Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it is always tough to come up with new ideas for a special Valentine for the grand children. In my case, there are nine grand children under the age of ten. A couple of years ago, I created an embroidery set of candy hearts using the AccuQuilt GO! 2-3-4-inch Heart die. These hearts have served me well and have been stitched on quilt blocks and wall hangings as well as using them on mug rugs and zipper pouches. And this year, I came up with another idea—adding candy hearts to the tummy of a little stuffed bear.
The bear pattern is from Dolls and Daydreams and it is one of the quick stitch patterns. Combining the candy hearts with the stuffed bear makes a very cute little bear.
- AccuQuilt GO! 2-3-4-inch heart die
- Candy Hearts Machine Embroidery Set
- Dolls and Daydreams quick stitch bear Embroidery Set
- Polar fleece type fabric for the body of the bear
- Fabric scraps for hearts and ear patches
- Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 repositionable fusible web or water soluble glue stick
- 5 x 7” or larger Embroidery hoop and tear away stabilizer
- Water soluble marking pen
- Machine Embroidery thread
This embroidery is stitched in two steps as the heart is stitched first and then the bear is stitched after that. There are two ways to do this, and we will describe the second and easier way. But I want to tell you about the first way which is an option for many embroidery machines but will not work on all of them. In the first method, both designs are loaded into the machine at the same time. One must give careful attention to the stitching order so that the machine stitches the front of the bear and is then advanced to the stitches for the candy heart before moving back to the stitches for the back of the bear. Experienced stitchers who have a machine with this capability will have no trouble loading two designs and advancing to the area of the design for stitching.
The next option shown below is something that even a new stitcher will be able to do and will work for all embroidery machines. In this method, the heart is stitched onto the fabric first and then that fabric is used to make the front of the bear from the bear design. The concept of stitching the heart first is very much like making a fabric and then fussy cutting the fabric for a shape in a patch work quilt block. The steps for this method are as follows.
1. Make templates for the bear and the heart embroidery. Print heart and bear templates using your machine embroidery software. If you do not have machine embroidery software, stitch the outline of both the heart and bear onto separate pieces of stabilizer in the embroidery hoop, cut them out with scissors and use those two shapes as templates. The use of them assures that the heart shape you choose will fit the bear size that you choose.
In the photo below, you can see arrows at the center of the heart, the center of the bear and the lines I drew showing the center marks of the hoop. These marks will guide the fabric placement in the hoop as you work.
2. Mark the fabric for the heart. Place the bear and heart shape templates and center on the bear fabric as shown. Using a water soluble pen or erasable chalk, mark the center of the heart and the center of the bear on the bear fabric.
3. Complete the heart embroidery. Load the candy heart design into the machine. Hoop tear away stabilizer and attach the bear fabric to be embroidered to the stabilizer making sure the area for the heart embroidery is centered in the hoop. Secure the fabric onto the stabilizer. When using fleece or stretchy fabric, I carefully pin the fabric to the stabilizer on all sides making sure that the pins are out of the way of the area to be embroidered. This is a photo of either end of the machine embroidery hoop showing the fabric secured with pins onto the stabilizer.
Remove the completed heart from the hoop and remove the tear away stabilizer from the back of the fabric.
4. Stitch the bear following the instructions in the Dolls and Day dreams machine embroidery set with the exception that you will carefully center the heart over the belly of the bear before stitching and completing the bear.
The first step is to stitch the placement or positioning line on the tear away stabilizer in the hoop. Next, you will place the fabric that you have embroidered over the placement stitches on the stabilizer making sure that the heart is centered over the belly of the bear. This can be done by carefully placing the fabric and lifting the edges to align the heart on the bear. You can insert pins in the point of the heart and place it in the correct position, then fold the fabric up on either side to assure that the heart is evenly placed in the center of the bear’s belly. Pin the fabric into place outside of the bear placement stitches. Turn the hoop over and you will be able to see the heart position through the stabilizer (photo below). Make any adjustments needed. When you are satisfied with the place of the heart, secure the fabric to the hoop with pins and complete the bear following the Dolls and Day dreams instructions.
TIP: You can use the flash light on your cell phone to create a "light box" to help with lining up.
5. This is an image of the stitched bear just before the back of the bear is added. In this photo, you can see the pins securing the fabric to the stabilizer outside the stitching area of the bear.
Candy Hearts Machine Embroidery Set by Marjorie Busby, http://bluefeatherquiltstudio.com