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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop - SewCalGal's Tips, Tutorials, Inspiration & Giveaway

Today I get to share insights with you on doing machine embroidery with pre-cut applique' shapes, using designs by Marjorie Busby (http://shop.b-quilts.com/).  If are not a machine embroiderer, I hope you'll still find some tips and inspiration in this post, as well as from the participating blogs in the blog hop this week.
This Fall Theme Blog Hop showcases designs by Marjorie Busby Designs.  Marjorie focuses on creating quality and fun machine embroidery designs that work well with pre-cut applique shapes that you can create with Modern Quilting tools (e.g. AccuQuilt, Sizzix, Silhouette, SLICE Fabricque, etc.).  She currently has many designs to select from and is frequently adding more.  SewCalGal has stitched out many of them and they always stitch out beautifully!

Today I want to focus on four of Marjorie's design collections to inspire Fall Theme projects, as well as Christmas Projects. And, I have some tips and a little tutorial on placement for you too.

The first design set that I want to share with you is Marjorie's Fall Medley Collection.

I used this  design collection to embellish kitchen towels that I added to a Fall Theme Silent Auction Gift Basket for a fundraiser this coming weekend. I also want to make more for informal hostess gifts, which I like to leave in the kitchen of friends that we visit with during Fall, as well as to add to little baskets of baked goods that I like to make for neighbors, friends and family.  Such machine embroidered kitchen towels really make such gifts that much more special!

I also had fun creating Christmas Theme projects with the Holiday Medley, , Sunbonnet Sue  and her Overall Sam  collections.


There are a variety ways of placement.  Some designs stitch out x-y or other coordinates that you can use to mark your project for placement of your ME designs. There are also several ways you can mark your projects.

One approach I like to use is to take a print out of the design to use as a marking template.  If you do not have a printout of your design you can also hoop freezer paper and stitch out the initial placement lines of the design (without the thread) and use that as your marking template.  I  place a sheet of  transfer paper underneath my template, such as Saral or Transdoodle papers.  I then use a stylist to mark mark the design on my project.  And now I can hoop my project centered around this marking and rely on  my embroidery machine to align the design, I will work to adjust the design to stitch in a layout that aligns with the markings on my project.  The markings wash out easily, so you don't have to worry if the stitching doesn't cover the marking perfectly.  Just remember it is only their to help you place your various designs on your project.

This is an easy placement technique that allows you to place designs in your hoops vs someone else.  You can always check the layout with your hoops to verify you have placement that works for your hoops, as well as ways to minimize the number of hooping for your machine. And, if you are off of the markings for the transfer paper - both Transdoodle and Saral papers  wash out, so it doesn't matter if you don't cover the placement markings 100% with your machine embroidery stitch out.

For my table topper project I used the same placement approach, as shown above, to mark a freezer paper sized for a table topper.  I folded this templates in eighths pressing to allow me to use the folds as visual guides for placement.  Then, I used my embroidery templates to mark on the paper, which I later used to mark my fabric, before placing my fabric table topper in the hoop.

It then becomes easy to repeat the machine embroidery designs on your table topper. Obviously, I haven't finished this table topper, but I am sharing it as I have an important tip for you.....

When working on large projects that extend beyond your hoop, be sure to pin the excess to ensure it doesn't get underneath your hoop.  It is easy to end up with a part of your project that accidently gets stitched underneath the hoop and can be a nighmare to unpick.

Unpicking (aka reverse sewing, frogging, etc) is never fun and can be a nightmare with machine embroidery. But, a few tools that I've found help make it easier is an inexpensive electric mustache trimmer that helps to cut the threads, very find pointed scissors to also cut the threads, and Famore's Micro Fine Tweezers (available at IHAN) to pull out cut threads.

With a little patience you can rip out your machine embroidery design and re-stitch another (being more careful to make sure your project doesn't get caught under the hoop the 2nd time around).  Or, you can opt to re-purpose your project.

You can repurpose your project by cutting out your stitched designs, clipping close to your threads, but careful to not cut your threads.  Apply some iron on adhesive to the back of the design, and press onto your new project.  In my case, I opted to create some more kitchen towels.  To secure these embroidery designs, to the towel I used Aurifil's Invisible Thread and did a free-motion quilting stitch, with a slight zigzag setting.  This technique is also commonly called a "patch" and does offer the benefit of not seeing all the machine embroidery stitches on the back of the kitchen towel.

While making more kitchen towels was not my original project idea, it was a nice save.  Still, I want to go back and make that table topper using these designs.  I'm also thinking of using this placement technique to make a holiday mantle cover for my fireplace.

Don't forget you can make embroidered kitchen towels easily  and fast with Marjorie's designs. And, they make for great hostess gifts, as well as other gifts for the holidays too!

It is very easy to create a table topper that incorporates machine embroiery designs.  In this recent project I create a circular project

Did I mention a giveaway?

Marjorie has generously offered a design collection to a follower of SewCalGal.   If you are interested in winning, simply visit Marjorie's online shop to pick out your favorite collection.  And leave a comment on this post to let me know what you want to win.  I'll randomly select one winner and announce on Friday, November 16th.

I hope you'll take time to visit the other blogs in this hop.  They will be sharing tips, tutorials and inspiration, as well as more giveaways where you'll have more chances to win prizes too!

Here is the line up for this fun event:

Monday, November 5th
Marjorie's Quilting Bee

Tuesday, November 6th
All Things Crafty

Wednesday, November 7th
SewCalGal - where you are today!

Thursday, November 8th
I Have A Notion

Friday, November 9th
Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio
Cheeky Cognoscenti

I also hope you'll visit Marjorie's online store to see all of her beautiful machine embroidery designs.  And, you can even find some of her designs for sale at AccuQuilt.  Just remember to keep checking back as she frequently releases new designs.

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Barb said...

I loved your post...I love the fall medley. I just love all of your appliques and your tips. Thanks!

Jacquelin said...

Me gustan las flores. Soy seguidora desde hace mucho tiempo y me encantan estos blog hop.
Gracias por la oprtunidad de ganar un regalo.

Pauline G said...

What a great post - I love the traditional quilt set

KatieQ said...

I really like the Quilted Stars set.

Linda E in NM said...

The Elephant Parade would be my pick
thanks for the great tutorial!

Bonnie58 said...

Oh, man. this is hard. I've narrowed it down to either the snowflakes / Christmas patterns or the sunbonnet sue patterns - that's the best i can do today. Thanks for the opportunity on a great draw

BizyStitches said...

Thanks for the chance to win. I like the "GO Home" designs.

Angela said...

I think I would use the Accucut Round Flower Die the most.
Thanks for the Emb Blog Hop

barbara woods said...

i love sue and sam thanks

Sallie said...

I would choose Marjorie's Fall Medley Collection. Thanks for the giveaway!

2ne said...

Love the accu quilt love harts :-)

Virginia said...

I would have to choose 3 rather than just one, the turtle, the round flower and the 3 pumpkins.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Wow, you sure have been busy! Thanks for your insights....and just so you know...you girls sure make a difficult act to follow!


Needled Mom said...

Such a great idea!! This will be fun to follow.

LJ said...

I haven't been utilizing my embroidery machine as much as I should lately; I've gotten caught up in quilting projects. I like the Holiday Medley Embroidery collection. Adorable tree with the stars and the snowflake is beautiful.

Quiltsmiles said...

Thanks for all your tips and this tutorial, great info. My favorite on Marjorie's sight is the fall medley.

LeAnne said...

I would get one of the heart collections or the holiday medley collection.

Brenda said...

Oh thank you so much for your blog on the machine embroidery with pre cut dies! I wondered how hard that would be to do and this will make it a lot easier to do now! Thanks! I looked at the patterns and it was very hard to choose which one I would want. I believe I have to go with Fall Medley! thanks for the giveaway!

VickiT said...

I just remembered I needed to come back and comment to your post. oops. I read it really quickly the other day but got pulled away from my computer and couldn't comment right then and as usual, forgot later.

Anyway, it's very hard to choose because I really like a number of her designs. The Go! Zoo Animals are perfect and super cute and for me right now, perfect to make things for my Grandchildren. I'm thinking mostly of my 8 month old Granddaughter who lives here right now. But, then I also love the Go! Birds designs for the same reason and the fact I can use them for even more things than just children things. Hmm And I really love the Flower circles too. SO hard.

If I win, can I let you know which I would want then maybe? Deal? LOL Maybe by then I'll have made up my mind. (HA doubtful since I'm that way all the time. ANY decision I have to make you would laugh at me because it's like I'm making a life or death decision. My husband laughs at me.)

Mary Ann said...

Accucut Round Flower would be my choice but it was difficult to narrow down!!

sewfunquilts said...

Great post and this is a wonderful blog hop for embroidery lovers. Most people would not talk about or show us when they make mistakes. It's really great to know that I'm not the only one who has done that.

If I'm selected, I would love the GO Home collection.


Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Thanks for the tips! I love the Fall Medley too. What fun it would be! Thanks for the chance. :-)

Marcia W. said...

My favorites from M's shop are flower circles and flower fun.

Marcia W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quilter Roz said...

I love the fall melody line and am looking forward to actually using my embroidery machine!! Thanks for the great tips.

Kathy MacKie said...

I like the Seasonal designs a lot, thanks for your tips.