Thread-u-cation Thursday: Fern Stitch

fernstitch4Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Fern Stitch. The Fern Stitch is a spiky little stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, plant and tree forms, and for creating lots of thready texture.

fernstitch1Add a few Pistil Stitches between the spikes of the Fern Stitch to dress it up.

cactusonsilk12Or place Lazy Daisy Stitches between the spikes to make a soft edge plant sprouting out of the ground.

fernstitch7The directions for my version of the stitch are a little different. You start at the top of the line your want to stitch and work your way down. Here are the directions for the Fern Stitch. Have fun!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Pistil Stitch

pistilstitch2Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Pistil Stitch. The Pistil Stitch is a close relative of the French Knot but has more flare, more excitement, more thrill. Here it is adding drama (or pistils) to the top of a purple flower.

pistilstitch3But why limit the exuberant Pistil Stitch to flower tops?  This house is much more interesting with a roof top of Pistil Stitches. Who lives there? What do they do for a living? Are there any rooms available for rent?

pistilstitch7Think of Pistil Stitches a punctuation marks that add hits of color to fabric shapes. Stitched with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the  Aquamarine colorway, this fabric is about to pop with texture made by Pistil Stitches.

Here are directions for making the  Pistil Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Straight Stitch

tiltytown12detail

Tilty Town #12 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Straight Stitch. The Straight Stitch lives a simple life. It goes from here to there. And sometime from there to here.

straight4The Straight Stitch is plain. It is not glamorous like a French Knot or exotic like the Blanket Stitch. It is just a line of thread on the fabric. But beneath that ho-hum existence beats a stitch of great potential. Here you see it drawing dramatic pink lines. Those directional lines are made with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread stitched on felt in the  Petunias colorway.

Here are directions for making the Straight Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Have You Tried the Pillowcase Binding?

prettyplanet13

Pretty Planet #13 by Laura Wasilowski

Pretty Planet #13 began as a sample for a past class I taught called (oddly enough) Pretty Planet. Lately, I’ve been finishing my class samples and turning them into completed art work. And I’m using a method of binding the gives them a neat finish.

pillowcasebinding3This version of binding, the Pillowcase Binding, gives you a trim edge and is quick and easy. Please note that these directions are for finishing a small fused quilt. It may not work as easily on large, non fused quilts.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: French Knot

frenchknot5Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the French Knot. The French Knot is a small hit or bead of color that gives you a dimensional stitch that leaps off the fabric.

frenchknot6Add the French Knot to any other stitch and its sure to liven up the playing field. Here you see it with the Ermine Stitch in a Size 12 pearl cotton thread on a silk fabric backed with batting. (Check out the Silk Stitch Along to see how to prepare the silk.) The thread colorway is called Really Red. It’s variegation of color ranges from red to gold. So is it really red? I’m not so sure.

frenchknot4Here you see French Knots used in several ways in this detail of a stitched bird. It becomes the highlight for the bird’s eye, a decorative band around his neck and a textural pattern for his wing.This thread colorway is called called Ornamental Grasses. (Sometimes its hard to come up with names for my threads.)

Why not add some French Knots to your artwork today? Here are directions for making the French Knot. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Beware of Batting with Scrim

battingOne of the concerns of a quilter using fusible web is the problem with scrim on batting. (I know this because I learned the hard way and am still in recovery.)

scrimScrim is a thin, non-woven plastic-like fiber placed on the back of some batts. When making batting, manufacturers needle or force cotton/poly fibers into the scrim to hold those tiny fibers in place.

Scrim is not used on all batting types. (Wool is generally scrim free.) But if it is used on a cotton, poly, or combination batting, it can mess up your fused quilt.

scrimnonscrimWhen fabric backed with fusible web is ironed to the scrim side of the batting, the fabric will ripple. When fabric backed with fusible web is ironed to the NON-scrim side of batting, the fabric appears flat.

How to Detect the Scrim Side of Batting

  • Feel the batting. When you run your hand across the scrim side of batting, it feels rough and coarse compared to the other side of the batting.
  • The scrim side may appear pilled or pimply.
  • Scrim may have a slight sheen from the plastic coating rather than a matte finish like the non-scrim side.
  • You may be able to lift or separate the scrim at a corner of the batting. But don’t take it off.

How to Detect the Non-scrim side of the Batting

  • The non-scrim side of the batting feels soft.
  • It appears fluffy and fuzzier than the flat side of the batting.
  • It has “dimples” or pock marks from the needling.
  • Some batts have a “seedier” side or have more cotton hulls and seeds. This is the non-scrim side of that batting.

choosetofuse2Test your Batting

If you are fusing fabric directly to the batt, test the batting first. Iron just a corner of the quilt to the batting. If it ripples or waves, pull the quilt off the batting and apply the quilt top to the other side of the batt.