Pretty Spool: Thread and Background

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Great! We are almost done with the hand embroidery on our Pretty Spool project and soon the train shall enter the station. (Not that I’ve been on a train lately as life is a little off track. Ha! I love railroad humor!)

Please note: Directions are first given here on the blog, then added to the Pretty Spool Tutorial page as we go.

Step #14

  • Stitch French Knots around the outside edges of the spool top next to the blanket stitches.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton thread like Oranges.

Step #15

  • Stitch straight stitches across the thread passing through the needle and surrounding the spool.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton thread like Oranges.

Step #16

  • Stitch running stitches in curves, arcs, and spirals on the background fabric surrounding the spool.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton in a thread color like Degas Blue for the lower part of the background.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton in a thread color like Oranges for the center part of the background.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton in a thread color like Butter for the top part of the background.

Pretty Spool: Fabric Prep

Ready to start the Pretty Spool Project?

Good! I’m so happy you are adding another spool of thread to your vast collection.

Here you see the fabrics I used to create my Pretty Spool quilt top. These are my hand-dyed Rainbow Rich and Rainbow Medium fabrics and they contain all the colors needed to make the design. They are available pre-fused (by my little hands) as a kit. See the Pretty Spool Kit here.

You can also use your own fabrics. You’ll find a list of what you need on the Pretty Spool Tutorial page. As we make the project, I’ll be adding the directions to the Tutorial page. That way you can join at any time.

So let’s get started!

Please note: if you’re not using fabrics from my Pretty Spool Stitch Kit, be sure to wash your fabrics before starting Step #2. Commerical fabrics may have sizing or starch on the fabric that interferes with the fusible web bonding process. Washing the fabric removes the sizing.

Step #2 Fusing the Fabric

homesweetsal2
  • If you’ve purchased the Pretty Spool Kit you are so lucky! Please skip to Step #3.
  • Cut the fusible web slightly smaller than the fabric. (See suggested fusible webs in the materials list.)
  • Place the fabric on the ironing surface then put the rough side or glue side of the paper on top. (If using Misty Fuse, place the web on the fabric and cover the web with parchment paper.)
  • Transfer the fusible web to the fabric using a hot (cotton setting), dry iron.
  • Glide the iron across the paper from edge to edge for about 5 seconds in each spot. Go to the edge and beyond!

Step #3 Silicone Release Paper

homesweetsal1
  • Let the fabric and web cool 5 – 20 minutes before removing the paper. 
  • Before removing the paper from the fabrics, separate the fabric from the paper at one corner. Trim any non-fused fabric off by following the paper’s edge. Peel the paper off without ripping it. Save the paper for later use in pattern transfer.
  • The paper you’ve just removed is called silicone release paper. It has a silicone coating and will be used to transfer pattern shapes to the fused fabrics.
  • Parchment (or baking) paper is similar to release paper and can be used in place of release paper. 
  • Either side of silicone release paper or most parchment papers is usable for fusing. Please note, however, that on some versions of fusible web only the “shiny” side of the paper is usable as release paper.

Pretty Spool: A New Quilt Tutorial

 

Pretty Spool #5 by Laura Wasilowski

Pretty Spool: A New Quilt Tutorial for You!

My latest free tutorial is a tribute to the many spools of thread you have rattling around your house. Pretty Spool is a fused art quilt made with my hand-dyed rainbow fabrics. But I image you have plenty of fabrics in your stash you can use (if you can find them beneath your many spools of thread.)

There is no machine quilting on this quilt. It is all stitched with basic hand embroidery stitches. I’ll give you links on how to make each stitch when we get there. And you can always see all the steps for making Pretty Spool on its Tutorial Page. I’ll add directions as we go.

Meanwhile, lets get ready by gathering all the tools and materials you need to create your Pretty Spool.

Step #1 

Click here for a Pretty Spool Stitch Kit. The stitch kit includes pre-fused fabrics for the quilt top only and pearl cotton threads for hand embroidery. Or assemble the following items:

  • 8″ x 10″ light blue to green for the background
  • 4″ x 4″ blue for spool
  • 4″ x 6″ blue/green for spool top edge, top slope, base slope, and base
  • 2″ x 5″ light pink/orange for spool top
  • 6″ x 6″ red-orange for thread
  • 1 1/2″ x 7″ yellow for needle
  • 5″ x 8″ red to purple for top and bottom borders
  • 5″ x 13″ green to blue to purple for side borders
  • 12″ x 13″ backing fabric
  • 12″ x 13″ batting (Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Batting or wool batting recommended)
  • 1 yard of fusible web (Pellon Wonder Under paper backed #805, Soft Fuse, or Misty Fuse used with parchment paper are recommended)
  • 1 yard of parchment paper (optional but recommended)
  • Size 12 pearl cotton embroidery thread
  • Size 4 or 5 hand embroidery needle

A Note about Fabric Choices Fabrics with no finish like 100% cotton hand-dyed and batik fabrics work best for raw edge fusing because the color goes through the fabric. (Fused elements from printed fabrics with a white back will show a white edge when cut.) Fabrics with a higher thread count fray less when cut. Wash your fabric to remove any starch or sizing before fusing and do not use fabric softener.

Other items needed:

  • Black Sharpie Fine Point marker or lead pencil
  • 1 1/2 yard parchment or baking paper  (optional but very handy)
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
  • Decorative pinking rotary cutter blade or pinking shears (optional but helpful)
  • Machine quilting thread (optional)
  • Click here to download and print out the Pretty Spool pattern as a Word document. Or click here to download and print out the Pretty Spool pattern as a PDF.