Our final Swatch of the Month for 2014 combines several techniques explored (and hopefully mastered) in previous months’ swatches—including appliqué, negative reverse appliqué, and eyelet beading. The design, titled Natalie’s Dream, is beautifully intricate and one of my personal favorites (hence the name).
To create the swatch, begin by stenciling the design to the top layer of fabric using your transfer method of choice. (The Facets stencil employed here is available for download from our Resources page.)
Align your top and backing layers of fabric, with right sides up, and pin together. Thread your needle and knot off.
Using your stenciled top layer of fabric as a guide, select a flower shape and begin straight-stitching directly on the edge of the stenciled shape. Cut the top layer of fabric 1/8” outside the edge of the stenciled flower shape, leaving a sliver of top-layer fabric beyond your stitching line. This creates the negative reverse appliqué effect.
Next, backstitch around the cross shapes (located between flower shapes) and cut away the fabric inside these cross shapes, leaving 1/8” of fabric inside the stenciled shape to create a reverse appliquéd shape.
Continue working the design by adding diamond-shaped appliqués in the center of the smaller flower shapes, using a whipstitch.
Cut petal-shaped appliqués, and whipstitch sixteen petals to the center of each larger flower.
Then, add Alabama eyelet stitches (see page 81 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design) along the edges of the reverse appliquéd cross shapes. Refer to the fabric map below (or on page 135 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design) for detailed placement.
Complete the swatch by stitching beads to the center of each larger flower shape and around the eyelets of each diamond appliqué.
See detailed instructions, a fabric map, and photograph on pages 134–135 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for reference.
The hi-resolution photograph of our Natalie’s Dream swatch, for use as your computer desktop background, is available for download from our Resources page. It is also an excellent reference to refer to for ideas as you complete your swatch.
10” x 16” cotton jersey fabric swatch for top layer
10” x 16” cotton jersey fabric swatch for backing layer
Fabric scraps for appliqué
Spray bottle or airbrush gun, depending on stencil-transfer method
Button craft thread
Basic sewing supplies: pins, needles, embroidery scissors, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for instruction and fabric map
OUR DESIGN CHOICES
Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Top layer fabric color – Black
Backing layer fabric color – Black
Appliqué fabric color – Black
Stencil – Facets
Treatment – Appliqué, reverse appliqué, negative reverse appliqué, embroidery, beading
Textile paint – Pearl Slate
Button Craft thread – Black #2
Bead type – Black bugle beads
With the completion of this swatch, you should now have a total of 12 coordinating swatches. The swatches can be applied to a variety of projects (like DIY book covers or swatch pillows), or can be made into a quilt for a twin-size bed.
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