What You Need: Home, Sweet Home Stitch Along #1

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Home, Sweet Home by Laura Wasilowski

Ah, how good to be in my Home, Sweet Home! Now that the closets are free of long lost socks and enough dust bunnies to start a rabbit farm, it’s time to start another stitch-along project.

Won’t you join me?

We’re making this sweet little fused quilt called Home, Sweet Home. It measures about 12″ x 12.5″. We start by learning how to fuse the fabrics for the design, then move on to constructing the quilt top, adding hand embroidery, and finishing it with a pillowcase binding. 

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

Step #1 

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My version of Home Sweet Home is made with hand-dyed fabrics but you can use any cotton fabric you like as your canvas. (See a Note about Fabric Choices below.) Click here for a Home Sweet Home Stitch Kit. The stitch kit includes pre-fused fabrics for the quilt top only and pearl cotton threads for hand embroidery.

Or assemble the following items:

  • 8″ x 13″ light yellow to pink for top background
  • 6″ x 13″ blue/green to purple for bottom background
  • 8″ x 10″ light blue to light purple for sky
  • 4″ x 4″ yellow for house and house dot
  • 4″ x 5″ red orange for roof
  • 1″ x 5″ light blue for windows
  • 1″ x 1″ blue for door
  • 3″ x 7″ green for grass
  • 4″ x 5″ light green for leaves
  • 4″ x 4″ orange for tree top
  • 5″ x 5″ purple for tree trunk
  • 13″ x 13″ backing fabric
  • 2 yards of fusible web (Wonder Under #805 recommended)
  • 13″ x 13″ batting (Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Batting or wool batting recommended)
  • Size 12 pearl cotton embroidery thread
  • Size 4 or 5 hand embroidery needle

A Note about Fabric Choices Fabrics with no finish like 100% cotton hand-dyed and batik fabrics work best for raw edge fusing because the color goes through the fabric. (Fused elements from printed fabrics with a white back will show a white edge when cut.) Fabrics with a higher thread count fray less when cut. Wash your fabric to remove any starch or sizing before fusing and do not use fabric softener.

Other items needed:

  • Black Sharpie Fine Point marker or lead pencil
  • 1 yard parchment or baking paper  (optional)
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
  • Decorative pinking rotary cutter blade or pinking shears (optional but helpful)
  • Machine quilting thread
  • 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.

Stay tuned for your first set of directions. Meanwhile, what do you do with your odd socks?

New Project for Your Enjoyment

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Home, Sweet Home by Laura Wasilowski

Your new stitch-along, Home, Sweet Home, launches on Monday, April 13. We’ll make this little quilt from start to finish and learn how to fuse fabric, transfer the free pattern, and add hand embroidery. For a sneak peak of the items needed, view the Home, Sweet Home Tutorial page.

But for now, I want to thank you for sending me photos of your current projects. They are terrific!

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This portable embroidery bag was made by Lynne P. She used the free pattern and stitch directions for the Flower Vase Tutorial.  I love how she adapted the stitch project to her canvas bag.The color choices are brilliant too. So clever!

beckycAnd here is a cute idea from Becky. Her quilt guild, the Twilight Stitchers in Blue Springs, Missouri, is celebrating an anniversary this summer. Members are making blocks for a quilt featuring an open envelope. Becky’s customized flap used the bird from a free pattern I gave to Artfabrik customers last month. This is such a fun idea! 

Thank you to Becky and Lynne for sharing their work with us.

And stay tuned for our next stitch along: Home, Sweet Home.

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.