Hey everyone. Thank God it’s Friday! We can finally get going with block one of the Sweet Treats QAL. I’m a midnight maker, so my pictures are pretty dull and dark so you’ll have to forgive. However, they do get the point across, and that’s what matters most!
1. Download the templates HERE.
2. Grab your Heat-N-Bond, one 12 inch square for background fabric, some scraps and your black – or navy/black 😉 – thread.
3. Decide if you want to add any faces and choose embroidery thread if you do. You can see all the detailed startup information on the original post, HERE.
4. Read through the entire post and decide for yourself if you want to follow the instructions on the Heat-N-Bond package or do it like I did. This isn’t my favorite method, but a good thing to know if you cut your fabric pieces before attaching Heat-N-Bond.
Step One: Choosing, Cutting and Preparing Your Fabric.
In this quilt block, there are 6 scoops of ice cream. I chose to go with a soft rainbow palette, however you may do anything you’d like with it. Here are a few other ideas:
- 2 vanilla, 2 strawberry and 2 chocolate scoops
- Monochrome palette (low volume, etc.)
- Sherbet colors and small scale fruit prints
My rainbow palette in the sample block contained the following colors: yellow, orange, dusty pink, purple, blue and green. I used a solid red for the cherry and my bowl fabric is the gray/brown text fabric shown below.
After you’ve chosen your fabric, be sure to print out the template download page. On this page, you will find the ice cream scoop, bowl/pedestal, cherry and stem and face templates.
Cut out the templates carefully and save the face and cherry stem templates.
Now cut out your fabric! Be sure to read the notes on the template download to know what part is what. I chose to trim the vertical half of the bowl pedestal to be a bit shorter. You may want yours to be longer and that’s just fine!
I couldn’t resist throwing it all together for a sneak peek at what it will look like! Make sure you play with color layout now, because once we add Heat-N-Bond to the mix, it’s stuck there.
Now, choose which scoops you’d like to add faces to, if any. I chose to add faces to two of them. Using a pencil and the face template, trace the eyes, mouth and cheeks onto your ice cream scoops. I always draw pretty heavily with my pencil but you can definitely do this with less pressure and have less risk of marks showing up around the outside of your embroidery stitching.
Ta-daaaa! We’re finished with Step One. Isn’t it adorable?!
Step Two: Attach the Fabric to Heat-N-Bond
If you followed the Heat-N-Bond package, you can skim over this part.
Unroll a bit of your Heat-N-Bond and lay it out sticky (textured) side up. I like to lay mine on an ugly old rag towel to protect my ironing board from any stray bits of adhesive, so you’ll be seeing lots of ugly towel in the next few pictures. My apologies 😉
Lay every piece to your block EXCEPT the background square right side up on the Heat-N-Bond. If you’re frugal like me, be sure that you don’t accidentally overlap any pieces while “frugally cramming” them.
It’s hard to be frugal with the real estate when you’re working with circles! Now, cut a square of wax paper that will cover the entire area with an extra half inch all around. Carefully use your iron to fuse these layers together. Don’t panic! The wax paper will cling to the Heat-N-Bond. Now cut around the square of wax paper. Cut out all your pieces and peel off the wax paper and the backing of the Heat-N-Bond. The wax paper will come off pretty easily.
Step Three: Attach Everything to the Background Square.
Be aware of layering and what objects need to be on the top and what ones should be on the bottom. I’ll list the layers according to my own block below:
Layer 1: Yellow scoop, vertical pedestal. (I don’t add the vertical pedestal just yet, though).
Layer 2: Orange and pink scoops.
Layer 3: Green and purple scoops.
Layer 4: Blue Scoop (slightly overlapping green and purple)
Layer 5: Bowl, horizontal pedestal and cherry.
Scoot everything around and use a ruler to see that it’s centered. You can measure, but I just eyeball it. This quilt will have a hand drawn look to it, anyway right?
Once everything is in place -and you’ve triple checked that your layers make sense- press with your iron to activate the adhesive. Now all your pieces are permanently stuck to your background square and oh, so easy to work with in the next step!
Step Four: Start Stitching!
The fun just keeps on comin’. Raw edge appliqué is so exciting and spontaneous! Now we will be adding our black stitching and you’ll see why I love this so much if you’ve never tried it before. Be warned, it’s addictive 🙂 and you’ll be anxious for next week’s block.
Take a peek at the flow of one shape to another on your block. Remember back in grade school when our art teachers made us draw things without lifting our pencils? Well, it’s finally going to be useful in real life. Woohoo! If you’re still in touch with your old art teacher, make sure you let them know. Use your finger to trace the images and find a path you like. I began with the pedestal and stitched the entire bowl/pedestal as one piece without lifting my presser foot.
Stitch about 1/8″ away from the edge of the fabric. After a few stitches, I pull my threads to the back of the block and tie them off, then trim. I don’t like to backstitch because it looks bulky and distracts from the design in my opinion.
Once you make it back to your starting point, go around a second lap. Don’t try to make the stitches overlap perfectly or it’ll lose that sketched look. I’m pretty wild with it and I like it that way! After you’ve finished your second lap for the section you’re working on, remove your block from your sewing machine and pull the final threads to the back. Tie and trim them as well.
I stitched each of the ice cream scoops individually, as well as the cherry.
Step Five: Hand Embroidery for Eyes, Smiles, Cheeks and the Cherry Stem.
From your 6 strand embroidery floss, pull just one strand. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end. For the eyes and cheeks, I used a satin stitch. Imagine a line going across the horizontal diameter of the eye circle. Bring your needle up from the back through the left side of the eye, as shown below. Ouch!
Push your needle through the back on the right side of the eye. Repeat this process above then below that line, making shorter stitches as you move away from the center so that the eye takes a round shape. You’ll repeat this for the other eye and both cheeks.
For the smile, we are going to backstitch. Shorter stitches are best so that they are less likely to snag. Bring your needle up through the smile, about 1/16 – 1/8″ from the left edge. Push the needle down again at the far left edge of the smile, creating a back stitch. Repeat this process for the whole smile.
Don’t forget to switch to your cheek color or your ice cream scoop will look like a happy spider. Stitch the cherry stem and YOU ARE DONE! Now give yourself a high five because your block is stinking cute.
Don’t forget to post your pictures under the hashtag #SweetTreatsQAL. This is how you’ll be entered into the prize drawing at the end! So naturally, the more you post, the higher your chances are. And if no one ever posts, I’m buying myself a darn nice prize at the end! 😉
If you have any questions, leave a comment here or send a Direct Message to me @aperseveringmom on Instagram. Thanks a bunch and happy stitching!
P.S. A little sneak peek of what’s coming next week will be included at the end of each block post! Block 2 is adorable and nostalgic…