Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Cloud: Tutorial and Giveaway

How cute is this happy little cloud?!  This is one of my favorite projects that I made for the Master Craftsters series on Craftster.  The cloud is on the front of a reusable notebook cover, an it is very easy to make.  I wrote a tutorial for it that I will share with you below.  If your sewing machine doesn't sew letters, you can add "happy" by hand-embroidering it, or stamping it with rubber letter stamps directly onto the linen.  (You can find I great tutorial about rubber stamping on linen on Lime Riot's blog.)

I made this one, "Notes", for my mom for Mother's Day.  She loved it!

This little bird picture is actually a felt badge like those we swapped on Craftster.  It is made of wool felt and embroidery thread, and is all hand-sewn, except for the outer boarder, where I machine-sewed it to the notebook cover.

One thing I quickly realized is that when choosing a fabric for the cover, it has to be fairly plain, or it will detract from the felt badge.  That's why the cloud is on natural linen, and the bird is on a narrow, light-colored stripe.

Regular readers will know that I have recently started a new craft:  hand-carving rubber stamps.  I had the idea to make a stamp of the happy cloud, and then I had to think of something to use it for...and I remembered that I recently posted about my button-making machine, and I showed you the pin-back buttons I made to take with me to the Craft Gossip Fork and Talk event last month...and I mentioned the possibility of a button giveaway...and it all came together for me in the form of these uber-cute buttons, which I want to give away!!

I stamped the cloud onto white paper, then added the word "happy" (some I wrote by hand, others I stamped with a set of alphabet rubber stamps) and then added the blue color with a Copic marker.

If you are a follower of my blog, and would like to have one of these happy clouds appear in your mailbox, just do two little things (you can become a follower by clicking on the "Join this site" button on the right):

1.  Leave a comment at the end of this blog post. (I live for your comments!)
2.  Send me an e-mail (leslieandersen4@gmail.com) with your name and mailing address.  Even if you have sent me your mailing address before for another giveaway, please send it again, just in case it has mysteriously disappeared from my well-organized filing system.

This giveaway may close unexpectedly if I become overwhelmed with making buttons!

Now, here's the tutorial I promised:

Happy Cloud Reusable Notebook Cover Tutorial
I needed a small gift for a friend, something that was cute and easy to mail. After MUCH thought, the lightbulb came on over my head, and I whipped up this cute little notebook cover! I will send a couple of refill notebooks with it, so she can switch the cover to a fresh book when the first one is full.

I started with one of these Moleskine notebooks, in the 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" size. Moleskine notebooks are really good quality, which enhances my gift!

I opened the covers and traced the outline onto cardstock, then added 1/8" to the width and length (so the cover will have a little wiggle room to ease it onto the notebook) and then traced the cardstock shape onto a piece of linen. This will be the front of the cover.

Next, I prepared the decorations for the front. I have used the alphabet program on the BERNINA 380 in another project, but this machine has TWO alphabet fonts, and I wanted to try the second one, which produces larger, outlined letters.

I programmed the words "happy" and "notes" into the BERNINA, then stepped on the pedal and watched as the machine sewed them onto pieces of white felt. I really like the way these words look! I will save "notes" to use later.

I trimmed the felt so there was a 1/4" margin around the words, then used the pinking shears to give them a decorative edge.

I sewed the word "happy" onto a piece of dark blue felt, cut just a little larger than the white felt.

I'm not including a pattern for the cloud, because I know you can draw a cloud! I cut out my cloud drawing and traced around it onto white felt. Then I stitched the eyes (French knots) and the mouth with black embroidery thread.

I cut out two ovals of different shades of blue felt, and stitched them together as you see in the picture. The BERNINA 380 can sew through several layers of thick canvas, so these three layers of felt were a piece of cake for this awesome machine!

I wanted to center my cloud and word decorations on the front of the cover, but my sewing line (which I wanted to use as a guide) was traced onto the BACK of the front cover; so I marked the four sides with pins and flipped it over. Using the pins as a guide, I centered the decorations, pinned them down and sewed them in place.

To finish the cover, I trimmed the cover fabric so there was 1/4" seam allowance all around. Then I cut two pieces of linen for the flaps (which hold the cover onto the notebook) 6" x 6", folded them in half, and laid one along each outer edge of the front cover, with the fold toward the middle, as in the picture below.

On top of that I placed a piece of linen (for the lining), cut 1/2" larger than the cover fabric, and pinned them all together.

I sewed all around the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom. I trimmed the excess fabric, and turned it right-side-out with the help of a pair of hemostats. I pressed the cover, topstitched the opening closed, and I was done!

To get the cover onto the notebook, it's easiest to bend the book covers back like in the picture below.

This is so cute, I can't wait to try a few more! 


Alexandra Abarca said...

Hi Leslie I love so much your happy cloud, i am going to run with my email.

Happy day.

Costa Rica

Kay said...

I will be following this tutorial, they make great gifts quite simply. I would love a badge too of your happy cloud, I think you called it a button. Thank you for the giveaway.I will email my address.

Susan said...

Wonderful!!, It's really beautiful

Anonymous said...

A break like a breath, necessary!
See you soon !

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