As some of you know, I love to do craft swaps; however, the large style ones with tons of swappers tend to be a little too rigid in timing for me. I’ve been lucky to be invited to a Round Robin swap that will go from August to November. My first spaw-ee is @charmingminis She makes the funnest miniature paintings on jewelry sized charms and larger canvases. Be sure to check her work out, I’m know you’ll see you something your life wouldn’t be complete without. I noticed she worked on a rather large piece recently that featured the stained glass from Beauty and the Beast. Since I also love the stained glass from Beauty and the Beast, I thought it a perfect project to translate it to fiber. Here’s the finished piece –
Curious how it came together?
Following is a brief description of the steps I took to make the wall hanging. There is a downloadable template for the line art as well as the .pes embroidery file. It is not a full tutorial or step by step instructions, rather a guide to get you started if you’d like to do something like it. If you have questions or would like more details about a particular step, feel free to ask!
When I work on pieces like this, I used lots of varied quilting techniques. Sometimes I do raw edge applique, sometimes turned, sometimes paper piecing, sometimes standard piecing. I’ll use bias tape, thread sketching, or any kinds of embellishments that I may think will enhance the project. In the image above you see the three main tools I use. I started with a printed color source image (top right). I’ll then turn it into line art sized to the finished size of the project with various photoshop tools and hand drawing techniques. If there are things I think are distracting, like in this case the hand, I’ll remove them. If I’d like to add any elements, I do it now usually by sketching them in. I will also simplify the line art. If there are places that will be difficult to manage with fiber or the technique I intend to use, I remove or adjust them. I break the line art image into 8 x 10 home printable pages to tape together. In this case, I was just short of fitting it on 6 pages. Rather than make it smaller, I split it over 9 with significant overlapping. If you’d like the file to print yourself, you can get it right here. The printed and taped template is hanging on the curtain at the top left. I keep this one “pristine” as the master template in the event any of the others are cut or damaged.
The line art at the bottom right is traced from the master template onto a piece of tracing paper with a sharpie. I like the tracing paper because it is transparent enough that I can work from the front or the back (ie, reverse template for fusing etc). I can also place it on top of my main piece to ensure placement etc is correct as I’m adding the pieces. I’ve heard people really like to use vinyl for this, but I found it frustrating because it was sensitive to heat, thicker than the paper, and “too” transparent at times. Besides, tracing paper is cheap when you buy it on the roll!
Once all my template work is done, I start working with the fabric by cutting large color blocks and fusing them to a piece of muslin. I knew there would be a lot of thread work and large embroidery so I went ahead and added a stabilizer on the back side of the muslin. I ended up with this kind of ugly sandwich of stabilizers and fabrics.
Side Quest – I did try to get more color variation in the fabrics with bleach, but wouldn’t know these fabrics are seriously color fast and barely affected! The medium pink one was the only one that really changed and it was nearly instant.
In this case, I really wanted to add a little sparkle. Before I started putting in the lead lines, I sketched in some metallic thread with free motion quilting techniques. I turned on my internal editor and did not put metallic thread absolutely everywhere. I wanted enough that it would occasionally catch the light and add some interesting textures without being gaudy. (I know, what is the world coming to – I’m normally so gaudy!)
This was the most exciting part! I added the large bright pink circles with hand made bias tape from some of bleached fabric experiment. I then fused Misty Fuse on the back of a large square of black fabric. I cut the 1/8″ – 1/4″ bias strips with fusible on the back. Once they had the sticky on one side, I placed them and tacked them down with a hot iron inch by inch. I went back through with some fray check to hit any of the raw edges that were fraying excessively and let it dry overnight. The next step was to quilt it. I used Free Motion Quilting to add more dimension and texture around the bias tape and on both sides of the black lead lines. I elected not to quilt in any of the large open spaces, including the areas that already had metallic thread. I did not remove the stabilizer to allow it to keep a nice heft to it. It doesn’t really fold without risking adding a permanent crease, but I think it is worth it for the shaping.
The Embroidered Rose
The embroidered rose is a custom digitized file I created. It is done in a large 7 x 12 hoop. I treated like a patch stitching it over a tulle/stabilizer sandwich. When it was fresh off of the machine, it really glowed.
Here’s the thing though – I tried some “new to me” features of the digitizing software. I didn’t really understand how it translated to actual stitches and as the machine tried to get all 68,000+ stitches done it had some big issues. First of all, I didn’t give it enough consideration with the pull. You can see in several places the color fills do not meet up correctly with the black contour line. Secondly, I didn’t realize that the outline feature made not only and outline, but a backwards path outline. I bet the thread broke 8 or 9 times working through those lead lines. In the end, the black lines finished and I was able to cover some of the missing spaces by using a free motion stitch with matching thread on my sewing machine. I will tell you – this file is difficult and frustrating and not the funnest or easiest thing to stitch through. If you’re hard-headed like me and still want it, feel free to download it with this link (.pes).
Once it was stitched, I removed the extra tulle and stabilizer, clean up the edges, then soaked and dried it. Because I didn’t want it to curl, I added a layer of wonder under to make it fusible. The wonder under was not enough to keep it in place for any length of time so I reinforced its placement with a zig zag stitch all the way around.
The Big Finish
A little bit of binding, a little bit of clean up, a solid line rolling and this one is done!
I really like the way this one glows and changes based on where you’re standing. I put a lot of thought into how the thread would catch the light in hopes of adding a bit more “glass” like look. I really hope @charmingminis enjoys this as much as I enjoyed making it!
Side Quest: The Belle and Beast figurine in the first picture was a gift from my dad. I can’t even tell you what year it was or even if it was Christmas or my birthday. I can just tell you that he was proud of that one and rather impressed with himself. One of the only times I think *HE* actually came across something for me rather than let mom handle it. I think it made him happy and it gives me a little warm fuzzy every time I handle it. Miss you Padre!