“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat” – Mark Twain
We only have a few short weeks of summer remaining, friends. Enjoy those remaining tasty barbeques, late night swims, and visits to the country fair. This week, our Flashback Friday project features favorite summer icons. Enjoy creating this patriotic weekend project.
Patriotic Picnic Stitchery
Designed by Karen Lamp
• 12” x 15” tan homespun or muslin
3” x 4” black
6” x 7” dark red
5” x 8” off-white
5” x 9” green
Scraps of dark blue and gold
• No. 5 weight perle cotton thread in black, blue, dark red, gold, green, off-white**
• Pellon Wonder Under Fusible Web (or freezer paper)
• Tiny black buttons, eight
• 9” x 12” painted wooden frame
• Cardboard or mounting board (9” x 12” piece)
• Clothes washer and dryer, embroidery needle, fabric scissors, fluffy towel, iron and ironing surface, light box or well-lit window, old spray bottle, straight pins, tea bags, tracing paper, washable marker, water
*Hand-dyed or other wool of choice. Sizes listed are after washing. Please note that hand-dyed wools are already washed.
**Colors to most closely match the wools.
For pattern, see below. The pattern needs to be enlarged by 200% to complete as shown above, but would be just as nice to complete in a smaller version. (Drag the image onto your computer desktop to print.)
- All wools used must be pre-washed or felted before using. This is not necessary if you are using hand-dyed wools as those have already gone through the washing/shrinking process. To felt other wool, wash in a washing machine on the hottest cycle with a very small amount of detergent. You may wash several colors together if they are very close in shade. Do not wash lights and darks together. Dry in a hot dryer with a fluffy towel. Now your wool should be beautiful and ready to use.
- To appliqué, I love to use Wonder Under Fusible Web, but you may use the freezer paper method (or cut templates), your wool, and then use temporary basting glue. I encourage you to use your favorite method. I like fusible web because the pieces adhere so well to the background.
1. Use light box or well-lit window for all tracing. If using Fusible Web, first trace the complete design onto tracing paper, then turn paper over and retrace design from reverse side—this assures that your design will not be reversed when making the stitchery.
2. Trace each pattern piece separately, tracing the top pieces as drawn. For any piece that lies under another piece (i.e. the green area under the white area of the melon), add a little extra to the part that lies underneath. For the flag, trace complete shape to be cut from red, then trace the white stripes and the blue square as shown.
3. Cut around shapes, not exactly on the pattern lines, then iron to correct color wool. Then, cut out pieces on exact pattern lines and peel off paper backing.
4. It is helpful to mark the 9” x 12” frame opening on the background fabric with the washable marker; this helps to center the melon. After centering melon, position remaining design elements as shown. Make sure all pieces that lie underneath another piece are placed first. Once all underneath design elements are in position, iron in place, layering and ironing pieces in place until design is complete.
5. Using perle cotton threads to match wools, whipstitch all pieces in place. The crow’s legs and flagpole are stem stitched with black. Apply a large French knot at the top of the flagpole with black, wrapping the needle five times.
6. Using light box or window, trace letters and numbers onto background fabric. Stem stitch with black.
7. Brew a strong solution of tea and allow to cool. Using old spray bottle, spray cooled tea on random areas of Stitchery. Spray until you achieve desired shade. Tip: If you want piece really dark and stained, use iron and move it around the design (so you don’t get hole marks) while wet.
8. Sew tiny black buttons in place on melon.
9. Place stitchery in frame, using mounting board or cardboard to hold in place.