Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hedgehog Blossom - Block 3 Solstice Dream

I'm sorry for the delay getting this Block's Stitch Along to you.  Several weeks traveling and computer issues are my only excuse.

Although I've never met a real hedgehog, I just love this one and she is easy to stitch.  Sometimes I think this is my favorite block of Solstice Dream, that is until I look at the other blocks and once again love each block in turn.

Reminder: The Right-Handed (and left-handed) Embroiderer's Companion is my favorite embroidery stitch resource and is available in my Etsy Shop.  I will reference page numbers from this book as we Stitch Along. 

Let's go through stitching the block, beginning with the applique.  Pin all the applique pieces in place with small pins, remembering to leave space for a 1/4" seam allowance beneath the hedgehog's feet.
My favorite applique method for cotton fabrics is "needle turn", which involves ironing the freezer paper template to the right side of the fabric, drawing a line with a chalk pencil (my favorite) next to the freezer paper then cutting out about 1/4" away from the paper for a seam allowance.  Remove the template and then stitch just inside the line, turning under the seam allowance with the needle (or fingers) as you go.

The wool and cotton applique pieces are all stacked on top of each other, which gives the great dimension and texture, then whip-stitched into place.  For example, on the hedgehog cut the full body and head from the brown wool and once appliqued in place, stitch the lighter colored tan head on top of the brown wool.  No seam to line up this way and the head has a bit more dimension.


I used a variegated Silken Pearl #5 to make small Straight Stitches on the body, beginning at the bum and working towards the head.  Let some of the stitches extend over the edge of the body into the background and don't make rows of stitches - have them offset.  Add 1 Straight Stitch for the ear and 3 small ones for the nose.  Using a dark section of your thread, add a French Knot (page 94) or Colonial Knot (page 63) eye.

Pink Blossom
Outline the pink fabric with Fly Stitch (page 91 ) using Silken Pearl #5, and then add a small Bullion Stitch (page 18 ) inside the "V" of the Fly Stitch in a contrasting color.

Purple Flower Center
Outline the flower center with Pekinese Stitch (page 13) which is a 2-step stitch.  Begin with Silken Pearl #5 for the back stitch and weave with Dazzle in a contrasting color.  I like to use Dazzle as it gives just a "hint" of sparkle throughout the quilt.

Yellow Flower Petals:
 The petals are highlighted with Double Pekinese Stitch (page 14) which is also a 2-step stitch.  The same variegated color of Silken Pearl #5  is used for both steps.

Tip: It is necessary to have an equal number of the back stitches on each side of the petal for the lacing to work out.  I placed a small pin at the top-center of the petal and then began my back stitch at the bottom point.  When you reach the pin count the number of back stitches and make certain you stitch the same number as you continue from the top (where the pin is) to the bottom point.

Add 2 closed Fly Stitch (page 91) with long legs between the yellow petals using #5 Pearl Cotton and secure the "legs" with a few Couching Stitches (page 66).  "Closed" Fly Stitch begins with a Straight Stitch which will be in the center of the "V".   French Knots (page 94) or Colonial Knots (page 63) with Silken Pearl #5 are placed at the top.

Green Leaves:
Create a vein in the center of each leaf with Fly Stitch (page 91) using #5 Pearl Cotton, and with the same thread, outline each leaf with Back Stitch (page 10).

Tip:  I have found that Back Stitch looks better if you make the stitches a little larger and as with all the stitches, don't pull them too tight.  


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