Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The garland of Doom

This post could have had many titles -  the conundrum of the invisible thread, the garland of curses, ooh isn’t it pretty and GAH I broke the SOFA!!

It should have been a quick project especially after having a look at the tutorials around the web. A popular heart garland is lots of heart shapes simply machine sewn down the middle one after the other. I wanted my hearts to be horizontal…I also decided invisible thread was the way to go. I imagined a nice clean suspended look so I got cutting…over 100 hearts in this little beast.



They look quite pretty sat in pretty stacks. I loaded up the machine with invisible thread and set to work…one colour sequence down and I looked up and found my lovely invisible thread was very noticeably (although invisibly) stretching and bunching up so my poor hearts wern’t hanging nicely but were gwtting quite bunched up. I’m sure that nmore research and tension fiddling would have solved this but I decided that nop maybe invisible thread sewing wasn’t for me…not this week anyhow!. I used what I had sewn as a tester and hung it up…happy with the coulours, happy with the invisibleness, not happy with the bunchiness,


The last photo is how they looked before the problems occurred. so there is hope forr this methos. I unpicked them , restacked them and thought….then pondered….then I ahd a little go with some varigated thread….whilst they looked ok…I really didn’t like the line of cotton across the hearts. It might look ok on the vertical as the hearts fold around it but on the horizontal….not so lovely….what do you think?


So i unpicked and pondered….then I packed up the sewing machine and decided that I would just hand thread the hearts….that way no unsightly threads and also an added benefit of being able to add in the odd bead and button. this time I was determined that it was going to be right… I painstakingly laid out all my hearts in sequence…added in the buttons and beads I thought would work then measured out the thread.

This is where the rest of my problems started…..invisible thread TANGLES really easily….I measured out  the length…added a bit then doubled over the thread to add a bit of extra strength (probably not actually needed and definitely added to the difficulty as there were extra ends to get strangled and tangled!). Eventually I wrestled it into submission. I thread all the hearts….I added in the odd bead and button (warning here…the beads are a lot heavier so just crash on down the thread…i double looped them so they were still moveable but couldn’t stampede away unchecked). Finally I finished and then I looked at the conservatory where they were destined to be hung and my goodness! those windows were filthy and definitely not worthy of all the blood, sweat, tea, biscuits and cursing that went into my lovely garland. So i did something most unlike me…..I washed down all the walls and windows!!! Here is the conservatory before the prettifying


The doom fairy was still lurking though and whilst I was stood on the sofa washing the windows I fell through one of the slats on the sofa base (GAH!). Not something that could be explained away easily….thankfully some screws and wood glue and my husband mean that it is now fixed…although I was asked “what is this for exactly?”….PRETTINESS! was my only reply.

Anyhow it is finally strung and arranged and I do like it. It certainly adds a little bit of cheer.



If you wonder why everything we own is set up behind the sofa its so my bundle of mischief doesn't get his mitts on them.

Things I have learnt and/or would recommend

  1. This requires a lot of patience but I really like the way you can’t see sewing lines across the hearts.
  2. Line up everything before you sew otherwise you have some hearts in front of the thread and some behind it (yes i did this too and had to unthread them). the needle has to go in and out the same direction on all the hearts!)
  3. If you go with the single thread option (probably easiest) don't measure out a length just keep it on the spool that way you have a lot more room for adjustments when spacing out your hearts….mine could look more spacious but the carefully measured thread was a good foot too short in the end and I had to graft in a bit extra!
  4. Buttons and beads look nice but whatever you do don't secure them too much as however carefully you measure you might just want to move them down the line a bit when spreading out the hearts.
  5. It is definitely worth persevering to get the look you want!!!

1 comment:

  1. I think it deffo looks pretty...and worthy of all the hard work! It sounds like it wasn't the quick and easy project you thought!