June 25, 2021

BIRCH LANE PART 2 - EMBROIDERY

 

Ready to stitch the Birch Lane table runner?  Great!  Let's begin!
Most of the stitches used on the Birch Lane Table runner are pretty basic -
stem stitch, straight stitch, whip stitch, running stitch, lazy daisy, and the herringbone stitch.
The herringbone might be the most intimidating if you haven't done it before, but once you get it down, it will be a favorite!

                  Follow along with my YouTube tutorial - To the Point With Kathy Schmitz

The first stitch I'll go over is the whip stitch. This is used to stitch down the birds, the bird's tails, and the cherries.

                                                


 The bird's beaks are satin stitched.

 The bird's heads are filled in with a running stitch.

The wings are done with a fly stitch.

The leaves have a stem stitch going straight down the center with diagonal straight stitches as the veins.

The cherries are topped off with lazy daisy stitches
and the cherry stems are stem stitched.

The final stitch I'll show you in the video tutorial is the herringbone stitch.

Hop on over to YouTube to learn all of these stitches!

I would LOVE to see your finished table runner!  If you post a picture on social media please tag me so I won't miss it.
Instagram - @KathySchmitzStitches
Facebook - Kathy Schmitz

Happy Stitching!
Kathy






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June 20, 2021

BIRCH LANE TABLE RUNNER

 


I've always been a big fan of Moda's toweling so I knew I needed to use it for the background of my table runner.  The fabrics used in the applique are from my new Moda fabric line called Maryland.  The panel in the line was inspired by the Baltimore Album blocks and woodblock prints. Below is an image of one of the designs from the panel.


I didn't use the panel in the table runner, but Coach House Design created a lovely quilt pattern using 2 of the panels.  The pattern is called My Baltimore. The pattern is available at quilt shops now!


Ok, back to the table runner!  At 60" long and 16" wide it's a nice size runner.  Use a longer piece of toweling, repeat a design and you can make it as long as you want!
The pattern calls for 1 charm pack of a Maryland fabric and a fat quarter from the line.
It doesn't use all of the charm pack, but with the variety of fabrics in the pack, the leaves and cherries can all be from a wide variety of fabrics.
The applique is fused so you will need a fusible web.  Lastly, we get to stitch it all up with lovely Valdani 12wt pearl cotton threads.


I'll show you the first steps here on my blog, but you can also check out the video tutorial on my YouTube channel - To the Point with Kathy Schmitz.  Part 1 (applique placement and fabric choices) is available now.  Part 2 (embroidery stitches) will be coming soon!


Gather your supplies:
Birch Lane pattern
Moda toweling Cream and Black #920-181  -  1 2/3 yd
Moda Maryland Trailing Vines  -   fat quarter
Moda Maryland Charm Pack
Valdani 12wt pearl cotton Wheat Husk 0514 and Ebony Almond 0501
fusible web



Trace the applique designs onto the fusible web.  Adhere the fusible web to the back of the fabric pieces used according to the direction. 
In the pattern, it will tell you to use black print pieces for the bird bodies, solid black for the wings and heads, etc. In the video, I also talk about fussy cutting the cherries if you want to give that a try.


After all of the applique pieces have been cut out it's time to lay out the design.  The directions tell you where to place the branches, birds, leaves, and cherries.  In video there are other helpful tips too.

Do you need supplies?  
The kits are gone, but I do have toweling, charm packs, and fabric if you are looking for these items. 

Find the video tutorial here - 

If you enjoy fusible applique and embroidery you might also want to check out my pattern 
16" x 20"
This pattern takes Moda black flannel 22" x 26" for the background and a Moda Maryland Charm pack for the applique (plus a tough of red fabric for the cherry).  This one is also embroidered with Valdani 12wt pearl cotton threads.

Happy Stitching!
Kathy








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May 18, 2021

Tiny Treasures - Trophy Cups



I love looking at old treasures and figuring out how I can make them pretty and useful.  I found these sweet silver trophies and a cup at a thrift store and I challenged myself to create a fun project using the designs from my Tiny Treasures book.
The next time you are out and about, keep an eye out for small silver containers like these.
The largest one is 4 1/2" tall with a mouth 2 1/4" wide. I was looking for a size that would hold a ball of Valdani thread.  Do you see where I'm going with this?


SUPPLIES:
embroidery fabric
Valdani 12wt pearl cotton
 foam core - or heavy cardboard
batting
cording (I made mine out of DMC using a Kreinik Custom Corder)
glue pen - Sewline Glue Pen
vintage silver containers/cups 

Trace the top (opening) of the cup onto a piece of foam core board or thick corrugated cardboard. Cut out the circle. This circle will be the top (lid).
Trace that circle onto another piece of foam core.  This time, cut the circle slightly smaller than the first one.  This is IMPORTANT  - this circle needs to fit very snug inside the lip of the cup. It shouldn't slip down into the cup itself.
Cut 3 circles of batting the same size as the larger piece of foam core.


I used the Moda Mochi Linen Unbleached for this project.  
I stitched up design #2, the nest and eggs, and then gave it a good pressing from the backside.
I traced the larger foam core circle onto the wrong side of the fabric with the design centered.  To see through the fabric, I held them up to a window and used the shadow of the cut-out circle to find the center.

Then I measured an additional 3/4" past the drawn circle and cut out the fabric circle.  


Using a heavy thread, I actually used some of the Valdani 12wt pearl cotton, sew a row of basting stitches around the edge of the circle.


Stack the 3 batting circles on top of the larger foam core circle.
Place the batting and larger foam core circle in the center and pull the thread to gather the fabric to the back of the piece.  Tie a knot to secure.


Now take long stitches from side to side and pull them tight.  The linen I used has a bit of a loose weave so I took a large chunk of the fabric when doing this.


Keep stitching around the entire back until you have a nice finished look on the front.


Now it's time to make the bottom piece.
Cut a circle of fabric larger than the small circle of foam core with about a 1/2" allowance all around.  


Make small clips around the edge of the fabric, but not too close to the foam core.  Using a glue stick, like this Sewline Glue Pen, glue and wrap the fabric around the foam core.


This is the bottom of the finished project. 


This will be the part that fits snuggly inside of the container.  
Now is a good time to check the size.  It should be a very tight fight.


Hand stitch the bottom circle to the top circle, wrong sides together.  Try to be as neat as you can.  
My stitches are small, but they could be a bit neater.




Push the bottom circle inside of the cup.  This might take some pressure at first.  The foam core is a bit forgiving and it can be wedged in for a tight fit.  


Using a Kreinik Custom Corder I made a length of cording the circumference of the cup top plus 3-4" or so.
The rule of thumb I use when making cording is to decide on my finished length x 5.  This is the length I cut my DMC floss.  I use all 6 strands of the floss.
To see how I make cording, pop over to my YouTube tutorial HERE
Using 1 strand of the DMC floss, whipstitch the cording to the edge of the top, larger circle - NOT OVER THE SEAM. See photo below.
Leave a tail at the beginning.  Tie a knot where the cording meets up and knot and trim the ends.  


In this photo, you can see the placement of the cording.  It will sit on top of the cup rim.


How cute is that?!


If you enjoyed this tutorial, make sure you subscribe to my blog.
On your computer, the sign-up tab is on the top right side.  On your phone, scroll all the way to the bottom and click "View web version".

Thank you so much!
Kathy





 

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May 11, 2021

Tiny Treasures - Frame It!


Looking for another way to use the designs from the Tiny Treasures book?
Frame them!
I'm always on the hunt for little frames so I actually had two of these in my stash already. 
Get creative with the designs!


• For the smallest one, I used design #59 just as it is found in the book. I used the Valdani thread colors listed in the book and I stitched it on Moda Mochi Linen Unbleached.


•The medium size one uses design #42.  With the size of this frame, I decided to add and repeat some of the design elements to fill the area in.  This was stitched using Valdani 12wt pearl cotton Withered Blue P7 on Moda Mochi Linen.



• The largest frame allowed for some fun additions.  I wanted to come up with something that would be cute in a nursery so I chose four images that had short names to write - #2, #22, #49, and #58.
I used the Valdani colors listed in the book and stitched this on Moda Crackle Linen (color).
I also decided to quilt this one with a crosshatch diamond set 1/2" apart.  

Here's how I framed them -
Along with the frames, I used a thick backing board, like a matt board, and batting.

Cut the backing board the same size as the frame opening.


Cut a piece of batting the same size as the backing board.
Cut the embroidery fabric 2" larger so that it can be wrapped around to the back.


I found it helpful to use a bit of spray adhesive to hold the batting to the backing board.  Then I gave the batting a slight spray and centered the embroidery on top.


On the backside of the embroidery I used long stitches, side to side, to pull the fabric taught.


Then make large stitched going the other direction folding the corners in neatly.


This was a snug fit so there wasn't a need to secure it in the back, but you can.
At this point, you can call it good or you can cover the back with another piece of the backing board.


Thinking about framing a design or two?  I would love to see your finished projects.  If you post them on social media please tag me!

Happy Stitching!
Kathy








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April 22, 2021

Tiny Treasures - Pipkin



 Looking for clever ways to use the embroidery designs from my Tiny Treasures book?
How about making a thimble pipkin (pip)?  
The large one measures 3 1/2" x 5" 
and the smaller one measures 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" (shown below)

*The thimble pip has three sides and is fully lined. It's 
made using a process similar to English paper piecing.

SUPPLIES: (per pip)
• embroidery background fabric -
 8" x 18" each exterior and lining fabrics
• Valdani 12wt pearl cotton (colors listed in the book)
• cording -  ties 14"  /  decorative trim 16"
The cording used in the samples was created using 6 strands of DMC floss
lightweight batting 5" x 12"
• glue (household like Elmers)
• firm material to make the forms - 10" x 12"
I used plastic from a plastic file folder.  A milk jug or clamshell plastic (like fruit comes in) works well too.  The other option is to use card stock like a cereal box.
Print the template page HERE
  The large and the small pip both have two sizes to trace - the outside and the lining of each. The smaller templates are for the lining sections.
Trace the templates onto the firm material you will be using for the forms and cut them out. 
You will need 3 of each size(outside and lining) per pip. 
  
  

Spread a layer of glue on one side of the 3 larger pieces.
Glue the batting to these pieces, let them dry then cut the batting to the same size as the plastic. 



The larger template can fit a combination of embroidery designs or a single design, it's up to you!  I wanted to show you how you can take parts of a couple different designs to come up with a new design.  The larger design uses part of design #1 and #19 from the Tiny Treasures book.
This was stitched on Moda Mochi Linen unbleached.


The first thing you need to do is cut a piece of embroidery background fabric 6" x 8"


Trace the larger template using a NON-permanent marking tool.  I like to use the Pilot FriXion pen which disappears with the heat of an iron.
I folded the fabric in half both lengthwise and crosswise to find the center.  I traced the #19 scissors design to the center. Then I  used my best 2nd-grade printing and added my initials about 1/2" tall on either side of the scissors. Finally, I added a #1 wreath section to each side.  
Stitch up the designs following the directions in the Tiny Treasures book. 
 I decided to stitch my initials in the Valdani Black Sea color.

When the embroidery is complete, press the piece from the wrong side.
Using a lightbox or a window place the finished embroidery on top of the batting covered large template, centered.  Use a little glue to hold the fabric to the batting.


Cut the fabric leaving about 1/2" - 3/4" extra all around.  Trim across the points a bit, but not too close. Clip the outer edges keeping them well away from the template.


Using a glue stick, fold the extra fabric to the back of the template and hold it in place with binding clips until it dries.

Repeat with all 3 sides of the exterior.

Next, glue the smaller template pieces to the wrong side of the lining fabric - just enough to hold the two together.  Cut out the fabric leaving 1/4" extra fabric all the way around.  Clip and trim like you did for the exterior pieces.  Using a glue stick, fold the fabric to the backside of the templates.  Hold in place with binding clips until it's dried.


Now it's time to line the exterior pieces with the lining pieces.


Add a drop of glue and binding clips to hold the exterior and lining pieces together.
Stitch the lining to the exterior.
Repeat with all three sections.

Now it's time to sew the three sections together!  This can be a bit tricky, but very doable.
Start by sewing the bottom of the front piece to one side of the bottom section.
It's a good idea to double up your thread as you will be pulling this tight.


Continue by sewing the other side of the bottom section to the back section.
The final seams will be going up from the bottom section 1/2" toward the top.  Secure this seam quite well. (See the photo below)

Next, we'll add the cording to give the pip a nice finished look.

I made this cording using a Kreinik Customer Corder and a matching DMC floss.
I made a video tutorial for making the cording that might be helpful.  You can find the video here -

Start by slipping one of the knotted ends of the cording to the inside of the pip at the edge of the opening and stitch it in place. Using 1 strand of the floss, whipstitch the cording over the seam line.  Go around one side of the bottom and up the other side.  Fold the cording over onto itself
leaving a 1/4" past the opening.  Tuck this folded end to the inside of the pip and stitch in place.  Whipstitch the cording back over itself on this short side until you get to the bottom and then continue covering the other bottom seam.


Make two knots 1/2" apart at the center of the cording that will be used for the ties.  Cut between the knots to form two pieces of cording, knots at both ends (see last photos).
Place one end of a tie to the top, front of the pip, centered.  Hand stitch this knotted end to the front of the pip securely.  I sewed mine in place taking my stitches right through the knot.
Repeat with the other tie on the back of the pip. 


Originally, these little pips were created to hold thimbles.  I made this one a bit large so it can hold a couple balls of my Valdani thread. 
Pinch the sides together to open it up.  Pretty clever!


When I made the smaller pip I used the cardboard from a cereal box and it worked just as well as the plastic.


I decided to use a decorative stitch to sew the sections together instead of covering the seams with cording.  

1. Take a stitch on the side furthest from you.


2. Take a stitch through the side closest to you, straight across, and bring the needle through the same hole as the previous stitch on the opposite side.


3. Before you pull this stitch tight, thread the needle through the loop.


4. Move along 1/16" and take another stitch on the opposite side.


I also wanted to add a fun stitch to the top edge of the front of the pip.

1. I started with a small stitch perpendicular to the top edge.


2. Before you pull the stitch tight, thread the needle through the loop.
Make the next stitch right next to the previous one.  
This created a lovely little "beaded" look on the edge.  

I still used cording to create the tie. This picture shows the length I made with the two knots close to the middle.  I snipped between the knots to create two pieces of cording.  These were stitched on the small pip the same way as the larger pip.



I hope you enjoyed this project and will give it a try!

Please subscribe to my blog for future projects.  On your computer, the sign up form is on the top right side.  On your phone, please scroll all the way to the bottom and click "view web version"

Happy Stitching!
Kathy











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