If you are like me, you have a huge stash of embroidery designs on your computer. Some of the designs you created yourself or bought for a specific purpose, and some you just really loved the design, but have not used it yet. Or you are not sure what to use it for, but still, love the design. I have lots of these, I love the design but have no idea what I want to do with it. It is an issue, that’s for sure.
One of the Ultimatstash.com designs caught my attention: a design of a black and tan dachshund that looked exactly like one I have named Gallifrey. Of course being John Deer’s work, I already knew that the design would stitch out perfectly, and I would love it! But what to do with an awesome dachshund embroidery design? Although the design comes in more than one size, I wanted the largest size to show the most amount of detail work and shading, because that is one of the things that caught my attention: the dachshund embroidery design looks like a portrait. OK, so now I have a large doxie portrait, now what? Its too big for jeans (although that would be super cute) and too small for a jacket back.
SOLUTION: a quilt block wall hanging! Not hard to do and requires a little bit of sewing on the sewing machine because the quilting part is bigger than my largest hoop, and I have all of the fabrics on hand. With a few extras like lettering and a cool ESA element, it is an easy project to put together.
Final quilt block: 10 x 10
Embroidery design: 4×4 Dachshund
ESA corner elements available for Hatch
Embroidery supplies: thread, fabric, stabilizer and quilt batting.
Because this project can be smaller, you can use larger scrap fabric to complete the square.
Fabric Choices: I decided to pick the fabrics that were earthy in colour, but also were close to the thread colours in the design, so the final quilt square looks put together properly with similar colours. Fabric and thread choice makes all the difference. For the ESA elements and the writing, I used the same thread colors from the design, so that everything matched. ( I think the name Gallifrey would look better in a darker thread color, maybe the black or even the dachshund brown from the design?)
When I begin a project like this, the first thing that I would do is pick out all of my thread colours for the design. Once I have all of those picked out and on the table, I then go through my fabrics and make a match. I wanted a lighter coloured fabric for the background of the dachshund embroidery design so that the design will stand out more. Had I reversed the fabric and used the darker fabric in the middle, the embroidery design would not stand out as much. The light tan worked perfectly, and I used a scrap piece, making sure when I hooped it that I left a seam allowance to sew everything together.
Once I had the thread and the fabric picked out, I am ready to go back to the computer. I wanted to make the design a little bit fancier, also I wanted to add some scrolls to the edges – almost like a frame, but not too fancy that it took away from the design. The ESA Elements did the trick! There are so many to pick from, it was hard to do (although it was fun looking through all of the ESA elements – and it gave me ideas for future projects). Here are the ESA Corner Elements that I had to pick from – aren’t they beautiful?
You can have fancy corners, scroll corners and simple corners – all will have a great effect on any embroidery design that you add them to, to create a new design. I added my corner to the bottom left, making sure that the size of the satin stitches is correct and not too small, and then duplicated and rotated for each corner. The last step was to add a satin stitch in between the corners so the square was completed. You don’t have to join the corners, but I thought It would make everything look better for my quilt square.
The last thing on the computer I had to do was to add the name of my doxie, Gallifrey. I picked a Celtic looking font because I thought it would look great with the style of the square. Looking at the picture, I would have picked a different thread colour for the name – I picked the white that is in the design, but I think a darker colour would look better. (I know I said that already, but looking at the pictures makes me want to change it!!) Make sure that everything is centred properly, and the design’s position looks good – not too big or not too small. I tend to move away from my computer and look at the design. If the dachshund design was smaller, for example, the quilt block would not look filled in enough and you would see way too much of the background fabric. We want the design and the name to stand out the most, so we want your eye to focus on those parts. Balance is key.
Ok, everything is set up: thread colours, design, name added and ESA elements added, everything squared up to fit into my 8×8 quilt hoop perfectly. I hooped a cutaway stabilizer and the main fabric and enjoyed watching all of the details of the shading of the dachshund stitch out. It was awesome!
Take everything off of the machine, and trim the design (using the element’s line as a guide) and leave a seam allowance. I cut the sashing fabric into 2.5-inch strips and pinned and sewed them onto the main fabric design – I took my time doing this because I wanted to make sure I had a nice straight line exactly at the edge of the corner element. I am not the best seamstress yet, but I put the effort into this one and took my time.
Once that part is done, all you have to do is place the batting on top and the backing fabric on top (facing down), making a quilt sandwich, as they say. Sew around the square, leaving a hole so you can turn everything. Once you have turned the design inside out, push out the corners and then stitch in the ditch and make a nice edge, too. When the design was stitching on my machine, I also took some of the leftover sashing strips and sewed them together to make the loops for hanging the design up on the wall. A couple of matching buttons and my quilt block hanging is complete!! I have not attached the loops yet, but you can see how easy they are to make.
TIP: you can do more than one design like this and attach them together to make a table runner. You could also do a smaller design, do the sashing in the hoop and make some one of a kind mug rugs!
TIP: you could also do some ambience quilting in the background, or even a nice open motif stitch in the background, too. Make sure you hoop the quilt batting if you decide to try this, the batting gives it more of a puffy look.
You can do this with any embroidery design, and any of the beautiful ESA elements, especially the corner elements.
Pick designs that you love, take your time to pick out the right thread colours and contrasting fabric that you have on hand, and keep going from there!
Until next time,