It’s that time of year again,Thanksgiving. So put on your powdered wig, buckle your shoes, and grab your knickerbockers! We are about to learn the Colonial Knot. (OK, the knickerbocker reference may not be historically correct but grab something.) Colonial Knots are faster to make than French Knots and you can easily toss them in as a background filler with the Scattered Seed stitch like those above. (It also gives you and excuse to wear knickerbockers.)
Here’s how to make Colonial Knots: Begin the thread on the top of the fabric at A. Form a small loop like a backwards letter C with the thread. With the needle to the right of point A, slip the needle tip under the thread coming out of A. The shaft of the needle will lay on top of the lower end of the thread.
Shift the needle tip in front of point A. Wrap the thread across the needle and slip it under the tip of the needle. It should look like a figure 8 around the needle.
Gently pull the thread around the needle as you scoot the needle tip across the fabric to insert it back into the fabric. Insert the needle tip very close to point A. Draw the needle and thread through the fabric.
Congratulations! You are now an official Colonial Knot Maker! You may now remover your knickerbockers and invite the neighbors over for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!
Many of my quilts are small and light weight and adding a hanging sleeve for a short little slat just doesn’t make sense. (And, as you know, I’m all about common sense.) So I’ve come up with this hanging mechanism for your small quilts: a simple loop added to the back.
Here are the steps:
1. Find the center top of the back of your quilt. Make a mark about 1.5 inches down from the top to mark the center of the quilt. A pin hole in th fabric will do the trick.
2. About .5 inches to the left of that mark, take a stitch with your needle and a size 5 or 8 pearl cotton thread.
3. Take a stitch into the quilt backing fabric and leave an open loop. (Leave the needle on the thread.)
4. Put your fingers into that loop and pull the thread through the loop to make another loop. You are making a chain stitch much like a crochet stitch.
5. Continue to make the chain stitch until the chain extends .5 inches beyond the center mark. The complete chain will be about 1 inch long.
6. To secure the chain, take a stitch into the quilt back. Pass the needle through the final loop and tie off the thread.
7. Snip the thread, hang the quilt on the wall, and enjoy the view.
When adding hand embroidery to fused art quilts, you only need to stitch through the batting and top layer of the quilt. There are two advantages of embroidering the quilt first before adding the backing fabric. One is that without the backing fabric, you have one less layer of fabric to stitch through.
And the second advantage is that it’s easy to hide thread knots. Here you’ll see a few knots in the batting where I began a new thread color. And you’ll also see how to end a thread. Just slip the needle under previous stitches on the back and snip. It’s a good idea to snip the threads closely to the back of the quilt so they don’t catch other threads when your working new stitches.
Windy City #5 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
Outlining the shapes with hand embroidery on this little quilt added so much to the liveliness of the design. Here are a few other ways to outline the shapes in your next fused art quilt.
Add a Blanket Stitch to trim out shapes like this turquoise batik fabric above. Whip stitch another color of thread through the base of the Blanket Stitch to get a rope-like look. The Back Stitch gives a nice dashed line around shapes like the Size 8 Oranges pearl cotton thread on the green batik fabric.
Another way to neatly finish an edge like the sun in the Windy City #5 design is with the Spiky Chain Stitch. It’s sort of a combination of the Chain and Blanket Stitches. Here you see it in orange around the circle. The Fly Stitch adds sharp points to the sun and French Knots add punctuation marks to the points.
(See Windy City #5 and other small art works for sale at the Artfabrik booth #1314 at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this week.)
Windy City #5 by Laura Wasilowski
It’s been a lot of fun adding hand embroidery to outline shapes on this little quilt, Windy City #5. You can see it in person at the Artfabrik booth #1314 at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this week. Here are few of the stitch details for those of you who can’t attend the show.
The roof of the house is outlined with two sets of Blanket Stitches, one an “innie” and one an “outie”. The blue Blanket Stitches tipped with green French Knots are made with a Size 8 Aquamarine pearl cotton thread. Along the side of the house is the trusty Blanket Stitch as well as the Back Stitch in that same Aquamarine thread.
The Chain Stitch outlines the roof of the er…um… outhouse and the tree. Adding the simple Running Stitch next to the tree shape helps repeat that same Aquamarine color used elsewhere. And the pinked fabric edge of the field is finished with the Fly Stitch. French Knots fill in the divots.
There’s more to come! I’ll share it with you soon.
The good people at The Quilt Show are offering you a free viewing of Episode #2109 where I explain how to do the famous Wrapped Binding. The Wrapped Binding is famous because you learn how to make quilts with shapes other than square.
You’ll also meet textile artist Michele Sanandajian who makes fun, festive art work. The free link runs today through November 4, 2017. So check it out now.