Thursday, January 13, 2011

A slight change of plans...and a fabric marking tutorial

I was so excited when Corey of Little Miss Shabby decided to do a block of the month involving embroidery. I have embroidered a long time ago and it was time to dust off my skills.

Corey was using the Sunkissed line by Sweetwater, and I have to say that I had been anxiously awaiting this line for months. So it seemed obvious to me that I would do the block of the month using the same line.

But then the mail arrived: Central Park by Kate Spain and Hoopla by Moda. And the plans changed.

For some reason, the Hoopla line had some fabrics that read as "folk art" to me, and reminded me of the crewel embroidery I did in the '70s. I also knew it needed something more substantial than a light background for the embroidery.
I had some Robert Kaufman "quilter's linen"  in chocolate and liked the look of it against all the bright colors of Hoopla, and it matched the stems perfectly.

I knew using a blue water soluble marker wasn't going to work on the dark brown so I went to my local quilt shop, and the owner and I did a little experimenting. This is what we finally decided on and it worked like a charm.

My store receipt says this is "interfacing, tracing cloth red dot." I think you can use it for patterns that have multiple sizes and you don't want to cut off the larger size lines because you are making the smaller size. So you can trace the pattern size you want onto this interfacing, using the red dots as registration markers.

Got that? Anyway, it's pretty cheap. A yard was $1.50 and obviously I have lots left over for the rest of the blocks.

I traced the pattern onto the interfacing with a Sharpie. Next time I will use a finer-point Sharpie as this bled, but in the long run that doesn't even matter.

The next dilemma was what to use for marking. Sew Line is a chalk marker and it comes with interchangeable lead. I got both the white chalk and the grey graphite. I think it comes in multiple colors as well. It is awesome. I just laid the interfacing on the fabric and traced again with the chalk marker. It went through the interfacing and onto the brown fabric and made an easy-to-see embroidery line to follow.

Corey is using all six strands of embroidery floss in her directions. I have never used all six strands before, but for Hoopla I really like the chunky look. When I try the Kate Spain Central Park version, I will probably try it with three strands and see how it looks.

By the time I got the majority of the embroidery done, some of the chalk lines were a little faint. But I just looked at the pattern, got my chalk marker and made them again, free hand. Easy peasy.

Next up will be the Central Park version. But for now, I'm loving the look of the bright colors on the dark background. Chirp, chirp.


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felicity said... #

Cool! I never would have thought that tracing through interfacing would work. I gotta find me that pencil!

Also, I LOVE your colour combo. Better than the originally-suggested one, to be honest.

Belinda said... #

How cute!! Love your block!

Anonymous said... #

It looks great on the brown background - the colours really pop and the choice of border fabrics works beautifully.

Amy said... #

I really like the dark background.

Anne at Film and Thread said... #

Now that is a tutorial I really need! I've never heard of tracing through the interfacing. Your embroidery looks fantastic!

Jen said... #

Super super cute! This is going to be so awesome!

Karen said... #

Neat idea, I will have to try that when I trace my pattern for the block. Thanks for sharing the tip.

Nancy said... #

hey...I have interfacing, that pencil AND some dark linen. Next week I am gonna try that for sure..

Grandma G said... #

That is SEW cute!! Great tip on using the interfacing!

And now I'm off to do my advice column... er... email. ;)

Regina said... #

Thank you for sharing. I have to get one of those pencils! I'm never happy with my marking tools.

Bumbles and Fairy-Tales said... #

So cute! I adore snowmen, and this color scheme is perfect!
Thanks for all the tips and bits!
hugs, margie

9patchnurse said... #

Oh thank you! I have been gearing up to do some embroidering and I was just starting to wonder how I was going to mark the fabric. Right through the interfacing, awesome!! I love your block.

Katie said... #

That looks awesome, Cindy! Maybe if I organized my embroidery floss I'd be more motivated to use it :)

Carla said... #

What a clever way to mark the embroidery. I love your fabric selection. Who doesn't like a little birdie and a snowman!

Little Spouse in the Old House said... #

Very cute! That's exactly what Kansas snowmen look like! Actually, I was paying attention to your technique. Like it! Janice

Elizabeth Dackson said... #

How did you like embroidering on linen? I am a full-on embroidery novice, and have only done Kona cotton so far, I'm curious if you find the linen to be any easier or more difficult to work with. :) Thanks for the awesome tutorial on marking!!!

Little Miss Shabby said... #

Brilliant idea!--I am going to have to file that away for later use. =)

Unknown said... #

I love your version!

Terriaw said... #

That tracing interfacing looks so cool! I went to Joanns today but forgot to pick up some of this stuff, darn it. Such a cool way to trace the designs for this fun stitchery project, or your own sketches. Love your brown background, which really makes the stitchies pop off.

JHNickodemus said... #

Looks great finished!

My 1st Bambina! said... #

I'm almost sure that Bohin Transfer Veil is in the same category as this tracing cloth.... will get me some :-).
Thanks for sharing!!!
Oh and btw... lovely colors on the Hoopla!!!

Amelia said... #

I love the bright colours with the brown. Gorgeous!
Thanks for the tutorial :)

Crystal said... #

Beautiful block! I sort of want to do this quilt along but then I remember how much I don't like to embroider. For now I'll just look at your blocks and be happy. :)

Amanda Jean said... #

oh, my goodness, that is CUTE!!! i love your embroidery!

Michelle said... #

I love the look of this! Thanks for sharing your method of transferring onto dark fabric, too. It's beautiful!