Category Archives: Quilts

Month 4 Challenge – 3D Designs….

Module4 I used the ‘idea of our challenge’, to create a 6 sided shape from a 2D design to physical 3D construction. I have been wanting to create a bin to take my sewing projects on our 5th Wheel when traveling. I created a six sided shape, however, I wanted it to be sturdy, handle weight and have pockets. I designed a six sided shape that has individual sides, with the addition of 4 outer pockets, decorative grommet openings with web handles, a slip on box lid at the top, and fully lined. I have attached my directions – 5 jpeg images – for my PDF file. I am excited to use it on our next trip!

Project Month 1-3 “Hello Spring”

I always learn so much when stitching out designs. Digitizing the idea is one portion but I also find there is so much learning when doing the stitch out. It helps me identify areas to watch for when digitizing. When I stitched out hooping one, I realized that the spiral was not the correct size nor did it have alternating rows. This taught me to be careful and watch to ensure using the same master design. Watching the decorative stitches also helped me really see the underlay and coverage for my appliqué. I still need to practice (and review the lesson) for ‘points’ on appliqué’ stitching. This gets tricky for me in ‘true view’ – sometimes I am not sure how to adjust. I also want to understand how to prevent my block outlines from stitching, while also allowing my quilting motif to be stitched. While my design is not perfect – I love the learning

2023 Advanced Digitizing Module 3

#Module3 (Deb) Page 1 of document contains 3 examples of motifs I created and how each was used as an outline and fill. Page 2 of the document contains an image of my large spiral motif and how I used the design for my wave project. Page 3 of document contains my 9 hoopings for stitching out my project. Photo 1 is of my planned design, photo 2 is of my multiple hoopings, and photo 3 is my fabrics laid out on my paper plan.

I have been wondering how I wanted to stitch out my project along with how to quilt the project. After realizing my quilting motif was not breaking, I went back to my original month01 notes where I had created texture quilting. I realized I needed to create individual blocks and then fill them with my quilting motif. After making the blocks, rather than filling my full 60 x 16 rectangle, the quilting could be broken for hoopings. Through this process, I finally determined that I will quilt as I go for this project, and the quilting will be stitched first for each hooping.

I chose not to remove stitches under my applique. I allowed for a 1/4 inch seam all around my design. This gave me a quilting and design workspace that is 59.5″ by 15.5″. My largest hoop is 272mm x 408mm. I used a quilting area of 262mm x 398mm. This allowed me to actually hoop my design mostly in portrait columns. If you look at my hooped designs, you will see that I have areas to the right with quilting and areas to the left without quilting shown. The right lets me hoop without breaking my spiral. The next hooping then allows me to apply my appliques over the previous hoopings quilting.

I am using Michael Miller Fairy Frost for my fabrics. To assemble my project: I will cut a piece of backing, batting, and stabilizer all at 61″ x 17″ to allow for shrinkage. I will grid the stabilzer with my 6″ measurements and then stitch these lines. At this time, I would be working left to right with my embroidery and quilting, rather than the center. I have sent all my designs to my embroidery machine. This allowed me to check that the hooping and sizing were accurate and can be stitched out! To finish my project, I will create a separate quilted back to finish the assembly.

I have learned so much from this project and am excited to have a plan!

Sarah Vedeler’s A-Z Machine Embroidery and Quilting

Quilting, using my embroidery machine rather than my longarm, required a bit of research. I also have never free motion quilted on my sewing machine. I chose a longarm to quilt, so this is where my skills and knowledge are for quilting. On the longarm, I always pull my bobbin thread to the top then use 2 micro stitches to secure. This prevents knots on the back of the quilt. Tension on the longarm, intended for quilting, requires the top and bottom balanced so the threads end up in the batting of the finished quilt. Embroidery tension typically is set such that the top thread is pulled to the bottom of a project preventing show through of bobbin thread on the finished front pieces. So what do I do when quilting using embroidery on my embroidery machine?

The main resource I use for machine appliqué’ is Sarah Vedeler’s designs. It is not surprising she also has all the tips for everything from cutting appliqué, machine embroidering, to embroidered quilting around appliqué. A resource I have used for sometime now is Sarah Vedeler’s A-Z Machine Embroidery and Quilting tips. When embroidery quilting, three important steps are necessary to keep the back looking nice too.

The first is getting the tension balanced so the threads meet in the middle and are buried in the batting. Sarah provides, in her Design Packets with quilting, a sample tension design. Using the tension design, you can increase/decrease upper and/or lower tension to achieve the balance so the threads are buried in the batting when embroidery quilting.

The second is pulling the bobbin thread to the top so that it is not knotted on the back. To do this, simply manually turn the handwheel while holding the upper thread taught. This will bring the bobbin thread to the top. Next you can start your stitching. For my machine, I usually let it stitch about 10 stitches, stop, trim the threads tails and then press start again.

The third tip is to turn off jump trimming. Since quilting is only one thread color, I don’t worry about turning off color change trims. There are, however, ‘jump’ stitches, especially when quilting around applique’. I find leaving the jump trim off, prevents a couple of issues. One is preventing the need to rethread the needle and/or bobbin. If I don’t need to rethread, I will not need to pull up bobbin thread and micro stitch.

Currently I am working on my Sarah Vedeler ‘Simply Dreaming’ quilt. I just finished Month 10’s quilting on the month 07 appliqué blocks.

Power Word Workshop

Had the opportunity to attend Sarah Vedeler’s “Power Word” workshop and stitch along with Dr. Jea Arzberger. A two day workshop, we spent the first session learning to identify a word to bring focus and clarity to our individual lives.

The word I chose is ‘courage’

I am a very shy, very private person, so this type of workshop triggers all sorts of anxiety for me. I originally was not going to do the workshop for all the reasons I just mentioned. After much self deliberation and encouragement from my Hubby, I signed up for the class. There were several moments during class I thought I would just leave the meeting – but the content of the meeting, the very topic of moving past the fear, kept me connected.

Covid left me isolated and I know how important human connections are, I chose courage because I want to push beyond my fear (and perfectionism) in order to grow as part of a community.

There is a great article, in the Harvard Review, about finding and practicing courage. The author is Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries. It explores the neuro-science behind courage.

For me, courage is something I work hard to achieve – I am good at blending into situations without standing out. This is why I chose a color for my letters that is more muted. The vibrancy of the threads are intended to remind me to emerge and be more courageous.

I chose the following thread colors for their qualities:

Turquoise symbolism
Turquoise is the color of compassion, calmness, clarity, and communication.

Teal symbolism
Teal is the color of individuality, renewal, morality, and practicality.

Mustard symbolism
Mustard is the color of warmth, creativity, optimism, and diversity.

Red symbolism
Red is the color of action, strength, energy, and passion.

Pink symbolism
Pink is the color of compassion, love, femininity, and playfulness.

Month 02 Challenge…

I learned a lot this month about digitizing and also me as a digitizer. I realized at the very beginning of this month, as a digitizer, I needed to complete my design in Corel and have the outlines/placement lines fully created in Hatch. I needed this to think about and determine the type of cover stitches I will be designing in Hatch and ultimately need to quilt around.

The first thing I did, at Sarah’s recommendation in this month’s class, was rethink my quilting design. It is simplistic but I like how the spirals add to my design. I also realized that it is best to export SVG files from my digitized Hatch placements, rather than Corel Draw because of edits made to improve the design in Hatch. With our stitch sampler and lesson, I now understand how to adjust the cover stitches so each applique is well attached to the backround. I had not thought about adding batting to my applique in the past. I love this affect and tested it with my butterflies in our second sampler this month. I am not sure if I remember correctly how digitized holes work. In my samplers I have stitched outlines for the shapes but not embroidered objects.

In sampler 2 – (my table runner design) – I have tested the different stitch technqiues on the different types of ‘shapes’ in my complete design. I learned an important lesson with this sampler – make sure if you adjust placement on the design that all the placement lines are moved WITH the decorative stitches. If you look at my padded butterly wings you can see my error/learning!

For my full table runner design, only the placement lines are currently digitized in Hatch. I have printed out and taped together my Hatch design. All of the SVG files were exported out of Hatch and were all cut on my scanncut. You can see them laid out on the printed design layout from Hatch. I am ready to start digitizing my full design in Hatch. I am interested to see how we will break the design in Hatch. Reflecting back I would give this month a ‘3’ it was challenging but not overwhelming.

Advanced Digitizing Course

Taking Sarah Vedeler’s 2023 Digitizing Plus course. Have stayed very buzy working on our project: creation of a table runner 60 inches wide by 16 inches tall. In January, we worked on the idea of a large wave created using shapes rather than a solid boundary. I envisioned mine as large leafs.

Month 01: I had a lot of fun playing with shapes, exploring new tools, and brainstorming several ideas. This challenge kept me busy playing around with and remembering the functionalities in Corel. For my design, I saw the wave design as large leaves. I decided to create additional applique for my design, adding a lotus blossom, dragonflies, and butterflies.

I tested several potential ‘fills’ for my wave design both on and off the computer. I used Go dies by Sarah Vedeler to cut sample pieces. I utilized 55414 Heather Feather Border and 55088 Heather Feather #2. I also explored the idea of creating Mosaic tiles. This lead me to remember how to create and place shapes along a path.

I also discovered a new tool – CorelDraw -Pointilizer. This tool provides the ability to apply circles, squares, or custom shapes as a fill. This caused me to remember to use an ‘outline’ to place objects on a path. To create the mosaic design, I needed a ‘shape’ that I could fill with my mosaic design. I went through several different design ideas for my waves before arriving at my final iteration. I added my texture quilting using designs I created for class last year. I am excited to see how this will work when we move to digitizing in Month 2.

For month 02, we were challenged to rethink our quilting, create our cutting files, create our digitized outline in Hatch, and create stitching samplers for applique. Below is the change I made for my quilting around the design.

It took some time to digitize my placement lines, the foundation for applique’ embroidery in Hatch. The best results, when importing to Hatch, were exporting only the objects from Corel (no outlines and no quilting) When imported into Hatch, I used the following steps:

  • Autodigitize – Insert Artwork
  • Artwork – Prepare artwork for embroidery-OK
  • Autodigitize – Click to outline – move cursor over the image bitmap there are two options:
    • If hover over a single shape, will mesh the object, and place an outline around single object
    • If hover over the background, will mesh all background, and create outlines around all of the shapes.
    • When you have made your choice, left click and you will see the outline in the sequence bar. Make sure you have selected – outline-singlerun-2.5mm in object properties.
  • Next, I hid my imported bitmap, and worked on finalizing and fine tuning the outline.
    • Select – outline in sequence window
    • Edit – break apart (this will create the separate objects) You can now move, reshape, etc. for each object.
    • Edit – select/select some/select all – use smooth objects (This feature really cleaned up my feathers. I used it to smooth all of them upto about .9mm)
  • Next, when happy with the placement/outline results, I exported as an SVG for the entire design.
    • I printed and taped together my Hatch placement lines.
    • I imported the SVG into a new Corel file.
    • Then I created my SVG files for cutting on my ScanNCut.
    • I placed my cut pieces on my Hatch placement line printout.
    • I used my standard mat and rotary blade on the scanncut. The fabric was prepared with Best Press and Heat’n Bond Light.

Simply Dreaming outer borders

My outer borders for “Simply Dreaming” are prepped and ready to begin the emboridered quilting.

Part One: basting backing and batting I decided to baste my batting and backing on my longarm. This allowed me to keep the surface even more easily than placing on the floor. Using my channel locks, I quilted the zones using an eight by eight grid.

Part Two: adding quilt top to sandwich After completing part one above, I laid out the back on a large table top surface. Once smooth I laid out the outisde borders to begin squaring. The first thing I did, before squaring and pin basting, was to lay the quilt center and connective border on top. It was satiisfying to see roughly how the whole quilt will look.

Part 3: Squaring and pin basting Having basted my batting and backing, I found I gave myself a bit of an advantage for squaring because I had multiple guidelines for aligning my quilt top. I chuckled when Sarah referred to it as a ‘porcupine’. The pin basting wasn’t bad, however, once it was time fo ‘stitch in the ditch’ to secure, I quickly felt the ‘pocupine quills’ OMG”!!

Part 4: Out comes the center Once the outside borders were throroughly pinned, and measured, it was time to cut out the center of the sandwich. Then finally it was time to stitch in the ditch. Round 1, around the outside. Round 2, around the inner edge. Round 3, the seam between the edge of the cream and green.

Part 5: Clean up before beginning embroidered quilting Once I finished the stitching in the ditch, I needed to remove all my basting stitches from part 1. By the time I was done, the pile of thread looked like a bird’s nest! Next, I used a lint brush to clean up both sides of the outer border. Here it is cleaned up and ready to begin the embroidered quilting.

Stockings finished and shipped off

I finished up my contributions to the community project by creating ‘dream catcher stockings’ for 700 foster children. For me Christmas is about ‘giving’. It means everything to me that these stockings will go to children and young adults who often do not have anything to call their own. In the end I sent 3 big stockings that I designed, digitized, and stitched out for the oldest children graduating out of foster care and into transitional adult housing. For the younger children I made 12 small stockings and 10 large stockings.