Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tutorial: It Is Well With My Soul

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This sign is my entry for SYTYCS, and voting is open now! I’d love your help in continuing on to the next round. You can go HERE to vote!

Making the sign started very simple and then got a whole lot more complicated! If you’d like to make a lettered sign out of fabric, here’s how:

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I started with a large canvas painting I had once made to hang over my mantle. It doesn’t really fit with my style anymore, I couldn’t bring myself to paint over it yet. So a fabric cover sounded like the perfect option.

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I measured the canvas and figured out how wide I’d need my strips of contrasting fabric to be.

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I cut 3 strips of the green at 6” wide (so they’d be 5” after taking seam allowances into account), 2 strips of green at 10” wide (for the ends to allow extra material to staple around the canvas), and 4 strips of white at 2” wide (so they’d be 1” after seam allowances).

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Sew all your strips together using a 1/2” seam allowance.

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Press your seams open.

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Top stitch 1/8” in from the seams on either side of the white strips.

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I then laid out my material on the canvas, made sure it was centered, and then pinned a heavy piece of fusible interfacing to the material. I didn’t want the fabric to look stretched or saggy when hanging on the sign, so this step was essential to the stability of the material. Then iron it on.

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Figure out how large you want the lettering to be, and cut your burlap and muslin accordingly.

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Sew the muslin to the burlap and then sketch out the lettering.

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I used twill tape for the lettering. It had a little flexibility to it, but the best looks to the letters came when I flipped/folded it under or over to create the turns in the letters. This also gave it a some what calligraphy look. Use A TON of pins to hold everything in place.

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I then used my free motion foot to sew the letters on. Don’t know what a free motion foot is? You can read more about it HERE, but the simple explanation is it allows you to use your machine like a drawing tool. Quilters use it to finish off their quilts. You turn off your feed dogs and then just guide your fabric in whatever direction you want. There really is no foot to it, just a plastic circle the needle goes through that’s used as a guide. Because of this, you can end up jumping the material all over and have uneven stitches very easily. But with a steady hand and some practice, it’s a lot of fun!

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I then pinned my burlap pieces where I wanted and sewed them on. The sign seemed to be still missing something, though, so I cut out a bunch of flowers on my Big Shot and appliqued them on.


I thought they added the perfect finishing touch.

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I then stapled the sign onto the canvas as though I was wrapping a present, put it on a shelf and stood back to admire it.

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I love that I was able to finish this wall of my living room and take care of an entry for SYTYCS. And don’t forget to vote!


  1. Amazing! Can't believe you sewed on that lettering too! MAD skills!

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