Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quilting by Embroidery Machine and Piecing in the Hoop

OK - what would a quilter want with an embroidery machine like a Pfaff Creative 5.0. Brother Quattro, or an Ellismo?

Well, the answer can quilt quickly and accurately in the embroidery hoop!

This was surprising news to me (who just started quilting in Nov. 2010) - I had absolutely not one idea that this could be done, but after having purchased and used Larisa Bland's "Piece in the Hoop" book, I completed this great little 12x12 table topper/hot pad in just one morning!

Larisa also has many beautiful, easy, yet complicated-looking Quilt Blocks in the Hoop

My version is filled with Insulbright so I can use it for hot pots on the table.

The version in Larisa's book is a cute pillow, which I love, but I have roosters in my dining room :-)

If this has piqued your interest, I have a photo tour for you of my morning of piecing in the hoop:

As Larisa advises, you will need a few new tools for piecing and applique in the hoop.  I got a Clover mini iron and used a mug rug to provide protection for my machine from the heat.  She also has a clever pressing pad project on pg. 37 you can make just for this.  In the meantime, I think a potholder would do, too.  Be careful not to sew it into your project like I did!  ;-)  I have a fusible, tear-away stabilizer in the hoop to have something to sew the small 1" log cabin blocks onto.

The log cabin center came together so easily and it was FUN!  The information for the embroidery machine to create the correct sewing lines is on a CD in the back of the book.  I just transferred the CD files to a flash drive (you could do this to a card reader or floppy, too) and selected it once I was in the embroidery sewing mode.  

Have you ever thought of new machines as "sewing computers" before?  I believe that is a good term for a modern, home-embroidery machine.

As Larisa demonstrates in her step-by-step instruction book (all in color and numbered really clearly with LARGE numbers ;-), she has me cut away the excess stabilizer (the off-white stuff in the upper right hand corner that is like the paper for paper piecing, but it's a fusible, lightweight material).  Cool thing is, Larisa has digitized her software design for the block to include a 1/4" seam line around the entire outside edges of the block on back, so you know exactly where to cut!  Fool-proofing is very good, Larisa - thank you!  I need that kind of stuff, being new to quilting as I am!

Speaking of being new to quilting, over on Sew WE Quilt @ Stash Manicure  where they'll be giving away quilting supplies of high quality to NEWBIES!!!  Some of the companies involved in the give-away are...

Is that EXCITING, or is that EXCITING!?!?!?!?
Can't wait for that to start!!!

The applique in the hoop over the existing block was a LOT OF FUN to do!!!  This was my first time using applique and I'm in 'love'!

If you are liking this quilting and applique in the hoop idea, did you know a "secret"?
Brother is offer FOUR YEARS 0% INTEREST for any machine $1,000 and over.
Just contact your local dealer - it's only until July 10th, 2011!
Local Bismarck, ND dealer:

Here's my Brother Innovis 4000D 
"D" stands for Disney

I took my finished applique out of the hoop and added borders.

After pressing and ironing, things are looking up!
(I like to use a press cloth and press the back side over the threads for the applique just like Nancy Zieman advises (she's got tips written right into the book)).

Next, I cut out a 13x13 square of 100% cotton batting from Hobb's.

I took my pieced and appliqued top outside in the fresh air, turned it wrong side up and

Now I switch to my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 to use the built-in "walking foot" or IDT as it's called.  This makes stitching in the ditch an absolute breeze.

Next, I decided to add Insul-Bright and cut myself a 12x12 square, then...

stuffed it right into the opening I had left myself after adding a back and....

(Sorry about the photo quality)

Great for the dining room table!
It'll get lots of use - and sew cute!!
Thanks for the great book, tutorials and patterns, Larisa!!!

If you happen to stop by my blog, please give me a shout :-)


  1. Just wonderful...I sure need one of these machines...

  2. That's impressive, Mary Ann! Great project, too.

  3. ok, now I can see why this would be a good choice and your photos and description, your text..over the top impressive M.A.

  4. Good evening. Sew WE Quilt sent me to say hey and to tell you about my summer vacation and I dont have a clue where I should leave my post so I guess it's going to be here. I like Memorial Day because we also end up celebration our wedding anniversary day (25th) on that weekend too. We've done lots of stuff - sometimes 3 days hikes on the Appalachian Trail - really roughing it. Now that's love!

  5. Sew We Quilt sent me here to tell you Ive posted about your giveaway here:


  6. Very nice Mary Ann :) I also have roosters in my kitchen!


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