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My next quilt is going to be white blocks with a vintage embroidered design in each block. My question is this:   I read somewhere that you have to cut your blocks a little larger, than recut them after the embroidery because they might be slightly smaller. Also, what kind of stabilizer would I want to use on the blocks so they don't turn out to be too stiff.

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The hand embroidered blocks can be pulled tighter with the stitching and create a puckered look so you need the extra to keep it the right size when finished.  Also, hand embroidered blocks have the chance to fray more at the edges while being worked on and some people keep pulling out those loose threads on the edges, so again, bigger is better.  It has been nice to serge the edges before giving them to be worked on.

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If you are doing hand embroidery, consider using Pellon's SF 101 to back each block. I got this idea from some hand embroiders when I attended a workshop. The up side is that you do not have to use a hoop; the SF 101 gives the block enough stability. Also, it is attached to the back of the block and will not shift as a second layer of fabric might. Also, it does hide jump stitches, knots, etc.

 

And, ditto on making the block bigger and then cutting it down.

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Since you are going to do machine embroidery, don't cut your blocks first.  Try to mark your fabric into block sections and keep it as a strip or piece.  Then when you hoop the fabric you can hoop it taking advantage of the "next" blocks background in the holding of the hoop.  You won't waste as much fabric with this method.

 

As for stabilizer, you could use a softer tear away or cut away for the back and then trim it close when done so your block will still be soft and flexible.  Are you doing vintage looking designs that are more open and airy or a fuller more solid embroidery piece?  The airy look won't need as much stablizer and still should handle life well.  The more solid design will still be heavier and stiffer when done and requires a heavier more supporting stabilizer in the process.

 

I hope you are able to share pictures with us when you get this one going.

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Thank you everyone for your help. I am using light and airy emb. designs from emblibrary.com.  I bought some featherweight fusible today and I am going to do a test, trying it with and without the fusible.  I have found in the past that if I emb. on cotton, it puckers a little. But since these designs are so light, I will try without it, also. Not in a hurry, no deadline, so I have time to play with it. It is just for ME!!!!!   Also have to get busy making a quilt for my daughter, daughter-in-law wants one, too. Jeez, I have only had my long arm for 2 weeks and already getting requests from family!  lol   I am not even good at it yet!  My 7 year old granddaughter has shown great interest in the machine and I let her try it with my supervision.  She did great!  We are going to have a lot of fun with this machine.  She saw the quilt I was making and said, "Is this for me?!!"  No, it's for me and my wall!

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