Sunday, March 6, 2011
Embroidery Resources for Crazy Quilts
My newest sewing project, the crazy quilt picnic blanket, has been a great way to try out new embroidery stitches. I was very fortunate, also, because just as I finished piecing the quilt together, my boss asked me if I'd like this very large collection of embroidery floss (along with other embroidery supplies).
I've really been learning a lot from the tutorials I've found on-line.
Embroidery stitches in alphabetical order:
I have found both of these library books to be very useful. The first book is small and fat and looks like a nature guide for embroidery stitches.
Urban Threads offers embroidery designs for both hand and machine embroidery, priced between $1 and $5 per design. I really like their selection of steampunk designs:
Urban Threads also has a small selection of free designs, which at the moment includes a steampunk leprechaun.
Free clip art sites can also provide great inspiration for embroidery designs:
There are several ways to put embroidered designs on the quilt. They can be added to the quilt patches before or after the quilt is pieced together. I waited until after.
For some of the designs, I traced a picture onto tracing paper and then basted the tracing paper onto the fabric. Then I embroidered over the pencil lines on the paper.
For other designs, I found it easier to just trace around a stencil, directly onto the fabric, using a regular pencil for light fabrics, and a white pencil for dark fabrics.
The designs can be simple outlines:
or the design can be filled in:
There are also iron-on embroidery transfers available at the fabric store, although I didn't take advantage of any of those. They have special ink that can be used more that once to transfer designs onto the cloth, which can then be embroidered over.
Iron-on appliques were on sale last week at our local fabric store, so I added some of those to the quilt, as well.
There are no real rules for crazy quilts. They don't need to have any embellishment at all, but they are a great way to try out new stitches ( like a fancy sampler) and the extra stitching does strengthen the seams, as well as making the quilt prettier. It would be hard to go over-board with the embellishments. If you take a look at pictures of vintage crazy quilts, they are like multi-media collages, with embroidery, lace, silk flowers, buttons, ribbons, and trinkets. The only limitations I am putting on my quilt, are time to complete it, and I don't want too many lumpy elements on it, since I want to be able to place bowls and plates on it without them tipping over.