Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

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This blog post is written by Eric Drexler,
Sulky National Educator

I first experimented with this project making large Easter Egg decorations in fun colors. You can view that blog here.

Recently I saw a Halloween decoration on the internet that looked a lot like my eggs. They were really cool spider webs with spiders on them. Oooo CREEPY.

So I wanted to try it out for myself!

Supplies:

  • First, find water balloons (This turned out to be the hardest part of the project).
  • Then, gather the web material. For the Easter eggs I used Sulky’s 12 wt. Cotton Blendables ThreadYou can also use kite string for a heavier look.

New Blendables Petites

  • Wide paint brush (1/2″ bristles)
  • Clear Acrylic
  • Fake spiders!

Directions:

  1. Microwave water. For every 1 cup of water, microwave 30 seconds. Slowly add 1 yard of dry Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer to the heated water (If you are like me, you save scraps and can use those!). Mix until a thin, almost watery, paste is formed. Let the mixture sit until you are ready to apply, then try to work out all of the clumps.
  2. Inflate balloon, but not all the way. Tape down the belly button so it is flat.
  3. Wrap Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Solid or Blendables Thread around the balloon, starting at the top or bottom. Turn the balloon on its axis as it is being wrapped so that a star burst pattern is formed. Be careful to stay in the center of the balloon as you wrap so it doesn’t slide off the side. This is easy to do since you are wrapping and turning at the same time. Try: turn, wrap, turn, wrap to gain more control.
  4. Turn on its side, and start wrapping from the center and repeat the turning motion until another star is formed. Keep wrapping to fill in empty spaces.
  5. Find the other open areas and make another star burst there till you are happy with the thickness. (Light and Lacy is nice, but more fragile. If wrapped thicker it will absorb more liquid Solvy) For a jaw dropping look, add a coordinating Sulky Holoshimmer with the Cotton or Blendables Thread.
  6. Use a wider paint brush (like ½” bristles) to apply the liquid Solvy over the outside of the wrapped balloon. Let it soak in and make sure to cover every inch. If too much is applied it will drip.
  7. Find a small plastic or glass bowl to set the egg down on for drying. They dry quicker in the sun or with a fan on them. Make sure to turn them over from side to side and top to bottom to avoid the liquid Solvy migrating to the lowest point. Every 15 to 20 minutes should be sufficient.
  8. When the egg is dry, apply another layer of Liquid Solvy. Repeat a third time for a super strong egg.
  9. When the egg is COMPLETELY dry, put a pin in the balloon. If you are not going to cut it open you can remove the balloon with a dental pick through one of the holes.
  10. Spray with Clear Acrylic to seal and strengthen.

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If you are making webs, an egg can be cut in half to make 2 webs. Small slivers of painter’s tape (2” X ¼”) help to pre-plan where you are going to cut. 

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Finally, glue a few fake spiders to your web and find fun a spot for your new, spooky Halloween decoration!

Show us your Halloween creations! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and tag us with #SulkyThreads 🙂




DIY Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

This Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – Fall! I love Fall. The colors are beautiful, the weather is perfect; there is football every weekend and Halloween! We love Halloween at my house. This year, to kick off the season, I made this adorable skull t-shirt.

And by ‘made’ I mean I purchased the actual shirt and just put the skull on the front 🙂

It is quick and easy to do and took me less than an hour.

Here’s how I did it…

I found a cute skull online, and printed it onto Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer. (Just go to Pinterest and search “skulls”; you will have plenty to choose from.)

I pulled off the release sheet, and stuck the skull to the front of the shirt; placing it where I wanted the skull to be stitched.

I grabbed my spool of Sulky Glowy™ Thread in pink (because I have daughters and they want pink skulls. Glowy also comes in yellow, orange, blue, purple, green and white)

I put a white Sulky Prewound Bobbin on the bottom, and used the Glowy on top. I just used a regular straight stitch and my presser foot to do the outline of the skull. The beauty of Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch is that it is water soluble, so it stabilizes as I am sewing, gives me a pattern to follow, but will wash away when I am finished!

You can see in this close up that I went off the pattern lines a couple times. It doesn’t matter! The pattern is just going to wash away when I am finished! Plus, I think those wonky stitches give this skull some extra character.

For the eyes and nose, I switched over to free-motion. I lowered the feed dogs on my machine, and put on the free-motion foot. 

After stitching the first couple stitches slowly back and forth (like a back-stitch of sorts), I just kept going in circles and filling in the area until I was happy with it.

When the stitching was complete, I just washed away the Stick n Stitch.

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And it’s done!

I completed this shirt, including washing the Stick ‘n Stitch away and ironing the shirt dry, in about an hour.

BONUS! It glows in the dark. How cool is that!?!?!

Happy Fall and Happy Sewing!




Machine Embroidery Series: Sulky Specialty Threads

Sulky Specialty Threads

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This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

We have been exploring all types of Sulky Thread in our last few blog segments and have learned about individual properties and potential usage for 40 wt. Rayon, 60 wt. PolyLite™, 40 wt. PolyDeco™, and 12 wt. and 30 wt. Cotton Thread  (including Sulky Cotton Blendables® Thread) !  We have also been exposed to the creative possibilities of stitching, or accenting, an embroidery design in one of the many threads from the Sulky Metallic Family:  Original, Sliver™ and Holoshimmer™.  Now, we will talk about the other Sulky Specialty Threads!

Believe it or not… Sulky still has more types of thread that will quickly become a welcomed supplement to your thread collection!

Did you even know that light-activated thread exists?Sulky Specialty ThreadsAnd that it really does glow in the dark??

Sulky Specialty Threads

Sulky Glowy™ Thread is available in six pastel colors…

Well, until darkness sets in!  That’s when areas stitched with this specialty thread will simply glow!

The glow will last 15-20 minutes, depending upon how much prior exposure to light it had received.  The “glowing” property will persist through repeated washings as well!

The obvious usage for Sulky Glowy would be for spooky Halloween items. However, what about using it on a T-shirt that your child will wear to the July 4th fireworks?  The holiday evening starts off with the sun setting, but shortly turns to complete darkness as the fireworks start.  Your child begins the evening of fun wearing a cute T-shirt embroidered in pastel colors. Once the darkness settles in, their shirt becomes a reassuring way to quickly spot your child among their group of friends!

A small Glowy design can also offer a sense of nearness for a young child who is having trouble falling asleep. Embroider a pillow case with a cute design using Glowy simply with just a single star or a little heart.  It may be just the thing a young child needs in order to relax and help remind them that you are always nearby.

Sulky Polyester Invisible Thread

It is a great idea to have Sulky Invisible Thread, available in both clear and smoke, readily on hand. It is a very fine, flexible, polyester thread which can be used both as the top and bobbin thread (wind the bobbin slowly and only about half full). It is softer and much more heat tolerant than nylon counterparts; it will not melt with normal ironing through the polyester setting.  (Irons vary in temperature, so test first.)

Sulky Invisible Thread fulfills needs of stitching in the ditch, invisible appliqué and “hand-look” quilting/stippling, whether these applications are done on a regular sewing machine or as an “in-the-hoop” project on an embroidery machine.

Please remember that Sulky ’s priority is to have informed, satisfied consumers.  Therefore, Sulky offers a “Resources” tab on their website at http://www.sulky.com/resources/
So much information is immediately available to answer your questions and to offer sewing hints.  However, if you still have a unique situation, you can go to the “Ask the Experts” page at www.sulky.com/faq/ or send an email to info@sulky.com.

I hope the Thread Blogs have provided you with practical information about lots of different threads, and when one type might prove to be more beneficial over another. But my greater hope is that you have become inspired to “paint” your machine embroidery creations in more than one palette!

Sulky Embroidery Club

Design from Sulky Embroidery Club




Make Quick Halloween Costumes in the Hoop!

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Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays of the year, and with good reason! It is so fun to dress up in costumes, get together with friends and take the kids and grandkids out trick or treating.

Here is a fun little In The Hoop project to get you in the Halloween spirit a little early.

Need some more Halloween inspiration? We have a ton of it! Check out all these great posts and tutorials in the Halloween Category on this blog!

Happy Sewing!




Pumpkin Carving on Craft Pumpkins

NOTE: This is part two of a two part series, read about carving on real pumpkins here.

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Although I love the look and feel of real pumpkins around my house in the fall, I also love the fact that craft pumpkins will last longer than one season! This is especially true if I am taking the time to carve a pumpkin with a really intricate design. My 10 year old daughter, Korey, loved the idea of keeping her carved pumpkin for several seasons so she carved a Funkins Craft pumpkin.

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We used Sulky Stick ‘n Carve and chose one of the free designs from Zombie Pumpkins that you get when you buy the Sulky Stick ‘n Carve. We also used the Zombie Pumpkins Professional Carving Tool Set.

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The Sulky Stick ‘n Carve and the Zombie Pumpkins Carving tool made carving the Funkin a breeze! Korey was able to cut out even the small detailed spots with ease.

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I did help her by holding the Funkin steady since it is so much lighter than a real pumpkin.

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Korey did a great job and was so proud to be able to do the whole pumpkin carving by herself.

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We rinsed the pumpkin in the sink to wash away the Sulky Stick ‘n Carve and the end result is perfect.

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We are going to be able to enjoy this cute Halloween kitty for many years to come.

If you are looking for a fun and easy family activity this season, here is my recommendation. Buy a pack of Sulky Stick ‘n Carve, which is 20% off on Sulky.com right now, buy the Zombie Pumpkins Professional Pumpkin Carving Tool Set, and buy some Funkins. You will have a blast picking out designs to carve (Here are some free designs) and you will have a spectacularly spooky house for Halloween.

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Happy Carving!




Easy Pumpkin Carving!

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This past weekend, we went with some friends to North Georgia to Burt’s Pumpkin Patch. It’s a fun place with lots and lots of pumpkins.

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Today, the girls wanted to carve our pumpkin. I pulled out my package of Sulky Stick n’ Carve and we downloaded the 10 free designs that you get when you purchase Stick ‘n Carve. The designs are by Zombie Pumpkins and are amazing. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if my 9 and 10 year old would be able to actually carve the designs they picked, but I figured we would give it shot.

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We do have the Professional Pumpkin Carving Tool Set from Zombie Pumpkins so that definitely gave me hope for these pumpkins turning out halfway decent.

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The first thing we did is print our designs on the Sulky Stick ‘n Carve. It goes through the printer just like paper.

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Next, we needed to take the top off the pumpkin so we could clean out the inside. Already the Zombie Pumpkins Carving Set was proving to be worth the money as the blade cut the top off with ease. I tried a knife first, thinking the tool kit was only for the front carving, but the knife would not go through the thick pumpkin walls. The Zombie Pumpkins tool went through with ease.

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Krissy didn’t love getting the seeds out of the inside.

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Now the pumpkin was ready to stick on the design. Another nice thing about Stick ‘n Carve is you can move it until the design is exactly where you want it.

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When Krissy was finally pleased with where the design was placed, we were able to start carving.

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Krissy loved carving her pumpkin!

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She did an amazing job. She did most of the carving herself, only letting me help on the really tight spots. She is an amazing girl, but she is 9 years old. I really don’t think she could have done this without Sulky Stick ‘n Carve and the Zombie Pumpkins Carving Set.

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The next step is to rinse the rest of the Sulky Stick ‘n Carve away.

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TADA! Isn’t it great? Sulky Stick ‘n Carve and the Zombie Pumpkin Carving Set made this carving session a success.

And guess what! From now until Halloween, Sulky Stick ‘n Carve is 20% off at Sulky.com! So what are you waiting for? Go get some and start carving like a master.

Stay tuned for Thursday on the blog. We also carved a Funkin craft pumpkin using the Sulky Stick ‘n Carve and the Zombie Pumpkins Carving Set. I will post about that and tell you what we thought of it on Thursday. Until then, Happy Carving!




Halloween Hand Embroidery- Free Patterns!

My love for hand embroidery has spilled over into my love for Halloween! Last year I did these two hand embroidery designs.

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halloween framed hand projects

You can get the free pattern downloads here.

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This year I was having so much fun with these machine embroidery patterns, I decided to have them made into hand embroidery patterns and for a limited time, we are giving them away to you for free! Download the PDF here:Halloween Patterns

hand spiders

I love hand embroidery because I have the right tools to do it! I use Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites which come on a spool so I don’t have to separate floss (Thank goodness!), and I print my patterns onto Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy™ which eliminates tracing and the hoop (double bonus)!

Halloween Petite Thread Collection

For these patterns, I used the limited edition Sulky Petites Halloween Collection and Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy sheets. I plan to make the spider into a cute ornament and the spider and web into a small wall hanging.

What will you do with these designs? Tell me in the comments below and be sure to shop in our Halloween Boo-Tique.

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Happy Sewing!

Looking for more great Halloween ideas? Check out all my Halloween blog posts here.




My Favorite Halloween Placemat Tutorial

 

halloween placemat 18Have you noticed a theme in my Halloween Decor? I love spiders! I think they are fascinating; the way they make their webs, how they move around so much, even the designs on their bodies. It’s probably because “Charlotte’s Web” and “Be NiceTo Spiders” were my favorite books growing up.

Halloween gives me a chance to put cute, spider-y things all over the house! (Let’s be honest, spider decor all year round is just creepy). A few years ago I bought cute spider web placemats for my breakfast table but the center of the table was naked! It needed a little something, so I made this wonderful placemat for the center. It went together pretty quickly and I am in love with the results. Here is the Step by Step Tutorial:

halloween placemat 17Supplies:

5 different Halloween-y fabrics
The Easy Dresden Quilt Tool by EZ Quilting®
Rotary Cutter and Mat
The Spider from the Sulky Embroidery Club Halloween Fun Set
The Sulky PolyDeco™ Halloween Thread Collection
Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™ Stabilizer
Sulky Tear-Easy™ Stabilizer
Batting
Backing fabric
FriXion™ Marking Pen (optional – disappears with heat)
Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive

The first step is to embroider the spider onto the center circle fabric. I used a nice bright solid orange. Hoop the fabric with a piece of Sulky Tear-Easy and use Sulky 40 wt. PolyDeco thread in black and white from the Sulky PolyDeco Halloween Thread Collection.

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Next, cut the blades of the Dresden Plate from your fabrics using the Easy Dresden Quilting Tool by Darlene Zimmerman. I like this particular ruler because it’s easy to use and the directions included with the tool are well written. I cut my blades the full length of the tool, 8″. Simply follow the directions that come with the tool to put together the Dresden Plate. I used Sulky 40 wt. PolyDeco in black from the Halloween thread collection to do my piecing.

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When the Dresden Plate is finished, it’s time to cut out the spider. As usual, I audition things from around my sewing studio until I find something to use as a circle template. I know my finished center circle needed to be at least 1/4″ bigger than the opening and this roll of tape was a good fit.

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I used the roll and a FriXion™ Pen to draw around the spider adding an additional 1/4″ for a seam allowance.

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Next, I traced that same circle onto a piece of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra.

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Put the bumpy side of the Soft ‘n Sheer Extra to the right side of the spider (do not iron!). Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to sew all the way around the circle.

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Using very sharp scissors, carefully cut a slit in the center of the Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra only.

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Clip around the edges.

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Turn the center and press into place. Be sure to put an appliqué pressing sheet down on your ironing board. Remember the space under the spider is open!

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Sew the circle down with matching thread.

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If you want, you could decide this is finished, put it on your table and move onto something else. It is a Halloween placemat after all, not your entry into Paducah, but I really felt it needed some cute quilting.  (Of course, I did!)

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I auditioned thread from my PolyDeco Halloween Thread Set and decided on the orange.

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Next, I found the ugliest fabric I could find in my stash (Seriously, what was I thinking when I bought that? I don’t even understand the design), and I layered the backing fabric, batting and the top to make my quilt sandwich. I used Sulky KK 2000 to hold everything together. (HINT: If you want it to to serve as a hot mat on your table, you could use Insul-Bright instead of batting)

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I left the batting and the backing over-sized while I quilted. I started by going around the center circle again and then sewed the outer edge about 1/4″ in from the points of each blade.

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Next, I went back and did the spiderweb quilting design. I used my walking foot and just did gentle curves between two blades all the way around until the entire piece of quilted. I love this quilting because it looks way more complicated to do than it actually is!

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I finished it off by carefully cutting the batting and backing away using pinking sheers.

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And it’s done!

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I must admit, I just love this one! What do you think?

Happy Halloween and Happy Sewing!

Looking for more great Halloween ideas? Check out all my Halloween blog posts here.




One Great Halloween Table Topper

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The Halloween spirit continues with this fun table topper!

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For this one, I picked some of the fun Halloween fabric from my stash and just started cutting wedges with my 10° Wedge Ruler. I know the lengths are all a little different but I will get to how I fixed that in a bit. My shortest wedge was about 8.” If your shortest piece is shorter or longer, then your circle will end up being a little bigger or smaller. My finished diameter is 24″.

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The first thing to do is to just sew strips together until you get a circle that lays flat.

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Next, I needed a template to make the circle in the middle so I auditioned things around my house until I found that my small salad plates were the perfect size. I traced around the plate with my FriXion Pen onto Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ Extra and cut out a circle of the stabilizer and the fabric for the center.  (It needs to be about 1/4″ larger than the center circle all around.)

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I put the fusible side (the bumpy side) to the right side of the fabric and sewed all the way around.

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Next, cut a slit in the center of the Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra ONLY, and clipped the edges (or you could trim them with a pinking shears instead). This gives you the ability to turn the circle. It tucks all the raw edges in nicely and gives you the fusible side of the stabilizer down so you can fuse it into place before sewing (Bonus!)Halloween Table topper 13

Use an applique pressing sheet underneath when fusing the circle in place (remember, the circle is “open” beneath the center).

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Now it’s time to quilt! Layer the backing, batting, and top together using Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive to hold everything together nicely. For a stronger hold, spray the fabric, not the batting and smooth everything out.  Pin occasionally if you want to.

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I used Sulky 40 wt. PolyDeco in black, orange and tangerine from the Limited Edition PolyDeco Halloween thread assortment for the quilting.

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I personally love spiders and am fascinated by their webs so I went with a traditional spider web design for the center in black and then did a zigzag like a zipper spider on the strips going out from the center (I don’t know if that is the spider’s official name, but that’s what we always called them growing up).

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After quilting, I wanted to make sure I cut a perfect circle so I went old school with a safety pin, string and white marking pencil.

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Draw the circle holding the pin. Start at the shortest strip. I started with the green since that was my shortest strip.

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Next, simply cut on the line you just drew!

 

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For binding, cut 2-1/4″ strips on a 60° bias. Since this is a circle, you definitely need the binding to be on the bias but when the curve is not too drastic, a 60° bias allows you to get more binding out of less fabric and it still has plenty of give. Another tip about binding; I don’t iron my strip in half, I just fold it over, wrong sides together, as I sew. This lets the fabric fold over to the backside more easily for the hand stitching part of the binding process. (Hint: I you are allergic to hand sewing, you can always cheat and fuse the backside of the binding down with Steam-a-Seam 2 1/4″ strips. I won’t tell anyone)

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Tada! It’s done! This topper took me about 8 hours to do, which I did in 2 hour increments over a few days. I love my new table topper. What do you think?

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Happy Sewing!

Looking for more great Halloween ideas? Check out all my Halloween blog posts here.




Another Easy Halloween Embroidery Idea

One of the things I love about machine embroidery is that I can make really cute things pretty quickly! With the right design and some good quality thread, I can spruce up  an ordinary jar is a half hour.

boo ribbon betterI was actually surprised at how easy it was to embroider on this burlap wire ribbon. I simply hooped a piece of Sulky Sticky+ ™ stabilizer and then stuck the ribbon to that. I then put a piece of Sulky Heat-Away™ as a topper. If you have ever smelled wet burlap, you know why I used Heat Away instead of Solvy!

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I used this cute Boo design that is available from The Sulky Embroidery Club and is a featured product in our new Halloween Boo-tique on Sulky.com!

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I didn’t have a single issue stitching out the design. I love it when it all just comes together like that! I used the purple and black that are in our limited edition Halloween PolyDeco™ Thread Set in the Halloween Boo-tique to stitch it out. I decided to use PolyDeco because this cute jar will live in my bathroom for the season and PolyDeco is bleachable so even if it gets some cleaner on it, it will still look great.

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True confession time. I staged the photo above. And if you pin this to your Pinterest Page, please pin the above photo, but in real life this jar does not hold flowers.

Boo ribbon real lifeYep. In the real world of my house, this jar holds toothbrushes. It only has flowers in it when we have company coming over. (Don’t tell anyone, okay?)

Happy Sewing!

Looking for more great Halloween Ideas? Check out all my Halloween blog posts here.