Blueberry Backroads

Articles tagged as New patterns (view all)

Freezer Paper Template

Posted by Sara Hardwig on 15 September, 2016 0 comments

Have you ever used a freezer paper template to cut out your background?

I love the technique. Quick and easy, and it allows you to embroider on your piece of background fabric before you cut it down to size. It works especially well when I'm not yet sure what I want the borders to look like. This way I can just embroider away and then decide what fabrics I like best for the border. And because you're not handling the final cut edges, you don't need to worry about fraying.

So here you see where I embroidered onto a background (times two) before cutting it down to size. By they way, I always have something behind my fabric so that you don't see the mess on the back. You can use a piece of muslin or batting, or like in this case, I used some lightweight stabilizer that I ironed to the back. I'm done with the embroidery, now what?

Time to make a template out of freezer paper! Here's what you need - well...the paper, and then your standard cutting tools - mat, ruler, and rotary cutter. How many of those do you have? Be honest...

Time to cut. So in this case, the pattern tells me to cut my background to 5 1/2" x 11 1/2". So first I cut my template to that size. Square up and cut, just like you would a piece of fabric.

Now place the template atop your background, centering the paper right over the design. And don't worry, you can try this again and again if it doesn't center correctly the first time. You can center it over the back of the fabric, but I find it easier to see the image through the paper if I place it right on the front.

Now use a hot iron, and press it in place, sticky side down. It will stick lightly to the fabric.

Hold your background up to a sunny window or place it over a light box to check and see if everything lined up just the way you wanted it. If not...

...peel away the freezer paper, and try again! And again! And again! It will stick over and over. How many times? I don't really know. But several. Enough.

Happy with the orientation of the paper atop the fabric? Time to cut! Just line up your ruler with the edges of the freezer paper and use your rotary cutter to cut away the excess fabric.

Once you've cut around all four sides, easily peel away the paper, and your background is complete! Now you can move on to the next step of adding a border.

Use that same template again and again. If you plan to make a few of something (Christmas presents perhaps...), mark the template with its pattern name and dimensions and store for later.

That's it! Easy right? Questions, comments, more ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Keep up to date with what's new at Blueberry Backroads by liking us on Facebook and signing up for our newsletter. That's where I'll let you know when this pattern is available.

Thanks for visiting and happy stitching!


Welcome to Blueberry Backroads

Posted by Sara Hardwig on 21 May, 2015 0 comments

Welcome to Blueberry Backroads' brand spankin' new website! If you love embroidery, well, you're in the right place. So do I!

Check back often, as we continue to add updates and new products. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter on the bottom of this website, and I'll send you updates on new releases, upcoming shows, prize giveaways, and more fun stuff.

That said - here's your first chance to win! Visit our Facebook Page, and SHARE the post dated May 20th to be entered to win two patterns of your choosing along with a wool felt bundle of National Nonwoven's just released colors - luscious.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy stitching!


Happy May Day!

Posted by Sara Hardwig on 01 May, 2015 0 comments

Happy spring, and happy happy May Day!

April was a busy month at Blueberry Backroads. It's the month I make a big fat push to get new patterns completed and to the printer. Why? International Quilt Market! It's the big wholesale show that we in the quilt world vend at each year. It's where the creativity culminates! So I'll show you what I've been working on in a sec, but first... FLOWERS!

Just before Christmas my boyfriend and I got ourselves into a house, and my garden, once covered in snow, is beginning to bloom. Bloom, bloom, bloom...

The previous owner was a prolific gardener, and now I'm the lucky duck who gets to see what pops up. Perennials rock!

Back to embroidery. I released three new patterns a couple weeks ago, and now I'm finishing SEVEN... yes, seven more. They'll be available in a week or two. But here are the three that are up and running on my website!

Cherries Jubilee was inspired by that fabric. What's cuter than cherries? No, really...what? And I decided to incorporate a little bit of color crayon into the mix. If you follow my blog, you know it's become my new favorite thing. (How long before I need a new favorite thing...???)

Welcome Spring is one in a series... Welcome Winter is next - almost done!

Tweet! Chirp! This one was fun. I've been playing around with wool felt, and these lil' birdies are the result. I turned them into Christmas ornaments for my nieces, and then kept going. They're easy, fun, a lovely little gift.

And in getting ready for Market, I've really stepped up my kits. I've been cutting fabric, getting more and more kits and fabric on my website. It's been fun.

Those little bundles are wool felt pieces for Itty Bitty Birds. And on the right are strips I cut for Merry Little Christmas. I found that clothes rack a couple of years ago, and since my jeans don't fit, I found a much cuter use for it!

Today is the first day of the Virtual Fab Shop Hop. It's a cool opportunity to find out about other quilt shops and designers, visit their sites, see what's new, and... win prizes! There's this hippity hoppity bunny you can try to find on each page, and it enters you to win. Kinda fun - I like the interactive part of it.

So that's what's been happening on down the Backroads. I'm headed back to the sewing room to stitch away some more. Visit my website to see all my patterns, and stay up to date with what's new by Liking Blueberry Backroads on Facebook.

Happy May!


Frame Your Stitchery

Posted by Sara Hardwig on 01 April, 2015 0 comments

Happy spring!

It's always an exciting day for me when I get to release new patterns. Three new ones this week! Go to my website and check 'em out. They're at the top of the Spring & Summer Patterns page.

Which takes me to this blog post - I framed one of those new patterns, my first time trying it. I love the look. Here's what Welcome Spring! looks like in its cute little frame.

So I thought I'd take you through how I did it. There was some trial and error, and fingers very sticky with fabric glue, a little swearing...but eventually I got it.

Here's what you'll need: Some fairly stiff cardboard and a box cutter, a multi-purpose adhesive, thumb tacks, nice paper for the back, a stitchery with room around the edges to frame, and your frame! But of course. The type of frame I used has that nice groove on the back to place your stitchery. Oh, and you'll need a pencil and tape measure which I forgot to place in the picture.

Full disclosure here... my camera was full, stopped taking pictures, and I didn't notice until much later. I thought it was being "weird" and I switched to another camera. Oops! But I'll explain, and we'll get back to photos in a bit. I promise.

Measure the dimensions of that groove on the back of the frame, draw the same size rectangle onto your cardboard, and use your box cutter to cut it out. See how it fits, and cut it down if need be. It shouldn't be too tight, as you'll need a little room for the fabric to fit in there.

Next place your fabric atop the cardboard and fuss around with it until you have it nicely centered. Once it looks just right on the front (and this can take quite a bit of fussing), lay it down, and use your pencil to trace around the cardboard so you know right where it goes.

Lift up the cardboard, and spray that adhesive onto the fabric. Lay the cardboard back down within those traced lines, and flip it over to make sure everything landed where you wanted it to. If not, no big deal. The adhesive isn't super glue, and you can repeat until it's to your liking.

Back to the pictures! Place the whole thing into your frame, and again - look at the front to make sure you're all nice and centered.

Once everything is positioned just as you want it, let the adhesive dry... yeah right! Ok so that would be the right thing to do. Me, I get excited to see the end result, and don't wait. Don't be like me. Let your adhesive dry. 

THEN, get out those thumb tacks and secure that baby down. Pierce right through the fabric, into the wood in that groove. Keep peeking at the front to make sure things haven't shifted.

Now cut away all that extra fabric, leaving just enough to tack down to the back of the frame. Be careful not to pull too hard because the fabric can still shift. Only because you didn't let your adhesive dry! Or maybe you did... good job if you did.

Now cut out a piece of paper just a bit smaller than your frame. Cue that elusive tape measure and pencil.

Place the paper over the back of the frame, and tack down, making sure to catch the fabric with each tack. Now you have a pretty nice looking back! You just need to add a hanger, of which there are maaaannnnny types at your local hardware store.

But how does the front look? Ta da!

And there you have it. Now I'm sure there are many ways to skin this cat, but this worked for me, and was pretty painless, definitely inexpensive.

Frames and more stitcheries are on my website - stop on by! And visit my Facebook page to see what else I've been working on lately. 

Happy stitching in the sunshine!


Sticky Fabri-Solvy

Posted by Sara Hardwig on 17 March, 2015 0 comments

Hey All!

Happy happy spring! I am looooovin' on this Minnesota sunshine and inspired to work on a spring pattern with cute little birdies.

I recently discovered this super handy product from Sulky - Sticky Fabri-Solvy. It's a self-adhesive, water soluble stabilizer that's shown here in sheets. You can print or trace your design onto your fabric (or in this case, wool felt). It has tons of uses - a stabilizer, templates (which is what I'll be using it for in this post), and as a way to transfer an embroidery design onto dark fabrics or wool. Awesome right??!! I do agree. I do so so agree.

So let me show you how it works. I first printed my designs onto a sheet of the Fabri-Solvy. It's printer friendly which rocks because I need to make A LOT of little birds for this pattern and did not feel like tracing them all out. BUT you certainly can trace out any pattern you like. Throw it over a light box or up against a sunny window, and use a Pigma pen or water soluble fabric pen to trace out your shapes.

What shall we schtick it to...?? I'm making these little birdies out of wool felt. Today I choose...amarillo!

Cut your shapes out just beyond the traced lines. (If you use fusible web for applique, you'll find this to be basically the same process). Cut, cut, snip. Cut, cut, snip.

Peel away the release sheet...

And schtick it to your wool felt (or wool, or fabric, or...)

Adhere all those little pieces, and cut them out on the lines.

Once cut out, pull away the sticky stuff, and your shape emerges! Chirp!

Now what's really cool is that sticky stuff stays sticky for a few more rounds. I'll use the same little templates to cut out bluebirds next. Again, just adhere your shapes to the wool felt, and this time you'll cut along the edge of each shape. You can also pin your template in place once the stickiness is gone. Or... go to your printer and just print another sheet of birdies.

That's all there is to it. Easy, right? And because it's water soluble, you can stick it to dark fabric, wool, whatever, embroider right on top of it (hand or machine), and it dissolves away in warm water when you're done. Super cool. Just be sure both your fabric and thread are colorfast.

Tweet tweet say the goldfinch. Chirp chirp say the bluebirds.

Click here to visit my website for fun embroidery patterns. And stay up to date on new patterns (this one's coming sooooon!) by LIKING Blueberry Backroads on Facebook.

Happy spring!