Monday, July 16, 2018

Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 4: Piecing and Foundation

If you missed the first parts of this tutorial, 
links have been provided at the end of this post.

After Part 3 of this tutorial, your fabric was colored and heat set. If you have not already, remove the freezer paper from the back of your fabric.

Now to prepare the fabric for embellishment. Before adding embroidery, beads, or other embellishments, you need a foundation fabric. 

Click any photo for a larger image.

1. Cut a piece of muslin out that is at least 5" x 7" in size and is large enough to fit your embroidery hoop or frame.

2. Iron the muslin.

3. Using your fabric safe marker and a quilting ruler, draw a 4" x 6" rectangle onto the center of your piece of muslin. (I used a black Pigma Micron 05 marker and heat set the ink with the dry cotton setting of an iron, as explained in the Design Transfer part of this series.)

4. Trim the colored fabric.
  • Mixed Media Option: Trim the colored fabric to a 5" x 7" rectangle.
  • Crazy Quilt Option: Trim the fabric to a 3.5" x 4.5" rectangle.

5. Pin the postcard fabric to the muslin foundation. 
NOTES: The rectangle you drew in Step 1 will be the back side of the muslin foundation.
If needed, hold the fabrics up to a window to be sure the colored fabric is where you want it within the triangle on the back of the muslin.

Mixed Media Option: Center the 5" x 7" colored treasure chest fabric (colored-side-up) on the front side of the muslin. From the back side, pin the treasure chest fabric to the muslin. 
Skip down to Step 7.

Crazy Quilt Option: Decide how you want your postcard oriented and place the 3.5" x 4.5" rectangle on the front side of the muslin. The block needs to be pieced. See Step 6. 

6. Piece the crazy quilt fabric postcard. I chose a portrait orientation for my crazy quilt postcard and placed my treasure chest at an angle along the bottom edge.

The numbers in this image show the order in which the fabrics were added.

Fabric 1 - the colored image:
The colored fabric extends past the left side and the bottom on the bottom-left corner of the rectangle drawn on the back of the muslin.

Fabric 2: Find a scrap of tan or light brown fabric (think sand.) Be sure the scrap will extend beyond the borders on the bottom and the side of the rectangle on the back side of your muslin.

Place the fabric right-side-down on the treasure chest fabric, lining the edge with the sand-colored bottom edge of your colored fabric.

Place pins along the edges of the rectangle drawn on the back of the muslin.

Using 1/4" seam allowance, sew along this seam. (My stitched seams extend about 1/4" past the rectangle on the muslin on both sides.)

Press the seam with iron on cotton steam setting.

Open the fabric and press both fabrics flat onto the muslin foundation.

Trim the right edge even with the edge of your treasure chest rectangle.

To do this, flip the piece so the front is face down on your cutting mat.

Fold the muslin back away from the edge of the fabric. Set your ruler over the muslin, so you will not cut it by mistake. Line the edge of the ruler with the edge of the treasure chest fabric and trim the sand colored fabric.

As seen in the next photo, I also trimmed the bottom. Leaving an extra 1/2" to 1" of fabric extending beyond the rectangle drawn on the muslin, I trimmed the fabric on the bottom.

Fabric 3: Find a scrap of blue fabric.
Place the fabric right-side-down and pin it along the edge you just trimmed.
Sew the seam from the top of the treasure chest fabric down to the bottom of the sand fabric.
Iron the seam.
Open the fabric and iron the seam open.
Flip the fabric face-down, fold the muslin along the top seam of the treasure chest fabric. Place your ruler over the muslin (so you cannot accidentally cut it), line the ruler up with the top of the treasure chest fabric and trim the blue fabric. 
Trim the blue fabric so it extends about 1/2"-1" beyond the side of the rectangle drawn on the back of your muslin.

Fabric 4: Find another scrap of blue fabric. Be sure it is large enough to cover the remainder of the rectangle drawn on the back of your muslin foundation.
Place the fabric right-side-down and pin it along the top seam with the treasure chest and blue fabric.
Sew the seam.
Press the seam.
Open the fabric and press the seam open.
Without cutting the muslin foundation, trim the blue fabric so it extends about 1/2" to 1" beyond the rectangle drawn on the muslin foundation on the top and the left side of the block.

With the muslin foundation up, carefully pin the edges of fabric from the front. (It will look similar to the photo below, but with seams sewn on it.)

7. Baste the front of the postcard to the muslin foundation. This step is the same for both the mixed media and crazy quilt versions of the postcard.

I set my sewing machine to a longer stitch setting and sew along the lines of the rectangle on the muslin. This makes it easier to remove this thread after the block has been embellished.

Your postcard is now ready to embellish!
This will be covered in the next part of this tutorial. 

If you skip ahead, keep the following tips in mind:
A. Your postcard cannot be more than 1/4-inch thick and the stabilizer will add roughly 1/8-inch to that thickness. Your beads and/or charms should be small or thin.

B. After embellishing, we will be cutting the 4" x 6" rectangle. Keep all embellishing within the rectangle you drew on the muslin. The basted seam helps you visualize that area as you work.
C. You will be sewing along the edge of the postcard when it is done. Place all beads and charms at least 1/4-inch away from the outer edges of your basted rectangle.

Links to related blog posts:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Treasure Chest Tutorial Part 3: Coloring Fabric

This post will show how I colored white fabric for the treasure chest fabric postcards. I used the same colors for the crazy quilt option and the mixed media option.

I used a box of Crayola crayons with 96 colors. However, you really only need white, brown, and blue.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

If you missed the first steps for this tutorial, I have provided links at the end of this post.

1) Color the entire piece white.  
I colored the treasure chest first (as seen in this photo) and then colored the rest of the piece. The lines of your drawing do not look as crisp when you color over them, but it will look better after the color is heat set.

Note: Sometimes when I am coloring, the freezer paper begins to separate from the fabric. I find that holding the piece as seen in this photo and coloring in the small section between my finger and my thumb makes this less of a problem.

2. Color the sand.
If your freezer paper is not as secure after you color the fabric white, you may skip to step 5 below and then return to this step. It will heat set the white and also secure the freezer paper to the fabric again.

First, I tested the colors on a scrap of the white fabric. I selected a light shade to use for the sand and 3 shades I felt went well together for the treasure chest.

The sand was colored with "tumbleweed" for this postcard. 

If you only have one basic brown crayon, color the sand in as lightly as possible.

3. Color the treasure chest. 
If using a basic brown, begin coloring your treasure chest in lightly and then color areas in a bit darker to add shadows and detail.

First, I filled the entire treasure chest in with the "raw sienna" crayon.

Next, I used "copper" to color in the metal lock.

Then, I used "sepia" to color around the edges of the treasure chest. I also colored in a bit along the bottom edges of the boards.

Finally, using "brown" I colored in a bit more around some of the corners of the treasure chest and made some faint lines to give an indication of the grain of the wood on the boards. You could also darken the area inside the treasure chest, as it would have the most shadows. I do not plan to leave much (if any) of that visible, so I did not darken that area on my blocks. However, the inside of the lid would be more shadowed...

4. Color the ocean water. 
This may be done with one shade of blue. Color the water in lighter near the top of the block, where light would be hitting the water, and darker near the treasure chest. 
NOTE: If you are making the crazy quilted postcard, find blue crayons that go well with the blue fabrics you are using. (I wish I had done this!)

I used two shades of blue.
First, "blue green" was used around the edges of the treasure chest and along the sandy bottom. I left some blank areas to fill in with the lighter shade of blue.

Then "turquoise blue" filled in the water.

5. Heat set the piece to melt out the wax and set the color in the fabric.
First, place your paper bag on your ironing board. IMPORTANT: be sure there are no glued sections on your paper bag (on the handles or the seams), as these may make a mess when you iron over your fabric. 

Second, place a paper towel (I use a double layer) on the paper bag. (As seen in the photo above.)

Third, place your colored fabric on the paper towel so the colored side is down on the paper towel and the freezer paper is on top.

Heat your iron to a dry (no steam) cotton setting. 

Press the freezer paper. This melts the wax out of the fabric and into the paper towel. The paper bag protects your ironing board if the wax goes through the paper towels.
NOTE: the iron may move quickly over the freezer paper, so be careful.

Check the paper towel. If colors have ironed onto it, replace the paper towel and press again. Repeat this process until no color transfers to the paper towel.

If you feel any sections are too light, you may color over those areas again and then repeat this step to set the color.

Once you finish this step, you may remove the freezer paper from the back of your fabric. 

You are now ready to prepare the postcard for embellishment!

As stated in a previous post, I learned to color fabric by combining information from the following tutorials. I am not affiliated with their websites.
Urban Threads
Knot-y Girl's Stitchery Club

Related blog posts for this tutorial:
Treasure Chest Sketch
Treasure Chest Postcard Tutorial Part 1: Gathering Supplies
Treasure Chest Postcard Tutorial Part 2: Design Transfer

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Treasure Chest Postcard Tutorial Part 2: Design Transfer

Yesterday's blog post shared the list of supplies needed to create a fabric postcard featuring a colored treasure chest.

This tutorial will share two postcard options.
1. Crazy Quilted Option - the postcard will be pieced with a colored treasure chest and other fabrics.

2. Mixed Media Option - it will be one piece of colored fabric embellished with embroidery, beads, and possibly other small buttons and/or charms.  

How to Transfer the Design to Your Fabric:
1. Tape the Treasure Chest Sketch to a bright window. 
NOTES: The image will be reversed on your fabric. 
I only used the top sketch for this tutorial.

2. Cut your freezer paper.

  • Crazy Quilt Option - cut a 3.5" x 4.5" rectangle
  • Mixed Media Option - cut a 5" x 7" rectangle and draw a 4" x 6" rectangle in the center on the dull paper side (not the shiny side) of the freezer paper.

3. Tape the freezer paper over the sketch. The paper (not shiny) side should be facing you.

Crazy Quilt Option - center freezer paper over the treasure chest. 

Mixed Media Option - I centered the treasure chest in the 4" x 6" rectangle. If you want more sand or more ocean in your postcard, position the treasure chest to meet your needs.

4. Trace the design onto the paper (dull) side of the freezer paper with a dark permanent marker. I used an ultra fine point Sharpie.

Crazy Quilt Option - Your freezer paper may not cover the entire sketch. That is okay.

Mixed Media Option - I extended the line for the sand so it reached both edges of the rectangle.

5. Iron freezer paper to the wrong side of the white fabric following steps 5.1 - 5.4 below.

5.1 Iron your white cotton fabric. NOTE: The fabric must be washed and dried first (with NO fabric softeners) for the color tinting to set permanently.

5.2 Place the white fabric on your ironing board with the right-side-down. 

5.3 Place the freezer paper sketch on the fabric so the shiny side is down touching the fabric, and the paper side (the dull side) is up.
NOTE: For this step, when placing the freezer paper on the fabric, I leave enough fabric around the design to fit my embroidery hoop.

5.4 Set your iron to the cotton setting with no steam and carefully iron the dull side of the freezer paper. The freezer paper will adhere to the fabric to provide stability while marking and coloring the fabric. It will easily peel off after the coloring has been heat set. 
NOTE: The iron will move faster over the paper than it does over fabric, so use caution during this step.

6. Trace the sketch onto the right side of the white fabric.

With the white fabric side up, you should be able to clearly see the sketch you drew on the freezer paper. If you cannot see it well, taping it to a bright window should help for this step.

Using your fabric marker, trace the image onto the white fabric. (I traced the line for the sand. You may prefer not to do this. The line on your freezer paper should show through enough to guide you when coloring the sand and ocean water in the next step of this tutorial if you want a more subtle look.) 

I used a Pigma Micron 05 Black marker. The ink is permanent on fabric after being heat set. To heat set the ink:
Place the sketch - white fabric side up - on your ironing board. 
Set your iron on the cotton setting.
Iron the fabric, running the iron over the entire image. (Optional: place a scrap of fabric over the design in case any ink transfers and then remove the scrap and iron directly over the image. I have never had Pigma Micron ink transfer to the scrap of fabric, but it would protect the iron if it did.) 

Do not remove the freezer paper. 

Your fabric is now ready to color!

Please Note:
My sketches are not perfect. The traced lines are not perfectly straight. I like to remind myself that a wooden chest would warp under water, so curvy lines are okay. I do not consider myself an artist or an expert. I simply enjoy creating and learning as I go. When someone asks, "How do you...?" I share a tutorial to let them know. I guess my point is - don't get hung up on perfection. If you want to give something a try, have fun with it!

I will share how I colored my fabric in my next post. If you want to start before then, a few of the tutorials that I turn to when I want to color fabric are listed below. I am not affiliated with any of these websites.
Quilting Board Tutorial
Urban Threads Tutorial
Knot-y Girl's Stitchery Club Tutorial

Links to My Related Blog Posts:
Treasure Chest Sketch
Treasure Chest Postcard Tutorial Part 1: Gathering Supplies

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Treasure Chest Postcard Tutorial Part 1: Gathering Supplies

As promised, I am sharing step-by-step instructions for a project using one of the treasure chest sketches I shared. The tutorial is for a fabric postcard.

If you follow this tutorial to create a fabric postcard, I do hope you will let me know. I would love to see what you create!

I tend to be verbose, so I am breaking this tutorial down into several posts.

Supplies you will need:

  • Computer and printer 
  • Cardstock (white, tan, or light blue) - this will be for the back of the postcard. I cut mine to 8 1/2" x 11" and print 2 postcard backs. However, you may cut a 4" x 6" back and create the back by hand.
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread for sewing machine
  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • A printout of the treasure chest sketch PDF shared here
  • Embroidery hoop or q-snap large enough to hold a 4" x 6" design
  • At least 6" x 9" piece of muslin fabric (this is for the foundation - make it big enough to fit your embroidery hoop or q-snap frame)
  • White cotton - minimum of 5" x 7" (washed and dried - do NOT use fabric softener)
  • Freezer paper 
  • 4" x 6" of a sturdy fusible stablizer (I use Pellon 72F Peltex II Ultra Firm 2-Sided) 
  • Crayons - you will need white and brown. Additional shades of tans, browns, blues, and greens are optional
  • OPTIONAL: Scraps of tan, brown, blue, and/or green fabrics for sand and ocean water (you may just color the white fabric instead)
  • Paper Towels
  • Brown paper bag
  • Bright window or light box (to help transfer design onto fabric)
  • Tape (to tape the sketch to the window)
  • Permanent Marker to transfer chest onto freezer paper (I use an ultra fine point black Sharpie)
  • Permanent Fabric Marker to draw the treasure chest onto the white fabric (I use a black Pigma Micron 05)
  • Optional - fabric glue (A friend likes to use Aleene's Original Tacky Glue. I use Fabric Fuse Quick Bond Fabric Adhesive. If you have a favorite, you may use it. Or you may prefer to simply sew the cardstock back to your postcard.)
  • OPTIONAL: Clear mailing envelope (I found size A6 clear plastic envelopes through Amazon. They are 4.75" x 6.5" and have worked great for mailing fabric postcards. You may mail them without an envelope. I feel more comfortable with a bit more protection.)

Embellishing Supplies (to be covered better in another step of this tutorial):
  • Embroidery needles
  • Embroidery floss and threads (Floss, Perle cotton in sizes 5, 8, and/or 12 - colors may vary. I use black floss or size 12 perle cotton to outline the treasure chest. For other colors, think of coral, sea vegetation, fish, etc. I like shades of green, yellow, purple, blue, orange, pink, red and variegations of these colors.)
  • Beading needle
  • Seed beads and/or petite glass beads (Think SMALL - the finished postcard cannot be more than 1/4-inch thick. To fill the treasure chest, I tend to use gold, white, and perhaps a few red, blue, and/or green beads - I recommend adding your favorite gem color. )
  • Optional: needle threader 
  • Optional: charms or buttons (again, think small and thin)

Tomorrow's post will share how to transfer the treasure chest to your fabric.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

TAST Week 12

Week 12: Chevron Stitch
Week 11 was a break week, so the 11th stitch of this round of TAST is the Chevron Stitch. It was introduced on March 20th in this post and the directions for this stitch may be found here.

I followed this edge on one of Sharon B.'s templates to keep my stitches relatively even.*

I used size 8 pink perle cotton for the Chevron Stitches. I used this stitch to couch down a black velvet ribbon on the messenger bag I am working on. After the seam was stitched, I created flowers along the ribbon with clusters of pink and blue seed beads. (I like to individually secure each bead by passing the thread through it 3 times and then knotting the thread 3 times on the back. This holds each bead securely in place, and if one bead falls off in the use of the bag, the others will not all fall off.)

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. This is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. of You may learn more about TAST here.

This week, stitch 25 was announced, so I will be playing catch up!

* I am not affiliated with Pintangle or with Sharon B.'s crazy quilt templates. However, I did receive my templates free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. I truly love using mine!