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Quilt Blocks (In-the-Hoop)

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To download a PDF, click the PDF icon above. In the print dialog window under "Destination", select "Save as PDF" then "Save."

Create a classic patchwork look in no time with embroidered quilt blocks stitched entirely in the hoop! See how to stitch traditional patchwork styles (think Winding Ways, Sunbonnet Sue, pinwheel shapes, and more) with your embroidery machine in this project tutorial!


Project Needs & Notes:

- Quilter's cotton (for bottom fabric)
- Small pieces of quilter's cotton (for quilt block pieces)
- Sheer mesh cutaway stabilizer (like Sulky Soft 'n' Sheer)
- Temporary spray adhesive
- Double sided fusible web (optional -- for adhering quilt block pieces)
- Cutting mat
- Quilting ruler
- Rotary cutter

The design featured in this tutorial include:
Y5066, Winding Ways Quilt Block (In-the-Hoop)
M15214, Quilting Accents - Small Flowers

Designs Used

When you download an in-the-hoop quilt block design you will see three files. One is the embroidery file, one is the dieline file (marked with the letters DL, and one is the printable planning sheet (marked with .PDF).

Dielines are used to cut the fabric to the right shape and size. Open the dieline files with an embroidery software, and print them.

If you do not have embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

Cut around the dieline shapes leaving a bit of space around each piece.

Label the paper dielines with "front" and "back", as well as "left", and "right" to show their order on the quilt block.

This will keep the pieces in order and prevent them from being mixed up while embroidering.

Spray the backside of the paper with temporary spray adhesive and smooth it onto the fabric.

Then, cut out the shapes but do not remove the paper.

For another option, add one piece of double sided fusible web to the fabric before cutting out the shapes.

Add the fabric to the fusible web and press it with an iron.

Follow the instructions on the fusible web packaging for best results.

Then, add the paper dielines on top, cut out the shapes, and remove the back of the fusible web (but do not remove the dieline paper).

Next, hoop a piece of fabric with one piece of sheer mesh cutaway stabilizer.

Sheer mesh cutaway stabilizer works great with in-the-hoop quilt blocks because it keeps the blocks nice and light.

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design.

Move the hoop so that the needle is directly aligned with the center point on the fabric.

Embroider the design -- a dieline, or outline, will sew first.

After the dieline has sewn, remove the hoop from the machine, but do not unhoop the fabric.

Spray the backside of the fabric with adhesive, remove the paper, and place the fabric piece right inside the dieline shape.

If you are using fusible web, remove the paper and press the fabric in place (no need for adhesive).

Attach the hoop back onto the machine and match the top thread to the fabric piece color.

Continue embroidering the design. A tack down stitch will sew next, this binds the fabric piece to the bottom fabric.

The dieline for the next fabric piece will sew next.

After each dieline sews, remove the hoop from the machine (but do not unhoop the fabric)

Add the fabric piece, attach the hoop back onto the machine, and continue with the design.

Match the color of the top thread with each fabric piece as you sew.

After the fabric pieces have sewn, a cutting line will sew last.

This line will be used to cut the quilt block.

When the design has finished, unhoop the fabric.

Print a template of the full embroidery file at full size to place the next block.

Position the template on the fabric leaving about 1" of space between the edges of the design and the first block.

Mark the center point with an air-erase pen.

Hoop the fabric and attach the hoop to the machine.

Move the needle over the center point of the next block, and embroider the block.

After the blocks have sewn, place the fabric onto a cutting mat.

Using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter, cut right along the sewn cutting lines of each block.

If your design does not have a cut line, measure and mark a square 1/4 inch away from all four sides of the applique to create a 1/4 seam allowance. Then cut along the drawn line.


Print the planning sheet (the files ending in .PDF) and use colored pencils to plan your project.

Add color keys on the bottom of the page help with cutting the fabric pieces for each block.

You can also add a special touch to the quilt blocks by embroidering accent designs onto the fabric pieces before adding them to the block.

To do so, place the cut dieline pieces onto the fabric and trace the shapes with an air-erase pen.

Print templates of the accent pieces, cut around them, and place them inside the shapes.

Mark the center point and the horizontal and vertical axis lines.

Spray a piece of sheer mesh cutaway stabilizer with adhesive and smooth the fabric on top.

Hoop the fabric, aligning the lines on the first fabric shape with the marks on the hoop.

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design.

Move the hoop so that the needle is directly aligned with the center point on the fabric.

Embroider the design. Repeat this for each fabric piece.

When all accent designs have sewn, cut out the pieces.

Load the full embroidery design, hoop the bottom fabric with sheer mesh cutaway stabilizer, and embroider the block as instructed above.

Use the in-the-hoop blocks to make quilts, pillows, placemats, and more.

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