Saturday, 17 November 2012

Set the mood with this Festive Fabric Wreath.

With the Festive Season just around the corner it’s time for you crafty gift givers to get cracking. In an effort to help spread the joy, we've put together a few Christmas themed tutorials for you to enjoy.

To start you off here is a DIY fabric wreath from the geniuses behind Quilt Inspirations. Why geniuses you ask? Well, they’ve put together an easy to follow pattern that won’t have to tying fabric strips for days or leave you with blisters on your fingers. Now if that isn't a great gift this Christmas, then we don’t know what is.

You’ll need:
  • One 30.5cm floral styro-foam wreath (if you choose to go with another thickness remember to adjust you measurements accordingly)
  • Dark green fabric for backbone strips (approx. 1 fat quarter)
  • Fabric or ribbon for bow (we used a 26cm x 54cm piece from 1 fat quarter)
  • Assorted fabrics for cross-strips approx. 1.6 to 1.8 meters (7-8 fat quarters)
  • Rotary cutter and cutting mat; 15 x 61cm (6" x 24") quilting ruler
  • T-pins to attach the strips to the wreath 

Backbone strips: Cut the dark green fat quarter into 4cm (1.5") wide strips. You will need 9 -10 strips that are approx. 54cm (21") long.
Cross-strips: Cut the assorted fabrics into 4cm (1.5") wide strips, then cross-cut so the strips are 9cm (3.5") long. To save time, you can cut a stack of 3-4 fabrics as long as your rotary blade is sharp. We first cut the 4cm wide strips without separating them, then simply rotated the cutting mat and made a second set of cuts every 9cm.
Stitch the cross strips to the backbones: Place one dark green backbone strip in the sewing machine and take a few stitches down the middle of the strip to hold it in place (see second photo below). Start adding cross strips as follows: fold one cross-strip in half lengthwise to make a 2cm (3/4") wide strip and pinch it in the middle. Then layer another cross-strip on top and fold it in half lengthwise. We found it easiest to fold and stack the strips flat on the table and then pinch them together as shown above.
Center the stacked cross strips on the backbone and take a few stitches down the middle.
Continue folding and adding cross-strips to the backbone strip, one right after another, as shown in the photos above. You should not need to raise and lower the presser foot as long as you take only a few stitches before you add the next set of strips.
You can use chain piecing if you wish by starting on the next backbone without lifting the needle. Each backbone will hold about 26 stacked cross strips. It will take a little time to sew the strips - but not days! It goes fairly quickly, and soon you will have a tantalizing collection of fluffy strips.
Make the bow: Before you finish stitching all the strips, attach the bow "strings" and bow to one of the backbone strips, about 15cm (6") from the end. First, cut the bow fabric into one 20 x 54cm (8" x 21") strip and one 5 x 54cm (2" x 21") strip. Fold the 20cm (8") wide strip in fourths, lengthwise, making an accordion fold as shown above (first fold the strip in half lengthwise with right sides together; then fold back the raw edges.) This will become the "strings" for the bow.
Then fold the 5cm (2") wide strip to make a flat bow. We've provided a free bow template in a pdf file (download here).

Attach the bow "strings" and bow to one of the backbone strips, about 15cm (6") from the end. First, center the bow strings on the backbone and then layer the flat bow on top of the strings and stitch down the middle, stitching through all layers. When you are done stitching the bow, continue stitching cross pieces onto the backbone.
Assemble the wreath: Start with the strip that has the bow. Center the bow on the front of the wreath form and pin it in place temporarily with a t-pin.

Then start wrapping the strip around the wreath, pushing the bow and cross-strips to the left as you wrap the strip to the right. When have finished wrapping this strip, secure the end with a t-pin (you can tuck the t-pin underneath a cross strip so that it does not show). Also wrap and pin the left end of the strip behind the bow (once both ends are secured, you can remove the pin from the bow.) Keep pinning and wrapping strips around the wreath, one after another, until the entire form is covered. Hint: If you wrap slowly, an inch or two at a time, it will be easy to push aside the cross strips so they do not get caught underneath the strip you are wrapping. When you have gone all the way around the wreath cut off any extra strips. We used about 9.5 strips for our finished wreath. Fluff the wreath with your fingers, straightening out any crumpled strips.

This is a great project to use up all your leftovers and scraps. Don’t forget we also offer GREAT DEALS on off-cuts sold by weight! Just give us a call on our Golden Number 0861 322 839 | 0861 FAB TEX for more info. You can also send us a FRIEND REQUEST on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and stay up to date with the latest news and specials.

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