Archive of ‘Quilting’ category

5 Biggest Mistakes Quilters Make

Finishing a quilt is quite rewarding.  After all, you decided on the pattern, hand-picked the fabrics, cut all the pieces, sewed every seam and then, if you’re like me, hesitated on the next step: how to quilt it.  What designs? What thread? Where do I start? How long will it take?

At 1:00 CST PM on April 3 on Facebook Live, I’ll point out the 5 biggest mistakes quilters make and how to avoid them.  If you have a quilt you want to finish (and who doesn’t have quilt tops begging to be finished?), then join me for 5 Biggest Mistakes Quilters Make.  Of course, by quilter, I mean embroiderers who quilt with their embroidery machines!

How do I know what the mistakes are?  Well, I’ve written four books on quilting with your embroidery machine and I can tell you I have made all 5 of those mistakes – and many more!  I’ve learned so much along the way that it would be selfish of me to keep that knowledge to myself.  So join me and learn how to avoid the most common mistakes quilters make when quilting with their embroidery machine. And then you can finish your quilts with confidence.

Why Facebook Live?  Well, you can ask questions and get answers.  It’s fun and spontaneous and I hope you’ll be a part of it.  Just go to https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/ and watch at 1:00 PM CST.  Hope to see you there!

 

Behind the Seams: Creating The Flower Box Quilt

An Interview with Eileen Roche by Denise Holguin

DH: Eileen, you are a very busy individual! You manage the production of a magazine, write weekly blogs, do appearances at events, invent new products… AND you had time to design and create a new quilt for the Flower Box Quilt book. Wow! What is your secret to finding time to create this new quilt project?

ER: I leave and breathe embroidery! And I have a passion for embroidered quilts. I just love using my embroidery machine to decorate quilt blocks and quilt the entire quilt.

DH: When you started designing the Flower Box Quilt, did you have a clear path of what you wanted or did the project evolve over time?

ER: I had a basic layout in mind as I was inspired by Amy Gibson’s The Quilt Block Cookbook. Of course, along the way, a project guides me in a new direction.

Flower Box Quilt_Designs in Machine Embroidery

Amy Gibson’s The Quilt Block Cookbook via instagram @karenlewistextiles

DH: You used e-stitches on at least one of the blocks in the Flower Box Quilt. To those unfamiliar with an e-stitch, will you tell us more?

ER: E-stitch, also known as the blanket stitch – is a common hand (or sewing machine) applique technique. Often, the stitching is shown in a contrasting color. In the Flower Box Quilt, I matched the thread to the applique fabric to let the fabric shine – I didn’t want to introduce a wide line of stitches (think satin column) – just a gentle, almost indiscernible line of stitching. I like it.

DH: Your projects always look impeccable! Do you ever make mistakes? How do you overcome them?

ER: Thank you!
I make mistakes ALL the TIME! Frankly, if I wasn’t for the mistakes I’ve made, I wouldn’t be the embroiderer I am today. When I do make a mistake (which I do with every project), I rarely throw out the project. I figure out how to rectify the situation and move on. One of my biggest shortcomings is, I’m always excited to finish the project – to figure out if the design and techniques that I created will work as planned. I think if I worked at a slower pace, I would eliminate some mistakes. But I also know, that a slow pace does not meet deadlines! It’s a catch-22.

DH: What is the one take-away you want readers to learn from the Flower Box Quilt book?

ER: You don’t have to make a large quilt to learn all the techniques. Start with a manageable size, like a table runner or lap size quilt and you’ll master the techniques upon completion.

DH: Do you have a favorite quilt block in this collection?
ER: Hmm…that’s a tough one. Probably Block 1 – I just love those flowers!

Flower Box Quilt_Designs in Machine Embroidery


For more information about Eileen’s Flower Box Quilt and its companion product, The Quilting Stabilizer Kit, visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website at https://www.shop.dzgns.com.

Join Eileen on March 20 at 1:00 CST on Facebook Live.  She’ll be sharing her Top 6 Tips for Machine Embroidered Applique!  See you there!

Flower Box Quilt_Designs With Machine Embroidery

What’s Your Favorite Embroidery Tool?

Perfect Embroidery Pro is definitely my favorite embroidery tool.  This user-friendly software gives me everything I need to create one-of-a-kind embroidery projects.  Yesterday, my latest book, The Flower Box Quilt, was released.  It’s a sampler quilt with a modern layout plus a table runner bonus project.  The 68-page book is loaded with tips and techniques on stabilizing quilting fabric, machine embroidered applique and quilting.

I used Perfect Embroidery Pro through the entire design process. From creating the embroidered applique elements to designing the custom quilting on the blocks to the quilting on the sashing and of course, the overall quilting in the large negative space areas.

How did I go about designing a large-scale project like this? One stitch at a time. Literally. And Perfect Embroidery Pro made that easy.  I drew each flower. Then converted the artwork into applique.  I used the copy, paste and rotate features to set the four elements into 12” blocks.

Of course, each flower had to be tested and tweaks were made along the way.  But as long as I worked in Perfect Embroidery Pro, I could save every version until I was satisfied. Then the fun part started.  I visited my local quilt shop to select bright, cheery fabrics.

Once each block was stitched, it was time to concentrate on the quilting.  I just uploaded an image of each block into PEP and doodled.  PEP gave me the freedom to experiment. I saved several versions of each block before getting to the stitching stage.  I love how I can audition ideas without stitching!

If you’d like to purchase The Flower Box Quilt book, click here for more information. This week, on Wednesday, March 20, I’ll be doing Facebook Live at 1:00 CST to share my top tips for professional results with machine embroidered applique.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

Celebration Quilt – 2019 Block of the Month Block 1

Block 1 – On Point Block Instructions

If you prefer watching on YouTube, click here.

Download the files for block one here: Block 1 Files

Blk1 On Point design

Recommended Fabric for 1 block

Base Block: one 9” square muslin

Stabilizer: one 9” square No Show mesh

Front – patches from OnPoint/CutFiles

Warm and Natural batting: 7 7/8” square

1 – Back Block

2 – Bottom: Muslin

3 – Top: No Show Mesh

6 – Center Front

5 – Corners

4 – Batting

LOADING THE MONSTER BLOCK MAKER

Follow the directions included with the purchase of Monster Block Maker to apply the Maker to a 200mm x 200mm Baby Lock/Brother hoop.

Place the muslin flat on the table.

Center the Monster Block Maker on the muslin.

Insert the batting in the opening of the Maker.

Place the No Show mesh over the batting.

Working from the center out, firmly press the No Show mesh (top) and muslin (bottom) onto the adhesive tape on the edges of the Maker.

Attach the hoop to the machine.

STITCHING THE BLOCK

Stitch color #1, the block layout.

Place glue at patch #1 as shown in blue.

Place fabric #1, right side up, aligning the fabric edges with the stitched outline.  Stitch color #2, the tackdown.

 

Place glue at the seam for fabric #2.

Place fabric #2, right side down, aligning
the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #3, the seam.

Place glue at patch #2 as shown in
blue.

Flip fabric #2 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch color #4, the tackdown.

Place glue at the seam for fabric #3.

Place fabric #3 – right side down
aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #5, the seam.

Place glue at patch #3.

Flip fabric #3 open and finger press
the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #6, the tackdown.

Place glue at the seam for fabric #4
as shown in blue.

Place fabric #4, right side down,
aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline.

Stitch Color #7, the seam.

 

Place glue at patch #4 as shown in
blue.

Flip fabric #4 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #8, the tackdown.

Place glue at the seam for fabric #5 as shown in blue.

Place patch #5 – right side down aligning the raw edge with the stitched outline. Stitch Color #9, the seam.

Place glue at fabric #5 as shown in blue.

Flip fabric #5 open and finger press the seam. Smooth the fabric and stitch Color #10, the tackdown.

Quilting the Block

Stitch colors #11, 12 and 13, the quilting elements.

Congratulations your On Point block is complete!

 For information on the Monster Block Maker click the image below.



Ramping Up

I have been spending the last few weeks ramping up for a great 2019 and it has totally consumed my time.  In February, we are celebrating National Embroidery Month by partnering with Baby Lock and fellow embroiderers to bring you a blog tour based on quilting with your embroidery machine.  If you’re a frequent visitor here, then you know I love to quilt with my embroidery machine. So I’m really pumped to see what the other bloggers will create!  You’ll learn more about that on February 1st.

My friends over at Nancy Zieman Productions are hosting a giveaway on my Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons book during the month of January. 

You’ll find everything you need to know about
quilting with your embroidery machine in this book.

Stop by Nancy’s blog and leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.  One of my favorite tips in that book is using pool noodles to baste a quilt.  Yesterday, I basted a whole cloth quilt in under an hour with the pool noodle technique. So much fun!

Pool noodles to the rescue!

In 2019, you’ll find a new block of the month quilt and you will be able to download all of the embroidery designs for piecing and quilting in the hoop!  Look for the first block in the coming weeks here on the blog.  

I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule this weekend.  I hope you had a great holiday and I wish you good health and happiness in 2019.

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 10 Tulip Time – Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month : Block 10 Tulip Time
Sewing Instructions

Block 10, Tulip Time, is a four-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. As you know, My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the four units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance. In the software instructions for Block 10, we merged the four separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides for each of the four units into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Block 10 Tulip Time design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for all four units.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1.Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patches 1, 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown.

Place patch 1 fabric of Unit 2, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 7, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of Unit 2, right side down, over patch 1. Stitch color 8, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and stitch color 9, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 10, the seam of patches 1, 2 and 3.

Flip patch 3 open and stitch color 11, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2. Stitch color 12, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 13, the tackdown.

Place patch 5 fabric, right side up, over patch 4. Stitch color 14, the seam of patches 4 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 15, the tackdown.

Place patch 6 fabric of Unit 2, right side down, over patch 4, 1 and 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 16, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 17, the tackdown.

Place patch 7 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 6. Stitch color 18, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 19, the tackdown.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 3, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 3, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 21, the seam of patches 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 22, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric of unit 3, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 23, the seam of patches 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 24, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 25, the seam. Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 26, the tackdown.

Place patch 5, right side down, over patch 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 27, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color28, the tackdown. Unit 3 is complete.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 4, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 29, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 30, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 31, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 32, the seam of patches 1, 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 33, the tackdown.

Remove the block from the hoop. Trim the units on the outer stitched line. Sew the units together at the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

Float Your Quilt Block, Part 2


Update/Correction:  The video the batting is cut to the same size as the front and back fabric – the batting should be smaller and fit within the hole in the block maker, only the front and back fabric should get stuck to the tape!  


Last Saturday’s blog showcased how to use the Monster Block Maker with one of the included embroidery designs.  This post is an expansion to last Saturday’s blog. This time, we will create a quilt block using software.

This exercise uses Perfect Embroidery Pro with My Quilt Embellisher to create the quilt block.


  1. Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro.
  2. Using the art tools, create a 4.8” square.

  1. Right click on the square. Click Convert To / Run.

  1. Change the stitch length to 4.8 mm. Click Apply.
  2. Click on the arrow underneath the My Quilt Embellisher Icon on the right side of screen. Select Embellishments.
  3. A new window will appear. Click on Butterfly.  Click the second image, Embellishments 10_Circle.
  4. Your block will look similar to the image below.
  5. Select the first outline.
  6. Right click. Select Utility.  Create Outline.

  1. Leave the default .08. Click Ok.
  2. The image will look similar to the one shown.
  3. Select the new outline. Right click.  Select Utility.  Create Outline.  Keep the default .08.
  4. The design should look similar to the one shown.
  5. Select both artwork outlines. Right click.  Select Convert To / Run.
  6. Select the second element in the design as shown. This is artwork.  Right click.  Select Convert To / Run.
  7. Rearrange the thread sequence so that the butterfly section stitches second, followed by the outline stitches.
  8. I like using different colors, so I selected different thread colors for each of my outlines. Change the thread colors as you wish.

 

Follow the directions included with the Monster Block Maker to prepare the template with double sided adhesive tape.  Watch the short video clip to see the steps where I made the quilt sandwich.  The double sided adhesive tape lasts for multiple blocks.  (hence my tape looks a wee bit messy, but it does keep the fabric secure).  Once the tape loses its stickiness just change the tape.

The next video shows the the outline being stitched.  This step secures the quilt sandwich.

Here’s the finished block.

Remove the block from the Monster Block Maker template.

Here’s a look at the finished trimmed block.

 


Additional Resources:

An Introduction to Floating Your Quilt Block

Single Needle Machines

Mult-Needle Machine 

 

 

 

Stitching Pumpkins

The Dallas Arboretum has transitioned from their summer floral display to an eye-catching display of pumpkins and gourds.  All the stores are stocked with pumpkin decorations.  The coffee shops even have fall colors in their window displays.  With all the pumpkins popping up everywhere, I thought it would be gourd to join in! 😉


Our newest quilting collection, Pumpkin Parade, makes it easy to join in the festivities by making fall décor.  But before I started, I decided to set up a few rules.

Rule 1.  Stay focused.  (ha!)  By that I mean I decided to start and finish one project at a time.  I usually like to start multiple projects and I get so overwhelmed that I don’t finish them!  This also motivated me to get the current project finished so I could swiftly move on to my next great experiment.

Rule 2.  Minimize the number of variables.  One of my favorite activities is to take one design and see how many variations I can make with it.  Sometimes the variations are created in software. Other times, I have fun with fabric and thread color selection.  For this project, I decided the primary variable would be fabric and thread color.  (Though I did use two different pumpkin designs).

Rule 3.  Keep the project manageable in size.  Sure, I could stitch an entire quilt—or two—or three but I do need to sleep and I wanted to be sure I could finish them in a day or two.  The advantage of the small centerpieces:  I can give them as gifts to friends, family and coworkers.  The way I like to experiment, I may have enough for an entire neighborhood by the end of the week!

Rule 4.  Have fun and don’t be overly critical!  I read a comment recently on a social media platform from someone who was seeking advice on where and how to start a project.  Her desire for perfection seemed to be holding her back before she could even begin a project.  It can be especially disheartening when social media and photo editing makes it possible to present the best, most pristine and flawless representation of ourselves and our work.  But there’s also reality.  And in my reality, my binding is not impeccable on my quilts.  I try really hard.  But I’m still learning!  And that’s the point.  We have to stay focused on improving our skills and not be so critical of our work that we become immobile.

Denise carefully attaches binding. She’s hopeful. She’s confident. She’s determined to get the job done!

Enough about the rules, let’s take a look at my gourd-ous shenanigans I completed in 2 days.  😊


Centerpiece 1:  Youthful!

I rummaged through my fabric and found the orange print.  The downside, I only had scraps.  I decided to make the best of my supplies by making a 4-patch block.  I added a coordinating green fabric to make the centerpiece larger.

Once the top was complete, I made a quilt sandwich and hooped the project using Snap Hoop Monster.  Then it occurred to me I needed to center the design within the block.  No problem!  I used the handy Centering Ruler from the Embroidery Tool Kit to find the center of the block.  I placed a target sticker in the hole.  Then I made sure the needle hit the center of the target sticker.  Moments like these make having the right tools indispensable.

I chose an orange thread color for the pumpkin quilting design and used the stitch-in-the-ditch method for the busy prints.  My coworker, Sam, commented that he likes the difference in the busy prints.  One print is large scale while the other is a smaller scale.  Until he mentioned it, I hadn’t noticed.  Sometimes I can get so focused I miss certain elements!

Centerpiece 2:  Fall Harvest with a Touch of Blue!

I continued rummaging through my fabric and found small scraps of the beautiful blue print fabric.

It’s so delicious, I had to use it.  It’s also not what we might expect for a fall harvest but that’s why I love it!   I chose a brown thread color for the quilt designs. The brown thread coordinates well with the print.

Centerpiece 3:  Royalty!

I used a delicious batik fabric and a rich purple.

The tan thread color was influenced by the batik fabric.  This sample received a lot of attention when I paraded it around the office.  I suppose we all identify with royalty!  😉

I had an absolute blast making these centerpieces and am sad to see this blog post end.

Which version do you like best?  What other color scheme would you want to see?

 


Given my affinity for this collection, now’s a good time to mention we are offering free shipping on US orders.  I’ve extended the offer to October 5th.  Or give us a call during business hours:  888-739-0555 (8 am – 5 pm CDT).

 

 

An introduction to floating your quilt block

A song popped in to my mind the first time I used the Monster Block Maker.  The block was “floating” at the machine and I found myself singing quietly to myself: “It floats through the air with the greatest of ease…”


While it’s certainly novel, you might be wondering, why would you want to float a quilt block?  The answer:  You’ll save fabric and batting!

The Monster Block Maker is designed to work with the 8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster.  It is available for single needle and multi-needle machines.  The kit includes:

  • 4 reusable plastic templates for 5″, 6″, 7″ and 8″ blocks
  • 60 yards of ¼” wide double stick Monster Block Maker Tape
  • Instructions for how to use the product
  • 12 Downloadable embroidery designs (C2S, PES, JEF formats)

Here’s a look of the product in use:

The photo shows the 5” template attached to the bottom frame of the 8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster frame.  I’ve been using the template for multiple uses (hence the fibers on the double stick tape).  The tape has enough adhesive to still adhere a few more blocks.  Of course, when the tape has lost it’s stickiness, I can peel it away and apply new strips of tape.

The bottom fabric of my quilt sandwich is adhered to the back (underside) of the Monster Block Maker template as shown.

Next, a piece of batting is adhered to the top of the Monster Block Maker template.

Last, the top fabric for the quilt sandwich is placed on top of the batting.

Note, the magnetic frame from the 8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster is not used with this product.

Now it’s time for the embroidery machine!  The first stitch sequence secures the fabric.

Now the machine stitches the decorative elements.

The block is complete.  The hoop has been removed from the embroidery machine.

Now just peel away the block from the Monster Block Maker template.

Trim any excess fabric around the block with a ruler and rotary cutter.

 

For more information on the Monster Block Maker visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.  Two product links available:  Single Needle Machines and Multi-Needle Machines.

 


Update/Correction:  The video the batting is cut to the same size as the front and back fabric – the batting should be smaller and fit within the hole in the block maker, only the front and back fabric should get stuck to the tape!

 

 

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