Machine Embroidery Makes the Quilt Class Plan

by Patty Albin

Note to Instructors and Shop Owners
Crazy For You is a great class for embroidery machine owners/quilters of all brands. The hoop requirement is at least 100mm x 100mm. The class also gives students a chance to use all kinds of fancy stitches they might not otherwise use. The project is small, so the student can finish (or almost finish) in class.

What if a student wants to take the class but doesn't have an embroidery machine (or if your store doesn't sell embroidery machines)? Sign her up anyway! She will still need a copy of the book for the pattern. The student can go to one of the chain stores and buy an iron-on appliqué initial if she likes. If your store does sell these machines and students want to take the class but don't have their own embroidery machines, allow the student to use one of yours. This is a great opportunity to let a customer fall in love with a product you sell!

Use of embroideries: Students should have the book and the original CD in class. This will ensure that students are not copying designs and passing them among themselves. You need to insist on this for your sake as well as for the students who do adhere to copyright restrictions.

Displaying a sample of the project in your shop is highly recommended, as it attracts students and helps fill the class.

Class Description: Crazy For You (one 3-4 hour class)
Replicate the look of 19th century crazy quilts with your 21st century sewing/embroidery machine. Hoop your fabric and stitch designs with the greatest of ease. Embellish your quilt further using the built-in decorative stitches on your sewing machine. The project is small so you can finish most of it in class. You'll be crazy about Crazy For You!

Supply List

  • Required textbook: Machine Embroidery Makes the Quilt by Patty Albin
  • Supplies as listed for the quilt Crazy For You for the fabrics, notions, and embroidery designs in the book
  • Sewing/embroidery machine in excellent working condition with a hoop that measures at least 100mm x 100mm. State on the supply list that students must be familiar with their machines and know how to operate them, and have them bring their manuals.
  • Design transferred to a medium that the student's machine can read. This should be done before class so students will be ready to start embroidering.
  • Background fabric should be pre-treated with Perfect Sew by Palmer/ Pletsch before coming to class. If not, a tear-away stabilizer will be needed.
  • You may choose to have students transfer the line pattern to the background fabric before coming to class. (While I can transfer the design in less than 2 minutes, it always takes about 20 minutes of class time for the students to do this.) Also, the design might be easier to trace if the student makes a photocopy of the pattern after they purchase the book. This way the pattern lies flat and tracing onto the fabric doesn't become a fight with the book. NOTE: If the students use a marker of any sort to transfer the pattern, they should avoid pressing the fabric with an iron until they can remove the marker. If they do use an iron, the marker may be heat-set and become permanent. You may want to state this on the supply list and then again in class if students have waited to mark their fabric.

In the Classroom
It's always nice to begin class with some brief background on crazy quilts. "Embroideries and fancy stitches were used in quilts made 100 years ago. Today we can replicate the same style of quilts on the sewing machine."

Start with embroidering. As students enter the classroom, have them set up their machines for embroidery: unit on, lightweight bobbin thread in the bobbin, thread colors already chosen, fabric in hoop with a tear-away stabilizer if necessary, and design loaded onto the machine. Have students take the embroidery units off their machines and put them away once they have finished embroidering.

Follow the instructions for decorative stitching as described in the book. This is a chance for quilters to use all kinds of fancy stitches on their machine that they may have otherwise never used.

Assemble the quilt following the instructions in the book.