Wearing a pin, traditionally called a brooch, is an opportunity to wear a small piece of art close to your heart. Pins were part of men's and women's wardrobes in earlier days. They were used to secure capes and other garments. While functional, pins could be quite elaborate especially for the wealthy.
Today, the pin is mostly decorative. More than any other jewelry piece, the pin can demonstrate the wearer's aesthetic sense of color, shape, texture and overall beauty. A pin or pin and scarf combination, takes an outfit from ho-hum to smashing.
Pins communicate. Some pins communicate membership or achievement; other pins communicate interests, such as an interest in cats. Decorative pins also communicate the wearer's personality and her sense of humor.
Let's bring pins and brooches back to life: in an economy where many of us have to watch every penny, a little pin is an inexpensive way to add sparkle and interest to every day life. So, add a little art to your every day by wearing a pretty pin. There are unlimited choices in every conceivable medium. Check out pins and brooches on Etsy.com.
List of Most Common Tools for Making Fabric Pin Brooches
1. Sewing needle (general and beading)
3. Sewing Machine
4. Turning stick
As you can see, there are not many tools required to make fabric pin brooches.
Beautiful purple and blue hand painted brooch. Brooch is made with muslin, then hand-painted with fabric paints in a water color style. The pin is then embellished with blue ceramic beads, embroidered stems and leaves and a fringe of purple seed beads. The tone on tone color gives this pin it's beauty.
I am still working on instructions and patterns. Check back frequently to see new content!
Top Supplies Needed to Make Pin Brooches
The supplies category is endless. It is only limited by your imagination. Here is a beginners list of supplies.
1. Fabric (cotton is easiest to work with, but many fabrics can be used)
4. Metal, sewable, pin backs
5. Narrow ribbon to cover the pin back
6. White Craft glue
7. Found objects such as shells, wooden pieces, pine cones, little stones
8. Embroidery threads
9. Light weight batting and/or sew-on interfacing
The above list is just the basics. Now here is a list of other supplies you may want to use.
1. Fabric paints
2. Fabric markers
3. Any type of bead
6. Decorative fibers and threads
7. Decorative ribbons
8. Fabric scraps
9. Metal scraps
10. Fray check
11. Found objects such as washers and screws, keys etc
14. Polymer Clay
15. The skies the limit, just use your imagination!
Ideas for Making T-Shirt Quilts
Making a T-shirt quilt is a good way to use the many T-shirts your children have accumulated throughout their childhoods. Making a T-shirt quilt is easy. Here are some ideas:
1. Select the T-shirts that you want to include in the quilt
2. Cut off the sleeves and the back. Make sure that you preserve as much of the T-shirt material as possible.
3. Use lite or medium weight IRON ON interfacing. Cut interfacing larger then needed, so roughly into 14 by 14 inch squares.
4. Iron the interfacing onto the back of the T-shirt image. Make sure you center the design as best you can. Also, designs may have to be adjusted because you don't want to include the collar into the quilt. So, you might not be able to center each design completely.
5. Turn your design right side up. Using a rotary cutter and a 12.5 by 12.5 inches square ruler, cut each design into a 12.5 inch square block. Most designs will fit into 12.5 inch square. The finished size of your T-shirt block will be 12 inches square after you sew the lattice onto the blocks.
6. Lattice can be sewn on to each T-shirt block in the usual manner.
7. It takes 35 12.5 inch square T-shirt blocks to make a twin sized bed quilt.
T-Shirt quilt still in process. The pins hold the three layers of the quilt together. The top layer is made from the T-shirts sewn together with fabric strips called lattice. The middle layer is batting and the bottom layer is a backing fabric. Once I am done quilting, the pins will be removed and the quilt will be ready to bind the edges.
Creative Ideas for Pin Broochs and Necklaces
I like to have fun with my creations. One of the nice things about small items such as pin broochs and jewelry is that you can experiment with a variety of materials. I like to use found objects such as metal washers, plastic pieces and best of all, items from nature. Almost anything will work, but you have to consider the fragility of the object. For example, I love to use tree bark. I have made necklaces using bark as the focal piece. I bead a chain for the necklace and often add beaded fringe. Bark can be fragile and will break if not reinforced. So after I poke holes in my bark (usually with a needle) and I complete the beaded parts, I usually glue foam on the back. I hold the foam tightly until the glue dries and then I trim the foam so that it can't be seen from the front. Not only does foam make the bark strong, it covers up the thread used for beading and makes a nice finished back.
Birch bark necklace with red beaded fringe. I used simple black craft foam on the back. The foam molds to the shape of the bark, keeping the bark intact.
Owl pin brooch using found stick for perch
Miniature quilts make wonderful gifts. Miniature quilts take many forms such as brooches, coasters, wall-hangings, pot holders and much more. Select colors and styles to fit the recipients age, interests, style and needs.
1. Packer Mug Rugs
2. Fabric Flower
3. Heart Decoration
Beading Ideas and Suggestions
For best results use a beading thread for beading fringe and necklaces. Thread made specifically for beading is stronger. Many brands of beading threads are available. I prefer a thread that has a slight waxy finish (it looks like thin dental floss) because it moves nicely through the beads and doesn't tangle as easily as other types of beading threads. You can purchase beading threads in many different colors, but I find that white and black meet most of my needs. Use white thread with light colored beads and black with dark colored beads. I like to use short beading needles, rather than the traditional long needles. I find the short needles are easier to maneuver when sewing beaded fringe.