This is my experimentation project. New techniques and skills abound!
- English Paper Piecing: the hexagons (aka “hexies”) of the flower the very first hexies that I made while learning how to “epp.”
- Quilt Block Wizard: Using my Premier+ software suite, I created the design and quilted the hexie flower block.
I’ll likely outline my journey in EPP in future posts, but for this one, here are some of my notes using the Quilt Block Wizard. Eventually, these ideas and best practices will be applied to developing designs and quilting the Nintendo Quilt.
- In the Create module, I imported a picture of my flower block, then outlined the hexies with a running stitch, creating a simple embroidery that I could use as the basis for the Quilt Block designer (this is the red line in the first image below). I had some sizing issues – pretty tricky to get it the correct size – but I don’t think this would be an issue when it’s applied to the embroidery designs I used for the Nintendo Quilt.
- I used the “Shape Fill” option in the Wizard. “Option” was the Oval (#37) at a density of 40. For the “Motif,” I used “Flowers and Leaves 1” number 7. Minimum gap of 2.5mm, height 15 mm and width 37 mm (the biggest I could get it). Running stitch at 1.5 mm.
- I did not like the long, travel stitches (at least 4 mm long) that it made along the outside and on one side of a hexie. I’m not sure how to address that in the design. It stitches over them at the end anyway, but the long stitches aren’t tight and look sloppy. I ripped out several of the basting stitches, but that induces more thread tails and possibly weakens the integrity of the quilting (not good for something that will be washed).
- The density looks really good with the flower puffed in the middle.
- I used a Quilting 75 titanium needle and Aurifil 50wt cotton in top and bottom.
- Since my block was not big enough to be hooped, I use light-weight tear-away stabilizer, then positioned the sandwich, spray basting to hold in place after I did the design positioning alignment.
- NOTE 1: there isn’t much wiggle room with the quilting extending out nearly as far as I could. If positioning in the hoop isn’t exact, then the embroidery won’t stitch because it extends outside the stitch area. This is why I used design positioning to depict the exact stitch points then moved the fabric (not the design on the machine). That process was a little backwards, but it worked well.
- NOTE 2: I left the red outline stitches in the final embroidery, and used the top left and bottom right corners of the design to position the block appropriately. When I stitched out the design, I skipped the red color block. With the 4mm of gap, I had wiggle room in case my design was off a little, which it was.
- For future quilting/embroidery, hoop only the sandwich. That will eliminate the extra (time-consuming) step of removing the stabilizer. Obviously this will work best in the center of the quilt as there is plenty to hoop.