You know that I’m not into ornate things – but I do like elegant – and sometimes that means very simple. I have been working on some machine embroidery to be used for embellishments on things like table runners and tree skirts and any other things that may need embellishing at Christmas time. What’s really nice about these is that there is no top or bottom, so they work on things like table toppers which are seen from all directions. I took the large circle die and checked all my other dies to see what shapes fit inside it. Here are some photos of what I’ve done. I hope to have all of these and more available as an embroidery set by Saturday. These circles are about 5 1/2 inches or 130 mm finished.
Today, I am going to do a pic-tutorial showing you show I create machine embroidery applique quilt blocks. I will take you through this step by step.
Hoop the stabilizer in a large hoop.
This block will be set on point, so the fabric will be attached to the stabilizer “on point.”
Draw a big square onto the stabilizer with the Elmer’s glue stick.
Take a square piece of fabric about an inch or two larger than you would like your finished quilt block and fold the fabric so that it lines up with the center marks on the embroidery hoop.
Work quickly as the glue dries very fast. If the glue gets dry before you get things lined up, just add more glue.
Then lay the fabric flat and make sure it is nice and smooth with no wrinkles.
Background fabric attached to the embroidery hoop
The next step is to attach the hoop to your embroidery machine and stitch the first die line.
This is a Round Flower stem and the embroidery has been modified to be shorter so that it will fit an 8 inch finished quilt block.
Press the stem and leaves inside the die line. It is important to keep the fabric just inside the die line or on the die line. You can see in this photo that the fabric is just inside the die line.
If the fabric is over the die line, you will see fabric outside the embroidery and frayed fabric peeking from underneath the edge of the embroidery stitches.
This is the beauty of die cuts – you don’t have to have frayed fabric sticking out from under the applique stitches.
Can you see that I cut the stem off a little shorter so that the block will be smaller?
The next step is to put the hoop back onto the machine and stitch the stem and leaves.
The next step is to change the thread color and stitch the die line for the flower.
Remove the hoop from the machine and fuse the flower to the background fabric using your mini-iron.
Re-attach the hoop to the machine and stitch around the flower, then change the thread color and stitch the die line for the center.
Remove the hoop and fuse the center to the round flower.
Stitch the middle center with an applique stitch, then change thread colors and stitch the round center, and the embroidery is complete.
You can now gently lift the background fabric away from the stabilizer – the glue releases very easily – and trim away the stabilizer. Square up your quilt block to 8 1/2 inches and it is ready to use in a quilt.
My friend, Sherry Gray, has been busy again. She is a prolific piecer and the beneficiaries are the patients at the Alamance Regional Cancer Center. Here are some tops she and friends pieced over the weekend. All except the last one were cut with my Accuquilt GO cutter.
I was browsing Accuquilt.com’s website and looking at the free patterns – and I got inspiration. They have a great free pattern for placemats. I decided to use their idea of an applique in the corner and make my own placemats. Since Fall football is almost here, I chose our team colors, Carolina blue, for my placemats. These stitched up in no time at all. I used my machine embroidery for the Fun Flower. To finish the placemat, I layered a piece of batting behind the front, added a solid piece of fabric with right sides together and stitched it on all sides, leaving an opening for turning. I then finished them off by topstitching around the outer edge and doing a stitch in the ditch around the white border and the flowers. The second picture below shows the finished dimensions.
That song by Nat King Cole ends with “you’ll wish that summer could always be here”. And here’s no doubt about that. In the books about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, there is a quote about marking the main events of your life by the events of the summers. For me, this summer has been busier than most, but has been enjoyable too. I’m taking mini vacations from blogging and just going with the flow. And enjoying a bit of quilting — well actually a lot of quilting. Have been busier than usual and am getting more and more requests for custom quilts and quilting. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been doing.
Made some mug rugs for Womancraft:
The photo of this one’s upside down !
And finally quilting the die cut turtles – they are cute as can be:
One of my long-term projects is to create embroidery files for all of the Accuquilt applique die shapes. Thus, I have been slowly but surely purchasing every applique die. Sometimes I find it very hard to see exactly where the die blade is and I want to know how the shapes look. Yesterday I had a small epiphany for finding the applique shapes. Look at these photos and you’ll see what I saw. It really helps tremendously. And all of the tape is easily removed after the die shapes have been marked.