Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Craft Book Challenge Week 47: No time to embroider? Try paper piecing with the same pattern.

While browsing through my Christmas books, I found a beautiful white dove embroidered on a taupe stocking. I will never spend a billion hours embroidering that dove. See how well I know myself?

So am I out of luck? Will I never get to experience the joy of actually making something from my Leisure Arts Christmas books?

The moment I saw this dove I thought, "Paper piecing. Oh yes, it can be done."

Embroidery pattern from Leisure Arts presents The Spirit of Christmas, Book 4 (1990).
I have a personal cutting machine and some magic software (Make the Cut) that allows me to generate my own patterns for cutting.

Here's how to make a paper piecing pattern from an embroidery pattern.

Step 1 is to get the pattern into a vector–based drawing package. I use Inkscape because it's free and produces the SVG file necessary to talk to my cutter software.

Step 2 is to trace all the pieces you want to cut, adding a little extra on the back end of each piece so the paper layers can hold it all together. You can use your mouse for this step. I use a pen and tablet.

Step 3: Save the Inkscape file and open it in Make the Cut. Now cut! (I did prepaint some of the paper, but it's not necessary.) See all those shapes in different colors? They are the shapes the cutter will cut out. Keep this file open when gluing or you will go crazy trying to figure out where each piece goes.

I used plain white card stock for the doves. After several layers of white glue, they laminate into a sturdy ornament. Everything underneath the head and wings is ugly (much like all the pictures I took of the assembly process).

Until you hide all the overlaps.

Pearlescent Dove (white card stock covered in white pearl acrylic paint)

Glitter dove (white card stock covered in multicolor glitter)

Gold dove (white card stock streaked with metallic gold acrylic paint before cutting)

I'm ready to decorate the tree. First I must put up the tree.

If you don't have a personal cutter, you can trace the pattern and add the overlaps yourself. I'd resize the pattern larger to make cutting with scissors easier. I'd like to try this with felt.

Embroidery, Ha! I have ignored you and still I have a dove.


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