Last week, I promised an update on my package wall hanging. First, I was successful with embroidering the words for the outer two borders. I backed the fabric with soft fuse which is a pellon product to initially stabilize the cotton. I spray basted the soft fused cotton to the hooped cut away stabilizer and placed two strips of medium weight tear away to the back of the cut away. Then I embroidered.
My lesson at Quilting Delights was in valuable when it came time to rehoop. I learned how to make a cross hair to be my registration mark so I could line up the next stitching. Almost as important was learning how to program the machine to show me where the first stitch of the design would be. Lining up the center of the cross hair with that first stitch made each rehooping easy. The positioning also meant that the words lined up perfectly!
For each of the hoopings the estimated stitching time from the machine was 24-30 minutes. While the machine stitched, I made a couple pillow cases. Now, it definitely takes me more than half an hour to make two pillow cases and I almost finished when the machine finished stitching. So on the next hooping, I started a stop watch to time the stitching. Guess what I learned? It was about an hour and a half for the machine to finish the hooping so I learned that the estimated time can be way off!
There were nine total hoopings for the border so it took me a lot longer to stitch than I had anticipated! While the machine stitched, I made lots more string blocks for the string geese project. I actually had this left over from a two gallon plastic bag of strings. I still have a two gallon plastic bag of strings left to play with. It felt great to have one bag empty! But, I digress!!!
When the machine finished stitching and I removed the project from the hoop, the stitching was beautiful. It was flat with nary a pucker. However, when I removed the tear away and the cut away, the piece puckered. This puckering leads me to conclude that the heaviness of the embroidery coupled with the rigidness of the cotton is what causes the puckering. The section of the project backed with the soft fuse did pucker less. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos to share here!
This week, I've been quilting the wall hanging. I challenged myself to take the basic pebble pattern and change it for the whole piece. Check back next week to see if I was able to stay true to the challenge!