The Magic Sticky Fabri Solvy

There are so many ways to transfer your hand embroidery pattern on to your fabric. I have my own favourites and very often it depends on the design.

Here’s a sketch of one of my latest designs. The design idea was to replicate some of the many blocks from the ‘Dear Jane’ quilt by Jane A Stickle. I wanted a Mini embroidered version and it had to be quite precise in the drawing…

Since the original quilt had 169 blocks there were a lot to choose from. My 8 inch design contained 36 mini blocks (2cm in size!) This was all really nice and simple when it came to drawing it on graph paper however I soon realised when I wanted to transfer it to fabric this was not going to be possible by tracing!

sticky fabri solvy

So I decided it was a job for the magical stitcky fabri solvy by sulky (quite a mouthful I know!). The great thing about this is you can print directly on to it so for more complex designs, it is perfect.

mini embroidery design
Here’s the design printed straight on to the Magic stuff and then it has a sticky backing so all you need to do is stick it on to your fabric.

dear jane embroidery
So we’ll skip forward to after the stitching is all done so you can see how this stuff actually works…

Take a look at this short video and you will see how simple and stress free it is…

If you have a complex design that needs transferring or you just want to give this stuff a go – you can purchase single sheets from my shop here.

Here’s how the design looked once dryed, ironed and framed…dear jane embroidery

The pattern itself is not available just yet and once it is, I will be posting a tutorial for framing your work in a box frame just like I did with this one.

Happy Stitching!

Stitch Tuesday – Turkey Rug Stitch

I have not done a stitch tutorial for a while and my latest pattern called for a ‘fluffy’ stitch for a squirrels tail so I decided to see if the Turkey Rug stitch would do the job!

Turkey Rug Stitch is basically a series of loops worked within a shape that can then be cut to form a pile (hence the ‘rug’ reference as it can be used for making rugs).

Here’s a run down of how the stitch is worked… I did a couple of practice shapes on my doodle cloth…

Firstly, draw a shape you want to fill with the loops and use at least 3 strands of thread for stitching. Bring the thread down on the left corner of your shape and don’t pull it all the way through – leave about 1/2 inch of thread sticking out of the left corner on the right side of the shape.

Bring the needle up at ‘1’ just to the right of the thread tail and then take it down at ‘2’ just above the thread tail. Pull it all the way through and this creates a small holding stitch (3).

Bring the needle up at ‘4’ just below the holding stitch and next to the thread tail. Take the needle down to the right at ‘5’ creating a loop (similar in height to the thread tail).

Next, you are going to make a small holding stitch over the right side of the loop which catches the thread and stops it from pulling through so the loop is secure. Come up at ‘6’ – directly to the right of the loop – and then take the needle down in between the loop trapping the base of the loop when you pull the thread all the way through and creating a small stitch.

Create a second loop next to the first in exactly the same way as before and secure with a holding stitch.

Continue along the edge of the shape to the right and finish at the end with a holding stitch.

Create the second row directly above the first working in the opposite direction so you will be taking your stitches to the left each time and bringing the holding stitch over the left side of the loop in to the centre to secure.

Continue working rows of loops to fill the whole shape going in alternate directions. At the end of the last row bring the needle up under the last holding stitch and snip off.

The next step, using sharp embroidery scissors, is to cut through the top of the loops so that you have a nice spiky looking shape!

Trim to your desired length and neaten around the edges so the shape is clearly defined.

This was a really fun stitch and I did a couple of examples so I could get the hang of it.

As I said at the start of this post, my reason for trying this out was for a little squirrel who appears in my latest pattern. I stitched him up and used the stitch for the tail and as you can see it was perfect for the fluffy effect!

I can think of so many fun ways to use this stitch so give it a go and you will be wanting to create some fluffy creatures of your own!

How to start an embroidery project for the best results (the necessary bits before the stitching!) …

So, you have fallen in love with a new pattern and can’t wait to get stitching – taking a bit of time with the prep can make all the difference to how enjoyable it is to stitch as well as the finished result.

First things First – choose your fabric…

Tip… For beginners and those wanting an easier transfer journey consider choosing a light fabric.

Fabric Size… Depending on the frame or hoop you are going to use to stitch the design in as well as the way you intend to frame it at the end will determine how much extra fabric you need around the design. Usually 3 inches extra fabric around the whole design is enough – too much and it gets in the way as you stitch, too little and it doesn’t hold tight in the frame or you have to keep moving the frame around the design both of which spoil the embroidery.

In the above photos, I chose a bar frame to stitch the pattern in, firstly making sure the frame fits around the pattern with plenty of space around the pattern edge. I then placed the frame on the fabric and cut the fabric at least 2-3 inches bigger than the frame.

Finish off the edges with pinking shears to prevent as much fraying as possible as you stitch. It is so annoying have frayed edges catching in your stitches and puckering the edges of your project.

Now on to transferring the pattern to the fabric…

How you choose to transfer can depend on a variety of factors. With more detailed designs, I actually prefer to trace them as it gives a much nicer end result and it actually isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you may think.

A good light box is so much easier than a window!

Print out your pattern at 100% and tape this pattern to the light box to prevent slipping.

Light box illuminating the pattern through the fabric for tracing

Place your fabric over the pattern centrally and secure with tape to the back of the light box to help stop it moving. Carefully trace your design using your preferred pen – I love Frixion pens as they write on smoothly, show up well on the fabric and once all the stitching is done are erasable by heat so a quick iron will rid any marks left showing.

Resulting pattern completely traced and ready to stitch.

Finally, make sure it is nice and taut for stitching…

Whether you use a hoop or a frame to stitch in the key is to make it taut! I can’t emphasise this enough. Your stitches look better, the end result looks more professional and most importantly it is so much more enjoyable stitching a pattern when it is properly stretched as it just makes it easier from start to finish.

If you want to find out how to use a stretcher bar frame like the one above, you can read my blog post here

Take that bit of extra time to set the project off on the right track and you will love how much better it makes your piece look in the end.

Doodle Cloth Tuesday – Pearl Stitch

This week I decided to try a line stitch that I haven’t done before and came across the Knotted Pearl Stitch. This turned out to be a really nice stitch once you get in to a rythym and I can definately say I will use it in future designs.

Draw a line and come up on the edge. (1) Take a stitch along and slightly above the line and take your needle down (2). Next come up directly below where you came out at ‘2’, this time on the other side of the line a little distance from it (3).

Form the knot by slipping the needle through the stitch you made (4) and keeping the thread taut (as in the photos), releasing it gradually as you pull the thread through the stitch to form the knot. The rest of the stitches are made in the same way along the line forming knots as you go.

Playing around with different thickness of thread as well as varying the distance between the knots means this is quite a versatile stitch. The orange Pearl stitch was worked with 3 strands of DMC thread. The Green is 2 strands of perle thread no. 12, and then the yellow is a thick pearl cotton.

The Knotted Pearl Stitch would make a fabulous decorative edging on lots of different designs.

Doodle Cloth Tuesday – Woven Picot

Woven Picot are traditionally used in Lace work and I have shied away from this one in my work – no idea why! Let’s give it a go..

There are several different types of woven picot so let’s start with a version that is stitched to the cloth rather than detached as you very often see.

Stitch a triangle as above. Start at A and go down at B, Come back at C and go back in at D. Then stitch a central line up the middle coming out at E and back in at F.

Woven Picot Stitch

After you have pulled your thread though at F, come back out where the arrow indicates and then start weaving your thread in and out, completing each row in this way to fill the Picot.

Once you have weaved all the way to the bottom, take the thread through to the back in the centre and secure at the back.

Now you are able to do a simple Woven Picot, experiment with different threads to see the difference it makes.

You can also try a detached Woven Picot Stitch…

Use a Pin to act as an anchor for your weaving. Pop the pin in your fabric and then come up at A and take the thread around the pin and then back in the fabric at B. Come back up at C, and again take the thread around the back of the pin – this time do not take the thread to the back, instead you are going to start weaving it back and too as you did before to fill in the shape.

Once you have filled in, take the thread to the back of the work and secure off.

Remove the pin and you have a lovely detached Woven Picot!

I did a few of these over my doodle cloth to try and perfect them and they got better each time! If you google woven Picot there are some gorgeous flowers you can create with this stitch, definately one to use for something special.

There are lots of stitch ‘doodles’ on the cloth now, can’t wait to have a look through my books and pick another one for next week!