Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Biggest One

Now that it's already been opened, I can tell you about the most time-consuming Christmas gift I put together this year. And probably the most impressive, because of all the work that went into it. It wasn't hard, but there was a lot to it. And it's BIG! At 12 feet long, this baby holds 14 fabric shapes with photos.

Here's what I did:
I picked out a couple of large scraps of Christmas-colored material and found the rest of the fleece throw that I used for Rhyl's Tinkerbell costume for the backing. Not one to waste "pricey" fusible interfacing, I used spray glue to adhere the fabrics together, chalked a triangle, square, or circle onto the back, cut it out, stitched it together, and trimmed around the edges with pinking shears. (Here is where I SHOULD HAVE added the photos, because it was a pain having to maneuver around the tape once they were all one.) I did not think this thru, so I attached the shapes to the tape instead. I then sewed on buttons to the tape over the tips of the "trees" and ribbons and charms to the "wreaths", just for fun.

Next, I cut out photos to fit into the shapes and anchored them with glue. Elmer's is fine. I think mine is Tacky (there's a joke in there somewhere). This isn't altogether necessary, but I didn't want to fool with pins or tape. Quick and easy was my motto for this project.

Finally, I cut strips of the fabric scraps with my pinking shears to make ribbons to frame each photo. I used a zig-zag stitch around the edges, turning the ribbon over at each corner, and trimming the corners off so that they wouldn't stick out. I topped it off with a ring on each end for hanging, carefully folded it around a piece of cardboard, wrapped it up, and sent it off to my dear sister in South Carolina.

Why was this project necessary, you ask? The reason I took on something special at the last minute is entirely sentimental: my oldest sister is a traveling nurse and isn't able to make it home for Christmas due to her schedule. She's in SC, we're in Mo (Ia, technically, for me). This is the first Christmas I can remember that she won't be around. She doesn't have a Christmas tree or decorations in her apt. No Christmas? No family? No way! This is meant to be a nice reminder of those of us back home who love and miss her, as well as a way to bring a little holiday cheer into her temporary home that her cat cannot destroy. :) We love you, Bethie!

Here's what I used:

*3 yards of double fold bias tape (could have made my own, but didn't have the time) in dark green

*Fabric scraps (1/2 yd or less is more than enough) for shapes in 2-4 colors

*Fabric for backing (1/2 - 3/4 yd is plenty)

*Spray glue (could have used pins, but that would have required more attn, and I was lazy and in a hurry)

*Thread (I used contrasting bright red thread)


*Buttons, charms, ribbons, etc, for decorations

*White glue

I cannot stress enough that there is no "right" way to do this, and probably many, many better ways than I did.

No comments: