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Experiment & Have Fun

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I read a comment on last Wednesday’s blog post that got my creative juices flowing.  It is from one of our frequent Designs in Machine Embroidery contributors, Joanne Banko.  Here’s an excerpt of her comment:

Denise you outdid yourself. Wow, wow, and triple wow!!! Lovely little lace designs and great ideas for hair ornaments and more!

I think these would also be pretty added to crazy quilt blocks. One of my favorite uses for pieces like this is to attach them to custom stitched greeting cards for a 3D effect.

I absolutely love Joanne’s suggestion of using the lace designs with crazy quilt blocks.  My reply to her suggested I’d be posting some more shenanigans… so as promised, here we go!

I knew I wanted to try out one of Eileen’s quilt blocks from her book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I foraged through my home to find fabrics with a sheen.  (They are not required but I wanted to try something new.)  Since satin fabrics tend to fray so easily—I don’t generally want to work with them!  But I knew the machine embroidered version of a crazy quilt design would make it easier.

I was curious to see what the FSL Flourish Flower from Embroidery Online would look like if it was stitched in two colors.  It was digitized for a single color only.  I’ll pause a moment and insert caveats to my idea:

  1. Not all ideas work! Embrace the need to test and be open to positive outcomes as well as learning experiences!
  2. I can’t say this enough. Test, test, test.
  3. Repeat Step 1 and/or 2!

I opened the FSL Flourish Flower in embroidery software.  Then I selected the stitches I wanted a different color, and inserted a new color.  Depending on how lace is digitized this technique may or may not work.  Remember, the digitizer had a specific plan for the design when it was created.  In my example, my idea worked!  (Whew!)

Some tips:  Consider the effects of highly contrasting threads.  I found the results were nicer when I stitched the off-white thread first—then finished up with the accent maroon color on top.

Experiment & Have Fun

Also featured on the crazy quilt block is a leaf design courtesy of Embroidery Online.  In fact, you may download it from our website for free if you haven’t already.  Visit our Free Designs page on the Designs Plus Newsletter.  Scroll to March 2015.  Click here to do it now.

Here’s a look at the finished block.  I added ribbon, buttons and a cute key to finish off the block.  Remember, making crazy quilt blocks is your chance to embellish with bits and pieces of treasures you have saved over the years.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

After working with the FSL Flourish Flower, my mind wandered to miniatures….

I have a miniature wooden table that is in great need of being adorned with lace linens.  The freestanding lace designs make great doilies for my table!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Takeaways for the Day:

  1. Experiment and have fun.
  2. Look at embroidery designs with an open mind. Maybe there’s a use for a design you haven’t considered.


Last week we asked you to tell us which supplies from Embroidery Online you are most in need of in your sewing studio.  This week I get to announce the lucky FIVE random winners who will each receive a $25 shopping spree to the EmbroideryOnline website.

Here are the winners!

“FSL was one of the first projects I tried, so much fun! I can always use new needles and a small pair (or two!) of applique scissors would be nice.”

Diana Hensley:
“I have made several baby bonnets and booties using the FSL. I love the wash away stabilizer, it is really neat to wash it out and you have something so neat.”

Donna G.:
“I could use sharp embroidery scissors, and there’s some new stabilizers I’ve not tried. The hair accessories are a cute idea!”

Eileen Ryan:
“Wash Away Stabilizer always comes in handy”

“I love doing FSL! I discovered Embroidery Online in your July/August 2014 issue with there FSL Patchwork Quilt Birdhouses on the cover. I’m making wind chimes with them. Their Alligator clamps are a must, and the AguaMesh Wash Away Stabilizer, and well as Vilene’s is the best for FSL.”

Congratulations, everyone!  If you need help spending the shopping spree money, let me know!  😉


This week’s assignment:
What type of projects would you like to see more of?  Quilts, crafts, adult clothing, children’s clothing or home decor?  One lucky winner will receive a 1 year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery.





  • Chris

    Projects that multi-purpose are the best. I love designs that start out on clothing and then get used in a craft or quilt top. I like doing scenes on sweatshirt makeovers and those same scenes then migrate to baby blankets as well as children’s clothing. So much fun.

  • Kristal

    ‘In the hoop’ projects are my favorite. I love the satisfaction I get from seeing a completed project I can do from start to finish on my embroidery machine!

  • Beth R

    I would love to see more home décor …. or more quilting … or – it doesn’t matter, I love them all!

  • Belinda Germain

    Love crafts and ladies accessories, scarfs, purses, pouches and small gifts. Love the ideas I get from the blog. Tips and tricks are also favorites.

  • Gail Beam

    Love all of the tips and tricks on the blog. I would like to see more ways to use applique designs on home décor.

  • Stella

    I would love home decor or useful items to use at home. There have already been a lot of towels and pillows, so new ideas would be fun to learn.

  • Lynda

    I really enjoy making baby quilts, etc with machine embroidery and applique but enjoy seeing all of the projects.

  • Diana Hensley

    I was so inspired by your blog the other day, I searched my embroidery designs for FSL. And away I went. All different colors. I’ll have to putting in a color stop and change the colors. It really makes them pop. Tried to insert picture, but wouldn’t work.
    I love in the hoop projects.

    • Denise Holguin

      Your comment makes me so happy! If you get a moment, post the photo to our Facebook page or send directly to me: [email protected]. I love seeing photos of others’ work!


  • Ellen

    Quilts. crafts, and home decor in that o.rder those are the things I am most interested in right now

  • Patty Sack

    I would like to see in the hoop projects, adult clothing and home dec projects

  • Sandy

    I would be so excited to see more ideas for quit projects.

  • Judi C

    Home Décor, Quilting & Crafts please.

  • Pam

    Clothing. I feel like embroidery takes “home made” to a different level.

  • Gretchen

    I would love to see more of how to integrate embroidery into finished products – whether me-made or ready to wear/use. I have never been able to feel comfortable when mixing the two, but really love to see what others manage to do.

  • Karen S

    I would like to see adult clothing. I love all of the things I just don’t have time to do them.

  • Judie

    First, I liked your encouragement to think “out of the box”. I would take your project one step further and experiment with variegated threads. They always lend depth and some excitement.
    I enjoy in-the-hoop projects most. But also like quilting and home decor. No matter what the subject matter, I always learn something!

    • Denise Holguin

      Oh my goodness. I will try variegated threads next!


  • Brenda

    How do I place an embroidery over a hole in a woman’s shirt that is front center at the waist. Love the shirt!

  • Anne Marie

    In the hoop projects, embellishing purchased adult clothing and home decor projects are what I like to do and would like to see articles about in the magazine.

  • Donna Fecteau

    I saw her comment as well, and it gave me the idea of putting some of the FSL items that I have done in the past onto greeting cards. I have bells, angels and snowflakes that i have always used as ornaments or package tags, but i never thought to put them on a greeting card.

  • karen

    I love home decor, it makes it possible for me to change the look of my room seasonally.

  • Cathy

    I really enjoy using embroidery to enhance quilt blocks, so more quilt projects please.

  • L

    I LOVE your block!! I always love to see anything I can do on my single-needle machine.

  • Joan Shriver

    It’s amazing what these machines can do! I love your book on purses, so would enjoy more like that or anything in-the-hoop.Joan

  • Jean

    I would love to see more in the hoop projects and projects using ready made garments.

  • Francine Meyer-Drasutis

    Adult clothing. I loved making the shirt on the cruise with you.

  • Alice Cornelson

    I would like to see necklines and sleeves altered and adorned witu embroidery. Not elegant, but stylish for work or play. I want to take a turtle neck or basic tee and redo necklines. Thank you for such wonderful work. I enjoy your ideas and blog and i always look forward to reading them.

  • Clem

    I would love to see more men’s things, and not necessarily sports. Things you can put on ready made, or in quilts for men. My honey will use most anything I do for him, but my other male relatives…not so much. Thanks

  • Peggy (mOm)

    Home Decor, Crafts and small quick gift projects are always fun! But you come up with the greatest tips and shortcuts and way too cute ideas. So keep it going and coming our way.

  • Peggy (mOm)

    Home Decor and Crafting. Love all the quick tips and ideas you share. Always a great read.

  • Sara Redner

    I love the machine embroidery and put it on all sorts of things – clothing, purses, coin purses, cosmetic bags, tote bags, towels, pot holders, pillows, cup cozies, baby blankets, bibs, burp pads, and on and on. I think my favorite is the purse I made for “slip covers” so I can change the look of my purse without having to transfer everything from one purse to another.

  • Deanna

    Quilts, crafts and home decor. Love all the ideas. Embroidery machines are so much fun!

  • [email protected]

    I would love to see more ITH projects.

  • Debe

    Right now I’d like to see more children’s clothing & home Dec as that is what I’m doing at the moment.

  • Loretta Foreman

    I would like to know if the hoop gard will fit my machine , Ellure Pluse . largest hoop is 12 h x 5w .would like a repley thanks Loretta

  • Doreen Linehan

    I would like to see more crafts

  • Bruce

    I love them all, and I would love to see more. Thanks for sharing.