October 23rd, 2014
With 5 weeks to go until Thanksgiving, there is still plenty of time to make gorgeous hostess gifts if you are celebrating away from home with family and friends - or make something to decorate your own kitchen and table!
This week, the featured design collection for Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season is "A New Leaf".
The "A New Leaf" collection includes instructions to make a table runner in two color ways (Spring and Fall)...
and a table topper in two color ways (Winter and Summer).
Each season has 4 placemats to go with it - 2 different designs, each in 2 color ways.
The collection uses the AccuQuilt GO! Rustling Leaves dies.
There are 4 different leaves, each in 2 sizes.
What if you had a project that only needed one leaf stitching onto it?
How about tea towels that match your decorations, so that when you need to carry a hot dish to the table, you can do so in style?
These tea towels feature a single large leaf each - a sweet gum leaf on the left, an oak leaf on the right.
Let's take a closer look:
The appliqué shapes are Kaffe Fassett fabric - the Paperweight Collection. When you look at the fabric colors all together, you don't really get "Fall colors" staring at you!
But when you look at each piece separately, and start to isolate single colors from the fabric, "Fall colors" start to emerge. Thread color choices really help here too - as does the background that the appliqué sits on, in this case a cream tea towel.
Here are some keys to success when doing embroidered appliqué onto a tea towel - especially one that will be put to good use in your kitchen!
- Apply a water soluble stabilizer to the back of the towel. My favorite is OESD Aquamesh Plus - a sticky water soluble stabilizer that is really easy to apply and will wash away completely when the embroidery is finished. It doesn't need to be much bigger than the appliqué shape being applied - so if the shape is about 4" x 4", use a piece of Aquamesh Plus that is 5" x 5".
- Use a water soluble stabilizer in the hoop. Having said that, I used my favorite OESD Ultra Clean and Tear in the hoop. This is a tear away stabilizer that disintegrates over the course of 2 or 3 washes. The benefit of it over a "true" water soluble stabilizer is that it is much less expensive, and I usually have lots of it in my studio :-)
- In the bobbin, use thread that matches the satin stitch around the outside of the shape. If you really don't care how the back of the tea towel will look - after all, everyone is going to be so impressed with the front that they won't think of looking at the back! - you can always use your standard bobbin thread. My favorite - that I use for nearly everything - is Superior Bottom Line Tan #619. I purchase this on 3,000 yard cones which can go quite a long way!
- Draw any placement markings for the appliqué shapes onto the back of the towel, on the Aquamesh Plus water soluble stabilizer.
When marking your tea towel to specify where the leaf will sit, bear in mind that the placement line for each leaf is not always a symmetrical +. For the large leaves, placement will be as follows:
Sweetgum (Large Leaf 1) - If you were to stitch the leaf onto a square, the horizontal line in the + marking the placement of the leaf would be 3/4" down from the center.
Poplar (Large Leaf 2) and Maple (Large Leaf 3) - If you were to stitch the leaf onto a square, the horizontal line in the + marking the placement of the leaf would be 1 3/8" down from the center.
Oak (Large Leaf 4) - If you were to stitch the leaf onto a square, the horizontal line in the + marking the placement of the leaf would be in the center of the square.
What about Napkins featuring the smaller leaves?
When I was making the napkins, I completely forgot that I had purchased some ready made napkins for the A New Leaf photo shoot (you can see them in the first photo up above). The ones I purchased came from Crate and Barrel.
It's actually incredibly easy to make your own napkins - cut a square of fabric, hem it and then apply an embroidered appliqué to one corner.
As you can see from the photo above, I ended up with 2 different sizes of napkins. The smaller ones are abut 15" square, the larger ones about 18" square.
I stitched the leaves onto the napkins so that the stem of each leaf was pointing towards the center of the napkin. So when you are placing the napkin on the hoop, the bulk of the napkin will be hanging off the bottom of the hoop.
What do you think about the complete finished ensemble of tea towels and napkins? Who will you be making a set for this holiday season? And which season will you choose? There are after all 4 to choose from! Leave me a comment below and let me know!
If you don't already own a copy of A New Leaf, you can purchase it here. I'm looking forward to hearing about what you create!