Saturday, June 22, 2013

Calendar and Spiral Punch Page Projects

Make your own custom calendar, birthdates "minder", 
or monthly reminder flip chartusing cut designs or series available
from SnapDragon Snippetsthrough the Silhouette America online store.
Different variations and details are presented for each of the three.
Find project details and prep processes for all 
with the following images and descriptions.
(Find the names of cut designs used at the end of the post.)
 The largest calendar project in this post is finished at 8.5 x 11 inches. I have cut the inside pages from white 12x12 cardstock sheets using the spiral binding cut pages cut file design. I selected a pre-cut 8.5x11 inch paper for my cover which cannot be cut with the holes in the regular fashion at a size that matches the cutting size. To make it work, I modified the cut file in Silhouette Designer Studio to cut a contrast header (red top strip), then glued it to the top of my paper after trimming a little from the tan sheet so the holes would show through (see following images for more details on this).

I used the Calendar 2014 cover (file also includes numbers for updating to 2015 or 2016 for the next two years). The cut file includes the shell flourish, "calendar" script text, swoosh, bracket and bracket liner. I punched the bottom hole to match the other cut pages.

Here you can see the 3/8" or so trimmed from the top of my cover (and backing) sheets. The red "header" strip was modified to about 1" long (then trimmed to about 3/4"). To modify the page to prepare and cut JUST the header strip, use the "Modify Points" tool that is below the "Direct Select" tool on the upper left tools panel. "Ungroup" and "Release Compound Path" for the page, then move the bottom corner points up to desired position. Take care not to move the page, or the holes will not line up with the other pages. When done, re-group or restore the compound path.

The previous photo shows the full tan sheet top edge trimmed away to expose holes of header strip. This image shows an even better approach to this. INSTEAD of trimming all the way across, I carefully left a tiny uncut margin at each edge. This allowed me to clue the header in place matching the original top cut edge of header and page. When the glue dried, I could simply tear through the remaining margins. 
Here is the finished cover with the header in place. The backside cover of the calendar might need the same treatment if using pre-cut 8.5x11 sheet.

 Here is a tip for transferring letters or numbers to preserve the original spacing. Use a piece of masking tape (stick to your clothing or something similarly lint-y to decrease the stickiness so it won't harm your cutting mat tackiness) to stick lightly to the number fronts. Then lift them off carefully.

Then apply glue to the number backsides before positioning as a unit in place inside the bracket. After glue dries, carefully remove the tape.

For the days and dates grid, I used the 2014 Calendar (here showing April from the Mar & Apr design; month grids are available in pairs). The numbers are fused with the grid in the original cut design, with the month title text separate. The delicacy of these cutting lines warrants a good new blade and a very functional (sticky) cutting mat. Take care when removing the grid after it is cut.

For this inside of your calendar, you can choose to hang it "double-tall" and use decorative cut designs, photographs or prints to embellish the top of the hanging page. These decorations would be placed on the "backside" of the previous month's calendar grid page.

I have used the designs from dozen quilt squares for my decorations. Just the squares with outer frames trimmed slightly, and the hanging holes eliminated prior to cutting were prepared.

Once  month pages and front and back covers are completed, stack and align the top edge holes. Use a plastic spiral coil to bind them together. I obtained the coils individually from my full-service printer (UPS Store) for a very minimal cost.

Begin at one end and insert the tip into the first hole. Roll the coil between your fingers (roll coil toward the right in this case). 

Continue to turn the coil and watch how the coils easily roll into each successive hole punch. As the insertion progresses, it is easier to actually place the rolling fingers above the page top.

I think you'll be surprised how easily this works. I was!

When fully inserted, trim the excess coil about one extra "curl" from each end of the paper. (Coils I purchased are about 12 inches long.)

This image shows a different project. The excess coil end is tucked into the final hole. Do this for each end to prevent the coil from coming loose.

This smaller calendar version features a few different details. Here is the smaller cover using the 7x7.5  spiral cut size. The number portion has been left off the cover and the "date minder" panel included.

NOTE: this sample is actually smaller than the 7x7.5 page size, so the "June" will fit above the calendar grid, and the page includes a hole punch at center bottom.

This is the June page for this variation. It also hangs "double-long".

The calendar grid was scaled to 80% reduced size prior to cutting for this smaller version.

Since nearly each month includes some blank cells, there is a convenient space for making note of notable dates, like birthdays.

Use the print and cut tools and features in Silhouette Designer Studio to ungroup and release the compound path of the individual calendar grids, then use that cut opening shape as the cutting guide lines. The text is also set up on the page, working within the rounded rectangle shape inside Studio. Use the print cutting registration marks tool and other steps to accomplish this handy detail. (See the Silhouete youtube channel for tutorials.)

As an alternative to the print and cut process, use regular typesetting program (like Word) to prepare your text, test for size, print, then lightly trace the opening and rotary or hand cut it slightly larger than the traced size. Apply adhesive to the backside of the grid around the selected opening, then position and affix the cutout shape behind the grid window opening.

Here is a closeup of the calendar grid. I have color coded the grid dates to the birthdays listing on the bottom using punched or cut colored dots.

This is the smallest version, a "perpetual" birth dates listing without the calendar grid. Prepare it using the 6x4 inch spiral binding page size. Then use the print and cut process and the text tool inside Designer Studio to set up the Month and the dates listing. Choose smaller cut designs appropriate to each month to embellish the page. This one is "heart strawberry."

Here is a list of the cut file designs used for these projects:
2014 calendar jan & feb, mar & apr, may & june, july & aug, sept & oct, nov & dec
calendar cover 2014-2016
dozen squares quilt blocks (jan - dec)
spiral binding punch pages
heart strawberry

June On the Docket Construction Helps

June On the Docket includes 5 blocks that use  machine paper foundation (mpf) techniques plus dimensional and freezer paper applique. Since most of the mpf sections follow standard procedures, please refer to previous Docket tutorials of the Log Cabin block tutorial for review of that technique.

Review these project-specific tips and helps to construction your fabric mini quilt version of June On the Docket. 

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for this project, go to the Hearthsewn Patterns website by clicking this link: then scroll to the 'O' portion of the alphabetical listing. 

 For dimensional applique collar and tie, trace template shapes onto fabric backsides as shown. Collar is traced on doubled fabric. Tie on single layer

Adjust stitching to short length, then stitch around collar on traced line, carefully pivoting at corners and inside angles. Use matching thread.

Trim away excess fabric leaving a scant 1/8" seam allowance. Clip carefully through seam allowance almost to stitching at inside angles. Trim away a little of the excess at collar tips.

Select the "backside of the collar", then separate the layers and carefully cut a clip through the back layer ONLY to allow for turning.

Use a knitting needle, tweezers, or similar tool to turn the collar right side out. Work all angles and corners out fully, then press flat. Top stitch with matching thread neatly near edges, if desired. Fold the sides in toward the center so that the upper outside corners meet neatly. Adjust as necessary, pin or hold in place as you press the creases into the collar.

Prepare the block by cutting and joining A & B patches (step 2). Position collar at seamline, centered side to side, so that the underneath angles align exactly on the seam. When final adjustment is obtained, pin in place. Stitch on crease line (slightly toward the center-block side of the crease) up and back to hold in place.

Prepare the dimensional tie.
From left:
A. Knot has allow. at edges folded back. Un-fold bottom edge.
1. Fold straight end in half, right sides together; stitch across, open seam and finger press. Turn.
2. Position seam down center back and press.
3.Tie piece folded right sides together in half lengthwise and stitched with seam along raw edges. Turn right side out.
4. Position knot bottom crease along tie top seamline, center, and stitch across. (Photo has knot pinned in place.)

With knot pressed upward into position, place the prepared tie applique so that upper crease aligns with meeting point of top collar angled points. Collar front edges should overlap the knot neatly as shown. 

When quilt top and quilting is complete, lower portion is held in place with a bead tie tack. Hand-stitch bead in place invisibly through as many layers of quilt as deemed desireable.

For the Tire Block (page 3), pop can tabs are used for the hubcap detail. Remove tabs from empty cans using pliers.

Use pliers to flatten or pull away any sharp edges that may remain, and to flatten the tab so that it will lay against quilt top appropriately.

(Image of tab hubcap layers and attachment embroidery stitching will go here.)

May On the Docket Construction Helps

May On the Docket has 4 sections that are constructed using machine paper foundation (mpf) piecing techniques. Since, for the most part, this technique is the same for the May project as it is for months previously discussed, refer to February or March, or to the Log Cabin tutorial.
Review the specific tips and helps which follow to assist you in constructing your own fabric mini quilt for May. 

(If you are interested in purchase information, click here: then scroll to the 'O' part of the alphabetical listing.)

Use conventional mpf piecing to complete 
Sections 1, 3 & 4.

To complete the top panel of the mini quilt, trace and cut a left and a right patch using Template A.

Use temporary marker to mark 1/4" seamlines next to the upper inside (angled) edges that will joing to Section 1.

Prepare dimensional ruffle appliques by tracing the template on the backside of 2 layers of apron fabric (pieces laid right sides together).  Adjust machine stitching length shorter. Stitch exactly on traced line. Trim allow allowance at stitching edges to 1/8". Clip to inside corners through seam allowance. Turn. Work seam edges out fully. Press flat. Complete hand running accent stitching near side edges.

Position each on top of Template A patch, adjusting until the upper seamline intersect of ruffle is at marked guidelines as shown. Pin or baste in place. Straight lower edge of ruffles should align with lower cut edge of A patch.

Refer to Step 3 to join A patches to side edges of Section 1. Note that the top edges of ruffles at top of seam should be exactly 1/4" down from top cut edge.

Prepare dimensional skirt following directions as listed in Step 2 of instructions (page 4). Prepare, position and top stitch pockets in place following instructions in Step 4 and within Skirt Template shapes. 

For Section 4, position and affix the fabric patch for #1 background in place. Trim the 

three #1 edges that fall at the edge of the section on the solid outer line (as though this were the final trim).  Position top of skirt applique centered at top of patch #1 of Section 4; pin in place. Move skirt edges inward to align with cut edges of patch #1. Pin, then baste WITHIN the 1/4 seam allowance.

Position fabric for patch #2 in regular sequence for mpf of Section 4. Stitch seam, which will also stitch across and incorporate the raw edges of the skirt dimensional applique.

Press #2 back into position, trim, remove paper in the usual fashion.

Join Section 4 between sections2 & 3. Press seams toward center. 

Here is the layout of the section panels with the background strips (see steps 3 & 5).

Before joining the seams to complete the apron panel, fold back and pin the hem edge of free dimensional apron skirt so it won't get caught in the lower strip seam.

This is the apron panel completely joined.

Complete steps 6 & 7 according to the directions.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Rainbow Fish" Fabric Version of Paper Cut File

A favorite children's picture book is the inspiration for a paper cut design recently made available through the online store at Silhouette America. 
"Rainbow Fish" is the name of the design, and the name of the book.

Here is a cover art of the children's book..

Here is a thumbnail image of the cut file design...

The fabric quilt panel is a slightly modified version of the cut file design. 
Just hoping to provide a little cross-craft inspiration, 
and a reason to read with youngsters and share a great message.

Monday, June 10, 2013

July On the Docket Kit Chart June 2013

Below is the swatch kit chart for
July On the Docket mini quilt project kit
available for purchase from Quilts, Etc. in Sandy, Utah
(Contact the store: 801-255-2666 opt. 2)

The On the Docket series of mini quilts is available
in a series of four patterns. For mail order purchase,

NOTE: The kit should include two different pieces of the background fabric. Use the narrower piece for completing the roof sections, and after that, any other paper piecing where this fabric is wide enough to supply the required patch(s). The larger piece should accommodate the larger background areas above the roof, and at the sides of the birdhouse.

Garden Themed Dimensional Paper Crafting

Turning from winter blahs to the sensations of summer, 
the designers at SnapDragon Snippets are developing a favorite theme. 
Sharing here a handful of garden themed designs available 
from the Silhouette America online store.

Cut files:
3d watering can
3d terra cotta pot
3d garden hat
bow - narrow (add on to hat design)
3d garden spade
seed packet

Find more information in tutorials on this blog (terra cotta pot, garden hat, 3d garden spade or on the 3under3andmore blog (3d watering can ).

To see a project that uses these designs together, visit:

"GROW" 3d Letter Box Ensemble

Just in time for warm weather, 
here is the latest in the 3d Letter Box Ensemble series.
This display features 3d letter boxes for three of the letters,
 and a substitute terra cotta pot and watering can for the "r". 

Getting the "GROW"-ing started is
 the magnificent letter G!

The letter boxes in this ensemble come from SnapDragon Snippets cut designs available through the Silhouette America on-line store. For this display, the letter sets have been enlarged from 175% to 200%. Both the lid (front) and the bases are created, then hot glued together, decorated, and mounted on a covered foam core base.

This G front is decorated with three organic flourish shapes cut from double-sided adhesive, creatively applied, then sprinkled with fine green glitter. Leaning nearby is the miniature 3d garden spade with it's tip already seeming to be pushed into the waiting soil.

 In the role of understudy for the regularly-scheduled "R" is a 3d watering can which gently leads the viewer to the "r" suggested by the can's spout and handle shapes. Helping to give the 'r' the presence it deserves is a 3d terra cotta pot, turned bottom up.

Rolling into place is the 'O', its omitted tunnel holes covered by the 3d packet of carrot seeds.

Finishing strong is 'W' - where there's lots going on. Seeming to grow right out of the W is a pair of 3d flat daisy flowers, attached with floral wire and tape to stem wire inserted into punched hole.

Hanging from their customary "peg" (that is, brad), is a pair of garden gloves with jaunty flower embellishment. Also in place is the ladie's straw garden hat. This version of the cut file has been reduced to around 7" diameter.

The DELIGHT is in the details, so let me point out a few that I had fun with. The hat stand is a painted wooden final that is glue-attached to a large hole punched and then cut into the letter layers. The sun hat has spunky ribbon tied around the brim, with yellow eyelets attaching it in place. Cord has been threaded through the brim/band area punched holes, exiting on the hat's interior, with a bead and knot at the ends. 

We hope this is inspiring you
to do little paper crafting of your own!

Cut file designs used in this project:
3d letter boxes: G, O, W
3d watering can
3d garden spade
3d terra cotta pot
3d carrot seed packet
3d flat daisy
3d garden hat
garden gloves
organic flourish
garden glove with flower