Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Totally frivolous

I was looking through old blog posts last week and happened upon one published in a long-ago early February, suggesting that maybe we all needed to do something fun, frivolous and friendly.  I think this February we need that kind of activity maybe more than ever before.

My post, from 2010, showed how to make little Valentine hearts from tulle and whatever tiny scraps might be lurking about your sewing table.  I layered Solvy between two thicknesses of tulle, stuck scraps in the sandwich and machine stitched a whole lot to hold everything together.  After cutting hearts, I soaked the Solvy out.

When I re-read the post, I wondered why I had bothered with the Solvy.  Surely I could make a tulle sandwich without that layer of cheese in the middle!  So this week I went back to the sewing machine to make a new batch of hearts.  Since I suspect those I sent out to my friends and family eleven years ago are missing in action.

I found several kinds of tulle in my stash, but chose a sparkly red one.  Inside the sandwich, several kinds of shiny threads and some snips of pink, red and gold sheers and silk.  In the sewing machine, red thread, some plain cotton/poly and some metallic.

Then I stitched a lot.  When everything was sewed in place, I put on a darning foot and made free-hand hearts, going around each outline three or four times.

Cut them out, saving the extra bits for future use (hold that thought). 

I can't exactly remember what that first batch of hearts felt like, but these seemed to be looser, lacking that stiff Solvy cheese in the middle.  So the stitching tended to pull tight against the tulle, and left bulges in the unstitched areas. 

I wasn't sure I liked that effect, so I painted the hearts with matte medium, diluted a bit with water, and let them dry between two layers of plastic under a weight.  That flattened out the bulges, and gave the finished hearts a bit of stiffness, just like the old hearts, who got that way because you can never wash away all of the Solvy.

As I wrote in 2010, Valentine's Day is coming up, and for once I had the brilliant idea in time to actually make a little present and get it to my loved ones on schedule!  (That is, if the post office cooperates -- too bad I didn't come upon that old post six weeks ago.)

If you're intrigued by this little project, I urge you to read the old post first.  See which approach appeals to you -- the firmer Solvy sandwich, or the looser tulle-only approach.  Also note that the old plan calls for three layers of tulle, and the hearts I just made were only two layers.  As a result, they're airier and less substantial.  You might want to add a third layer, or even a fourth.  (And when I compare the new ones to the old photo, I realize that I did a lot less stitching this time, which helped the hearts be airy, insubstantial and bulgy.)

In the 2010 version, I drew the hearts with a marker before sewing the outlines, but this time I just eyeballed it.  I can't see much qualitative difference in the artistic effect, but I do remember that last time, the marker was coming off on my fingers and I wasn't happy.  So if you want to draw first, make sure to use a waterproof ink.
Play with it!  And then check out the 2010 post for a helpful hint on making the hanging cords.

PS -- as you sew, you may have the same experience that I did -- you think of more people who you could send little Valentines to.  So you may make a second sandwich (which I assure you will go faster than the first one).  When you do, use those leftover bits from cutting out the hearts as filling for your sandwich. 

Happy Valentines Day!! 

1 comment:

  1. Very cute and I can’t see the difference between the Solvy and not Solvy. I have used Solvy and sometimes it is hard to remove.