Cold Weather Sewing

The weather here in Montana has been extremely cold lately. This morning it was -13 when my husband woke up at 5:00am. Yesterday I had to run to the store for a few items and the thermometer in my car read 3 degrees…bbrrr….

Since we heat the house primarily with our wood stove I sat in the living room yesterday just a few feet away from the fire happily stitching away. Thanks to the chilly temperatures, I have made great progress on the heart quilt.


I finished sewing all 12 hearts onto their background fabric and I began the embroidery stitching around each one of them.

I found the perfect embroidered border idea at Mary Corbet’s Needle & Thread website and I couldn’t resist trying my hand at it. The direct link to her tutorial is here, and my tutorial is below. This is a two part process. The first is the creation of a chain stitch all around the project and the other is a series of buttonhole stitches that create a scalloped edge.

The Chain Stitch 

(FYI: I used three strands of DMC floss for all of my embroidery here.)

Since I am a stickler for perfection (or as close to it as I can get), I marked where my stitched needed to be using a washable marking pen: Each point is 1/4″ away from the rest. After all my marks were in place, I brought my embroidery floss up through one mark, then inserted the thread back down into the same hole moving the needle underneath the fabric and up through the next marking. Before pulling the needle all the way through, I wrapped the bottom end of the thread around the tip of the needle, then I pulled the needle and thread all the way through the loop that I had made. With one gentle tug, I had my first “link” made. To make each consecutive link in the chain, I reinserted my needle into the same hole that the thread had come out of and proceeded on repeating each step, until I had gone completely around the heart.

The Buttonhole Stitch

The chain stitch makes a loop that has two individual sections in each “link”. There is the inner threads, which for me are closest to the heart, and the outer threads, which are furthest away from the heart. I used the threads furthest away from the heart to wrap the buttonhole stitches around.


Using a different color thread on my needle, I brought my needle up between two embroidered chain links.


Once the needle was completely through, I slid it under the threads that were furthest away from the heart.


I wrapped the thread around the needle


With the loop of threads behind the needle and thread, I gently pulled. (See the next 2 photo’s)



I repeated this a total of 8 times before moving onto the next link in the chain stitch.


This whole process is a bit time consuming, especially when embroidering a lot of hearts, but I really like the appearance it gives to the quilt blocks, so for me it is worth it.

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