Once upon a time, my Mom lived in a very rural, backwoods setting. On the way to her house was a truck stop and a second hand store. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, this store had the best stuff. It was here that I found a pile of iron on embroidery transfers with some dating back to the 1930s and 40s.
As I said, it was a long time ago that I found these transfers and I have been dragging them around, from one home to another, for many years. I figured it was about time that I did something with these treasures.
This year I have been participating in the One Monthly Goal Challenge posted by Elm Street Quilts and the month of May was the month I decide to finally do something with my stash of transfers.
I made a mini redwork quilt and I thought I would share the pattern with you.
- 2 Skeins of DMC 817 or Anchor 13 Embroidery Floss
- Embroidery hoop and sharp needle
- white, closely woven 100% cotton fabric. I used a piece of old sheeting, which may not have been the best choice as percale can be difficult to poke a needle through. White quilting fabric may have been a better choice.
- red 100% cotton quilting fabric. I opted for a remnant with tiny white polka dots. From my calculations, I figure I used almost 1/2 a meter.
- Backing Fabric. I used a 17″ X 17″ piece of quilting cotton
- Quilt Batting. I used a 16″ X 18″ scrap of batting left over from a project.
- A Printer
- An 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of freezer paper or an 81/2″ X 10″ full page label.
- The mini redwork quilt pattern as shown below
Printing the pattern
There are several ways to transfer the Mini Redwork Quilt pattern onto an
8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of white fabric. In the past I have traced over a drawing using an iron transfer pencil, taped the pattern and fabric to a window and traced the pattern on to the fabric using a pencil or water erasable pen, or I have used an ad hoc light box. Because the lines in this pattern are so delicate, I opted to print the pattern directly on to the fabric.
I washed, ironed, and zig zagged around the edges of my fabric and carefully clipped any threads. Next, I stuck a full sized 8 1/2″ x 11″ label to my fabric and then ran it through my printer like I would any other sheet of paper. An 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of freezer paper can be used to the same effect. Simply adhere the fabric to the freezer paper using an iron before running it through the printer.
Once printed, I removed the sticky label and ironed the fabric so that it could be washed. I printed an extra pattern to test the colorfastness of my printer’s ink. I only ironed one of the test patterns and to my surprise, it worked! You may want to do the same so that there are no surprises should you ever have to wash your little quilt.
This YouTube tutorial does an excellent job of explaining how to print on fabric.
Embroider the blocks
I used a sharp embroidery needle and I used either 1 or 2 strands of embroidery floss depending on how fine the pattern was.
I used a few easy stitches including:
- Lazy daisy stitch for many of the flowers and leaves and the back of one of the birds
- Back stitch for almost all of the lines
- A running stitch when there was a broken line
- French knot for the center of the flowers and the dots on the wings of the butterfly
- Satin stitch for butterfly’s wing
All of these stitches are shown on this tutorial
Here are all the blocks after they have been embroidered.
I could have left it like this and called it a day, but I felt that my quilt needed something more.
Sewing the quilt
Once all the blocks have been embroidered, I cut them apart being sure to leave a 1/4 seam allowance all the way around each block.
From the red fabric, I cut the following:
- Eight 1 1/4″ X 2 1/2″ blocks for the sashing between the blocks
- Five 1 1/4″ X 8″ strips for the sashing between the rows of blocks
- Two 1 1/4″ X 11 1/2 strips for the 1st red boarder
- Four 1 1/2″ x 15″ strips the 2nd red boarder
From the remaining white fabric I cut:
- Two 3/4″” X 12 1/2″ strips and two 3/4″ X 10″ strips to be used as a white boarder between the two red boarders
I arranged the embroidered patches into four rows of three patches.
I then sewed the red sashing between the patches in each row and then I joined the rows together using the 1 1/4″ X 8″ strips. I added another red strip to the top and bottom rows.
This quilt was made using three boarders. For the first boarder, I stitched a 1 1/4″ X 11 1/2 strip of red fabric to each side of the quilt.
I constructed the second boarder using 3/4″ strips of of white fabric stitched to each side of the quilt
The third and final boarder was made by adding 1 1/4″ red strips to the white strips.
Finishing the tiny quilt
I used basting spray on the back of the backing fabric and the top of the batting to keep all the layers of my quilt sandwich together. I didn’t baste the layers of my quilt sandwich together as it was small enough that the basting spray held every thing together nicely.
I machine quilted my little quilt using a walking foot, a denim needle and a large stitch.
I made the binding out of 2″ strips of fabric.
Here is the quilt, all done!
I am pretty happy with how it turned out.