Monday, February 13, 2012

"A Valentine for Your Stitching Friends"

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast.  It’s the after-Christmas bright spot, in my view, so I make the most of it.  I still have some red candles left over from Christmas, for a romantic dinner for two.  More about that, later.

Your friends who stitch need Valentines, too.  Here’s one that will last a while and remind someone they are special and loved.

This is our newest pattern for a little needle case we call “Heart Etui”.  It takes a few hours to make…….just a few.  It’s about 5” x 5” all in all and consists of two hearts hinged on one side and tied on the other.

I added appliquéd leaves and a flower to the front but you could add whatever decoration you like such as ruched flowers, fussy-cut pieces or yo-yo's.

I cut the fabric pieces out using freezer paper and ironed them to the wrong side of the various fabrics (cotton setting, at least; no steam; 5 seconds), and added a ¼” seam allowance.

 I quilted the batting onto the front and back of the etui so the stitching would show on the outside.

 Each of the three leaves and the six petals were finger-pressed to the back side of the freezer paper and basted all around, except for the bottom inside, which would be under other pieces.  It takes a little planning to figure out how much NOT to baste.  You can see what is needed by, first, laying the pieces out as they will appear in the finished product.

I added the leaves to the front, first pinning, then blind stitching them in place.  I trimmed the inside ends of them, removed the basting, and pulled out the freezer paper

 I laid out the petal pieces to see the order of them and began pinning and blind stitching them in place, starting with the bottom-most petal.

I left the inside ends of the pieces open and removed the freezer paper from there.  Once the basting threads are out, it’s easy to pull the paper out.

Inside, I added a pocket that buttons shut.  Behind the pocket is a space for little scissors, held in by a ribbon.  I used gross grain ribbon for this.  It’s kind of wide, but it wears very well.  Satin ribbon is pretty, but wears out after constant use.  I had some  novelty buttons, as you can see, which add a little whimsy to the effort.

I embroidered the needle pad before attaching it to the inside heart pieces.  All the additions were made before the fronts and insides were sewn together.  You can add any message you like.  Print one out on your computer in a font you like, and trace it onto the pad.

 I added French Knots and Stem Stitching for detail on the flower and leaves.

 The Heart Etui is easy to slip into a purse or bag and take along with you.  You can sew while you wait for an appointment.  I keep several different needle cases with me and have each one fully equipped.  Since I do a lot of appliqué, I can keep my little project in a tote or a baggy with the etui, and sew when time allows.

You can purchase this pattern at Prairie Cottage Corner today.

Sunbonnet Sue is alive and well at Prairie Cottage Corner.  Please visit and see our new quilt patterns and selections.  There's a SALE going on now, too, in our catalog store.  Visit often, please, and tell us about your latest adventures in quilting with Sunbonnet Sue, quilting, applique and other needle adventures.

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