Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Appliqué Shortcut!

Recently we showed you a photo of Jayme Crow's "Mesmerize" quilt that was hanging in our Quilt Market booth, made using our batiks. We were intrigued by everything going on in this design--the colors, the shapes, the stitches, the quilting, so we asked Jayme to tell us a bit more about her quilt.

"Mesmerize" quilt embroidery design by Jayme Crow of Bella Nona;
quilted by 
Marlene Oddie of KISSed Quilts 
Q. Can you explain the digitized embroidered applique concept for people who might not be familiar with it?
Jayme: Machine embroidery appliqué is an easy, short-cut way to do your appliqué. Digitized designs created for embroidery machines are more accurate and time-saving than free motion embroidered appliqué.
By using a design created for machine appliqué, it's as easy as placing your fabric on the placement lines, letting the machine sew, trimming away the fabric and then letting the machine do all the work! You are left with a finished embroidered design!

Q. How did you go about designing this quilt? How did you come up with the idea of the layered circles?
Jayme: I'm what you might call a "free-motion" designer. I've always liked circles and organic shapes. So I began with an idea and used scrap paper, pencil, tape and scissors and drew and cut until I had the pieces I liked. This quilt actually was an embroidered adaptation of another quilt I did called "Fire Dance." We sized it down and took out the background showing through the rings and created an embroidery pattern.

Q. What can you tell us about the process of making this quilt? 
Jayme: Here's a brief step by step description:
1. Follow the pattern instructions for cutting the fabrics, stabilizer (optional batting) and Wonder Under.
2. Load the digitized designs into your sewing machine and follow the instructions for embroidery.
3. The instructions will take you through the design layer by layer, building it from the outside ring to the inside circle.
4. When the blocks are all embroidered, remove the stabilizer and square up each block.
5. Arrange your blocks into your quilt top and sew them together.  

Q. What attracted you to our batiks? Why do you think they work well for this pattern?
Jayme: Fabri-Quilt has a beautiful array of batiks in many colors. I started with the whole line of batiks and used most of them in this quilt. The lights, darks and brights create dynamic layered circles.

Q. Do you have a favorite batik from the ones you worked with?
Jayme: Asking if I have a favorite batik is like asking if I have a favorite chocolate…I like them all!

Q. Why did you choose the background, inner and outer border fabrics you did?
Jayme: I chose a light neutral as the background fabric to set the bright colors against. The inner border drew a definite line of color between the background and the outer border. Since I used the inner border fabric in some of the circles, it helped to unify the blocks. The outer border is a dark neutral to frame the quilt and ground it.

Q. Can you talk a bit about your thread choices?
Jayme: We used Magnifico by Superior Threads and chose the same colors that are in the fabrics, but we used them differently. For example, we used a lime green thread to outline a dark blue fabric and a red thread to outline a yellow fabric. It adds interest and excitement. In choosing the thread colors to use, it is important to consider both fabric colors the stitching will reside next to. Choosing a color that pops on both creates a bold look. Choosing a color that pops on one fabric and blends with the other gives a more subtle look. It's a fun adventure choosing what color threads and you really can't go wrong, no matter what color you choose!

Q. Who do you recommend this quilt for?
Jayme: This is a great quilt for a beginning quilter who has an embroidery machine. It is done with one hooping. Those with experience will enjoy it as well.

Q. Can you talk about the machine quilting designs used on this quilt?
Jayme: The organic "pebble" design used in the background echoes the rings. It feels like an extension of the blocks instead of a design that might compete with the blocks.

 Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
Jayme: I love the energy this quilt creates! It evokes oohs and aahs from nearly everyone who sees it. I also appreciate the fact that you can use the inside cut-away pieces from the larger rings to create the smaller rings as you build the quilt.

Find Jayme's Mesmerize pattern here.
See our entire collection of batiks here.

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