Monday, January 25, 2010

Heart to Heart: Back to Back Valentine's Day Crafts and Some Companion Books

What a fun crafty day!  I managed to 1) convince my son that collages are fun, and 2) complete a selvage sewing project.  I'll share them both together here, because one inspired the other, and of course, both are inspired by the upcoming holiday. 

Collage Heart

I am considering hosting an all ages craft get-together next month, and I wanted to test out an idea today.

I raided our craft supplies and my sewing room to put together a basket full of pink and red items -- stickers, scraps of paper and fabric, markers, glitter glue, ribbon, buttons, etc.

I cut out a cardboard heart and glued a bit of ribbon on to one corner to get it started (Ok, and to cover up some stray pen marks).  My son wasn't very interested in doing the project until late in the day, and he started tentatively.  He was most interested in gluing down the buttons.  But once he got going, he loved the project!  I think my enthusiasm spilled over a bit (I have always loved collage projects).  I kept telling him how much I liked what he was doing, and by the end, he kept standing back and saying, "Yay!  I LIKE it!"

When he finished, I added a clothespin and a pipe cleaner and hung it up.

I hope he keeps interested in this kind of thing, and I can fill a basket each week with a different color or theme.  Have I mentioned that I love collages?

Selvage Heart Pillow

Quilts from the Selvage EdgeAs he was collaging his heart out (ha! sorry), I started thinking...  Quite awhile ago, I discovered and subscribed to Karen Griska's blog.  Karen is the author of Quilts from the Selvage Edge, and her blog is really fun and inspirational.  Ever since I first glanced at it, I have been meaning to do a selvage project of some kind.  After trying it today, I will definitely be making more.  I am hooked!

First, I hunted through my fabric stash for pink and red selvages.  My son was quite helpful with this task.  Although it is generally not recommended because it can distort the fabric, I just snipped the edge and ripped my selvages right off.  I must admit: I love the sound of tearing fabric.

Next, I took a piece of thin white fabric and drew a heart on it.  I cut the heart out.  Here is a photo of the heart, along with my pile of selvages. 

I played with the selvedges, laying them over the piece of fabric in an arrangement I liked.

Then I stacked them so I would remember the order, brought them to my sewing machine, and sewed them on using the method described at  I LOVE this method.  It was so incredibly easy and fun.  I finished the entire pillow in about an hour.  Once I had sewed all of the selvages together, I flipped it over and trimmed the edges to get it back into a heart shape.  It looked like this.

Next, I cut out a backing, and sewed the two pieces right sides together, leaving a small opening for turning the finished shape inside out.  Then I filled it with polyester stuffing and hand sewed my opening shut.

I think next time (I can't wait to make more of these!), I'll do circle or square shapes, because I found it a bit finicky to get the heart shape just right, and I could do removable (washable) covers with pillow forms if I use more standard shapes.  Still, I totally heart my new pillow!  I am very glad that I started working on small sewing projects over the last few months.  They are much more manageable with a two year-old at my ankles, and I love the thrill of a finished project, no matter how small.


I haven't gotten any Valentine's Day books yet this year, but here are a few love-focused ones we have enjoyed in months past.
I Love You Through And ThroughI Love You Through And Through

Mommy Loves MeMommy Loves Me

Daddy Loves MeDaddy Loves Me
Never Too Little to LoveNever Too Little to Love

Do you have any Valentine's Day or love-centric children's books that you would like to recommend?  Would you like to share links to favorite Valentine's Day crafts that you have been up to or are planning in the coming weeks?  Have you made a selvage project?  (If not, what's stopping you?!)


Christy said...

I love your heart pillow too. The collage is something I have to do with my kids soon. It came out great.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love both of these crafts!

Emma's birthday is right after Valentine's Day, and I'm always tempted to throw her a heart-themed party because there are so many fun heart things in the stores this time of year. Of course, she only ever wants princess parties.

And I agree, ripping fabric sounds fabulous =)

Ivy said...

Super cute crafts!

My kids' favorite valentines book is Lilly's Chocolate Heart by Kevin Hankes (whom they adore). It's a board book and my 1st and 3rd grade boys still enjoy it.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I love the heart pillow - very cute! And I love the valentine collage - it turned out so great, and sounds like a lot of fun! Brilliant idea to cut cardboard into a heart shape for this - I think we'll do something similar soon. Thanks for the great idea! :)

Raising a Happy Child said...

Love the collage - it turned out so cute. One of the cute book that we enjoyed is ABC I Love You by P.K. Hallinan

Ticia said...

I haven't tried a selvage quilt yet. At first when I saw that, I was thinking you actually save yours, but after reading this makes much more sense.
And, I'm with you I love the feel and sound of tearing the fabric. Also, for some projects it's actually better (a lot of my heirloom sewing projects actually strongly suggest it).

vanessa said...

I missed this post somehow, but just found it after googling valentines books! :) Working on my post right now. I LOVE both of your projects! The button heart is just adorable and the heart pillow turned out beautifully! I will have to try it sometime.

Mama to 3 Blessings said...

WOW! Very nice! I love the collage & the heart pillow! You are very creative! Also I love you through & through is one of our favorite books - I cry when I read it too my kids. :) 1st time visiting your blog - VERY nice! :)

Brimful Curiosities said...

Valentine Surprise by Demas is super cute. And it includes hearts!

Annette said...

Collages are great for young ones!

Tara Rison said...

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Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

What great crafts & books! We have been busy getting ready for Valentine's Day too... so much fun!

Little Family Fun said...

I just put your button on my blog!
Thanks again for sharing such great ideas!

Jessica said...

You know what I love about this project? The absence of glitter, lol. No, seriously, this a cute valentine project for everyone.

Also, I love the titles you suggest for Valentines Day. Annabelle also enjoys Cliffords' Valentines Day book and the "I Love You" book.

sunnymama said...

Great ideas and both of the hearts are lovely! :) I've linked to this post here:

sunnymama said...

Also, I have added your button to my blog. :)