I love snowmen! They are whimsical and fun, they are playful and happy. The sight of a glittery snowman in the distance makes me feel like jolly happy soul. With the hustle of the holidays behind us ~ I’m ready to welcome the gusty January winds and winter weather and hibernate in my sewing room.
Have you seen the Island Batik Fall and Winter 2015 catalog? If you haven’t – then go grab a cup of hot chocolate and take a peak at what you’re missing!
While flipping though my preview stack of Island Batik fabrics, I was inspired by the Holiday Happenings collection (with a touch of Sea Salt Sandy) to create a snowman wall hanging. These fabrics (shown above) are marbled with rich colors and screen printed with a touch of celestial metallic stars and snowflakes. The collection will be available in retail in April 2016 ~ but come on ~ I’ll give you a quick sneak peak!
Snowman glitters under the golden stars.
Wearing a batik top hat and sea salt carrot nose.
His button eyes will warm your heart.
This winter world awaits.
Techniques covered in this post
- Fusible Applique
- Satin Stitch Applique
- Minor technique – Machine quilting
Products used in this project
- Freezer Paper
- Island Batik Fabrics: (Holiday Happenings and Sea Salt Sandy)
- Superior Thread: Fantastico color #5095
- Superior Thread: Halo by color #273
- Sulky Metallic Sliver: Opalescent color #8040
- Pellon® Wonder Under
- Ricky Tims’ Stable Stuff Poly
I didn’t have a snowman pattern in my stash so I found a snowman quilt I liked for inspiration on Pinterest: A Winter Night by American Quilting. The outline was simple enough to reproduce by hand drawing. I tore off a sheet of freezer paper (about the size of a fat quarter) and sketched a rough outline of my snowman. I drew a few circles, a hat, a scarf and it was done!
Using fusible techniques is a great way to do small work fast. Once the pattern was drawn onto a piece of freezer paper, it was easy to cut around the shape.
Next, iron the freezer paper templates onto the right side of your fabrics. Once I had a rough idea of the size and shape of my applique shape, I ironed Pellon® Wonder Under fusible to the back side of the fabric. I like using Wonder Under because it has a strong iron on adhesive with a paper backing, but it is not stiff. The paper is left in place until you are ready to fuse the shape on your project. You can sew over these pieces and the adhesive won’t gum up your needle.
Once the fusible is adhered to the back of the fabric, you can cut your shape out on the line and remove the freezer paper guide and the fusible adhesive backing. Repeat these steps until all of your pieces are cut out and ready to fuse.
Lay your pieces on your background fabric and arrange them until you are happy with their placement. Do this with all of your pieces, working from the furthest in the background to those closest to the top. It is okay to overlap these pieces slightly as they will be stitched over in the next step.
Tip: When you are doing a satin stitch you should use a stabilizer on the back of your project. It might seem like a needless extra step, but if you stabilize your work, you will have better results. Stabilizers will hold the fabric securely and help to keep the threads from puckering. For this project I used Ricky Tims’ Stable Stuff Poly. It is a lightweight polyester tear-away fiber sheet and can be torn out when you are done, or left in your project for extra stability.
There are many ways to finish the edge of your fusible applique pieces. You can straight stitch them down, you can zig-zag, or you can leave them raw. In this project I wanted to showcase Fantistico® thread by Superior Threads. This is a variegated poly nylon thread with a high shine and its gorgeous! I love using this thread! Be sure to use it with a needle size 90/14 – for decorative threads and machine quilting.
Begin your satin stitching on the pieces that will be in the background. Working, as you go, to the top layers. For irregular shaped pieces, use the needle-down position on your machine to pivot at the points. The settings I used for this piece were 3.5 wide and 1.0 length. For smaller areas, you can reduce your stitch width. Slow down the machine speed as you sew and you will have better results. When I do a satin stitch my foot is positioned with the red line centered on the width of the stitch and my eye is following ahead of the needle slightly.
I finished my snowman with a little bit of machine quilting on the snowman and in the background. For the quilting in the background I used the Superior Threads Fantistico – Color # 5096 and for the body of the snowman I used Sulky Sliver Metallic Opalescent color #8040. The sulky sliver is beautiful on this project; it adds a little bit of glisten to snowman
Just a few more finishing touches and this one is done. I used Superior Threads Halo, color #273 to hand stitch a few details on the snowman face and added two buttons. Finally, I added binding by machine to finish this one off. This snowman is a little gift in a winter garden.