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Imagine teaching 10 little girls, who have never seen a sewing machine in real life, how to sew a pillowcase. Sound insane? Well, it went so much better than I expected! Of course I had wonderful help from my Girl Scout co-leaders and a terrific set of girls.
I got this idea from Therm O Web, an adhesive company I work with. Therm O Web is a proud sponsor of the One Million Pillowcases Challenge thru Better Homes & Gardens. The pillowcases we made will be donated to charity (we don’t have a specific charity yet but we are hoping for a women’s/children’s shelter). Our challenge was to make pillowcases with our Brownie Girl Scouts. My little Brownies had SOOOOO much fun making these pillowcases. And they loved that they would be given to children and women in need. Of course they wanted to take one home too, but that will have to be a separate meeting!
The key to working with kids is pre-work, pre-work, pre-work. We had to teach the kids how to use a sewing machine and make the pillowcases in just 3 hours. I cut all the fabric, cut all the dots, prepped the dots with Therm O Web Heat N Bond, and even threaded all the machines before they arrived. I also made a complete sample for them to see before they started. I had all pieces ready for a second sample that was constructed step-by-step with the girls as an example.
When the girls arrived they got a short lesson in the parts of the machine and got to test-sew some scraps together. Then it was on to the real deal. Like I mentioned, overall they did a great job. Some of the more experienced sewers put dots onto their pillowcases but some of the newbies didn’t get that far. And that was okay!
In the end we made 12 pillowcases to be donated. It was a busy but fun afternoon!
All the gorgeous fabric was donated by my fellow Therm O Web Design Team member Pat Sloan. Thanks Pat!
I love the color red! Any splash of red can brighten my day. So of course, Valentine’s decor is a must. I created this felt garland in only about an hour using Heat N Bond Lite and Heat N Bond Ultrahold adhesives.
1. Cut out felt hearts. Mine are about 4.5 x 4.5 inches and I have 10 of them.. I just hand cut mine from a template.
2. Cut a 2 – 8 x 11 rectangles of Heat N Bond Lite. Iron onto 2 different patterned fabrics. Trim fabric close to the edge of the Heat N Bond Lite.
3. This step is specific to those who have a digital craft cutter. If you don’t have a digital craft cutter you can always create your smaller fabric hearts with a manual die cutter or even hand cutting. These hearts are smaller than the felt hearts. They should layer with a nice felt border. Peel off the backing on the Heat N Bond Lite/Fabric. Place onto a cutting mat designed for thick mediums. Run through the digital craft cutter as you would a thick paper. I was able to cut 6 fabric hearts per sheet. In a few places I had to trim some remaining threads that didn’t cut but overall this process works just like paper. Tip: Use an old, used cutting mat. If the cutting mat adhesive is new and strong it may pull off the Heat N Bond Lite from the fabric.
4. Iron on the fabric hearts onto the larger felt hearts. Sew along the edge of the fabric hearts.
5. Next we make 6 flowers out of gathered ribbon. The ribbons I used were about 1/2″ to 7/8″ wide, unwired, and about 6-8″ long. The quickest way to gather the ribbon to make the flowers is to machine baste stitch along the edge of the ribbon. Set your sewing machine to make about 6 stitches per inch. Don’t back-stitch at either end and leave long thread tails on both ends. Then pull on thread to gather up the ribbon. It will naturally begin to form a circle shape. Trim any extra ribbon and form into a flower shape. Punch or cut a circle of Heat N Bond Ultrahold; it should be a circle slightly smaller than your flower shape. My circles were 1 1/4″ diameter. Flip your flower so the wrong side is up, create the final shape adjustments and iron the Ultrahold circle onto the back of the flower.
6. To make the little leaves, I ironed a circle of Ultrahold onto the felt and then hand cut a small leaf.
7. Arrange the flowers and leaves onto a felt heart. Iron in place.
8. Measure the distance across the top of the hearts. Mine were about 4.5″ wide. Cut the Heat N Bond Ultrahold Hem Tape slightly narrower than your heart. My hem tape pieces were 4″. Cut one piece of hem tape for every heart.
9. Arrange your hearts in the correct order and flip over. Start with the heart that will be in the middle of the garland. Place a piece of hem tape across the top of the felt heart backside, then place your ribbon string on top of the hem tape. Iron all 3 pieces together at one time. Space the next heart 1/2″ from the first one and iron onto the ribbon using the hem tape. Repeat the process until all the hearts are attached to the garland.
As any parent of a scout knows, patches fall off uniforms constantly! As a Girl Scout Brownie troop leader, I recommend my girls use Therm O Web HeatNBond Ultrahold to help attach their patches to their uniforms. To help my troop I created a quick tutorial that I would be happy to share here:
Use Therm O Web HeatNBond Ultrahold to apply patches so they actually stay on all year long and beyond! HeatNBond provides extra strong adhesive to keep the patches stuck to the sash. See the directions below for how to use – no sewing necessary!
1. Draw an outline of the patch onto the shiny side of the HeatNBond with a pen.
2. Cut the shapes out with scissors. They don’t need to be perfect.
3. Turn the patch upside down and place the HeatNBond on top of it shiny side down. Iron with medium heat for 30 seconds or until set.
4. When cool, peel off the backing.
5. Arrange the patch on the sash. Cover with a press cloth or scrap cloth, iron with medium heat for 30 seconds or until set.
6. Turn sash over and iron the backside where the patch is for 30 seconds. Let cool completely.
I am starting my holiday gifts mostly because I am really slow and if I don’t do it now it will never get done! I have a few things planned but the easiest and quickest is this fun little project. I am making reusable, eco-friendly coffee cozies. I made 4 of these in just over an hour last weekend. Now that I have the process figured out I should be able to move faster with my next batch.
- Paper coffee cozie to use as a template
- Patterned fabric
- Therm O Web Heat N Bond Lite or Heat N Bond No Sew Ultrahold
- Therm O Web Iron On Vinyl
- sewing machine with coordinating thread
- tape (scotch tape, or painter’s tape would be better)
Step 1: Using the paper coffee cozie as a template, trace around on the felt with a pen/marker. Cut out. *If your felt has a wrong side, place that side up before you trace and cut. My felt was the same on both sides so I didn’t have to worry about that.
Step 2: Using the paper coffee cozie as a template again, trace onto the fabric. The fabric pattern should be facing up. Cut out.
Step 3: Trace again on both the Therm O Web Heat N Bond and Iron On Vinyl. You will want to make sure the fabric and the vinyl match up so when you put the two together they line up properly. To model this arrangement, place the fabric right side up on to the vinyl shiny side up. For the Heat N Bond, the orientation doesn’t matter.
Step 4: Using the Heat N Bond, iron the felt and the fabric wrong sides together. First iron Heat N Bond to one piece following the directions on the package, peel off the backing and iron the other piece.
Step 5: Iron the Iron On Vinyl onto the fabric, wrong side to right side, following the directions on the package. DO NOT PLACE IRON SURFACE DIRECTLY ON THE VINYL! Use the backing paper or a press cloth to protect the vinyl.
Step 6: Trim up the edges for a clean finish… unless you cut all of your parts perfectly and they all fit together without any variance. I obviously don’t cut perfectly and I had to trim the edges.
Step 7: Machine stitch around the edges. *You could easily make this a no-sew project by using No Sew Heat N Bond instead.
Step 8: Using a paper coffee cup as a guide, wrap the felt/fabric strip around the cup. Align it and then tape it together. This will hold it in the correct spot while you sew it in place. *I tried Scotch tape and it worked fine but I think I will use painter’s tape next time as it might be easier to peel off after the stitching.
Step 9: Sew the two ends together in a circle. Remove the tape.
Step 10: Embellish with buttons, flowers, etc or leave plain. Carry it with you to your coffee shop and say “no thanks, I have my own cozie” and be the envy of everyone in the place :)