Are you ready for "crazy gorgeous"?
Do you remember "Jewels in Chocolate"? This is the featured design collection for the 2nd installment of "Eight Elegant and Easy Expression of Love for the Holiday Season"!
This is the quilt that got me started as a quilt designer back in 2009. Can you believe it's been that long?
Then there was "Jewels in Silk", the same quilt made in gorgeous Silk Taffeta from DellaQ.
Now we have "Jewels in Kaffe" adorning a super simple, ready made apron and tea towel, the second project in the "Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season"!
When I first told my friend Alice what I was planning on doing - stitching a Jewels in Chocolate circle with Kaffe Fassett fabric for the appliqué, she thought I had gone ever so slightly crazy!. When she saw the result, she thought it was "crazy gorgeous"!
Here's a photo of the finished ensemble... an apron and coordinating tea towel.
And here's a full view of the apron. The Jewel in Kaffe was stitched front and center on the bib part of the apron. Then, the same Kaffe fabric was used to "decorate" the apron pockets.
One pocket was taken completely off and replaced with Kaffe fabric. The other pocket had a band of Kaffe fabric stitched to the top.
The new pockets were top-stitched back on to the apron. My favorite foot to use to do this is the BERNINA #34D foot. This foot is the same as the BERNINA #1 foot, only the foot plate is clear plastic instead of metal, and there is a red line running down the center of the foot. When doing top-stitching, place the red line on the edge of the fabric, in this case the new pocket, and then move the needle one or two positions to the left. I find it much easier to follow the edge using this foot than using a "proper" edge stitch foot (the BERNINA #10D foot).
Check out the tea towel before stitching...
I used fabric from Kaffe Fassett's Millefiore collection.
Now look at it after the "Jewel" has been stitched...
I have to say I went into this project with very little idea of what would happen. I kind of thought that the fabric would dominate completely, and the embroidery would get totally lost. But I was hopeful that something magical would happen. And it did! The embroidery shows up beautifully, and the fabric shines through, all at the same time!
This is the "Jewel" stitched onto the apron..., exact same design, same fabric, different thread colors.
As always, the thread that I used is AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 weight. I chose colors that matched the colors in the fabric.
I loved the results so much that I decided to stitch a second color way, this time a white tea towel and a black apron.
The appliqué fabric is still Kaffe Fassett's Millifiore Collection, but a different, much lighter color.
This is the "Jewel" on the black apron...
An interesting thing happened with the thread on the lighter colored fabric when I chose shades of AURIfil Cotton Mako to match the colors in the fabric. The thread sort of disappeared - in blended in way too well! So the thread colors on the lighter colored background are a fair bit more intense than the colors in the fabric.
Here are a few notes to help you create your own tea towels and aprons using the "Jewels in Chocolate" designs"
- Cut a 5" diameter circle of appliqué fabric. A couple of great tools you can use are the AccuQuilt GO! cutter with the Circle 2" 3" 5" die or the Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter.
- My favorite fusible webbing to use on fabric being cut with the above tools is Shades Softfuse. If you are going to cut your circle using the Silhouette Cameo digital cutter, then be sure to use Heat N Bond Lite as the fusible webbing on the back of your appliqué fabric.
- I stitched my circles so that they are 2" up from the bottom of the towel. Mark the center for the circle 4.5" up from the bottom of the towel (a 5" diameter circle has a radius of 2.5" plus the distance from the edge of the towel).
- For the apron, the circles were stitched to be 0.5" down from the top stitching at the top of the bib of the apron. Mark the center of the circle 3" down from the top stitching.
- The "Jewels in Chocolate" designs do not have a fabric placement line built in. If you haven't already done so, be sure to download the cross hair that is available here. When you are ready to stitch a "Jewel", first load the 5" crosshair design, then add the "Jewel" design.
- Place a 6" square of Aquamesh Plus on the back of the towel so that it is centered over the position that the "Jewel" will stitch. You can mark your placement lines (a big + sign) on this stabilizer. Aquamesh Plus is a sticky, water soluble stabilizer, so when you wash the towel, it will all disappear! But it will give the towel the support that it needs while stitching is happening.
- Use OESD Ultra Clean and Tear in the hoop. When you are finished stitching, tear away all of the excess stabilizer form around the "Jewel". I did not know this until recently, but Ultra Clean and Tear will disintegrate over the course of a couple of washings.
Here's me modeling the finished black and white ensemble... very elegant, don't you think?!
If you don't already own the Jewels in Chocolate collection, you can purchase it here.
If you would like to try out the design that I used on the aprons and tea towels, you can purchase that here.
Jewels in Chocolate also comes super sized!
The Jewels in Chocolate collection contains 3 circle designs that finish at 5" diameter, as well as complete instructions on how to make the quilt.
In addition, the 3 circles are also available in designs that finish at 9.5" diameter. So if you have a nice big hoop (i.e. the wonderful BERNINA Jumbo Hoop!) that can accommodate a design of that size, you can have a super sized ton of fun with this collection!
Here are the 3 big designs...
The first one is stitched onto Fairy Frost fabric with no appliqué fabric underneath the design.
I also stitched this design onto silk...with eye popping AURIfil Cotton Mako thread colors!
The second design is also stitched onto Fairy Frost - both in the background and as the appliqué fabric.
And again onto silk with AURIfil Cotton Mako thread really popping the design! Just in case your are wondering what color the neon green thread is, it's actually 1147 (my favorite AURIfil green). The turquoise is 2810 and the pinks are 4020 and 2535. The silk fabric throws the light around all over the place so getting true colors in a photo is incredibly difficult! (At least for my photographic skill level!)
Here is the third large "Jewel", the large version of the one stitched onto the tea towels and aprons.
And also on silk. Isn't it amazing how different they look with the different colors?
Since I was playing with Kaffe Fassett fabric, I decided to do an experiment and put the Kaffe in the background with some solid colored fabric as the appliqué. This is the result...
This is two fat quarters of Kaffe Fassett Millefiore fabric stitched together, with the appliqué circle created out of two colors of Kaffe Fassett's Shot Cottons. The fat quarters gave me a piece of fabric that measured 22" x 36" - which I hemmed. Then I stitched a 1" wide bias strip to each end, 4" in from the edge, to make a casing for threading some ribbon through. Then, with right sides together, I stitched the long edges to create a tube when turned right side out. The bolster pillow was created by stuffing the tube with a roll of batting and then tying the ends.
Because of the way the casing was stitched on, the ribbons emerged at the back of the pillow, so they were cut long enough to wrap around to the front and make a very pretty bow.
Now it's your turn to go do some stitching! As always, I'd love to see photos of what you create. Leave me a comment and let me know which color combo you like the best... green and turquoise, or black and white? And what do you think about the Jewels in Kaffe... crazy gorgeous - or not so much?
Until next time,