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 Overstock.com, and I’ve just found it over on Amazon.com 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!    

My Favorite Things @ Moxie Fab!

Good morning! Today we’re simply thrilled that Cath Edvalson, Trends Editor at Paper Crafts Magazine has given her Moxie Fab “Stamp” of Approval to several My Favorite Things stamps over on Moxie Fab World.  Cath has selected love themed sets from many of our product lines, and has a fun collection of items to give away! Please hop on to THIS post to let Cath know which of her favorites are also YOUR favorites for your chance to win!        

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!        

January 2012 Design Team Creative Challenge: Masculine

Welcome to the January 2012 Design Team Creative Challenge! Each month, we challenge our Design Team to create projects within a special theme, or using a specific product line.  This month, we’ve asked our designers to create masculine themed projects.  I hear time and time again from stampers, that creating masculine projects are often the most difficult…put your crafty purchases to work and get ready to create fabulous cards, projects and pages for all the guys in your life! Lots of our designers have jumped on board to create cards and projects for the men in our lives!  You’ll find that lots of the girls have shared their particular tips and “rules” for creating smashing cards for the guys!  I hope you’ll find a sample or two that will work for you, and we look forward to seeing YOUR masculine MFT Projects too….

You’ll find masculine project ideas today from:

Frances

Barbara

Julie

Jackie

Lisa

Kerry

Debbie

Jodi

Jessie

Karen M.

Jody

Melody

Eva

Sarah

Inge

Sherrie

Joanne

 

New Product Tour!

We’ve teased and taunted you all week, and at long last all the latest stamps and Die-namics are now available HERE in the MFT Boutique!  All the girls on our Design Team have participated in tonight’s New Product Tour which is a great way to showcase all of the spectacular new products being released tonight.  Just below I have a direct link to each of the new products, as well as the full set graphics and a link to the participating designers.  Are you ready for one more amazing set of projects before you shop?

Who’s that Parisian Girl? 

Karen G

Pearls of Wisdom 

Jodi and Jody

Triple Scoop Set – Clearly Sentimental about Romance

Lisa and Barbara

Pure Innocence – Plane Amazing

Karen M 

Pure Innocence – Berry Sweet

Debbie 

 Pure Innocence – Paper Dolls

Megan

Pure Innocence – Jump for Joy

Joanne

Pure Innocence – I Love You This Big

Jessie and Meredith Winston

 Pure Innocence – Precious Little Lamb Fill My Heart with Joy

Sherrie

 à la modes – Dip Me in Chocolate

Inge and Eva

 à la modes – Genie

Michele

Bunch of Hearts Flopsey

Sarah and Frances

Monogram Alphabet

Jackie and Melody

At the Movies Die-namics and Stamp Set

Kerry and Julie

Rolled Scallop Flower

with a video from Frances showing how to make a fuller flower

Jumbo Monarch Border

Berry Box

Jody gives a how-to on the Die-namics Berry Box

Sarah combines the Die-namics Berry Box with the Die-namics Woodgrain Fence and the Die-namics Mini-Wavy Pennants 

Mini Wavy Pennants

Eiffel Tower

 

Paper Doll Border Die-namics

Oval Decorative Doily Duo

Layered Heart Die-namics

Frances has a treat box video tutorial using the Layered Heart Die-namics

Joanne uses the Layered Hearts Die-namics to make Rice Bag Hand Warmers

 We hope you’ve enjoyed all of our New Release preparations and I look forward to seeing you over in the MFT Boutique!