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Embroidery machine newb - how much fabric for 5x7 hoop?

Embroidery machine newb - how much fabric for 5x7 hoop?

Old 06-01-2014, 07:47 AM
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Default Embroidery machine newb - how much fabric for 5x7 hoop?

I have only played with my machine on scraps and now want to use it "for real".

I'm making a quilt for a friend's daughter; I have a set of fairy embroidery patterns that I want to put onto blocks. The designs are sort of grouped into two sizes; roughly 5x5 and roughly 3x3. (None are bigger than 5x5 - they are made for a 5x7 hoop)

I am thinking 6" and 4" finished blocks will be about right? (I have yet to figure out a design but that'll be easy once I figure out the size of my pieces! I'm also thinking I want to do the blocks on point.)

So obviously I need a piece of fabric bigger than 5x7...Is something like 8x6 big enough? Or bigger? Is it best to cut blocks first and embroider each, then trim down to size? Or for the smaller blocks in particular, if I kind of chalk-out where my blocks will be cut, is it wise to sort of "chain embroider" them first and then cut the blocks apart? Seems like that'd waste less...

I looked for tutorials this morning but I must be looking in all the wrong places; I couldn't find anything to answer these questions!
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:41 AM
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Welcome to the wonderful world of ME (machine embroidery)! Since you want to have the blocks on point, they would need to be square and you need a little open space around them plus seam allowances. So if the design is ACTUALLY 5x7, then I would have blocks perhaps 12x12. Print your design and place a square on point and see what you think. All the squares need to be the same size (unless you are not doing a standard layout) so the largest design determines the size of your square. It does waste a little fabric, but the best thing is to cut your squares larger than you need and then embroider and then trim to the size you want in the finished quilt. So perhaps a 15" square on point, embroider and then center and fussy cut it so all the design is centered and pleasing. The embroidery does pull sometimes, especially heavy filled designs, and the one time you don't plan on a little waste is the one time the block will shrink and be unusable! Ask me how I know this?? the giraffes tail isn't in the quilt...on point, but no tail!

Because of my "tail" incident, I would advise finishing all your embroidery on pieces large enough to accommodate your largest design, and then and only then trimming the squares to size. No one will care if all the squares are 12 1/2" or 12" finished, but the might want the tail in the square! lol
Good luck, have fun!

Last edited by linda8450; 06-01-2014 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:47 PM
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Thanks Linda!

I think I need to just try a few and see how it goes...I don't have nearly enough fabric to start off with 15" squares! I'm hoping I can get away with something around 9"...and that's going to still be tight. Maybe I just need to go buy more fabric!! (Oh darn, I sure do hate shopping for fabric...)
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:26 PM
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I did a quilt recently with embroidered blocks. I cut the fabric into strips WOF making the width 2 inches wider than my finished blocks. Then with a water soluble pen drew lines to block off the blocks and chain pieced the blocks leaving the strip intact. After I got the embroidery done on that strip I cut on the lines and proceeded to the next strip. After all the blocks were done I then trimmed them up. IMHO it is a waste of fabric to cut each one individually. The way I mentioned at least gives you all the blocks the same size before trimming.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:37 PM
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That's kind of what I was hoping I could do. Putting them on point complicates that a little bit though, I think. I'm not sure how good I'm going to be at getting things to end up where I want them so I think at first I'm going to need some wiggle room.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:19 PM
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Measure the hoop than I would add three inches to each measurement, If the hoop measures 6x8 as it is usually bigger than 5x7 for foot clearance I would cut my blocks 9x11. I would write down what sizes you like for stabilizer and muslin. I just bought a bunch of muslin the 108 inch backing washed it the hottest water, pressed and precut a ton of muslin for my projects, now I can just grab and go. I have all my measurement written on a post it in my manual for reference, then when done embroidering you can cut them square or rectangle the size you want
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:23 AM
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Great advice here from everyone. There is a free mini class on Craftsy for free. It may give you some hints on placement etc.
Please remember to write down your settings. I recently "pull out" my embroidery machine that has not been used for some time. I spent two days doing practice pieces and had it perfected. Yesterday I hooped the area of the quilt that I wanted to embroider and it embroidered beautifully, BUT I had chosen the wrong image. It came out as a rectangle and not a perfect square. As it was on point I just could not leave it, so I spent all day picking it out. I should have made explicit notes on which image and stitch length, etc. as I had made a number of changes to the original and saved various versions. Lesson learned I sure won't do that again. Good luck. Even with this mishap I will be doing more embroidery on my quilts in the future.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:13 AM
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Well, I managed to get ONE design stitched out yesterday.

It's cute but good gravy...all my testing and playing previously has been with single-color designs. This darn thing had me sitting there and changing the thread constantly! 22 thread changes later and I have a very cute fairy with hardly any puckering. Success-ish! But it took forever!! I don't know what's "normal" but 22 thread changes seems like a huge pain.

Originally I was going to have something like 20 fairies on the quilt but now I'm thinking I will never get this quilt done in time if I stick with that, so I'm going to have to rework my ideas. Maybe five fairies is enough! LOL

I think 9x11 is about the size of the fabric I used, and I threw out my "on point" idea for now. I'm going to have to rethink this whole quilt anyway so might as well make my life a LITTLE easier.

I'll have to check out Craftsy, I like their classes and for some reason didn't think to check there.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-01-2014 at 03:12 AM. Reason: language
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:41 AM
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I love my embroidery machine and I don't care if I do have to change the thread colors a lot, it beats buying the 10 or more thread machines. I feel I have control on my machine. If it is something that takes a lot of mins, then I can sew on the other machine, but some times it is 1 or 2 mins and then you change colors. Sometimes if I don't like the color I used I will go over that part with another color. I have another sewing machine in the room and that is why I can do that.

I normally only use my 8 x 8 or 8 x 12 hoops for most everything I do. When I do embroidery, for my tote bags I add more than one design on it. So most of the time I go with the biggest hoop.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:55 AM
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I find that if I cut my fabric a couple inches larger all around the hoop, I don't have problems. So for a 5 X 7 hoop, I would have a piece 7 X 9 or if you are still doing on point...you may want to do 9" squares.
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