Thursday, February 11, 2021

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Depending on where you live, it is cold outside. Some of our friends in the northern climes are experiencing some bitter, cold temperatures.  It is one of those very cold locations that we envisioned when we created this block for the Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long. Our snowman builder just couldn't take the weather anymore—not when there was a warm and cozy fire nearby.

Before starting your block, please read our pattern directions thoroughly. Our directions for how we cut out our appliqué pieces (especially the footprints) are very specific for the method we use. We use freezer paper templates which allows for the option to use or not use fusible. If you would like to use a different method, such as tracing the templates onto the fusible, then you will need to reverse them. Every designer may use a different method than the one you might use, so please read each set of directions for all the blocks in this stitch along. You may find a new method you might like to try!

We thought we would highlight some parts of the block and show how we did them as well as talk about some of our thread choices. 

Let's start with the footsteps! 

Your pattern includes a footprint stencil. Cut it out and then cut out the individual footprints creating the stencil and set aside. Then lay out the water, background snow, bottom half of the house and the snowman body in the correct placement  on your background but do not fuse. Align your footprint stencil in the correct position and iron stencil on, or pin in place if not using freezer paper.

Using a pencil or other marking tool, trace cut-out foot prints onto wool. Then remove the stencil and cut out the footprints.

Once your footprints are cut out, you can go ahead and position the snow, water and cabin parts except for the door and fuse/staple/baste those pieces down. We used an appliqué or tack stitch with matching thread to secure the pieces at this point. 

For the door openings, place your door template over the bottom cabin piece and trace the door openings onto the wool. Cut those out of cabin piece. This will create the openings so that you can put your fireplace and door inset in place. Note: When I created the block, the doorframe was originally in two pieces, but after doing that, it made more sense to turn it into one. That is why it is a bit different in the pictures than what is on the templates. 

Door openings cut out

If you are using a background piece of cotton, place that in the top window and then position your fireplace. Trace the fireplace opening onto your cotton and then cut out.  Place the following items in this order: cotton, door frame, fireplace, door inset, and then bottom door crosspieces. Then fuse/staple/baste into place and stitch down with matching thread

Your doorway set-up should look like this.

The snowman can be padded with a layer of thin batting. It gives him a bit of a pudgy look that a good snowman should have. 

Use your snowman templates to trace around a piece of batting for the body and the head.

Cut the batting out a 1/2" inside of drawn line.

Place the snowman in the correct position with the batting underneath and then stitch down with matching thread.

For the embroidery in this block, we primarily used #12 Valdani pearl cotton. In many places in the embroidery directions, we asked you to use two strands. By doing this, we were able to use one type of thread for places where we wanted to vary the thickness of the embroidery. This is a good way to make the most of one size of thread.

The basket handle and rim are two strands and woven parts are one.

Another reason we chose to go this route with the Valdani, was to keep the thread kit costs reasonable so that we could use one of our favorite threads of all time—Painter's Threads #8 pearl in Turner. This thread and color is a fantastic hand-dyed thread from Germany. It can be a bit more expensive but it is so worth it for stems, leaves, or in this case accenting our pine boughs.

Using a hand-dyed thread can add so much texture!

If you haven't already downloaded the pattern or if you would like to buy a wool, thread or embellishment kit, feel free to head over to our website listed below. Our thread kit supplies are low, but we anticipate more in the shop soon.

We really hope this post helps you as you stitch our Baby It's Cold Outside block. We had so much fun creating this block for the Winter Wonderland Mystery Sew-A-Long and we hope you will enjoy stitching it as well!

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