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How to Make a Machine Embroidered Panel Scene Quilt

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Create your own hanging mini quilt using one of our many six-panel scene design packs! It's like creating your own idyllic window into another world. Project instructions below will walk you through the process and show you how to make your own.

Supplies


  • 2-3 yards cotton fabric
  • Embroidery thread
  • Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold's kk100)
  • Cut away stabilizer
  • 1 dowel (we used a 5/8" wide dowel) 
  • Cord (for hanger)

Tools


  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins (optional: quilters clips) 
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilting ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Fabric marking tool 
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Pressing cloth 
  • Cutting tool (for dowels)
  • Sandpaper (for dowels) 

Designs Used

This tutorial can be used with any hoop size of our square designs. You will simply need to adjust how long your border (sashing) strips are when cutting them out. This will be explained more below. 

Cut a piece of cotton fabric and cut away stabilizer that are larger than the embroidery hoop you will be using. Spray the cut away stabilizer with temporary adhesive and smooth the piece of cotton on top. 

Hoop the cotton and stabilizer together firmly so that they are drum tight. There should be no wrinkles.

Follow the color change sheet to embroider the first design that you have chosen.

Once all the embrodiery has finished, unhoop the embroidered design and stabilizer and set it aside. Do not trim the excess fabric and stabilizer yet. 

Repeat the previous steps to embroider all of the designs you will be using. We will be using the A Christmas Express Train Scene Design Pack - XL for this example. 

To begin assembly, first iron one of the embroidered designs with a pressing cloth on top. Try to remove any wrinkles, and make the square shape as straight and flat as possible. 

Then cut the cotton 1/2" away from all four sides of the embroidery to create the seam allowance. The easiest way to do this is with a quiliting ruler and a rotary blade. However if preffered, you can measure and draw the 1/2" seam allowance around the square with a marking tool and cut it out with a scissor instead. 

Repeat to press all of the embroidery designs so they are square and flat. Then cut them out leaving the 1/2" seam allowance around every side of all designs. 

For almost every size of design, making the borders 1.5" wide between the designs and 1.5" wide around the outer edges when finished (not including seam allowance) looks nice. We will be using 1/2" seam allowances for all seams. All of the sashing between the panels and outer edges will be cut to 2.5" wide. 

Planning out how many of each border width you need is easy. Nothing needs to be cut to an exact length, as we will be triming the size as we go. Our embroidery designs are just under 8" wide and tall. Rounding them up to 8" makes the math easier. 

For best results, add 3-5" to the length of each fabric strip (Not to the width). This helps account for seam allowance and adds some flexiblity while you are working. Always cut the boarders longer than you need to be extra cautious. 

You will need: 

  • 3 pieces longer than 8" for the vertical inner boarders.
  • 4 pieces longer than 18" for the horizontal inner and outer borders (the width of two embroidery designs + 1 inner border).
  • 2 pieces longer than 30" (the length of three panel scenes with horizontal sashing between them).

Now that you have all the embroidry designs and the border strips cut out and ready, lay your embroidery designs out to make sure you know what order you want them be in. It can be helpful to take a picture of this before continuing to make sure you sew the right ones together, and don't get them mixed up. 

Take the upper left embroidery design and one of the shorter inner sashing pieces. These will be the ones that are just over 8" long.

Line up the edges of the embroidery and sashing, use pins or clips to hold in place as you sew.

The trick to perfectly lining up the seam with the edge of the embroidery is to sew with the backside of the embroidery facing up on the sewing machine. Simply sew directly on top of the outer edge of the embroidery. Sewing right on top of the stitched embroidery edge looks best and leaves no gaps. Since we cut the seam allowance to a 1/2", sewing along the embroidery edge also gives us a guide to sew the correct seam allowance. 

Place the pieces on the machine with the embroidery wrong side up and sew a 1/2" seam along the edge. Make sure to sew directly on top of the outer most edge of the embroidery when sewing. 

After sewing, press the sashing with an iron and pressing cloth. 

Then use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter to trim off the extra length of the two border pieces so it perfectly lines up with the outer edges of the embroidered fabric on both sides. Be careful to cut this straight and not crooked at all. 

Take the upper right embroidery piece and lay it over the previous corner and sashing with right sides together. Line up the edges of the right embroidery and sashing. 

Pin or clip in place.  

Repeat to sew the right corner to the sashing, then press nicely.

Repeat the previous steps untill all left and right sides are joined together by a piece of vertical sashing in the center.

The horizontal borders are sewn just like the vertical sashing. First, if needed, cut four 2.5" wide borders to be slightly longer than the width of the two pieces plush sashing joined together. In this example, that would be about 18". Line the edge of the horizontal sashing up with the edge of the embroidery pieces, then pin or clip in place for sewing. 

Sew and press the border.

Use a quilters ruler and rotary cutter to trim the extra shashing away. Be sure to keep the ruler straight as you cut.

Repeat to sew the second horizontal border piece to the bottom of the top row. Be sure to press with an iron and pressing cloth after sewing.

With the right sides together, line the second row with the edge of the second horizontal border piece.

Repeat to either pin or clip the border in place, then sew with the backside up to keep the seam allowance crisp.

After sewing, once again press the border.

Continue to repeat the above process with the third row of the panel scene.

Attach the final horizontal boarder piece to the panel scene.

To finish the front of the panel scene, take the two longer vertical borders or sashing and pin one of each to the outter edges. These sashing pieces should be just past 30" long.

Like the previous borders, the long vertical boarders are sewn to the left and right outside parts of the panel.

After the two side borders are added, give everything a good final press to make sure everything is flat and crisp.

For the hanging loops, cut three pieces of fabric 4.75" wide and 3.5" long.

Fold the loops in half width-wise and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for all three. 

Turn the hanging loops right side out and press.

Place the three hanging loops over the front panel piece. You will want one in the middle and two on either side. Make sure to keep them 1/2" away from the left and right sides, so they do not get caught in the seam allowance for attaching the back panel. Pin or use clips to keep them in place.

Sew a line 1/4" in from the top edge of the panel scene to hold the loops in place.

Make a back panel by measuring and cutting out a piece of solid fabric that is the same size as your front panel. In this example ours is 20" by 29" inches.

Use either pins or quilters clips around the edges.

Make sure to leave at least a 6" gap at the bottom of the panel scene to have room to turn it right-side out.

Sew around the outside edge, keeping a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around. Remember to leave a 6" open for turning your panel scene. 

To help the corners turn out nicely and to remove bulk, clip the corners, being careful not to clip any of the stitching.

Then reach into the opening at the bottom and turn everything right-side out. 

Now that the panel scene is turned right-side out again, use the iron and pressing cloth to give everything a nice clean final press. 

Using a hand sewing needle and thread, sew the 6" opening closed along the bottom edge, turning in the seam allowance as you go. 

Slide the wooden dowel through the three hanging loops, and use your preffered method to hang the panel scene. In this example we used cord cut to the length of 30" long and tied it to either end of the dowel.