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Let’s build a snowman

I looked out the window the other morning and saw the first snow flakes of the season. So to celebrate the coming season – I thought we would build some snowmen with the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q!

It seems that I frequently start these blogs with a confession and YES – I have another confession. I visualize these projects in my mind. I work out the details in my head and then I try – I really try to take those ideas and put them on paper BEFORE I start to work. While I may get part of the idea on paper, when I start to work on the project – the design just seems to take it’s own direction.

This project is a case in point and I thought I would share that design process with you so you can learn from it as well.

Today,  I’m going to use the built-in stitches on the Sapphire 960Q to create my piece. Tomorrow, I’ll show you various ways we can use this piece of artwork.

Decisions, decisions

A HUGE choice of stitches to choose from
A HUGE choice of stitches to choose from

 

 

 

 

Even more stitches to choose from
Even more stitches to choose from

 

 

 

As you can see – there is a HUGE range of built-in stitches to choose from on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q. Since my goal was to use the built-in decorative stitches for my project, I started by reviewing the stitches and deciding how I could incorporate them into my project.

If you have spent some time exploring the stitches and adjusting the widths and lengths – then this process will be very easy – OK  – it will be easier because you won’t just be looking at some diagrams and picking from there.  It really is a great exercise to play with the stitches.

Once you chose the stitches you think you want to work with, it’s not a bad idea to do a couple of stitch outs. This is where the design process might go astray. What you envisioned in your head may not be what actually stitches out! Ask me how I know.

Here are a couple of my stitch outs. Since winter is coming I decided to pick a couple of winter themed stitches.
Here are a couple of my stitch outs. Since winter is coming I decided to pick a couple of winter themed stitches.

 

 

 

Both of these stitches are in the Omni Stitch menu. The Omni Stitches are the decorative sidemotion stitches made with the S foot. While the maximum width of the decorative stitches is 7mm, the Omni Stitches can be up to 40mm wide. The stitches can be programmed into an unlimited number of combinations – I used the default settings.

 

I started by cutting a 7 inch square of fabric and backed it with an 8 inch square of stabilizer.
I started by cutting a 7 inch square of fabric and backed it with an 8 inch square of stabilizer.

 

 

 

Next I marked some registration marks.
Next I marked some registration marks.

 

 

 

 

Here is one snowman stitched out. Ooops - I guess I didn't get a good reading on the width of that snowman - do you see he is off center? Hmmmm - there is the first design element that needs to be changed. Do you see how the project is already taking its own direction? Lesson learned - don't do the stitchouts on a scrap of fabric that isn't big enough to get a good reading on the width. Note the white arrow on the left side - do you see that I have another registration mark for another line of stitching?
Here is one snowman stitched out. Ooops – I guess I didn’t get a good reading on the width of that snowman – do you see he’s off center? Hmmmm – there’s the first design element that needs to be changed. Do you see how the project is already taking its own direction? Lesson learned – don’t do the stitchouts on a scrap of fabric that isn’t big enough to get a good reading on the width.
Note the white arrow on the left side – do you see that I have another registration mark for another line of stitching?

 

 

 

A better view of my registration marks. I guess technically that snowman is pretty centered - at least the body of the snowman, but I still wanted to change it.
A better view of my registration marks. I guess technically that snowman is pretty centered – at least the body of the snowman, but I still wanted to change it.

 

 

 

Back to the drawing board

So I was going to stitch a line of snow flakes on that second registration line that went around the snowman, except that I forgot to allow extra room in the corners.  See – it doesn’t pay to just go to the machine and stitch – one must do some experimenting. Oooops – OK – so we definitely need to rethink this project. While the Sapphire 960Q makes perfected stitches, the operator is having spatial issues!

Time to modify the project. Here’s another confession – I already had the snowman stitched out and some snowflakes and I hate to waste anything so decided to modify the project and use what I had. But I needed a few more bits.

This time I decided to make borders of the snowflake fabric rather than try to miter them around the snowman.
This time I decided to make borders of the snowflake fabric rather than try to miter them around the snowman.

 

 

 

 

The Sapphire 960Q stitching out two rows of snow flakes stitches from the Omni Motion stitch menu
The Sapphire 960Q stitching out two rows of snow flakes stitches from the Omni Motion stitch menu

 

 

 

Two rows of snowflakes stitched out
Two rows of snowflakes stitched out

 

 

 

I cut the snowman out of the original block (2 1/2″ square).

I also cut the snowflakes from that same sample (I didn’t get a picture before I cut it up) – those snowflake borders are 1 1/2″ by 4 1/2″. Then I cut two more snowflake borders from the second piece I stitched out – those also measured 1 1/2″ by 4 1/2″.

The white border is made of 1 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ for the sides and 1 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ for the top and bottom.

I cut corner stones that were 1 1/2″ square.

Here is my little snowman block! It measures 6 1/2" unfinished.
Here is my little snowman block! It measures 6 1/2″ unfinished.

 

 

 

OK – so that is totally different from what I envisioned but that’s OK. The bottom line is that I can dress up some ordinary fabric just by playing around.  I have several more ideas for playing with the stitches and I’m sure they’ll look completely different once I get them stitched out.

I used these winter themed stitches, but if you don’t have these stitches – then try various combinations of other decorative stitches. I’ll have more examples tomorrow.

We’ll also explore a couple of ideas that you can do with these small blocks. Stay tuned for that.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

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