I had a lot of fun using EQStitch and my embroidery machine to quilt my most recent project – a baby quilt. I saw a similar baby quilt on Pinterest and thought it would be the perfect project for quilting, block by block in the hoop, using my embroidery machine.
I’m not totally sure why I thought this…because I thought it would be easy to find the center of a 4-inch square because it’s plain? Because I figured it would be a lot easier to handle the size of a baby quilt than something larger? Whatever the original thought, it turned out to be super easy AND super fun.
I assembled the top and the back and sprayed and pinned my quilt sandwich together. I was ready to start the quilting. Since I had a bit of a star theme going with the front, I decided on Sky Diamond Variation 3 from Quilting Designs Volume 7. I added this design to my Sketchbook and edited it to the Block worktable. When I copied and pasted the block to the Stitching worktable, I didn’t love the way that the block stitched when I simulated the stitching. It would stitch one star and then “jump” to the next. I could see that changing the stitching order would allow me to start the stitching in the center of the design and to complete it in one continuous stitching pattern.
So I went back to the Artwork tab and converted the drawing to guides. With the Line tool it was easy to trace the design in the order that I wanted it to stitch.
|This is a simulation of my new stitching pattern. Starts in the center and ends in the center.|
I applied a Run stitch with a stitch length of 2.8 mms. I saved the design to my project and exported the file for my Janome machine. I would hoop the quilt sandwich taking care to make sure it was secure yet not too tight as to cause “hoop burn” to my fabric. Each design took just over 2 minutes and about 310 stitches. Then I would reposition the hoop on another square and stitch. Easy! (My son stopped over one evening and was witnessing the process. He said that he thought I was cheating…..not really quilting…..he’s not a quilter – obviously!)
Once the quilting and binding were done, I was ready to work on the label. I created a horizontal one-by-one quilt with no borders and used the applique text tool for my wording. I used File > Export Image to create a JPG file of the label. Then I went to the Image worktable and imported the JPG and used EQ to print it to my printable fabric. I decided it would be fun to add a simple machine applique star to the label. Sky Diamond Variation 2 from Quilting Designs Volume 7 only needed to be resized and I was ready to stitch.
I’m thinking that the baby quilts in my future will be quilted using EQStitch, even if it is it cheating. I hope to improve my skills at fabric selection. I find that selecting fabrics is SO difficult for me. Dean (EQ President, EQ programmer, my boss!) once told me that he had helped his daughter with a school project that involved the use of cardboard. Sometime afterwards he overheard his daughter telling one of her little girlfriends that her dad was a genius with cardboard! I think that Margaret Okuley (EQ employee and head quilter) is a genius with fabric. I’ve been picking her brain about fabric selection. I’m lucky to have access to her insight and experience.
So here I am with my finished quilt doing “show and tell” at the EQ office. I was happy with the results and know that my niece will appreciate the gift. Hopefully I’ll get to see this quilt wrapped around a newborn baby this Christmas.