Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spirelli Fun

Just before I left on vacation, a blog reader contacted me to see if I had a file for an adjustable "32 bump" scalloped circle. I have done several adjustable scalloped circles but none with that exact number of "bumps." She wanted it to do some Spirelli designs. Spirelli designs are done by winding thread around a shape in a pattern that forms interesting designs on top of the shape.

I didn't have time to make an adjustable scalloped circle with that many bumps before I left but I did take a look at the Accent Essentials cartridge to see if there were any shapes that would work. I found several...

This floral shape already has 32 bumps and can be used directly from the cartridge - just set the size to the size you need.

I found two other shapes that had 16 divisions - you could use these as is for a different look but I decided to use Design Studio to make 32 division shapes.

The shapes are highlighted on the keypads above and below.

Here is a quick explanation on how to do this - there is a tiny bit of math involved! When I was getting ready to work on the scalloped circle I had to figure out the degree of rotation for each segment. You do this by dividing 360 by 32 and the result is 11.25.

Here is the shape as it appears directly from the keypad. You need to check weld for this shape and then copy and paste it to created the additional points.

The Shape Properties box will look like this for the original design - notice the "rotate" box says "0" for the first image.

After you paste the second shape (while it is still selected with the "handles" around it), change the value in the "rotate" box to "11.25" and then press "enter" or simply click on the mat

When the second shape is rotated it will look like this - you now have 32 evenly divided points.

Above you can see the shape that will be created when you preview it on a blank page.

Here is the cut shape. I decided to test this out and looked around for some thread. I found several metallic spools that I originally bought to do some machine embroidery and quilting embellishing.

I really like the glittery shine of the colorful metallics - I got these threads at a fabric store and I am sure there are lots ofother options you could try.

I didn't have any directions but it was pretty easy to figure out some patterns to try. On my first example above I alternated the points and wrapped the thread straight across (skipping 16 bumps) for the center design. Then I chose another color and wound on every point, skipping 8 bumps. Finally, I used a third color and wound on every point, skipping 12 each time.

This screen shot shows the three shapes I used - the two on the left required a second layer and the 11.25 degree rotation of the top layer.

I set up some files to cut 12 of each shape on a 12 x 12 page and I cut each one in two colors - so I had 72 of these to take along on vacation. I put them in zip lock bags and also put a roll of tape and the threads in another bag and put them all into a gallon zip lock bag. Very simple and light to carry on the plane and I could use the tape cutting edge to cut my threads when I changed colors..

When I was tired of reading or working with the Gypsy, I could pull out the bag and do a few of these. I tried various combinations of colors and different patterns for winding the threads.

The look can be very different depending on the number of layers you add and the density of your pattern.

It can be a bit tricky to do the variations where you skip less bumps - a little harder to keep the pattern going and to prevent the thread from sliding to the points.

You need to be sure to wind tightly but not so tightly that the paper buckles. I taped the thread to the back of the paper to start and finish each design.

If you have Accent Essentials, why not give this a try. I think you can make some files quite easily from the information I gave you, but if you want me to "clean up" and post my files, leave a comment and I will be happy to do that.

You need to decide the size you want when you start making the file - since there is a rotation involved you can't "group" it in Design Studio. I can do this on the Gypsy now (I did one tonight!) but we are waiting for the update to allow the Gypsy files to be shared and to move files to Design Studio and vice versa.

Have fun with these - I am thinking about actually finding some directions to see if I am missing anything about the method for making these designs!


  1. Good morning Diane, these are really pretty! Thanks for the instructions on how to create more bumps! Glad to have you back home again. Have a good day.


  2. Wow this is great!!! Wonderful job!!

  3. Welcome Home!! This is to funny you did this I did my first sperilli for a card this weekend. Elaine would be impressed. TFS!!!

  4. i would love the cut files. it would be great to have at the 3" you did plus the full 12" as we spend a fair price for the fancy edges when buying the precut paper. the designs look great but you're right i'd have to look up the directions as it's been a looong time since i've done anything like this.

  5. Wow... those are just GORGEOUS... What are you thinking of the Gypsy? Are you loving it??? Do you like it as much as DS?

  6. Great tutorial Diane! I've seen this use in some gorgeous cards and with the holidays around the corner, this will make a great accent; Really like how you were able to use the shapes as you did; if you don't mind posting the file, it would be great; but i appreciate you explaining the rotation and this is caculated (big lightbulb shining on my head! :)

  7. Thanks Diane. I guess I'll have to review this cart again. BTW I also bought the G and am having a ball with it.

  8. This is NewBugInYourEar from the Cricut MB.
    I knew you'd do this Capadia!!! I ws going to see if you had a file using George? I also have WildCard Storybook PaperPups PDDU, HomeAccents, Callig, GP, Cur101, BaseCamp, NA,Alpha, and Sweethearts....
    if you do have something would you email me please?
    Thanks so much for all ur hard work and sharing!!!!!

  9. Thanks Diane, I've done a few of these before, but I didn't know how to get the larger number of 'bumps'. I recently got a gypsy, so I was able to 'follow along' to make it make sense as I read your post! Very cool! Thanks a bunch!

  10. These bring back so many memories. When I was in grade school, we used to make these, using the string as a frame around a picture we had placed in the middle. How the nuns made so many of these all with perfect shapes I'll never know. These still hang proudly on my Christmas tree (dare I say 50 years later?)

  11. great use of time while in the air, they came out nice. I do have a question for you? Im looking for a file of a 3d baby mary jane shoe.I checked google and I did find a svg file for it. I would like it for the gypsy. Ide like to make some but Im not into all that hand cutting when I know the cricut could do. I dont have sure cuts alot or the other program. I do have DS but its not installed and I dont know if I should install with craft room comming in april...I APRECIATE YOUR HELP. dAWN

  12. These bring back so many memories. When I was in grade school, we used to make these, using the string as a frame around a picture we had placed in the middle. How the nuns made so many of these all with perfect shapes I'll never know. These still hang proudly on my Christmas tree (dare I say 50 years later?)

  13. Thanks for the great idea. I made some of these and combined them into a kit for my daughter. I plan leave to them in the van and she can work on them when we have to wait somewhere. As she finishes them we will find a use for them. The first one she finished we used to decorate the bulletin board.


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