Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Embroidery Blocks Questions

I have a sister in law who also happens to be a First Class Grandmother.  She has asked me for some help constructing a quilt for her grandson.  This little guy is a John Deere fan and she has embroidered twelve tractors for the quilt.
Each block is 18" square.  I have never included embroidered blocks into a quilt before.  I'd love to get your thoughts on these questions:

  1. I plan on pre-washing the blocks and all the quilting fabric (as you can see I have started to acquire John Deere fabric) as the embroidered blocks are a light cotton fabric.  I am afraid this will shrink and potentially misshape the tractors.  Is there anything I can do about that?
  2. I will need to do some quilting within the 18" block as the maximum stitching distance on batting I can find is 8 to 10" (and that is on the cotton I normally use).  Any suggestions as to how I can quilt the embroidered blocks without messing up all the hard work she put into the embroidery?
  3. Any other cautions or advice for incorporating large embroidered blocks into a quilt?

Thanks so very much!!


  1. My first (and honestly, so far, only completed quilt, was pieced with hand embroidered blocks...My blocks came with a quilting outline preprinted on them. Is that on the John Deere blocks? I didn't prewash any of my fabrics (nor have i washed the finished quilt yet!)...so no recommendations there! Sorry!

  2. I think that I'd soak them in some warm water and hang to dry. Then you might consider lining the blocks with another light weight cotton. Then I think I would do an echo line about 1/2in away from the tractor and then try either a FMQ or radiating lines....like sun beams. These are just thoughts.

  3. After washing the tractors you could pin them out to the right measurements while they are still wet. Why not ask her to make a small expendable test block with a bit of random embroidery on it? You could wash that one first to see what happens.

  4. This will be so cute! She's done a fantastic job :-)
    Can't help ya with the pre-washing, but I have a thought regarding quilting: You could use YLI invisible thread, so that the embroidery is still the star, and either just loosely echo quilt around the tractors or FMQ little 'farm scenes' (a sun, hills, pond, barn in the distance, etc)
    I am fairly positive that whatever you decide to do will be fabulous :D

  5. I think washing a test block is a great idea. If you do decide to still wash them I would wash them by hand and lay them flat on towels to dry. Hanging them to dry might make them stretch. I think echo quilting is a great idea.

  6. I would go to "Qisforquilter.com" and ask the expert on making embroidered blocks for a quilt and washing etc. Martha really does lovely work and is very accessible. Hugs, Julierose


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