Hello! Hopefully if you're reading this then yesterday's instructions all made sense, and you now how your piece of fabric with your circles all fused on.
The next step is to stitch them down. Although the circles are fused to the background, if your quilt is going to get any kind of wear (especially if you will be washing it) then the glue alone is not going to be enough and the circles may start to lift off away from the background, so we need to stitch them down to fully secure them. How you do this is really up to you. As mentioned before, I love hand stitching, so that's how I'm doing it. I've picked out a pretty, variegated embroidery thread in shades of turquoise with little hints of a pinky, lavender colour (Anchor, colour 1344, and I use 3 strands but you can use whatever thread you like - regular sewing cotton, embroidery floss, perle cotton etc. And of course, whatever colour takes your fancy! You might want your stitches to really stand out and use a contrasting colour, or maybe you want your stitches to be as invisible as possible, so pick a colour that matches the fabrics. The colour I picked blends in beautifully with the colours of my fabrics, but stands out enough to make a feature of the stitching - best of both worlds!
I like to use an embroidery hoop, but that's not essential. You need to stitch around all the cut edges of your applique shapes, a couple of mm in from the edge. Obviously, with the rings that means stitching both the inner and outer edges.
Once again, the type of stitch you use is entirely up to you. It could be a simple running stitch, backstitch or blanket stitch - whatever you are comfortable with. (Note: This lovely embroidery blog has tutorials on a ton of different kinds of stitches - simple as well as more complicated) As you can see, I've used both a running stitch and backstitch (my favourite). This part of the process is lovely - you can pick it up and do a few stitches then put it down again - perfect if you have lots of interruptions from little people!
Once all your circles are stitched down, give the piece a good press with your iron (absolutely essential if you used a hoop as it will be very rumpled!) and then you will be ready for assembling the quilt "sandwich".
Til next time!