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Cute Baby Bug Embroidered Blanket

Cute Baby Bug Embroidered Blanket main article image
Posted on May 21, 2022 by Naomi Garcia
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Did you see the cover image for this article?  Isn’t it super cute?  When I saw the design for these sweet baby bugs I knew I was going to be making something!  How did I do it?  Let’s chat a little bit about machine embroidery and quilts.  Then I’ll take you through the process of how I made this adorable baby blanket.

folded snail quilt

First Embroidery Memories

Growing up, I remember my mom making the most intricate embroidery designs by hand.  There were iron-on designs that she would add to fabric squares.  She’d clamp a square into a metal hoop, separate a stretch of embroidery floss, and work that pattern until she had a beautiful work of art.

My mom would sew the squares together to make fun quilts.  My favorite was one she made with nursery rhyme characters.  That blanket stayed with me throughout my childhood years.  I was ecstatic when, as a surprise, she re-created a hand-embroidered nursery rhyme blanket for me when my youngest child was born.

Machine Embroidery

I’ve learned many things from my mom.  I can sew, crochet, do some woodworking, and lots more because of her.  Unfortunately, the hand embroidery kind of skipped me.  Try as I may, I’ve never been able to embroider quite as well.  It is kind of frustrating… but, of course, there is an alternative.  Enter the embroidery sewing machine.

embroidery machine working

I got my first embroidery machine nearly 20 years ago.  At first, I only thought that I could use it to add names to uniform shirts and make cute little flower decorations for handkerchieves.  It was kind of a “side sewing machine” for me.  Little did I know that there was a whole world of machine embroidery out there and that this was a hobby in and of itself.

Combining Quilting with Machine Embroidery

Soon after getting an embroidery machine, I also learned more about quilting.  I learned patchwork, piecing, and basic quilting techniques.  That’s when I first thought about adding machine embroidery designs to squares to create baby quilts.  

baby bug quilt top

After I had my first daughter, I used a Teddy Bear design set to make a little lap blanket/ car seat throw for her.  Before that, I made Redwork embroidery throws for my sisters.  The biggest, and by far my favorite project, though, was an applique quilt I created for my mom.  It had 12 squares.  In each square was an applique boy or girl with the name of one of my siblings and our matching date of birth embroidered on the bottom.

Revisiting Machine Embroidered Quilts

It’s been a long time since I’ve made an embroidered quilt.  But recently, as I scrolled through designs on Creative Fabrica, I came across a design set that just called out, “Naomi… make something with us!”  

Introducing… the Baby Bugs Full Set. You can’t tell me these aren’t the cutest bugs!  Although the designs incorporate applique, I decided to try them out without adding the fabric.  The set includes seven bug designs: snail, butterfly, bee, dragonfly, grasshopper, ladybug, and caterpillar.  

Baby Bugs image set

Since 7 isn’t a number I generally use for quilting, I added 2 other squares using another design from Creative Fabrica.  The Fairy Flower and Heart design is also a machine applique design.  I thought it was a nice addition to complete this quilt design.  This gave me 9 squares to work with.

Now, you can make a quilt top design however you’d like.  But I do know that having a specific map, or pattern can also help.  So I sketched out my design.  (I had sheets of notebook paper everywhere!)  Finally, I ended up settling on this:

FLOWER HEART

 

BUG

 

BUG

 

BUG

 

BUG

 

BUG

 

BUG

 

BUG

 

FLOWER HEART

This is just something I came up with.  You are welcome to add cornerstones, additional blocks, and borders.

Let’s get into how I made this quilt.

Materials and Supplies

  • 1-yard muslin fabric
  • 1-yard fabric cotton fabric for backing
  • ½ yard fabric A for border
  • ½ yard fabric B for border
  • ¼ yard fabric for sashings
  • Low loft batting, crib size
  • Fusible, tear-away stabilizer
  • Snips
  • Rotary cutter
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Self-healing mat
  • Sewing clips or pins
  • Steam iron
  • Embroidery sewing machine and hoop
  • Your choice of colored thread
  • Lots and lots and lots of bobbin thread
  • Baby Bugs Full Set Embroidery Designs from Creative Fabrica

quilting materialsThe Process

Preparing the Fabric

  1. Prewash and dry your fabric
  2. Iron the fabric to take out wrinkles
  3. Use the mat, rotary cutter, and ruler to cut (9) 8” x 8” squares from the muslin
  4. For sashings, cut (6) strips 2” x 8”
  5. For the inner border, cut (4) strips 2” x 30” from fabric A
  6. For the outer border, cut (4) strips 4” x 36”

Sewing the Designs

  1. Download the Baby Bugs designs from Creative Fabrica
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your embroidery machine to transfer the designs to your machine.
  3. Add a stabilizer to the back of the squares
  4. Hoop the first square
  5. Select the proper settings for your machine and stitch out each design
    1. For my quilt, I did not change the thread colors.  I used only one color per design
    2. For the caterpillar, I used a multicolor thread
  6. Trim the threads and remove the excess stabilizer from each block when done

sewing embroidery design

embroidery sewing

flower embroidery design

Assembling the Quilt Top

  1. Arrange your quilt blocks and sashings in order to make it easier to find the piece you need
  2. For each row, use a ¼” seam to sew together: square, sashing, square, sashing square
  3. Repeat that for all 3 rows
  4. Press seams to one side
  5. Now, add the top and bottom inner border and long sashings (Fabric A) in this order: border, embroidered row 1, border, embroidered row 2, border, embroidered row 3, border
  6. Press all seams
  7. Add the side inner borders (fabric A) and press seams
  8. Add the outer border (fabric B) to each side
  9. Press all seams.
  10. Cut your quilt back to the same size as your completed quilt top

lay out quilt design

arrange quilt pieces to sew

press seams

sew quilt top

Making the Quilt Sandwich

Now it’s time for the fun part.

  1. Lay your quilt top out, face-up
  2. Layer the quilt backing, face down, on top of the quilt top
  3. Place the batting on the very top
  4. Trim around the batting (save this!  It’s enough for another blanket this size)
  5. Use sewing clips to hold all 3 layers together
  6. Use a ¼” seam allowance to sew all the way around the quilt – LEAVE AN 8” OPENING on the bottom to turn the quilt out
  7. Trim down the seam allowance and clip the corners
  8. Turn the quilt right side out
  9. Roll the corners to help get them nice and pointy
  10. Press around the seams
  11. Either hand sew or machine stitch the opening at the bottom
  12. Quilt or tie as desired.
    1. For mine, I used a decorative stitch from my sewing machine to stitch around the inner and outer borders.

trim backing

layer batting, top, and backing

Wrapping It Up (get it?)

This is the CUTEST baby quilt I’ve made in a very long time.  In fact, it made me want to just stay up creating more quilts.  What made this one special for me is that I have a new great grand-niece who gets to have this blanket.

caterpillar

caterpillar 2

If you’re an advanced or professional sewist and quilt maker, you know that I took several shortcuts in this quilt.  That was intentional.  I remember starting to quilt and embroider and being overwhelmed.  So, I wanted to make this project appealing and doable for even beginner quilters.  

One of the shortcuts I took was simply embroidering most of the blocks.  For the snail and the dragonfly, I took the extra steps to use fabric to make them true appliques.  I invite you to stay tuned for a follow-up article where I’ll go through the steps of machine embroidery applique.  It’s a good one!  I also turned my quilt and added decorative stitching instead of adding the binding (Binding and I don’t exactly have a good relationship).

completed quilt and backing

What do you think?  Can you see yourself trying this project?  Let us know in the comments!  And if you do make something, tag us on social media.  We love seeing your creations!

Now, go make something special!


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Comments
2 Comments

Me gustan los bordados

Naomi Garcia's profile picture
Naomi Garcia

July 8, 2022

Author

¡Yo también! Es muy divertido y puedes hacer muchas cosas.


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