Tools of the Trade Stitch Along #7 The End!

toolsofthetradeeThank you so much for joining me in our Tools of the Trade Stitch Along!

I’m about to give you the final directions to complete the piece. But first I have a request. Could you please send me a photo of your Tools of the Trade Stitch Along project? I’d love to see what you made whether it is complete or not. Just email an image to me at: laura@artfabrik.com

There is also a new quilt-along project coming up for you to enjoy. I’ll introduce it to you soon.

And now on to the grand finale of our stitch along!

Please Note: You’ll always find steps on how to make this free project on the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along Tutorial page.

Step #15

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  • Stitch Running Stitches across the background fabric in spirals and curves. Use a size 12 thread (like Rainbow Rich) and a size 5 or 7 hand embroidery needle. 
  • Stitch to within 1/2″ of the edges of the fabric.

Step #16

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  • Stitch tack the embroidery to the backing fabric.
  • Stitch Blanket Stitches around the edge of the design to secure it to the backing fabric. Use a size 8 thread (like Aquamarine) and a size 3 or 4 hand embroidery needle.
  • Trim the backing fabric to within 1/8″ of the design if necessary.
  • Remove the tacking stitches.

I hope you enjoyed Tools of the Trade project. Thank you for joining me!

Tools of the Trade Stitch Along #6

tools16I have 2 tips for you today as we continue the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along. Hope you’re having fun!

Tip #1 

The base fabric used in hand embroidery may get distorted when embroidering without a hoop. The edges become skewed and out of square or you get swells and waffles. In our Tools of the Trade project, concentrated areas of stitching (like the tools) may draw up the fabric creating wrinkles and puckering the design.

You can embrace the wonky edges of a design or rev up your steam iron. Here’s how to flatten the fabric.

  • Turn the embroidery over (face down) and cover it with a dry pressing cloth.
  • Apply a steam iron to the fabric to flatten it out. It may be necessary to tug on the embroidery carefully to flatten the wrinkles out while ironing.
  • If you want squared up edges, now’s the time to trim them square. Do it before adding stitchery to the background.

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Tip #2 

How do you embroidery a straight line on fabric if there is no line marked on the fabric? Use “painter’s” tape like this 1/4” blue tape found online or at your local hardware store to stitch straight lines. It has a low tack and will stick to the fabric but can be removed without leaving a residue.

  • Place a strip of the tape on the fabric from the beginning of the stitch line to where you want the line to end.
  • Press the tape firmly into place on the fabric. Stitch a Stem Stitch, Chain Stitch, or other linear stitch right next to the tape line.
  • Gently remove the tape when the stitching is complete.

And now on to the next steps in our project.

Please Note: You’ll find steps on how to make the design added to the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along page as we go. It’s all free and you can join at anytime.

Step #12

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  • Stitch 7 rows of Chain Stitches horizontally across the fabric to make the tablecloth. Begin the first row about 2″ up from the bottom edge of the fabric. Use a size 12 thread (like Lettuce) and a size 5 or 7 hand embroidery needle. 
  • Stitch each row to within 1/2″ of the edges of the fabric.
  • To make a straight line, place a strip of painter’s tape on the fabric from the beginning of the stitch line to where you want the line to end.
  • Press the tape firmly into place on the fabric. Stitch the Chain Stitches right next to the tape line.
  • Gently remove the tape when the stitching is complete. Use the tape for the next line spacing it about 1/4″ below the first row of stitches.
  • Continue to add rows to make a total of 7 rows of Chain Stitches.

Step #13

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  • Stitch rows of Chain Stitches vertically across the fabric to make the checkerboard tablecloth. Use the same thread as the horizontal lines.
  • Find the center of the design and begin the first row about 1/4″ to the right of the center line. Stitch between the base of the vase and bottom horizontal row to connect them.
  • Space the next vertical stitch line 1/2″ to the right of the first vertical row. Continue stitching vertical lines across the tablecloth between the top and bottom horizontal rows. Space them 1/2″ apart to make boxes.
  • Repeat the above steps on the left side of the tablecloth spacing vertical rows 1/2″ apart.

Step # 14

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  • Stitch French Knots  in the center of each box on the tablecloth. Use a size 12 thread (like Red Hots).

 

Tools of the Trade Stitch Along #5

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In choosing the thread colors for this project, I relied on 2 basic principles of design: contrast and repetition. The high contrast between the black background fabric and bright thread colors creates well defined shapes. These hard edges give a graphic, woodcut, or cartoon-like look.

Thread colors also fulfill another basic principle of design, repetition. The eye naturally looks for multiple instances of a repeating color like the color red in this piece. By repeating thread colors, the viewer is engaged and spends more time with the work. Repetition also gives a sense of balance and completion to artwork.

These basic principles of design, contrast and repetition, are universal to all art mediums. Look for ways to use contrast and repetition in your own art work.

Please Note: You’ll find steps on how to make the design added to the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along page as we go. It’s all free and you can join at anytime.

Step #10

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  • Stitch Chain Stitches vertically to outline the shaft of the pencil following the Running Stitches. Use a size 12 thread (like Butter) and a size 5 or 7 embroidery needle.
  • Stitch rows of Chain Stitches vertically to fill in the pencil shaft. Leave a small gap between 2 rows of the the Chain Stitches to make an edge.
  • Stitch Stem Stitches horizontally and in rows across the top of the pencil to make the ferrule. Use a size 12 thread (like Forget Me Nots).
  • Stitch Chain Stitches vertically to make the bottom part of the eraser. Use a size 12 thread (like Oranges). 
  • Stitch Stem Stitches to outline the tip of the eraser using that same thread color. Fill in the eraser tip with horizontal rows of Stem Stitches.
  • Remove the Running Stitches that outline the pencil shape.

Step #11

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  • Stitch Chain Stitches vertically to outline the shaft of the first colored pencil. Use a size 12 thread (like Oranges). 
  • Stitch rows of Chain Stitches vertically to fill in the pencil shaft.
  • Stitch Stem Stitches horizontally and in tapering rows across the top of the pencil shaft to make the wood. Use a size 12 thread (like Butter).
  • Stitch Fly Stitches on the tip of the pencil using the same color as the pencil shaft. Stack the Fly Stitches closely with the tip facing up to create a the tip of the pencil.
  • Remove the Running Stitches that outline the pencil shape.
  • Repeat the above steps to fill in the remaining 3 colored pencils. Use size 12 threads (like Aquamarine, Lettuce, and Red Hots). 
  • Stitch Chain Stitches to outline the handle on the tall paint brush shape following the Running Stitches. Use a size 12 thread (like Lettuce.)
  • Fill in the handle shape with vertical rows of Chain Stitches placed right next to each other.
  • Stitch horizontal rows of Chain Stitches to fill in the ferrule of the paint brush. Use a size 12 thread (like Red Hots).
  • Fill in the bristle shape with vertical rows rows of Stem Stitches. Use a size 12 thread (like Aquamarine).
  • Remove the Running Stitches around the paint brush shape.

Tools of the Trade Stitch Along #4

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And now for the fun part! We are about to start stitching the tools in our project. There are 2 paint brushes, a pencil, and 4 colored pencils.

These elements are all stitched with a Size 12 pearl cotton thread. This thread is much finer than the Size 8 we used on the vase. Size 8 is bold and creates texture that lifts off the surface of the fabric. The Size 12 is less conspicuous but gives you more control in creating detailed shapes like the tools.

Please Note: You’ll find steps on how to make the design added to the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along page as we go. It’s all free and you can join at anytime.

Another Note: I forgot to include Step 8 in the previous post. It finishes up the vase shape but is optional if you want to move on to Step 9.

Step #8

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  • Stitch a Straight Stitch horizontally and across the center of each Cross Stitch on the vase. Use a size 8 pearl cotton thread (like Peas in a Pod) and a size 3 embroidery needle.

Step #9

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  • Stitch Chain Stitches to outline the handle on the first paint brush shape following the Running Stitches. Use a size 12 thread (like Red Hots) and a size 5 or 7 embroidery needle.
  • Fill in the handle shape with vertical rows of Chain Stitches placed right next to each other.
  • Stitch vertical rows of Chain Stitches to fill in the ferrule (that green thing) of the paint brush. Use a size 12 thread (like Peas in a Pod).
  • Stitch Stem Stitches to outline the bristles on the paint brush. Use a size 12 thread (like Butter).
  • Fill in the bristle shape with vertical rows rows of Stem Stitches.
  • Remove the Running Stitches around the paint brush shape.

Tools of the Trade Stitch Along #3

toolsofthetradeeAs we continue our Tools of the Trade stitch along, I want to give you some reassurance. (If I could, I’d hold your hand right now.) Be assured that none of the embroidery stitches we use are exotic or difficult.

We use simple, basic stitches like Chain Stitches, French Knots,  and Stem Stitches. Go ahead and click the link on anyone of these stitches. You’ll be taken to a page with directions on how to make that stitch and how it might be used in different ways. 

We are stitching for pleasure not to create a masterpiece. Enjoy the process. Use simple stitches.

And now, back to our project. You’ll find steps on how to make the design added to the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along page as we go. It’s all free and you can join at anytime.

Step #6

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  • Stitch Cross Stitches horizontally and between the 4 wider stripes on the upper part of the vase. Use a size 8 pearl cotton thread (like Oranges) and a size 3 embroidery needle.
  • Stitch 1 row of Stem Stitches horizontally and under the last line of Chain Stitches at the base of vase using that same color of thread.

Step #7

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  • Stitch French Knots between the narrow stripes on the vase. Use a size 8 pearl cotton thread (like Red Hots) and a size 3 embroidery needle. 
  • Stitch rows of Stem Stitches horizontally across the base of the vase to fill it in using that same color of thread. 

 

Tools of the Trade Stitch Along #2

toolsofthetradeeI hope you are able to join our stitch along and make this colorful little embroidery on black wool. Every few days I’ll show a few steps and offer valuable words of wisdom from my basement studio. Well, maybe “wisdom” is not the right word. But I can offer a tip or two on making the piece.

You’ll find steps on how to make the design added to the Tools of the Trade Stitch Along page as we go. It’s all free and you can join at anytime.

 

tools5Our first step was to transfer the downloadable Tools of the Trade pattern to a background fabric using a Running Stitch. This is a quick way to transfer a design to fabrics that you can’t draw on like wool and felt. You can use fabrics other than wool or felt. But when we stitch this design, we do not use an embroidery hoop. 

Yes, we are hoopless, totally hoopless.

So a heavier, firmer fabric like felted wool or felt (made with at least 20% wool) will give the best results. (See the Leaf Stitch Along to learn how to felt wool fabric.)

And now the next steps in making Tools of the Trade.

Step #3

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  • Stitch Chain Stitches to outline the vase shape following the Running Stitches. Use a size 8 pearl cotton thread (like Aquamarine) and a size 3 embroidery needle.
  • Fill in the rim of the vase with horizontal rows of Chain Stitches placed right next to each other. Remove the Running Stitches around the vase shape.
  • Stitch one row of Chain Stitches horizontally and about 1/4″ below the rim of the vase.

Step #4

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  • Stitch 8 more horizontal rows of Chain Stitches across the vase to make stripes.
  • Stitch row #2 about 1/2″ below row #1. Stitch row #3 about 1/4″ below row #2.
  • Add 3 more sets of rows with this same spacing.

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Steps #5

  • Stitch Stem Stitches horizontally and on top of the rows of Chain Stitches. Use a size 8 pearl cotton thread (like Peas in a Pod) and a size 3 embroidery needle.
  • Stitch a row of Stem Stitches across the base of the vase.