Saturday, March 7, 2020

Brown Diamonds Mat

 Making my Brown Diamonds Mat. 

A quick run through.

 I started stitching this one on the diagonal... and then I struggled.
 I realized I much prefer to stitch in straight nested lines.

So I pulled off all my diagonal tape (not seen here)
and reset my tape from left to right. 
I like to lay out the pattern, tape my rows and number them.
If tape isn't your thing, you can baste the rows without attaching them, 
or you can string your stacks together and set aside.
I just like to avoid pinning it all down. 

You can see a few staggered
stacks that were part of my diagonal assembly.
 I lift away each row and safely set them in a bowl.
I stitch one row at a time, stitching one stack at a time.
I really enjoyed stitching this mat,
It was fun to do a reversed blanket stitch 

 As I stitch I tend to use just one or two 
small applique pins as I travel along the mat.
This keeps my thread from tangling in pins, mitigates pokes,
and allows me to adjust the stacks as I go.
I am always adjusting and checking alignment as I go.

You can also make light pencil or graphite lines.
For beginners it can be very helpful.

Wool is so nice to work with, it's so forgiving, 
you can snug and adjust it easily.

My method is to attach the small penny
 and then attach the stack to the rug.

If you prefer to do it the other way around, that's fine.
You could stitch all the large pennies down 
and then go back and do the top ones.  
It's up to you. 

Working my way row by row,
adjusting and nesting each penny.
The trick is to get that first row nice and straight.
Can you notice that I pressed and folded 
my base fabric to create a line to follow. 
Look closely at the top of the top row.

On my other tutorials 
you may see me stitching a basting line as a guide.
You can do either, or both. 

At this point I decided I really wanted the brown diamonds
to have points. These interrupt the red border.
I removed the red pennies and replaced them with brown. 

All stacks complete. Now to trim away the base fabric.
It's so quick to mask off the edges with 1" wide masking tape.
It's a perfect width for me to stitch on a planned border and
have not too much excess to trim away. 

Remove the tape after you cut away the fabric beyond it.  

( At this stage you could trim the mat, as I will go on to show, or.... fold in the edges to finish, 
or create a lining for the entire mat. I have shown those methods in other tutorials.)

 To trim this mat I cut strips of a lightweight brown wool blend
into two long 1.5" strips and joined them with a bias.

To create a binding strip you fold it into half and press,
then fold each long side to meet into the center, and press.

Binding can be a lesson of it's own, 
you can find it on my Plaid Tongue Rug Tutorial.
Or it might be more clear as you look at the photos that follow.

I pinned the binding strips around the mat 
close to the last row of penny stacks, 
minding that the bias joins would be on the long sides.

 I back stitched the strips all the way around the mat.
You can use a small running stitch or your machine.

Leave a few inches open, not stitched to the mat, 
and a few inches excess binding at each end.

 Fold one end on a bias, the end should meet the side.
 Creating a triangle as shown on the left strip.

Lay opposing end over the folded end, pin.

 Pin and sew on the bias to join the ends of the binding.

Trim away excess

 Press open, pin to mat and continue to finish attaching the strip.

Trim away excess backing fabric, 
use binding as guide for cutting line.

Fold over and pin binding to mat, easing at the corners,
use stitching lines are your guide.

Make tiny blind stitches to hold binding to mat, 
following stitching line.


Keep on stitching!


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