Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tuesday To-Do: Machine Embroidered Sawtooth Star Name Tag

Happy Tuesday morning, y'all!  I just have a couple of quick things I wanted to share with you:

Name Tag Embroidered and Sandwiched, Ready for Quilting!
This is an "orphan" 4" sawtooth star block leftover from my Paint Me A Story WIP (that quilt top is finished and waiting for me to quilt it).  When I joined the Charlotte Quilter's Guild last month I discovered that I need to make myself a nifty little name tag to wear at guild meetings.  Since I have plenty of projects in progress already, I decided to repurpose something that I had already made rather than starting from scratch.  Keepin' it simple!

Creating the Embroidery File in Bernina v8 DesignerPlus Embroidery Software
I used my Bernina DesignerPlus Embroidery Software v8 to digitize my name for machine embroidery.   This is a computer program that is separate from my sewing machine.  Although the software is capable of really advanced digitizing, I most often use it for quick and easy, down and dirty digitizing tasks like this one.  All I had to do was type my name, select one of the TrueType fonts already installed on my computer (the font I chose is Bradley Hand ITC) and resize it to fit the 2" square center of my sawtooth star.  Then I saved the embroidery design to a flash drive, plugged the flash drive into my sewing machine, and I was ready to go.

Bernina embroidery software will default to the smallest embroidery hoop that will accommodate your design, which would have been the Small hoop in this cases, but I overrode that in favor of the Medium hoop because I didn't want to actually hoop my star block and risk "hoop burn" indentations or distortion.  Instead, I hooped two layers of lightweight tearaway stabilizer.  I marked the center of my star block with a chalk pencil dot, sprayed the back of the block with 505 Spray and Fix Temporary Spray Adhesive, and carefully positioned my block on top of the hooped stabilizer.  

Then I lightly sprayed a scrap of Sulky Solvy water soluble embroidery stabilizer with 505 Spray and Fix, and stuck that down on top of my block. (In my test stitchout of this design on a scrap of the same hand marbled fabric, the embroidery stitches were sinking into the fabric too much.  Using a topping stabilizer really helps with that). 


My Bernina 750QEE (predecessor to the current B 770QEE model) has an automatic basting feature that I absolutely love.  It's kind of tricky to find that option when I haven't done machine embroidery in awhile, but when you engage the automatic basting function the machine will baste a little box right around the area of the embroidery design, which is perfect for a situation like this where I'm floating my block and my topping rather than securing all layers in the hoop.  Those basting stitches hold everything in place so there's no shifting while the lettering is stitching out.  I believe the auto basting feature is on all of the current model Bernina embroidery machines, but if you have an older model Bernina you have a similar option.  There are basting files for each of the Bernina hoop sizes available for free on the Bernina web site that you can download and transfer to your sewing machine.  They are like embroidery design files that just stitch out a basting stitch around the perimeter of your embroidery hoop, so you would stitch the basting file first to secure your project in the hoop, and then stitch out the real embroidery design.

Embroidery Completed, Basting Stitches and Stabilizers Removed
So anyway, here's what my block looked like after I'd carefully removed the basting stitches, topping, and tearaway stabilizers.  I think it looks great.    I chopped off the corners of the block because I decided that an octagon-shaped name tag is more interesting than a square-shaped name tag, and I found a length of leftover black and white striped binding that I can use for this as well.  However, I cut into a precious floral fabric FQ from my stash for the backing, even though no one will see it.  I couldn't help myself!  So now my little embroidered block is layered with floral backing and a scrap of quilt batting, and it just needs to be quilted, bound, and possibly further embellished in some way...  And of course, I need to decide how I'm going to wear it.  I don't want long strings around my neck; I'm leaning towards magnets instead.

All Ready for Quilting!
And, since I'd already chopped a big hunk out of that fat quarter for my name tag backing, I took a moment to trace as many 9 1/2" clam shells as I could fit onto the rest of that fabric.  

Freshly Cut Giant Clam Shells On My Design Wall!
Won't those be fabulous?  (Pay no attention to the abandoned Jingle BOM project on the left side of the photo -- that's just a scale reference.  I'll get back to that one eventually, I promise!)

My Jumbo Clam Shell Acrylic Template, available on Etsy here
In case anyone's interested, I'm using an acrylic 9 1/2" finished clam shell template that I purchased from an Etsy seller here.  What I like most about this particular template is that there are lots of little holes along the concave and convex curves that will make it so much easier to align the edges correctly whenever I get around to piecing these together.  

Anyway, that's all I have for you guys today.  My Tuesday To-Dos for this week are:

  1. Finish my name tag
  2. Load and quilt the Outreach Cuddle Quilt that I showed in my last post
  3. Continue pinning and piecing pineapple rows together

Of course, those are just my WANNA-Dos.  I've got some HAFTA-Dos on my plate as well, like preparing for a meeting with an interior design client, making sure my son gets his college applications in on time, and figuring out what I'm going to sing at a friend's wedding in a few weeks.  So don't judge me too harshly if next Tuesday rolls around and I still have the same three items on my Tuesday To-Do list!  

Oh, and I'm going to see Hamilton tonight!!!!  Can you tell I'm excited?!  YAY!!!!!

Okay, so today I'm linking up with:

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts www.smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com  
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts www.cookingupquilts.com 
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt www.lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com 
Moving it Forward at Em’s Scrap Bag: www.emsscrapbag.blogspot.com.au 
To-Do Tuesday at Stitch ALL the Things: www.stitchallthethings.com 
Let’s Bee Social at www.sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca 
Midweek Makers at www.quiltfabrication.com
WOW WIP on Wednesday at www.estheraliu.blogspot.com 


Ramona said...

Great use of an orphan block! I’m jealous...Hamilton!! Enjoy! I imagine you’ll be singing along with the cast.

Sharon - IN said...

Your orphan block is making a cute name tag. Clam shells! On my bucket list!

chrisknits said...

That floral fabric is gorgeous! Can't wait to see what you do with it. And the name tag is adorable. I am going to use my old guild name tag until I can make a new one. I just need inspiration!

Susan said...

You're embroidery software made that so easy to add letting - looks great! Also love the print you chose for the clam shells. Can't wait to see the finish on that one!

KaHolly said...

Pretty clever use of an orphan block! I’d do a clam shell quilt if the shapes were that large! Looks like fun!

Lynette said...

Oh, gosh, your design wall looks fabulous between the peek of the Christmas quilt and those gorgeous clamshells! Terrific name tag, too - that will be perfect binding on it.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

I love your label! Lovely embroidery, and great use for an orphan block!

Christine Slaughter said...

This is the cutest name tag I have ever seen! So unique and fun!