applique

Grand Format Embroidery by Innova

I just can't believe that it has finally happened! I am soooo excited! Innova Longarm Quilt machines now have the ability to embroider! It wasn't that long ago that I wondered about the possibility of combining my two favorite things --- quilting and embroidery--- and now the future has arrived!

Just imagine having a hoop that is 20 inches high by......almost 14 feet long! Yes, you read that right. Fourteen FEET. The possibilities are endless. I can use designs that I have already designed (or purchased) in a DST format. I bring them into the Mach 3 software on my Innova machine and I am ready to stitch!

The first day I tried the new Grand Format Embroidery, I was able to quilt a project first, and then add embroidery to it. It reminds me of a vintage approach.

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The second time I tried it, I made a cross-hatched kind of background with bubbles and then added embroidery to that.

 

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For my third project, I decided to try applique right on the quilt machine! I pre-cut my daisies using a Brother Scan N Cut machine. First I quilted the table runner, then I ironed on the applique pieces, and then I embroidered them. To finish it off, I quilted the border and then added binding. Ta da!

 

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The pattern for this runner is available to owners of Innova Grand Format Embroidery users in our shop. Please contact robin@CandyAppleQuilts.com if you own a Gammill machine with Statler Stitcher and an embroidery machine, and I can make the files available to you for stitching.

Elaine's Quilt

This quilt was partially hand quilted, and then Elaine decided to try stitching the outer border on her sewing machine. After trying to tackle something so large on her home machine, she called me to ask if I could finish it for her. Only half of her blocks were cross-hatched, and none of the sashes or cornerstones were stitched. There were lots of basting threads holding everything together, and grey pencil marks in all of the backgrounds on the un-stitched blocks!

Elaine had drawn a cable pattern around the outer border of the quilt, and managed to complete machine stitching the entire area. The remaining sections to be finished were all of the sashes, the cornerstones, and half of the cross-hatched blocks. The beautiful applique needed to be held in place too.

 

Elaine has been doing hand-applique for a long time, and has really shown that she is ready (willing and able!) to tackle any pattern she wants to try. With numerous projects started, she really wanted to see this one finished. It was going to be a gift for a special family member.

 

I duplicated her cross-hatching and chose the designs for her sashes and blocks. After the quilt was finished, she was thrilled with the results. Enjoy the gallery below to see close-ups of the blocks in Elaine’s quilt.


Painting a Rose

Inspiration struck the minute I saw this design from Christy Dillon at My Creative Stitches. I love roses, and this is one of the prettiest ones I have seen. This pattern has so many possibilities! I could see it as an edge to edge (the way it was designed), and I could see the rose as a motif in pretty white blocks done with a pale pink thread. I also started dreaming of a whole cloth, and ways to add a touch of color to the beautiful design. That's when the idea of painting it occurred to me.

I stitched out a sample at 12 inches high on a quilt sandwich. Perfect. I love the way the frame completes the design. I sat down with my acrylic paints, a bit of water, and some shaving cream. The shaving cream is wonderful for mixing with paint in a cup to thicken it just a bit. That helps keep the paint from bleeding outside of the lines. I mixed three containers of paint: one in pink, one in green, and one in bronze. Using three brushes (so I wouldn't have to rinse in between colors), I painted a base coat on each area.

For the pink section, I used the color as it came out of the bottle (mixed with shaving cream), and then kept adding a little white paint to make the pink softer and lighter. As I added each thin layer of paint, I blended with the previous areas to achieve a shaded appearance. When the pink portion looked the way I wanted it to, I used a new cup to mix white paint with a little water. Staying away from the edges, I added this thin color wash to the entire pink rose.

 

I used the same technique for the leaves, but instead of adding white to my dark green, I added light green to the shaving cream mixture to lighten it up. When the leaves looked the way I wanted them to, I used a new container with the palest shade of green and just a tiny bit of water. Again, staying away from the edges, I added a wash to the leaves.

The bronze frame was the easiest part since it is all one color. When it was done, I used a new cup and mixed metallic gold with water for a wash. Now my sample was complete, but what to do with it? I knew I wanted a wall hanging that would be approximately 40 inches square for hanging over my desk. I wanted to duplicate the look of the bronze border because I really like the way it is shaped.

I cut pieces of freezer paper and taped them together to make my 40 inch square. That way, I had something to draw on. I placed my newly painted rose sample toward the upper left side. It looked a bit lonely there, and as I said, I wanted to duplicate the bronze border. But.... how to do that? I enlarged the rose pattern by 54%, and then used just the one section that I wanted as a pattern. Using a freezer paper applique technique, I cut out my bronze pieces and laid them on my master pattern. This left me with quite a bit of open area.

It was easy to draw straight lines from the smaller bronze frame out to the larger intersections, and I knew that I wanted different shades of pink fabric for each of the blades. Since I was already working on freezer paper, I knew I would be able to cut up my master pattern and use those pieces for cutting the pink sections. For the green outer section, I pieced together 2 inch squares cut from 2 1/2 inch strips in different shades of green to match the leaves. I only pieced a section that was large enough to cover the open space on the pattern.

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I cut my pink sections with the patterns from the freezer paper master pattern, and sewed them together. Then I put them on top of the green section and added the completed bronze pieces. Using a machine blanket stitch, I sewed the bronze pieces in place and trimmed away anything on the back that didn't need to be there. Time to head to the quilt machine.

Using a Gammill machine with a Statler Stitcher, I chose the design that I wanted for each pink blade. I had to modify a design that I owner so that it would fit into the area. After the design was sewn in each pink section I micro-stippled around each design. I then used a white thread and micro-stippled around the open white area in the original rose section. The green squares stitched quickly with a point to point curve. I added the binding while the quilt was still on the machine, and finished it by hand when I was done.

I'm still pondering a couple of thoughts with this project. It would be easy to "open" the rose from the back and add a little stuffing to it to make it stand out more. Also, I'm thinking that some crystals may look nice in the larger bronze sections. I really think it’s amazing how our quilts go through the blooming process. Please feel free to give me your opinions.

Happy quilting to all, and may your bobbins never be empty!

Ring of Posies Wall-Hanging

It all started when I read Linda Poole's newest book called Painted Applique. I've included a link at the bottom, because you are going to want this book! I knew that I would become addicted to applique, and that's exactly what has happened!  Linda has beautiful projects in her newest book, and I just fell in love with the one called Ring of Posies. There were various techniques that I have been wanting to try, and having lots of white space enabled me to do just that. Surprisingly, the first area I considered was the outer corners. I knew this wall-hanging would need to lay flat against the wall, so I wanted something that would be even and stable.  I decided on a one-inch grid. That's one of my favorites.

Corner
Corner

Since feathers are my absolute favorite, and just had to add the circular feather wreath design in the center. And speaking of the center, this ring of posies is not perfectly circular, which (in my opinion) makes it perfect! It's much easier to feature a design in the center of something if you don't have to fret over whether all of the circular elements are perfectly aligned. I extended the feathered wreath by echoing it. As you can see in the pictures, some of the echoing travels out further in some parts than in other parts. Being able to do that just added to the fun!

I knew that I wanted to have some micro-stippling close to the applique, just to make it pop up a bit.

Partially echoed quilted circle
Partially echoed quilted circle

Here's another angle on the center section:

Feathered circle
Feathered circle

And the entire wall-hanging:

Posies
Posies

You will LOVE doing this project!  And the great thing about Linda's new book is that every project in it is featured in applique (like this one)and also in a painted version of applique! She has some gorgeous birds that she shows you how to paint, and it looks like a very easy process. That may just be my next project! Here's a link to Linda's Painted Applique book

Or, save some time and purchase the finished 40 x  40 wall-hanging! Available for a short time only, this quilt is priced at $275.00 including shipping to your location inside the continental United States only.

Update: Quilt has been sold!

Christmas Applique Quilt

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Carolyn Burgess, the owner of Applique, Quilts, and More.  She has the most wonderful applique kits, and they are all available with or without fusible on the back.  I think that's a great idea, because sometimes I like to do needle-turn applique, and I prefer not to have any fusible on my pieces. She has lots of themes to choose from, and her Christmas blocks are my very favorite!  Carolyn brought her quilt over, and we decided on an overall motif --- quilting right through her appliques.  There are lots of opinions on this because some people think that you can never do that with a fused applique because there is too much stiffness.  These appliqued pieces were soft and had a very nice drape, so there was no problem at all stitching right through them.

Another fun thing about Carolyn's approach to this quilt is that you can order individual blocks and make as many projects as you can imagine just using your favorites!  For instance, I love the cardinals that are featured in the Applique Christmas Block of the Month section, and I would like to do a few of them as gifts.  I can buy as many of those sections as I want, without having to buy an entire kit! And better yet, I can send a favorite fabric of mine to Carolyn, and she will cut my pieces out of my fabric for me! She really has a great selection of pieces, and I can see lots of future inspiration coming from her pre-cut applique pieces and kits. She has just saved a lot of time for me!

Patriotic Eagle Quilt

I was thrilled when Barbara brought this quilt in to be finished!  I love anything patriotic, and this was a true original! It's based on a Lone Star quilt, with the different areas being changed to suit the design of the eagle in the center section.  Barbara took it a step further though, and added her own ideas for the borders.  Using her embroidery software, she added lettering in the large outer border, and also appliqued swags.

 

I love the circle of stars that she designed!

 

And the back is striking too, because we decided to use various colors to match the stitching on the front:

All of the pictures are below.  Make sure to "open" them by clicking on each one, and then clicking again, so that you can make them larger and see all of the detail.

Valentine's Day Project

What would be more perfect for Valentine's Day (or any day?) with your sweetheart than fluffy towels, a bottle of wine, and a warm candlelight bubble bath? You could even applique this romantic design on to a matching nightie, or cover for your wine bottle. Order this project today and celebrate in style!

You will receive a zip file with an embroidery file of your chosen machine format, a PDF of instructions for stitching the applique that includes photos to make this romantic project quick and easy -- even for a beginner!

 

 

Holly Lane

Christmas is my favorite time of year, and this quilt tops my list of things that can make me start singing Christmas carols! While working on this beautiful quilt, I could imagine cookies baking, twinkling lights, and the sound of jingle bells.

Bev did a beautiful job piecing this quilt from The Quilt Company, and it was truly a joy for me to do the quilting on it! The quilt is called Holly Lane, and you can see it here. We decided to use Christmas bells, holly leaves, hearts, and stars in the separate borders to add even more fun to the quilt. Each of the four corners has a crisp snowflake. Bev still has a little more work to do. There are red buttons to be sewn on all the way around the outer border, tiny door knobs to add, slower buttons in the windows, and hand-stitched smoke from one of the chimneys. A dark green binding will finish the edges of this quilt. Each house features a layer of high-loft polyester batting to make it really stand out from the background.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Hooterville in a Hurry

There are many patterns to choose from these days that are geared toward busy schedules, and this cute quilt from Connecting Threads is one of the best. It features owls that are bright and happy, and the Hooterville kit has all the fabric you need to hand-applique each owl and tree. It's designed by Linda Hohag of Brandywine Designs.

Needing a gift quickly, my friend Linda decided to make the center border from the same fabric as the outer border. Hearts are quilted in the center border, and stars are quilted around the outer edge of the quilt.

To take it one step further, the owls and trees were digitized so each block could be machine embroidered. This gift was finished in a flash! Details were quilted on the owls and trees, and stippling fills all of the white areas. This quilt was fast and fun! Make sure to click each image twice, so you can see the largest version.

Working with Minkee

I have a love/hate relationship with Minkee — but mostly love! Leslie brought two quilts recently that both have Minkee involved. One of the quilts had a Minkee backing, and the other quilt featured Minkee on the front for applique fabrics. Minkee can be tricky to work with on a longarm machine. Keeping the stretch parallel to the rollers will help to keep the stretchiness of a wild Minkee backing  tamed. Also, keeping the side clamps very loose —- so loose that you will think that the quilt top looks rather baggy —- will also help you to avoid having the backing shrink up when you remove the quilt from the machine. The most important tip I like to pass along is: REMEMBER NOT TO ROLL THE QUILT TOO TIGHTLY.  If that’s the only tip you remember, you will avoid a lot of headaches.

Backings pieced from Minkee should be avoided if possible. Because of the thickness of the Minkee, the seam on the backing can show through to the front of the quilt. Also, it’s a bit difficult to piece Minkee without having it slide around, causing a backing that looks square on the table to look like this on the machine:

If this backing had been pieced out of any other fabric but Minkee, I would have removed it from the machine and done the piecing over. As it was, I held my breath and let the extra fabric be absorbed by the dense snowflakes that would be quilted on it.

If you have any frustrations during the process of working with Minkee, just slide your hand across the wonderful fabric and you will be guaranteed to smile!

If you would like to experiment with a little touch of Minkee, but don’t want to use it for the entire quilt, consider using it for your appliqué fabric. Leslie brought over a quilt that had adorable elephants appliquéd on it, and she used various pieces of Minkee as the appliqué fabric. She used flat Minkee, striped, nubby… a little bit over everything. The elephants look so cute with the little bows on their heads!

Baby's Bow Wow Blankie

Puppy Love There's nothing better than having someone come to pick up her quilt, and having her give me a giant hug!  Karen worked hard on this adorable quilt for her little grand-daughter, and it was worth every minute.  Her piecing is perfect, the applique is precise and smooth, and the finished project is wonderful!

Karen wanted to have a quilting design that reflected something to go along with the puppy theme. We chose a design from Vickie Maleski that has small bones and paw prints. She requested that there be no quilting on the puppy appliques that surround the outer border.

Puppy

All the quilting was done to surround the puppys, but not stitch over them. Karen is deciding if she would like to leave the puppys unquilted (as shown in the original pattern), or if she would like to add some hand quilting to them.  The quilt is adorable just as it is, but the nice thing about adding hand-quilting is that she can add it at a later date, even after the quilt has been laundered numerous times. Now that's flexibility!

The Baby's Bow Wow Blankie  pattern was created by Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night Folk Art Designs, and is available by clicking here.  Be sure to click on the pictures below to see more of Karen's quilt project!

Christmas Candles Galore!

Nine elegant designs, combining the best of applique and embroidery. There are so many possibilities with these designs! Table cloths, napkins, placemats, sweatshirts, quilts, sweaters, cookie tins, gift boxes and tags, pillows........ These designs were featured in the November/December 2006 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine. To order these designs as a collection, please visit our store.  These are actual stitch-outs of the designs -- you click click on each image to see a larger picture.

Under the Sea Collection!

Welcome to our own little island get-away‚ Under the Sea! This collection of eight wonderful sea creatures would love to swim into your life. Each applique fits in a five by seven hoop. To purchase this collection, click here.

The Snowybears are ready to play!

The Snowybears are here to have some winter fun with you! Machine embroidery, applique, and a gentle fur texture to their coats! Easy enough for a beginner, and fun for the entire winter! To order these designs, click here.

"When life gives you broken dishes.....

..... use paper plates!" That's the name of the most recent quilt from a fantastic artist Kim Montagnese. This quilt is a new twist on the old favorite Broken Dishes.  Kim added lots of fun to this quilt pattern with a new method of applique, rubber stamping, and even silverware! My favorite part is the expression stamped on the quilt top that says "You can lead me to the kitchen, but you can't make me cook".  That's fits me perfectly!

Kim wanted "fun" quilting on this one! Here are some pictures:

There's a cute story about what happened when Kim was working on this quilt over at her blog Colorz My World. She had a little "boo boo" that needed a band-aid -- literally!

Kim sells her patterns, and teaches fun classes on making them. You can reach her by sending an email to Kim Montagnese at Montagnese@oh.rr.com.

The Chubby Bees!

The Chubby Bees have come to visit, and they just LOVE little babies! This collection of designs features just a touch of applique, making them simple -- and fun! These designs are a joy to stitch, and will keep you -- and baby! -- smiling all day long! To purchase this collection, click here.

Floral Applique Motifs

These designs combine the best of applique and embroidery! Fast and fun, these are sized for the 5x7 hoop. You can use them on blue jeans and jackets, curtains, towels, etc. Click on each picture below to see the details of the actual stitch-outs. To purchase these designs as a collection of six designs, click here.  To purchase any of these designs individually, click here.

Summer at Mom's Quilt

Romantic pinwheels and hand applique The quilt was made possible with a lot of help from my friends on my Candy Apple Quilts Yahoo group. I asked for everyone to send a 6-inch strip of floral fabric to me so I could have lots of variety. The response was overwhelming! Here are just some of the fabrics that I received:

Lots of florals!

Shades of green for the leaves

I was intrigued with finding a faster way to create all of the half-square triangles that would be needed for the center section, and for the border. Using a Gammill machine with a Statler Stitcher enabled me to do most of the work with the computer! I put a solid white fabric on the machine first. Then, I placed a strip of floral fabric right side down on the white fabric with a pin at each end to hold it in place. Using the computer, I set up all of the sewing for the half square triangles.I then cut the strips apart and ironed the pieces open to create all of the pieces I needed for the pinwheels.

When all of the pinwheels were complete, it didn't take long to sew them together into the center portion of the quilt.

Each of the fabric strips right sides together

From the various green fabrics, I cut all of the leaves for the appliqued border. All of the applique was done by hand.

Back to the quilting machine with more white fabric, and a pretty lime green. All of the half square triangles were laid out in advance, and sewn row after row, non-stop.

After cutting the rows and blocks apart, I had all of the half square triangles that I needed for the outer border of the quilt!

The only job left was to measure the applique borders and the outer borders, and apply them. I added the binding, sprinkled a few yo-yos on for fun, and it's done! Click on the images below to see the full-sized pictures.

This pattern for the quilt is available from McCall's Magazine. For the half square triangle Statler pattern, please email Gary and Linda Schmitz at ewok335@centurytel.net, or check their web site for patterns.

April Blossoms Quilt

This pattern was featured in the March/April issue of Quiltmaker Magazine. When I saw it, I knew that it would be the perfect stash-buster! It's so much fun to use up old fabric, so I can go shopping for more!

This quilt is made by hand-appliqueing a central square that measures 24 inches. Then, seven different borders are added that consist of half-square triangles, piano keys, standard borders, and four rectangular areas with more hand-applique. Having lots of large sections made the quilt top go together very quickly, and it was lots of fun!

To complete the quilt, I used a very small stipple in the areas surrounding the appliques, and patterns from Anne Bright's Merrily Blooming collection for all of the other areas.

To finish everything and add a little more pizzazz, I made yo-yos from fabric, attched them to the flowers, and then added buttons on top! If you click on these images below, and then click again, you will be able to see the full size pictures.