Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year ....

Imagine the possibilities of another year together?...I can

Happy New Year...

BEHIND the SEAMS stories will be posted on Jan 1st...2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Comfort and JOY with Kd of KdQuilts and her Crystal Angel

Merry Christmas a few days after the fact!
Hey, this is Kd from KdQuilts
and I sincerely hope you are enjoying the
holidays this year and being super crafty. Once again, huge thanks
and appreciation go out to Madame Samm for hosting
Comfort and Joy on the SewWeQuilt blog.
She is so talented at organizing wonderful
events to satisfy the creativity in all of us!

When I read the suggestions for this December quilty marathon there
seemed to be quite a bit of interest in embroidery, so that is when
the idea began to form in my mind for this little piece. Unfortunately,
it isn’t a five minute project. But I think you’ll really enjoy stitching
my Crystal Angel and displaying her into the New Year. She might
even become a new Angel Series! Stay tuned in the future on
Here’s a photo of the finished Crystal Angel
wall hanging so you know where we’re headed.
Select a light colored fabric for the embroidery background.
A fat quarter or 1/3 of a yard will do because the piece you
need to cut is 9” x 11”. I chose a fabric with a silver fleck in it
to add interest and sparkle, but you don’t have to use anything
that fancy. It’s a good idea to zigzag the edges to prevent raveling,
but not totally necessary. For the pattern go over to my blog at,
sign up to be a follower and then you can
download the PDF file for the embroidery.
Using a light table or window secure the pattern with masking tape and 
center the fabric over the pattern. The pink "+" on the Angel's hand
on the pattern marks the center of the design. Then trace all the lines
with a fine brown 005 Micron Pigma pen. Just make a small dot to 
show the placement of the French knots.
I like to use Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils. I bought the 24 count 
tin and used half of the colors. I love all of the colors, and can’t imagine 
what it would be like to own the entire set of 150 in a neat 
organized tin. Maybe someday! But I digress.
 Mount the fabric backwards in a large hoop so that the fabric is held
securely but you can place it on a hard surface to be able to apply the colors.
With your colored pencils shade the Angel as shown in the picture below.
 Here are a couple of close-ups for more detail. The top half...
...and the bottom including the star basket and red shoes! 
 The colors I used are listed in the following table. Most of my 
coloring was just around the edges to accent the embroidery we will
be doing soon like the light green around the edges of the dress.
When using colored pencils in your quilting and embroidery, 
a textile setting medium must be applied, allowed to dry, and 
then heat set to make the color a permanent part of the fabric. 
I like to use Jacquard Textile Color #100 Colorless Extender. 
This product can be found in art supply stores, or you can use 
Plaid brand FolkArt Textile Medium available at most craft stores.
The Jacquard Textile Colorless Extender is a milky white in the jar, 
but dries clear. Again, it helps to secure the background fabric in a
large hoop for this step of the process, so remount the fabric in the 
hoop in the normal manner. With a paintbrush apply the extender to all 
areas of the fabric that are colored. Note: if using FolkArt Textile Medium 
be careful to rinse your brush in between different colors and do not 
paint any areas that are not colored as they will be stained. With the 
Jacquard brand I didn’t have to be that careful as it worked beautifully 
right out of the jar. Rinse your brush in water to clean the bristles.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the back 
of the jar for this step. Jacquard says to allow the extender to air dry 
for a couple of hours, remove the hoop and from the wrong side of
the fabric, carefully heat set the colored areas with a medium hot iron
for about 30 seconds, watching that you do not scorch the fabric.

Now cut a 9” x 11” piece of light to medium weight fusible interfacing 
and iron it onto the back of the background fabric according to the 
manufacturer’s instructions. I used medium weight Pellon 911FF 
fusible interfacing for this step. Using an added layer of interfacing 
helps prevent shadowing of the crossovers and knots (if you use them) 
on the backside of your embroidered piece. Some people believe in 
using knots to begin and end their floss ends and some don’t. 
It is up to you how you wish to secure your floss ends.
The handy embroidery supplies pictured above (from top 
to bottom) include a 4” hoop, a Clover needle threader, 
Gingher 4” embroidery scissors, a pack of size 7 Bohin crewel 
embroidery needles, and a brown 005 Micron Pigma pen.

We’ll keep it simple and only use 2 different embroidery stitches: 
1) the Back Stitch and 2) the French Knot. 
If you are confident with your embroidery skills feel 
free to commence stitching. Otherwise we’ll review 
the steps you’ll need to know now.
This is pretty simple. Mount the fabric in the hoop, thread a needle with 
2 strands of floss, and knot the end if you wish. Holding the hoop 
right-side up poke the threaded needle up from the backside at 
Point #1 and pull the thread all the way through. Insert the needle 
from the top side of the fabric down at Point #2 and back up
at Point #3 and again pull the needle and thread all
the way through to complete the back stitch. 

I like to keep the length of each of the stitches about 1/8”
or less depending on how tight the curve is I am stitching.
The smaller the stitches the sharper the curve you can nicely stitch.
Repeat inserting the needle in the fabric at Point #2 and bringing it up 
at Point #3 following the line you wish to stitch. Be careful to not pull 
the thread too tightly as you stitch. Keeping a nice even tension is best.
A lot of embroiderers hate French Knots. I think the key to making 
them is controlling the tension on the thread at all times. 
Remember, practice makes perfect. So here we go.

STEP 1: Again, have your fabric mounted in the hoop, thread a 
needle with 2 strands of floss, and knot the end if you wish. 
Holding the hoop right-side up poke the threaded needle up from 
the backside at Point A and pull the thread all the way 
through. Hold the thread taut with your left hand 
(if you are right handed) as shown above.
STEP 2: With the needle pointed away from the fabric wrap the thread 
around the needle the required number of wraps around the taut thread.
STEP 3: Without losing the thread wraps, carefully poke the needle 
back down into the fabric close to Point A. Continue to control 
the thread tension with your other hand as you pull the 
remainder of the thread through to the back side.
STEP 4: Admire your beautifully stitched French Knot!
So now we are ready to hand stitch the angel. You can see all 
of the colors of DMC 6-strand embroidery floss I used in this 
project. DMC #5282 is a metallic floss, but it's really not that
hard to work with and adds a nice touch to the embroidery.
The floss table below
is a guide to the colors to use for the different
parts of the Angel including the number of strands and the 
number of wraps for the French Knots wherever they occur.
Stitch the parts of the Angel in any order you wish, but just have 
fun with it! It is very rewarding to watch the progress 
of a project like this and see it through to the end.
Back stitch all the lines and stitch French Knots on all of the dots.
Once your hand stitching is complete, remove the hoop and carefully 
press the embroidery from the wrong side. You may gently hand 
wash the piece if you wish, then towel blot and iron it dry.
With a rotary cutter and ruler, center and trim the design to 
5.5” wide by 7.5” high. 
We’re going to do a quick-finish now, 
flip-quilting it so the completed piece will measure 
8” x 10” with a hanging pocket on the back. You’ll need a
small piece of thin batting and a couple of fat quarters of 
coordinating cotton fabric to complement the colors 
in the finished Crystal Angel embroidery.

Cut the batting 8.5” x 10.5”
Cut backing fabric 8.5” x 10.5”
Cut 4 squares 2.75” x 2.75” for corners
Cut 2 – 2” x 9.5” strips for side sashing
Cut 2 – 2” x 8.5” strips for top and bottom sashing
Cut 1 – 2.5” x 7.75” for hanging pocket
Place backing right side down with batting centered on the top. 
Center the embroidery on top of the batting and pin in place.
Press each of the four 2.75” squares in half diagonally.
Place one on each corner of the embroidery and pin as shown.
Pin each of the 2” x 9.5” strips with their right sides down 
along long side edges of embroidery and sew with a ¼” seam. 
You will be sewing through the side piece, triangle, 
embroidery, batting and backing all in one step.
Press each side fabric piece away from the 
embroidery and pin in place along outer side edges.
In the same manner, pin each of the 2” x 8.5” strips with their right 
sides down along the short top and bottom edges of the embroidery
and sew with a ¼” seam (as shown below). Wait on pressing these strips
in place until the hanging pocket is sewn in place in the next step.
On both of the short edges of the 3” x 7.75” hanging 
pocket piece turn under edges ¼” twice.
Stitch close to first fold to hem on both edges.
With pencil lightly mark a line centered down the length of this strip 
(1.25” from each edge). Center this pocket piece right 
sides together on the top edge of the back.
Sew along this center line through all three layers (pocket strip, 
backing, and batting). Press bottom edge of pocket along 
sewing toward the top, matching edges. Pin in place.
Now press the 2” x 8.5” strips on the front away from the
embroidery toward the top and bottom edges and pin in place.
Lightly press the entire piece. Evenly rotary trim the edges
so that the piece measures 8” wide by 10” tall.
Bind all edges as desired. This is how I did my binding:
For the binding fabric cut bias strips 2” wide and at least 38” 
long (piece together strips if necessary). Sew binding right sides 
together onto front of quilt with a 3/8” seam mitering corners as 
you go. Turn binding to back and hand whip stitch in place.
Turn the four bias triangles away from embroidery and 
lightly press as pictured above. Hand sew a decorative 
button, as shown in photo below, on each one.
Insert wire hanger into pocket, hang on your wall and enjoy!
Thanks for “hanging” in there with me 
through these lengthy instructions. 
Happy New Year and a blessed 2012 to you and yours!

Comfort and JOY with Bea and her Tutorial for Owl Pot holders ( 2 guests today, tomorrow New Years EVE)

sorry that BEA deleted her photos in error..
a PDF file of the pattern...
thanks Be a

I'm so excited that Madame Samm allowed me to host this tutorial here.
I've been quilting for 7 1/2 years and long arm quilting since 2009.
You'll learn more about me here and follow my blog too if you want :-)

So, how would you like to make these cute owl pot holders?
They are a HOOT to make.

They measure approx. 7" when done.
I just use scraps, but often use at least 1 FQ for the body or you can use scraps for that too.
I also used my GO! cutter and circle die for this but you can cut out circles yourself instead.
You will also need Heat N bond and batting.
(If you are intending to use them as ot pats too, I recommend special heat resistant batting also)

First cut out (4) 7 1/2" squares from a fat quarter.

For wings cut out 5 1/2" x 11"
For Eyes (whatever matching color) cut out (2x) 3 1/2" x 7"
For the iris of the eyes (white) cut out  (2x) 2 1/2" x 5"
For the Pupils (black) cut out 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Beak 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Cut out the same in Heat n Bond but them everything about 1/4" smaller
and iron to the back of fabrics

I used my Go! cutter and the wing fabric I cut out (2x) of the large 5" circles.
The outer eyes (4x) of the middle 3" circles.
And the white of the eyes (4x) of the smallest 2" circles
(or trace or print out circles and trace that way if you don't have a GO! cutter)
The beak I used a 3" square die, but you can just as easily cut that out with your rotary cutter

With the black pupils of the eyes I used a small spool or a bobbin to trace and cut them out by hand

Here's all the pieces cut

I cut the NOSE square in half at an angle, or you can cut it into more of a diamond shape if you want

The wing circles I cut in half too, I line them up on the grid of the mat and had 2 1/2" on either side of the middle line and cut them in half (both of them)

Now it's time to iron them on!
I line up one wing, maybe 1/2" from the bottom edge of the owl body, removed the paper and ironed with a hot dry iron
then I laid the other owl body next to it and laid the wing so it matched the other side and ironed that again

You can also lay then on top of each other to match up where the rest of the wings are placed and remove the top one before you iron.

Now both are ironed down

Then I placed down the beak in the center and made sure it was straight, WITHOUT ironing.
Then placed the large outer eyes on top, one overlaps the other

when I was happy with the look I ironed them down

Then added the white and black of the eyes, I like to have them look in different directions :-)

Now it's time to cut the handles!
from left over scraps ( this time the FQ scraps) I cute (2x) 2" x 6" strips

ironed them in half

and then opened them up and ironed the raw edged in toward the crease

I stitched down the side close to the edge ( less than 1/4") and then put them aside

I then button hole stitched the owls with black thread, I like to turn when the needle is down, this way things don't slip around.

here they are both done

I cut out batting in both regular batting and heat resistant batting.
All 4 are 7 1/2" squares

first I laid down the heat resistant batting

then the regular batting

then the back of the owls with the top center marked with a pin

I added the handle and have the seam on the inside and pinned on either side of the pin marker

lastly the owl fron with wrong side up

I then pinned everything down really well, leaving a 4-5" opening at the bottom, I like to pin two pins right next to each other to remind me of where to start and stop

I attached my walking foot to the sewing machine

and sewed 1/4" all the way around ( if it's a little bigger seam allowance that's okay too)
I snipped the corners before turning inside out

I used this wooden stick that came with a bag of fiber fill, that's a great tool for getting the corners

I pinned the bottom closed and stitched close to the edge all the way around both pot holders

aren't they cute??
I gave these away already for Christmas, but this black and white set is cute for New years too!

Another set I made a while ago, using bobbins for irises.

If you make any of these sets, I'd love to see pictures of them, please send me an email or link on my blog!
Thanks for looking and