Monday, October 18, 2010

Crafty Secrets Sewing Challenge

A special heartfelt welcome to this month's guest designer Sheila Rumney!

When creating a project have you ever tried a stitch here or there? Whether by hand or machine, stitching adds an eye appealing dimension to your designs. For this month's challenge, design team members were to add any type of stitching to their creations. I used my trusty sewing machine and went to town! Since the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to make that an underlying theme of this little mini album. Just a small momento to tell a gal that she is not alone and warm hugs, prayers, and memories surround her.

I experimented with different stitches on my basic sewing machine. Each page has a straight stitch border with an ivory thread and dark brown thread base to give more depth and shadow. I think it is important to pick one color and stick with it throughout your design. Make sure it is complimentary to your color palette.

You can see on one of my envelopes that I used a blanket stitch with the default setting. On the cute prayer picture next to it, I used a straight stitch but increased the length of the stitch. The shabby tag is a mixture of two different stitches. Doing this, created a simple vintage feel that I love! Start out with a longer straight stitch then stop your machine and switch the stitch to zig zag. Stitch a few zigs and zags, then switch back to the straight stitch (I like using a longer straight stitch for this). Finally, under my "girlfriend" stamped image there is a faux zigzag stitch stamped below.

Other tips:
  • make sure you have a strong needle that can handle thick papers in your machine
  • make sure you have enough thread in your bobbin to avoid unnecessary holes in your project
  • sew your mats on your layouts to save money on adhesives. Just a dab in the middle will do!
  • experiment with lengths and widths of stitches and jot down your favorites
  • try using a darker color thread on your bobbin to give a little shadow and attention to hole punctures
  • experiment with different threads. I just L-O-V-E the variegated color thread!
Recipe for this mini album:
Crafty Secrets Little Blessings Creative Scraps
Crafty Secrets Girlfriends Images & Journal Notes
Crafty Secrets Sew Art Stamps
Melissa Frances - paper. glitter, rose applique
Maya Road - album, leaf pin
Websters Pages - rosette trim
Vintage - lace, doilies, ribbons, buttons, cookie cutter, wool roving
Other - tea stained envelopes, wooden heart, white acrylic paint, flower applique, tea stained paper doilies and tag, shabby fabric

There are so many different ways to add stitching to your own special projects! Check out our other Design Team members to see what tips and techniques they have to share!

Heartwarming Vintage Blog

Crafty Secrets website



  1. Beautiful Mary, love the theme!

  2. What a beautiful album, Mary--love all your special details!


  3. Oh my gosh this is BEAUTIFUL! I love all of the pretty embellishments you added!

  4. How beautiful! I love all of the details on your project! very pretty.

  5. Darling album Mary!! So sweet and vintagy! Great sewing tips also!

  6. Gorgeous, Mary! You put a lot of work into your projects, but they are soooo worth it!

    Meesh. x

  7. This is so pretty, Mary! Love it!

  8. This is truly a gift that will be cherished! Absolutely gorgeous! :)

  9. Beautiful! I so admire people that can put together so many elements and make it look fabulous. TFS

  10. This is so pretty - love the way you've stitched around the little envelope - I will definitely try that! :)

  11. Your mini book is so beautiful. I really love the soft colours.

  12. Beautiful! So much detail :)

  13. This is gorgeous! I love your shabby style! It is always fun to find fellow-shabby girls! :) Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent!


  14. wonderful sewing...truly beautiful cards

  15. Oh Mary, your work is GORGEOUS!! I've been looking at all of your past post, and I so love your vintage/shabby style. I have added your blog to my bookmarks, and will visit often :) Glad you are here with us this month. Hugs Linda Duke

  16. Wow!!! This is fabulous, what an amazing creation!

  17. mary...this is absolutely every way possible. TFS!

  18. This is absolutely beautiful!! Love that envelope! I am sure the recipient will feel loved and encouraged : )

  19. Sorry to be so late in commenting! This is breathtakingly beautiful!!! So many wonderful elements!!!