Friday, December 7, 2012

Tutorial for Fabric Landscape Pins

This is still a work in progress for me to find the best way to make fabric pins - I'm thinking about mounting them on tiny pieces of wood for example - but for now here is how I make them.

I complete each one individually so I start by fusing steam a seam 2 lite to the back of a bunch of fabric (quite often I just use scraps of fused fabric that I have left over from other projects).  I cut up several small (2" x 1.5", 2" x 2", 2" x 1.75" etc) rectangles from a piece of interfacing or craft bond that is fusible on one side.  This will be the backing for each tiny landscape.
I cut out tiny pieces of sky, hills, fields, flowers etc one at a time, with very sharp small scissors. Starting with the sky and working down, I place them on the piece of interfacing (on the side which is not fusible because my fabric is already backed with fusible).  Once they are all in place and to my liking, I iron them down gently.  I use a non stick sheet or paper backing from the fusible underneath because, remember, the back is sticky.
iron carefully so you don't dislodge the pieces

the sticky side

I trim the edges to the desired size with my rotary cutter.  Oops.  This one is still a little crooked.

For the next step I want to prepare the felt layer and the backing.   In the end there should be a fabric layer, interfacing, felt and fabric backing.  So I fuse backing fabric to pieces of felt.

Then I lay out the landscapes on the felt side making sure there is enough space between them because I want the felt to show at the edges for a picture frame effect.  I iron them down because they are easier to cut afterwards.  I actually cover them with a piece of paper or my non stick sheet because I don't want any gunk from the iron to end up on the pieces.  I wondered if the fusible on the back of the interfacing would still fuse to the felt since it had already been ironed once when I fused the landscape to it.   In the first batch I made it worked fine.  However, this time some of the pieces started to lift from the felt.   So I added a thin layer of  Hi Tac Craft Glue and that seemed to do the trick.  In fact if your interfacing or other backing material is not fusible you just need to add a layer of fusible web to the back of it before ironing.  Or like I did, just glue it down to the felt.

Next, I cut them apart and trim them leaving a 1/8" border of felt.  Make sure your rotary cutter blade is sharp because it has to cut through all four layers.

And here they are - but there are still two more steps.
I painted a thin layer of Matte Gel Medium to the face of the pin to give it some protection and keep the fusible from lifting.  

careful not to paint the felt edge
And voila, I have a pin - all ready to attach a metal pin back - the most tedious and time consuming part of the process.   I sew the pin backs on because I don't quite trust using glue.   If I am ignoring a more obvious way of doing this please give me your ideas.
I hope my instructions were clear enough.   I'd be happy to answer any questions about the process.

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