10 March 2017

A Little Happy Sew Along ~ Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt ~ Part 2 Appliques

Welcome to Week 2 of the Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt Sew Along.  I hope that you all enjoyed piecing your quilt tops.  If you missed Week 1, you can catch up HERE and for more information you can read the Introduction post HERE.

Today we're going to tackle the appliques and the embroidery.  As I mentioned in the introduction post, I have used Woven Wool by Moda for my appliques.  For those of you who have purchased kits, I have pre-washed and felted the wool enclosed, so it's good to go.   An alternative to the woven wool, would be our lovely selection of wool/rayen felt.

First off you will need to print the templates for the appliques, which you will find HERE and the embroidery, which you will find HERE.  You'll note from the applique sheet that I included the correct amount of templates required, so for example there are 3 dots for the toadstool, 2 wings for the butterfly and 6 leaves....I hope this makes life easier for you.

Without wishing to state the obvious, I thought I would share a couple of options for you when it comes to cutting out your appliques.

The first option, is to print off the templates, cut them out, pin the template to your woven wool and then cut out your shape. (I would really recommend Clover Applique pins, their tiny size is brilliant for such tasks.)  Historically this is the process that I have always done.

The second option is to use Freezer Paper, having used it back in December to trace the patterns for my Tilda Pixie's, (you can read all about them HERE), I am now a convert to its many uses.  In this instance, what you would do is trace the templates on to the Freezer Paper ( you place it shiny side down and trace on to the matt side) and then cut the templates out.  These are then placed shiny side down on to the woven wool and ironed in place.  They will then stay happily in place without the need for pins, allowing you to cut out the shapes very accurately.  Once done, you can then peel the Freezer Paper templates away, but don't throw them away as you can use the templates again another time, amazingly they will iron and stick in place numerous times...how fab is that!

For cutting both felt and woven wool sharp scissors are essential.   I find my 5" Fiskers Needlework scissors brilliant for this as I personally get better results with a smaller pair of scissors.  For my other favourite notions, take a peek HERE.

I've added some measurements to the photo below which will help you with the positioning of the appliques and embroidery, but please don't worry if yours end up slightly different, no-one will know honest!  You may find THIS TUTORIAL I wrote helpful for transferring the embroidery pattern.

As I mentioned earlier, Clover Applique Pins are fabulous for holding the wool appliques in place.  I also experimented by using my Sewline Glue Pen to hold them whilst awaiting stitching, which I am really pleased to report, did the job extremely well.  When I was designing and making mine, I actually did it over a few weeks, interspersed with making the A Little Happy Christmas Block of the Month quilt and various other projects.....during this period of time, only one leaf came unstuck ...pretty good hey?!

Right.......let's talk stitches!

For the appliques, I used Blanket Stitch to hold them in place and I used thread to match the colour of the woven wool.  You can find 'a little happy tutorial' for how to stitch Blanket Stitch HERE.

I then added some fun contrasting stitches mainly in a lovely Heathered Licorice thread.  So on the butterfly I added little cross stitches on the wings (I used the blue threads for these). For the antenna's I used Back Stitch, (the 'a little happy tutorial' for Back Stitch is HERE) finished off with little Cross Stitches.  For the body I used Satin Stitch.  Satin Stitch is made up of parallel rows of straight stitches and is used to fill in a space.  I have found that I get the best results if I first outline the shape I want to fill in using Back Stitch.  Then I bring my needle up just nipping the outside edge of the back stitch, take my stitch over the space that I wish to fill in and then bring my needle back in on the outside of the opposite line of back stitches, again just nipping the edge.

The Butterfly trail is a simple running stitch.

I used this same technique for the Satin Stitch to create the bees stripes.  The bees wings were sewn with Back Stitch and I added a little French Knot for the eye. (the French Knot 'a little happy tutorial' is HERE

I used Back Stitch again for both the stem of the flower and vein marks on the leaves......

On the toadstool house, I added some long Straight Stitches around the spots, Back Stitch on the window to create the look of window panes...... I just eyeballed these...... and a Running Stitch and Cross Stitch detail on and around the door.

The flowers were a combination of Back Stitch and Lazy Daisy Stitch.  Lazy Daisy Stitch is a lovely stitch for creating loops.  Once you've added this to your repertoire, you'll be looking for excuses to use it!!!  Here's how I stitch it....... first of all I bring my needle out in the centre of the planned flower or leaf, I then hold the thread down with my left thumb (I'm right handed), I then insert the needle back in really really close to where it first emerged.  By holding on to the thread creates a little loop.  I then bring my needle out a short distance away (a) inside the loop and then pop my needle back in over loop, which forms a locking stitch and hold the loop in place (b). You then go back to the starting position and keep creating little loops for you flowers.
Finally the writing was all stitched in Back Stitch.

Just a little note.......should your mini quilt require pressing, I would suggest doing this on the wrong side, so as not flatten your pretty appliques and embroidery stitches!
I hope that you enjoy stitching your Home Sweet Home mini quilt!  Next week I'll be talking you through all the finishing touches!

Mum (Penny) and I would love to see your progress, so don't forget, please do use the hashtags, so we can take a peek! 

#alittlehappysewalong or/and #prettyfabricsandtrims

Happy Stitches!

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