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.

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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.

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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.

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Embroidery on Quilts AND Bubbles, Oh My!

Quilt by Margie Dukes

Okay, I know that’s a crazy title for my post, but I love both those things when combined on a quilt.   Who wouldn’t love Margie’s Beautiful Two Tone Quilt.  Simple Brown Machine Embroidery on White and don’t you love those tiny little circles in the quilting.   I love putting bubbles in my quilting.  They just add so much texture and help the eye follow along the quilt like a little pathway to the next interesting part of the quilt you want the viewer to see.  Bubbles are one of my favorite accents.

Recently, I have added the “Bliss” System to my APQS Millenium Longarm Machine This system was designed to improve the glide and movement of the Longarm and boy does it ever.  The ease of movement and the smoothness that the system provides has so improved my machine that I have to admit, I am having to retrain myself a little with some of my free form movements and designs.  It is a fabulous improvement and I highly recommend it to anyone who owns an APQS Model.  The more recent models come with this system already installed but it is an easy add on to some of the previous models.   To fully understand how this system works, read about “Bliss” on the APQS site.

All that explanation about my Bliss system leads to knowing why I chose Bubbles for the next quilt.  I needed to retrain myself a little, so Bubbles I will stitch.  Practice, practice, practice.

The quilt I am showing next is a kit available at my favorite Bernina and Quilting Store here in Knoxville, Ginas Bernina.  It is a sample for the shop and Gina has kits available that include the fabric and embroidery designs just for those of you who just can’t help yourselves and have to have one.

Beautiful embroidery accents this piece and the wonderful fabrics themselves get a lot of attention.   All the fabrics really need from the quilter is texture,  so guess what?  I am going to practice my free form bubbles and circles on the entire background area.  By the time I have finished the entire quilt, I will consider myself Bubble Trained with my Bliss System.

The embroidery designs are stitched on solid color fabric backgrounds and there I can do crosshatching, feathers and such.  I will also feather the outer border and do some fun things in the small inner border.  Gina is great to quilt for.  She lets me do whatever I want.

Here are a few pics:

See if you can find where I missed a few spots.  Not to worry.  I thoroughly check my quilts before I remove them from the longarm.

A little additional texture with wavy lines mixed in with my bubbles on the sashing and some echo quilting around the embroidery.

Having some fun here!  Practice is a good thing.

Okay, I know.  Now you wonder what the back of the quilt looks like.

Don’t we all want to see the back of the quilt?

Take a look.

Now remember, the quilt is still being quilted, so there will be some spots where the quilting has not been applied.

I think the back is beautiful, don’t you.  I love a more solid background fabric to show off the quilting.  This fabric was perfect.

More to come.