Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Last week my husband left a love note in my giraffe measuring spoons,
which decorate the kitchen window. He's a keeper!

Yesterday I realized it was Friday the 13th, and therefore the next day was Valentine's Day and it was too late to buy and send cards to my nieces or even make something Valentine-ish -- whatever that might be. That's when I had the idea to make the woven construction paper hearts from grade school with fabric! Brilliant, but I'd have to remember it about a year from now when I could actually make and send them. Not likely to happen. In fact, despite musing over the construction on the train to work, I promptly forgot all about the idea (and that it was going to be Valentine's Day, until this morning.

I won't remember this next year, so I decided to try it out now. It worked out pretty well, and if you are interested in making these in a less than a year, here's how:

2 pieces of fabric approximately 10" x 4.5" (red)
2 pieces of contrasting fabric approximately 10" x 4.5" (b&w zebra print)
2 pieces of fusible web approximately 10" x 4.5" (I used MistyFuse)
1 Teflon pressing sheet, parchment paper or whatever you use to keep the fusible from gumming up your iron
1 piece of paper 9" x 2.5" to make the pattern template (I used an ad from the paper.)

Instructions: Fold the paper in half lengthwise so it's 4.5" by 2.5" and trim the unfolded end into a rounded shape.

Layer one piece of fusible between one of each color of fabric, with wrong sides of fabric against the fusible. Place between Teflon sheets and fuse according to the instructions on your fusible.
Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric and fusible.

Place the template on top of the fabric sandwiches and trim.

Fold the trimmed fabric in half and press lightly. Fold so that a different print is on the outside of each piece. It occurs to me at this point, that you probably don't need a template. You could just cut the fabric sandwiches into 9" x 2.5" rectangles, fold in half and round the open ends. I will try to remember to do that next year. Ha!

Make three 3"slits into the folded edge. I used a ruler and rotary cutter to make the first 3" slit 1.25" from the edge so it was exactly in the middle. The other two slits are 5/8" from the outside edge. I didn't take a picture of this step, but I'm sure you can figure it out. If you're not as anal retentive as me, you can free form cut with scissors. Just be sure that your slits are slightly longer than the width of the heart.

Now weave the two pieces together. This is hard to explain -- and I'm not sure the pictures really capture it -- but I'll try. Picture the two pieces like hands and position them in front of you as if you put both hands in front of you (rounded edges toward you and fingers away from you, pieces side by side). Open the loop of the "thumb" on your right "hand" and pass the "thumb" of your left "hand" through it. Enough with the quote marks, you get the idea.

Pass the right hand thumb loop through the left hand index finger loop. Open the right hand thumb loop and pass the left hand middle finger through it. Then pass the right hand thumb loop through the last finger on the left hand.

Weave the index finger of the right hand through the thumb of the left, then open the loop of right index finger and pass it over the left index finger. Continue weaving, alternating which side passes through the other. Don't worry about keeping it all neat until the weaving is finished.

It also looks kind of neat when you open it up and fold it in half so the edge is now in the middle.

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