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Vintage Craft Workshop, by Cathy Callahan
Book Site: Vintage Craft Workshop
We’ve always been big fans of Cathy Callahan‘s take on crafting. She’s deeply interested in not only the design sensibility of the 1960s and 1970s, but also in the culture of entrepreneurial women who sparked the renaissance in crafting during those decades.
Cathy’s new book, Vintage Craft Workshop, is a celebration of both the crafts and the women who brought them to popularity. Sprinkled in among the 24 projects are fascinating profiles of such luminaries as Hazel Pearson, Enid Collins and Aleene Jackson. It’s an engaging history lesson as well as a collection of beautiful things to make.
To give you a sneak preview, Chronicle Books let us publish a project from the book, designed by Nicole Vasbinder. And you can follow the blog tour tomorrow at Retro Renovation, and the rest over here.


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Project Excerpt: Citrus Slice Bulletin Board

Along with flowers, fruit themes have always been a big favorite in popular crafts. Being California girls, Nicole and I loved the idea of using citrus shapes in her project. Nicole is an amazing seamstress and teacher, but she decided to abandon her sewing machine for this project. Inspired here by the bold fruit themes of the 70s, Nicole hand-appliquéd the citrus slices.
A few tips: While this is a bulletin board, it can also function as a wall hanging. Also, try to find tonal fabrics in as many textures as you can. Think shiny vs. matte, smooth vs. rough, etc. You can use scraps for this project, but if you are purchasing yardage, 1/4-yd (23-cm) cuts should be fine.

Tools

Drafting compass
Fabric scissors
Iron and ironing board
Tailor’s chalk or air-soluble fabric marker
Scrap paper
Needle threader
Embroidery needle
, size 7 or 9
Large embroidery hoop
Staple gun with staples
Sobo Premium Craft & Fabric Glue

Materials

1/2 yard green linen
1 1/4 yards Heat ‘n Bond Ultra
or other double-sided fusible web
Embroidery floss in white, yellow, light orange, light pink, bright orange, bright pink, and green
3 assorted white sew-through buttons
6″ x 24″ corkboard in a wood frame
2 1/4 yards grosgrain ribbon
, in green

For the Lemon Slice

One 9″ square cotton twill, in yellow
One 9″ square cotton twill, in white
One 9″ x 12″ piece wool felt, in yellow

For the Grapefruit Slice

One 9″ square silk dupioni, in pink
One 9″ square cotton twill, in white, or the leftovers from the lemon’s white cotton twill
One 9″ square cotton twill, in pink

For the Orange Slice

One 11″ square linen, in orange
One 9″ square cotton twill, in white, or the leftovers from the lemon’s white cotton twill
One 9″ square burlap, in orange

Directions

Step 1: Cut the piece of green linen to 18″ x 26″.
Step 2: Cut out nine 9″ squares of double-sided fusible web. Fuse each piece to the back of one each of the lemon, grapefruit, and orange slice fabrics, following manufacturer’s directions.
Step 3: Lemon Slice: Cut an 8 1/4″ circle from yellow twill, a 7 1/2″ circle from white twill, and a 7″ circle from yellow felt. Fuse the white twill circle to the yellow twill circle. Using the chalk or marker, draw the lemon segments on the felt circle: The easiest way is to divide the circle into 8 to 10 segments and then take a little off each segment to make them irregular. Cut apart the segments. Arrange the lemon segments and fuse them to the white twill circle. If things are a little off-center, that is just fine – it actually looks better if it’s imperfect.
Step 4: Grapefruit Slice: Cut an 8 1/4″ circle from pink silk, a 7 1/2″ circle from white twill, and a 7″ circle from pink twill. Fuse the white twill circle to the pink silk circle. Draw and cut apart the grapefruit segments from the pink twill circle (as detailed in Step 3), then arrange the segments and fuse them to the white twill circle.
Step 5: Orange Slice: The orange slice is a little different, as it will be only a partial circle. Draw a template circle on scrap paper that is 10″ in diameter. Cut off the top 2″ of the circle and the left 2″. This is the basic template for the orange. Trace and cut this shape onto the orange linen. Then trace and cut the shape onto the white twill, and trim 1/2″ off the curved edge. Trace and cut the shape onto the orange burlap, and trim 3/4″ off the curved edge. Fuse the white twill shape to the orange linen shape. Draw the orange segments on the orange burlap circle, and cut them apart (as detailed in Step 3), then arrange and fuse them to the white twill shape.
Step 6: Thread the embroidery needle with white floss. Use a running stitch or backstitch to embroider around the edge of the white twill portion of each fruit, slightly overlapping the slices (see photo).
Step 7: Thread the embroidery needle with yellow floss and stitch down the center of each lemon segment. You can use a running stitch or just one big stitch for each segment. Repeat with light orange floss for the orange segments and light pink floss for the grapefruit segments.
Step 8: Draw random circles on the green linen using the chalk or marker, varying the size and placement. Some may go off the edge – that’s fine.
Step 9: Place the green linen in the embroidery hoop and stitch over the circles drawn in Step 8, using a running stitch or backstitch. Use a different color of floss for each circle.
Step 10: Remove the embroidery hoop and lay the green linen flat. Arrange the citrus slices in a pleasing way on the linen, leaving a 1″ border all the way around, and fuse them into place.
Step 11: Thread your embroidery needle with bright orange floss. Use a running stitch or backstitch to embroider around the edge of the orange slice to secure it to the green linen. Repeat with bright pink floss for the grapefruit and yellow floss for the lemon. Sew a button onto the center of each slice using green floss.
Step 12: Wrap the linen tightly around the corkboard and staple it to the back of the board into the wood frame. Glue the green ribbon around the edge of the frame to finish it off nicely and to hide any staples.