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.
The 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!
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.
This 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.
Welcome 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.
Add 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.
Here 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!
One 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.)
Scrim 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.
When 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.
Test 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.
Crabtree’s (left panel), a commission quilt by Laura Wasilowski
It has come to my attention that I’ve made very few large quilts in the last few years. Large, to me, means anything bigger than 20″ x 20″. (Unlike common opinion, I believe smaller is better.)
Crabtree’s (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
But I did make 3 large pieces this Spring. They are companion pieces, a commission for a lovely family in Kansas. Each panel measures about 32″ w x 48″ h. They flow together and tell the story of their family and places they’ve lived.
Crabtree’s (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
It was important that the transition from one panel to the next be unbroken by a binding. So I used a Faced Binding on each panel. The Faced Binding is the latest addition to my list of Tutorials. I hope you enjoy it and can find a use for it on your next large wall quilt.
Time to finish this small embroidery and dream of making the next one. In the beginning you’ll remember that we fused the silk background fabric and ironed it to a smaller piece of batting leaving a 1″ boarder of fabric around the edge. We’ll wrap that edge to the back now, finishing the piece.
Here are the next stitching steps for the Silk Stitch Along:
- Fold a corner back onto the batting at at a 90 degree angle. Fuse the corner into place with a hot iron.
- Repeat this at each corner.
- Fold each side onto the batting making a sharp corner. Fuse the sides down with a hot iron.
- Cut a piece of felt to measure about 1/4″ smaller on each edge than the size of the piece.
- Stitch the felt to the back of the piece with a Running Stitch.
The complete tutorial for the Silk Stitch Along is found on the Tutorials Page of this website.
I hope you enjoyed it!