As many of you know, I travel all over the Western provinces of Canada and during the course of my travels, I notice trends and projects and so forth that our dealer network gets involved in. Some time back I noticed that Hoopsisters designs were appearing in quite a number of our dealer’s stores: being sold as design CD’s as well as being done as embroida block of the month, class projects etc.
The design CD’s are multi-formatted so are suitable for most embroidery machines. The concept behind these designs is to embroider a quilt block ENTIRELY in the hoop so that piecing, applique(?); quilting – everything is done by the embroidery machine. All that remains after each block is un-hooped, is to trim it and sew them togther using a technique the Hoopsisters outline in their instructions. This type of quilt-as-you-go concept is not new but the Hoopsisters do seem to have taken it to another level.
We do not endorse any third party company on this Janome blog but I thought I would post a quick message with a pic of the wall quilt that I recently completed. The design CD used was BOWGELLO – due to the quilting design across blocks: a bow design. The piecing is, of course, bargello – style though it was done completely differently to traditional bargello. If you want to take a peek at that, you should go no further than our own home-grown BC resident Eileen Wright who has a book published by Martingale Publishers called Twist & Turn Bargello Quilts. You might have to scroll around on this website link to find the book but I’m sure its there. Most local dealers and quilt stores would be able to order it for you too. Our dealer Snip & Stitch, in Nanaimo BC currently has copies of this book (when I was there a few months ago, Eileen was even signing books for folks who purchased them – so there’s a bonus for you if you head that way!!)
I used the Janome MC11000 to embroidery this quilt and used the SQUARE 8 inch hoop throughout. I followed the instructions carefully and, even so, found that not all my blocks fitted together as well as I would have liked. I ended up “fudging” it and just sewed the blocks together as best I could. I did not like the reverse side of the quilt which was to be bound along all the joins with strips of fabric. I omitted this and, of course, the back looked like a dog’s breakfast. One of my quilting buddies did hers with totally different colours and did use the strips to cover joins and the back of her quilt looks quite pretty. I have used this technique of strip- covering-the-joins before, but this time, I figured I would prefer to just slap a backing across the whole of the back of the quilt and then stitch in the ditch from the front to secure the layers. If I had known ahead of time that I would do this, I would have eliminated the backing fabric on the back of each hooping. That was quite a lot of fabric that I wasted. However, hindsight is easy and I will know for next time.
Perhaps you’d like to try making a quilt using this technique??