I am often asked for ideas on how to use my embroidery designs especially my Crazy quilt blocks. My latest is available for the 260mm square hoop and I decided to create a cushion with my finished block.
Before the six sections are added to this block a template stitches out on your base fabric to mark out each section..
As you add each fabric piece be careful not to trim away the fabric at the sides. Best leave all the overlapping edges until after completion or trim leaving at least an inch all round. If this sounds daunting do not worry. There is a very detailed PDF along with the designs, which shows you every step of the process with photographs. Here is my finished 10.2″ square block and you can see that the two irises have been added as applique. The lower section is prepared beforehand stitched out on tulle with wash away stabiliser. Complete irises can also be prepared in this way. The appliques are easy to prepare and tulle works best as it trims away perfectly.
After experimenting I found the best way of holding the lower section of the flower was to use fabric glue.
An outline is stitched out on your block to help with alignment.
The leaves will be held in place with the second section of the flower.
The upper section of the flower is stitching out here and it secures the applique for you.
This is the finished iris. The block is available in 3 sizes, 10.2″ x 10.2″, 8″ x 8″ and 6″ x 6″. The applique iris is not available for the 6″ x 6″ block. Naturally you do not have to do appliques for the larger blocks. The PDF shows you clearly which colour ways to use and which to eliminate.
This photo shows a 6″ x 6″ block being stitched out in a different colour scheme.
This colour scheme was based around one of my favourite bearded irises – Wonders will never cease. After my 10.2″ block was finished I removed as much stabiliser as possible from the block. With the amount of stitches in this block very little stabiliser can be removed unless you have used wash away or heat away stabiliser.
Please trim the jump stitches so that it lays nice and flat. I found a cushion to cover for this block, but the embroidery was a little small and I needed fabric to create a border all around. I had several purple silk dupions but the one I choose was a little too dark. I decided it would work if I toned it down with some pretty lace. I prepared 4 sections of silk and added them to the block.
Even though I pinned them in position with the border fabric uppermost I turned them over so I could align my stitches just inside the embroidery.
Even so I still had to do some re-stitching where the outer stitches were showing.
With the four sections added to increase the size for my 14″ cushion, you can see how the edges need softening. A lovely white lace was perfect achieve this. It was added just on the edge of the embroidery.
The cushion cover was completed by adding an envelop backing which consists of two pieces of fabric with prepared edges overlapped by about 2.5″. I had not made one of these before and was delighted at how much easier this is than adding a zip.
The corners of the lace presented a problem or rather than spending time getting them to look prefect, I decided to use some of the applique irises I have left, positioning one in each corner.
There were two options on how I placed them and I went for the one above.
This is how the irises looked when added. You really have to look close to see the small edges of tulle. I had two irises of each size so I added the larger ones at the top of the cushion and the smaller ones at the base.
All that remained to do was to add some hot fix shapes or crystals to the circular string stitches. These are what are used to hold mirrors on fabric. I did not have any suitable large crystals or circles so I opted for these hexagonal ones as their colour matched perfectly. The flat tip of the hot fix tool is used for this. I tested it out before holding over the shape but it worked perfectly.
This is my completed prayer cushion and I believe it would make a wonderful gift in these uncertain times.
Romantic Crazy quilt 15 is available at a special price of $17.50 until 6th June, 2020.
For those interested to know where I get many of my silk dupion for these crazy quilt blocks, visit the Silk Route. If you purchase this block and stitch it out don’t forget to send me photos please! Have fun!
Happy embroidering from Hazel