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Embellishing the Darling Diva wall quilt

by Nancy Devine

Yesterday, we began a darling wall quilt that is helping us bust through that pile of scraps we can’t seem to toss aside. Today, we’re going to transfer the words that serve as both a motto and a warning to all those who venture near our crafty space. It’s all about the work of our hands as we begin embellishing the Darling Diva wall quilt.

There are lots of fancy methods to transfer words and artwork onto fabric for embroidery. I favor a low tech one: a sunny window and a sharp pencil. Lay the wording underneath the neutral fabric so the words are about 2″ from the top and about 3″ from each side. Pin the wording to the fabric. Tape the fabric to a sunny window. Patio doors are a great choice.

The low tech, but highly effective, method of transferring words to the main fabric.

The low tech, but highly effective, method of transferring words to the main fabric.

  • Trace the wording with a sharp pencil as lightly as possible. Take your time to get all the lines marked.
  • Remove the fabric and the tape from the window, and unpin the wording. Touch up any areas you may have missed with the pencil.
  • Iron a piece of lightweight interfacing under the wording area and place the fabric in an embroidery hoop. Use an embroidery needle threaded with two strands of embroidery floss. I used a mid-brown shade because it’s softer than using black, but you can use whatever color you like.
  • My favorite embroidery stitch for outlining is split stitch, as I find I can control the loops and curves. However, back stitch or stem stitch would also work well.
  • Try to keep knots to a minimum and as small as possible on the back. Also, don’t trail the floss from letter to letter. It will show up on the right side of the work. You’ll be happier with the finished results if you embroider small areas, tie off, and begin again in a new area.

That’s all for today. I hope you’re enjoying the work of our hands: embellishing the Darling Diva wall quilt. Tomorrow, we’ll dress up our darling diva, in more ways than one!



Katy M April 16, 2015 - 3:49 pm

Glad it’s not just me taping things to windows!

Nancy Devine April 19, 2015 - 9:17 am

Oh my, no, Katy! I refuse to splash out on a $100 light table when my patio windows are just sitting around waiting to be cleaned. They have to earn their keep before that happens. 🙂
Thank you for stopping by

Nancy Devine April 15, 2015 - 10:57 pm

Kathy E., the light table idea is awesome too. After our winter though, I was happy to work in sunny window. The brown thread has become my favourite, and now black looks too harsh to me. Enjoy! And thanks for stopping by.

Kathy E. April 15, 2015 - 11:26 am

Thanks for these tips! I have used basic black thread before, but now realize that I think I’d like the brown thread to soften the look…great idea! I have found that using my Happy Light (it’s one of those sun boxes to relieve SAD during the winter) works really well for transferring designs to fabric. No waiting for sunny days!

Carla A. Canonico April 15, 2015 - 1:53 pm

Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

Anne Gale April 15, 2015 - 8:20 am

I have used a window to trace patterns onto fabric, but I usually used a Frixon pen, which disappears with heat. How do you remove any pencil marks that have not been covered with your stitching?

Carla A. Canonico April 15, 2015 - 2:21 pm

I have found that pencil marks are tricky to remove from fabrics, depending on the fabric, a little light soap and water will do. Better to use proper marking tools like the ones recommended on QUILTsocial, than take a chance with pencils.

Nancy Devine April 15, 2015 - 10:54 pm

Hi Anne!
I use a very sharp and very cheap (like dollar store) pencil for tracing fine work for embroidery. The pencil will leave a line fine enough to follow and your stitches will cover it.

Jean M. Kritenbrink April 14, 2015 - 5:06 pm

thanks for the chance to win those awesome tools!


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