February 05 2009 Thursday at 11:22 AM

Project: "I love your guts!" Valentine


Text and photos: Amy Bindel of Early Bird Special

Do you have a loved one on your Valentine list that isn't impressed by teddy bears holding daisies?
Stitch this twisted handmade card and watch them squeal with delight!

Who: You!

What: I Love Your Guts Embroidered Valentine Card

When: Right now! Valentine's Day is a week away! It'll take you an hour or two, depending on your skill level.

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate


You'll need:

* "I love your guts" Template (download below)
or Vital Organs Transfers

* Index Cardstock or Bristol board  in 8 1/2" x 11"

*  Sublime Stitching Transfer Paper (or transfer pen/pencil)

* White fabric (or your choice of color)

*Embroidery floss in "gutsy" colors

*Embroidery scissors & Embroidery needle

* Ruler

* Craft Glue or Spray Adhesive

* Small Paintbrush

*Rick-Rack (that squiggly ribbon stuff)

x - x - x - x - x - x

1.  Choose your transfer method. I am opting to use the transfer paper and stylus
(If you are using transfer pens, skip ahead to step #5!
If you are using the iron-on transfers to get the design on your card,
simply follow the same instructions for transferring to fabric. Just don't make the card too hot with your iron,
or it may curl. If your cardstock curls, flatten it under a book or stack of magazines before it cools.)   

2.  Cut a piece of transfer paper slightly larger than the size of the intestines design. 
Tape the corners of the transfer paper to your fabric. 

3.  Now tape the inestines design to the transfer paper
The taping will ensure there is no shifting of the pattern, so you won't "ghost" your image.

4.  All taped and ready to go? Good! Transfer the image by going over the design firmly with the stylus
No stylus? No problem! Just use another object with a dull point, such as a bamboo knitting needle. 
You can even use a pen or a pencil, just take care not to puncture through the paper and mark on your fabric.

Jenny says: If using a pen to trace the design, opt for another color so you can clearly see where you've already traced.

5.  If you've decided to opt for the transfer pen or pencil method, you will need to follow the package instructions. 

 6.  Now for the fun part: embroider them guts! 

7.  1 1/2 episodes of Grey's Anatomy later, and the intestines are successfully embroidered!

8.  Un-hoop your fabric and give it a good, HOT ironing to remove the hoop marks. (You can use your steam setting now.)

9.  Now measure half an inch outward from the farthest point of each side of your intestines.

10.  Once you've measured around all 4 sides, cut out the design.

11.  Decide the placement of the design on your card. 

12.  Turn your fabric square over on to the backside and apply a thin line of fabric glue along all 4 sides. 
Then stick it to your card front, in your place. You could also use spray adhesive here, if you're fancy like that.

Jenny says: Just be aware that spray adhesive is not kind to fabrics over time and this
will not be an heirloom piece if you use it. I'm just saying!

13.  Now open your card, and apply a thin layer of glue along the top edge of your card, and apply the rick-rack. 
Repeat for all 4 sides.  (I found it easiest to use a paintbrush to apply my glue.)

14.  Repeat the glue and rick-rack method to the front of the card to apply rick-rack around your embroidered image.

15.  Cut out the "I love your guts" text, and glue it to the inside of your card. 
You can be as simplistic as I was, or you can get fancy and add a different colored paper or even more rick-rack
underneath or around the text.

16.  Now you've got yourself one sick + twisted, handmade Valentine, sure to make any lover's stomach flip-flop.

Heaps and heaps of thanks to Amy Bindel of Early Bird Special for this tutorial and clever idea!
Be sure to visit her blog and etsy shop for more embroidery excellence.