I never knew I was such a hankie lover! They are the simplest linen you can quilt. Small, simple and fast! I’ll take you through the steps to create this one-of-a-kind piece. Let’s go!
These are the fabrics used in this piece. The background is a red cotton with a sheen, underlayment is a gold lame’ and then the hankie is on the top of this sandwich.
Hankies are usually quite thin, so I like to put something underneath them. Sometimes it’s just a white layer or a thin piece of batting, but this one has some cutwork, so I put the lame’ just under the inside open area. I will admit it was a little tricky to position it!
I work on a Handi Quilter Fusion longarm. I’ve recently become a Handi Quilter Ambassador, so you can imagine how much I adore my machine! To begin, I have loaded a piece of muslin backing on my frame, then I begin “the stack”. First, is a piece of 100% wool batting. Then a layer of background fabric, which is the red cotton with a hint of sheen. Next, is the gold lame’ just underneath the inside cut work. Finally, the hankie.
I begin by stitching down the red fabric, creating the shape I want, in this case a square. Then I stitch the perimeter of the hankie, following the lines of the lace. This will also anchor the lame’ on the inside.
On this piece, I used Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Stencils When faced with a lot of white space, this IS the ultimate stencil. It is a fabulous grid system that let’s you create a unique design. I used a purple air erase pen to draw my lines. I like these pens because the lines disappear in about an hour. ***UPDATE, I now prefer blue, water soluble pens. I’ve had the purple pens reappear. The blue pen disappears best with a mix of 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved into 1 cup of cold water.***
After using the grid for the straight lines, I connect the dots where I like and then start my free motion quilting in those spaces. I use my favorite quilting ruler to do the ditch stitching around the perimeter and then to outline my design.
This is where the design starts to take shape. I don’t necessarily know where I’m going. I decide each step as I go!
Now that I have the inside designed, I go back out to the background fabric and echo the scallop of the hankie. From there, I decided on a piano key border.
The last thing I do while I have the piece on my longarm, is to stitch around the perimeter of the hankie to finish the edge. Once I have the hankie off the frame, I add small glass beads to tack down the middle of the flowers and give the piece a wee bit ‘o bling. For this particular piece, I trimmed about 2 inches beyond the size of the frame, wrapped around a piece of acid free foam core board, then completed with the inset piece of cardboard that came with the frame.
Here is the finish! Framed it is about 24″ square. I put spacers right inside the frame (1/4″ strips of foamboard) so the fabric does not touch the glass. Many times I cut a mat, but this one looked great on its own.
I made this piece to sell at my guilds’ silent auction a few weeks ago, so it no longer resides with me. This was a tough one to give up, but I know it’s making someone smile when they look at it! Thanks for following my process. I hope you’ll give it a go, whether you work on a domestic or longarm machine. Have a fabulous weekend!
I do love a vintage hankie! They can be super fast and fun. I am working on a larger vintage piece, so this was an experimental piece before working on the REAL customer linen. I’ll hope to show that in a few weeks.
I used a simple motif from the computer on my long arm. I drive a Handi Quilter Fusion with Pro Stitcher, which I adore! This design is in the Pro Stitcher library, created by Kim Brunner. After the computer stitched out the motif, I went back in and free motion filled all the open areas.
Here is the hankie right after I had stitched the motif. I also had the computer stitch the rays in the awesome satin backing!
A few close shots. I used a double batting of 80/20 and 100% wool, Hobbs. I also love Glide thread. This is the color Cream, which works well for most vintage linens. I love the sheen of Glide!
Above are the differences between a real scribble and the lower, being a micro stipple. Yup, tiny no matter how you see it!
One more look at those rays. They might be my favorite part! Have a fabulous weekend!