Digitizing and Embroidery with my Favorite Things

Hi everyone.  As you probably have noticed, I have not posted in quite some time.  Life can sometimes take over and you have to choose your priorities.

I have been working hard though, so I have lots of information to share with you over the next few weeks.  I have been busy digitizing  a lot of machine embroidered appliques which can be purchased on my website soon.  I wanted to share with you my favorite notions and products and the stitching process of my machine embroidered appliques.  Some posts on digitizing with Bernina’s Designer Plus Software are in the works for posting as well.

Since I digitize my own designs, I have my computer close by with my all time favorite software,  Bernina Designer Plus Version 6.  This software is so powerful and gives you creative capabilities that are amazing.  This software is not just for Berninas and is used by many who own other brands of machines.  In my opinion,  it is the very best.  By the way, if you own or plan to own Designer Plus, the very best book that you can purchase to help you learn the abilities of this software can by found on http://www.creativesewing.com.

And, of course, my Bernina 830 sewing and embroidery machine which by itself,  will knock your socks off.  This particular weekend, my friend Gina trusted me with her 830 so I could get a lot of blocks finished for the quilt I am doing.  You might think that was a good thing,  but now,  after having two 830’s running, I am obsessed with having two of my own.

119

122

I am in love with my Koala Quilt Pro IV sewing center.  The drawers and storage of this center are to die for.  The swing outs are perfect for my computer on one side and tools and such on the other.  I love having my computer close by the machine for making corrections to the designs I have created while I stitch them out.  I stitch my designs many times to make sure they are as close to perfect as I can get them.

Add a nice cup of hot tea on my mug rug and a few bites of candy and I’m sitting pretty.  My friend Belvalee made the mug rug and also the tea carrier which holds several tea bags .  Perfect for your purse.  I think it was made for charge cards, but it”s also handy for tea or coffee packs.

I have two cutting tools that are a must when machine embroidering my applique designs.  My Gingher Double Curved 6 inch embroidery scissors and my Side Hopper Jump Stitch Scissors.

125©KathyDrewDesigns

Those little Jump Stitch Scissors are amazing.  In my future posts,  you will see how I position them to get the perfect snipping of tiny thread tails.  They snip threads so close to your fabric you will be amazed.

I use my Gingher scissors for trimming the excess applique fabric away after the machine tacks it in place.  They cut close to the stitching which is so important in achieving neat and good results to your applique.  Leaving too much fabric extending from the tacking stitch will cause frayed fabric edges in your final stitching because the stitch cannot cover the edges of the fabric.  If you cannot find the scissors in your area, visit my friend Gina on her website http://www.ginasbernina.com and contact her for purchase and shipping.

I also love my Jumbo Hoop for creating large embroidery designs for my quilt blocks.  This embroidery measures 10.5 inches square.  Perfect for a twelve inch block, or a larger block with room for decorative quilting.  I also have embroidered quilting designs available on my site, http://www.kathydrewquiltingandembroidery.com.

That’s it for today’s post.  Future posts will include more of  the tools and products I use,  but more importantly, the stitching process of my embroidered appliques.

Let me know if  these planned future posts are going to be of interest to you and feel to ask any questions you may have or things you would like me to include.

See you at my next post.

Advertisements

The Shop Hop Quilt

Once upon a time, (actually 4 or 5 years ago) there was a Shop Hop.  And with that Shop Hop,  there was a quilt block that all the shops were to use to create a quilt.  Each shop had the same block and were free to use the block in what ever design we chose.

 

For our shop,  several of the girls worked on the quilt that Jessica had designed.  The block was constructed in various color ways and Jessica chose several  appliques from McKenna Ryan’s beautiful patterns to enhance the border.  The quilt was looking very nice.  The colors were bright and cheerful,  but the quilt  was also becoming VERY- VERY Large !  Oh, we all had good intentions.  We were planning on filling the border with tons of McKenna’s appliques but, as is always the case,  we just ran out of time.   The border was extremely wide,  and well…………it was  a little empty.   But, not to worry.   We can quilt something really fabulous to fill it up.  Right?   Wrong!!!!

Oh, no.  Now that would just be too easy!  I have to decide to go and get all creative and create hours of work for myself.   And, did I mention that it was just a few days till the opening of The Shop Hop.  Isn’t that the way it always goes.  You always get your best ideas when you’re in a crunch.    I don’t know about you, but I think I do my best work when I’m in a state of complete panick.

Now, while you are reading and looking at the pics,  (which were taken before the gift of the good camera I’m afraid,  be sure and think about the mess I made in “My Room” and all the fun I had making it.

There were quite a few appliques in the lower border,  but  just not enough to fill it up.  You can see there is a  large clam, along with fish and the sea-horse,  several  sea shells and star fish, different appliques of coral and sponge,  a few little Nemo’s and seaweed in various colors here or there.  The bottom of the quilt had the most appliques, but still it was just a little empty, and as you went up the sides of the quilt toward the top, the appliques became fewer.

It really needed a little something to connect it all together, so I put on my thinking cap  and then it hit me.  “Snippets”!  I remembered the technique called ” Snippets”.

Well, just let me tell you that the creative juices started flowing and I never looked back.  I grabbed any and all fabric scraps of anything and everything I could find.  I randomly  and with complete abandon, cut it all up into tiny little nuggets.   I threw all those pieces in a bag and went crazy adding  snips of every thread in every color I could find that would compliment the quilt.  I added metallic threads in different colors, variegated threads, solid color threads of all types and of course Ricky Tim’s Razzle Dazzle, some Halo  and anything else I could find that wasn’t already stitched to something or holding something together.  After looking at my collection  in the bag, I closed my eyes and gave it a few shakes.  I looked inside and low and behold, I had created a concoction that just might work as the ocean floor.

Now, the quilt was already loaded on the machine, wouldn’t you know it, so I just sprinkled and spread all those snippets where ever there were empty spaces, held my breath and stitched it with the longarm and some metallic thread.  I blew away the excess snippets  with compressed air, (hence the mess in “My Room” ) and continued on.

All in all,  it looked pretty good, but needed  a little height and color in places.  I cut long wavy edged strips of various lengths and colors of fabric and free form appliqued them in place with my longarm.  It still needed more, but I couldn’t quite decide what to do.

Paint!  I’m going to paint.  I had tons of paint that I had bought at a quilt show from a vendor and if I’m not mistaken, it was fabric paint.  So with paint brush in hand, and no earthly idea what I was going to do,  I started painting.  I added green sea weed with gold highlights , and random dabs of  maroon and gold metallic paint to fill in.

And then it happened.   I wanted to paint fish and sea horses  and well, I got a little carried away.  So just let me show the pictures.

Wasn’t that little puff fish applique cute?

Yep, I painted those sea horses!

Jessica wanted a fish bowl in the middle where she had applqued some adorable fish.  I had some netting, so I laid it over the fish and using my longarm, I stitched a circle.  I trimmed the excess netting close to the stitch and still using my longarm, I added a satin stitch around the edge.  Now, that took some time!   A piece of batik was added to the top and bottom in the same manner as the net.   I added different colors of stones and beads behind the net and to hold the net down, I did some wavy satin stitched lines thru all the layers.

And after all that, I finally did some quilting.

The quilt was finished the morning of the opening day of The Shop Hop, and Jessica and I had just finished hanging it when the doors opened.

Little Girl and Little Boy Quacker Quilts

Finally, after all this time, I have taken some pics of the quilts I finished from my two design CDs , Little Boy Quackers and Little Girl Quackers.  These were so much fun to do.  Things for children are always such a pleasure and seem to bring a smile to your face.

I have added the appliques to my website, www.kathydrewquiltingandembroidery.com and you can purchase them as a downloadable set or purchase the indivicual designs as you wish.

The background white fabric on both quilts was cotton peti-pointe pique, which you can purchase from Ginas Bernina here in Knoxville if you can’t find it in your area.  I love the texture of the fabric and the appliques stitched out  beautifully on it.

The appliques are digitized for the embroidery machine and are sewn in the hoop.  On the Little Girl Quacker Quilt, I used some hand dyed fabrics for the appliques and I had a batik that worked beautifully for the sashing and binding.    I like to add So Sheer Interfacing to the wrong side of my applique fabrics to give them some extra body and also to prevent shadowing if parts are positioned over others.  I used Isacord Thread in a size 75 embroidery needle and 60 wt cotton bobbin thread.  You could substitute 60 wt cotton in colors for the needle if you prefer and I digitized the designs with those two thread weights in mind.  When embroidering on woven fabrics, I prefer to use a lightweight tear away stabilizer.  I always use two layers and increase the number of layers according to the thread count of the fabric and the design.  As those factors increase, I add more layers of stabilizer to prevent puckering.

Each design was embroidered on fabric then cut to the block size.  The quilt top was then assembled and quilted free form on my Bernina 830 sewing machine.

The Little Boy Quacker Quilt was done in the same way using various different types of fabric.  I just love my Little Sailor Duck.  He is one of my favorites although I think they are all really kinda special.

 

Don’t hesitate to use these appliques on knits for clothing and they are also adorable on baby blankets.  Be careful though. These Little Quackers are addictive!

Applique on the Embroidery Machine

Hi Everyone.

Just wanted to let you know that I have added a couple of pages to my blog.  One page is Embroidery Techniques and the other is Quilting Techniques.

I just finished adding some instructions with photos of the  process of Applique with the Embroidery Unit of your Machine.  These instructions can be found on the Embroidery Technique page and will  show the different steps in stitching .  I hope you find them helpful and feel free to post any questions  you may have.

 

Co-ordinating Sailboat Applique/copyright 2011

Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit.

I have been very busy working on a few more embroidery design CDs.  I am trying to finish some of the designs that I have created for children before I move on to my adult oriented appliques for quilts.  I am also digitizing some of the many quilt designs that I have drawn and used  on my customers quilts over the last ten years.  These designs will also be accomplished with  a home embroidery machine and will hopefully help  some UFO’s get finished.  (not that we have any of those)

I’ve almost finished the digitizing of my Puddle Duck Appliques and will be starting to make my sample quilts and a few outfits for children.  I thought you might enjoy a little of the process so I will start by showing you some images of the designs.  For each duck I have a coordinating applique to help with designing the quilt blocks for a sweet baby quilt.  I also wanted to include the same designs as a back-stitch only design.  These will look great by themselves, stitched in a solid color like redwork or blue work or my favorite,  stitch in colors and then color with a crayon.  Yes, you heard right.  Color with a crayon.  You can set the crayon into the fabric simply by ironing after coloring. I sometimes color the wrong side just for a different look if the fabric is sheer enough for the color to show.  It’s lots of fun.

 

Here’s a few of the designs.

 

I will be picking out my fabrics Saturday when I go back to Ginas to teach and  I’ll share some of my choices.     I’m thinking white pique for the appliques, with  polka dots, checks, plaids, etc for the sashings and such.  I will probably get in the shop and totally change everything.  You know how we fabric collectors are.  I think I will  stitch out a few of the  appliques and take them with me to shop for the fabrics.

I can’t wait.

I am so busy these days and have so many irons in the fire, but it feels so good to be planning new things.

I have got to get back to my quilting as well and the month of April looks pretty good so I will post pics of my customers quilts as I get them finished.