Nothing new on my design board since I spent much of the week cleaning - including my sewing hole! That said, there is something new on my sewing table. I finally - yes finally - took the plunge into free motion embroidery. With two books on the subject which I've read back to back, you'd think I've done this sooner. I have done thread painting on my quilt before but never attempted to make a stand alone embroidered applique before. The Christmas pine boughs seemed like just the occasion to finally put on my big girl pants and try it.
Quilt Savvy:Simple Thread Painting it really wasn't hard at all. All you do is basically layer your applique with two sheets of water wash away stablizer and two pieces of tulle that is in a color that is close to what you are making. You draw or trace the pattern of the applique onto your stabilizer.
Then you drop your feed dogs, put on a good free motion foot and start moving the thread across the design to fill it in - just like a colored pencil. I used bobbin thread in my bobbin and a mix of rayons, polys, and cotton thread on top. First I started by sewing in stabilizer lines - the book said to do this when you are thread painting it directly onto your quilt but I didn't think it was a bad idea to do it with a free standing applique either. I mean - gosh - the last thing you want is a puckery design right??
I'm not sure what way I'm suppose to layer the colors since I couldn't find that in the book so I just did it the way I do with colored pencils - I started with some of the darkest colors first and worked my way up to the light highlight colors on the top. It seemed like it was taking forever to fill in the pine limb but really it wasn't too bad. As you can see, Kali was there to keep me company. I did have some broken threads that needed to be cleaned out of my machine, but didn't have to adjust my thread tension or bobbin tension.
I didn't manage to finish the one limb but so far so good . I just worked my way down the limb little by little going through layering the colors each time. It seems to be laying nice and flat. I can't wait to dunk the thing and see if water really will magically wash away the stabilizer!!