Sweet Snow Along 3 - Layered Designs and Outline Stitching

Posted by Wanda Milankov on

The goal this week is to assemble some layered designs and to start outline stitching all of the blocks we have made so far.

You will need:

             - pattern pages 3, 5, 9, 11, 18, 25, 26 and 34

             - 1 - 8½" fabric square of Pink Sugary Dots

             - 4 - 8½" fabric squares of White Vintage Ads

             - 1 - 8½" fabric square of Black Vintage Cookbook

             - 1 - 8½" fabric square of Black Sugary Snow Dots

             - 1 - 8½" fabric square of Red Painter's Texture

             - the collection of fabrics

             - Fusible web -  EZ Steam®  or Steam-A Seam II Lite® 

             - fine permanent marker or pen

             - thread - colour is discussed below

             - optional - Whisper Web Mesh Light® 

             - optional - Sewer's Aid® 

             - paper scissors and fabric scissors

             - 10"  piece of parchment paper or a non-stick pressing sheet

              - Iron and pressing surface

Products shown in blue are available at thimbles & things - Orillia, ON, Threads That Bind - Maxwell, ON or your local quilt shop.

Let's take a close look at design #18. There are 3 design pieces that overlap. The pattern designer has very kindly shown the overlap with a dashed line and also given us the design in reverse. 

Before tackling a layered design, decide the order you will be placing them down. These 3 bowls will be positioned from the smallest  to the largest or another way to think on it is "from back to front". Write the numbers right on your pattern page. Get in the habit of doing this for every applique block.
Trace the 3 pieces to the fusible web and number clearly. Press to the wrong side of your fabric choices and cut out.
For more complicated designs it is advisable to assemble not directly to the fabric background, but separately. Place the pattern page on to your pressing surface and cover it with a non-stick pressing sheet, Fusamat® or a piece of parchment. Please be aware that the parchment can be quite slippery.
Start with #1 and place it on the design. Wait! Our pattern is backwards! Here are some things you can do:
1- Eyeball the placement. It may not be exactly as the pattern calls for. Let's just say you have taken some creative license!
2- Trace the design with a permanent marker that seeps through to the reverse side of the page. Flip the page over and you have a placement guide.
3- Flip the page over on a light box.
4-Keep the pattern facing up and use the dashed line at the bottom of each bowl for placement. Continue with the remaining 2 design pieces. By the way, my fabrics are not the ones shown in the pattern.
Press with a dry iron and let the design piece cool completely before lifting it off the non-stick surface. Position the unit on to a background square and press.
Continue this process with the other 7 designs listed above. 
We now have a total of 16 blocks constructed and it is time to stitch the designs down. All of the raw edges need to be done!
Using a black or a dark gray thread helps to define the pieces but matching the colours is nice too and can look a little neater.  The choice is yours.
The stitch used is totally up to you too. The main three choices would be a straight stitch very close to the edge, a small zigzag or a blanket stitch. Unfortunately not all machines have a blanket stitch.
Straight stitch
Zig Zag
Blanket or sometimes called Buttonhole stitch
Here is some outline stitching with matching thread.
An open toed or clear plastic sewing machine foot helps you to see the edge and where you are going. I strongly recommend engaging the "needle down" feature on your machine. This makes going around corners and curves much easier.
If your needle becomes sticky, try wiping it with a little Sewer's Aid® on a Q-Tip. Another recommendation is to pin a light stabilizer (Whisper Web Mesh Light

®) to the back of the block.

Square each block to 8". and remember to clearly label the blocks.
Well, this week's homework load sounds daunting. Don't try to do it all at once!
Sweet Snow Along 4 will be posted Feb. 1st

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  • Victoria – #34 red background was cut in the first blog post. This block only requires you to apply 2 pieces, the belt then the buckle.

    Wanda on
  • Sandra – Block 5 is 3 pieces. Position the bow first, then the gift box and finally the ribbon.

    Wanda on
  • The Santa tummy block, 34 I think. Is the whole red painters texture block used as his coat and then we just appliqué the belt and buckle ? Or do we actually cut out the design square for a second layer of red ?

    Victoria on
  • In Bock Number 5. It shows the bow on top as a seperate piece but is the ribbon placed on top of the red. I guess the question really is the box 2 or 3 pieces?

    Sandra Cassidy on
  • Hope this helps;
    - a 80/12 is the preferred needle size and I find a universal needle works fine. Microtex needles make smaller holes and I always use those if my top fabric is a batik.
    - there is nothing wrong with using different threads top and bottom BUT test your tension, it may need adjusting.
    – blanket stitch – 2 and 2 works great. Remember to use “Needle Down” if you have that feature on your machine. Really makes the task easier.

    Wanda on

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