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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Embroidery 101: Questions Answered

Questions? Missed a post? Find the index here.

There have been several good questions about the Stitch & Quilt Along, so I will do my best to answer the main ones here.  If you have any questions, please add them to the comments and I will do my best to answer them in the post.  I hope this will help straighten out any confustion!

Q: I'm using stranded floss instead of perle cotton, how many strands should I use?

A:  I prefer to use three strands of floss for embroidery.  It seems to resemble the thickness of the perle cotton.  Another option is to do a few sample stitches using 2, 3, or 4 threads and see which you prefer.

Q: Will there be a timeline so we know what when need to finish each part of the quilt and embroidery?

A: I have listed the approximate dates for each post on the index page.  Here are a few thing to remember: only three FQ need to be cut at a time, and only one block needs to be sewn at a time, do not worry if you feel like you're a little behind.  You will have two weeks to complete each embroidery block, with the alternating weeks introducing the new stitches.  This will give time to sew the blocks if you choose to sew them one at a time and to practice the new stitches before starting.

Q: Once I square up my fat quarters they're only measuring 17" x 20/22", what do I do?

A:  If your fat quarters have not been cut well, you could have this problem.  I recommend cutting all your strips at 2 3/4" instead of 3" {therefore, the 6" piece will only be 5 1/2".  Note: to get the best piece of leftover, cut the piece at 6", then cut your 3 - 2" squares, and then cut the remaining piece into two 2 3/4" pieces or cut one of your 2" squares from the other 18" strip}.  Leave your center white blocks the same {you can choose to adjust the photo corner squares and white sashing, if you wish, or leave it the same}.  See the cutting directions here.

Q:  Can I make this quilt with fat eighths instead of fat quarters?

A:  You should be able to.  You will need two fat eighths for each fat quarter.  One will be the photo corners and inner square, the other will be the outer square alone.  If your fat quarters do not measure exactly 9" x 22", you may need to adjust your widths to 2 3/4" {as detailed above} or even 2 1/2".  The photo corners and inner piece cut the following:
  • 4 - 2" squares
  • 2 - 3" x 7 1/2" rectangles
  • 2 - 3" x 12 1/2" rectangles
For the outer square cut 3 - 3" x 22" strips.  Cut one of the strips in half and sew it with 1/4" seam allowance to each of the other strips.  From each strip cut a 12 1/2" rectangle and a 18 1/2" rectangle.  I suggest measuring your fat eighths and trying this with a spare fat eighth before cutting all your fabric as each cut can be a little different.

Q: Should I prewash my white/solid fabric before embroidering on it?

A:  I'm using Moda Bella solids for my white, and as I generally don't prewash designer fabric, I am not prewashing mine. I would do the same if using some Kona white. However, if I use a regular fabric from JoAnn or something similar, I usually do prewash it, as it seems to have a little more shrinkage than the designer fabric. But, since we're ironing fusible stabilizer on them, it probably isn't too important either way, more of just a preference kind of thing. I also plan to machine quilt the white square about 1/8" from the edge when I'm finished, so that should reduce any shifting as well.

Q: How do you decide which fabrics should be in each block?

A:  I have tried to spread out my colors between blocks {instead of having blocks all have a similar color} and also to vary the size of print in each block {one small, one medium, and one larger print per block}.  I have made all of my blocks in sets of threes {three fabrics rotated in different positions for three blocks}, then I will shuffle them around the quilt.

I think this answers most of the questions I've seen, but, as I said before, feel free to add yours or to e-mail me at jennie {at} cloverandviolet {dot} com.  Everyone's progress looks great, I am really enjoying quilting with all of you!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being so clear at each step! I took a look at the dates you have listed and gasped (in my head anyway) when I saw that we won't be done until October! Which is why this Stich & Quilt Along is perfect for me. I like to do projects I can finish quickly (because I tend to obsess about them and ignore everything else until the project is done) but then I like some finished projects, like a quilt, that just take longer. So having you set a reasonable pace is perfect! Having said that, I can't wait to get started on the first block!!


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