Embroidery machines can be used for piecing, quilting, and embellishing beautiful quilts of all sizes. With an embroidery machine, piecing is more precise, quilting is easier, and quilts can be embellished with embroideries ranging from redwork and outlines, to traditional satin stitch embroideries, to monograms, to perfect applique.
On the internet there are many resources for embroidery designs that are digitized specifically for piecing and quilting. Two designers who have published great print resources for piecing in the hoop are Eileen Roche from Designs in Machine Embroidery and Larisa Bland at Pieced in the Hoop.
Three other high quality resources for downloadable piecing-in-the-hoop designs are Kenny Kreations, Skeldale House, and Queen of Stitching. These are by no means the only sources for such designs, since this is a booming new area for quilters and embroiderers alike.
Hoopsisters create designs, which incorporate more embroidery in addition to the piecing, for complete quilts in the hoop. Some of the patterns are traditional, and some are contemporary art quilts. Jenny Haskins is known for her embroidered quilts, and she has just now come out with a book, A Place in the Sun, a quilt both appliqued and quilted completely in the embroidery hoop. Her other embroidered quilts are highly embellished and use many different techniques to achieve beautiful effects. Kenny Kreations, mentioned above, also has wonderful embroidered quilts, where embroidery is the focus.
Some digitizers have developed embroidery patterns for appliqued and embroidered quilt blocks. These are relatively quick and easy to create, and are much faster than traditional applique methods. A recent addition to the list of digitizers in this field is Lunch Box Quilts.
Many of the major digitizers have developed quilting designs for quilting blocks and borders. One of the strengths, however, of using an embroidery machine for quilting is that one is not limited to traditional quilting designs. Any outline or redwork design can be used for quilting with incredible, personalized results. A quilt sandwich is fairly stable, so most quilting in the hoop can be done without any additional stabilizer, making it very economical as well as fast, easy, and beautiful.
Machine embroidery can be used to make a whole quilt, or enhance a traditionally pieced quilt. The next time you feel intimidated at having to quilt a large quilt or pay for someone else to do so for you, consider using your embroidery machine to help you out. The possible combinations of hand and machine work are limitless, and the precision of machine embroidery can enhance your work, taking it to another level of beauty and quality.Quilting and Machine Embroidery Team Up for Beautiful Quilts