Saturday, March 12, 2016

Snug as a Bug (TSS 007)

Just a little behind but finally finished my Snug as a Bug block by Amy Sinibaldi. I knew the moment I saw it that I needed to pull out my crazy-quilting skills! And my crayons.

Have you ever done this? Color in an area with Crayolas to give your embroidery another dimension? Super easy. Just make sure to heat set it with your iron. Before pressing, cover the area with a scrap piece of fabric to prevent any melting wax from transferring to your iron.

The embroidery and the coloring went well - the child reminds me of my oldest niece, Moniqua. Now 29 (and still beautiful), Moniqua was a beautiful baby with this shock of dark, thick hair and beautiful big eyes. 

Heat setting was the last time anything "went right" with this block. With each step in completing this block I thought, "Well, I blew it now!" But I LOVE IT!

Oops! That shouldn't have happened!

Here's a good example. I had decided not to piece this 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" quilt because I thought adding the extra seams would be too bulky for the tiny machine embroidery stitches. So, I decided to use fusible web to adhere the sections in place. It's been years since I fused - had to scrounge around the quilt room to even find a piece of fubsible web - and once I pressed I remembered why I don't like it.


See the creamy background peak through? I was so careful prepping the crazy quilt pieces and pressing into place but still had gaps. Simple fix? Pigma pens. I knew I'd eventually sew over those seams so I filled in the gaps and heat set the ink.

That's a glimpse of one of my pens in
the upper left corner. Purple, I think.

And once I added my stitches, perfect! Disaster averted. Note to self, if I ever do another block like this, add the horizontal (shorter) crazy stitches first and then the long vertical ones over it. Oh well!

Keeping my promises.

I think the other reason I love this block is the ability to use up my scraps - these scraps were originally used in the Happy Happy block so it ties in well with my other completed blocks.  I also promised to break out the saved 'rainy day' threads and fabrics. I love the dimension the variegated thread has added to the stitches and the border. 

The clear foot in the upper left was the key to my machine
embroidery success! Makes for perfect pivots and easy guiding.

Great Tool Tips

Amy Sinibaldi had a great tip on her blog for this pattern. See those extra thick lines in the pattern above? The ones in the 'blanky' portion of the embroidery? She said:
For a more dynamic look when embroidering with the backstitch, go back in and thicken your line at the curves. It adds a subtle touch of character
I will have to remember that.

Admittedly, I was a little nervous marking my block for the embroidered border. Hated the idea of screwing this up on the last step before completion, but I rationalized that, if I blew it, I could trim it away and add a pieced border.

Love how delicate the variegated thread made the
border embroidery look! 

So I pulled out my trusty post-it notes. Yeppers, post-it notes. My block should measure 6 1/2" raw, but I needed to add a 5" top-stitched border before trimming. To make sure I used the right marking lines and could visually center the embroidery, I adhered post-its along the marking lines on the ruler. The stickiness is only temporary and gave me a window to work with.

Always keep post-its of various sizes as hand

I also keep a stack of small post-it notes next to my machine. Peel of a quantity of them (a dozen or so) and adhere it to your machine's throat plate as a temporary sewing guide. Really handy when working with bulky materials and can't see the markings on the plate. 


That's a lot of pieces!

I've decided to keep a counter at the bottom of these posts to track them. 
The totals are based on the original patterns and not on deviations.

Snug as a Bug= 1

Total to Date: 163 pieces


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This crazy quilt is so perfect! So you with that scrappy look and embroiderie.


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