Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today's Sewing Project

I am working on a project that will take the next couple weeks to complete.  It is a HoopSisters wall quilt from the Christmas Delights software.  The process of making each block ends with a pieced, quilted and decoratively embroidered block, all done in the hoop of the embroidery machine.  Having been a software person, I appreciate the numerical control that went into creating my machine and the software to run it.  Being a quilter, I am always looking for quilting ways to use my Bernina.  So here's a quick, step by step, to making a HoopSisters block:

To start, I hooped a piece of Battilizer (HoopSisters combo batting/stabilizer) and stitched an outline of the block.  Then the brown fabric is placed and stitched down.  Next, the blue piece is placed rights sides together with the brown, stitched, flipped to the right and tacked down.  This is basically like paper-piecing, for those familiar with that.

Then the second blue sky section was added on the left, then the tree in the middle.  It was placed right sides to the block so far, stitched, flipped up, and stitched again.  I used Aurifil 50wt #2620 grey for the piecing.

Here, I turned on the flash on my simple Panasonic point and shoot.  It was too dark, now it is a bit washed out.  Oh well.  Again, I'm adding a piece of the block right sides together with what is there, stitch, flip and stitch again.

Now you can see the whole block has been pieced, so it's time to place the back of the block on.  I use a temporary adhesive spray (which my husband hates the smell of, sorry Mark) to stick the back of the block on the bottom of the hoop.  You then stitch a basting line around the whole outside of the block.

Now for the fun part.  The embroidery and quilting is done together for this pattern.  Sometimes a pattern will have decorative stitches that are done before you put the back on the block, then the quilting is done after.  But the embroidery acts as the quilting on this block, being stitched through all three layers.

The red and gold tree trimmings are just right.

The tree trunk gets a subtle wave and the sky gets some random snowflakes.  Perfect!

The pattern suggested metallic thread for the snowflakes but I didn't have any white.  I used Isacord 40 wt Poly for my embroidery threads.

I have four tree blocks to make, and sixteen other blocks.  I'll share the others another day.  And the assembly of finished blocks will be the final step. Don't worry, it's easy!

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What shall I sew today?

I have recently become interested in all the blogs out there, and decided to have my own.  I am a new owner of a Bernina 830 and have promised myself that I will sew every day.  Sometimes what I am doing may be of interest to you.  I hope to share tips and techniques, and occasional tutorials. Let's have fun sewing!

Yesterday, I decided to start making simple gifts that I can keep on hand.  I've purchased a monthly embroidery design collection from Masterpiece Embroidery since I found them in December.  Each month you get 30+ designs from a group of designers. I found the website because I test designs for Sew Weird Designs. Some months, Erina's Designs has provided two FSL (free standing lace) bookmarks.  I have very little experience with FSL but these designs look easy. Actually, they are great because the white stitches for a while, then I change to a colored thread for the design.  I can start it going and keep working at my computer.  Notice the Aurifil spool of 40 wt cotton? I wanted to give the look and feel of hand crocheted work.  It's pretty good.  Using cotton thread for embroidery sure creates a lot of lint.  I've been cleaning between each bookmark.  I'm sewing on an OESD Aquamesh wash away stabilizer. I am also using a 14 embroidery needle because of the weight of the thread.  I love Auriful thread! It sews like a dream.  I buy another spool any time I see it.

Please comment and tell me what your experience is with FSL.  I'll give a bookmark away to someone who comments with a random drawing on August 31st.

What shall I sew today?