Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Floral Visions -- First Block

Dawna called me last week to see what I was doing on Monday, her day off from Bolts in the Bathtub. I had been to the store to purchase my fabrics and threads for the Floral Visions quilt with a two-fold purpose in mind. One: I will get more comfortable with the machine embroidery process; Two: I have not been happy with the way most of the machine embroidered quilts are quilted and would like to quilt one "properly" so that it hangs well.

Feel free to comment on this, but my observations have been that the quilting on most of these quilts skirts around the edges of the embroidered motifs and then stipples everything down around it, probably to minimize any puckering caused by the embroidery itself. The combination of heavily quilted areas with very lightly(or unquilted) areas causes the quilt to buckle and hang poorly.

I absolutely love the Master Hooper and I have one for each of the two brands of machine that I use for embroidery. It has a weighted base and a clip designed for the brand of machine you use. You clip the bottom part of the hoop into the base, place the top part of the hoop on your fabric and then move fabric/top of hoop to the base/bottom, fit it all into place and tighten the hoop down. What I like about it is that the base is very heavy, so your hoop isn't scooting all around when you're trying to get it settled and tighten.

Hooped with the edges rolled and pinned so they won't flop over and get in the way -- has that ever happened to you?

Starting the first color -- we're working on a Bernina 830 with the jumbo hoop...

Second color is a really pretty gold/yellow; I picked the colors out of the wallpaper border at the top of some of the rooms of my house. When we bought our house seven years ago, it was in the process of being built, so we had choices to make as far as cabinetry, carpet, tile, etc. We took a piece of that wallpaper with us and coordinated all of the other interior colors with it.

Love the plum/purple with the yellow.....

My first finished block! The surprising thing to me was how long it took to embroider -- it was an eight thread change design that took almost three hours. At one point, we were discussing stabilizers and whether what we were using was going to be enough to keep the block from puckering. Dawna said "Oh, if you don't like it, you can use it as a pillow and stitch out another one!" I don't think so! It gave me a new respect for the time and dedication it takes to produce one of these quilts!

I also decided I really like the jumbo hoop, which is a Bernina 830 exclusive, and the fact that I can stitch out one of these blocks without having to re-hoop. Can't wait to get the stabilizer off my block and see how it looks!


  1. OK ... OK... I really DO need to get started on this!!

  2. Love your block, do you have a picture of the completed quilt?


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