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Posts Tagged ‘applique’

Isn’t this lovely?  It’s a weighted over-the-arm pincushion and supply caddy from Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Stitch Book.  This is the project I took with me on our trip to Nashville to keep my hands busy in the car and late at night.    Small, manageable pieces requiring lots of time and love. I’m halfway done now. Would you like a sneak peak?

Alabama Stitch Book Pincushion

This time I traced the stitch line with a fine permanent black marker.  Rather than stitching with buttonhole thread, as suggested in the book, I’m using doubled regular black thread since I didn’t have time to run to the store before our trip.  Worked fine!  The outer nude jersey is an old T-shirt and the peak-through fabric is a purple woven from Aria’s Christmas Stocking.

Another work-in-progress.  Sigh… I need a finish soon!

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Lyla’s Banner

A very special little girl is turning two the day before my birthday. I so enjoyed making this name banner for her bedroom!

Lyla's banner

The letters were cut from an unwanted felted wool sweater and machine appliqued. I wonder if her mother will be able to place that sweater from our high school days.

with felted wool letters

The flowers at each end are adapted from Sandi Henderson’s Sewing Bits and Pieces.  Although she used them for sachets, I knew immediately that I wanted to use them for a name banner.  As per Sandi’s directions, the petals are cut from wool felt and fused on the linen.  From there the embroidery was pure play.

Lyla's daisy

Don’t you love Sandi’s generous use of french knots? And, here’s the other one.  I added the little dragonfly since Lyla’s room has a girly bug theme.

Lyla's wildflower

Happy Birthday, Lyla!  A package is on its way to you this week.

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Voila… it’s finished!

Refasioned with Alabama Stitch Book

And, I love, love, love, LOVE it!  I’m so glad that I was reading the Alabama Stitch Book when this skirt was bleach-stained on our camping trip.  Using the bloomers stencil and reverse-applique technique to hide the stain and salvage the skirt was oh-so-enjoyable; and successful, if I do say so myself!

I love it!

I have two more projects in mind right now in the Alabama Chanin style.  I’d love to make this “over the chair pincushion” also from the Alabama Stitch Book and a new shower curtain utilizing the bloomers stencil.  Either would be the perfect portable project for our vacation in Nashville at month’s end.

I can’t decide what I like best about reverse applique – the process or the finished product.  The basic method is to pin your contrast fabric underneath your outer fabric layer.  Trace the design and then stitch.  I find the stitching so relaxing!  Last, cut out the outer fabric 1/8″ in from the stitch line to reveal your contrast layer.  Cutting can be a little nerve-racking.  But, happily, I never cut the contrast fabric!

Bloomers Stencil Skirt

Alabama Stitch Book, Natalie Chanin’s first book, was recently followed by Alabama Studio Style.  Both books contain complete how-to instructions and gorgeous imagery.  The main difference is in included stencils and projects.   I’d really, really love to own them!  Sigh…

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Come, take a peak at a project I’m working on, inspired by “Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Products for the Modern Sewist” by Meg McElwee! Meg’s book is a gorgeous introduction to the art of applique – sewing fabric patches or shapes onto a background fabric. Her directions are clear, detailed and accompanied by great pictures. She even gives specific recommendations for sourcing unusual supplies.

I am a newbie to both applique and embroidery. Meg’s excellent how-to primer at the back of the book, enabled me to use both skills with ease and utmost enjoyment on my latest project: Panel Curtains for Aria’s room. Take a look at Meg’s design for “Woodland Curtains” straight out of Sew Liberated:

I love everything about these panel curtains – the use of 2 background fabrics, the ribbon used as a dividing line and as curtain tabs and the applique design. My daughter’s old curtains were made of a bold stripe fabric from Ikea. I decided to use the stripe as the upper fabric and some solid pink I had on hand for the lower third. Since I didn’t have enough pink fabric, I chose to add a natural linen rectangle in the center of the lower third portion of the curtain. That natural linen serves as a perfect background for applique. With a few quarter yards of dot and stripe Lecien prints for the applique pieces, I had my fabric pool:

Now I LOVE Meg’s squirrel, but I felt it would add just one more design element into my daughter’s not-so-pulled-together room. One night as I sat in Aria’s room, mulling this over, I realized I could take pictures of some designs already in her room and then print them out to use as applique patterns! I’m sure this is not a new idea, but I have to say it makes it so easy! I took the bird from Jellybean Tree, which hangs above her dresser, and a flower motif from her lamp. Before printing, I used photoshop to create several sizes of the flower motif.

Next came the best part – using fusible web (thanks to Sew Liberated) to cut out the applique pieces from my fabric stack. Fusible web sticks to the wrong side of your fabric, to stabilize and make cutting small shapes a breeze. Then you simply place the pieces onto your background fabric and iron to fuse them in place. You can add decorative stitching… or not. I chose to make the bird applique without fusible web, using the raw edge applique method. Fusible web does add a stiffness to your work, which might interfere with the drape of the curtains if used on the large bird shape. Thanks for that tip, Miranda!

So fun! Lastly, I used some newly learned embroidery stitches also from Sew Liberated to add simple lines to my picture. And, let me tell you, embroidery is a great way to pass the time in the car or while watching TV. So mindless and so very satisfying. I used a chain stitch for the ground line and a stem stitch for the stems. Do you think I should add leaves? I like the simple/modern look of the design now, but wonder about adding leaves…

Now I just need to finish up my second linen panel for the opposite curtain and then do the final piecing together with the solid pink and bold stripe portions. I found some natural linen ribbon for the dividing line and curtain tabs. I’ll have to update this post when it’s all put together!

If you’re interested in seeing more from Sew Liberated, check out Meg’s website and blog, where you can see a detailed preview of the book, including the forest scene framed clock that I’m also working on! My thanks to Meg’s publisher for my own copy.

UPDATE: Here are some finished pictures of Aria’s Wildflower Curtains. I did leave the embroidery work pretty simplified, without leaves, trying to retain a modern vibe (though I couldn’t resist adding a pink decorative stitch to the linen ribbon). Now I’m dreaming of a quilt for Aria, to finish off her room….

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