Friday, February 4, 2011

Hearts and stitches

Fabric by Debbie Mumm
I've been working on heart wallhanging. Drew the design onto freezer paper and ironed the fabric to it. Peeled the fabric off, trimmed away the seam allowance and with the help of the perfect homemade starch found at Tinkerfrog's blog, folded over the seam allowance and ironed it. The starch worked beautifully. No white residue left over from the cornstarch and it held the edges firmly even after I pried off the freezer paper. 
I was going to blind stitch them, but I didn't have a hoop the right size to place the square in to stabilize the pattern while I stitched. Besides, it hurts my fingers and I suck at hand stitching.

Fusions by Robert Kaufman

So I fiddled around with the stitches on my basic sewing machine. I read an article in January's American Quilter a couple of weeks ago and was inspired to experiment. The article was called: Altered Stitches - Creating surface design with your sewing machine's built-in stitches by Karen Linduska. "Any stitch can be used to create machine embroidery if you look at it in a variety of altered ways," she says. "We will start at the default setting and work from there, going up or down in width and up or down in length..." I always find  lots of good articles (and pictures) in American Quilter.

Blue and silver metallic thread

Anyway, I played with the 12 stitch selection on the machine, lengthened and shortened them, and finally came up with one that I liked as an applique stitch. The yellow thread in the photos is Mettler polysheen. I love its glossy look, but the magpie in me couldn't resist a little sparkle - I've been looking for an opportunity to use a little of the Sulky metallic thread I bought on sale after Christmas. Blue on blue is pretty tame, but it'll give off a little twinkle when you least expect it. Maybe next time I'll be more adventurous. I didn't have any tension problems that people say to expect with metallic thread, but I was only straight stitching this time.

The King of Hearts with that imperious look of his that says:
 "Why aren't you paying attention to me, woman!"

Back to sewing. Until next time,

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