Holly brings up some excellent questions for further discussion. Sometimes I am so used to doing something that it never occurs to me to mention how I accomplish the task. I just assume (and we all know what that does right?) that no one is interested if it is never brought up.
With more and more quilters returning to traditional techniques and design to create their quilts, this question will no doubt start coming up more often. I am seeing a growing renewed interest in adding hand embroidery to quilts as a design element either alone or to accentuate applique. I haven’t seen this as a trend since the quilting revival of the thirties. A positive side of the bad economy IMO.
So, you have added some hand embroidery (good for you!) and it sits on the background fabric and you realize, “Uh oh how do I quilt around this?”. You do NOT machine quilt right on over the embroidery if you want to keep the visual impact its best. Quilting over it will not only change the color value and how the eye will process that, but quite honestly, it is sloppy and………..I have to say it…….ugly to look at.
I quilt around the embroidery elements the same way I quilt around the applique. revisit: http://sandraleichner.com/wordpress/2009/08/17/how-i-machine-quilt-hand-applique/ The embroidery is just thinner obviously.
What I call the “Triple Threat of Machine Quilting”
The triple threat of machine quilting: Beads, embroidery and applique oh my. Enough to send anyone running away with panic!
Just remember to background fill up to the edge, outline and then fill an enclosed area (island) if necessary. Also remember you have the option of raising your presser foot to clear embellishments to avoid “catching” and pulling .
What about those enclosed areas?
Background fill up to the embroidery and then hug the edge and outline. If there is an “island”, an area that is surrounded by the embroidery, then you will have to >>stop, >>end your thread and then >>reset your machine needle inside on the island of background fabric hugging the edge of the embroidery and then >>quilt the “island”.
Remember, SLOW DOWN to do the detail work such as quilting close around embroidery and applique and it will be so much easier. You wouldn’t take an icy curve on the road at high speed with your car and it is much the same thought process with your machine and quilting.
It will be a challenge, but you will be so much better for trying. Have fun and challenge yourself, it will show in your quilts without you realizing it.
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