The embroidered word and quilting

Welcome back. I hope I didn’t scare you with all that editing stuff. I was just so exited about all the possibilities that one can do with the built-in software on the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale. Today I’m going to have a look at the written word and quilting.

Words are powerful. Among other things, they can be emotional, they can be fun and they can be functional. Let’s have a look at how easy it is to build words into some quilting and sewing projects.

Built-in Fonts

The Designer Ruby Royale has four built-in fonts that come in three different sizes for each font. To familiarize myself with all the font styles and sizes, I stitched them all out one day for a reference even though there are good examples of them in the Sampler book.

Designer Ruby Royale Sampler book

Stitch out of the four built-in fonts in three different sizes for each font

Memory Pillow

I made a memory pillow for a friend of mine last month. She gave me a nice sentiment and I machine embroidered it on the pocket of the memory pillow. Check out the tutorial for the pillow if you would like to make one. This kind of project can be made for any occasion.

Get that thinking cap on and come up with your own idea. Don’t forget to send us pictures. I’d love to see your ideas.

Memory pillow with embroidered sentiment on the pocket

Words on a quilt

Since I’m predominately a quilter, it would make sense that I try to find ways to use words on quilts. Giving the Designer Ruby Royale a test drive was a good opportunity to finish up a quilt top that I had started years ago (yes – a UFO!) I wanted to embroider words in a border for this I Spy quilt. It just never happened.

Now I get to walk you through the process! While you’re following along, can you think of a project that would benefit from the addition of words?

I Spy quilt without borders

I started by compiling a list of “I Spy” items from the novelty prints in the quilt.

Now I had two ways of embroidering the words on the border. I could do each word individually and sew the words together or I could embroider them on one piece of fabric.

I decided to embroider just the words and sew them together afterwards. That would give me a lot of flexibility and it would be faster as I would have no color changes to deal with.

Words in the Embroidery Mode

Once the design (six words) was set and I entered into Embroidery Stitch-out, I was able to see how long it would take to embroider each hooping. In this case – 19 minutes. I have an interesting story to tell you about the length of time to stitch out designs later in this post.

I did four separate hoopings. One for yellow thread, one for blue, one for green and one for red.

Getting ready to stitch out the words in the Royal hoop

Rather than have the embroidery machine stop after each word, I simply shut off the STOP (monochrome function in Embroidery Mode) function which kept the embroidery machine working until it had completed all the words for each hooping. If I would have had to change colors, I would have left STOP/monochrome function engaged.

The STOP (monochrome) function (ON in the photo) was turned off to eliminate stops for color changes

First set of words stitched out

In some cases, the words were short enough that I could get two words per line. There may be a way to keep the images completely separate, but I ended up putting spaces between the words. The stitches were very large and easy to remove once I was ready to work with the words.

Spaces were used between two short words – large basting stitches were easy to remove

The yellow and blue words stitched out

I have to confess that I wasn’t as careful as I should have been with the placement of the words. I cut the border 2 1/2″ wide and I hadn’t left quite enough room between the bottom two rows of words. Note to self: ‘Next time – make sure to leave ample room between the lines.’

There was plenty of room at the top of the hoop so I could have easily got six words per hooping.

I cut the words into 2 1/2″ wide strips. Then I arranged them around the quilt to help with the initial placement.

The I Spy quilt with the words

Once I had a basic idea of how to divide up the colors, I was able to fit the words into a border around the I Spy quilt.

I Spy quilt with the words in position

The completed quilt top – it is GORGEOUS!

Close-up of the words “I SPY” at the top of the quilt

Close up of the seams between the words

My inspiration for the above quilt came from a book from Possibilities. I was just starting to quilt (1998) and when I saw how the words were used in the border of the I Spy quilt – well if I have to be honest – I think that was the clincher to buy an embroidery machine many, many years ago.

That first I Spy quilt, which was intended for my daughter, was donated to a guild for a raffle quilt. This is the replacement quilt and now the top is done! My daughter is now 19 – perhaps a bit old for an I Spy quilt?

THE sashes (or how our children get us into trouble)

I will reiterate that I love to have the ability to do machine embroidery – I just don’t have too many opportunities. However when I want to machine embroider something, I CAN!

Two years ago, my daughter was graduating from high school and was on the prom committee. At prom, various awards are presented in the form of sashes. The awards included Most Unique, Prom Queen and Prom King, Best Dressed, etc. There were 14 in total.

Madeline came home and asked if we could make nice sashes out of satin instead of whatever the committee was going to come up with. My Mom instincts kicked in and I said YES. Then horror of horrors – the committee was going to do some horrible glitter glue thing for the lettering on my beautiful sashes.  No way! I thought about appliquing the letters on, but there were a LOT of letters. Hmmmm – why not embroider them? It won’t take long.

So I made the sashes out of an inexpensive satin. And to make things more challenging, the letters had to be in gold metallic. If you want to read the original story on my personal blog it is pretty funny.

I started those sashes with the best of intentions, however, I had no idea that the fill pattern we chose for the letters was dense. Oh – let me rephrase that – that Madeline chose. Me, not being the smartest embroidery machine operator in the room, said, “No problem”.

Well I don’t remember how much in advance of the prom we started those sashes, but I swear my embroidery machine ran night and day for weeks to get them done. I timed my errands around the hoopings. I was counting down the minutes and those sashes got delivered to the prom (I know that was cutting it close) with not much time to spare before they were presented! This is an experience I’ll never forget! If memory serves me correctly, each letter took between one half hour and one hour to stitch out. There were 14 sashes in total (155 letters). Yes – do the math!!!

Now if I would have had the Designer Ruby Royale, I would have realized right away by checking out the stitching time that I was in for a long haul. Live and learn!

“Manni” modeling one of the sashes

The sashes were beautiful and definitely the talk of the evening – so I would like to think!

The stitch pattern is very dense

More words on quilts

While these next samples were not stitched on the Designer Ruby Royale, I thought you would enjoy seeing various ways that embroidered words can be incorporated into our projects. These projects, like the sashes, were stitched on an older Husqvarna Viking embroidery machine.

I’m in the process of making a quilt for myself. The theme is “all about me – in words”. One of the words that will be incorporated into the quilt is my personal blog address. I found a neat font and stitched it out. It will likely become a border in the quilt.

Blog address stitched out in embroidery

Detail of the embroidered lettering

A number of years ago, a friend of mine got married. Another friend of mine and I decided to make a quilt, but instead of making a large quilt, we decided that two lap sized quilts would be better. They were identical so to distinguish which was which – I embroidered HIS and HERS on the quilt tops. The writing is very subtle, but it’s there!

HIS embroidered on quilt top

HERS embroidered on quilt top

Machine embroidered quilt labels

Quilt label stitched out with an embroidery machine

Embroidered words on swim towels

While the above uses of embroidered words were mostly for fun, there’s also the functional side of embroidered words. My daughter was on a swim team and the entire team had the same orange towel. I choose a funky font and embroidered her name. No more lost towel!

Personalized swim team towel

Machine embroidered words in quilt sashings

Another use of words on a quilt is to identify the name of the block. In this example below, I used the built-in alphabet to stitch the block name on the sashing. If the sashing was larger, I could have used the embroidery fonts.

Block name stitched in the sashing of the block

A customer of mine wants a memory quilt. The hands of the family members are appliqued to the block background. Each person’s name is machine embroidered in the sashing. I used the Clarendon 20 mm font from the built-in fonts on the Designer Ruby Royale.

Embroidery fonts used in the quilt sashing

This isn’t the final layout of the quilt, but you get the idea of how I’m using the embroidery fonts for the project.

Even more options with Husqvarna Quick Font

While there are four built-in fonts on the Designer Ruby Royale, there are scads of fonts to choose from if you happen to have the Husqvarna Quick Font software, which is free.

It has the ability to use most TrueType and OpenType fonts in the embroidery process. Oh dear – looks like I’m going to crack that software package open. My heart is racing thinking of all the possibilities.

Any ideas yet? Can’t wait to hear from you and hope you’ll share your projects with us.

The Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale has so many options with the built-in editing functions that we talked about yesterday. All we need is to let our imagination and creativity go wild.

My brain is in overload mode. Tomorrow I’m going to give you an update on the What’s Good for the Gal is Good for the Guy quilt challenge, a fine example of the embroidered word and quilting!

Have a great day!


Blog bloopers!

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of writing a blog? It certainly depends on the blog topic, but when you’re making a project and blogging about it – well anything can and will go wrong!

I’m stitching out the family names for my customer. I get one hooping all stitched out. I prepared the second hoop of names and started to stitch. About half way through – I noticed that I had not used the same font! Oh darn! But I liked the second font better so that was a happy mistake!

Ooops – those were supposed to be all the same font!

Related posts

Machine embroidery in the hoop!

7 Quilting design elements to add personality

Machine quilting


Linda March 19, 2019 - 4:17 pm
I am trying to embroider on my Ruby the following saying. A Quilt Of Friendship. How do I get the spaces in the sentence?
Ali Harris July 7, 2015 - 10:56 am
Do you sell the kit to do an I Spy quilt? I did one before and would love to do one again, but don't know where I can get it. I would pay postage! Ali xxx
Carla A. Canonico July 10, 2015 - 9:08 am
Thank you Ali for your inquiry. At one time, the I SPY quilts were very popular and many quilt stores would sell small packs of novelty fabric squares as it can get expensive to collect all those fabrics on your own. You may also want to check on-line to see if you can find a kit. If you belong to a quilting group – you can put out a call for novelty fabrics and hopefully get a square or two from a variety of people. Or try swapping with people so that will help with the cost. If all else fails, get in touch with Elaine as she may be able to work something out. Good luck in your search. Elaine T.
Ellen Blackburn March 9, 2015 - 1:56 pm
Debbie - I am so glad you are doing things on the Ruby Royale - I have one on order and can't wait to get it and your tutorials are terrific---I print them out so I can refer to them. Keep them coming!!
Debbie March 6, 2015 - 8:11 am
This is a really amazing quilt! My machine has the capability of stitching letters in just one size, but your post opened my mind to a lot of other possibilities such as stitching quotes for my altered book!
Elaine Theriault March 6, 2015 - 9:59 am
Debbie - OH OH OH - doing stitching for altered books! Brilliant idea. Please send us a photo when you are done. I would LOVE to see it. Elaine (thanks for following QUILTSocial)
Allison CB March 3, 2015 - 2:58 pm
Lovely quilt!
Elaine Theriault March 6, 2015 - 9:22 am
Allison - thanks so much. I love the I Spy quilts. They are FUN FUN FUN. Elaine (thanks for reading QUILTsocial!)
Pauline March 3, 2015 - 2:13 pm
I have enjoyed this post very much - especially the I Spy quilt which I love. I don't have an embroidery machine but I do love embroidery - I think I will have to look into a machine because hand embroidered words may not be very durable on a quilt that I expect to get lots of love and laundering. Pauline
Elaine Theriault March 6, 2015 - 9:21 am
Pauline - I hear you. I love embroidery, but I would worry as well about hand embroidery with a quilt that would get a lot of love and laundering. Those I Spy quilts are so much fun. The other thing is that machine embroidery is way faster than hand embroidery! Good luck with the search for an embroidery machine. Elaine (thanks for following QUILTSocial!)
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