For 2012, the name of the game is Quilt Embroidery! Well, it is for me at least. While I am an accomplished quilter, the ease that the embroidery machine adds is a wonder to behold.
When making quilts, there are many techniques to learn, from simple patchwork to intricate appliqué. Foundation piecing and English paper piecing are also interesting ways to create quilts. What is even more interesting is that all types of quilting can also be created in the hoop with machine embroidery quilt designs!
Quilt embroidery is quite the rage right now. I’ve had lots of fun with foundation piecing, which would normally be done on a paper or muslin foundation. Creating these types of blocks simply takes a bit of spare stabilizer, which is quite economical. Simple blocks like Rail Fence or Sunshine and Shadows are great blocks for beginners.
The first embroidery quilting designs I had ever seen were simple appliqué shapes like squares. This type of quilt embroidery makes it super easy to complete the intricate Grandmother’s Flower Garden with hexagons and diamonds, which is normally done with the English paper piecing technique, or the very traditional Dresden Fan or Dresden Plate with petals and circles. Having my own choice of fabrics and thread colors makes sure that each of my quilt blocks is unique!
Of course, we can’t forget the beautiful quilting stitches that hold the quilt itself together! There are many fabulous embroidery quilting designs available to add intricate feather designs, fun florals, and elegant center motifs.
Honestly, the options are endless with quilt embroidery! I can stitch a beautiful machine embroidery design on plain pieces of fabric and then stitch them into a quilt. I can stitch small designs onto pieced or appliquéd blocks within my quilt. I even create complete blocks in the hoop! Once my quilt is sandwiched together, I can use embroidery to finish the artistry! That is quite a bit of versatility from one machine!
It’s quite easy to begin to do quilt embroidery. It doesn’t require any special quilting supplies and we all have a variety of stabilizers to experiment with. For piecing in the hoop, it is helpful to have one of the wand-style mini irons, and a bit of glue stick can work miracles. Because only small scraps of fabric are needed, we don’t even need to worry about that!
This year, I will be using machine embroidery to add the final decorative quilting stitches to several quilt tops that I’ve put together over the years. Using embroidery quilting designs is so much easier than trying to create these beautiful, intricate designs with regular sewing. Even my long-arm quilting machine isn’t as easy!
The best part of finishing my quilts this way is that I do not need to use any additional stabilizers. The quilt sandwich (back, batting, quilt top) provide enough stability that it just isn’t needed. However, if I want to float my quilt sandwich, I will hoop a layer of sticky-backed water soluble stabilizer and then simply stick the quilt top to it instead of hooping the quilt. Both methods are equally easy, efficient and enjoyable.
If you haven’t yet given embroidery quilting a try, what are you waiting for? Why not join me in making 2012 the Year of Quilt Embroidery? You’ll be glad you did!