When you begin testing machine embroidery applique files that you’re developing, sometimes there are problems with the files that you identify once you’ve stitched them out. These might be big issues or they might be teeny-weeny problems. Either way, when you’re done, you’ll sometimes end up with quilt blocks that have an uncertain future. That’s why I call these blocks “firsts” (because they’re the products of your initial test stitch outs) that are “seconds” (because they have some kind of flaw.) I decided to make a giant tote bag out of this block and its partner:
…and here’s a closeup of the center flower; I really like all the fine detail in this flower:
(I must confess that I’ve spent some time looking at this block and I’m not sure what the original flaw was. I made the pieces for this tote months ago and I felt there was a problem at that time!) I added 2 different fabrics to make the front of the tote:
You probably wouldn’t need to quilt this if you fused a medium weight stabilizer to the backside before adding the lining, but I like to machine quilt and I wanted the heavier texture it would add to the tote, so I quilted the front and back pieces. I first outlined each applique piece with Monopoly Invisible thread and then began quilting that center embroidered block with the rudimentary form of the “Plumify It” machine quilting design:
This background fill design is not a conglomeration of feathers; it’s comprised of plumes that are stitched somewhat randomly to fill space. The exception (at least on this tote bag front/back), is in the area near the stem split. Because the applique shape creates a very symmetric design, I tried to kind of “mirror image” my plumes in this area:
In the larger areas surrounding the center block, I just stitched a loop-d-loop:
Because this tote bag will have a lining with pockets, I didn’t need to place a backing fabric behind my batting layer. I used Fairfield’s Bamboo/Cotton blend batting and I’m not happy with the texture on the front but you can see how pretty the quilting is if you look at the batting layer from behind:
I should have the lining done and the reat of the tote finished this week, so in my next post I should be able to finish this project in pictures. I must confess that this is the largest tote I’ve ever made and I’m a little worried that the proportions may not work! Either way, you’ll find out when I do!
In other news, we’re having a thread sale this week in our online store. We carry a wide variety of quilting/piecing/embroidery threads and they are always priced at 20% off MSRP. All threads that we carry (and we now have Magnifico in stock!) are an additional 5% off if you enter Thread in the discount code box during checkout. (Notice that the discount code is case sensitive, so make sure to capitalize the “T!”) Sale prices are good through 8:59 pm EST this Friday, 2/8/13.
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