Valentine’s Day has passed, but I wanted to share a little project I did to make things a bit more festive in our house:
This is a garland I threw together at the last minute (the night before Valentine’s Day). The kiddos wanted to have a party and I promised them one, complete with decorations. I’d seen this idea floating around on-line, and I was eager to try it out.
Here’s how it went down:
I cut out a bunch felt hearts. I didn’t worry about uniformity, I thought they would look cute in different shapes and sizes. I wanted the pattern to be kind of random, in no particular order. Random is hard for me to do. I did the best I could and I think it worked out.
I set my machine to the longest stitch (also called a basting stitch). As it turned out, I ended up not liking it and I switched to a slightly shorter stitch (about a 5.5 on my machine), which worked better for me.
Then I just started feeding the hearts through. My original intention was to have the hearts right next to each other (edges touching) but I had a hard time with some of them–sometimes the hearts just didn’t want to feed through one right after the other, and sometimes I waited too long to start feeding them through. In any case, I just did the best I could but didn’t sweat it when there were spaces between the hearts.
Here’s an example of a time I waited too long to start feeding it through. In these cases I’d stop and lift up the presser foot to hurry and get it closer to where I wanted it to be.
It didn’t take long for my garland to start coming together!
And once it was done, I hung it up. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t know how to hang it, I didn’t have any fancy hooks or pins or anything. I need to get me some of those. But for this, I just used tape. I’m classy like that.
Even being strung with tape, it still looked pretty nice and I was happy.
What I learned
A stitch just shorter than the longest stitch worked better for me. It made it easier to string the hearts closer together. Also it was important to go a little slow. This again helped with keeping the hearts close together. Some of the stitching got a little crazy (crooked) on a few of the hearts but really what I learned with this project was that it’s not the end of the world if things are a little crooked here and there.
The garland was fun and easy to make. It’s a good project for kids, too. They can cut out the shapes, and you can talk about colors, sizes, counting, and patterns with them. My kids love to “help” me sew and I try to let them whenever I can. The project needs to be relatively simple and low-stress for me to have them help me. And this one is perfect for that.
I chose felt because it’s durable and doesn’t fray. But you can use all kinds of different mediums. You could try different fabrics (understanding that some might fray a little), fancy or plain papers, or even the pages of old books. You could use this technique to make a simple mobile for a baby crib, a fancy hoop-canopy thing (what’s that called?) for your little girl’s room, or as decoration for a child’s reading nook. And of course you can make garlands for all kinds of parties or festive occasions. The possibilities are staggering!
I definitely plan on getting creative with this whole garland business. And you can too! So go and have fun with it!