Aug 22 16

Invigorating Color!

I probably should have warned you that you might need sunglasses to safely view the photos in this blog post!  The block above is a 35 inch square machine embroidery applique block created on my embroidery machine over many days last week.  It is appliqued/embroidered on a piece of hand-dyed cotton sateen that has been sitting in a drawer for a few years, just waiting for the right design.  I love, love, love the rich, saturated colors here and the way they bleed into one another.  This kind of fabric dyeing is actually very easy to do, and I’ll give you  a link at the end of this post to a short video tutorial we made a few years ago that shows you exactly how to do it.  In the meantime, though, here are some close up shots of this center block:
The “circle” that surrounds the center flower quartet is made of 5 inch swag pairs.  I was more understated than usual in my thread color choices for the swag pairs but I’m glad I was because the background fabric colors are so strong.  Here is a close up shot of the center floral design:
(I still need to trim some jump stitches in those center flowers: I just noticed those now!)  I really like the outermost flowers that encircle the block.  I was trying to make every other flower more of a “purple theme” and then every other flower a “blue theme.”  Here’s a “blue themed” one:
…and here’s a “purple themed” one:
I have been doing MEA for about 4 years now (maybe it’s been 5, I can’t remember), but it still never ceases to amaze me just how much intricate detail and texture the thread work can add to an applique design.  I am enthralled by the swirled thread work on these.  Here are a couple of them together in one shot:
Working with all this fabulous color last week was a treat for my soul.  It’s making me feel like I need to use up more of my yummy hand dyed fabrics because they make me feel so alive as I’m working with them.
If you’re interested in trying some hand dyeing yourself, this video shows you every single step I use to make fabrics like these:

Give it a try…your quilting will never be the same!



  1. Suzy Webster Says:

    I LOVE the orange background! It’s fabulous!

  2. peggy Says:

    love love love it! thanks for the cheering up!

  3. Ann Says:

    what embroidery machine did you use? I think in the past you have used a babylock, right? love the embroidery!! Did you use sizzix for the applique?

    just wonderful!

  4. Sophie Says:

    The color in your photos jumps off my screen … And is inspiring me to dye some vibrant fabrics of my own. Gorgeousness!

  5. Diane Evans Says:

    Wow, oh wow!! These are glorious! I’m not much of a hand-dyer — any chance you have some of these pieces to sell?? I’d be first in line!


  6. Nancy Says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your process!

  7. LJ Says:

    Beautiful. I really must give dyeing a try; this is gorgeous fabric.