Friday, November 9, 2012

Machine Embroidery Blog Hop & GIVEAWAY: Flower Power Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate with Machine Embroidered Flower Applique Design

Today's my day to post for SewCalGal's Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop!  Well, other people's projects were fall themed, anyway.  I sometimes have difficulty following instructions...  ;-)

This week's Blog Hop showcased Marjorie Busby's machine embroidered applique designs, which she digitizes to work with modern die cutting tools  such as accuQuilt GO! and GO! Baby, Sizzix, Silhouette, and Slice Fabrique, etc.).  I have none of these tools, but I've been eyeing them with interest so I jumped at the chance to play with machine applique using die-cut fabric pieces. 

This week's Blog Hop showcased Marjorie Busby's machine embroidered applique designs, which she digitizes to work with modern die cutting tools such as accuQuilt GO! and GO! Baby, Sizzix, Silhouette, and Slice Fabrique, etc.).  Although I don't currently own any of these tools, I've been eyeing them with interest so I jumped at the chance to play with machine applique using die-cut fabric pieces.  I was able to select any of Marjorie's designs, and I chose the Flower Applique that uses the GO! Round Flower shapes from Accuquilt, die #55007.  Since I don't have the die cutter or the die for these shapes, Marjorie was sweet enough to request my color preferences in advance and then she mailed me a whole bunch of precut flower pieces, with fusible web already applied prior to cutting. 
Now, one of the reasons I haven't raced out to buy a die cutter yet is that I like to customize everything that I do.  I purchase professionally digitized machine embroidery designs all the time, but I almost always change them up in my embroidery software before stitching them out -- resizing, changing stitch patterns, combining desings, etc.  These die cutters have huge advantages of speed and accuracy when compared with traditional methods of cutting out pieces for applique (you know, trace around template with pencil, cut out intricate shape with small scissor, repeat a hundred times).  The downside of die cutting, from my perspective, is that you can't change the size or shape of the die itself and you are limited to the shapes offered by the company that makes the die cutters. 

Dresden Plate, Ready to Embroider!

So for this project, I challenged myself to use Marjorie's design in an unexpected way.  I have had Dresden Plates on my quilting "bucket list" for awhile now, and I decided it would be fun to omit the leaves and stem and use the flower applique instead of a plain circle at the center of a Dresden Plate.  Nevermind that I'd never made a Dresden Plate before, and grossly underestimated how long everything would take (as usual)...  I'll write another post tomorrow about how the Dresden Plate went together, but for today's post we'll just skip to the embroidery!

I considered appliqueing the Dresden Plate to a background block first, and then doing the machine embroidered applique center, but I haven't selected the background fabric yet and traditionally, the center circle gets appliqued to the plate before the plate attaches to the block, anyway.  I wanted to have a completely finished plate that I could audition against several different backing fabrics.  So I decided to hoop a piece of tearaway stabilizer, and I used 505 adhesive spray to hold my Dresden Plate in place on top of that so I wouldn't get any hoop marks creased into the plate. 

I drew the vertical and horizontal centering lines directly on the stabilizer once it had been hooped and aligned those with my Dresden Plate seams for perfect placement.

Everything Centered, Ready to Go!

Then, before I started embroidering, I used the "check center" feature on my machine to make absolutely certain everything was centered up properly -- occasionally, if the embroidery hoop hits an obstruction while it's stitching out a design, the alignment gets out-of-whack.  I learned that the hard way, so now I check the center point every single time.

Did I mention that I've never made a Dresden Plate before, AND I've never done a machine-embroidered applique before, or any applique at all, for that matter?  I was SO nervous, but this was one of the easiest embroidery designs that I've ever stitched out, and it only took a few minutes to stitch out the entire applique, start to finish. 

The Placement Line Stitched for the First Applique Piece

So for those of you who, like me, have never done this before, I'm going to give you the whole process in pictures.  First, the machine stitches a placement line as the first "thread color," and then it stops for a color change. 

Fusing the Applique in Place with the Baby Iron

You then detach the embroidery hoop from the machine module *LEAVING YOUR PROJECT ATTACHED IN THE HOOP*, and use a mini craft iron to fuse the precut applique piece in place.  (Why do you need a mini iron instead of a big iron?  Because the embroidery hoop is plastic and it's smaller than a full sized iron.  Plastic melts...)Since the flower shape was precision cut with a die and the embroidery design was digitized to fit the shape exactly, this was a piece of cake.  Then the hoop gets reattached to the embroidery module, and the machine secures the edge with a decorative stitch.  This design, like most of Marjorie's designs, included a satin stitch version as well as a decorative oversized blanket stitch version.  I chose the latter for my project because I thought it was better for the vintage-1930s-with-a-kick vibe I was going for.

First Applique Shape Stitched Down!

Isn't that beautiful?  There is NO WAY I could have done that blanket stitch by machine without the embroidery module, pivoting the fabric at every stitch so that each stich would be perfectly perpendicular to the applique edge. 

Placement Line Stitched for Second Applique Shape

Next, the machine stitches the placement line for the second applique shape.  Same deal as before -- you disconnect the hoop from the embroidery module, fuse the applique shape right inside the stitched placement line, then reconnect the hoop to the embroidery machine to stitch the decorative edge stitching.

Second Applique Shape Stitched In Place

Last but not least, there is an embroidered flower center with a textured fill stitch:

...and we're done!

Once I finished embroidering the applique design, I flipped my Dresden Plate over to carefully remove my tearaway stabilizer.  Yeah, except that I accidentally FUSED MY APPLIQUE TO THE STABILIZER in the center, where there was no Dresden plate fabric under the flower.  Oops!  I removed as much of it as I could from the outer parts of the petals. 

Tearaway Stabilizer Fused to the Back of my Block: NOT a Good Thing!

I plan to make more of these blocks to use in a quilt, but I think I need to come up with a different stabilizer solution.  Leaving the tearaway behind the flowers makes them a little too stiff for my liking.  I wonder how much that would soften up when the final quilt was washed?  I might have been better off using a fabric glue stick to secure my applique pieces for stitching instead of fusible web, because then I could have stuck just the petal edges down where they overlapped the plate pieces, leaving the center "hole" free of glue and fusible web.  Hmmm...

Marjorie has generously offered to gift a FREE embroidery design collection to one of my readers!  To enter this giveaway, simply visit Marjorie's online shop by clicking here, select your favorite collection, then return to Cheeky Cognoscenti and leave me a comment on this post telling me which design you'd like to win. For a second chance to win, become a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me that you're "walking with me."  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on this blog on Friday, November 16th.  Make sure you leave your email address in your comment if you're a "No Reply" or anonymous blogger so I can contact you if you're the winner!

I hope you'll take time to visit the other blogs participating in this week's hop.  Each of them has shared tips, tutorials and fun projects using different embroidery designs, and several of them are also hosting giveaways so you'll have even more chances to win goodies!

My Fellow Machine Embroidery Blog Hoppers:

Monday, November 5th
Marjorie's Quilting Bee

Tuesday, November 6thAll Things Crafty

Wednesday, November 7thSewCalGal

Thursday, November 8thI Have A Notion

Friday, November 9thCherry Blossoms Quilting Studio
Cheeky Cognoscenti (Yours Truly)

Thank you SO much to Marjorie and to SewCalGal for hosting this blog hop and for allowing me to participate.  I had so much fun with this that I lost track of time in my sewing room, which is why I'm posting this so late in the day, and which is why I'll now be late picking my sons up from school...  Gotta run!


Linda E in NM said...

Thanks for sharing your technique with us - it is fun, huh?
I'd love to win the elephant or cat or dog.

Sallie said...

So pretty! Love what you did! I'd choose Fall Medley Collection.

barbara woods said...

i love sue and sam thanks for the giveaway

Marjorie said...

I absolutely love what you did with the flower. I can't wait to try that myself. In fact, I'm just thinking of the possibilities for not only Dresden plates, but maybe some fans.

Marcia W. said...

My favorites from M's site is flower circles and fun flower.

LJ said...

Love the Dresden plate and the applique flower. I don't have a die cutter, either, but it looks like any one of the designs can be used without the dies. I've read the blogs all week and I do love the Holiday Medley but I think Petal Sue is really sweet and I love the turtle, too! I need pondering time... :)

Pauline G said...

I love what you have done with this Dresden - I would love this pattern

Anonymous said...

I love the flower applique with the round flower die. she has so many cute appliques. Just need to find the time

Anonymous said...

I am now following your blog and I will leave my name and email this time in hopes I win
Kris Jacobson

VickiT said...

What a great tutorial showing how you've used her designs with the Dresden Plate. Very pretty and the Dresden is my most favorite block so I really loved seeing your work using her design that way. Thank you.

I really like the Zoo Animals. Of course, there are two others tied with my most favorite from Marjorie's site too, but with three Grandchildren the Zoo Animals are perfect for right now I think.

SewCalGal said...

This is the first time I've seen machine embroidery on a Dresden Plate. Love it and love how this flower looks. Truly makes me want to make Dresden Plates and add machine embroidery to them too! Great tutorial and great job. Thanks for sharing.


Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

I like the Critters collection with the butterfly, dragonfly and bee.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

I am "walking with you" thanks for the giveaway.

Bonnie58 said...

Beautiful Dresden plate. Thanks for sharing. I love the seasonal collections and I'm getting really excited about using my new embroidery machine.

Sewgirl said...

I like the gingham dog and the sitting cat.

Sewgirl said...

I am a follower!

Rita said...

Your design is so cute. I really like the flower applique.

Kathy MacKie said...

I love Go Home!

LeAnne said...

ME applique is just so easy. Great idea you have for dressing up a Dresden plate block. I'd love to have any of the hearts design sets.

LeAnne said...

I am walking beside you via GFC and email.

Bonnie said...

I am "walking with you" thanks for the giveaway. I loved the tutorial.

Bonnie said...

I like the Fall Medley.

barbara woods said...

i follow by gfc thanks

barbara woods said...

i like fall medley

Unknown said...

I love the Turtle Treks.

OhioLori said...

Love the Flower Circles, and Fall Medley....and ALL the Hearts!! (couldn't pick just ONE favorite! lol)

Thanks for sharing your tutorials, and for chance to win your Drawing! :)

OhioLori said...

I am walking with you now too, thru Google Friend Connect! :)

LeAnne said...

I already have some of Marjorie's designs. I'm anxiously waiting for her Grandmother's Flower Garden design, but until then I want her turtles.

LeAnne said...

I'm walking with you.

Unknown said...

All of these designs are great. I'm looking forward to stitching up some of them--wish I could do them all! Since I have to pick one, I choose Rustling Leaves. I can see it in colors for any season.

Unknown said...

All of these designs are great. I'm looking forward to stitching up some of them--wish I could do them all! Since I have to pick one, I choose Rustling Leaves. I can see it in colors for any season.