Chill out and hand-embroider snowman blocks to welcome winter.

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Designer: Robin Kingsley of Bird Brain Designs

Materials

FOR THREE BLOCKS

• 3-8" squares cream tone-on-tone (embroidery foundations)

• 9×21" piece (fat eighth) blue dot (flange)

• 3-9×21" pieces (fat eighths) assorted blue prints (border, backing)

• 6" square cream-and-blue print (border)

• 3-6-1⁄4" squares batting

• Fine-point permanent fabric pen, such as a Pigma Micron pen: blue

• Perle cotton No. 8: royal blue

• Crewel needle: size 4

• Embroidery hoop (optional)

• 1 yard 3⁄8"-wide ribbon: cream

• 6 miniature wood clothespins

• 2 star ornaments: gold (optional)

Finished block: 6" square

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for embroidery patterns.

From blue dot,  cut:

• 12-1×5" strips

From each assorted blue print, cut:

• 1-6-1⁄2" square

• 4-1-1⁄4 ×5" border strips

From cream-and-blue print, cut:

• 12-1-1⁄4" squares

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Embroider Block Centers

Referring to each embroidery pattern, stitch designs using royal blue perle cotton and crewel needle.

1. Tape Full-Size Embroidery Pattern 1 to a light box or bright window. Center a cream tone-on-tone 8" square atop pattern; tape in place.

2. Using blue fine-point fabric pen, trace embroidery design onto fabric to make an embroidery foundation. Secure embroidery foundation in embroidery hoop if desired.

3. Backstitch on marked solid lines. To backstitch, from the back of fabric pull needle up at A (Backstitch Diagram). Insert it back into fabric at B, and bring it up at C. Push it down again at D, with no gaps between floss and fabric, and continue in same manner.

4. Make a French knot for each snowman eye, button on jacket, and dot on sign. To make a French knot, bring needle through at A, the point where knot is desired (French Knot Diagram). Wrap thread around needle twice without twisting it. Insert tip of needle into fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push wraps down needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing thread through fabric slowly and smoothly.

5. Lay embroidered square right side down on a towel. Steam-press from wrong side. (Designer Robin Kingsley sprays her work with starch for a smooth, firm finish.) Centering design, trim to 5" square to make block center.

6. Using Full-Size Embroidery Patterns 2 and 3, repeat steps 1–5 to make three block centers total. In Pattern 2, sew a lazy daisy stitch beginning at bottom of each dotted loop on pattern to create snowman's hair. To make a lazy daisy stitch, bring needle up at A and form a loop of thread on fabric surface (Lazy Daisy Stitch Diagram). Holding loop in place, insert needle back into fabric at B, about 1⁄16" away from A. Bring needle tip out at C and cross it over trailing thread, keeping thread as flat as possible. Gently pull needle and trailing thread until loop lies flat against fabric. Push needle through to back at D to secure the stitch.

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Add Flange and Border

1. With wrong side inside, fold a blue dot 1×5" strip in half lengthwise; press to make a flange strip. Repeat to make 12 flange strips total.

2. Aligning raw edges and using a scant 1⁄4" seam allowance, baste flange strips to opposite edges of a block center (Diagram 1). Baste flange strips to remaining edges. Do not press flange strips open.

3. Repeat Step 2 with remaining block centers and flange strips.

4. Gather a set of four matching blue print 1-1⁄4 ×5" border strips. With flange between layers, sew border strips to opposite edges of a block center. Press seams away from flange, making sure flange still faces block center.

5. Referring to Diagram 2, add a cream-and-blue print 1-1⁄4" square to each end of remaining blue print 1-1⁄4×5" border strips to make two long border strips. Add long border strips to remaining edges of block center to make a block top. The block top should be 6-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

6. Using remaining block centers, sets of matching blue print 1-1⁄4 ×5" border strips, and cream-and-blue print 1-1⁄4" squares, repeat steps 4 and 5 to make three block tops total.

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Finish Blocks

1. With right sides together, place a block top atop a blue print 6-1⁄2" square that matches the border print of block top. Center a batting 6-1⁄4" square atop layered pieces; pin.

2. Sew layers together along all edges, leaving a 2" opening on bottom edge for turning.

3. Trim across corners and turn right side out through opening; press from back side (so you don't crush stitching on front).

4. Hand-stitch opening closed to complete a snowman block.

5. Repeat steps 1–4 to complete three snowman blocks total.

6. Referring to photo, attach snowman blocks to cream ribbon using miniature clothespins. Add gold star ornaments if desired, and trim ribbon to desired length.

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