Thursday, June 5, 2008

Creating Custom Quilt Stitches

I am teaching a quilt class for our Relief Society enrichment class. We are doing the pattern Turning Twenty. It creates a quilt top using 20 'fat quarters'. It is a perfect beginning quilt and goes together quickly. I am making my own Turning 20 quilt but I wanted to add some personalized stitches. I decided to make stitches to go in particular spots on the quilt. It is fairly simple to make a pattern to transfer to muslin (a type of fabric) that you can then put in your quilt. I am making a quilt for my Mother-in-Law's 70th Birthday. This quilt lends itself very well to this type of customization.

To Create your custom Stitches:

1- Begin by figuring out the exact size of the space where you want your finished stitch in the quilt. Cut out white card stock to that exact size (do not include seam allowances). Sketch out your design in pencil. Do not have your design go all the way to the edges of your paper. As soon as you have the design you want in pencil, trace it with a fine point black sharpie marker. You now have your pattern on cardstock and you are ready to transfer it to muslin for stitching.

2- Cut muslin 1-2" larger than your cardstock pattern. This will give you a little extra in case the edges fray while you stitch (you will trim it before putting it in the quilt-see step 4). Scotch Tape your cardstock pattern to any flat surface (I like using a window). Center your muslin on top of your cardstock pattern. Tape on each edge to prevent movement. Now simply trace your pattern onto your muslin using a pencil. You are ready to stitch!

3- Using colored floss (DMC type), "color" your transfered pattern on your muslin. Use small, even stitches. Use 2 strands of floss for most things. Words often look best in 1 strand of a dark color. I prefer faces in 1 strand as well.

4- Once you have completed your stitch, trim up your muslin to prepare to sew into your quilt. Leave 1/4" seam allowances. For example, if your card stock (or finished size) block was 4" X 5", you need to cut your finished muslin stitch to 4 1/2" X 5 1/2". Now put it into your quilt and enjoy!

In the future I will incorporate this and other stitches into my Turning Twenty Quilt!

PS-This stitch is secret so don't tell Kristine!


Mimi said...

Well it may seem simple to you and maybe I am pretty sleepy right now, but I read slowly and tried to concentrate and still feel very vague about how to do it:)! I am very impressed that you have acquired this skill Michelle...MAYBE I'll be able to learn more from you after we get there! I used to quilt...but couldn't do patchwork very well at all:(...

meegz said...

Maybe it's hereditary MOm -- I didn't get it either!:) I WISH I could learn -- maybe when I come visit!:) I still have to get all of Maggie's clothes quilts done -- then I'll move on to another skill.:) GREAT GIFT Michelle.

Michelle Gilleland said...

Hey ladies-I have tried to clarify some stuff in this post...any better? I posted this for the ladies in my quilt class as I brought in the stitch and showed them how i would put it in my quilt. I am glad to know how someone without that point of reference understands (or not) the directions! :)

Jan- I need Valeri's B-day for another stitch. Do you know it? I will post it so you gals can see it!

meegz said...

sorry, it wasn't that your instructions were bad -- it was that my brain doesn't compute sewing. AT ALL.:) I kindof get it -- I'd just have to walk it through to see if I really get it. but first things first -- how do you sketch something when your a horrible artist? Any tricks/tips?