Happy Valentine's Day, friends!
I have a little tutorial over on the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog today showing four different ways to finish a project with ruffles. I am a ruffle-aholic and have featured many a ruffled quilt over the years (Freshcut Quilt-uvet, Gypsy Caravan Quilt & Obsession on Point Flea Market Fancy Quilt), so head on over to my tutorial to find out more about my trials, errors and successes in ruffles!
In my tutorial I have created four little mini-quilts a.k.a. snack mats. Two of them use a thread painting technique. Over the holidays, my friend Ale was using a similar technique for some pillows. I modified it a bit and here are a few pictures to show you how I did it.
First off, cut your three layers: top, batting and backing. During this whole process I have the top and batting sandwiched together so that the bottom stitches of my thread painting will not show on the back of my project when I add the backing for finishing.
Using a water-soluble marking pen, draw an outline of the image you want to thread paint. I wrote the word "Luck" in cursive. The blue ink would NOT photograph to save my life, so I've enhanced it here :) And it's still hard to see.... sorry folks.
Using a free-motion foot and your feed dogs disengaged, carefully sew along the outline. This part can actually also be done using a regular foot with feed dogs engaged if you move very slowly and turn a lot. I find the free-motion foot to be an easier process, but grab a scrap piece of fabric and try out both ways to see which you are more comfortable with.
Increase the outline of your words with a second row of stitching. Sometimes I will draw this area in with my water-soluble pen for a guide.
Reattach a zigzag foot and reengage your feed dogs. Use an appropriately sized zigzag with a longer stitch length to fill in the center space of each letter. You can repeat this a few times to get a nice fill. Don't completely fill with zigzags, just enough to get a base.
With your free-motion foot and feed dogs disengaged fill in the area with smooth front to back lines as opposed to the side to side lines of the zigzag stitches. This will give a smoother surface to your thread painting.
Two examples of completed words:
Now - to see how I finished these with ruffles head over to Sew, Mama, Sew! for my Ruffle Binding Tutorial.
Happy Love Day!