In these interesting times many of us find ourselves on the edge. And by “on the edge” I mean the fear of how to finish the edges of fabric shapes while attaching them to a background fabric at the same time. So I’ve come up with a few suggestions to alleviate your fears. Luckily, there are several ways of attaching fabric shapes to a background fabric. The Blanket Stitch, seen in the first shape, is your basic attachment. It gives a sense of stability along with a jolly little decorative feature. Then there is the Fern Stitch, Running Stitch, and novel Pistil Stitch. All delightful ways to anchor a piece into place.
But wait, there’s more! Place a heavy thread like the Size 3 around the fabric shape and couch or hold it into place with Lazy Daisy, Pistil, or plain old Straight Stitches. The ever popular Fly Stitch gives you a pointy edge and the heavy duty Chain Stitch firmly echoes the circular shape in our last example.
I hope this alleviates some of your fears. Remember, hand embroider is meant to soothe in troubling times. It is a quiet pursuit that gives you something to do with your hands rather than wringing them. Have fun!
It was so nice to hear from the young and reckless regarding one of my patchwork hearts that I’m giving away. Thank you to all who left a comment and the winner is: Deborah U. Congratulations Deborah!
This is how I’ve finished my version of the heart shape cut from an older quilt with hand embroidery. It has been stitched to a felt background fabric with a blanket stitch. Later I whip stitched a size 3 pearl cotton thread through the top edge of the blanket stitch to add more pizzazz around the shape. Not sure how I’ll finish up the felt background. But I’m so happy to have found a use for this old quilt and can’t wait to make more!
Frieda’s House (in process) by Laura Wasilowski
Soon I leave my cozy home and start on my teaching travels. There is the worry of packing and trying to remember how to teach the classes after 2 months off. But for now, I’m enjoying stitching for pleasure with my hand-dyed threads on felt.
Lea Ann’s Embroidery
Others are enjoying embroidery too. A few weeks ago I gave away skeins of a mis-dyed thread now known as Bordeaux. One of the winners, Lea Ann, created this wonderful stitchery using the purple thread. It is embroidered on an interfacing hand painted by Judith Baker Montano, one of the greats of the embroidery world.
Thank you Lea Ann for sharing your work and thank you to all who left comments for the recent give away of size 3 hand dyed threads. The lucky winners are: Carol C, Gene B, and another Jean. Congratulations!
Frieda’s House by Laura Wasilowski
My friend Frieda (who lives in the above house) likes to remind me that I may have “over-bought” when I placed my order for stacks of colorful Commonwealth Felt years ago. Frequently she asks, “What are you doing with all of that felt?” And for years (yes, years) I have tried to come up with a snappy response. But alas, I have no snap.
So I’ve decided to give my stacks of felt cut-aways away.
Thank you so much for not mentioning that I may have “over-bought” in your kind comments on the previous blog post. (Frieda, please take note.) And thank you to the lucky winners of the latest bundles who are helping me get rid of my felt cut-aways: Gail W, Rebecca B, and Michelle W.
Flower Bud by Laura Wasilowski
Many years ago I purchased stacks of wool felt from Commonwealth Felt. I love working with it but my collection of colorful felt and the cut-aways seems to be growing, not diminishing.
So it’s time for another felt give-away!
You ask, why do you like working with this blend of wool/rayon felt? Here’s why:
- It doesn’t fray,
- It is easy to hand stitch,
- You don’t have to worry about cutting it on the straight of grain and,
- It has deep rich colors.
Last time I gave away 2 sets of these cut-aways. This time, it’s 3. (I really can not use this all up on my lifetime.) Please take mercy and leave a comment below. You may be a lucky winner!
If you have a pinking blade or pinking shears, you may want to trim your felt fabrics before attaching them to a background fabric. Here you see the light green felt with a pinked edge embellished with festive embroidery. Isn’t that fun! The sequence for stitching these long leaves follows. (See individual stitch directions here.)
- Stitch Blanket Stitches down the straight edge of each leaf securing it to the background fabric.
- Stitch Fly Stitches following the pinked edges of the leaves securing the outside edges.
- Stitch French Knots in the center of each opening between the Fly Stitches.
The sun in my Felt Like Gardening #3 embroidery is a simple round felt shape embroidered with these stitch combinations:
- Fly Stitches (facing in) around the edge of the sun shape to secure it to the background fabric. French Knots on the tip of each Fly Stitch.
- Straight Stitches inside each “V” of the Fly Stitch.
- Chain Stitches around the sun stitched on the background fabric.
- Fly Stitches (facing out) around the edge of the sun stitched on the background fabric..
- French Knots on the tip of each Fly Stitch.
Felt Like Gardening #3 by Laura Wasilowski
I hope you enjoyed seeing how this small embroidery was made. The felt fabric made it easy to stitch and the time doing the embroidery really did give me a feeling of serenity and joy. May you enjoy your stitching to!