Home Decor: February 2013 Archives
So because I was already set to blog on my serger (See previous post- Product of the Month: Sergers) I decided that you readers should have a project too. This is especially true for the newbies who are considering a serger but think they will only use it to seam up some t-shirts. These super easy napkins are a great stash buster (if you like to mix n' match) or the perfect way to add a splash of color to your table. If you have a dinner party coming up or are hosting your first family meal at your house and you need some gorgeous napkins fast then this project is for you. Bonus: You can learn yet another feature on your serger.
Most sergers are equipped to create a rolled edge so check your manual to determine how your machine needs to be configured. My Brother 1034D needs to have the stitch finger removed. Once you have your machine set up it is time to test the tensions on your 3 threads: Needle, Upper Looper and Lower Looper. Take a piece of waste fabric that is approximately the same as your project fabric to test your tensions. Turn your knife on and then trim away any messy edges as you stitch until you get your tension correct. I had to make my upper looper tension heavier than the recommended range so experiment inside the range first and then outside the range if the tension is still not right. Change each dial one at a time, stitch a few inches, check it and then make another change. If you make several changes at once and something is not right you won't easily be able to determine the problem.
The red is the messy tension and the green is the corrected
To make clean corners, don't pivot at the corner like with a traditional sewing machine. Stitch to the end of the fabric plus some extra to make a thread chain and then lift the foot and turn the fabric. Begin each corner beyond the edge of the fabric. Finish each corner with a small drop of Fray Check then clip off the thread chain. This will keep the corner threads from coming undone and will give it a nice finished end.
To make 8 napkins you will need 2 yds of cotton print fabric (44'' wide). Make an 18'' square template from poster board or freezer paper. Take your pre-washed fabric and fold it in half 4 times (you will have 8 layers) and then lay your template on top and cut out all 8 napkins at once. With your knife on run each napkin through your serger cutting off ¼'' to eliminate any frayed or wonky edges.
You can recreate any of folding designs by following my Kitchen board on Pinterest. The bow is my personal favorite but I also have a soft spot for the rose for having girlfriends over for tea. My napkins were created from Riley Blake Flutter in Doily Blue and Dream Blue (Due to be back in stock mid April)
This medium is one of my favorites due to its versatility. You can use it on anything for anything. You name it someone has probably made it with Mod Podge. I have used is on several projects such as my Fabric Art Plates for our 2011 Dorm Days Series. Some cheap plastic magazine racks were made fabulous with Moda Fabric and Mod Podge. Our own Super Don used it to make a fabric topped table. My latest Mod Podge adventure is a present my oldest daughter received from my dad. He made her a wooden doll house from scratch complete with 3 floors, a fire place, swinging doors and stained wood floors. It is incredible. But the best part (to me) was that he left it undecorated. I could select the paint colors and add little touches like curtains as I saw fit. I jumped at the chance and as I was pulling out my favorite magazines for paint inspiration I saw a book of scrap booking paper I had purchased for my daughter's baby album. The light bulb went off. I would wall paper the doll house using scrap book paper and Mod Podge.
To start I knew I would not have enough of each print to fully wall paper each room. T compensate I decided to just do feature walls with the wall paper and paint the remainder. Please take the size of your rooms into account should you purchase a book of paper as opposed to single sheets or you can cover your walls in fabric (see special instructions below). Carefully measure your walls with a small ruler making sure to take width measurement at the top and the bottom of the wall in case the wall is not square. Or if you don't have a ruler that can fit, take a piece of paper and press it against the wall and add creases where ever you will need to cut, at corners, windows or doorways. Then transfer those marks to your wall paper. Once your paper is cut to size, add a generous amount of Mod Podge Matte to your walls and then careful line up and press on your paper. Add another coat of Mod Podge on top of your paper and allow to dry. I used my scraps from cutting out windows (for which I used a craft knife) as rugs on my floors. I have not yet decided which rugs will go where but once I do I will be using Mod Podge Gloss to glue them down and add a nice sheen to the wood floors. I am toying with the idea of layering rugs to create borders and weaving paper strips in the bathroom to mimic tile.
To wall paper for fabric or to work with fabric without all the stretching or distorting that can happen with wet fabric, I recommend applying Mod Podge to the fabric first and allowing it to dry on our Pressing Sheet or parchment paper. Once dry it will peel right off. This will make it stiff and easier to apply to certain projects like my walls or the magazine racks.