Monday, January 22, 2018

A Slice of Elation, Topped With a Dollop of Misery: Design Wall Monday, With Machine Embroidery

Good morning!  I'm so close to finishing this quilt that I can almost TASTE it, which is the elation part of this post.  The misery part is that I am really, really sick and my throat feels like I swallowed broken glass or gargled with razor blades or something.  It hurts so much that it's making my eyes tear.  I don't know if it's the flu, strep, or what, but I'm going to the doctor at 10:30 to find out and hopefully get some kind of magic make-it-go-away medicine.  

Machine Embroidered Label Appliqued to Quilt Backing
But meanwhile, I got my math quilt labeled and ready for binding!  My favorite way to use machine embroidery is to personalize quilts, either with embroidered monograms, quotes, or just a label like the one for this quilt.

Designing the Label in Bernina Embroidery Software
This label took me only a few minutes to design and digitize in my Bernina Designer Plus embroidery software.  It's as easy as typing into a text box, picking one of the True Type fonts from the drop down menu, and resizing the block of text to fit into the hoop I want to use.  Save to USB drive, plug USB drive into Bernina 750QEE sewing machine, attach embroidery module, and press GO.  Yes, there are lettering stitches built into my sewing machine, but I use my embroidery software instead so that I can lay out all the text the way I want it and stitch it out with perfect spacing as a single embroidery design.  If you use the built-in lettering stitches to sew out a lot of text, you need to carefully mark every row of stitching and it's easy to mess up the alignment.  Plus I have many, many more lettering fonts to choose from in my embroidery software.

Label and Binding Fabrics Selected From My Stash
I am able to print out an actual size template of the label design from my software that I can use to check that it's going to be legible and look the way I want it to look.  I was able to find the perfect solid orchid fabric for the label and a black and white striped binding fabric in my stash, which was great.

Stitching Out the Label Design
I starched my label fabric twice on each side of the fabric, then sprayed it with 505 temporary spray adhesive and affixed it to a layer of tearaway embroidery stabilizer before hooping it.  I also floated an additional layer of tearaway stabilizer beneath my hoop and reduced my top tension to prevent bobbin thread from showing at the edges of my satin stitches.  It took about 20 minutes for my machine to stitch out the design, and then it took me another 30 minutes or so to carefully remove all of the excess stabilizer from the back of the label, using a tweezers to remove the bits of stabilizer that were trapped between rows of stitching.  I don't want my label to be bulky, stiff, or scratchy; I want it to be just as soft and snuggly as the rest of the quilt.

Tabby Mountain, Final Layout With Replacement Fabrics
Meanwhile, my replacement fabrics came for the Tabby Mountain quilt so I could swap out those Cat Eyes prints that I wasn't fond of.  And again, it's not that I don't like the Cat Eyes print at all -- I just didn't like it for these giant triangles.  It would be cute cut up into smaller patches for another project, and it would be cute binding fabric.  I replaced them in my quilt with three Kaffe Fassett Collective prints instead, and I like it much better now.  I have someone special in mind for this quilt and it "fits" her better with the fabric substitutions I made.

Original Layout With Busy Eyeball Fabrics
The scale of the Cat Eyes print was just too small for the big triangles, and the print didn't read well at a distance.  It looked muddy to me.

Kaffe Fassett Collective Print Substitutions
So, as soon as I get the math quilt bound, I'll be able to start piecing the Tabby Mountain quilt top.  That should come together fairly quickly, and then it's destined to be the SECOND real quilt for my longarm machine!

Because I have another goal for 2018, in addition to buying more fabric and drinking more wine.  My number one quilting goal for this year is to become proficient with my longarm quilting machine.  With that in mind, I'll be choosing more quick and easy piecing projects so I can focus on improving my quilting skills.  Then, once my quilting ability is on par with my piecing and applique skills, I can go back to more complex projects without fear of "ruining" them with shoddy beginner quilting!

Today I'm linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

hope you get some magic medicine and won't be sick for long. Love how your label turned out

Bonnie said...

I so want to use my embroidery module to make a label. I don't want to invest (or learn) to use the Bernina software. I guess I need to try the on machine lettering option. Good luck getting comfortable with your long arm. Are you using pantographs, freehand or both?

Ramona said...

I had something similar a few weeks ago... worst sore throat I've had... felt like I had swallowed glass. Then it went into a full blown cold. Hopefully you will move through it quickly! Love your label. My Bernina has the capability to embroider, but I haven't purchased any of the pieces needed. I might have to put this on my wish list!
Feel better quickly!

em's scrapbag said...

What a great way to make a label.
Love all the triangles.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Beautfiul quilts and colors! Heres to a quick fix for your throat!!

Vivian said...

First of all, hope the doctor does his magic and makes you feel better -- nothing worse than a scratchy sore throat! You reminded me that trying to make some embroidered labels is something I need to do this year. Glad the fabric got in to allow you to move the gift quilt forward -- it is a beaut!

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

I hope you feel better soon. Being sick is no fun. Your triangles are gorgeous!

Diane in TX said...

Sure hoping that your doctor had some magic medicine to speed your recovery. Your label is terrific. Glad that you replaced the cat eyes in the triangles.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Rebecca,
I hope the doctor was able to get you all fixed up. That sounds like strep to me. Ugg. But drugs can work miracles. What a wonderful idea about using the embroidery software for a label. The small projects are just perfect for your long-arm goal. I have set one of my goals to become more comfortable with FMQ and ruler work. Feel better! ~smile~ Roseanne