Archive of ‘Quilting’ category

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!

 

 

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 9 – Around the Block Software Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month : Block 9 Around the Block
Software Instructions
By Nancy Stansbury

This ongoing Block of the Month series was designed to inspire you to learn new techniques using My Block Piecer.  As a reminder, the first Saturday of every month will feature the software lesson using My Block Piecer.  The following Wednesday will feature the sewing lesson.

  • You are free to adapt the block to a size of your preference.
  • A free trial of My Block Piecer is available if you’d like to try it before you buy it.  Note the “Save” feature is deactivated until the software is purchased.
  • Interested in learning more about My Block Piecer and other Inspirations Software?  Join us at an Inspirations Event.  Click the Events link for events near you.
  • If you’re late to the Block of the Month “party” have no fear!  Start with Block 9.

Let’s continue the journey of learning and creativity!


  1. Open MBP.
  2. Click on Create a New Design.
  3. If the units for the ruler on the design page show mm, Right Click on either one of the rulers on the Design Page, and Click on Inches.
  4. Right Click on either ruler again and click on Grid Settings.
    1. Check marks by:
      1. Maintain aspect ratio.
      2. Snap to grid.
    2. Set Horizontal spacing to 0.25.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click on the Block Icon.

    1. Enter Around the Block #2 in the Find box at the bottom of the window (DO NOT CLICK THE ENTER KEY).
    2. Click on the Down green arrow.
    3. Click OK to place the block on the design page.
  6. In the Properties Window on the right side of the screen click on the Transform icon.
    1. Have Maintain aspect ratio checked.
    2. Change the Width to 6.
    3. Click Apply.
  7. Click on the Reorder icon.
    1. Click on each patch as numbered below. Do not need to number the lower row as it is identical to the first row and just rotated 180 degrees.
    2. Right Click to end the numbering. The numbers will disappear but the numbering is still there.
  8. Click on the Select icon and draw a box around the top row (patches 1 through 7).
  9. Click on the Workflow icon.

    1. Select a 200mm x 200 mm hoop or similar for your machine.
    2. Click the Auto Build button. The patches are in more than one unit, so the embroidery needs to be manually created.
    3. Right Click in the window on the right side (with the numbers) and Click Reset.
    4. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.

      1. Right Click and Group.
      2. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      3. Right click and group.
      4. Repeat ii and iii for patches 4 – 6.
      5. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
  10. Click Preview.
  11. Click Save.
    1. Click on Create a New Folder icon and name it Block 10.
    2. Double Click on the folder to open it.
    3. In the File name box enter Around_The_BlockA.
    4. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    5. Click Save.
    6. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Around_The_BlockA_001.c2s.
      2. Around_The_BlockA _artwork.c2s.
      3. Around_The_BlockA _preview.pdf.
    7. Close the file window.
    8. Close the Save window.
  12. Click on the Select icon and draw a box the patches 8-13.
  13. Click on the Workflow icon.

    1. The numbers have been changed to 1-6.
    2. Click the Auto Build button. If there is only one unit go to Step 14.
    3. Right Click in the window on the right side (with the numbers) and Click Reset.
    4. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on the 1 and 2.
      1. Right Click and Group.
      2. Holding down the CTRL Key, Click on unit and 3.
      3. Right click and group.
      4. Repeat ii and iii for patch 4 and 5.
      5. DO NOT CLICK AND GROUP THE LAST NUMBER.
      6. Go to Step 15.
  14. Click Sort Numbers.
    1. Click Yes to update piece numbers.
  15. Click Preview.
  16. Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter Around_The_BlockB.
    2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    3. Click Save.
    4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Around_The_BlockB_001.c2s.
      2. Around_The_BlockB _artwork.c2s.
      3. Around_The_BlockB _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.
  17. Click on the Select icon and draw a box the patches 14-18.
  18. Click on the Workflow icon.

    1. The numbers have been changed to 1-5.
    2. Click the Auto Build button.
    3. Click Sort numbers.
    4. Click Yes to update piece numbers.
  19. Click Preview.
  20. Click Save.
    1. In the File name box enter Around_The_BlockC.
    2. Save as type select Inspiration Series (C2S).
    3. Click Save.
    4. A window will open showing you the files that have been created.
      1. Around_The_BlockC_001.c2s.
      2. Around_The_BlockC _artwork.c2s.
      3. Around_The_BlockC _preview.pdf.
    5. Close the file window.
    6. Close the Save window.
  21. Click the Select icon and draw a box around the entire block.
  22. Click the Cutter icon.

    1. Seam allowance default is .25”. Normally I change this to 0.4” or 0.5”, to make it easier to place the fabric pieces no matter which output format I choose.
    2. How you are going create the fabric pieces for the block, will determine which file format (hoop) to choose for the templates.
      1. If going to print the templates, and use them to manually cut the fabric pieces, select the Paper Letter 210×279.
      2. If going to use the Scan and Cut, select Brother SCN 12x12”.
    3. If going to use the Silhouette, select Silhouette 12x12”.Can Unclick Optimize Orientation if using a directional fabric (This will optimize how the pieces file on the paper.)
    4. Click Apply.
    5. Click Save.
      1. In File name enter Around_The_Block Templates.
      2. Click Save and select the proper format for your cutting device.
      3. The Following Files have been created.
        1. Around_The_Block templates.
        2. Around_The_Block templates_preview.pdf.
      4. Close the files window.
      5. Close the Cutter window.
  23. Click on Create a New Design.Note: When using the Merge to open a file, SAVE is actually a SAVE AS and the original file is not overwritten.
  24. Click on the Hoop icon and choose a 200mmx200mm or similar hoop for your machine.
  25. Click File, Merge.
    1. Locate the file. Around_The_BlockA_001.c2s.
    2. Move to top of hoop.
    3. Click Copy, Paste.
    4. In the Properties window.
      1. Click on Transform tab and rotate 180 degrees.
      2. Click Apply.
    5. Move to the bottom of the hoop.
    6. Click File, Merge.
    7. Locate the file Around_The_BlockB_001.c2s.
    8. Move to middle and left side of the hoop.
    9. Click File, Merge.
    10. Locate the file Around_The_BlockC_001.c2s.
    11. Place on the right in the middle of the hoop.
  26. Stitch all placement stitches at one time.
    1. CTRL-A or draw a box around all of the designs.
    2. Click UnGroup.
    3. In the Sequence Window move the second set of placement stitches up to the top of the window.

    4. Repeat for the other two sets of placement stitches.
  27. Click File, Save As.
    1. In the name field enter Around_The_Block.
    2. In the Save as type select the format for your specific machine.
    3. Click Save.
  28. Print the templates, or prepare your fabric and send the templates to your cutter.
  29. Load the design/designs onto your machine stitch the pieces for the block.
  30. Manually sew the pieces together to make the block.

 

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 9 – Around the Block Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 9 Around the Block
Sewing Instructions

Block 9, Around the Block, 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 9, 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 9 Around the Block 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 4 fabric, right side down over patch 1. Stitch color 7, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tackdown

Place patch 5 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam of patches 1, 4 and 5.

Flip patch 5 open and stitch color 10, the tackdown.

Place patch 6 fabric, right side down, over patches 2 and 4. Stitch color 11, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 12, the tackdown.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1, in the next unit (top of the block in my design). Stitch color 13, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 14, the seam of patches 1 and 2.

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

Place patch 3 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 1 and 2. Stitch color 16, the seam.

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

Place patch 4 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 18, the seam of patches 3 and 4.

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

Place patch 5 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 20, the seam of patches 1 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 21, the tackdown.

Place patch 6 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patches 1 and 5, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 22, the seam of patches 1, 5 and 6.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 23, the tackdown.

Place patch 7 fabric, right side down, over patch 6, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 24, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 25, the tackdown. Unit 2 is complete.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 3, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 26, the tackdown.

Repeat the steps above to complete unit 3.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 4, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 39, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 4, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 40, the seam of patches 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 41, the tackdown. Place patch 3 fabric of unit 4, right side up over patch 1 and 2. Stitch color 42, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 43, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric of unit 4, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 44, the seam of patches 1 and 4.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 45, the tackdown.

Place patch 5 fabric of unit 4, right side down, over patches 1 and 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 46, the seam of patches 1, 4 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 47, 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

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 8 – Butterfly Tail – Sewing

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 8 Butterfly Tail
Sewing Instructions

Block 8, Nine Patch Star, is a three-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 three 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 8, we merged the three separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides for each of the three units into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Block 7 Butterfly Tail design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for all three 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 patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patch 2 and 3.

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

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 3, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 7, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 3, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 8, the seam of patches 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 9, the tackdown.

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

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 11, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric of unit 3, right side down, over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 12, the seam of patches 3 and 4.

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

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 2, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 14, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 15, the seam of patches 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 16, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 17, the seam of patches 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 18, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric of unit 2, right side down, over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 19, the seam of patches 3 and 4.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Remove the units from the hoop and trim on the outer lines. Stitch the units together with the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

 

 

What’s Your Favorite Flavor?

A few weeks ago, I shared some tips on digitizing circles in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can read how to digitize round circles, not oval by clicking here.  In that post, I showed a couple of tight shots of a work in progress.  Now I can show you the whole project – Stipple! Sprinkles since it’s available now with free shipping.

I had so much fun designing this quilt. It brought back many happy childhood memories. Growing up in a seashore resort, we had many ice cream choices in the summer months.  Our little 5-mile long island in South Jersey was sprinkled with ice cream stores – from the north to the south and the beach to the bay. 

My mom would fill her station wagon with whatever daughters, (there were six of us), cousins and friends were in the house. Of course, this was before, ahem, seat belts! You really could load eight or more small children in a station wagon – we survived.

She would take us to her favorite spot – Titleman’s Ice Cream – and let us order whatever our hearts desired.  To a child, it was a huge treat – the menu board offered so many choices.  And it was fun to read it aloud to the younger siblings who didn’t read yet. I can still see the yellow neon lights of the stand and Mr. Titleman’s gleaming white work pants and t-shirt.  He worked hard – making fresh ice cream every day.

Today, when I scoop ice cream, I think of those summer days. I think of the joy a scoop of ice cream can bring to a child’s face.  I also think of how sharing ice cream makes you feel. There’s something unifying about sitting across a table and enjoying a cold, creamy treat.  It’s different than sharing a meal – the formality melts away – it’s just shear pleasure. And it’s brief – it only lasts a little while.  Whether you are licking a cone or scooping a dish, ice cream brings smiles.

You can imagine the fun I had while I was digitizing this new collection.  My first thought was to make the quilt on blue fabric.  Blue is always a winner in my book but i was disappointed at the first couple of blocks.

So I switched gears and picked out some yummy fabrics for the appliques and a plain white background.  After surveying my selections, it dawned on me that I should ‘sprinkle’ color on the white background. That’s when the embroidered sprinkles were born! Adding the embroidered sprinkles to the white fabric was the key to success- it let me match my thread to my fabric colors.

Today, I’m more of a chocolate chip fan. How about you, what’s your favorite flavor? Are you a vanilla, strawberry, butter pecan or rocky road fan?  Or maybe you love gelato?  Possibly you like sherbet like I did when I was a child.  Share your favorite flavor and you could win a copy of Stipple Sprinkles!

Texture, Texture, Texture

It’s National Quilting Day so I decided to revisit some quilting designs I digitized several years ago for a shower gift for my niece.  When I looked at the one of the quilting designs on my screen, I was not very impressed. It just a bunch of jagged lines!

I wondered what I was thinking when I digitized this design.  Then I dug around to find a few photos of the quilt. 

Ahhh, I remembered how the texture was the star of the quilt.  

Those jagged lines really popped in the negative space.  I think I’m going to have to incorporate these quilting designs into a new project. Wouldn’t they look great on tree bark? What other elements would they look go on? Fire, maybe? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Design the Block, then the Quilt

Quilt blocks don’t stand alone so when designing the quilting for a block, remember the block is just part of a whole.  Use digital tools to duplicate the blocks so you can envision the whole quilt.

Open a new screen in My Quilt Embellisher.  Click on the Block icon and select Curved Blocks/Curved Blocks-Misc/ Hands All Around.  

 

The block appears on the screen. 

When designing the quilting for one block, it’s important to imagine what it will look like when multiple blocks are pieced together.  

Work on the individual block first.  Then copy your finished work to see the whole quilt. I used the Contour feature to fill the diamonds in each corner. 

The Texture tool (#144) added the pebbles in each curved patch. 

Stipple (Hilbert) filled the remaining areas. 

When I looked at the whole block, I was pleased. 

After changing the color of the stippling, I felt the shape in the center was lacking interest. 

I used the Contour tool again to create a focal point in the enter of the block. 

When viewed in a traditional layout, the quilting is quite appealing. 

The next step is to view the stitching in redraw and make any necessary changes.  Then test the block on scrap fabric -I usually stitch the design in contrasting thread on felt.  Watch for consistent stitch lengths, unnecessary color changes and registrations.  Make changes on the file and save under a new name.  Test again.  As you test, keep in mind quilting adds texture to a block and enhances the block design.  On the actual quilt, you’ll probably use a thread to blend with the fabric so the stitches will not take center stage.  It’s also important to remember to leave some space for the batting to breathe. Texture is created by crushing (with stitches) some of the batting and leave some areas open.  My Quilt Embellisher gives you all the tools you need to make stunning blocks!

 

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