April 2017


For those unfamiliar with the series, A Closer Look, you can find it on the last page of every issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery. The feature includes miniatures (super tiny!) in various situations involving machine embroidery. Sometimes the miniatures help me get out of a sewing disaster and other times, they help me showcase amazing features that can be done in software.

A Closer Look in the current issue, Volume 103 March/April – highlights the capabilities of My Block Piecer Software.

Whether you choose to stitch a super tiny quilt or a normal sized, quilt, I encourage you to give My Block Piecer software a try.


Launch My Block Piecer. Click the Quilt Block icon as shown below.

A new window will appear with a variety of quilt block styles. Click Basic, then scroll down to Two Triangles.

Click the dropdown arrow in the Size Box. Select Custom. Type .5 Click Ok.

Yes, you read correctly. Each block you are going to make is a ½ inch!

With the block artwork selected, click the Workflow icon.

Select your hoop size. Since the block is so small, I chose a 100×100 hoop size.

For this example, the block is very simple. Click Preview to see the block converted to stitches.

Click Save. Give the file a name. Save the file in C2S format and your machine’s preferred format. Send the design to your embroidery machine.

 

At the Machine

I am a scrappy, helter-skelter type of embroiderer. I didn’t measure and cut precise pieces of fabric for my blocks. I simply cut scraps of fabric large enough for my blocks. If you prefer a more efficient method over my chaos, go for it.

Stitch Color 1, the placement stitch.

After Color 1, place a piece of fabric on the area designated with the number 1. The fabric should be placed right side up on the hoop. Stitch Color 2.

Get another piece of fabric (red polka dot), place it wrong side up along the guideline.

Stitch Color 3.

Fold the red polka dot fabric face up.

Stitch Color 4.

The block is complete.

I repeated this process for 6 blocks. (I made two extra as a backup)

It’s not enough to make miniature blocks. Looking at the blocks, I realized they need to have embroidery on them! I left the project hooped in the embroidery machine and returned to my computer.

Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.

Select the Solid Heart.

Draw a heart design.

Click the Transform Tab and change the width .25″ and height to .26”.

Click Ok. Center the design. Save the design and send to your embroidery machine.

Place a Target Sticker on the center of the block you want to embroider. I chose to leave some blocks plain. Load the Heart design. Center the needle at the center of the target sticker. Embroider the design. Repeat the steps for additional blocks.

Unhoop the project. Trim each block, leaving ¼”.

Congratulations! You have tiny quilt blocks!

Stitch the quilt blocks using 1/4″ seam allowance. If you stitched hearts, be sure to place the embroidered blocks in the correct sequence when sewing together.

Once all four blocks are sewn together, it’s time to make a quilt sandwich.

I was ambitious. I used a piece of low-loft batting for this project. Felt can also be used—or skip the extra bulk altogether and just add a backing fabric for the miniature quilt. To combine all layers, I stitched in the ditch. Because of the very small nature of the quilt—I chose to take an easy way out. I used fabric washi tape for the binding. It’s adhesive, easy to use and comes in a variety of patterns. To finish off the fabric washi tape binding, and make it permanent, stitch along the edges using sewing thread or monofilament thread.

Gather your favorite miniatures and go for a picnic!


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