Last week whilst I was sweeping up the little green cottage, a light bulb popped on over my untamed curls. It was the shiny light of an exciting crafty idea, the kind that keeps one up all hours mulling it over.
You see, in my making, I end up with scraps of fabric in all shapes and sizes. There is a sort of loose organization going on with my save piles. I do hold on to cherished bits and vintage darlings. I keep especially, the long straight-ish strips of favorite fabrics, selvedge ends, cuts from quilting, anything stripy. Recently I had taken note that my basket of strips was bursting and threatening to make a run for it if I didn't make use of them quickly.
And so...long story short, I started having a bit of a crafty revolution, making up all sorts of goodness with my runaway strips. In this 'how to' I will show you how to make those stripy trees in the top picture. However, the technique I'm going to show you is limitless in it's possible applications. It is so easy peasy and slightly addictive ...or maybe it's just me.
Here's what you'll need:
A collection of fabric strips in varying widths (none of mine were over an inch wide).
Some cardstock paper
Glue stick (optional)
some buttons and bits of lace or ribbon
Now, choose a bunch of strips that you like and start laying them out together in an order that is pleasing to you. Grab your cardstock (in this example, I am using an A4 piece that has been cut in half lengthwise). I make sure that I have the right amount of fabric strips to cover the entire piece of cardstock.
Pick up your first fabric strip, I work from the bottom up. Place your fabric strip so that it is even with the bottom edge of your piece of paper.
If you like, you can use a small bit of glue to hold it in place. If you are using glue you will want to wait a few minutes to let it dry before going to your sewing machine and use the smallest amount so that it doesn't goop up your machine.
Now, take your paper and fabric to the sewing machine and simply straight stitch down the middle of your fabric strip, attaching it to the cardstock.
Choose your next strip of fabric and place it next to your first strip, slightly overlapping the sewn strip.
Stitch this strip in the same way as the first.
Continue repeating the process with all of your strips, remembering to overlap each one slightly. Or, you could lightly glue all your strips into place first, allow the glue to dry and then stitch them to the paper.
Once you have finished, turn the paper over and draw equal triangles onto the cardstock. I used a ruler and a pencil to make my markings. I was able to get 6 equal triangles out of this piece, with 2 half triangles left over.
Cut along your lines and voila! you have 6 lovely stripy tree triangles.
Aren't they nice? Oh, they could use a little something though. Time to break out the buttons and lace.
Sew on some buttons, a label, some lace or ribbon, whatever strikes your fancy!
At this point, you could turn them into some pretty groovy tree ornaments by either sewing or gluing two of the triangles back to back. With a good size needle, sew some embroidery floss or yarn through the top to be able to hang it.
I decided to turn these into a happy little garland.
Depending on what fabrics you use, this technique can look quilty or pleated, it's pretty fun to see what you can come up with. You could make this a 'no sew' kid friendly project too just by using a bit more glue. There is no limit to what you can make with this process.
I think it would make a pretty great stitched postcard!
I turned some of the small left over bits into gift tags by sewing another piece of cardstock to the back.
I even turned some into little birds on a string of ric-rac, tweet!
I hope you have enjoyed this simple 'Happy How To'! If you make some trees or use this technique to make other clever stuff, I would love it if you added photos to my flickr group!
Have a happy happy day!