Get perfectly stitched hearts with the Circular Attachment

Wasn’t that appliqued heart made using the circular attachment impressive? Who knew you could do that?

What we’re working on today is much easier, but we’ll have to draw a few reference lines. I’ll use the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 and the Circular Attachment, with the new template set, to create some hearts using decorative stitches.

I decided to use the front of the new template set as my inspiration as I liked the intertwined hearts.

The instructions for the new template set for the Circular Attachment

When I made the single heart, the placement of the heart wasn’t critical so I could eyeball it. I’m making three hearts today, so I must know the size to mark the fabric accurately.

The size range on the heart template is from 6cm to 16cm. Those measurements are the diameter of each of the two circular shapes at the top of the heart. I think it’s easiest to stitch out the heart size you want and then trace it onto paper so you can use the paper templates as a guide.

I did this, and it helped me get the reference lines in the right spot.

Paper templates to help make reference marks

Since I like to understand the logic, once I stitched out the applique heart yesterday, I took a few measurements to help with the placement of the reference line. The reference line on the template is the center of the two circles on the top of the heart. And that reference line is about 1/3 from the very top of the heart. That’s good to know.

The back of the appliqued heart indicates where the reference line falls.

I’m making a table runner with three intertwined hearts, and I started on the right-hand side. I’ll confess that when I started, I didn’t understand the markings on the template and cut myself a wee bit short, but it all worked out in the end!

When I did the applique heart yesterday, I used a straight stitch for the placement and tack-down stitches, and I used the satin stitch to cover the raw edges. Those are very short stitches and are easy to fudge when you get back to the start line.

Using a decorative stitch is a little trickier, but here’s a good tip. Use a stitch with a SHORT sequence, and you’ll have excellent results.

I used a candle-wicking stitch (Menu P1). The default stitch sequence (length) is 6.0mm, and wait until you see what happened – it turned out beautifully!

The settings for the candle-wicking stitch (P1)

Technically, what I’m doing today is much easier than yesterday as I only have to go around each heart once! I love having the option to use decorative stitches or applique with the circular attachment and the new template set.

Don’t forget to add the Fuse N’ Tear stabilizer to the wrong side of your background fabric. It provides stability for the fabric as it rotates around the needle and helps to ensure that the end of the stitching line matches up with the beginning point.

Attach the fabric to the circular attachment using the push pin and start sewing. It seriously doesn’t get any easier than that!

Starting to stitch the heart with a candle-wicking stitch

As mentioned yesterday, gently pull the fabric away from the push pin so the fabric stays as flat as possible. Stitching out the heart is the same process as the applique heart, so you must stop at the reference dot and remove the push pin.

Stitching the top part of the heart

When you remove the push pin, put it in a safe place, as it likes to roll off the table. I used the lid of my thread catcher!

A safe spot to hold the push pin

Use the laser to stitch straight to the reference dot at the bottom of the heart.

Using the laser to stitch to the bottom reference dot

Before you know it, there’s a perfectly shaped heart!

A pink heart stitched with the candle-wicking stitches

Check out the point where I pivoted. That’s pretty impressive, and I’m thrilled with the results. When using any decorative stitch, you must understand the sequence of the stitches so you know precisely at what point to pivot!

The pivot point at the bottom of the heart

As I approached the start dot at the top of the heart, I knew that if I stitched right to the dot, I’d overlap the previous stitching, which wouldn’t be nice, so I stopped where the stitches would meet. No one will know, and it looks fantastic. Again, knowing the stitch sequence helps, and using the STOP function when stitching stops the stitch at the end of the stitch sequence.

The start and end of the line of candle-wicking stitches

Here’s another little tip. When I positioned the fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the background, I wasn’t 100% sure where the stitching would end, so I guessed, which we all know is not good. Looking at the right-hand side of this heart, you can see a wee bit of puckering.

One pink heart stitched in candle-wicking stitches

And why did that happen? Because I was right on the edge of my fusible stabilizer. It’s a good lesson to be generous with your fabric and stabilizer, but also that the stabilizer is critical. While the puckering will mostly disappear with a bit of steam, it irked me! Notice how it changed the distance between the individual stitches? The fabric catching on the sewing machine could’ve also caused this, so you must always pay attention!

Poor placement of the stabilizer

Then I traced the first heart shape onto paper to help position the remaining two hearts. I used my ruler and wash-away pen, and soon there were two hearts.

Two pink hearts

The last step was to mark the placement for the third heart and stitch it out. I used the same candle-wicking stitch for all the hearts but changed the color of the middle heart to a slightly darker color. Oh my gosh — I love it, and it was so easy to get those reference lines in place using the paper templates.

Three hearts stitched using the Circular Attachment

And I’m done! OK – that’s not true. I’ve completed the hearts, but I need to finish the pieces.

Using the Singer Steam Press, I fused some fusible fleece to the wrong side of the mug rug. It took longer to heat up than to fuse the fleece in place, but worth the time!

The mug rug is sandwiched and ready to quilt

I used the Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) and my ¼” foot to echo the quilting around the heart shape. The beauty of the IDF is that I have many presser foot options.

Echo quilting around the applique

I did some free-motion quilting in the center of the heart. Setting up the DESIGNER EPIC 2 for free motion quilting is easy. Open the free-motion menu and select one of the three methods. I chose the floating foot.

The free-motion menu

I like using this open-toe free-motion floating foot as it’s easy to see where you’re quilting.

Free-motion quilting

And then I trimmed the excess and bound it, and it’s ready to use!

Heart mug rug

For the table runner, I trimmed the background, leaving about 1½” on all sides of the hearts. Then I added a 2½” border on all sides and layered the three pieces, using fusible fleece for the inside.

The heart table runner is ready to be quilted

I used one of the decorative heart stitches and a matching thread (white) to quilt diagonal lines through the center.

The D menu with the decorative stitches

I marked the first line and then used the laser on the DESIGNER EPIC 2 to stitch the remaining lines. Once I determined the distance I wanted between the grid lines, I moved the laser to the left or right and started to sew, and it was FAST.

Using the laser to stitch parallel grid lines

I also used the Adjustable Stitch in the Ditch Foot for IDF to stitch in the ditch around the border. So fast, easy, and accurate. I used the same free-motion floating foot for quilting the borders.

Stitch in the ditch

Then I trimmed the table runner and sewed the binding using the Left Edge Topstitch Foot. I love this foot as the raised edge on the bottom of the left side of the foot keeps it level when sewing on the binding. You can also use the Quilt Binder to attach your binding.

Using the Left Edge Topstitch Foot to attach the binding

And now both pieces are done!

A table runner and a mug rug

What fun I had doing these two projects, with the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 and the Circular Attachment; with the new template set, it was super easy.

Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Tomorrow, I’ve got something else to share with you that involves decorative stitches, but I took a bit different direction with them. Wait until you see!

Have a great day!


This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Perfectly shaped hearts with the Circular Attachment – Let’s applique!

Go to part 4: Using decorative stitches to create machine embroidery motifs

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