Thursday, March 7, 2013

Accentuate the Positive

Happy Thursday everyone!  I have to admit I love the snow and cold weather, but I am definitely ready for spring.

We recently started a new "project" at church called Accentuate the Positive.  It's just as it sounds; we've all agreed to try to eliminate all of the negative thoughts so we'll be more open to the positive.  I was asked to make a couple of banners for the sanctuary for the occasion so I thought I'd make a project out of the project.  I've done applique before with quilts, but I've never tried to cut fabric with my Cricut even though this is something I've been wanting to try for a while.
The first and one of the most important things to do before you start cutting fabric is to start with a new mat and a new cutting blade.  I have one mat and a cutting blade aside that's just for cutting fabric.  If you cut with a blade that you've used for cutting paper you run the risk of ruining your fabric with a cut that's not complete.  The same with the mat, if you've used the mat many times on other projects the sticky is liable to be disappearing.

Next iron the fabric you'll be using.  I do this after cutting the fabric down to the size I want to use.  I admit I'm a little lazy and hate to iron so if I don't have to iron the entire fabric I'm all for it.  Once the fabric has been pressed add the stabilizer onto the back side of the fabric.  I cut the stabilizer to the size of the fabric to avoid a huge mess on the ironing board.  Make sure the stabilizer is adhering well to all areas of the fabric, any loose stabilizer will again cause the fabric to not cut correctly.

Put the fabric onto your mat.  This is where I was worried because I had heard to do it both ways (stabilizer up or stabilizer side down on the mat).  I'll admit I only tried it with the stabilizer side down because I didn't want to have to bother with flipping all of my letters. (I will do anything to avoid making more work for myself).  You are now ready to cut.

Load the mat into your machine as you normally would.  I use a Gypsy so I load my mat through that.  Cut the letters/design as normal.

Once you've cut the letters out and removed them from the mat, remove the paper from the back of the  fabric/stabilizer, center the design on the main fabric and iron this down completely.  I used the heavy duty stabilizer in the red bag (heat n' bond).  I don't think the banners will be moved around a lot, but I didn't want the design coming off.  After I ironed the design on the fabric I sewed the words onto the fabric.

All the letters were cut from the Alphalicious cartridge at 5".  I welded all letters together using my Gypsy.  I did add the Disciples of Christ chalice, but it's a little different from the chalice on the Inspired Hearts cartridge so I had to use a design I found on the computer.

Once I had everything sewn onto the fabric I pressed it once again, the added a back as well as two sleeves (one on the top and one on the bottom) to slip curtain rods through.  This could possible be left off the bottom, but I thought that would add weight and help the banners to hang correctly.

The two finished banners!  Hope you find the inspiration to craft today, and remember to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.