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Crafty Football Blog Hop: How to Make a Football Fringe Scarf
When Catherine and I started up this year's Crafty Football Blog Hop, I knew only two things about the project I wanted to do: I wanted to use English paper piecing (but just a little bit), and I wanted to use Denver Broncos colors. Then, playing with shapes, I came across this elongated hexagon, which practically begged to become a little patchwork football. And it all fell into place.
This is a super easy scarf to wear with your full fan get-up when you go to those chilly-weather games. Even with the hand-sewing, it makes up in no time. And as a bonus, you get to play with a little fabric paint!
- • Downloadable EPP football templates
- • Fat eighth of solid quilting cotton in each of your two team colors
- • 1/3 yard solid fleece in your team's third color (or white) – if you want to do a simple low-sew scarf like mine. You could also use an 8" wide readymade scarf.
- • Washable fabric glue stick
- • Contrasting thread for basting
- • Coordinating thread for sewing
- • Paper scissors
- • Fabric scissors
- • Masking tape
- • Marvy Uchida DecoFabric paint pen
- • Hand-sewing needle (sharp or quilting needle in a size you like
As I mentioned above, I'm using an elongated hexagon template here – although I did tweak the two end points outward a little so it could be a bit more football-like. You can download a page of templates to print and cut out right here.
You'll need to make 10 football patches in total – 5 of each of your team colors.
These patches baste somewhat like a regular old hexagon, with one important difference: see how the two points at the ends are finished? I'll show you how to do that bit here. For my other basting basics, just watch this video.
Start by pressing your fabrics and placing them wrong side up on your work surface. Apply a little glue stick to one side of a football template, and stick it to the wrong side of the fabric. Then trim the fabric with scissors so it's about 3/8" larger on all sides. (Seriously, a generous seam allowance is your friend for this project. Don't skimp!)
Start basting at the point where one long edge meets one point. Fold the fabric over the template along the long edge first, and then fold the fabric over the adjacent edge. Take a tack stitch at the point where the edges meet. (Again, the video linked above walks you through that.)
Now you're at one of the end points. First, fold the tip of the fabric over the tip of the template, as shown in the first photo. Then fold the two sides of the fabric over, as shown in the second photo.
FInally, take a tack stitch over the point where the two sides meet. You can see this in the photo below.
Continue along like you would with a regular hexie, taking tack stitches at each corner. Then when you get to the other end point, fold the tip of the fabric over and fold the sides in, like you did on the other corner.
With your patches basted, it's time to add some white accents. I used a Marvy Uchida DecoFabric paint pen in white – make sure you get the kind labeled "For light and dark fabrics."
First I used masking tape to mark two straight lines across the two tips of each patch. Then I added a third piece of tape that was centered between the other two. That created two nice open lanes to make paint stripes on my footballs.
Burnish that tape down firmly.
The paint pen works like a magic marker; just color on the fabric. But because you're putting white paint on saturated color fabrics, it's going to take a few coats. Just color one coat in, let it try for 15 minutes, and apply another coat. If it's still not opaque enough, wait another 15 minutes add a third coat and that should be fine. Then remove the tape.
Paint all 10 footballs in this manner.
Then of course, you need to add some laces! You can use a dimensional fabric paint for these, or the same paint marker you used for the stripes. (I love the look of the dimensional, but admittedly, it's kind of a pain to press around the laces, and pressing over them melts them. So use a pressing cloth!)
I just freehand drew my laces. An official NFL football has eight laces, but you don't have that kind of space here. Just make 4-5 and be happy.
Let all the paint dry thoroughly, and then you can stitch your footballs together. I alternated the colors on mine, so one end of my scarf has three orange and two navy footballs, and the other end three navy and two orange.
Whip stitch them together side by side in groups of five. This video shows you how.
Quick note: as you're stitching through the little stripes you painted, you might find it hard to stick the needle through the dried paint. If that happens, just pass your needle through the fabric just outside where the paint is. You'll only need to make 2-3 stitches this way, so it won't have any effect at all on your seam.
Now, cut your fleece so it's 8" wide by about 29" long (which should be the width of fabric minus selvages; check the bolt end when you buy yours).
Press your football strips well, and then peel out the paper templates. (Leave those basting stitches in – they'll make your whole applique strip behave very nicely.)
Pin a football strip at each end of the scarf strip, lining it up so you can see roughly 1" of the end of the fleece sticking out below the footballs, as shown above. (Use lots of pins so things don't shift around while you're sewing.)
Stitch 1/8" from the outer edges of the football strip. Then, I like to also stitch in the ditches between the footballs.
Lastly, carefully trim the fleece so it matches the bottom edges of those footballs. And you're all set for the stadium!
Check out what my fellow Crafty Football Blog Hoppers made! (New links will appear each day of the hop.)