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.

 

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Chain Stitch

chainstitch1Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Chain Stitch. The Chain Stitch is a linear looping stitch useful in so many ways.

chainstitch3Use the Chain Stitch to draw heavy lines on your fabric like the puffy clouds in this quilt.  This stitch easily depicts the sharp corners and soft curves of clouds. Here the loops in the chain are left rather loose so a peek of fabric appears in each loop adding texture.

chainstitchsample2Line the Chain Stitch up in parallel lines leaving a slight gap between lines to make row upon row of crops in a field. The Size 12 pearl cotton thread is worked 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 Lime Frappe. It’s variegation of color ranges from yellow to gold, green, turquoise, and blue adding movement and interest to the embroidery.

chainstitchsample1Place Chain Stitches right next to each other and you conceal the background fabric completely. It is an easy way to create shapes on fabric like the spiral of stitches that make the sun in this quilt. This thread colorway is called aptly called Sunflowers.

Why not add some Chain Stitches to your artwork today? Here are directions for making the Chain Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

 

 

Are Things Looking a Little Dim?

sunshineandfields

Sunshine and Fields by Laura Wasilowski

Have not fear! If things are looking a little dim for you today, it may be because you’ve just experienced a solar eclipse. Sunshine and Fields, a quilt I made years ago, was made in celebration of that hot spot we all love and fear. Hope this brightens up your day!

Stitch Artistry

sandiembroidery

Stitched Landscape by Sandi.

Hand embroidery builds texture, pattern, and character. This small stitchery (9″ x 7″) by Sandi is a great example of free-form embroidery on a piece of hand-dyed silk. Taking my Free-Stitched Embroidery Landscape class last year, she brought her creation to a recent class in Sisters, OR. I love how she used the color gradation of the single piece of fabric to make this lovely mountain landscape. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us Sandi!