How to Make a Nut House: Frieda’s Nut House #1

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Frieda’s Nut House by Laura Wasilowski

Ever consider living in a nut house? Here you see an exact replica of my friend Frieda’s nut house. Having visited her home, I can say it is authentic right down to the oak leaf sprouting from the roof top.

Frieda’s Nut House is also my latest stitch-along!

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This sweet stitch project is small (5″ x 6 1/2″). I’m using colorful wool felt fabric from  Commonwealth Felt and my hand-dyed pearl cotton threads. You can purchase the felt and thread kits for the project here. Or use what ever you have on hand. 

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I’ll give you step-by-step directions from cutting the fabric shapes using the free pattern to the final hand embroidery stitch.

Please note that directions are first given here on the blog then added to Frieda’s Nut House Stitch-Along page.

Ready to start? Great!

Thanks for joining me!

Step #1

Click here for a Frieda’s Nut House Stitch Kit or assemble the following items:

  • Felt made with at least 25% or 35% wool (or other fabric of your choice) in the following colors: 
  • Turquoise 4.5″ x 6″ for the background
  • Light blue 4″ x 4″ for the sky
  • Pea green 4.5″ x 2″ for the ground
  • Yellow Gold 6″ x 8″ for the backing
  • Sewing thread for transferring the pattern shapes (or used the green size 12 below)
  • Tracing paper for transferring the pattern shapes
  • Size 8 pearl cotton threads in these variegated colors: orange, turquoise, lavender/pink, green (Artfabrik colorways: OrangesAquamarinePrinky PhloxLettuce)
  • Size 12 pearl cotton threads in these variegated colors: light blue, purple, yellow, green, orange (Artfabrik colorways: OceanVioletsButterEmerald IsleOranges)
  • Size 3 and 5 hand embroidery needles
  • Download and print out this Word document of the Frieda’s Nut House pattern. Or print out this PDF of the Frieda’s Nut House pattern.

How to Finish: Home, Sweet Home Stitch-Along #7

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Home, Sweet Home by Laura Wasilowski

Now approaching the finish line! The hand embroidery is complete on your Home, Sweet Home quilt and it is time to bind the quilt and to add machine quilting if you like. The finishing method used for our project quilt is the Pillowcase Binding. The Pillowcase Binding gives you nice clean edges and is easy to do.  

(Note that directions are first given here on the Artfabrik blog and then added to the Home, Sweet Home Tutorial page as we go.)

Step #21

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Step #22

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  • Machine quilt the quilt using a titanium or chrome coated embroidery needle and free-motion stitching. (Please note that this step is optional. It is not necessary to machine quilt the piece.)
  • To add free-motion stitching, drop the feed dogs on the machine and guide the needle around all the organic shapes in the design while moving the quilt.
  • Add a hanging sleeve across the top part of the quilt if desired.

Congratulations! You did it! Please send me a photo of your artwork. I’d love to see it. Send to: laura at artfabrik.com

Where to Embroidery Next: Home, Sweet Home Stitch-Along #6

stitchafter3As you stitch your Home, Sweet Home quilt, you ask, “Laura, why don’t we use an embroidery hoop on the fabric?”

Here’s why: A hoop stretches and frays fused fabric shapes. And we rely on the batting to provide stability for you to get a grip on the quilt as you stitch.

Thus the term “get a grip!”

(Note that directions are first given here on the Artfabrik blog and then added to the Home, Sweet Home Tutorial page as we go.)

Step #16

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  • Stitch French Knots around the outside edges of the roof. Use a size 12 thread (like Butter) and a size 5 or 7 embroidery needle. 
  • Stitch Lazy Daisy Stitches around the dot on the house. Use a size 12 thread (like Oranges).
  • Stitch a straight stitch inside each loop of the Lazy Daisies. Use a size 12 thread (like Lettuce).

Step #17

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Step #18

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  • Stitch Fly Stitches across the pinked edge of the grass and Stem Stitches down each side of the grass. Use a size 12 thread (like Lettuce).
  • Stitch 3 straight stitches vertically at the base of each flower and stitch Chain Stitches from the base of the flowers to the leaves to make stems. Use that same color of thread. 

Step #19

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  • Stitch Stem Stitches down each edge of each flower and stitch Blanket Stitches across the top of the flowers. Use a size 12 thread (like Butter). 
  • Stitch French Knots across the top of each flower using that same color of thread.  
  • Stitch Fern Stitches down each leaf from the tip to the base. Use a size 12 thread (like Lettuce).

Step #20

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How to Embroider Your Home, Sweet Home Stitch-Along #5

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Your Home, Sweet Home quilt top is complete and you are happy as a clam in white wine! Next up is preparing the quilt top for hand embroidery and adding stitchery.

See how the hand embroidery really brings the quilt to life? It adds texture, pattern, and those fine details you can’t get with fabric alone. For this quilt, we use only 4 thread colors in size 12 pearl cotton. Even with these few colors you can see how hand stitchery outlines shapes, repeats color, and takes your quilt from flat to fabulous!

(Note that directions are first given here on the Artfabrik blog and then added to the Home, Sweet Home Tutorial page as we go.)

Step #13

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  • Remove the quilt top from the paper. Place the glue side of the composition on to the non-scrim side of the batting. It is important the glue does not touch the scrim or you’ll get a ripply quilt. See How to Determine the Scrim Side of Batting.
  • Cover the quilt and batting with a dry pressing cloth. Iron the quilt to the batting using a steam iron. Set the steam iron to the cotton setting and steam the top for 10 seconds in each spot to set the glue. Wiggle the iron so you don’t get the shape of the iron on the quilt top.

Step #14

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  • Add hand embroidery stitches through just the batting and quilt top layers Do not put the backing on the quilt yet.
  • Stitch straight stitches vertically and horizontally across each window to make the window panes. Use a size 12 thread (like Oranges) and a size 5 or 7 embroidery needle. 
  • Stitch a French Knot on the door to make the doorknob and stitch Blanket Stitches around the door using the same thread color as the windows. 
  • Stitch Chain Stitches around each window to outline them. Stitch right next to the window shape on the house fabric. Use a size 12 thread (like Lettuce).

Step #15

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Putting It All Together: Home, Sweet Home Stitch-Along #4

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Are all your fabrics fused? Have you transferred the pattern shapes and cut them out using the Miracle of Pattern Transfer?

Good! now we can move on to putting your parts together for the Home, Sweet Home project. This is also known as the fun part

(Note that directions are first given here on the Artfabrik blog and then added to the Home, Sweet Home Tutorial page as we go.)

Step #8

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  • Center the sky onto the background fabrics about 2″ down from the top edge.

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  • Cover the sky with parchment paper or silicone release paper and fuse-tack into place.
  • Remember fuse-tacking is exposing the fusible web to a short amount of heat, 5 seconds, from the iron (set at the cotton setting).

Step #9

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  • Place the house on the lower edge of the sky about 1″ in from the left edge.
  • Place the roof on the top of the house and overlap the house shape about 1/8″.
  • Place the door on the bottom edge of the house about 1/4″ in from the right edge. 
  • Cover the sky and house with paper and fuse-tack into place.

Step #10

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  • Trim 1/4″ from the long edge of the grass fabric using a pinking blade or pinking shears. 
  • Center the grass shape with the pinked side up about 1/4″ over the lower edge of the sky.
  • Free cut 4 windows measuring about 1/2″ x 3/4″. Place the windows vertically on the house.
  • Free cut a dot measuring about 1/2″ across. Place the dot on the peak of the house. 
  • Cover the house and grass with paper and fuse-tack into place.

Step #11

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  • Place the tree top onto the sky. Cover with paper and fuse-tack into place.
  • Clean your iron if necessary. For this next step you can not use paper to cover the fabric. See: How to Clean an Iron
  • Cut the tree trunk fabric on the bias to form 2 triangles. (Note: a bias cut fabric is cut at a 45 degree angle from the grain of the fabric or from corner to corner on a square piece of fabric to form 2 triangles.)
  • Cut 1 strip measuring about 1/8″ wide and tapering to 1/ 2″ wide by 5″ long from the long or bias side of one of the triangles. Snip the 1/ 2″ wide end of the tree trunk into a curve.
  • Fuse the tree trunk from the tree top to the grass by curving the trunk with one hand while fusing with the other.

Step #12

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  • Center the leaves on the lower point of the grass.
  • Cut 6 triangles measuring about 1/2″ across by 1″ long to make the flowers.
  • Place the flowers between the leaves. Cover the leaves and flowers with paper and fuse-tack into place.

Miracle of Pattern Transfer! Home, Sweet Home Stitch-Along #3

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In today’s lesson we are making the background or foundation layer for the Home, Sweet Home design.

And you’ll learn about the miracle of pattern transfer to a fused fabric. How exciting! 

Just as a reminder, both parchment (baking) paper and silicone release paper (paper you removed from your fused fabrics) can be used to assemble the quilt top and for pattern transfer. Be sure to peel the paper off all your fused fabrics before starting Step #4. 
 
(Note that directions are first given here on the Artfabrik blog and then added to the Home, Sweet Home Tutorial page as we go.)
 
Step #4
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  • Trim 1/4″ from the long edge of the bottom background fabric.
  • Use a pinking blade in your rotary cutter or pinking shears. (See: How to Load Decorative Blades onto Your Rotary Cutter.)
  • If you don’t have a decorative cutter, just make sure the edge is trimmed neatly without any fraying of the fabric.
 Step #5
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  • Place parchment paper or silicone release paper on the ironing board. The paper should measure about 13″ x 13″ or larger. You can overlap sheets of paper to make the 13″ square. It’s important to have the paper underneath the fabrics before fusing or the fabric will fused or glue to your ironing board.
  • You can also use a Teflon ironing sheet as seen in this photo.
  • Place the top background fabric horizontally on the paper.
  • Overlap the pinked edge of the bottom background fabric 1/4″ onto the bottom edge of the top background fabric.

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  • Cover the fabrics with another piece of silicone release paper and fuse-tack into place with a hot dry iron. Cover the fabric to keep it clean. Irons are filthy things.
  • This is important: Remember, fusible web is a heat activated glue. Too much heat applied repeatedly for too long burns the glue into the fabric. Over-fusing changes the fabric color, makes the fabric stiff, makes it difficult to stitch, and the fabric will no long adhere to other fabrics.
  • Fuse-tacking or exposing the glue to only 5 seconds of heat at a time is best. Once the composition is complete you will steam set the fabric to batting for 10 seconds bonding everything into place.
 
Step #6
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  • Click here to download and print out the Home Sweet Home pattern as a Word document. Or click here to download and print out the Home Sweet Home pattern as a PDF.
  • Place silicone release paper or parchment paper on the sky pattern.
  • Trace the pattern shape with a black Sharpie marker or a lead pencil.
  • Do not write or add numbers inside the shape or the writing will transfer too.

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  • Place the marker or drawn side of the release paper onto the glue or fused side of the fabric.

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  • Iron the paper in place for 5 seconds with a hot iron.

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  • After the fabric cools, remove the paper from the fabric.
  • The ink from the tracing will transfer to the glue. The fabric shape will also face the same direction as the pattern shape was drawn. No need to flip the shape.
  • It’s a miracle!

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  • Cut out the shape just inside the black line with a pinking blade or pinking shears.

Step #7

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  • Repeat the steps above to transfer the house, roof, door, grass, leaves, and tree top pattern shapes to their respective fabrics.