the technique I have a quick video showing the process step by step today.  There are lots of little details that make it work just right.

Today’s sample uses Pure Innocence: Love You with All My Heart.  Custom details have been incorporating using the File Tab Die-namics as well as the Mini Rolled Roses Die-namics.  I’ve added a quirky asymmetrical scallop with the WoNkY Scallops Die-namics. Pattern paper is from the Love Me Collection at My Mind’s Eye.

You can find the video tutorial below, or on the MFT Channel on YouTube.

By the way, if you have any products you’d like to see demonstrated, or topics for future videos please leave a comment below!

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