I love you.
I loathe you..
I love you…
I loate you….
If ever the thought, after some perusing around Pinterest, “I can do that,” has crossed the grey matter of your brain and led you wandering, mindlessly through the aisles of Michaels, JoAnn’s, or, in the case of us Rogue Vallians, Craft Warehouse, you know what I mean. Pinterest is our Goddess. Pinterest is the Devil.
A couple of years ago, when Pinterest was still relatively new, I found this picture.
Oh! I could do THAT, I exclaimed pompously. Actually, now that I think of it, I think it went more like this…
Me (exclaiming to my daughter): “WE could do this!”
Her: “Knock yourself out.”
Have I mentioned she can be snarky? An itsy bitsy teenie weenie bit snarkey? Well, not to be discouraged, without a second thought, I was hot-footing it to JoAnn’s for all of the supplies.
“I’ll take ten yards of each of these, five of these wreaths, nine spools of thread and three hundred of these buttons.” Thank you.
“No, Thank YOU, Mrs. Fannie. Have you been lurking around Pinterest again?” said the smug cashier. Ok, maybe she didn’t REALLY say it out loud. But I know she was thinking it.
And so (or sew) it began. I won’t go into all of the graphic details or provide pictures (primarily because I didn’t take any), but I plugged along, sans directions, to try and recreate the vision I saw on Pinterest. I was relatively pleased with my product but it didn’t have quite the flair I was looking for. In any event, I packed it up and shipped it off to its intended recipient. With that, I set aside the remaining 9.75 yards (did I mention that I bought way more fabric than I needed?) in each of three colors of fabric along with the other supplies and moved on to the next project, which would, in high probability become, yet another, UFO (unfinished objects). Oh, don’t you act all innocent with me. If you have ever graced the hallowed halls of Michael’s, JoAnn’s or Craft Warehouse, the odds are quite high that you, too, have UFO’s shoved in some closet or cupboard somewhere.
Well, low and behold, recently, I was cleaning out said storage vessel for UFO’s and ran across a 50 pound bag loaded down with three colors of fabric, along with the other supplies, stashed away a couple of years ago, all with the honest intention of completing a few more of these prized possessions. UFO’s have been weighing a bit heavily on my heart this spring; it must have something to do with the realization that time is precious and nothing is certain. And so, out it came. The BAG. This would NOT become another UFO banished to the back of the scrapbook, craft, wedding dress/prom dress/letterman’s jacket/legos/Fisher Price Little People closet. No, indeed.
And, without further ado, I present to you, my most recently completed UFO along with some instructions and tips (which I did not have the luxury of having way back when).
First of all, the first time I made one of these, I used these Styrofoam wreaths.
For a couple of reasons, I won’t use them again. For one thing, the “ring” (for lack of a better word) itself was relatively small, therefore not facilitating a larger, “fluffier” finished product. Secondly, my daughter (the recipient of the first finished model) informed me that the wreath broke. I think she attempted to glue it, but we both agreed, the bound, straw wreaths are a better choice. And so, here you have the second generation of this (previously unfinished but now bound to be finished) project.
For the fabric, Pinterest used burlap. Well, I was unsuccessful in finding burlap in the desired colors, so I opted for a different fabric. I settled on duck cloth. It is sturdy and the ruffles will hold up to the elements.
Now, again, Pinterest, back in the dark ages of circa 2011, did not always provide directions for the plethora of ideas that overflowed this heavenly (evil) website. So I had to kind of “make do.” Delving back into my Home Economics brain archive where I file important details from that eighth grade class, I remembered that the general rule of thumb for gathering was to have your fabric be 3X the length that the gathering would cover. Therefore, I needed to measure the “ring” and then cut strips that were approximately 3x this length…and about two inches wide. For my wreath, this worked out to be eight inches for the measurement of the ring, therefore, 3x this for the gathered strips, or approximately 24 inches. Now, again, when one does stuff like this one learns along the way. My first wreath had a ring measurement of approximately 7 inches, therefore 3x this was 21 inches. I had already cut extra strips leftover from the first wreath that were this length and therefore, continued to use this as my guide. Not thinking this all the way through, my second wreath was not as “fluffy” as it could have been. Next time, I’ll make sure to cut my strips in 24 inch lengths. Two inches appeared about right for the width. And so, cut away I did.
Another modification from the first wreath; I cut the strips using regular fabric shears the first time around. With the second wreath, I had invested in a high quality pair of pinking shears. The effect was much improved.
And now, the Gathering (there’s a nod to my fellow Outlander fans, just to see if they are paying attention); at first I tried this on the sewing machine. That method lasted one half of one strip; the fabric is heavy and the gathering stitch was not suitable. Out came the hand needle, thread and thimble. Again, having done this two times now, I’ll share a time saving tip. You know the length of your gathered strip is going to be approximately 8 inches. Add about a half inch for overlap. That makes 8 ½ inches. Add a half inch for the knotted thread beginning and an inch for ending the thread with a knot; for those of you who do not have degrees in accounting, this makes 10 inches. You will want to use a heavy gauge thread; the fabric is stiff and the gathering creates a big of a “torque” on the thread. Give it a test run with one “ruffle” with a ten inch piece of thread. If that give you the desired result, go ahead and cut the rest of your thread lengths at this time; this saves time by not having to measure out your thread each time and having to determine whether or not you have gathered your ruffle tightly enough. Believe me, you don’t need to be fancy here…just a real rough gathering stitch run about a half inch down from the top edge; takes less than ten minutes per ruffle. Don’t ask me how I know that.
As you can see, I covered my wreath by alternating two of each of the red and white ruffles approximately 2/3 of the way around the wreath. To fasten the ruffles to the wreath, I used a “T” pin to pin and place each ruffle and then, out came the trusty glue gun!
The glue gun is the Holy Grail of all things crafty. Lord knows that if this amazing invention was around in the 70’s those poor Home Economics sewing teachers would be standing in the unemployment line!
I placed a nice big glob of glue around the T pin and up and under the point at which the ruffles overlapped, fastening them to one another as well as to the wreath. Pull the ruffle relatively tightly as you do this and you’ll only have to fasten each ruffle in one place, along the back where the ruffle ends join.
Continue in this fashion, gathering, pinning and gluing until you have reached the point with the red and white ruffles where you are satisfied with the coverage. For my wreath, this turned out to be thirteen of each.
The embellishments were, as you can see, an assortment of white buttons; JoAnn’s had a huge button bag for about $5. I snagged that baby; I also added a few that I had on hand. And, because we are an Army family here at Bosworth Estates, I went to the Army Surplus Store and purchased an Army label to embellish my wreath.
And there you have it! I’m sorry that I didn’t get this posted in time for you to whip one of these up for Memorial Day, but you should have plenty of time now to pull it together for 4th of July. This one is winging its way to my mom (due to arrive on the day this blog post is published) because, well, life is precious and its silly to not complete some of those UFO’s and share them with the ones you love.