These past few weeks feel like a whirlwind. Three weeks ago I was on a one-week family vacation. Now we are home, working remotely, limited in how we interact with the outside world, can’t imagine even traveling right now, and carefully planning when essentials like groceries and dog food need to be picked up.
During the day, I work in communications and so I don’t have a lot of extra free time on my hands right now. But when I was particularly feeling the weight of things the other night, I returned to what brings me comfort – sewing.
Earlier that day I had seen a project a work colleague of mine had worked on. He used a different medium (paper and markers) but after seeing a sign while he was out getting groceries earlier in the day, he decided to make his own.
We’re in this together.
Such a simple statement but one that is really speaking to my heart right now. We may be having to practice physical distancing but I feel like more than ever people are making the extra effort to keep in touch with one another (even if it’s via the phone, FaceTime or other alternate means) and despite what we may see in the media about hoarding and other things, kindness prevails. In my own city, there’s a website that just popped up where if you need something, it can put you in touch with someone who can help. Everything from dropping off groceries (at a safe distance) to helping with a technical issue. Friends, we are in this together.
So when I saw the sign, and it spoke to me, my natural response – of course! – was to make a mini quilt.
This was the perfect opportunity for me to us embroidery appliqué on my Janome Skyline S9. In the past, I would have cut out letters and then used a satin or zigzag stitch to secure. But embroidery appliqué is slick!
First I assembled my fabric. What a great opportunity to go through the stash!
In addition to using fabrics I already had on hand, I also used Maderia cotton soft tear away stabilizer underneath my fabric, secured in the hoop.
With appliqué embroidery, you set up your letters using the Janome AcuEdit app and position accordingly using the Janome AcuSetter app. Then you position the fabric you want to appliqué and the first round of stitches is to secure the fabric and outline the letter.
If you are doing a satin stitch, you want to make sure you trim each letter as you go with appliqué or curved embroidery scissors. I used a zigzag stitch to finish these letters (this mini quilt won’t be washed so there’s no worry about frayed edges).
At first I was doing one letter at a time. But then I really got the hang of it and did up to four letters in the hoop at a time.
It all came together really quickly.
For the quilting, I changed to my AcuFeed Flex walking foot and did straight line quilting, on the diagonal.
I like to set my stitch length a little longer when I’m doing this.
A great way to get all those little threads off your quilt top is with a lint roller. With three dogs in the house, we always have one handy!
And then it was time for the binding. How do you finish your quilt binding? I used to only be in the hand-stitch camp but recently I have decided that quilts that aren’t going to be washed and that will be hung on the wall and not used, are fine to be machine stitched.
I, like my friend, decided I needed to hang this up in our front window.
Did you spot the little “fix” I made? I decided my “W” fabric had too much white and wasn’t standing out enough, so I took a fabric marker and altered it ever so slightly. I’m really pleased how it standing out now.
With everything going on right now, how are you doing this week?
We will get through this. We are in this together.