Don’t get those petticoats in a twist, I’m not making a political statement – just a declaration of fabric adoration.
The liberty I’m talking about here is the gorgeous fabric of Liberty of London. If you’ve spent any time looking around the craft blogosphere, you’ll know that some ladies would indeed die (and maybe kill?) for it.
The Organic Stitch Co. is holding a Liberty Scrap Challenge – I received some Liberty charm squares and was challenged to come up with a project tutorial.
If you’d like to let the world know how much you love your Liberty, read on to find out how to make this project yourself.
I started with:
- a Liberty charm square sized scrap (with a small scale pattern)
- coordinating embroidery thread (perle cotton)
- double sided adhesive sheet (bondaweb, etc)
- 7 inch diameter hoop
First of all I traced the hoop onto some plain paper which I then cut out and folded into quarters. The folds help immensely in centring your design (especially if you have a lined cutting/craft board).
For my lettering I tossed up using various pretty scripts but in the end I went for the font used on the Liberty logo. (You watch me get a cease and desist letter over this.)
I used my fold lines to help centre the two sections of the phrase:
Obviously the word ‘Liberty’ doesn’t contain all the letters we need – I just ad-libbed and used the B to craft the D, the E to make an O, the R to make the A and pulled an H out of my proverbial.
Once I was happy with the placement I went over my pencil with Sharpie and then taped it up on a window.
Using the window as a kind of lightbox, I could trace the design onto my linen with a water soluble pen.
Then I googled ‘George Washington silhouette’, ‘Thomas Jefferson silhouette’ and browsed until I found one I liked. I printed it out, tested it for size, adjusted the percentage and then printed again.
I put my double sided adhesive sheet on top of the silhouette and traced it on the paper backing. Note: if you don’t care which way your George faces, just trace away. But if you want him to face the same way as your picture, you will need to reverse your picture first.
My silhouette was fairly detailed – I smoothed over it a bit to make it easier to cut out and embroider. You can thank me later for the chin lift, G Dub.
Put the non-papered side of your adhesive sheet against the back of your Liberty charm and iron it on, according to your product’s instructions.
Let it cool completely, then cut it out along your tracing marks.
At this stage I embroidered my lettering before ironing the silhouette down as I didn’t want the handling of the work to stress my George. I used stem stitch for my letters – see a great video tutorial on that here.
Once the lettering is complete, wash away your water soluble pen and then re-iron your linen (face down, on top of a towel so you don’t flatten all your lovely stitches).
Right: lettering complete. Now remove the paper backing from your silhouette, centred it and iron in place.
I then used a very small blanket stitch to detail my edges – the short stitches let you get around those curves. You could also use floss if you find perle cotton too thick.
Once you’ve finished your silhouette, give it a quick iron and you can pop it in your frame straightaway, no problems. If you would like to add a small finishing touch, you can wrap your frame with some Liberty too. I found a tutorial for this here at little lovelies, via sewingseed.
I cut some fabric into half inch strips and fired up the ‘ole glue gun. Starting at one end of the outer hoop I glued the fabric on the inside of the hoop and wrapped it around and around covering the wood.
If your fabric strip runs out, glue it down on the inside of the hoop (cut off any excess) and then start a fresh strip. Continue until the end.
There are many ways to finish off the back of your work, I like to finish mine off like this.
I use double sided tape to stick the edges of the linen down.
Then I create a padded, fabric covered back board from cardboard:
It usually stays in place on it’s own (it’s kind of spring loaded in there), but today I accidentally undercut my cardboard. A few strategic dabs of hot glue helped (not too much and only on your doubled over fabric so it doesn’t soak through to the front of your work.) Voilà:
And there you have it, a subversive message within a subversive message. Just the way I like it.
For bags of lovely Liberty scraps, don’t forget to check out Jo’s shop at the Organic Stitch Co!