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Let's Have a Luau!

May 28, 2012

Since Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer for many families, I am already thinking about warm weather entertaining, which means luaus, luaus and more luaus. I love a little theme decor, and hibiscus everything is a big favorite, so I decided to create some table accessories featuring a simple hibiscus graphic as the primary design element.

For inspiration and a pattern, I turned to my sewing room, which has a Hawaiian theme. My accent wall is painted with large-scale hibiscus (I used an opaque projector to throw the images on the wall and then just painted in the designs), so I figured I'd just trace those to make my appliques.

I taped my Wonder Under directly over my wall hibiscus and traced around the design with a water-based marker to avoid any bleed-through that might discolor the wall. Since the design is bigger than my fusible, I had to piece things a bit. I made two versions of the design for my table, one large and one VERY large.

2-hibiscus-table.jpgAfter I took the Wonder Under down from the wall, I went over my tracing with a sharpie.

3-hibiscus-table.jpgAfter I had my complete flower design transferred to the fusible, I ironed it to a pink duchess satin. For the stamen, I used a yellow duchess satin.

4-hibiscus-table.jpgIf you're careful when you peel the backing paper off your fabric once you've fused it, you can keep it as a pattern for future projects!

5-hibiscus-table.jpgAfter my pieces were all fused and peeled, I arranged them on a green twill that I've had in the stash for a while.

6-hibiscus-table.jpgOnce I had the pieces arranged to my satisfaction, I ironed them down to the twill following manufacturer's instructions.

7-hibiscus-table.jpgFor the smaller of the two designs, I used a fleece backing. I safety pinned the top layer to a layer of fleece before I stitched my pieces down. To start with the tricky stamen, I first straight stitched it into place with a long basting stitch. Then I zig-zagged over it.

8-hibiscus-table.jpgOnce I had my whole flower stitched along all edges (this was the most time consuming part of the process), I cut the piece down to follow the contours of the flower but still leave a green border.

9-hibiscus-table.jpgI used a pale green iridescent satin that I had on hand to create a bias binding, and voila! The smaller one can be used with warm dishes, since it has a fleece backing.

10-hibiscus-table.jpgThe larger version is more like a table cloth, and covers most of our dining room table. It doesn't have a fleece backing. It also needs more ironing!

I love knowing I can pull these out any time a festive tropical mood hits me -- and that I can machine wash them.

Of course, every time I do a Wonder Under project, I immediately think of 30 other projects I could use it for. But for now, I'm going to enjoy my Hawaiian getaway in my own house. Who's ready for a Mai Tai?

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on May 28, 2012 6:34 PM.

Knit: Transition from one stitch pattern to another was the previous entry in this blog.

Summer Embroidery is the next entry in this blog.

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