How To Quilt With An Embroidery Machine?


The old Singer Featherweights, which were only capable of a single stitch, have been replaced by much more advanced models of sewing machines. The fact that newer machines can sew a variety of fancy embroidery stitches is something that a lot of quilters really appreciate.

These machines can be used for quilting in addition to producing fun quilt blocks that can be used in the quilting process.

Create Embroidered Blocks

I would like to make a quilt out of the blocks that I embroidered for my grandson, and I have already done the embroidery. I will be working with a block that is 6.5 inches by 10.5 inches. The batting measures 96 inches by 108 inches. Is that going to be the size of the quilt I make?

How many blocks do I need, and how much fabric do I need for the sashing that goes around each block? The sashing will be done in a different color than the background.”

I have designed a quilt that makes use of 70 blocks in total, including 35 embroidered blocks and 35 fabric blocks. The blocks measure 6 inches by 10 inches. When you said the dimensions were 6 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches, I’m going to assume you meant to include the seam allowances in that measurement.

In addition, I have included sashing that is 2 1/2 inches wide (when finished) and cornerstones that are 2 1/2 inches square. Cornerstones are squares that are placed in the corners where the blocks meet the sashing (finished size).

The embroidered blocks can be arranged in alternating spaces if you use this particular quilt design. If you click on the picture, you will be taken to a document that contains a picture of this quilt as well as the requirements for the fabric.
There are two borders: the one on the inside measures 2 1/2 inches, and the one on the outside measures 4 1/2 inches.

Both of those measurements represent the size of the finished product.

I really hope this helps.

Using Your Embroidery Machine for Quilting

Recently, a quilter questioned whether or not it was possible for her to quilt her project by employing embroidery stitches on her machine. Because my vintage Featherweight sewing machine is incapable of embroidery, I polled some other quilters to find out the answer to my question.

There were a few of you who chimed in, and the general consensus seemed to be that she could, in fact, put her embroidery machine to use in the quilting process. In addition, a number of quilters provided hints that would make the process simpler.

A good number of quilters came to the conclusion that the most effective method was to first quilt each block on its own, and then to piece the blocks together using the Quilt as You Go method.

One quilter stated, “If you have a design (preferably an open design without a lot of fill, like Redwork or the designs that were specifically made for quilting), then you can embroider right through the top, batting, and backing (all while having them placed in the hoop, of course).”

“You can get a trapunto look by quilting through the batting with or without using the backing (you’ll need a stabilizer to keep the batting from catching underneath) and doing an extra layer of batting, which can be cut away outside the design after you’ve completed the first outline; alternatively, you can fill it the traditional way.”

These suggestions came from a different quilter:

“Use a hoop and tearaway stabilizer if you are working on a quilt that is already finishedโ€ฆ

You can use some that you have already used, which will ensure that the center has been torn out. Applying some adhesive to the top of the stabilizer, then “sticking” your quilt to the correct location, will complete the process. After that, you can secure the design to the stabilizer by running a basting stitch around it; however, there won’t be much of this stitch left in the finished product for you to remove. The quilt is stable enough that there is no requirement for any additional stabilizing to be done underneath the design area. That sums up everything nicely, doesn’t it?

And still one more quilter commented:

“I have a Janome MC11000, which is a combination embroidery and sewing machine. I use it frequently. In particular, since the 11000 has been updated with the new Acufil quilting features and hoop, I find that machine quilting is a breeze. Before that, all I would do to prepare my machine for free motion quilting would be to drop the feed dogs and get started.

Just received this from Nan:

Because I make a lot of baby quilts, the majority of which are donated to charity, I combine embroidered blocks with plain blocks in my designs. Then, after partially quilting the top by doing redwork (but not in red!) in the blank blocks on my embroidery machine through all of the layers, I shadow quilt around the designs that are on the embroidered blocks. They are very durable and have a charming appearance when made with the same designs but with the outlines only for the quilted blocks.

In addition, from Nancy:

“If you have a design that needs to be hooped, then the machine will do all of the work, and all you have to do is watch it, or you can do something else like I do.” My sewing room is adjacent to my laundry room, so while I am stitching, I am usually either loading the washer or folding laundry in my laundry room. The advice that the ladies had given you was of the highest caliber.

This was sent from Hawaii by Lin:

“In my experience with my embroidery machine, there is a module that you place on the sewing machine, and then the designs are programmed through the computer in the sewing machine using either a card, a disk, or the machine’s internal memory.”

In terms of stitches, my Brother machine does not provide a selection of “embroidery” stitches because the purpose of the embroidery module is to enable the sewing of pre-programmed designs such as a duck, a flower, and so on. My Brother does not provide this option. To use an embroidery module, one must first hoop the area that will be stitched, and the machine will handle the rest of the process.

Since the sewing machine will automatically stitch the pattern, I would imagine that the weight of the quilt poses a risk of causing damage to the sewing machine. To put it another way, once I get started, the only thing I have to do is switch out the different colored threads so that I can make the pattern that I want. Both my Brother and my Bernina have built-in decorative stitches that can be used without the need for an embroidery module in either machine.

Nancy says:

“Another suggestion is to embroider designs on my rag quilts using my sewing machine. These are the ones that I make most often for charity quilts; the flannel is cut into squares measuring 7 inches, and the seam allowance is half an inch. Alternate blocks of paired printed flannel with blocks of paired plain flannel that either complement or contrast one another, using the same concept for the embroidered designs. When the embroidery is done using the pairs together, the quilt can be turned inside out. Only embellish the plain flannel blocks with your embroidery.

All of these quilters are in agreement that it is possible to quilt your quilt using an embroidery machine and still make use of the lovely stitches that it produces. The majority of quilters who provided feedback agreed that working on one block at a time yields the best results when it comes to quilting. It is much simpler to handle a single block at a time as opposed to the process of feeding a queen-sized quilt through your machine. This is analogous to quilting on a home sewing machine.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this quilting survey!

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