Welcome! I’m glad you stopped by to visit on the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Volume 16 Block Tour Road Rally!
It’s cold outside, so start by grabbing a cup of spiced cider and a quilt to snuggle up in!
Comfy? Ok... let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I live in beautiful Washington state. We’re in the southeastern part of the state on the dry side of the mountains, which means sagebrush, orchards, vineyards, wheat fields… very diverse and pretty! My studio and retreat space is by our home, about 8 miles outside the Tri Cities in a rural area. We hold eight seasonal Stitching Sojourn Retreats here every year in the barn. It’s SO much fun spending time with stitchers from all over the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, sharing our common love of embroidery!
I’m kind of a Vintage-y Halloween decoration nut and Autumn is my very favorite season…. Actually, if it could be Autumn for 6 months out of the year I’d be happy!.... 2 months for winter and Christmas (a month for Christmas music, decorating, and baking, and a month to just enjoy it! … 3 months of spring (ahhh, those spring flowers!)… and 1 month for summer (not a fan of hot weather). Was that 12?....Yup! Sounds good to me!
You’ll notice that my block is very “Halloween-y” in it’s color choices. I know it’s November and we’re moving on toward the Christmas season… but it’s never too early to start on NEXT year’s projects!! Here are a couple of ideas for using your block/blocks!
I am primarily a hand embroidery designer, and my Halloween/Fall Mandala just really was exciting to me… got to please yourself first, right? I love that it’s very graphic, but also kind of floral. I think you could do it in other colorways too, and I’d love to see some different versions as time goes on! The fabrics I used were a mottled black from my stash that I’m pretty sure was from Primitive Gatherings for MODA, a Dinky Dot by Loralie Harris for Loralie Designs, and Warm White Muslin by MODA.
I have a new fabric line that I wish I’d had when I was making this block. The fabric hadn’t arrived yet when I was sewing my block, but what I was trying to find in my stash were fabrics that looked like some of mine! I have a black Ink Spot, Script, and an ivory Ink Spot that would work perfectly from my Salem Quilt Show line by Maywood Studios. Aren’t we lucky that we have so many options? Fabric lines come and go, but there’s always something somewhat comparable available!
I used my crayon tinting technique in the block also. It’s REALLY easy and adds a little “zip” to the stitching! Sometimes people actually mistake it for applique….so...BONUS!
1. Any area that has color added to it will need to be “primed”. This will be the difference between the crayon tinting looking like a children’s craft project or looking like a watercolor painting. I vote for watercolor painting! Fabric is actually very rough, so you’re going to gently fill the weave with a light coating of white crayon. This keeps the fabric from instantly grabbing the colored crayon and streaking.
2. Start coloring as per the directions. Color lightly… you can always add more color. I use a tiny circular motion to do away with the possibility of streaks. Harsh lines aren’t pretty, so make sure you diffuse the edges of shaded areas.
3. Any mistakes can be “erased” by dabbing with a piece of DAP™ Fun Tak Mounting Putty. This is available in hardware and craft stores...even some grocery stores. It’s the stuff you put up posters with.
4. When you’re happy with the crayon tinting, you’ll need to heat set it. Use a hot, dry iron (Linen setting) Place a clean, white paper towel over the crayon tinted area. Hold the iron on top of the paper towel until you smell crayon, which will take about 20 or more seconds. Don’t worry about scorching the fabric. As long as the iron stays on the paper towel you’ll be safe.
5. Pull up the towel and look at it carefully. If there is ANY color on the towel, get a clean towel and repeat the process.
Rules for Embroidery:
Ummmm…… have fun?
Really, the only things I would suggest is that you use quality embroidery floss (it’ll make your life easier, and stitching a breeze!) I use Cosmo embroidery floss exclusively… and that you don’t have long cross-overs of floss on the back of the stitchery. My limit is 1/2”. Anything longer, whether you can see it in the finished project or not, is asking for trouble.
There is a stitch guide you can download and print out on my website under “Other Stuff” and “Downloadables”. If you don’t want to do that, you can always purchase my printed stitch guide. It’s not fancy, but it contains all of the stitches I use and instructions how to do them along with my crayon tinting technique etc… Actually, I’m giving a few of them away today!
Trimming Your Embroidered Blocks:
I came upon this method totally by accident one day when I was trying to trim the panel for one of my patterns...a rather complicated design (Twas the Night Before Christmas) where borders needed to join up with one another and angle across a pieced quilt center. I thought… “I’ll draw it out first on freezer paper how I want it to join up and in the right size…. WAIT A MINUTE!!! What a cool idea!” It worked perfectly and does away with that panic about centering and maybe cutting wrong. Here goes!
1. Cut a template from freezer paper the exact size of the block or panel you’re working with. Let me stress the word “Exact”. Measure and re-check!
2. In my patterns, I give instructions for marking lines on the template so you can center and line up your embroidery. You’ll be able to see through the freezer paper enough to see the stitched lines on your fabric.
3. Press the template in place. If it doesn’t look quite right… just peel it off and realign it.
4. Use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the excess fabric away from the edges of the template. Make sure the ruler covers the edge of the stitchery, and you are cutting on the “safe” side, away from the embroidered piece, just in case you have a wild cut… we’ve all done that one!
5. Peel off the template and now you have a perfectly trimmed, perfectly sized piece to work with!
I’m glad you stopped by! Have fun at your next stop.
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