Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stencil time!

As I dreaded having to hand stitch my quilt, I started stressing as to what pattern I should use for the huge borders around the panels. Then it hit me, why use a standard stitch when I could make my own? Off I headed to my sewing room and whipped up this little stencil.

Luckily I had some stencil paper kicken around from almost 7 years ago! I knew there was a reason to hang on to it. When I had worked at the paint store I had made a pretty extensive stencil for a customer. I expected to get paid for that stencil, but I was young and naive. Instead I just spend hours of my time to get a God Bless You. Bummer.
Anyhow - I had some sheets left over so this is what I came up with. I do not think I will do this for all the border, but staggered around to give some interest. I hope to take my machine in to the shop to see if they can fix the issue. If yes, then I will do the free motion stitching in some random swirly pattern. Fingers crossed. So far I have only been able to get two of the animals hand stitched on from my stencil.
Maybe I am just extremely slow at hand stitching? I am paranoid about getting my stitches perfectly straight and up and down. Like the fabulous drawing that Anna Marie Horner posted in her blog, on April 07/10.
My trick for the perfect stencil is to trace out my design first with a ultra thin sharpie, then I go over it with a standard sharpie which is the perfect width to use as a guide to cut around. Using a sharp utility knife, cut out around the sharpie lines. Make sure you leave spots in between your joining lines or your pattern will pop right out. When I draw over my fine lines with my standard sharpie, I like to take the opportunity to plan my line breaks. By leaving these spots un-traced in, it prevents me from accidentally cutting too far. You need to have a steady hand, a good light and a self healing cutting mat really helps. For those "Oh NO", I have cut too far, for this type of stencil, you can bandaid it with any type of tape. If you were going to use the stencil for paint, then I would recommend electricians tape. It is resistant to the paint and holds up much better. Make sure you wipe clean and pat dry after each use.

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