I've been reading a lot about quilting with my embroidery machine lately and I've decided to take the plunge with the valentine table runner. First though I have to test out exactly how this might be done. After all there's a lot to consider - batting, backing and top make for a pretty thick sandwich to put through the embroidery hoop. What type of thread should I use in the bobbin and what type of thread should I use for the top?
I made a few quilt sandwiches with muslin and marked them with the outside dimensions of the heart blocks in my table runner. Then I marked this to find the center. I have a few embroidery designs meant specifically for quilting in the hoop so I'm going to use those, no use reinventing the wheel with this after all. Here we go!
I love watching the needle do it's magic trick, absolutely fascinating each and every time and always a surprise!
Here's the first stitch out. Once it's done and I take it out of the hoop I always write on the test pieces so I remember what thread, stabilizer and issues I might have had. As you can plainly see I didn't get the placement right and design is off center. I'll have to do better than that on the actual piece if I want it to look nice. To tell you the truth that's been the whole reason why I haven't done this on a piece up to now. I haven't been sure that I won't mess up the placement and ruin a perfectly good piece of patchwork.
A different design stitch out. I'm showing this to you still in the hoop so you can see that it certainly seems to be centered in that darn hoop but still stitched out slightly off. And the thread broke!
Those first two tests where stitched with poly 40 wt thread in the top and bottom line bobbin thread. This last stitch out is with cotton thread. I wanted to see what heavier weight thread would look like. Would it look more "natural"?
Here's a design stitched in 30 wt cotton thread. As you can see I was much better with my placement but I do not like the overall look of this one, just too clunky. Plus the design is too small for the space I need to fill.
Finally, the back side of all three pieces. Ugh! The Bottom Line thread just did not hold up to the thickness of the quilt sandwich at all! I decided that I'll be matching my top and bottom thread and definitely be matching the color of thread to my backing. I'm going to need to hide a lot of mistakes!
Even though this isn't going to be perfect I'm gonna do it anyway. I've decided to stop being paralyzed by my self criticism. I'll never get better, never improve if I don't begin. It's only cloth after all not rocket surgery!
Have any of you quilted with your embroidery machine? Any tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Angie, I know you've done a lot of machine embroidery. What do you think?
Linking this post to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.
Until next time,