Machine Embroidery Fun Flowers Tutorial - Quilted in the Hoop Like A Pro

Feb 19, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Marjorie Busby

Hi, it's Marjorie Busby today from blue feather quilt studio to share a tutorial for a Fun Flower quilt that is quilted in the hoop. First, let me say that the Fun Flower die is my all-time favorite. It is so quick and easy to stitch with machine embroidery and it's just the right size to use in so many different ways. It fits perfectly on a 6" square like the center of an uneven nine patch from the 12" Qube. And it is used on lovely Carolina blue place mats at my house to honor our alma mater, the University of North Carolina.  Fun flowers transform a plain alternating block on a quilt to a quick, easy and beautiful joining block. I have even used it to cover a permanent magic marker stain on the side front of a little girl's t-shirt. The following pictures show a couple of examples of the ways I like to use Fun Flowers.

These are two of my favorite quilt blocks made using the 12" Qube for framing embroidery like the Fun Flower.



And here's one of the Carolina Blue place mats I made with the Fun Flower machine embroidery.



There are two Fun Flower Machine Embroidery sets available. One is machine embroidered flowers that can be used by themselves for many different projects and the other is a set that creates machine embroidered and quilted in the hoop fun flower blocks that can be joined into a quilt. Be sure to look at the technical documents in the product description to see all of the designs in each embroidery set. Today's tutorial is for the quilted in the hoop machine embroidery set. 

Supplies Needed:

  • GO! Fun Flower die
  • Fabric for Flowers
  • Fusible web or water soluble glue pen / stick
  • Coordinating Machine embroidery thread and bobbins
  • Background fabric
  • Quilt batting (preferably something soft like Quilter's Dream 100% cotton Request or Select weight or Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 blend)
  • Sticky Mesh Type Water Soluble Stabilizer
  • Clover Bias Strip Tool (optional)

Step 1: Hoop stabilizer and stitch placement lines.

Hoop the stabilizer and background fabric for the quilt block. Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the placement lines. In this embroidery, you will see that a placement line for the outline of the finished quilt block is stitched and then the flower shape placement line is stitched.



Step 2: Place the applique shape onto background fabric.

Remove the hoop from the machine and place the applique shape inside of or on top of the placement lines as shown. If you are using water soluble stabilizer, you will want to attach the applique shape with glue as heat may melt the water soluble stabilizer. If you are using tearaway stabilizer, an iron-on fusible may be used.



Step 3: Complete tackdown and decorative cover stitches. 

Mount the hoop onto the machine and stitch the zigzag tackdown stitches and the applique cover stitches. This completes the machine embroidery. DO NOT REMOVE EMBROIDERY FROM THE HOOP. 



Step 4: Secure batting and backing to embroidery hoop. 

Remove the hoop from the machine and turn it upside down on a flat surface. Take a square of batting and a square of quilt backing fabric and lay them carefully on the back of the hoop. These layers (the quilt sandwich) are carefully pinned from the front on four corners using silk pins. For the first few blocks, I used up to 12 pins, but quickly learned that pinning the outside corners works well. The important part is to prevent the batting and backing from folding under the edges when the hoop is re-attached to the machine.



Step 5: Complete quilting stitches.

Carefully mount the hoop with the quilt sandwich onto the machine being careful to keep the batting and backing flat on the back of the hoop.

Change thread and bobbin if desired. Adjust bobbin tension for regular sewing (a setting of 4-5) if desired. see Special Note below.

Complete the quilting stitches on the embroidery machine.

NOTE: A dark thread was used for the quilting stitches for purposes of visualization. Normally, one would use a thread that matches the background fabric.



Special Note: You will find that the quilting design has much nicer stitches if you change the tension on your machine so that it is balanced between the top and bobbin thread. This adjustment is the same as the tension you would use if you were sewing clothing or that type of article. Be sure to change the tension back so that the bobbin tension is at the standard embroidery setting for your machine before stitching embroidery again. 

Step 6: Trim quilted blocks for assembly. 

Prepare the quilted blocks for assembly by trimming each block so that there is a one-half inch seam allowance all the way around the block. 

The half inch line on the ruler should be just inside the outer stitching line as shown in the illustration.



Step 7: Prepare sashing strips. 

To assemble the quilt, long 2 inch strips are cut with the AccuQuilt GO! Strip Cutter-2" die. These are cut on the lengthwise grain for greater accuracy. The 2 inch strips are pressed using a Clover bias tape maker. 

You may also make these strips by folding the sides into the center and pressing.



Step 8: Attach sashing strips to front and back of quilt block.

The strips are cut to the length of the quilt block. The 1/2” seam allowance is sandwiched between two strips with the folds opened out flat. Pin all together matching edges and stitch a one half inch seam allowance.



When the half inch seam is complete, align the ruler on the stitching line with the 3/8 inch mark on the ruler, and trim the half inch seam allowance to 3/8 inch as shown. 


Step 9: Attach second block to first block.


Now it is time to attach the second block to the first block. Lay the second block face down and lay the first block with the sashing strip open face up on top of the second block as shown in the illustration.

The quilt backing for the two blocks will be right sides together and will be offset the width of the sashing strip.

The back sashing strip will be lined up with the edge of the second block.

The photos below show how it looks from the front and the back after stitching.



Step 10: Top stitch or hand stitch sashing to complete. 

Complete the sashing for the two blocks by pinning the top sashing over the seam allowance on the second block and top stitching the sashing into place. I find that using an edge stitching presser foot is very helpful to get the top stitching even on the quilt block. 



Continue sashing blocks together until you have full rows. The rows are attached in the exact same manner as the individual blocks are attached. When stitching rows together, be careful to line up each row with the row above.




Topics: Quilter’s Spotlight, Quilting, AccuQuilt GO!, fabric cutter, Fabric Cutters, Patterns, quilt, Quilt in a Day, Tutorials, Quilting Stories

Marjorie Busby

Written by Marjorie Busby

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