Friday, January 11, 2008

Arch revisted, box in detail - and a great postcard





Well, remember I said yesterday that the line above the archway bothered me? After auditioning about a million embellishments (ok, maybe a dozen) I decided to add this lace flower, which I think helps tone it down. I promise this is done now and I won't touch it again except to write something on the back. I promise!



A lot of people have talked about having a "word for the year" rather than a resolution, and while I haven't really got one per se, I was thinking that "listen" might be a good one for me - not listen to others, so much, as I like to think I do a fair bit of that already, but listen to myself and my instincts and trust a little more than my artistic sense knows what it's doing. I'm sure most of you can appreciate how hard that can be to do - in fact, it's one of the things that I like about blogging - getting feedback on things. Not that I get much negative feedback (if any) but of course some things get more positive feedback than others, which accomplishes a similar purpose - it tells me what works and what doesn't work so well...

I've had a number of people ask about the box I did yesterday - I didn't take photos to do a step-by-step tutorial, but I promise, it was very simple - here are the basics:
  1. Decide on the size of your box and cut the following pieces of stiff interfacing/craft vilene/timtex: 2 for box top/bottom (mine were 8"x5"); 2 for box front/back (mine were 8 wide x4 high) and 2 for box sides (mine were, you may have worked this out, 4x5. (You could also make one big piece and cut it apart before step 5 if you wanted to. I didn't, because I did the pieces a few at a time while doing other stuff and because I didn't think of it until just now while typing this!)
  2. Fuse fusible adhesive to each side of each piece of the box. If you are using one without paper (like mistyfuse) I would only do one side at a time; if you are using one with paper (like bondaweb), leave the paper on the side you aren't working on.
  3. Lay your scraps on top of the fusible until you are happy with the arrangement; it doesn't matter if they extend off the edge or if they overlap a bit. When happy, iron down, then trim back to the size of the interfacing. Repeat this step until all pieces have scraps fused to both sides.
  4. Stitch down the scraps. With nice thread in bobbin and on the top of the machine, either do some FMQ, or just stich some simple lines, etc. The purpose here is simply to hold the scraps down, the stitching can be as dense (or not) as you like - mine was very simple as I wanted a quick project, and also, I didn't think the box would get much wear, so it doesn't matter if the scraps are mainly held down by fusible. If you wanted to, you could also embellish further at this stage - add buttons, beads, sequins, glitter, you name it. Just leave a gap around the edges so you can...
  5. Finish the edges. This is the slowest part of this project - satin stitching the edges of each piece of the box. Boring, I know, but worth it in the end.
  6. Now, to join the pieces together. This is the part that's going to be a little hard to describe without pictures, but I'll give it a go. Take the bottom and one of the front/back pieces and align them. Using a wide zigzag, fairly long stitch length, zigzag along where the two pieces abut (be sure to backstitch at both ends to keep it from unraveling). This should give you a piece which is joined up, but which hinges back and forth fairly easily. Now do the same with the other front/back piece. And then attach the side pieces to the bottom in the same way - this yields a piece which looks a bit like a "T" or a cross but which is still flat. I'd also attach the top to one of the front/back pieces at this stage in the same manner (though I didn't when I did my box as I was orignally thinking I'd leave it open, like a square bowl, then changed my mind).
  7. Now the tricky bit - sew the sides to the front/back, to make the box 3-D. If you are not a lazy person, the easiest way to sew the sides together is to whipstich them in place by hand. (Simply lift one side and one frontbback upright and stitch) If, however, you are lazy like me, you CAN do this on the machine - here's how - lift the side and the f/b piece upright to make them meet in a corner, then lay them flat on your machine bed, squishing the bottom of the box flattish as you go, as necessary. Now, using the same wide zigzag, stitch down the two piece, being sure to have the stitch extend off the edge of the piece, so that the zigzag isn't too tight - if it IS too tight, the corner won't unfold nicely and meet in a right angle. This probably sounds a bit convoluted, but it should make sense if you actually have the piece in hand at this point. Carry on around the other three corners of the box.
  8. Now it's time to make the fastening for the box - I'm sure there are lots of options, but I went with the easy one - sew a button onto the front of the box, approximately in the middle (I used one with a shank, to make it easier to fasten), then take a piece yarn/cord/etc (I used some gold elastic cord I had leftover from something) and make it into a loop. Loop it around the button to determine where you will need to sew the cord onto the top of the box, then stitch it down either by machine or hand, as you prefer). If desired, you could put another button or something on top to cover this stitching. If you are lazy like me, you'll just leave it.

And that's it. I promise it's not hard - and of course, if you want a faster option, you could use a single piece of fabric on the box pieces rather than scraps, but part of the point of the exercise for me was to use the scraps...

And finally - lookie what I got in the post today. It's even more pretty in real life than in the photo - isn't it lovely? It's from my friend Kandy and is simply an RAK - a thank you for co-moderating on BQL. Aren't I lucky!

8 comments:

Susan said...

Hi!
The arch is great. Yes, it's done! Your word, "listen", is a good one, especially the artist's need to listen to self. You put it beautifully.
Susan

Purple Missus said...

You're right, that piece of lace definitely softens the hard edge. It is done now :)
Thanks for the box tute, much appreciated.

Julie said...

I agree, the arch is finished now. Thanks for sharing the box tute. :) The card you received is lovely.

Judi said...

Thanks for the great tutorial on the box. The arch now looks done. It did have that empty space and I think the lace was just the perfect embellishment. Your word listen is agreat choice.
Judi

Joyce said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I wonder if you could do it all in one piece and then just sew down the four corners using the method you described? I guess I'll have to try it and see.

Penny said...

Love the arch and I am going to find the box tut very useful. Thanks for sharing all you do.

Ruth said...

Thanks for the tutorial!!

carrie said...

That looks better! Thanks for the box tutorial, too.