Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quick Burlap Garden Flag With Applique

In the craft world, the latest buzz is burlap....and chevron.  If you've been to my shop yet or seen my last post, you know im all about personalizing some thangs, especially chevron! Since I love them both, I decided to make a burlap garden flag with a chevron applique.  With summer coming to a close in a few weeks, its time to start thinking fall!

I must admit, it is my favorite season, probably because I live in NC where fall is amazing! Fall decorating is fun to me because I really love all the colors. Burlap is a great medium for a lot of great fall crafts, because the colors blend nicely with it'snatural, rustic, look.
So here you have it! All wrapped up in one cute little flag! This project was created, with love, for my readers and anyone else with just the slightest sewing ability. A simple DIY'er, no sweat.
The hardest part of this project is cutting the burlap, but fret not, because I know the trick to make that a snap! First, figure out the size you want your flag to be (anywhere from 10 x 14, all the way up to 13 x 18, is considered “Standard size”. ) Once you select that, cut your burlap down to a workable size allowing plenty of excess on all sides. My flag is 12"x 16", in case you were wondering. 
Now for the trick: carefully tug on a thread, about 5 strands in. Don’t yank it, as it may break. Slowly pull and work it out. Do this on all 4 sides. When you are done, take a look, you will have an easy cutting guide to make straight, perfect cuts, all the way around.
Trim down the frayed edges to even them out, using your line as a cut guide. Then take some sewing thread that is as close a match to the burlap as you can find, and seal up the edges. To do this, set your sewing machine to its longest zigzag stitch and stitch the edges of the burlap all the way around, this will prevent the raw ends from unraveling. Be sure to stitch over top the part of the edge where it is still woven.
Fold the top of the flag over ¾ inch and stitch across to create a casing for the flag pole to slide through. 

Now for the fun part, create a stencil to use to cut out your fabric. You can find all sorts of free ones online, you can draw one by hand or you can design one on the computer without any fancy software. I decided to just make an “E” for our last initial. I used Microsoft word to print one. (but you can just as easily use a shape in clipart.) I selected the font style "Rockwell" because it is bold, has a nice shape, and is all straight edges; meaning no curvy lines to stitch on the sewing machine. I then enlarged the font size size 700, but you can make yours any size you want. You may need to also select the landscape layout so it prints on one page. I then cut out the “E”and used it to trace and cut out the fabric for the applique. You can pin the letter on and then cut out the fabric, or just trace it with a pencil on the back side of your fabric, if its a light colored fabric. (make sure your letter is backwards and oriented correctly with the pattern on the fabric.)
Once your applique fabric is cut, position it on the burlap and stitch it on. To keep the fabric in place as you apply it, you can either pin it or use iron on adhesive, such as Heat n' Bond lite Hem tape (which is what I used). Just remember to follow the directions on the package, it’s VERY simple to use, just iron it on!
Now time to stitch! Select a nice coordinating thread color for both your top thread and bobbin thread. Keep the setting to the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. Play around on a scrap piece to get the size and length stitch that you desire. You can make the stitch really small and close together if you like a clean stitched edge-called a satin stitch, in embroidery talk. If you prefer the raggedy, raw-edge look, as I do for fall, keep the stitch length a decent size. I selected "4" as my length.
Slowly, and carefully stitch around the outer edge of your fabric. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of the applique. This will secure the fabric better. Keep your needle down when you turn the corners. Lastly, trim your threads and your flag is ready to be displayed! 

You can use this same technique to make personalized children's tees. Customize your child's next holiday or birthday!
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