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"Why would I want to do machine embroidery? I make quilts!"
I hear this over and over again and hey! I'm not gonna tell you that you HAVE to have an embroidery machine, I get that it's not for everyone.
But I will tell you this: machine embroidery can do awesome things for your quilts! Machine embroidery can add more creative options, help you finish them yourself and generally just give you more wonderful ways to enhance your quilts and quilting experience!
Let's break it down to the 5 ways machine embroidery can help you enhance your quilts.
You can piece with your embroidery machine!
That's right! You can actually piece "In the hoop". From OESD to Kimberbell to Embroidery Library to Sue O'very many different brands have their own "in the hoop" piecing that you can have fun with. Whether you are doing a mug rug or fun accessory or making a whole quilt with blocks made in the hoop, there are some great ways to make pieced items without ever sewing a single stitch yourself.
And of course I'd be a miss not to mention Hoop Sisters very specifically. They have taken the art of making quilts in the hoop to new levels! Click here to see my favorite quilt of theirs, "This beautiful Charmed Adventure quilt is pieced, decoratively stitched, and quilted all in the hoop of your embroidery machine!" So cool!
You can add more dimension to your quilts with embroidered motifs!
Did you find an embroidery collection you love but you're not sure what to do with? Does your favorite fabric designer have an incredible line of embroidery collections? Are you wanting to personalize a quilt? These are all great reasons to add embroidered designs to your quilt top. You can add one or two embroidered designs or piece together a fantastic quilt made of various embroidery motifs.
You can quilt a whole freaking quilt!
Edge to edge quilting on a long arm is essentially large scale machine embroidery and vice versa; We can do small scale edge to edge quilting using our embroidery machine! You will get very good at re-hooping and realigning your embroidery machine throughout this process which are incredible skills for machine embroiderers to be good at. Hint: You may want a magnetic hoop for this process (and no, BERNINA doesn't sell those for their machines......yet!) Now let's be very frank, my love: It can be a royal pain in the ass, but it is so fun and creates a very affordable way for you to finish your quilts.
Wanna try out quilting in the hoop on a small project before you jump into a whole quilt? Click here to check out my quilted pot holders project!
You can make gorgeous quilt labels using your embroidery machine!
I know, you already thought of this one. There's a chance that this was the frist thing you thought of when you read the title of the blog. It's often the ONLY thing people mention when talking about embroidery for quilts; "Well...I could make my own labels!" And I can't blame ya for being psyched on it, it's a really great way to finish off your gorgeous quilts.
Why don't you check out this blog post that talks about 3 ways to make your own embroidered quilt labels?
Tiling scenes are a fun, different way to make quilts!
Tiling scenes are a whole embroidery world unto themselves; people LOVE their tiling scenes! OESD comes out with a new Christmas tiling scene every year and a few of those amazing Hoop Sisters quilts I mentioned work like tiling scenes.
You will embroider each and every block, then you piece them together like a quilt. From there you can decide if you are framing it or if you'd like to quilt it (likely via stitch in the ditch) and hang it or if it's still usable as a quilt. This will all be up to you and up to the tiling scene design that you choose.
I go live weekly in the Tough Kitten Crafts FB Group. Join the group and ask your questions live or you can check them out in blog posts at a later date (Like you are now!)
What ways are you excited to try? How are you using your embroidery machine to enhance your quilts?