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Dutch Blooms

For a project on the go, take along this folk art-inspired embroidered wool mat. It makes a perfect stitch sampler, too.

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Assemble the Appliqué Foundation

Sew together the green wool 3-1⁄4 ×8-1⁄2" rectangle and the blue wool 8-1⁄2" square. Steam-press the seam open to make the appliqué foundation, which should measure 8-1⁄2 ×11-1⁄4", including the seam allowances.

 

Appliqué and Embroider the Foundation

Use two strands of embroidery floss for all appliqué stitches.

 

1.    Referring to Diagram 1, position the green wool A grass piece on the blue portion of the appliqué foundation, aligning the bottom edges; baste in place.

2.    Using green embroidery floss, blanket-stitch the upper edge of the grass piece to the foundation. To blanket-stitch, first pull your needle up at A (Blanket-Stitch Diagram), form a reverse L shape with the floss, and hold the angle of the L shape in place with your thumb. Then push your needle down at B and come up at C to secure the stitch.

3.    To reduce bulk, carefully trim the excess blue wool from behind the grass.

4.    Position the yellow wool B piece over the grass, aligning the bottom edges (Appliqué Placement Diagram); baste. With yellow embroidery floss, blanket-stitch the scalloped edge of the B piece in place.

5.    Referring to the Appliqué Placement Diagram and the photograph on page 4, arrange the remaining appliqué pieces on the appliqué foundation; baste.

6.    Using embroidery floss that matches the appliqué pieces, blanket-stitch the pink wool E skirt, red wool G blouse, blue wool C shoes, white wool H and I arms, white wool J head, and yellow wool K hat to the foundation, working from the bottom layer to the top.

7.    With yellow embroidery floss, chain-stitch the stripes on the pink skirt. To chain-stitch, pull your needle up at A (Chain-Stitch Diagram), form a U shape with the floss, and hold the shape in place with your thumb. Push your needle down at B, about 1⁄8" from A, and come up at C.

8.     Using green embroidery floss, chain-stitch stripes on the blouse sleeves. Referring to the photograph, use pink and blue floss to chain-stitch the decoration on the blouse yoke.

9.    With pink embroidery floss, chain-stitch stripes across the light blue D stockings.

10.    Using blue embroidery floss, take several long straight stitches on the blue wool C shoes (Diagram 2).

11.    With blue embroidery floss, whipstitch the upper edge of the green wool F apron. Then chain-stitch two rows across the apron at the girl’s waist.

12.    With pink embroidery floss and a closed blanket stitch, stitch the side and bottom edges of the apron. Make a closed blanket stitch in the same manner as a blanket stitch, but pass each group of three vertical stitches through the same hole at the top so they form a triangle. First pull your needle up at A (Closed Blanket-Stitch Diagram), form a slanted reverse L shape with the floss, and hold the angle of the L shape in place with your thumb. Then push your needle down at B and come up at C to secure the stitch. Insert your needle at B again and come up at D to secure the stitch. Insert your needle down at B a third time and come up at E to secure the stitch.

13.    Use yellow embroidery floss to add French knots to the center of each yellow, pink, blue, red, and purple wool N circle. Use green French knots for the girl’s eyes, and a pink French knot for the girl’s mouth. To make a French knot, pull your needle up at A (French Knot Diagram), the point where the knot is desired. Wrap the floss around your needle two or three times without twisting it. Insert the tip of your needle into the fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push the wraps down the needle to meet the fabric. Pull the needle and trailing floss through the fabric slowly and smoothly.

14.    Referring to the Appliqué Placement Diagram, use yellow, pink, or red embroidery floss and a running stitch to stitch the red wool and pink wool L and M tulips in place.

15.    With green embroidery floss, chain-stitch stems and leaves for the tulips on the yellow wool B piece. With gold embroidery floss, chain-stitch the stems and swirls connecting the tulips in the middle of the appliqué foundation to complete the quilt top.

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