Sunday, November 22, 2020

Firecrackers -- Updated 7/26/2021

July 26, 2021--Entered this fun project into the Delaware's State Fair and was awarded a Second Place Ribbon along with a small (very small) cash prize.   Nice.

November 23, 2020--I've just finished these firecrackers myself as standups and am very pleased how they turned out.  If interested, there's a tutorial of how I did it below.  Hope you find it helpful if you decide to try this yourself.

Firecrackers Finished as Standups

Below is a brief tutorial of how I made these into standups. 

Firstly, you will need the following:

Fishing line (used for strength).  Click here for more information about what I use.
Circular needle for joining seams
Acid free mounting board (click here for information about what I use).
Fabric for firecracker tops and bottoms.
Matching thread to the fabric.
Compass for drawing circles
#4 Pencil
Weights for standup bottoms
Polyfill stuffing
Foil sparklers

To begin, trim each canvas, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.
Fold sides of canvas in toward the wrong side (see photo below)

Cut a length of fishing line approximately 3 times the height of the Firecracker and tightly secure the  line at the top seam allowance (be sure your line is very secure otherwise it will come undone as you pull the seam closed)., then begin stitching the long sides together using the Ladder Stitch over 2 canvas threads (count carefully to keep the seams matched up).  

Periodically pull the Ladder Stitches tight to close the seam.  This photo shows the seam closed after an inch or so.

Here the stiches have been pulled tightly halfway through stitching the seam closed

The seam is now completely stitched closed.

Securely end the fishing line in the bottom seam allowance.

Clip into the top and bottom seam allowances so they will easily fold to the inside of the Firecracker.  Leave a few canvas threads "unclipped".

Measure the diameter of each Firecracker.  I came up with the following:
Small Firecracker:  1.5"
Medium Firecracker:  2.25"
Large Firecracker:  2.5"  The photos below are for the large Firecracker

Set up a compass one-half distance of diameter (if diameter is 2.5", the compass should measure 1.25").  I use a #4 pencil so the markings won't "bleed" unto the fabric or canvas.

After drawing and cutting out your circle, measure to confirm it's the size you desire.

Since the board I use is rather thin (for easy cutting), I cut out 3 circles for the bottom and 2 circles for the top).

Cut fabric circles with a seam allowance of about 1/2".

Place a running stitching along the edge of the fabric circle

Now pull the running stitches tight so the fabric will wrap around the board.

I go one step further and lace the edges together so the fabric won't slip.

To begin stitching the bottom to one of the Firecrackers, secure your sewing thread to the canvas edge, then fold the edges of the seam allowance towards the inside of the Firecracker

Using straight pins to temporarily hold the bottom unto the Firecracker, whip stitch both together using thread to match the bottom fabric.

Once the bottom is attached, place a weight inside to rest on the bottom (I used gravel I found around my driveway) then stuff, stuff, stuff until  you can stuff no more with Polyfil.  

Now cover the Firecracker top with fabric.  Then make a hole through the fabric and board (so you can  push a "foil sparkler" through the top) and attach to the Firecracker with pins and sew on as with the bottom.  

That's it.  As you can see, my top and bottoms rest outside the canvas.  Someday I'll learn how to fit a top and/or bottom inside the standup, but as of yet don't have a clue how to do that. 

Please add photos of your Firecrackers to the ANG CyberPointers Photo Album when you get them done.

November 2, 2020--All three firecrackers are now stitched and ready to finish.  I even found some foil sparklers for the top of each one.  Below is a photo of the smallest firecracker.  

Firecracker Small Completed

 October 19, 2020--The medium size firecracker is stitched with only the smaller one left to do.  

Firecracker Medium Completed

October 14, 2020--Here's a photo of  the first of three firecrackers (and largest) that is fully stitched.  I can imagine how cute this will look with a sparkler coming out of the top.  

Firecrackers Large Completed

August 13, 2020--The CyberPointers Chapter of ANG offered this project by Toni Gerdes as a class to be held during its July and September meetings.  I purchased the full kit and love the variety of threads and stitches.  Lesson one given at the July meeting covers the largest of the three firecrackers.  I plan on getting the stitching done in time for the second lesson given in September.

Here's my progress to date.

Firecracker Largest Top Portion Completed

Firecracker Largest Top Portion Completed Closeup

Toni advised us to be sure the laid threads in bargello are flat, not only on the front, but on the back as well to avoid a "twist" working its way from the back to the front.  She's right.  You can see this problem in a few of my red threads on the right side where I didn't worry about what was happening in the back.   Of course, to do this means flipping the canvas over after every stitch.  I realize now that I need to Iearn how to lay stitches on the back without turning the canvas over.  This will be interesting.