Search here...

Two different approaches…same results!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Preface:  One of the most enjoyable aspects of surrounding yourself with other stitchers is the opportunity to see different uses for the same design collection.  Designs Editor, Eileen Roche and Managing Editor, Denise Holguin, did just that in today’s blog. They took one embroidery collection, the new Windmill Garden collection, to make their own unique creation.  Both individuals took different approaches – drawing from their own experience for inspiration.  Whether you’re an experienced machine embroiderer like Eileen Roche, or a more novice embroiderer like Denise Holguin, you’ll gather some tips and information that will keep you inspired.

Take a look at Eileen’s approach to using the Windmill Garden collection…

It’s all about the Stitches – By Eileen Roche

When I saw the Windmill Garden designs, I was lured into the pretty stitches. I just couldn’t wait to see the designs stitched on plain fabrics. So I grabbed some aqua and orange fat quarters, pieced a simple – oh, very simple, table runner and then added the lovely stitches. I enlarged the designs right at the machine so that they would fill the 5″ blocks.  It was so simple that I actually cut, pieced and quilted this 22 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ sample in 90 minutes!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Making this sample taught me several things – first the designs look luscious in a contrasting – eye-popping thread. Second, they enlarge beautifully. Third, they are continuous run designs – no tie-offs in each color.  So the back looks as good as the front since I used polyester machine embroidery 40 wt. thread in both the needle and bobbin. Last, I can now plan on using these designs on future projects with confidence.

A Novice’s Approach – By Denise Holguin

I have a confession to make.  I have quilt tops in my closet that are 15 years old.  At last count I had somewhere around 15-20 quilt tops—varying in sizes.  This doesn’t include quilt blocks in various shapes and sizes that need to be pieced.  I concluded long ago I only like to make quilt tops—not actually ‘quilt’.

But now I’m a reformed quilter.  I discovered a new method of quilting that actually makes the process fun.  The Windmill Garden Quilt collection features 7 quilting embroidery designs that are easy to add to just about any quilt!

Unsure of my ability, I started with a small scrap quilt – large enough for a doll blanket. If I messed up it I’d consider it an opportunity to learn.  I printed a template and placed the template on each strip of fabric. Easy!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Stunned by the ease of placing the embroidery and the speed of the stitching, I was eager to experiment some more.  This time with a lap quilt.  First I made a quilt sandwich with my quilt top, batting and backing.  I pinned the edges to keep everything together.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I began by using the Windmill design.  I clicked on the monochromatic button to reduce the two colors to one color.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


I stitched my first quilt design with ease!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


My goal was to do a random effect with the quilt designs – so I continued adding the Windmill design throughout the quilt.

Enamored with the results – I experimented some more.  What makes this collection so doable is the ability to place the designs easily.  I used the corners of the blocks as my center for the embroidery designs.  As long as I can position my needle in that center, I’m good to go!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Late night quilting has never been this fun!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

With every stitch my confidence increased.  Don’t you love that feeling?

I decided to add designs to the center of the fabric squares.  I used a Target Sticker to designate the center.  Then I stitched the design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The end result – I have a quilt top finally quilted after all these years!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

No matter your skill level or approach we encourage you to try!

Here’s your assignment this week:
Which approach do you most identify with? Are you the experienced machine embroider that begins a new quilt like Eileen or a more novice embroider like Denise who used the quilt designs to finish existing projects?  Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win Windmill Garden Quilts designs.
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question: I had so much fun working with the Glitter Sheets from BFC- Stash on this project. The wide range of sheet color choices is my favorite aspect of the product. What is your favorite color Glitter Sheet to use? Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website. The winner is: Karen P. – “I’ve only used the gold but all of the colors are great!! There are so many things you can do with them and if I had a scan and cut, I’d be using appliqué on so much more!! Even my dogs bed. It’s one of my dream gifts that I’m hinting for.”





Related posts:




  • Jane Jarvis

    I feel like I’m still a closet quilter. I have done both ways to quilt with embroidery. I still have quilt tops big and small that this collection would look great.

  • Valerie

    I’m a novice quilter but an experienced sewer. I’d probably go with Eileen’s approach.

  • beth daniels

    I am a quilter at heart, I would probably do a little of finishing off my quilts with the embroidery and I would do a new quilt for the embroidery. It would be so cool to have embroidery in my quilt.

  • Belinda Germain

    I love my embroidery machine and love to quilt, the combination is a sure winner. Either method works great to complete that special quilt!

  • Sharon Kendall

    I just love creating quilting blocks in my software. My machine can use the 350mm x 360mm hoop and you don’t need many of them to make your quilt. I also use embroidery designs to quilt my borders or sashing.

  • CathyK

    I identify more with Denise’s approach as I am a complete and utter newbie to machine embroidery! I’d love to learn to use it to quilt my quilt tops! Thank you so much for this blog! I know I will learn a lot from it!

  • JeanneR

    So far I’m the “finisher” type. I have way too many quilt tops done that need to be “sandwiched” and quilted and I’m not that good at doing my own stitching so I like to let my machine do all the “work”.

  • Kathleen Lamb

    Eileen’s approach looks like a great starting point. Plain fabric with eye-popping contrasting thread for a table runner looks like it would be a fun first project. I am working on my first quilt top and have never done any quilting yet!

  • Michelle H

    I am just a beginning quilter so I definitely go with the second approach. It actually looks like something I could do!

  • Laurie

    I love both! But, I think I’m more like Denise. I’ve been doing embroidery for a long time, but I am still a little shy about jumping in with all of my 6 needles! Lol. I love everything that DIME does. Thanks ladies!

  • lynda case

    For years I sewed my clothes but when I retired I became hooked on machine embroidery and have just started to become interested in quilting and this method looks like a winner

  • Ellen

    I would probably use Eileen’s approach. I am no expert, but love how the design fits the blocks.

  • Sandy D

    I’m a novice, but I would do my best to follow Eileen’s lead. This design collection really makes me want to quilt more.

  • Susie Mackenberg

    I’m fascinated by quilting with my embroidery machine and so frustrated with quilting free hand. I have so many quilt tops that I can hardly wait to get started on some of those quilt tops using the random method!

  • Berenice

    I still have a quilt that I have done the top and pieced the back, but have not yet quilted. I do not know what is stopping me, I will definitely try Denise’s method as the top has 63 squares that are already embroidered and I can use the small designs to quilt around those. It has only been a year!

  • Shirley Clark

    Wow! This is a fabulous idea! I tried some free motion quilting, but my bad shoulder really limits me. However, my embroidery machine could do the work for me! Thanks so much!

  • Casie

    I’m an experienced embroiderer but am learning lots about machine embroidered quilting. I’d use Denise’s technique.

  • Barb Leggett

    I can relate to Denise’s predicament! I’ve recently purchased a wonderful embroidery machine and have just begun quilting my pile of tops with it! Wow, this is an amazing time saver!

  • Susan Burns

    I am definitely a piecer, not a quilter, so I have plenty of finished tops to complete!

  • Judy graczyk

    I would likely use this both ways. Love your products

  • Jean Guenther

    I am a new quilter but experienced seamstress and embroiderer. I love Eileen’s approach.i love machine embroidery on quilts. I am not into piecing. I would rather drop a great design on a blank square.

  • Ruth Hampson

    I make the quilt top, put it aside and as I am perusing my embroidery designs , one will pop out at me and beg to be used to quilt the quilt!

  • Judie Sparling

    Have gradually come to appreciate using embroidered quilting designs for quilting as a way to get those UFOs finished.

  • Karen

    I would start a new quilt. When I started quilting I made a rule I had to finish them, no room to store piles of unfinished projects. It is more fun to have finished items to use and give and no guilt.

  • Pam McDonald

    I am also a ‘quilt top maker’. I haven’t done much quilting at all. I have done some tied lap quilts for birthdays. I love that windmill look though!

  • Annette L

    Definitely Denise’s. I still have not quilted my first & only large machine pieced quilt from 15 years ago.

  • Stella M Penalver

    I identify more with Denise. As I read the article I envisoned all the unfinished quilts that I could use the Windmill designs to quilt. I could adapt each design to fit the different size blocks and get rid of a few UFOs.

  • betty smith

    I love to embroider but am doing more quilting lately.
    I need to get more confident adding embroidery to my quilting
    projects. These Windmill designs look like the right thing!

  • Karen Poole

    Wow I just read that I win last weeks blog!!! I’m so excited!! Thank you so much!! I hadn’t read my email in a few days because I was away on a sewing seminar, where I purchased a Scan N Cut!!!! Wow!!
    So back to this weeks blog, I’ve done both things with embroidery, I’ve planned an entire quilt around the embroidery, and one I just finished- the quilt was finished and I decided to do the quilting with embroidery. I love doing both! My non embroidery quilting friends are surprised how nice it looks with the embroidery designs as quilting!

  • Donna G.

    I’d probably first finish up my UFOs then start something new. I really like this versatile collection!

  • debe

    I need to finish quilting some tops & table runners that are in my UFO pile.

  • ElaineWoods

    The designs are just perfect for blocks in lots of quilts that I have made recently. I have 6 quilts that have to be finished & this is perfect.

  • Susan

    I just discovered how easy it was to use embroidery designs to ‘quilt’ with. Once I moved my machine to a larger surface, it became a snap to stitch out design after design. Before I new it my top was quilted!

  • Beth R

    I am more of the novice type – plus I have plenty of existing projects to finish!

  • JudiC

    Definitely a novice when it comes to quilting. I have just a couple of unfinished attempts stored away in my craft room that would look very nice if finished with the windmill designs. Maybe someday.

  • Cathy

    I am an intermediate quilt maker, and more accomplished machine embroider, and have been using my embroider machine to do machine quilting, so probably would make quilt start to finish, like Eileen. I have been very good about finishing my quilts.

  • Doreen

    I would most identify with Eileen’s approach. Of course I still have a lot of unfinished projects.

  • Kathy

    I have experimented in use embroidery designs to quilt a finished quilt, but would love to try it more. I have many quilt tops to finish.

  • beth

    I would love to win the garden quilt set. I could quilt my own quilts instead of send them out to be quilted.

  • Jo

    These windmill designs are amazing. I would like to use them on a lot of different things. I think they would look good on hot-pads, but both of the methods shown in entice me as well.

  • Wende Gennardo

    I love my embroidery machine, but I definitely would be in the same class as Denise. I have quilts tops (Unquilted).that are over 20 years old. Someday I really hope ( with quilted embroidery) to finish them. I would gladly give up half my stash if I could accomplish this.

  • Kati

    I’ve got 6 pieced lap quilt tops ready to go! And squares and strips cut for probably 20 more!!!! I just pulled out 2 tops to start the quilting process…my goal this year is to have the 2 tops quilted by the end of this year….I keep debating on how to quilt the throws and love the windmill idea! Much nicer than the stitch in the ditch I was thinking of using!!!

  • Ruth Dailey

    I would like to try quilting with my embroidery machine. Got 3 tops that need quilting. I will be learning the machine as I learn to quilt the tops. Pray for me

  • Vickie Hart

    I like to try different patterns together. Looking throu embroiry patterns and quit books to come up with a design for the person l Am making a quilt for. For instance l am looking for design of butterflies and pastel colors to do a fast quit before Christmas. Combining different technics to get a different look that hasn’t been done before.

  • Sharon Currie

    I have just started quilting with my embroidery module and the most frustrating part was hooping the quilt so I have just ordered a snap hoop to make life a little easier. There is a lot to learn but the process is enjoyable

  • Warner Brown

    Lovely blog and great work for embroidery