Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to Mark Wool Applique

Marking on wool can be tricky -- because it is opaque, in most cases a light box won't work in order to trace any lettering or embroidery designs added to the wool shapes. And the marking itself is difficult because it has that fuzzy nap!

I'm going to show you the technique I came up with to mark letters onto wool. And I am offering my pattern "Love Note" to you for free so that you can practice using this technique. Enjoy! The free download for my pattern can be found at the end of this tutorial.

 Here is what you will need to start:

1. You will need an embroidery hoop in a size which is slightly bigger than the applique piece you will be tracing. You will also need nylon tulle (like the kind used in wedding veils). Cut the tulle 2" larger than your hoop. For my example I am using a 4" hoop and a 6" square of tulle. You will need a Black Sharpie fine point for tracing onto the tulle, and a Pigma Micron 02 archival ink pen for marking onto the wool.

2. To begin, place the tulle in the embroidery hoop so that it is stretched taut. Place the hoop and tulle flat side down over your paper pattern and trace over the outline of the shape and the letters directly onto the tulle using the Black Sharpie pen.

3. This photo shows the tracing on the tulle.

4. Now place your marked hoop and tulle over the wool shape.

5. Trace the letters using a Pigma pen, using an up and down motion, creating a series of dots on the wool.

6. Here is the wool piece showing the marking. Stitch over the marks with embroidery thread.

To download a Printable PDF with instructions to make "Love Note" CLICK HERE

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Beginning

I watched my mother at the sewing machine sewing dresses, Halloween costumes and Barbie doll clothes for as long as I could remember. I developed a strong desire to start sewing myself, and started begging my mother to show me how to sew on her machine. Fortunately for me, Mom signed me up for a garment sewing class at the local Singer sewing machine store when I was 12 years old, and after making my first dress in that class, I was on my way! Not only did I want to sew my own clothes, but I desperately wanted to make a quilt!

When I was 14 years old I started and finished my first quilt - a double bedspread size quilt made up of 4" squares. I completely obliterated my mom's scrap supply!

But this wasn't quite the type of quilt I was really interested in making. My grandmother's double wedding ring quilts made up of those charming depression era fabrics was really what I was after.

I became a frequent visitor to the Singer shop after taking my first lesson, and it was on one of my visits that I was ecstatic to find a magazine on how to quilt! Wow! What a discovery! Pictured below is that magazine, "McCall's How to Quilt It!", which was followed by another issue, "McCall's Quilt It! Book II". This was probably around 1972 or 1973. Notice the price of $1.00 in the corner of the magazines? These magazines didn't have the best instructions, but I was just happy to have pictures of quilts to look at - especially the antique quilts, of which there were a few.

.... And then along came 1976, America's Bicentennial, and here was another magazine! But this time, antique quilts were the focus! By this time  I was 18 years old, and my love affair with antiques of all kinds, including antique quilts, had officially begun!

This magazine is falling apart from all of the page turning it has had over those early years of my quiltmaking. Here is a page with a few of my favorite quilts from that magazine. In fact, revisiting this magazine and looking at that bottom "Squares-In-Squares" quilt (circa 1855) gives me that itch to make something just like it. Hmmm..........