Central crosses – making a start

The linen’s arrived! I can finally make a proper start.

With the (pre-shrunk) fabric ready, I tacked the cross transfer to the linen, and with a hot dry iron, ironed it on. The same transfer worked fine for both the front and back crosses – I didn’t need to make two.

I left a gap in the tacking so that I could check to see how well the image was transferring. As you can see, the answer was pretty patchily. I find the larger the transfer, the more likely this is to happen. With smaller ones, you can peer under the paper through the gap you’ve left and see the entire design, but with larger ones, this becomes more difficult.
As far as I could tell, it looked OK, but once the transfer was taken off, it was clear that some areas were pretty faint. I went over these with a pencil, to make the lines clearer.
I’m not sure how well you can see this in the image, but some areas also smudged a bit, which I also find to be a common problem with transfers. The transfer itself should wash off the fabric, but the banner isn’t likely to be washed. But, the linen is just being used as a foundation fabric, the transfer will be on the back and covered up, and the smudges and pencil lines will never be seen.

I then attached the ivory velvet to the linen backing, overlocked the edges to strengthen them, and stretched the double layer of fabric onto a floor frame. I do not like doing this bit, but it’s important to take time over it and do it properly. The fabric needs to be on straight, with no distortion, and stretched tight but not over-stretched. I use crochet cotton to stitch the long edges to the bars and for the lacing up the sides.
And after all that, a clean slate!
That’s the top, the velvet that’ll be the centre of one side of the banner. The cross will mostly be worked in appliqué, so I’ll get the design onto the velvet a bit at a time.
Turning the frame over, I’ve gone over the outline of the transfer design in small running stitches, in red sewing cotton. Turned back to the right side, and the cross outline is now visible on the velvet.
Now I know where it’s to go, I can begin the appliqué.
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