The Avid Embroiderer Presents - AppliCut - A Bonding of two ideas.

I just made up that word but if you found it elsewhere, well, I still made it up for embroidery.

As a creator of bridal embroidery, I am always trying to find ways to stand out from the crowd.  IMHO, if you are thinking about “what could I do differently?”, I feel your brain is actually working in the background all the time.  Without that ‘cue’ to your brain and senses, you would be less likely to come up with a new idea.  I feel it works like this:  ‘When was the last time you saw a red convertible?’  Your response may be, I have not seen one for awhile.  Then you go to the mall, and suddenly you see many red convertibles.  Previously, you were not seeing what might be there, but the mere suggestion will alert your brain and red convertibles are everywhere (well almost, I hear that convertibles are making a comeback!)

With that in mind, I am able to see things a great deal more often.  I do look at what the young females are wearing - - or not entirely wearing as the case may be.  Many of them are not young ladies, but the few who are make up a terrific group of brides, wives and mothers of the future.

For them, I want something that will stand out for their special day.  Something that they can give as a gift to parents, grandparents and other treasured friends and loved ones.  My guiding passion is to have the recipient feel as happy and delighted as the bride does on this important day.  If I did my job right, the recipient may even shed a small tear.

Most of us know how to create an applique.  If you are not familiar with the applique technique, check here.  Most of us know how to create a cutwork pattern.  If you could use a refresher, this is a great place to read all about it.  One difference between the two processes is that the applique will have a "pre-stitched" outline as to where to lay your applique fabric.  Cutwork just shows a line where to cut before you do the satin stitching.  Applique is often used for more informal items such as quilts and children's designs.  Cutwork is generally used as a more passive way to make embroidery unique.  Cutwork is a lot more subtle.

I selected this design for its light and airy feel.  Wedding items, with the possible exception of the cake, should be simple and elegant.  Additionally, I am looking for something that does not take away from the importance of the words on the hankie which is the main focus. 

As I always say, not being perfect makes me humble and always seeing new ideas after the fact.  I like how this turned out, but I would change the insert.  I did use a large lace which was only a scrap but hanging around, so I used it .  I would either use a more delicate lace or possibly something like chiffon or something metallic.  The design was intentionally small, and I would enlarge it as well.

Here is the start.  The hankie and stabilizer are normal, in this case, I allowed the lace to float (not attached to the hoop) underneath the hoop.  I had done a 'trace' which is where you have the machine check to see where everything will be positioned.

I ran the first portion, the cut area and trimmed away the hankie only.  Make sure that you leave your stabilizer (I am using heat-away) in tact.  Because I don't have the most steady hand, I usually trim away from the stitch line.  Then I trim again to make sure it will not show under the satin area. Incidentally, IMHO, when they use a satin stitch for a cut line, I believe they tend to use a wider satin stitch making the cut more forgiving.

Then, on the back, I cut away the OUTSIDE of the lace that will be saved for another project.  I did a second trim for more precise placement there as well.

Then I placed a  new piece of stabilizer over the top of the project.  The lace and stabilizer is a bit on the loose side and using another layer assures your foot won't get caught and ruin the item.

Here is my final product.  Naturally, I can change any part of it when I do a piece for sale or on a final project.  But I am pleased with the outcome.  I hope you are as well. 

Happy AppliCut to everyone!

I recently noticed that there has been some interest in the Bean Stitch.  You will have some recognition of it when you see it and very little has been written about it.  I did a blog on it and I hope you enjoy reading about this stitch.  I personally would love to see it more frequently in designs.

Today, Joan Rivers passed out of our lives.  I can honestly say that she totally inspired me in many ways.  She often spoke of the humble bee who, by virtue of its body weight to wing ratio should not be able to fly.  She reinvented herself after all sorts of set backs and went ahead with conviction.  She spoke the truth and made us laugh at all sorts of things, including fashion.  My blog of 5/28/2014 was inspired by her, but she inspired me so much more.  RIP

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LaRueSews-Quilts,1/2-Square Triangles, Easy?

LaRueSews-Quilts,1/2-Square Triangles, Easy?

This blog could be considered as an Anniversary Blog, since it has been a year and seven days since I posted my very first Blog.  I didn’t think it would last this long.  But thanks to all of you and your faithfulness, I’m still here.  Also, I’d like to give a lot of credit to Greg Nisbet, who encouraged and taught me and practically rewrote some of those first Blogs.  Let me tell you, it was a giant feat to get those first few Blogs on line last year, as I still had dial-up internet access, and it took four or five days to get that first one on line. (No kidding) I want you to know that this quilter/blogger has come a long way.  We installed satellite internet about six weeks into my efforts as a blogger, and it made a tremendous difference.  I would not have stayed with it more than a couple months if we had stayed with dial-up. Pat Snyder has also been a great friend and cheerleader for me.  She “holds me up” in this effort.  My husband was also a terrific help in those first few Blogs.  He was my proofreader, my formatter and my cheerleader.  Since then, he has tolerated me in talking about it all the time. If you haven’t been with LaRueSews-Quilts since the beginning, I encourage you to go back to the very first one and continue through them all.  This is the link:

Now, let’s talk about half-square triangles.  Until about three weeks ago, I had almost completely sworn off triangles.  I didn’t like to do them, and didn’t care if I ever saw one again.  Then, my friend Bonita, and I went on a fabric expedition (shop hop).  We learned of a new quilt shop near Columbus, Georgia.  Being Fabriholics that we are, we HAD to check it out.  The name of this little shop is Sunday Best Quilt Shop, in Ellerslie GA.  It is owned by Teresa Singleton and Linda Camp.  Linda was in the shop the day we were there.  She showed us their method of making Half Square Triangles, which is IMHO the best method I have seen.  SBQ's Original Half-Square Triangle Stencil.  This method is so easy and accurate that I made 32 half-square triangles in about forty-five minutes.  (Linda says she can do it in fifteen minutes.)  This photo shows a template that makes 2 inch half-square triangles.  Directions are printed on the right side of the template.

Triangle template 

Here we go  . . . Choose two contrasting fabrics, visually, light and dark turn out best.  A fat quarter of each is more than enough for this method.  Press both fabrics and lay them, right sides together, on a cutting mat with the light fabric on top, wrong side up.  Lay SBQ's Original Half-Square Triangle stencil on top of the light fabric.  (Dark fabric first, next light fabric, then stencil).  On the stencil’s edge there are small holes, placed together at intervals, use these holes to pin the stencil to the fabrics.  Be sure all layers are laying flat and on the straight grain.  Photos here show how the stencil is laid out and pinned, as well as marking in process and a closeup of pinned and marked stencil.

template layoutpinning and marking 1pinning and marking 2

Using a water soluble marker, mark all lines on the stencil.  (Linda used Crayola Washable markers, in different colors, to show the different sewing and cutting lines) The lines are coded by the size of the marking spaces.  Check to see if all lines are marked.  I used only a blue marker.

pinning and marking 3sewing
Remove the pins from the stencil and re-pin the two layers of fabric.  Now it’s time to sew.  The stencil has instructions that show how to sew continuously on the lines as shown on the stencil, without stopping or cutting the threads on each section.  Now, you are more than half way there!  When you have sewn all the lines, turn it over and check the back.  You can see the stitching better on the dark fabric.   Go to the ironing board and press the fabrics to set the stitches.


It’s rotary cutting time! (second photo above) Go to your cutting mat and carefully cut on the horizontal dashed lines.  Check to make sure that all the cut edges are still aligned.  Now cut on the vertical dashed lines.  Check your alignment again, making sure that everything is aligned. Now you can cut on the diagonal lines, in both directions.  THAT’S IT!  You have made 32 half-square triangles.  Now is the hard part, if you want to call it that.  It seems like it takes more time to press those little buggers than it did all the rest.  AND, don’t burn your fingers. 

In this short amount of time, you have made 32 triangles half-square that can be used in any pattern that requires 2 inch half-square triangles.  The stencil also shows how to make only sixteen and eight triangles at a time.  I haven’t used my triangles yet.  I wanted to tell you about this Cool Tool before I had time to decide how to use it.  I’ll always try to let you know about really good methods and tools when I find them.

triangles 1triangles 2

These great stencils come in four sizes, from 1 to 2 ½ inches. The best part is that they are so accurate.

If anyone lives near Ellersly, GA, take a little trip and visit the Sunday Best Quilt Shop.  Directions are on their web site.  OH! One more thing . . .They have other Quilting Stuff too!

Get busy and make some Quilts this week!  Next time, I will begin a Block of the Month.  I will give you all a block to make, without instruction.  I will be counting on all of you to be able to Do It Yourself.  See you next time.

Stitches to you


Comments (8) -

sylvesterladybug 7/18/2009 11:48:15 AM

Love the half square triange stencil!  What a time saver when making so many!


Thanks...bought some stencils !!!

I always wondered how to make those perfect lines!

Hey, Lisa, it's a time saver if you only make a FEW.  And the stencil has directions for making less than 32 at a time.  Thanks for your comment.


Cool, I hope you enjoy it.


Yep, that's how we do it.  And the same goes for the straight and perfect lines that quilters quilt on.  There's a million stencils that are used to draw the lines on the quilts to follow when quilting.

Thanks everyone for comments.


Hi LaRue,  That is sooo coool. What a great idea!!!!


Hey, Vada,

Glad you're still here with us.  Thanks for coming back each time.

I though you might like this one.


What a great thing.  Seems like every week someone is coming out with things to make life easier for us quilters.


Marge, I'm sorry, I missed your comment.  Thank you for commenting.  It's a great product if you make triangles.  I had sworn off triangle because I couldn't make them accurate until this.


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