Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Reader’s Embroidery: A Lovely Quilt


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Mabel recently embroidered a beautiful quilt for her granddaughter. It’s really a pretty piece of work, with each different heart embroidered in flowers and featuring a little inspirational word – like happiness, hope, friendship.

The “fancy” flowered hearts are embroidered on every other square on the front of the quilt, and in between each of those squares is a simpler square, with four hearts embroidered that meet in the middle of the square.

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

Mabel used one thread of DMC throughout, and stitched each heart differently.

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

I think the colors are really beautiful! I love the addition of that little word in each square – a perfect little touch for a little girl’s blanket.

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

Every other square is embroidered with this motif of four hearts, meeting in the middle. The running stitch outline is perfect here – a nice, simple approach to contrast with the surrounding fancier squares.

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

This is the whole quilt – you can see the layout of the various embroidered squares.

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

The center square is the L-O-V-E in a Box embroidery pattern available here on Needle ‘n Thread. Originally, Mabel worked the letters in running stitch, but she wasn’t satisfied with the way they looked, so she laced a darker pink thread into the stitching. I like the somewhat “wavy” effect on the letters that this technique of lacing creates.

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

On the back of the quilt are embroidered certain inspirational verses. This one reads, “Dance like nobody’s watching, Love like you’ve never been hurt, Sing like nobody’s hearing, Live like it’s heaven on earth.” Mabel asked is I thought she should re-embroider those in darker thread. What do you all think? I tend to think that, if the thread color she has used corresponds well to the threads in the front of the quilt, to go ahead and leave the verses as they are. From up close, they can certainly be read, and that’s what matters, anyway, because that’s how her granddaughter will see it. But… what do you all think?

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

On the back of the quilt, what better signature than “Super Grandma”??

Reader's Embroidery: Hand Embroidered Quilt Hearts

And, of course, there’s the lucky recipient of this hand embroidered treasure, Sienna-Lee, who will be one in August and is reported to be a very fast crawler! She’s cute as a button, that’s for sure!

Mabel also mentioned that she has just started quilting, so this is a beginner project for her. The bumps on the quilt, she said, bear witness to this. I’m not a professional quilter, myself, but I have made quilts and went through a phase of reading a lot about quilting techniques. So, for all you quilters out there, here’s my question: I’m wondering if, in the long-run, Mabel might be a bit happier with the finished product if she were to quilt the quilt a bit more with a neutral-colored (white) quilting thread, in order to help eliminate some of what she calls the “bumpy” spots. I foresee the filling shifting with use…. It would not take away from the embroidery at all, to quilt a little bit around the hearts, for example, or maybe just another quilted line half an inch in from the ribbons around each square? Even if she quilted, say, another small heart within the hearts, using white thread, that would help secure the batting and anchor everything in place.

I know that sounds like a lot more work to add to the project, but after all this gorgeous embroidery has been done on the quilt, I would hate to see it lump up after a bit of use!

Perhaps some other quilters out there might offer some advice on this point for Mabel?

The embroidery on this project is really gorgeous, and of course, the whole quilt is made with such obvious love! What a perfect gift for a gorgeous granddaughter, and I’m sure she will treasure it all her life (and hand it down to her own kids, hopefully!). Congratulations, Mabel!


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(4) Comments

  1. Hurrah for Mabel!!

    What a wonderful gift.

    I agree with Mary about securing the batting.

    I still have my baby quilt, and it has been around for a long time; sewn with love and strong stitches.

  2. that's a gorgeous quilt and I agree, a little free motion quilting between the embroidered motifs would tighten up the rippling but seeing the beautiful work she's done by hand and if she has time on her hands it might be worth it to hand quilt it as well.

    Beautiful and I adore the LOVE embroidery.

  3. OMG Mary I am so absolutely thrilled to see my efforts on your forum and the words of encouragement from other bloggers. Thank you sooooooooo much.

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