Quilted Floral Tote Bag created for Gina B Silkworks

Good evening. Gina Barrett is back on Create & Craft TV tomorrow bringing back her new Flower Comb Ribbon Ruching Tools. Show time: Friday 13th April at 11am – Freeview Channel 23. You can also watch online live or on catch up via their website.

These are fantastic tools for quickly marking out ribbon with a variety of ruching patterns. Simply stitch along the marked lines and gather to create gorgeous ruched trims and flowers. Gina has also put up a Flower Comb instructional video on her YouTube Channel so you can see how the Flower Combs work.

The show is bringing a great deal on a Mega Bundle that contains everything. Gina’s new instruction book, all the new Flower Comb sets, ribbons, thread, fabric marker and Kanzashi starch. It’s on interest free Flexi Buy too which always helps to spread the cost of bigger craft stash ‘needs’. Individual comb sets are also available on the show or via Gina B Silkworks.

I have had so much fun creating samples for the show and have lots to share today with more posts coming later xxx.

Floral Tote Bag

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I made this floral tote bag using recycled cream curtain lining, curtain interlining and old bed sheets. I love to recycle.

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I dyed the lining using purple machine dye (Dylon). The fabric for the outer was first painted with dilute pink and purple fabric paints, letting the colours bleed together to create a mottled background (Vajello paints from Colouricious).

I then block printed with leaves and flowers (Colouricious blocks) using Vajello paints (purple and deep pink) and Starlight fabric paint (metallic gold). Tip: When block printing it is essential to use a foam pad underneath – the wooden blocks need a cushion to print properly.

Fabics were then heat set with ironing and washed to remove any excess colour.

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The outer panels were laid over curtain interlining (cotton interlining is like a thin wadding/batting) and free machine quilted with beige cotton thread.

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Handles were created by stitching strips together. I used a machine decorative stitch to embellish.

Recycled pink and yellow cotton strips were torn from old bed sheets and further colouring added using pink and purple alcohol ink markers. An alcohol blender pen was used to blend the colour. Colour was fixed with ironing. I enhanced the soft frayed edges by pulling away strands.

I used the Rococo Flower Comb set to create the ribbon flowers and ruched strips. I added a felt circle and seed beads to the centre of the flatter flower. The bell flowers were created by wrapping ruched strips around stamens making a cone shape. Note: the stamens are not really washable but I did check that they did not run colour if dunked in soapy water and wet under a tap. There would be nothing worse than colour running everywhere or transferring to clothes if caught out in a rain shower.

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Finally I stitched it all together. I made the lining panels slightly taller than the outer so that the lining created a border along the top, then top stitched through all the layers to hold neatly in place.

I have one more ribbon flower sample to blog later and it’s a wowzer – even if I say so myself. Back soon xxx

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Wedding Pillow Embellished with Ribbonwork Flowers

Good evening. Gina Barrett is back on Create & Craft TV tomorrow bringing back her new Flower Comb Ribbon Ruching Tools. Show time: Friday 13th April at 11am – Freeview Channel 23. You can also watch online live or on catch up via their website.

These are fantastic tools for quickly marking out ribbon with a variety of ruching patterns. Simply stitch along the marked lines and gather to create gorgeous ruched trims and flowers. Gina has also put up a Flower Comb instructional video on her YouTube Channel so you can see how the Flower Combs work.

The show is bringing a great deal on a Mega Bundle that contains everything. Gina’s new instruction book, all the new Flower Comb sets, ribbons, thread, fabric marker and Kanzashi starch. It’s on interest free Flexi Buy too which always helps to spread the cost of bigger craft stash ‘needs’. Individual comb sets are also available on the show or via Gina B Silkworks.

I have had so much fun creating samples for the show and have lots to share today with more posts coming later xxx.

Wedding Pillow

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I made this heart shaped pillow using recycled curtain lining and a pale pink gold foiled organza gift bag that I couldn’t bear to throw away. I love to recycle. Even the stuffing was taken from an old bed pillow that had lost its shape. Everything was well laundered and no-one would ever know that this was made mainly from scraps and junk.

First I made a heart template from scrap computer paper taped together to make a sheet approx 12 X 12 inches square. I folded the paper in half and drew a half heart, then opened out. This ensures that the heart is equal on both sides. The heart template measured approx 11.5 inches at it’s widest X 9.5 inches deep.

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I used the template to cut X 2 each of cream cotton curtain lining and organza plus recycled curtain interling to provide extra stability and padding (cotton interlining is like a thin wadding/batting). I stitched around the heart using a 1/2 inch seam attaching a ribbon hanger to the top and leaving an opening in the side for turning through. I left a wide enough gap to pass my fingers through and make stitching on embellishments easier. The seam edges of the opening were folded in and tacked (basted) to hold the layers together and help stop them fraying while working on the next stages.

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Next I created a couple of ribbon hangers to hold the wedding rings (brass curtain rings in the pic). I used thin gold satin ribbon and attached using small snap fasteners, so that the rings could be easily attached and removed.

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I used some little pink pads cut from felt to reinforce the fastener attachments. I traced the circle shapes from the Leaves and Buds Comb sets directly onto the felt using a soft pencil, then cut out. Circles are always tricky to cut neatly just by eye. These will be hidden under the floral embellishments so stitching did not have to be perfect. Functionality was more important.

I used instructions from Gina’s new Ribbonwork Flowers Book plus the Leaf and Bud Comb set, along with the Rococo Flower Comb set, to create the satin ribbon flowers, buds and leaves used to embellish the pillow.

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I created an array of overlap and doucet leaves following instructions from the book and Comb 36 (Leaves and Buds set). The green leaves were made from ribbon and the gold leaves from scrap pieces of gold foiled organza (from the recycled gift bag).

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Flowers were made using gold and cream satin ribbons, wrapping the gathered strips around flower stamens and stitching into a cone shape (Combs 1 and 3 – Rococo Set).

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Leaf shapes were also created with pink organza ribbon to create buds. These were stitched in place building out from the pillow centre and disguising the snap fasteners.

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Extra ribbons were also stitched in place to create little swags.

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I continued building from the centre outward.

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I created a hand made tassel to finish off the design. The tassel head was created with rolled paper strips using templates printed from Gina’s Paper Lathe CD. A brilliant pattern resource for making hundreds of different shaped tassel moulds and for rolled paper beads too.

I painted the tassel head with gold acrylic. The tassel was made with short strands of cream Cotton Broder left over from another project (most would of thrown these away but I can never waste anything –tee hee). I loved the effect of the varied lengths. Knotting the thread ends added extra interest. I created the loop hanger using macramé.

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The cushion was then stuffed and the opening closed (stitching up by hand).

I hope that you like my wedding pillow made mostly from rubbish.

 

Off to write up blogs for my other samples. Back soon xxx.

Woven Bangle created for Gina B Silkworks

Good afternoon. Gina Barrett is back on Create & Craft TV tomorrow bringing back her new Flower Comb Ribbon Ruching Tools. Show time: Friday 13th April at 11am – Freeview Channel 23. You can also watch online live or on catch up via their website.

These are fantastic tools for quickly marking out ribbon with a variety of ruching patterns. Simply stitch along the marked lines and gather to create gorgeous ruched trims and flowers. Gina has also put up a Flower Comb instructional video on her YouTube Channel so you can see how the Flower Combs work.

The show is bringing a great deal on a Mega Bundle that contains everything. Gina’s new instruction book, all the new Flower Comb sets, ribbons, thread, fabric marker and Kanzashi starch. It’s on interest free Flexi Buy too which always helps to spread the cost of bigger craft stash ‘needs’. Individual comb sets are also available on the show or via Gina B Silkworks.

I have had so much fun creating samples for the show and have lots to share today with more posts coming later xxx.

Woven Floral Bangle

To create the woven bangle I used the Beadalon Bangle Weaver Tool (Beads Direct), recycled sari silk strips, monofilament and a few beads.

AW Flower Bangle 1

I have already blogged full instructions on using the bangle weaver tool.

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I used the Rococo Flower Comb set (Gina B Silkworks) to create the satin ribbon flower embellishment; ribbons varying in width from 15mm to 3.5cm. The flower centre was finished with microbeads and a pearl cabochon, glued in place with Fevicryl (glue designed to stick beads and gems to fabric).

Off to write up blogs for my other samples. Back soon xxx.

Gina Barrett is on Create & Craft TV with new Flower Combs

Gina is bringing brand new flower making combs to Create & Craft TV Monday 5pm (Freeview Channel 23 – or watch online from their website). Here is a peek of what I have been making with mine x.

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AW Flower Bangle 2

AW Wedding Pillow 13

Creating flowers from ribbons or fabric strips is really easy using the new combs – I will blog more details of my samples soon.

Kanzashi Flower Pincushion

Good afternoon. I entered this pincushion with Kanzashi flower top (tools and instructions from Gina B Silkworks) into the Create and Craft Gallery and to my delight I won Crafter of the Month. How wonderful is that. I got a voucher for £20 which didn’t take me long to spend. I bought some yummy Tilda fabric that I had been eyeing up for a while.

AW Kanzashi Pincushion 2

AW Kanzashi Pincushion

Materials:

  • 100% cotton fabrics (mixed red and white – was from Create & Craft but now out of stock)
  • Recycled old button, tapestry wool and metallic thread (to make wrapped button)
  • Small plain button (for the base)
  • Narrow ribbon (gold satin) and faux gem (gold)
  • Toy stuffing
  • Bradawl (sharp ‘pointy tool’) and tapestry needle (to attach button)
  • Kanzashi Project Card Pack
  • Kanzashi Hanabira Ruler , Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat (optional for cutting small fabric strips and squares)
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Tool Kit (optional: Gluing Table, Glue Spreader, Turntable and Drying Station)
  • Kanzashi Petal Holders (optional: includes Petal Holder and Medium Drying Table)
  • Kanzashi Starch Adhesive
  • PVA glue (clear drying) and GemTac glue (for gluing gems to fabric)
  • Tweezers (for holding and manipulating petals)
  • Needle and thread plus sewing machine (optional – could stitch by hand)

How it was made:

  1. Four 3 ½ inch squares were cut from the cotton. Two pieces were sewn right sides together to make each cushion pad using a ¼ inch seam, leaving a small gap for turning. The cushions were turned out through the gap, stuffed and the gap hand stitched to finish.
  2. The wrapped button was created by wrapping an old plastic button with wool and then weaving with metallic thread. I made this one a while ago using instructions from Gina’s Button Making Workshop Manual. A brilliant book covering thread wrapped buttons, ring buttons, knot buttons and embroidered buttons. Narrow ribbon was thread through and tied to the back of the button. A bradawl was used to push a hole through the pincushion stack and the ribbon passed through with a tapestry needle. A small plain button was used on the base and the ribbon passed through the holes and tied tightly to indent the cushion shape.
  3. I used the instructions from Gina’s pattern card pack to make the Kanzashi Flower. I adapted the Maple Leaf Pattern and made 8 sets of petals using the pointed petal folding method. I used 30mm fabric squares for the outer patterned petals and 25mm squares for the inner plain red petals. I used the Hanabira ruler, rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat to cut the squares. These are not essential (you could use scissors) but if you like this craft these are definitely worth getting as they make cutting out the tiny squares so much easier and quicker. Tweezers really helped with the folding and manipulating. Kanzashi Starch is an essential to hold everything in place while constructing these.
  4. Although not essential, I found the Gluing Table, Petal Holder, Turntable and Drying Table really helpful too. You sit the petals in a layer of Kanzashi Glue while building more (stops them pinging back open). Petals are then glued in place with PVA onto a scrap of cotton on the Turntable. The built flower is then placed on the drying table.
  5. After drying the base cotton scrap was snipped close to the petals. Ribbon and the finished flower were glued to the button and a gem glued to the centre.

Mixed Media Kanzashi Pom Pom Flower using Powertex

Today I am sharing another of my Kanzashi flower show samples created for Gina Barrett. To make the flowers I followed instructions for the Kanzashi Hydrangea (from Gina-B Silkworks). Basically tiny 15mm squares of silk are folded up to create little fabric petals. I used the Kanzashi starch adhesive to help hold the petals until ready to glue on and build the flowers. These little flowers are very fiddly so it’s not really the best project for an absolute beginner. A fair bit of swearing was involved here – tee hee hee.

 

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I used Powertex to create a mini vase and to coat a polystyrene ball with silk strips. Powertex is a fabric hardener which stiffens, glues, seals and protects natural fabrics and fibres – great for mixed media work.

I pushed a twisted wire (coated with florist tape) into the base of a small polystyrene ball – gluing with a little Powertex. I then covered the ball with strips of Powertex treated silk and dried before adding the tiny silk petals to build the flowers. I used fast grab PVA to glue them on, and Gemtac Glue to add the centre pearls.

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I used larger silk squares to make sepals and a leaf on the stem.

The mini vase was made with the inner card tube from a kitchen foil roll. I built out the shape using pads of kitchen foil and wrapped with masking tape. I then coated it with Powertex and with strips of Powertex treated silk, and secured the wire into the top. I stuffed the middle of the tube with cotton wool to give stability and a bit of weight. I dry brushed over the texture using metallic acrylic paint and then covered with tiny flowers and faux gems.

I painted the little flowers on the vase with transparent Powertex using a small brush. The fine silk soaks it up easily. I left the leaf and pom pom flower untreated as I liked the contrast in feel and texture.

Materials:

  • Kanzashi Hydrangea Project Card (Kanzashi Project Card Pack)
  • Kanzashi Starch Adhesive
  • Transparent Powertex
  • Polystyrene ball (approx. 1.5 inch diameter)
  • Twisted copper wire wrapped with florist tape (to make stem)
  • Recycled sari silk strips (variegated vintage greens, pinks, browns)
  • Kitchen foil card inner tube
  • Kitchen foil and masking tape (for building out the pot shape)
  • Cotton wool (stuffing)
  • Faux gems and flat backed pearls (pink, blue, pearl, green)
  • Acrylic paint (metallic pink) and PVA glitter glue (green)
  • PVA glue (fast grab/tacky glue), Gemtac Glue (sticks glass, plastic or metal gems & beads to fabric)

Optional extras:

I used additional tools for making the flowers which are really helpful and make the process easier. They are not essential but you will probably want to get them if you decide that you like this craft.

  • Pack of straight and bent fine tweezers – great for manipulating fiddly items such as the small fabric squares while folding. I would say that tweezers of some sort are pretty essential – especially when making these tiny fiddly flowers.
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Tool Kit – contains a mini turntable, gluing table and spreader plus a small drying table. Great to have.
  • Petal Holders & Medium Drying Table – another useful kit if wanting to make several flowers. Contains 2 sets of petal holders (for small and larger petals) plus a bigger drying table (for more flowers).
  • Kanzashi Hanabira Ruler – another great tool for cutting small fabric squares. It can be used with a rotary cutter or to draw cutting lines if you are not comfortable with using a rotary cutter.
  • Small rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat. If you are new to using these please take great care as the rotary blade is razor sharp! Always engage the blade safety cover between every cut. Never cut towards yourself, and take care where you place your hands and fingers while cutting.

Adjustable Kanzashi Flower Ring Powertex Jewellery

Today I am sharing a pretty little adjustable Kanzashi flower ring created using fine printed cotton fabric which has been treated with Transparent Powertex to stiffen and protect it. Treating with Powertex adds strength and protects against dirt. Ideal for jewellery pieces.

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing Kanzashi flower making but most are using synthetic ribbons which are joined and sealed by melting. I used instructions from Gina-B Silkworks (this was a sample for her recent show on Create & Craft TV). Gina’s method is the traditional Japanese way using natural fabrics (silk or cotton). Being natural fibres these little flowers are simply ideal for treating with Powertex. Ready-made silk flowers could work very well too.

 

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Really pretty and comfortable to wear (sorry that my hands are older crafters hands and not modelling quality – tee hee).

 

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The ring is adjustable so easy fitting.

 

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I coloured the back to match the wire colour. You can also see the adjustable ring form more easily in this pic – the backing and flower being secured to one of the flat wire coils.

 

Note: One thing to consider when using transparent Powertex is how it will affect the colour of the fabric. It will considerably darken many fabrics, giving them the appearance of their colour when wet. Always test out a spare scrap first so as not to be disappointed. The printed cotton that I used here changed very little in colour so I was really pleased with the result.

 

Tools and Materials:

Optional extras:

I used additional tools for making the flowers which are really helpful and make the process easier. They are not essential but you will probably want to get them if you decide that you like this craft.

  • Pack of straight and bent fine tweezers – great for manipulating fiddly items such as the small fabric squares while folding, and for placing the petals. I would say that tweezers of some sort are pretty essential unless you have really nimble fingers.
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Tool Kit – contains a mini turntable, gluing table and spreader plus a small drying table. Great to have.
  • Petal Holders & Medium Drying Table – another useful kit if wanting to make several flowers. Cotains 2 sets of petal holders (for small and larger petals) plus a bigger drying table (for more flowers).

How it was made:

AW Kanzashi

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My Kanzashi flower makes using the starter kit. I used the 7 petal rainbow one for the ring.

  1. I used the in Gina’s starter kit to make the seven petal rainbow flower. Basically little fabric squares are folded to make petals. The raw edges of the petals are then placed in thick Kanzashi starch to hold their shape while making up all the petals and building the flower. The petals are then glued to a base piece of cotton using PVA glue and left to dry overnight. Excess fabric on the base is then snipped away. I glued a small metal brad into the centre with Gemtac glue. Sorry that I am unable to give full instructions here for the flower as the specifics of this flower design belong to Gina.
  2. To make the adjustable ring I wrapped the wire around a ring mandrel and tapped the wire lightly with the hammer to work harden the ring structure. A nylon hammer helps protect against stripping off the coloured coating.
  3. I trimmed the wire and made a small curl on one side using the round nosed pliers. On the other side I made a larger curl, big enough to sit the flower onto the front and the wooden cabochon onto the back. I worked hardened and slightly flattened the wire curls using the hammer and steel block.
  4. I added a coat of clear Powertex to the back/base of the flower and wooden cabochon and left until touch dry. I then added another coat of Powertex (as a glue) and used Powertex Easy Structure to fill the voids in the wire curl, attaching the wooden cabochon to the back and flower to the front of the larger wire curl, and left it to cure overnight. The Easy Structure paste makes a nice solid bridge holding everything securely onto the back and front of the wire curl. A little Stone Art Clay would also work. Note: If you don’t have a suitable wooden cabochon a thick card/board or MDF shape could be substituted. I would advise an absorbent natural material for a strong bond with the Powertex. It also needs to be smooth so as not to scratch or irritate the skin when wearing.
  5. I then painted the cabochon and flower with Transparent Powertex, working it well into the fabric flower and crevices with a brush. Tip: If you find that you have big blobs or pools of Powertex use a piece of cotton rag to lightly dab and mop up the excess, or it can dry giving shiny blobby areas which will spoil the natural look and texture of the fabric flower. Leave to dry.
  6. Finally I painted the back of my cabochon attachment and flower base using Starlight acrylic paint. The colour match was simply perfect for the metallic pink wire that I used. If you are using copper, silver or gold plated wires you could paint with Colortricx pigment and Easy Varnish instead (to coordinate with your wire).

Powertex treatment has made this delicate fabric flower ring much more robust and protected against dirt – a more functional piece of jewellery. For further protection and full waterproofing you could add a final coat of Easy Varnish.