Coming up with a name for this blog post was probably the most difficult thing I did in preparation for this blog hop. Today I join you as an invited guest on the Twilight Chic blog hop hosted by Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design and Island Batik. It has been a wonderful experience joining in with so many talented and creative minds.
Usually I don’t struggle with coming up with clever and catchy things, but today, I just drew a blank. So, I closed my eyes and this is what came to mind…one because tomorrow is show-n-tell for my twin boy’s preschool class, and secondly because it is all about Twilight Chic. Can I just say, little people take show-n-tell very seriously. But all seriousness aside…this was such a fun project to dream up and make with these beautiful fabrics.
As I was contemplating what to do for this blog hop project I realized I wanted to get of the box and do some embroidery. I have been doing more embroidery as of late, and dreaming up ways to incorporate embroidery with my love of quilting is my new “thing”. Sometimes the two can compete for attention in a project and leave the viewer, well….less-wowed to say the least. But then sometimes you can balance them and bring out the best of each and they become harmonious, creating visual interest that left on their own would not have been achieved. I am by no means a master of this fine expression of fiber art, but this project really excited me as it came together. These embroidery medallions on their own seemed dull and needed some showcasing. The lush, rich color and texture of the batiks coupled with the intricate yet openness of the embroidery design allowed the design to pop off the center square, while the Bird of Paradise border gave the finishing touch of elegance. Borders are so fun and give so much depth to pieced tops. I have plans for more since I did not use all the embroidery designs that came with this set that I purchased from Embroidery Library. Just click on the words, and it will take you there. I like to make things easy to find. However, I will just say, if you search Embroidery Library with key word “medallion” there are some others that might strike your fancy too.
What did I use for this project:
Studio 180 Design Tools: Squared Square and Corner beam, along with the Birds of Paradise Technique Sheet. This link will take you to the shop and you can search for the products there.
Twilight Chic Fabric – I am not including specific instructions for cutting in this session because the intent is to ignite your inner creativity. You may want to do smaller designs in the center and make 4 or 5. You may opt for no sashing or wider sashing. You may decide you would prefer a different border element. And that is exactly what I love about Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design tools and technique sheets is that you can combine and make and create to your hearts content. Not to mention the added bonus that the math is pretty easy to figure out once you decide what your making and how many units are needed.
And speaking of needed, the first thing I needed was to decide what size stitch out to make my designs. Then I looked at my Squared Square tool and found out what center block could accommodate the stitch out I wanted to use. So, I hooped my fabric as I normally would for any other embroidery project and stitched out the design. After this I used my Squared Square to cut my enter center square for my finished size unit. You must use the tool for the center square to be cut out and line up properly for the trim down process. Now, keep in mind, you need to use the dashed 1/4″ lines to make sure the embroidery design does not end up in the seam allowance (top photo). Also pay attention that the design is centered in the square and not wonky (bottom photo).
I made block for a finished size of 10″. I cut my side triangles per the instructions and stitched.
Then I trimmed my units making sure those little “x”s marked the spot.
Now, that my center units were made, I moved on to the “Birds of Paradise” units using my technique sheet for the finished size of 4″ x 2″. Now, I did make one modification. I did not do the HST color 1 and color 2. I simply used a solid square for this unit. If you were to choose this, you would cut squares according to the trim down size of the HST on the tech sheet.
You see on my fine china below the square in the golden color is what would be the HST color 1 and color 2 on the tech sheet. All my Bird of Paradise pieces are cut and ready to be stitched together. I like to layout my pieces according to how they are to be stitched. Then I am less likely to put the wrong corners together. Then on to trimming.
Trimming: The “4X” is marking the finished size and the diagonal dots should follow down the seam allowance. Trim up and across the top. Rotate the unit and then trim again. All the details are on the Bird of Paradise Technique Sheet. I can stress enough to read carefully through and refer to often. Even as I have made close to one hundred of these units for various projects I still make a oops each time I start a new batch. Just read and go slow for your first few until you get into a pattern. Then they will go smoothly.
Now that I have those done… there was just one more tool that added a bit of interest to the corners of my table runner. The Corner Beam unit. I only needed four and so this was the best part of it. I felt like I finished up those little guys in no time at all!! Photos below of the first trim down and the position of the “X” on the top right of the tool should match up at the intersection of the seams and the diagonal lines will follow down the seam allowance. For this project I made finished size units of 2″ x 2″.
Now that all my units were completed, I just need to assemble the top. I added sashing. Then I stitched my Birds of Paradise together making the top and bottom border first then my side borders.
While this project would probably take longer than a day, you could definitely make this a weekend project. To speed things along have your embroidery designs stitched out in advance. Those each took about forty-five minutes to hoop and stitch out. But so worth it! Thank for you for joining on the Twilight Chic blog hop, and it was a pleasure to have you join me and let me share with you.