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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scripture Stitches: Proverbs 31:8-9

I am super excited to present my very first block of my own design:

So excited, in fact, that I'm giving the pattern away!  It's my hope to make an entire hand stitched quilt with verses that speak to me.  First up: Proverbs 31:8-9, which reads:
New Living Translation (NLT)

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,

    and see that they get justice.

This verse is particularly troubling for me, because I don't feel like I'm doing much "speaking up" right now. As you all probably know, I'm an attorney. Yes, I indirectly seek the best interests of our State's children through my employment at the State, and I absolutely feel good about what I do for a living, but there could be a lot more.  This verse serves as a reminder that God has a bigger plan.  I tend to busy myself with my own desires--I get so bogged down with family, hobbies, and having fun that I can be completely oblivious of the injustices of this world.  

My prayer as I stitched this block was to be more in tune with Him, to in turn be more aware of what breaks His heart, and to care enough to say something about it.   Can I get an Amen?!

Now for the stitching.  Here's the first draft of this block that I stitched back in June of 2014.  Back then, I was convinced that I was going to embroider the entire thing.  Ha.

So back to the drawing board:

Fast forward to 2015, and I've actually got some fabrics in my stash.  I decided to give this block the improv treatment:

I randomly stitched a piece of teal and white together, then stitched another piece of white:

My guesses were totally off, so the block ended up quite a bit smaller than I had hoped for.  We can work with that, though.  That's what borders are for!

After abandoning my embroidery approach, I decided to applique instead.  I used the usual paper-backed fusible web approach.  As usual, I used Pellon Wonder Under and traced my sketch to the smooth side.  Following manufacturer instructions, I ironed it onto the wrong side of the fabric I chose for the scales of justice:

I then cut out my shapes and arranged them on my block as desired.  You can see in this picture that I've already traced my embroidery pattern onto the block to aid in the applique placement:

I used a Sewline pencil to trace my embroidery designs, but you can use whatever method you prefer to transfer your design.

I then ironed down the applique shapes using my wonderful little Mini Iron:

If you know anything about using Wonder Under, you probably realize that I'm not exactly following their instructions, but hey, it works for me.

I used 12 wt Sulky thread and did a blanket stitch around the applique shapes by hand.  Then comes the embroidery:

I used regular 6-strand embroidery floss and a split stitch to outline the letters.  I then did a small running stitch inside the letters for a stipple-like fill:

I thought that added a pretty nice effect, don't you?

All in all, it's not too bad for my very first design, no?  I hope you'll try it.  Get the pattern here.  I simply ask that you respect my rights as the creator of the design and not pass it off as your own.  Give credit where credit is due!

A few notes about the pattern:

  • I stitched mine onto a 9" x 9" block.  You should cut your block a little larger than the desired size, just in case there is any shrinkage when you applique and embroider.  You certainly don't have to use a 9" x 9" block--feel free to resize the image to fit your needs.  
  • Remember that when using fusible applique, your image will be a mirror image of the printed image.  If you look at my finished block, you'll see that it's the opposite of what is drawn on the pattern.  
  • The pattern does not include any seam allowances; if you are using a different applique method, you will need to add your seam allowance.
  • While I drew lines through each component of the scale, you will note that I applied the scale in one piece.  If you will be appliqueing it piece by piece, add a 1/8" underlap to your pieces to eliminate gaps.
  • If you have questions or feedback, email me!  

 Until next time, God Bless!

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  1. I love reading about your projects. This new adventure shows creativity, spirituality and devotion. I cannot wait to read more.

    1. Well thank you! I'm working on some more, so hopefully I can find the time to actually finish them. I will definitely share them when I'm done.


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