The true magic of a challenge like our Basic Grey Designer’s Challenge is to see how different people, when given the same materials, can take their project in entirely new and unique directions.

Such is the case with today’s designer, Kaysie Schreiner (@kzjostudio) who blogs at KZJO’STUDIO.  In addition to being a mom, fabric lover, designer, and all-around crafty person, Kaysie is a talented illustrator with a very distinctive style (ask her about the super cool business cards she made for Quilt Market.  The FQ crew definitely wants some Kaysie-cards for the next time we visit market!)

We were thrilled (and beyond impressed) to see Kaysie translate this style to her sampler canvas.  In truth, we were kind of hoping she would when we invited her to take part in the challenge!  But enough from me … read on and check out the brilliant canvas that Kaysie made.

Once I received the canvas, I went to work coming up with an idea. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to turn one of my illustrations into a patchwork/appliqué and include a variety of embroidery threads.

I sketched out a rough idea, which would later become my pattern, and went about gathering my materials. I used a variety of things embroidery thread, freezer paper, a pen and pencil, needle, wonder-under, an iron, scrap fabric, felt, and scissors. A few other things became quite useful during the project like a gerber plier (used to assist in pulling the needle through several layers of fabric and canvas) and a hot glue gun.

My basic process began by turning my rough sketch into a pattern (i traced it onto freezer paper), cutting them out of the paper and then choosing the fabrics. Once, the fabrics were chosen I applied wonder-under to the back of each piece and then ironed the patterns (glossy side of the freezer paper) to the right side of the fabrics. This let me do two things: place the patterns exactly on the area of fabric I desired and make it really easy to cut out. After cutting out all the pieces I set them aside, curled up in front of the tv and started working on the embroidery around the printed part of the canvas. I chose a simple running in stitch in blue and french knots in yellow. I left the right hand side blank in order to adhere my girl to the canvas.

Using a pressing cloth and iron, I began ironing the girl down (I did cut out one extra body in muslin in order to keep the black lines from showing through her skin). I layered each part until, I ended up with a finished girl. In order, to make her stand out I did a simple backstitch around her, her top, and hair. Once that was complete I went back and finished the embroidery.

For her hair accessory, I simply cut out two felt leaves, choose a button, and hot glued them at the base of her bun. As a simple last minute thought, I sewed three more buttons in a row at the bottom edge of the piece.

Overall, I had a wonderful time working with the canvas. It really held up to being handled a ton while doing the hand sewing and was fairly easy to hand sew. When you are near the edges it seemed a little tricky since the wood frame is quite wide in the back but it is doable. I really love how this turned out!