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Nativity Curtain with FSL Battenberg Lace

We made this curtain with Nativity scene for a  window 30"-32" wide. We used the designs from the FSL Battenberg Holy Family Lace Set and the designs from FSL Battenberg Floral Lace Set for the edge lace. 
For the curtain, we used white medium-weight linen. You can also use linen/cotton blend or 100% cotton fabric. You will need about 1 yard of fabric.

For the lace, we used Signature 100% cotton threads for machine quilting and water-soluble mesh (Vilene).

Embroidering Battenberg Lace
Stabilizers: We recommend to use water-soluble mesh, such as Vilene. Vilene D0102 is a non woven dissolvable stabilizer which is imported into the US, is sold in large rolls and is sometimes repackaged under different brand names. Two of these brand names are Wash-Away and Aqua Magic. Film-like water soluble stabilizers, such as Solvy, are not suitable for Free-Standing Lace embroidery.
Threads: At least one of the threads, either in the bobbin or in the needle, should be cotton. 
If you are using 50- or 60-weight cotton, you should use it both in the bobbin and in the needle. If you use 40-weight cotton thread for the needle, you can use regular polyester bobbin thread. If you are using a specialty thread such as metallic thread, then always use cotton thread in the bobbin.
The thinner the thread, the finer the final product will be.
We recommend Signature machine quilting thread, Brother (Pacesetter) 50wt machine quilting thread, Mettler 50wt or 60wt machine quilting thread and similar threads of other companies. 
Needles: We use size 75/11 embroidery needles. The needles should be sharp, so it's advisable to change them after every project.
Most Importantly: ALWAYS make a test stitch-out of the design and wash away the stabilizer. This helps you to select the threads, needles, stabilizers and settings of your machine correctly. DO NOT embroider several designs in one hoop.
Step One: Embroider each design from the FSL Battenberg Holy Family Lace Set once. Embroider the designs from the FSL Battenberg Floral Lace Set: corners designs twice and edge lace 4-5 times.

Rinse the stabilizer. Spread the lace neatly on a flat surface and leave to air dry. When dry, press carefully with steam.

Step Two: Out of fabric, cut a piece measuring 33"-35" wide x 36" long.
Step Three: First finish one of the raw side edges. For this, fold the fabric back 1/4" and press. Fold back another 1/4" and press again. Topstitch to finish the edge.
Step Four: Starting from the finished edge, lay out the edge lace motifs beginning and ending with the corner motifs. Secure them with pins.

The second raw side edge of the fabric should be 1/2" longer than the corner lace motif. Mark the edge of the corner motif, and unpin it for a while. Fold the fabric back to this mark and press. Unfold and cut away excess fabric, leaving 1/2" from the fold line for the seam.

Now fold the fabric back 1/4" and press. Fold back another 1/4" and press again. Topstitch to finish the edge. Return the corner motif to its place and pin.

Step Five: Now topstitch the lace along the central part of the lace's outer border to attach it to the fabric. You can do it using a regular foot and with the feed dogs up. We prefer to do this with a darning foot and with feed dogs down, in a free motion style.
Step Six: With a pair of sharp scissors cut away the excess fabric close to the stitch.
Step Seven: Return to your sewing machine and using zig-zag (2:2), stitch over the straight stitch to finish the raw edge of the fabric. Work from the wrong side and use 50 to 60-weight cotton thread of a matching color both in the needle and in the bobbin.
The lower and side edges of the curtain are finished.
Step Eight: Spread the curtain on a flat surface and lay out the figures from the FSL Battenberg Holy Family Lace Set. When you are satisfied with their position, pin them in place.

Topstitch along the outer edge of the figures.

With a pair of sharp scissors, cut away the fabric from under the lace close to the straight stitch. 

Return to your sewing machine and using zig-zag, stitch over the straight stitch and the raw edge of the fabric. Work from the wrong side of the curtain. Use 50-60-weight cotton thread of a matching color. Here is a picture of the curtain's back. 

Repeat for every figure.
Step Nine: Fold the upper raw edge of the curtain 1/4" back. Press. Fold back 1 1/2" - 2" more. Press. Topstitch in place to form a sleeve.

Insert a curtain rod and place the curtain in the window.

We hope that you liked our idea and will come up with many of your own. Happy embroidering!
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