Sunday, May 19, 2013

Teacher T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U Gift

The school year is coming to a close which means it is time to tell our teachers how much we appreciate them!  I like to involve my boys whenever possible so I decided to modify a cute Christmas card we received last year.  The card said "PEACE" but it was spelled out with 5 pictures of the kids holding the individual letters P-E-A-C-E.  Simple but so cute.

To make our Thank You cards, I started with construction paper and sketched the letters in a bold black marker.  I set the boys up at the table with markers and stickers and told them to decorate the letters however they wanted...  (this was a school morning...they were ready...but I was this was a great "busy" activity while I got my act together!)

All Things Applique Blog

Once the letters were done...we went outside to our front porch and I took pictures of the boys holding their letters in front of a neutral background. I loaded them into Picasa (a FREE photo editing software) and did some cropping/straightening/lighting adjustments. The final step was to pick my favorite of each letter and create a collage (also using Picasa). I ordered some 5X7 cards from Walgreens (using a great coupon) and picked them up the next morning.

  All Things Applique Blog

I think they were a big hit...and we just might use them again for my boys' joint birthday party later this summer!

We also gave our teachers new books for their classroom. I thought this would be something that gets used often and I wrote a note inside each book cover so the teachers would remember our kids when they read these books to their classes over the next years...

All Things Applique Blog

(in case you are wondering...the books from left to right are We Are in a Book (piggie and elephant...we LOVE these!), Yummy Yucky, Color Book, Put Me in a Zoo (Dr. Suess, of course!)).

The last "thank you" I did was for our preschool Director. She had given me some blank white capes several months ago and mentioned that she "heard" I could sew. Does that happen to any of you??? People find out about your little hobby and you get volunteered? I am not complaining...I was happy to do it...and my boys absolutely loved that I was able to do these for their classrooms. Just a part of the job I guess! :)

Anyhow...I decided to keep them somewhat gender neutral and simple by using our new Lightning Bolt and Star on Circle patches using different color felt. They were quick to sew but turned out really cute...and I hear the classrooms have lots of new superheros these days!

All Things Applique Blog

Do you have any teacher thank yous/crafts to share? If so, please link up in our comment section below and share your wonderful work!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Zig and the Zag on Chevron

Chevron is truly ALL the rage these days.  You can find chevron rugs, chevron aprons, chevron website templates, chevron mugs...and yes, chevron fabric!  I thought you guys might enjoy a few tips about the different types, where to find it, and how to best use it for all things applique. 

First, there are several sizes of chevron as well as colors. 

For most of my applique work, I prefer to work with the small chevron.  Remember, the larger the chevron, the less often it repeats.  So, on smaller applique designs, the small chevron pattern will repeat more frequently and have more of an impact. 

All Things Applique Blog - Chevron

Here is the frequency of pattern repeat for each size:
Small: horizontal repeat = 1" vertical repeat = 1"
Medium: horizontal repeat = 2" vertical repeat = 2"
Large: horizontal repeat = 4" vertical repeat = 4"
(pictures and measurements are from Riley Blake)

After deciding on the have the tough choice of picking what color you want.  I'll take one of each, please.  Most of the basic colors come in an alternating white chevron pattern or a tone on tone chevron pattern.  Both of these can make your applique design feel different.  I think the tone on tone is a little more subdued...where the white chevron make more of a bold statement.  Again...both are great and I will still take one of each.  Ha!

All Things Applique Blog - Chevron

But don't settle for just the basic colors of the rainbow...there are now multi-color chevrons!  Check out the picture below for just a few examples.  I know I will be using the Halloween and Christmas chevron in some of my fall designs...and they have lots of color combos perfect for football season!  Any Auburn/Alabama divided houses out there?  Check out the orange/blue/crimson/grey chevron!  Perfect. 

All Things Applique Blog - Chevron

Have you made your wish list yet? let's get shopping. 

I am going to share a handful of places to buy chevron.  But...before I go on...please understand this is a very small list...there are LOTS of places to get your hands on this super fun fabric.  But, if you hit a wall and just can't find it anywhere...I hope some of these links will help.

My first stop is usually Etsy.  I just typed in "chevron fabric fat quarter" and got 1713 results.  That should keep me stocked for while, don't you think?  I have ordered from Half Stitched before and received my fabric very fast!  I have also been impressed with the selection at The Fabric Shoppe.
But again, there are so many out just have fun looking...mark a few as your favorite...then make a decision.  I have always enjoyed my Etsy experience...but be sure to check a seller's feedback before ordering. 

All Things Applique Blog - Chevron

Next up...fabric/quilting stores.  Being able to shop in person is wonderful...but the next best thing is a great online store!  Here are a few of my go-to online fabric shops:

* TJ Fabrics: they have a lot of assorted fat quarter bundles perfect for applique!
* The Smockingbird: this shop is in my hometown and I always try to stop in and say hello when I am in town...and 9 times out of 10 I leave with a bag of new fabric!  They have chevron and also have a great selection of auburn/alabama prints come football season.
* The Sewing Room: I visited this store for the first time last fall and stocked up on chevron...and got matching embroidery thread at the same time! 

All of the above are in Alabama...which is where I grew up so I guess I am biased...but I do think they are great fabric/sewing resources! 

And here are some of our recent designs that I tested using chevron fabric. It's's fun...and it's in!
All Things Applique Blog - Chevron

What will you make with chevron?
Do you have a great chevron resource? Please share in the comments below!