Stitched By Me

A place to share projects from my sewing room.

An Update to My First Share

The Craftsy link, for the embroidery files that I blogged about yesterday, is now live.

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I did update yesterdays post with the link.

To save you from having to go look for it, here it is.

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The cut file (.fcm) for the Brother Scan N Cut can be downloaded here.

My original intention was that I wanted to make a small, simple  embroidery design for those that wished to try  “In the Hoop Applique”  on their embroidery machines while also utilizing their Brother Scan N Cut machines.

At that time, my focus was on getting the cut file and the embroidery file to work with each other, and then I needed to figure out a way to easily share them.

Once the files were finally out there being shared, I got several requests from those that do not have the Scan N Cut, but do want to stitch the embroidery design.

Here is how I would recommend doing so.

  1. After hooping the main fabric, stitch Color Stop One (thread color #1).
  2. Lay the piece of applique fabric (with NO fusible applied) so that it generously covers the placement lines.  I like to put a light coat of glue stick within the perimeter of the placement line before placing the applique fabric.
  3. Re-stitch Color Stop One (thread color #1)    (This would normally be incorporated into the digitized design as it’s own color stop)
  4. Remove the hoop from the machine, but do NOT remove the fabric from the hoop.
  5. Carefully trim the excess fabric, outside of the placement line, close to the stitches.
  6. Return the hoop to the machine and continue on, starting with Color Stop 2 (thread color #1)
  7. Stitch Color Stop 3 (thread color #1)
  8. Stitch Color Stop 4 (thread color #2)

I hope that this information is helpful in encouraging you to try In the Hoop Applique.

My (still unquilted) Go! Be Dazzled quilt has LOTS of In the Hoop Applique.

2013.10.04 Top is Almost Done


Brother Scan N Cut ~ My First Share

I got my Brother Scan N Cut back in January.
My main motivation for buying it was for cutting applique shapes for machine embroidery.
Yesterday, on the Scan N Cut N INSPIRE Facebook group, one of the discussions was about this very topic.
Several members commented that they have both, an embroidery machine and the Scan N Cut, and wanted to try a project that used both.


I have learned so much from this group and decided to digitize a small embroidery design, as well as the cut file to share.
This will fit within the 4×4 hoop.
(I still consider myself a novice when it comes to digitizing.)

It took me a bit of time to produce the cut file, but I learned a few things along the way.

For my final revision/stitch out, I used 2 of my hand dyed fabrics. The pink one is backed with a fusible web, the backing was removed.

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Once the blue fabric and stabilizer were hooped, color stop 1 was stitched. This is the placement line for the applique.

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The pink fabric was adhered to the sticky cutting mat and the mat was scanned.

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Once the mat was scanned, I was able to move the cut file to the same spot on the screen that the fabric was.

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It only took seconds for the machine to cut the applique piece.

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The applique was placed within the placement line and fused into place with an iron. This Hobbico iron is the perfect size for my 4×4 hoop.

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A perfect fit!

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Color stop 2 just catches and tacks the edges.

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Color Stop 3 is the main part of the embroidery. A rope border design makes a pretty edge.

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You could stop at this point and call it done. I think it looks pretty just like this.

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Or, you could stitch Color Stop 4, which is the accent to the rope design.

I used a grey for this, but afterward thought another pink might also have been a good choice.

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If you are interested in stitching this design yourself, I have converted it to those formats listed below.

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I DO NOT have the ability to convert to Bernina format.

I have uploaded the embroidery files as a free download at Craftsy.

  The cut file for the Brother Scan N Cut, can be downloaded here (I hope, anyway):

Butterfly Baby Quilt

One of the ladies that I work with is going to be a 1st time Grandmother this Easter week-end.

About a month ago, I made the baby (grandma) a quilt.

Butterfly Baby Quilt Finished

I decided on a square in a square layout because it would be quick, easy and pretty besides.

Plus it only required 2 different fabrics.

It was quilted with a light pink, 40wt polyester embroidery thread, top and bobbin.

Butterfly Baby Quilt Finished

The butterfly embroidery design  is from Embroidery Library.

The embroidered blocks were quilted in the background with a flowing swirly feathery design.

Butterfly Baby Quilt Finished

Butterfly Baby Quilt Finished

I filled all of the non-embroidered areas with small feathers that meet in a wreath kind of pattern through out the quilt.

I LOVE the dense quilting on this quilt.

Butterfly Baby Quilt Finished

A view of the back side.

I had a REALLY hard time letting this one go.

I kept telling myself that it was not just a gift, but a learning project, too, and that I will be making plenty more in the future.

Dyeing to Quilt

You may have noticed that my last several posts have been about using some of my hand dyed fabrics.

Well, using these fabrics has inspired me to dye even more fabric! Some of this inspiration came from the need for a backing for my Hand Dyed Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt.

For his backing, I thought I would get creative and try a traditional tie dye swirl.

I have a bolt of 120″ wide Premium Muslin. I cut a 2 yard length, plenty enough to back, border and bind this quilt. (The actual border shown on the quilt was made from a different piece.)


I soaked and swirled this huge piece of fabric and then just covered it with several different colors of dye powder.

I didn’t get this wound quite right, so it affected how the dye dispersed, specifically in the center. I tied it but really didn’t need to since it fits snugly in the container. I threw some extra cotton yarn on top just to see how it would dye.

My inspiration came from a piece by Sondra Millard Mojoquiltdesigns, someone that I follow closely on Facebook because she produces such beautiful had dyed pieces.


This is how the dye powder looked after it was applied. It was then covered with ice, which was allowed to melt the dye powder through the fabric.

This is my first time putting the ice on top of the dye. I usually sprinkle the dye powder on top of the ice.

This is it! It is BIG. 120″ wide x 72″ tall.

When I saw how this turned out, I knew that it was not going to be the backing for any quilt, it needed to be it’s own quilt top, so now I needed to dye 2 quilt backs.

This will be the backing for the spiral dye, the backing for “scrappy” is very similar.

120″ wide! That’s 10 feet!

That is pretty wide. Wider that I really wanted it to be, but I hated to cut any of it away.

I needed to make a decision.  Should I have the swirl off center?  Or should I keep it centered?

I decided to keep the swirl in the center.

The backing piece is plenty big enough to back and bind it.  There might even be enough for left overs.

I haven’t decided if I want a border or not. Hmmm.

These are the end pieces that were cut off.

That is a closet door to the right to give an idea of the size of these “left overs”.

Now I need to decide what I want to do with these.

Maybe pillow cases to go with the Swirl Quilt?  Table runners?  Wall Art?

So many choices to make.


I have just a few more dyed pieces to share today:

#1 of 3 pieces that were Ice Dyed side by side by side in the same container.

I used a piece of this as the backing for my Lone Star Wall Quilt.


#2 of 3 pieces that were Ice Dyed side by side by side in the same container.

At the moment, this piece is uncut.


#3 of 3 pieces that were Ice Dyed side by side by side in the same container.

I used part of this piece in my Lone Star Wall Quilt.

Finishing My Lone Star Wall Quilt

Small projects are great for learning new techniques.

They are also easy to finish in a short period of time.


This one is a project from the Luminous Lone Star Craftsy class that I won, that I wrote about in my last post. The class project was to make a pillow, but I chose to make a wall quilt instead.

I should practice this one again, at least one more time before moving onto the bigger projects in the class, just to reinforce my skills doing inset seams.

This is actually my second project using set in seams. The first one, Go! Be Dazzled, which is MUCH bigger, needs to have those inset seams “improved” before I quilt it, so it currently sits in the closet.


This is the hand dyed piece that I used a portion of for the star and border in this project.

The inset squares and triangles that make up the background are left over from the backing for my Hand Dyed Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt (which still needs to be quilted).

I will use the same purple for the binding.


I used a portion of a second, coordinating, hand dyed piece for the backing.

I quilted this on my Baby Lock Tiara.

I was impatient and anxious to get it under the quilting needle, and as a result, I am not very happy with the first area that I quilted, the 4 purple corner blocks.

I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but did not take the time to properly plan and mark. I saw a nice design in Judi Madsen‘s book, liked it and I tried to freehand it.


For most quilting designs, I am not yet experienced enough to quilt without at least some markings to guide me.

My favorite part of the quilting is the borders, which was inspired by Angela Walter’s Dot to Dot Quilting class. I made a plan and marked my quilting lines and it paid off.

I also like the purple triangles. These, too, were marked before quilting.

The straight lines in the diamonds were marked, but the rounded designs on the outer halves were not. I have mixed feelings on the end result for these.

Here is a view of the backside. On smaller projects like this, I like to use triangles in the corners with a small round café rod or a wooden dowel for hanging.

I am happy with this project, but definitely feel that I can do better on the quilting.

Practice, practice, practice!


Project Details:

Finished Size is 18.5″ Square

Hand Dyed #2014.04.06.1of3

Hand Dyed #2014.04.06.3of3

Left Over Purple from Scrappy Trip Around The World Quilt

Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. Cotton Thread Color #2024 (white)

Quilted with Marathon 60 wt.Trilobal Polyester Thread, Color #2141 (lt. grey)

FYI: If you sign up for any Craftsy classes, purchased or free, using the links on this blog, I will receive a portion of the proceeds. Of course, I will most likely use these proceeds to purchase additional Craftsy classes, so thank you for supporting my crafty education.


Oops! I Won a Craftsy Class!

Sandy, at Quilting for the Rest of Us Podcast & Blog just celebrated her 4th Podcastiversary (podcast anniversary).

To celebrate, she hosted 2 give aways, one for a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and one for a Craftsy Class.

This is where the Oops! in this blog title comes in.

The contest was set to run through Sunday, April 6th, but on Tuesday, April 1st, I received an e-mail from Craftsy telling me that they drew my name as the winner of the free class. Yeah me!  But like I said, the contest was set to run for several more days. They notified Sandy at the same time and she immediately let Craftsy know that the contest was not yet over, so they generously drew another winner at the end of the contest.

So, what class did I choose?

Luminous Lone Star

With Courtenay Hughes

The class consists of 7 lessons.

  1. Getting Started
  2. Lone Star Pillow Top
  3. Four Color Lone Star Quilt
  4. Continuing the Four Color Lone Sar Quilt
  5. Baby Lone Star Block
  6. Foundation Lone Star
  7. Bonus Lesson: Troubleshooting

I have watched about half of the classes so far and actually completed the first project, but instead of making mine into a pillow, I am making it into a wall quilt.

I am using more of my hand dyed fabrics for this project. This is the center star, ready for those inset seams.

So far, so good!

After setting in the final pieces, I trimmed as directed and started to add the borders. I did not like the large gap between the star points and the border, so I removed the border and cut the block down to a smaller size and re-attached the borders.

Now to quilt it.

I am using more hand dyed fabric for the backing and binding.

Happy 4th Podcastiversary to Sandy! Thanks for the class!

My Hand Dyes are Becoming a Quilt Top

In my most recent post,  I talked about my decision to cut into my hand dyes, and the making of my first block of a Scrappy Trip(s) Around the World quilt.

These 20 blocks went together pretty quickly.

This is the layout that I decided that I liked.

Time to sew the blocks together.

Oops! The bottom row is upside down and the borders have already been added. Darn!

When I was taking pictures of it yesterday, I thought something looked “different”, but it was not until I was reviewing the photos today that I noticed my error.

I thought about leaving it, but it would have bugged me.

Tonight, I picked the borders from the bottom row, and the bottom row from the rest of the quilt top.

I hope to get it put back together tomorrow.

Cutting Into My Hand Dyes

Over the past couple of years, I have been playing, off and on, with hand dyeing fabrics. I am still experimenting with the dye process, so I want to keep my fabric costs down a bit without risking the quality of the end product.

At the moment, I am using 120″ wide Premium Muslin. I buy it when I can get it for half price or less. For my purposes, the Premium Muslin is actually pretty nice to work with.

Through my experimentations, I have accumulated a nice stash of a variety of dyed fabrics ranging from Cheap Muslin, to Premium Muslin, to Kona and many other weights and qualities in between. Some are dyed using Low Water Immersion (LWI) technique and others are dyed by Ice Dyeing.

I have decided that it is finally time to start making use of these hand dyes.

I settled on making a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. I guess the layout that I am using is actually called Many Trips Around the World. I found the free pattern on Bonnie Hunter’s blog.

I began by cutting most of the fabrics into 2.5″ strips. It was fun to see how the fabrics looked different once they were cut.

I grouped the strips into sets of 6. Each set has at least 1 darkest strip that will run through the center of the block, from corner to corner.

Twelve of the strip sets seamed together.

The strips were then folded end to end, and the ends stitched closed.

Next, they were sub cut into 2.5″ wide strip sets.

Don’t they look pretty?

The six identical strips, from one set, were laid out side by side and then the colors were rotated so that the second color in the first strip becomes the top color in the second strip.

This is repeated for all six strips so that all 6 colors end up as a top color.

The very top seam of the rotated strips is unstitched to reveal the complete rotation of colors.

This is where I re-pressed the seam allowances to be sure they were lying flat.

I turned them all over, right sides up, so that they would be just as the finished block would be looking from the right side.

This made it easier for me to keep everything in order as I was stitching them together.

I worked from left to right, keeping the strip on the left face up and flipping the strip to the right, so that the strips are right sides together, lining up horizontal seam lines, and stitch down the right side.

Continue joining strips until all 6 strips form the complete block.

One block finished, 19 more to go.

Arizona Quilters Guild 2014 Quilt Show ~ Part 2

2014 AZ Quilt Show ~ Part 2

In my last post, I shared photos of some of my favorite quilts at this years Arizona Quilters Guild Quilt Show.

Once I got all of the quilt photos that I wanted, I visited the vendors and did a little bit of shopping.

I only bought a few things, and I am thrilled with what I got.

I already had a cone of King Tut thread that I got for nearly free a few weeks ago, but it is too brightly variegated for most projects that I would stitch.

I wanted softer colors so I decided to try the pink and the grey.

I did some sample stitches with both colors last night and really like the subtle variegations in each color and the texture of the thread on the surface of the fabric. It is not the right thread for a dense quilt design, but it will be perfect for a more open design that you want to show.

These 2 issues of Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine came out before my subscription started.   These were discounted and the price was right, so they came home with me.

The fabric in the background is a panel by Angela Walters. It was designed for practicing FMQ.  I first saw this panel in her Craftsy Class, Machine Quilting Negative Space . While watching the class, I thought that I would like to have it, and now I do. J


The big GRAND FINALE to my day at the show is that I got to go to not only one, but two lectures by Angela Walters!

During the first lecture, she talked about how she became a quilter, thanks to her husband’s grandfather. She also talked about machine quilting modern quilts.

She is fun and has a very relaxed, easy going, personality.

There was a little over an hour between the two lectures. During that time, Darren and Keith, from Mulqueen’s, quickly brought in and set up a long arm for Angela to quilt on.

That is Darren in the face ID square. I was too slow with the camera to catch Keith completely in this photo.

The first class was free, but there was a fee for the second. Fortunately, I scored a free pass from Mulqueen’s on their Facebook page earlier in the week.

I really like how they did this with the live video display. It was nice to hear and see Angela quilting up on the stage, and at the same time, be able to see the actual quilting. It was a very nice presentation.

Afterward, we were all welcome to come up onto the stage area and talk to Angela and take photos of her quilts and quilting. She is very generous. If you are not familiar with Angela, you should visit her website and her blog.

I think the rest of the year will be much more low key for me when it comes to quilt/craft/sewing events. (I haven’t even blogged about February yet!) I am fortunate to be able to attend such events and am ready to put my knowledge and newly acquired products and supplies into action throughout the rest of the year.

Arizona Quilters Guild 2014 Quilt Show ~ My Favorite Favorites

2014 AZ Quilt Show ~ Part 1

My Favorite Favorites

This was the week end that the Arizona Quilters Guild held their annual quilt show.

I went with the intention of coming home with lots of photos.

I enjoy taking the time to admire the beautiful quilts while I am standing in front of them, but I really get to appreciate them when I get back home.

I like to study the photos, close up.  I see details that I did not notice when I was right there with them.

I also play the photos as a slide show on the TV screen in my sewing room. Talk about inspiration!


Here are some of my most favorite favorites.


Stargazer     *     Pieced by Carol Mockenhaupht      Quilted by Ann Skitt

I LOVE the transition of the shades of  pinks with the gray accents!


Hope of Hartford Double Star Quilt    *    Carma Reiss

The green accent is a great accent.


Purple Agave    *    Vicky Bohnhoff

It looks like light is shining from within.


Feathered Star Frustration    *     JoAnn Taylor Rice

In the Hoop Machine Embroidered. This is one that I might tackle when the time is right.


Pickle Prominade    *    Betty Santa

This one was also machine embroidered, but I am not as familiar with the pattern/design.  There is so much that I really like about this quilt.


Orange Glow   *   Alyce Leach

This is one of several Pineapple Block quilts that were all on display together.


Fall Harvest    *     Alyce Leach

Another version of the Pineapple Block quilt.

I didn’t realize until I was inserting and labeling this photo that both of these were made by the same person. She is so very creative with the use of appliques on an already wonderful quilt.


Spool Quilt    *    Alyce Leach

Another reason I appreciate having these photos: I just now realized that this is yet another quilt by Alyce Leach. I obviously like her work.

I would love to make one like this for my sewing room. Maybe someday.


I had a hard time limiting my favorites for sharing. I hope you enjoyed looking at them. I will continue my Quilt Show experience in a separate post very soon.

Stay Tuned.