I have been digitizing some embroidery for all kinds of quilt blocks from Rose of Sharon to whimsical blocks for children’s quilts. I love applique done with the traditional applique or blanket stitch, but find it difficult to cut accurately enough to make it work as perfectly as I would like using the embroidery machine. In addition, it is important to me to have as few thread changes and steps as possible and still have beautiful embroidery. So that was my challenge. Because of a love for turtles, that was my choice for this.
Initially, I digitized my own turtle drawing and then cut the fabric and made the applique turtle. Several issues were immediately apparent. When I cut the shape, it didn’t fit exactly the way I have digitized it – even though I drew the pattern from the stitched embroidery lines. Part of the reason for that is the width of the drawn/cutting line. Another thing that was a real problem was the amount of time it took to cut the shapes. These two things alone made me realize how important it is to use die cuts for machine embroidery.
After that experiment, I determined which shapes I would need to make a turtle using the Accuquilt dies. I chose the large hexagon and a medium circle for the body and shell, the curved feather shapes for the legs, and a small circle for the head. I took those shapes (with fusible on one side) and pressed them onto parchment paper to see how this would look. Here are some of the versions of what I got. It took several iterations to get the eyes, legs and head exactly the way I wanted them.
Here are some of the various versions. The final version has eyes like the one with the green body and checkered shell, legs like the one with the red body and yellow legs, and a shorter tail.
Hoop the fabric, stitch the dielines, then remove the hoop from the machine for fusing the shapes.
This is the dragonfly, but shows how I fuse the shapes. Because all fabric has a slightly different hand and the fusible also adds some variables, the shapes should be pinned to fit the dielines exactly–you may have to give a little “stretch” to it or “scrunch” it in a bit to make it fit. In the end, it looks great because of the wonderful forgiveness of all those variables.
I remove the pins as I press.
Next comes stitching the tail, then fusing the shapes to the dielines.
Stitch the embroidery around the shapes.
Then stitch the dieline for the center circle, fuse the fabric to the dieline, and stitch.
This is the end result:
Finished size: 6.05 x 8.15 inches (154 x 207 mm).
If you would like to have a copy of the embroidery file for this turtle, please leave a comment on this blog and become a follower of this blog, LIKE Accuquilt on Facebook, by Friday, April 22. I will email a link to the file to each commenter. In addition, one lucky person (random drawing) will receive ready-to-fuse die cuts for nine brightly colored turtles – just enough to make a baby quilt. Enter to win the shapes even if you don’t have an embroidery machine – you can still use the applique stitch on your machine to make a very cute baby quilt.
No-reply bloggers will not get a response as I must have an email address for the winner–make sure your email address is included in some way.