Crabapple Hill Studio

Beautiful patterns for hand embroidery and quilting

Frequently Asked Questions

Freezer Paper Template Info

The freezer paper is used to trim the stitcheries to size after they’re finished. All you have to do is cut the freezer paper template to the size given in the pattern. Lay it over the top of the stitchery with the shiny side down. Center the paper over the stitchery (you’ll be able to see through it somewhat) and press in place with a hot iron. Now you’ll be able to see the stitchery through the paper much more easily. If it doesn’t look like it’s centered (placed) exactly like you want it… peel off the freezer paper template and reposition it. You can re-iron/reuse the same piece over and over again. When you’re happy with it’s placement, use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim the fabric away around the edges of the freezer paper template. EASY!!

Quilting Preferences

We have our quilters stitch close to or right over the embroider most of the time. If an area is heavily embroidered (such as lots of French knots or lazy daisies) it should be avoided. We also recommend using thread that is the same color as the background fabric so that the quilting won’t compete with the embroidery. Areas left un-quilted tend to “pouf” out and look unfinished and sloppy (After all that work, we DON’T want that!!).

What is the muslin for?

We baste muslin to the back of the stitchery fabric because it stabilizes the fabric, and more importantly, it hides floss tails, knots, and crossovers so they won't shadow through to the front of the embroidery. If you're making tea towels, tablecloths, etc... where the back will show, you just have to skip the muslin step and be more careful and neat with your stitching.

Backstitch vs. Stemstitch

To get a stemstitch that looks nice and doesn't roll into curved areas, you have to have a very tiny stitch length that is perfectly spaced. When it's done well... it's beautiful. When it's not done well... It's a mess. The backstitch is much more forgiving. As long as you keep the stitches about the length of a grain of rice and relatively even, it will look great!

Crayon Tinting Instuctions

Some of the patterns are tinted with Crayola Crayons. It's a really fun technique that looks SO COOL when it's done right!!! I like to start the process by coloring any area that's going to be tinted with white crayon. It sort of "fills" the weave of the fabric and smooths it out to create a base for the colored crayons. It also helps with the blending of colors......SO!!! You can go through quite a bit of white crayon in a single project. In "Calendula Patterdrip's Cottage" I used almost 3 white crayons. Having to buy another ENTIRE box of colored crayons just to get one, single, lousy white crayon is just, well... maddening! But...having a little box of all white on! Yes, that's a new word.

Color tinting is really easy...

  1. Trace the design onto the fabric as usual
  2. Make sure your work surface is clean and smooth and there isn't any lint/threads on the back of the fabric
  3. Color all areas that you'll be tinting totally, but not heavily, with white crayon
  4. Tint all areas as directed in the pattern (or use you own imagination!) I like to use a little circular motion
  5. If you've made any mistakes in coloring, now is the time to fix them! After they're heat set it's too late!
    • One way to remove color is by dabbing with removable mounting putty such as Loctite Fun-Tak (the stuff you use to temporarily put posters on the wall)
  6. Heat set with a hot iron by laying a white paper towel over the tinted area and pressing (you'll smell the wax). Remove the paper towel and look at it... if there's ANY color on it repeat the pressing process with a clean paper towel.

Crayon Tinted Fabric Washing Instructions

The crayon tinting embroidery method has existed since the 1930s or 40s and some things have survived, such as aprons and tea towels, with some fading. However, since this is an embroidered quilt and since we can't be absolutely sure about about new stain fighting soap formulas, the best thing to do is treat it like the very delicate hand-made quilt that it is, by using Woolite and washing with cold water on the delicate cycle or by hand washing. For example, if your child accidentally were to get crayon on their shirt, you'd probably never get it out, but Murphy's law being what it is, if it's going to come out of something, it will come out of the quilt. So be careful!