Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Peace on Earth - A Mystery Quilt - Day 8

It's December 15th and Day 8!  Time to turn off your sewing machine, make a cup of tea, and find a comfy chair, because today we are going to embroider.

I love embroidery!  I find the slow, rhythmic pace therapeutic and even though I typically use only simple stitches, I think that patchwork paired with embroidery is a killer combination.  So here we go!

Today you'll need:

Dark Blue Print:
2 -- 3½" x 14½" rectangles (these can be cut from the same fabric or from two different fabrics)

brown embroidery floss or size 8 perle cotton

We're going to be embroidering a brown vine onto our dark blue print rectangles -- click here for the pattern.  I drew dotted lines on the pattern to help you center the vine on your fabric rectangles.  Don't worry that the vine doesn't extend the full length of the fabric, we'll be adding more to this component later on.

I used a light box to help transfer the pattern onto my fabric.  Don't have a light box?  Try holding your fabric and pattern up to a window or placing a lamp under a glass table or you could use transfer paper -- there are no rules here.  Transfer the vine pattern onto one rectangle and then flip the pattern over before transferring the vine onto the second rectangle.  Here's what you should end up with:

And now the fun part!  To embroider the vines, use either two strands of brown embroidery floss or one strand of brown size 8 perle cotton and a back stitch.  The back stitch is one of my faves.  It's a fast stitch and perfect for vines, stems, and lettering.  If you're not familiar with the back stitch, click here to check out DMC's excellent embroidery stitch guide for instructions.

Just a quick note:  I don't always use an embroidery hoop when embroidering, but because these rectangles are relatively small and not stitched to anything else yet, I'd suggest using a hoop for this step.  The hoop will keep your fabric taut and help you to make even, flat stitches.  After you're finished stitching, lightly press the dark blue rectangles from the wrong side.

And voilà!  Your finished vines should look something like this:

Fun, right?!  Next time we'll try out some wool appliqué -- yum!!

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