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A very warm welcome to my teeny, tiny part of the huge world of blogging. This is where I share my passion for making hand made greeting cards. So - why "Always with a Heart"? Well this is for two reasons. Firstly, it is because every card I produce carries a heart on it somewhere. This can be big and bold or small and almost hidden - the fun sometimes is just trying to find it! Secondly it is because I put my heart into everything I produce. I hope that any visitors enjoy seeing what I post. If you drop by then please leave me a comment so that I know you called. It would be nice to know that you have found my heart in what I do.

Sunday 12 July 2020


Hi Everyone

Hope you are having a good Sunday.  

We actually woke up to sunshine today .. .. and to a spider crawling by the pillow on my bed!  Better than any alarm clock for getting me jumping out of bed that's for sure!! It took me ages to find it and throw it out of the window!!

Anyway here I am with step four of my sewing tutorial .. .. where I am hoping to help those of you who are keen to try and achieve neat corners and stitch around circles.

So lets get started first with the corners.  

Following is the easiest way to deal with corners .. .. . 

Begin sewing from the very edge of your piece of card and run off the edge at the other end .. .. .. I have lined my work up with a mark that is on my machine foot.

Do the same on all four sides.  You then end up with a stitched edge with crossed corners.  Quite a nice look in itself and for this style it doesn't matter how long your stitch is. 

I have done the same on another piece of card but this time increased my stitch length to be much larger and I lined the edge of the card up with a guide that is on my foot plate.  This gives a bigger border.  You can of course just work "by eye" to do whatever size border you prefer.

Here are the two finished samples.  I particularly love the large stitching and border as you can stamp inside these or add punched or die cut shapes.

When it comes to creating actual corners though, you don't want your stitch length to be too long because the bigger your stitch the harder it is going to be to make your stitching finish in a "good place".

I usually start in a corner, unless I know I am going to have an embellishment or sentiment that is going to overlap the stitching.  If this is the case I start and finish where the embellishment will go as it doesn't matter if my stitching isn't going to  match up nicely.

I begin by lining my card up, lowering the needle manually towards the card slowly so that if it doesn't look like it will fall in the right place I can simply lift the foot and move the card before the needle pierces the card.

The likelihood of the needle landing exactly where you want it when you reach the other end of your stitch line is very rare .. .. .. so I stop just before I reach the corner and leave the needle in my work.  

I turn the card as if I am going to continue to stitch down the next side, but instead of sewing I raise the needle and lift the foot just a little and slide my work slightly to the left so the needle will fall where I actually want it.  

Lower the foot again and use the handle to check that you are going to be happy where the needle is going to fall without actually piercing the card.  If necessary you can lift the foot and move the card again until you are happy.

This sounds like a bit of a faff but it is the best way to get a neat corner.  Once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature and you will be able to whizz around your card in no time.    

Once you have sewn all four sides you finish with the needle going in exactly the same hole as where you started, pull the threads through to the back and hold them down with tape.

and here is the finished sample

As for sewing circles.  This is quite difficult to explain and show in pictures, but hopefully this will make sense.

I find that the larger the circle the easier they are to sew.  

I am lucky and know my machine and pedal so well that I can make my machine stitch very slowly and can even do just one or two stitches at a time .. .. but it can take bit of time to be this much in control. 

I wouldn't be as confident as I am with this machine should I suddenly be faced with someone else's.  They all take time to get used to. 

So to begin a circle, as with rectangles, I lower the needle into my work manually. 

I am able to actually sew my largest and second largest Spellbinder circles without needing to stop until I reach the end.  But when sewing anything smaller then I do two or three stitches, leave the needle in my work, lift the foot slightly so I can twist the circle back on track, lower the foot and keep repeating, stopping and starting, until I have sewn the whole circle.

So there are a few samples here for you .. .. but after all the straight stitching .. .. .. what I am trying to perfect is actually "wonky stitching" would you believe!

I am not quite happy with my attempts yet, but below you can see all the samples I have worked on today .. .. .. along with my nearly good enough "wonky one"!

I hope this all makes sense and that I have explained all my sewing processes clearly enough. If not then please let me know.

For my fifth and final tutorial, later this week I will actually do a card from start to finish so you can see my whole process.

But before you go I just wanted to share a beautiful card that Hazel created .. ..  she has been sewing her straight lines and has now created a lovely heart card based on the one I made.  How lovely and wonderful is this for someone who hasn't stitched on her cards before.  Well done Hazel!  I am well impressed.  A gold star for you!

Hazel takes the most amazing photographs too!

So that is me for today.  I hope you all saw some sunshine (and no spiders in your bed!!).


meg said...

Many thanks for another great tutorial Jules this one needs lots of practice if I am to achieve passable results

Aquarius said...

Another great tutorial which explains the process beautifully. Most machines nowadays come with a facility to slow down the speed of stitching (or speed it up if you are feeling super confident).

Lynne said...

A great tutorial Jules, thank you. I'd never have thought of doing the corners like that x

cotnob said...

I'm going to have to get my sewing machine out and give this a try Jules, I'm always disappointed with my corners, from what you say it sounds like I just need to be a little more patient!
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and tips.
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

Stamps and Paper said...

Thank you for another 'session' ..on my machine I can slow things down a lot..I am definitely going to have a go next week....quite a lot on this week.
As you say it's practice ....


Brenda said...

A another fabulous tutorial on how to stitch on cards. I must say that I did know about the corners and figured that is how you did the circles, but thought maybe you had a secret to sewing those circles. lol So I will be giving it a try here in the near future. I love Hazel's card, she did well with her stitching! I guess I'd better start there, even though I do know my machine and foot petal well, it's been a while since I've used it. Looking forward to the last tutorial on sewing on cards Jules. You have done fabulous and your wonky stitch is really getting there! Keep it up and you will have it perfected in no time! Hugs, Brenda

Hazel (Didos) said...

Ahhhh what a wee surprise when I got to the bottom and saw my wee card. Ive now read and hopefully taken in the next part of the sewing lesson. Thank You for doing this, it is fantastic. Will be doing my corners and wonky (actually allowed to do it so probably will go really straight) lines next!! Take Care, Hazelx

Sarah said...

Well that was a shock to start the day!! We had a patient at work once that came in with a funny sensation in his ear...yes, you have guessed it...a spider in there which the nurse managed to wash out with the ear irrigator. Worse than that was a tiny snail in another fellas ear!! Anyway...thank you so much for these "how to sew" guides, they have been really brilliant and I shall certainly be dusting off the machine to have a go xx