Apparently cutting out pieces for a baby quilt caused some people to speculate, but I can assure you that it really is for a friend, not for me. In fact, I have a few friends having babies soon, so I might make a couple more baby quilts. I wasn’t planning on doing this quilt until the end of the month, but I had to do the cutting so that I would know how much fabric I had left over to make some appliqué animal blocks. I love doing appliqué with my embroidery machine. It is fast, easy and looks great. I think it is especially good for baby and kid quilts, since it will wash well. If I make a baby quilt as a gift, I am expecting that it will actually be used, so I want something practical. If I spend a lot of time doing handwork, I want to hang it on a wall.
Since a lot of people don’t have embroidery machines, I thought I would show how the machine appliqué is done. I set my machine and it will go while am doing other things like laundry or making supper. After each step, the machine stops and waits for me to come and set up the next one. These animal blocks take about thirty minutes of stitching time, but that works out to less than five minutes of my time. All I have to do is trim fabric and change thread colour.
I place my background fabric in a hoop, and this mounts on a moveable arm on my sewing machine. It works like free motion quilting, except the sewing machine is moving it according to the design. First the outline of the appliqué is stitched onto the fabric in a light colour. This is a good way to use up little bits of thread. The bobbin thread is not changed throughout the entire design, so there is nothing to match it to.
This shows me how big the appliqué is and where it is located. Now I place the appliqué fabric over the stitching. The machine then stitches it again.
When it is done, I remove the hoop from the machine and trim around the stitch line.
This design has two fabrics in the appliqué, so I will repeat it with the second one.
Here it is with all the fabric trimmed and ready to be finished.
Now I add some more details with machine embroidery.
The edges are finished with satin stitches.
Here it is! What a cute elephant. This design is from the “Noah and Friends” set from Designs by JuJu. Using spare minutes, I have finished all eight appliqué blocks for the baby quilt. Now I just have to do the pieced blocks and finish it.