Monday, September 26, 2016

A Homespun Year....Inchies...a new addiction!

 
Inchies are miniature samplers of a sort that can become somewhat addictive!
 
I first discovered them on Pinterest, and they appeal to my gnat sized attention span, as they can be started and finished in under 15 minutes. Sometimes, under 5 minutes, depending upon your embellishments!
 
They can be used to frame as artwork, in rows, three by three or five by five or choose-a-number. You can also stitch them to a piece of canvas or calico, as a wall hanging.
 
You can embellish a cushion with them.
 
You can make greeting cards with them...especially if you make them from scrapbooking paper and embellishments.
 
You can turn them into tiny pillows and 5-7 year olds can use them to create patterns and teach colour and form. If you forgo the buttons, and just use embroidery, even younger children can use them for great brain stimulating play. Think 'show me the ones with heart shapes', 'can you give me a row of ones with the colour green', and 'how many have yellow edges'. That's the kind of thing that little ones love, and I like that it gives them a sense of achievement.
 
I've seen Inchies turned into Christmas decorations, bunting, brooches, hair clips, pony tail holders, artwork, and keychains. My friend M suggested that they look like little artworks for an Advent Calendar, and I agree!
 
Made slightly larger, the same idea could be turned into coin purses, makeup bags, journal covers, and pencil cases. Once you get the hang of them, you'll see all kinds of possibilities!
 
They can be fashioned from any fabric or material, from felt, as I am using here, to satins, velvets, which look stunning when heavily embroidered in French Knots and beads, burlap, linen, or even potters clay if embroidery is not your thing.

 
I'm using a combination of felts for mine, and I'm treating them much like the old embroidery samplers we made in seventh grade. Not the cross stitch type, but rather the ones where you embroidered your best effort at Lazy Daisy for one row, Herringbone for another, Whipped Stem Stitch and Chain for more, and usually finishing with a neat hand stitched Buttonhole, some other stitches of choice, and your name and the date in neat Satin or Stem Stitch.
 
Of course my seventh grade sampler is long gone...sigh. I've often wanted to recreate that idea.
 
These are the perfect way to do this, making it more modern in the process.
 
It took me a little while to get the hang of the Blanket Stitch around these little 3 cm x 2.5 cm rectangles (so clearly mine are not exactly 'inchies', so named as they measure one inch square, which would be 2.5cm x 2.5cm exactly).

As you'll see by the photographs, the later ones are far neater than the first few where I had not yet got the hang of rounding the corners in my Blanket Stitch!
 
But above, we have Blanket Stitch, Seeding Stitch, a felt heart and a pearl button stitched to the middle. I cut the hearts from a toning creamy coloured felt, by simply cutting a square, folding it in half, and cutting a half shape of a heart, which then unfolded to create a nice even shape.

Here's an easy tutorial for Blanket Stitch. Note that if I were following her instructions, 'A' and 'C', would be the edges of my Inchie.

Here's one for Seeding Stitch. Note that in my Seeding Stitch, and according to my book of The A-Z of Embroidery Stitches, each dash consists of two stitches laid down side by side, for texture and depth.
 
 
This one, above, shows Blanket Stitch, French Knots, and Granitos, with a pretty two hole button with a flower motif.

 
Here we have Blanket Stitch, French Knots, a felt heart, and a four hole button stitched in a contrasting thread.

 
A first time effort, featuring Blanket Stitch, a square of felt, a four hole button stitched in contrasting threads, Running Stitch and two French Knots. You can see the imperfect Blanket Stitch. But practice makes perfect!

 
More Running Stitch, felt and a button. Much neater Blanket Stitch!

 
I like the idea of using recurring colours in the embroidery, and varying the embellishments. I think I can do dozens, using just the two colours of felt, and three colours of embroidery floss, with no two being exactly alike. This makes for a very economical and portable project, I must say.
 
Two squares of crafting felt cost under $3, and the embroidery floss not much more than that. Even if you factor in the buttons, the needles and a needle threader, you're still spending no more than $15 to create dozens of Inchies. I estimate that one square of crafting felt will yield 60 Inchies that are 3cm by 2.5 cm, so actually slightly larger and more rectangular than a real 'inchie', which would be 2.5 x 2.5cms. I actually only chose this size for my project, as it meant no waste of my felt. And of course, in terms of portability, all of my materials fit into a small pouch, which can go in my handbag, and be dragged out whenever the mood takes me.
 
Stitching these little darlings is quite therapeutic, and very rewarding as they are finished so quickly.
 
Will you try your hand at Inchies? How will you use yours?
 
Remember that Five Star Frou-Frou is now a neverending linkup, with a featured blogger each and every time I post! Link any time you like, as often as you like. Thankyou to all who continue to faithfully link and promote Five Star Frou-Frou.
 
Todays featured blogger is Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog, with her thoughts on learning from our gardening mistakes. This is a topic close to my heart, as my husband and I learned the hard way that you must plant for the conditions, the climate and your ability to maintain your garden, and NOT just because you like the look of something...lol!
 
Do hop on over and check out Debbies stunning plantings!
 
http://debbie-dabbleblog.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/front-yard-garden-notes-for-next-year.html
 
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25 comments:

  1. These are adorable! I am hearing you on the gnat-sized attention span. Both me and my daughters! I am going to introduce them to this idea and see where they take it. Excellent school holiday idea which uses only the bits and bobs already in the craft drawers. Thank you:) xx

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    1. Hi Jo! I hope your daughters have fun with the idea. Once you get going, they really are quite addictive! Mimi xxx

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  2. So clever! We do paper inchies in my art group, but I never thought of doing fabric inchies!! But, no playing with something new until January!!

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    1. Hi Debby. Paper inchies would be a wonderful embellishment for cards and scrapbooking, I imagine. Cute! Mimi xxx

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  3. Mimi, I have never heard of 'inchies!' I must do some research ... thanks for the introduction, they are really cute!

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    1. Hi Patsi. Yes, I found them on Pinterest as mentioned, and they immediately sparked my imagination! Have fun with the idea! Mimi xxx

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  4. Mimi, I also have never heard of inchies. I will have to check on Pinterest.

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    1. Chel, I imagine you could do crocheted or knitted ones on tiny needles too. Mimi xxx

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  5. These are precious! I just dug out my embroidery floss for another project. I will have to give this a try. What a great way to show off a cute button. Thanks for joining Monday Social.

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    1. Hi Eilis. I'm glad you like the idea too. They're so much fun and so quick and easy! Mimi xxx

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  6. Hello, What a very cute idea, I will try this soon as I did try ribbon embroidering last year on muslim fabric. I will pin this to my craft board.
    Happy Day
    Roxy

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    1. Hi Roxy. If you're into ribbon embroidery, I imagine you could do a lot with inchies, and they'd be stunning! Mimi xxx

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  7. These are so pretty! Happy Monday ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm glad you like them, Summer. Mimi xxx

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  8. These are just sooo cute! Can see lots of possibilities!

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    1. I agree Lynn. Cards, gift toppers, brooches, keyrings, and the list goes on! Mimi xxx

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  9. Love the inchies! you did a beautiful job!
    Thanks for the link; and esp. for the inspiration! : ) Karen O

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    1. I'm pleased you like them too Karen. Mimi xxx

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  10. I'd never heard of inchies so, of course, headed over to Pinterest to check them out. What a fun idea! This gives me an idea to make up a bunch of these, maybe with simple Christmas trees stitched on them, to give with the candy canes I like to hand out to folks at Christmastime.

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    1. I know, right? Gotta love Pinterest! Mimi xxx

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  11. These are so cute and look very easy, too! I love the heart inchie! Thanks for sharing - they would make great gift tags! xx Karen

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    1. Karen, they would make gorgeous gift tags, you're right! Mimi xxx

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  12. These inchies are sweet. And I can see how they would be addictive :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. They are a bit cure Amalia, aren't they? Mimi xxx

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  13. Thank for sharing your latest DIY passion with Monday Social. We loved seeing these.

    Judith

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx