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Painted & Stitched Hearts

Well, January, often referred to as the longest month of the year, has seemed to fly by!

So it is time to think about showing appreciation to those we care about. 

So whether you are into celebrating Galentines Day on the 13th or Valentine's Day on the 14th of February here is a painted and stitched idea!

I took a piece of well-washed cotton cloth (a piece of sheet to be honest) and stretched it on an old wooden frame. Three-point pins are great for stretching the fabric to a frame, but you can use drawing pins.

I then had a play with three Markel Oil Sticks:  purple, light gold, and red. These look good on their own but will resist added paint too. They do sink into the cloth so don't rub off as you are stitching later.

a drawn heart on fabric using oil paint crayons
Drawing Hearts

It can be hard to get hold of Markel sticks now but alternatives are Lily oil paint crayons and Jack Richeson Shiva oil paint sticks. They all "heal" after use, to preserve the paint, so you need to use your thumb to press the sealed tip away to use. You may want to wear a glove to do this.

I then used some batik dye powder I had mixed up in jam jars.

These are handy concentrated cold water fabric dyes and I mix up lots of different colours just from the three primary colours. You just dilute them to get pastel shades! I use Colourcraft dye.

For an average jam jar, I dissolve 30g of table salt in a little hot water and then make it up to 250ml with cold water. You then add 5g (1 level tablespoon) of Batik Dye fixer powder and 1g (a quarter of a teaspoon) of the dye powder.

I painted these on the fabric making several hearts.

using a paint brush to apply fabric dye to a design
Painting Highlights on your Fabric Heart

When the paint dries sandwich two layers of fabric with some wadding in the middle. 

You can secure this with a couple of pins but I used an embroidery hoop.

I used a couple of different embroidery thread colours and used running stitch around my painted lines.

stitching embroidery on fabric in an embroidery hoop
Stitching running stitch on your heart design

I then trimmed the hearts and used double-sided tape to secure them to the front of the cards. I'm not sure whether to leave them simple like this or whether to add a sentiment cut from the ribbon. What do you think? (Sometimes crafting on your own can seem lonely when you want another opinion, but here the online crafting community can be wonderful, so please do tell me in the comments what you think)

choosing a ribbon sentiment for stitched heart cards
Mounting stitched hearts onto cards

You could turn painted and stitched hearts into hanging lavender bags to hang in your wardrobe. After all, it's good to show ourselves some love too.

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