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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.

Friday 10 July 2020


Hi Everyone

I hope your week is going well.  As always the week is speeding by and it is Thursday already!

Today, as promised I am here with Step Three of my Sewing Tutorial and this one is for those of you who perhaps don't own a sewing machine .. .. .. or who perhaps do own a sewing machine but enjoy spending just a little bit of quiet time stitching by hand. 

This involves making holes in your work and forming the stitches before you layer your work up and I will talk about the various methods below.

All of the samples below are created by working on the back of an old mouse mat with a piercing tool.

The most basic way is by using a ruler (I find a metal ruler easiest) and piercing at .5cm intervals.  I start by adding pencil markings .5cm from each of the corners and I keep my ruler lined up with those.

Alternatively there is a great plastic "aid" which helps enormously with speed and "neatness" called Layer Perfect.  It is sold to help with layering but the holes are great for making regular spaced holes and gives you perfect corners.   I have had mine for many, many years..

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The cheapest place I have managed to find them today is here if anyone is interested.

When using it I use washi-tape to attach it to the corner on the back of the tool.

Turn the tool over onto the upturned mouse mat and use a piercing tool to add holes to the two sides.

Remove the pierced card, rotate it 180 degrees and line it up so that the end holes line up exactly with the holes in the tool.  Continue to pierce the remaining two sides.

So whether you have used a metal ruler or the layer tool, once all your holes are made  it is time to start stitching (or you can just leave the holes naked and not stitch them at all).  

You can either use a thick sewing cotton (the type that is used for the orange top-stitching on jeans) or two strands of normal sewing cotton.

Do not start with a big knot but fasten the end down with tape on the rear of your work.

then stitch each hole in a back-stitch fashion until all the holes are sewn.  

Here you can see the black stitching using the thick sewing thread and the pink which is two strands of normal sewing thread.  The latter is my personal choice.

and if you don't fancy the idea of sitting sewing at all, then you can always go for the faux stitching option by joining the holes together using a fineliner pen.

Below an aqua pen has been used to join the holes in a completely straight line, and a grey pen was used to join the dots from the bottom of one hole to the top of the next. 

So this way of adding stitching / faux stitching may appeal more to some than others.  I must admit that  I just naturally turn to my sewing machine. 

Over the weekend I will work on Step Four where we get to address those pesky corners that quite a few of you have said you find tricky, and if all goes well we can perhaps tackle circles too.


meg said...

Thank you for another wonderful tutorial you make it look so easy

Enny said...

Thank you so much for this lesson Jules ! I still have a lot of sewing yarn, as I used to do cross stitch, many years ago. I also have a ruler with holes in (I think from Tim Holtz). So maybe I'll give it a try soon. Have a nice weekend ! Enny

Aquarius said...

I have one of those L-shaped gizmos but hadn't thought of using it to pierce holes - duh!! Another great tutorial, look forward to the next, especially the circles.

cotnob said...

Another fabulous tutorial Jules, thank you for sharing.
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

Aunty Sue said...

Great tutorials Jules just need find the sewing machine lol

Brenda said...

Another fabulous tutorial Jules! I do love the look of stitching and used to do the faux stitching, but to me it isn't as beautiful looking as your sewing machine stitching, but certainly has it's place. You have given to many ways to stitching that there is bound to be a technique for everyone! Can't wait until the next tutorial as I am dying to know how you stitch around in a circle so neatly!!! Hugs, Brenda

Stamps and Paper said...

Thank Jules for another 'lesson' in stitching cards....look forward to the next episode


Sarah said...

More brilliant tips and tricks Jules...can't wait for the "corner" episode!! xx

Hazel (Didos) said...

Your tutorials are amazing, thank you so much for doing them for us!! This is brilliant, I have so many embroidery threads that would look ace as the border on my creations, Hazelxx

Lisa xx said...

Found this really interesting and helpful Jules, and have been playing with my piercing tool and white gel pen, it has pleasantly surprised me, I might even get brave enough to use it on a card