Anita Goodesign has released another spectacular machine embroidery quilt design set – the ‘Special Edition’ Tree of Life. If you have not tried making a quilt in your embroidery hoop yet, you will be surprised how easy it is to do.
I know some of us swear that fabric talks to us – those who don’t sew won’t understand. In fact, they tend to take a step backwards when we start talking about our latest fabric purchase. This issue of the blog isn’t about fabric. But, I had that same sweaty palm, fast heart rate experience when I first saw the new design package. I knew it had to be moved to the top of my ‘to do’ list.
This is going to be a gift for my daughter, and the space where it will be hung is narrower than the smallest size of the complete design. Because I loved the border blocks it was a hard decision, but I decided to make a smaller version of the quilt without them. The three dimensional leaves were intended to have family names stitched on them, but I wanted it to be an inspirational tree, so I stitched words like ‘Joy’ and ‘Courage’ on the leaves. And, crystals were needed to provide that special changing sparkle they can provide.
Like all of the Anita Goodesigns Special Collections, the directions that came with the package have wonderful illustrations to guide you along each step of the way. What I want to share with you is what I did differently. If you have never done this type of embroidery, I suggest you follow their directions.
Knowing this was going to be a wall hanging instead of a lap or bed quilt, I changed some of the materials and well as some of the assembly procedures.
Modified Supply List:
Quilt fabric precut to 2″ larger than finished block size
Floriani Stitch N Wash Tearaway stabilizer precut to size needed for hoop
Batting precut to size needed
Lightweight Water Soluble Thread (no need to precut)
Crystals as desired
Instead of following the procedure in the Anita Goodesign tutorial to create the top fabric, batting, and stabilizer sandwich for embroidering, I substituted the steps below:
2. Stitch the placement line.
3. Place a piece of precut batting within the placement line. If necessary, you can lightly spray the batting with kk2000 adhesive.
4. Advance the start of sewing past the batting tack down stitching.
5. Center a piece of precut quilt fabric over the batting. This will give you a ½” seam allowance and a little extra in case you don’t get it perfectly centered over batting.
6. Change top thread to the light weight water soluble thread. No bobbin thread change is needed.
7. Sew the block outline stitch. The water soluble thread holds a block’s layers together while embroidering the block. (After sewing the blocks together, if any of the outline thread shows, you can easily remove it with a damp sponge.)
8. Follow the Anita Goodesign tutorial to complete the block.
9. Remove the block from the hoop. Carefully tear the stabilizer at the soluble thread stitch line. If (or when) you wash your wall hanging, the stabilizer will dissolve so there is no need to remove it from the rest of the block.
10. Repeat the modified procedure list for all the quilt blocks.
11. Assemble the wall hanging per the quilt assembly instructions in the tutorial. Because there is no batting in the seams, the blocks sew together without any extra bulk.
Note: To get a professional, finished look, a ‘good’ steam iron is needed to adequately press the seams open as you assemble your rows and to press each entire block.
The three dimensional leaves are attached after the wall hanging is complete. Use the machine stitch intended to sew on buttons. It works great to attach the leaves. Use invisible thread in both the bobbin and top to attach leaves.
Add crystals as desired… note – I refrained from adding all 27,000 crystals in the 1.75 pound bag, but imagine what that would look like.
My finished project – Tree of Inspirations