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Hanging floral hearts – tutorial

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I decided to have a go at making these lovely hanging heart decorations after having some left-over fabric from the Cath Kidston designed “Rosalie” range from Ikea.  The first couple of efforts weren’t that successful as I couldn’t quite figure out after stuffing the heart, how to sew it up neatly so it looks seamless.  However, after some trial and error I finally came up with a method that works that I would like to share with you.

Firstly, decide how big you would like your heart to be.  Mine are usually 10cm x 10cm, but you can make yours as large or as small as you like. Make a paper template.

IMG_0863Cut out 2 squares of matching fabric 2cm bigger all round than the size of the heart. With right sides together, sew a 1cm seam down the centre.  Open up the fabric with right side facing down.  Now you will need another square of fabric, either the same, if you want both sides of the heart identical, or choose another colour.  Place the new square of fabric on top of the square with the seam, wrong sides together and pin to secure.

IMG_0867Place the heart template on top of the sandwiched fabric and draw round it with a fabric marker (or pencil, if you don’t have one to hand!).  Machine stitch over the drawn template.  You could even do this in a contrasting stitch if you like.

Once finished, use pinking shears and cut round the heart with about a 1cm gap all around.

IMG_0868You will then need to unpick the original sewn seam in order to stuff the heart.  Unpick a good inch to enable you to get the stuffing in.  Once stuffed, neatly sew up.  IMG_0869

Finally, using a large darning needle, thread your choice of ribbon and just below the top seam of the heart, insert your needle so it goes through both sides.  You may need to insert some pressure here!

Once you have the required length of ribbon, cut the ribbon and tie in a knot.  Hey presto!  A hanging heart.  IMG_0871 (2)

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imagesGFYRVV38 I love buttons!  The prettier the better, I actually love the display of pretty buttons on a button card too.  I started collecting buttons when I was a child and built up quite a collection!  Nothing vintage or historic, just a few here and there, however the fascination with buttons has never left me.

96521123869c7a7c66d9da5b300567dfApparently, one of the earliest form of buttons were “Satsumas”, a ceramic button originating from Japan in the 16th century.  There were very detailed and as you can imagine, they are highly collective and expensive!  However, evidence of buttons has now been discovered in bronze age sites in both China and Ancient Rome.  Functional buttons (used for fastening clothes) came into existence in Germany in the 13th century and popularity has grown since then.

Queen Victoria, after the death of Prince Albert, wore jet buttons as a sign of mourning.  However, jet was fairly unaffordable to the majority of people and reproductions were made of black glass.

imagesNTSX546WButtons come in different sizes and are usually collected by material, theme (scenes of country life), usage (military uniforms) or historic importance (world fairs).  They used to be made from a variety of materials, including stone, pottery, jet, bone, wood, shell, bronze and gold.  Nowadays, they are made mainly of plastic or metal, wood and seashells.

If you are new to collecting then firstly it is important to sort your buttons out by materials and separate the plastic ones from the metal ones etc.  This is because certain materials do not sit well together and may rust.  Also you could start by mounting your buttons on mat boards, which has the dual purpose of showing them off and also keeping them safe.322dae6e7756aa81f9268287b4e7f664

There are many displays of buttons in art galleries and museums across the country to inspire you.  The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has an extensive collection.  The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (local to me) also has a nice little collection too.  If you are interested in collecting buttons, then look at the website of the British Button Society, that has useful information and links.  You can check if there is a button club near you! Worth a look too is the National Button Society of America with its worldwide followers.