Monday, April 20, 2009

Tutorial - Embroidery using Sandcastle or other heavy fabric

I've had some questions about the "quilted" fabric I used for my embroidery. If you haven't heard back from me, it's because you are set up as "no reply" and I wasn't able to e-mail you. So, I thought I would do a tutorial showing what I use to do embroidery on this fabric. Dan River used to manufacture the fabric and it was called Sandcastle. They have since gone out of business but, I just found out that a new version, called Sand Hut, is being manufactured by Avlyn. Pat Sloan is selling it on her website. So glad to hear that! (Thanks for the info, Candace).


Here we go. I use a product called Solvy (water soluble stabilizer) made by Sulky. You can get it at most fabric stores, craft stores and quilt shops. I like the lightweight version.


Tape down the pattern you are going to use.


Cut a piece of the Solvy a couple of inches wider and longer than your pattern. Position it and tape it down.

Using a black, permanent market, trace the design onto the Solvy.

Remove the tape and position the Solvy onto your fabric. Baste it down. (I should have used darker thread for you to see, but I'm sure you get the idea). Once it is all basted, start embroidering just like you would for any other fabric, stitching through both the fabric and the Solvy.

When you are finished, cut away the excess Solvy. I usually just cut away the larger pieces because the rest will dissolve in the water.

Rinse in cold water until all the Solvy is dissolved. You can also soak it for a few minutes to make sure it's all dissolved. It's a glue based product and can stiffen your fabric if not completely removed.


Wring out the water and let it dry on a flat surface. Wa-La...you're done!

These are the two that I finished last week on our trip to Seattle.

TIP: This product responds to the humidity in the air. If you live in a dry climate, be sure and store the Solvy in a plastic bag. It can dry out and get kind of stiff. Also, I wouldn't prepare more than one piece at a time.

If you have alot of humidity, you're lucky because it feels soft and pliable and easy to stitch through.

I once took it on an airplane to stitch. When I started the flight, it was very soft and pliable, but by the time I reached my destination, it was so dry and cracked with every stitch due to the dry air in the plane. Hmm, tells us alot about the air in planes. ICK!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Be sure to include your e-mail address.

32 comments:

Darlene said...

I've been meaning to ask you how you were stitching on Sandcastle! Perfect tutorial! I must try this very soon. BTW, I really like Wonderland stitched on it.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh thank you so much, I need to get that, now if I only could draw snowmen, as well as you!!! So, very cute

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh, Wonderland is looking fantastic and again...you showed us how easy it can be done! Great tutorial.

Jen in NY said...

Anne, thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I never thought to use water-soluble stabilizer with embroidery. What a great idea. I used tear-away once, and it was hard to tear it without distorting the stitches. It must be much easier to trace on the solvy than directly onto the fabric as well. Thanks again!

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

I never heard of that before! Are you able to use an embroidery hoop with the Solvy on it?

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Anne -- that's a great idea! SO much better than figuring out how to transfer the pattern to the material. Thanks!

Beth said...

What a great idea! I have a bit of Sandcastle that I lucked out and picked up here and there, and also Moda came out with one that was a knock off of the Sandcastle, I bought a ton of that. I haven't used one single piece of any of it though! But this is inpiring!

Yvette said...

Another fabulous tutorial!

I have to stop visiting your blog, you are making me want to start new projects. LOL!

Pat said...

OMGosh thank you. I didn't know there was such a thing. I am going to get some soon. Thanks for sharing. I have some of the Sandcastle I will have to try it.

Crispy said...

Very nice tutorial. I didn't know that sort of product even existed.

Crispy

Sharon said...

Wonderful tut there Anne. I loved sandcastle. Your so very clever oh yes you are. :-)

Jodi@SimplyThisThat n.. said...

Every time I see a stitchery project I get all excited! I need another craft/hobby like I need a hole in my head! Those snowmen are SO cute though! ooxx`jodi

Janet said...

I've used sandcastle, I didn't know it's no longer available because a shop I go to still has it. I want to know if you use a hoop and stab stitch too. Great ideas so thank you for sharing these tips.

bluegecko said...

Wow the snowmen are wonderful.
Would it be possible for you to show us a picture of the back ?? :-)
I have a small piece of Sandcastle and I can't imagine being able to make such neat stitches on the fabric because it is quite thick.

Khris said...

What I use is a carbon paper I brought from the Art shop. I really dont even know what the name of it is but it isnt messy or leave yukky marks like the old carbon paper in receipt books. It leave very clean thin lines and doesnt smudge or make a mess. So much easier to just put it under the pattern and draw over the lines....Khris

Carol said...

What a great tutorial...I love the Sandcastle...thanks for the hint about Pat Sloan having it. I'm going to have to get some Solvy...

Sue said...

What a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing this. I saw on Pat Sloan's blog about this fabric. How wonderful is this?
You pieces that your worked on are just adorable!

yellowfarmhouse said...

Whoa - great idea sister, never thought of using the Solvy. How come your so smart :). Thanks for the tutorial, it's a great idea for those hard to see through to trace on fabrics. Your a peach :)

Hugs - Karen

Libby said...

What a great tutorial . . . . thanks for the tips *s*

Karen said...

Thanks for the info. I always wondered what Sandcastle was and now I know.

Kaaren said...

Great tutorial, Anne. I had never heard of Solvy but I'm going to pick some up. Now that I have a new grand niece on the way, I'll have to pick up some of the Sandcastle fabric as well. What a great idea for a child's quilt.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh how cool. I know you explained it a bit back to me, but it sure was nice to see it done! I just love your blocks!

MARCIE said...

Excellent tutorial! I never knew what that Solvy stuff was for! Your embroidery is adorable!

Carrie P. said...

Thanks for sharing all the info. Great to know.

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

Thanks for sharing...I've never heard of Solvy, looks alot easier then printing on fabric:)
Love the wonderland stiched on it too:)
Rondell

eamylove said...

Oh, my Gosh! What a magical product. I WONDERED what people do!

Agnes said...

Thanks so much for that great tutorial. I just knew there was a way to do this and wasn't really difficult. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Nancy said...

Can you use a hoop? or does it tear the washaway?

Love the stitching...

Vicky said...

What a great tip! I'm so glad I followed Beth's lead over here. I would also like to know whether you use a hoop. Love your blog!

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Anonymous said...

I just picked up 7 yards at a store going out of business. Do you pre wash first before emb.?

Anonymous said...

Did you use DMS or perle cotton when you used sandcastle? One strand?