Whether you’re a first time quilter or a seasoned veteran, this method of block piecing and quilting creates professional looking results, every time. The secret is using your embroidery machine. The blocks are skillfully pieced and the quilt is quilted with the precision of a long-arm, all in the hoop. This vibrant Diamond Spectrum Quilt pattern features several techniques—from piecing to layering, and on to final quilting. Let me show you this fast and fun method of quilting with your machine.
Machine embroidery designs included in the package come in two designs and in four different sizes each. This gives you versatility in your own quilt design and finished project sizes.





Note from Nancy: The blocks used in this demonstration are 8″ x 8″, the largest size.

Supplies

Make a Block

  • Use the embroidery software program to print the template for, in this case, the 8″ x 8″ block.
  • Notice the different sections of the block and the numbers within. These numbers indicate the piecing sequence.
  • Cut the fabric strips to the following lengths, per block. A project sheet is included with the product for complete quilt requirements.

-One piece: 2-1/2″ x 12-1/2″
-Two pieces: 2-1/2″ x 11-1/2″
-Two pieces: 2-1/2″ x 8-1/2″
-Two pieces: 2-1/2″x 6″
-Two pieces: 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″
-One contrast/background square: 9-1/4″ x 9-1/4″











  • Hoop a Fusible Mesh Cut-Away Stabilizer, fusible side up.
  • Set up the sewing machine with the embroidery unit and appropriate foot.
  • Import and select the embroidery design for the block.
  • Select all-purpose poly or poly/cotton thread; wind the bobbin with the same thread as used in the needle. A slightly contrasting color works best. (Now this is different! Rayon thread is usually used for embroidery but we’re piecing quilt blocks!)
  • Stitch the first thread color directly on the stabilizer.






  • Pre-select fabric strip arrangements, keeping a mix of colors in light, medium, and dark values.
  • Start with the center strip, section one. Place the 12-1/2″ fabric strip over that section making sure the fabric covers the stitching lines and extends equally in all directions.
  • Fuse the fabric strip to the stabilizer with a mini iron.






  • Stitch the thread Color 2, which bastes down fabric #1.
  • Align the 11-1/2″ strips along the diagonal fabric edge matching right sides together. Make certain fabric is extended equally beyond the outline on the stabilizer at opposite corners.






  • Embroider thread Color 3 to stitch the section to the block.
  • Fold the second fabric strip over the stabilizer.
  • Start pressing from the folded edge, working to the opposite corner to eliminate wrinkles. “Pre-pressing” with your fingertips is ideal—you can feel any wrinkles.
  • Press and fuse the fabric strip to the stabilizer.
  • Embroider thread Color 4 to baste the pressed section to stabilizer.
  • Trim away excess fabric along the previously stitched basting line.






  • Align the 8-1/2″ strips along the diagonal fabric edge matching right sides together. Make certain fabric is extended equally beyond the outline on the stabilizer at opposite corners.






  • Embroider thread Color 5 to stitch the section to the block.
  • Fold the second fabric strip over the stabilizer.
  • Start pressing from the folded edge, working to the opposite corner to eliminate wrinkles. “Pre-pressing” with your fingertips is ideal—you can feel any wrinkles.





  • Press and fuse the fabric strip to the stabilizer.
  • Embroider thread Color 6 to baste the pressed section to stabilizer.
  • Trim away excess fabric along the previously stitched basting line.






  • Repeat these steps to complete the remaining sections with the remaining cut strips.





  • Before stitching Color 19, tape the seam edges with Sewer’s Fix-It Tape. This prevents the embroidery foot from catching on the fabric folds as your embroider the outer block perimeter.
  • Place the tape 1/8″–1/4″ away from the stitched basting lines.
  • Trim the fabric ends approximately 1/2″ from the perimeter stitching lines.





  • Position the contrast/background square over the pieced block in the hoop.
  • Align the squares’ edges to extend equally beyond the Color 19 stitching line. Optional: Lightly apply tape to the corners.
  • Embroider Color 20, which sews two perfectly diagonal rows of stitches.






  • Remove the block.
  • Turn the block over to trim the seam allowances past the Color 19 stitching line to 1/4″.
  • Cut between the diagonal stitched lines.






  • Each embroidered block produces a set of two finished Diamond Spectrum blocks.






Design a Quilt Top

  • Once the blocks are created, arrange this high-contrast block in any of these traditional settings:
Diamond Spectrum (on the cover)





Amish Rainbows and Shadows: Place blocks with contrast fabric in the upper left corners for each block.





Spectrum in Diagonal: Place blocks with contrast fabric in the lower right corner first, then upper left corner; repeat across the row. Alternate the block arrangement in the remaining rows.





Rainbow Spectrum on Point: Place four blocks with rainbow pieced sections meeting.






Machine Embroider to Quilt

  • Choose a quilting embroidery design. The Diamond Spectrum Quilt Collection includes the featured stippling pattern, specially sized for each size block.
  • Print a template using an embroidery software program such as Amazing Designs® Exit Express™.
Note from Nancy: Print embroidery templates on Translucent Foundation Paper for better visibility and alignment of the designs on your quilt.
  • Trim excess paper.
  • Position the template over the quilt and tape in the desired location.
  • Align the quilting embroidery design, hoop quilt, and quilt. Details covering hooping options and specific steps can be found in the complete directions.






  • Remove the paper template, once the hoop and quilt are aligned.
  • Change thread and bobbin to 50 weight machine quilting thread, if desired.
  • Embroider.






  • Add embroidered quilting to all desired areas of the quilt repeating the previous steps.




Finish the quilt with your favorite binding method. You can find my absolute easiest binding tutorial here.

Watch Stress Free Quilting with Machine Embroidery Part Two on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.






Leave us a comment sharing the most stressful step in the quilting process to be entered to win a CD of Stress-Free Machine Embroidery: Diamond Spectrum Quilt.

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway WinnerThe random winner of a 6-in-1 Stick ‘n Stitch Guide from Clover is Ruth Meek. She said: I would love to own this handy gadget!! I’m getting back into sewing, & this would be invaluable for perfect seam allowances.







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