This project uses the Brother Standard Closed Toe Walking Foot. I used the even feed action of the Walking Foot to help hem the edge of stretchy fleece, making a blanket with a nice neat finish. To customize the blanket, I created a beautiful monogram appliqué using a special fill stitch background and a design included in the Brother PE-DESIGN® 10 Software program. You will love the software technique shown here for taming the nap on fleece. And, you’ll see how easy it is to add a classic three-letter monogram to an existing design. Make a blanket like this for someone you love and they will think of you every time they snuggle underneath it.
Materials and Supplies
- Brother machine with embroidery capability, plus a Brother sewing machine (or a Brother combination machine)
- 5-inch x 7-inch hoop
- Brother PE-DESIGN® 10 Software
- SA140 – Standard Closed Toe Walking Foot
- SA5906 – Adhesive Backed Soluble (film type) Stabilizer
- SA5931 – Medium Weight Fusible Cut Away Stabilizer
- Polyester Embroidery Thread
- Size 11 embroidery needle for embroidery
- Size 11 stretch needle for sewing
- Fleece fabric for blanket (Two yards of 60-inch wide fleece makes a nice size personal blanket)
- Fleece for appliqué (Cut a 9-inch wide x 13-inch long piece from the width of the fabric, trimming the rest of the blanket piece so it is even. Your blanket will finish at about 50 inches wide after trimming.)
Instructions for Creating Embroidery
First, we are going to create a monogram design that is ideal for stitching on napped fabric such as fleece. Here’s how:
- Open PE-DESIGN® 10 and choose a 5-inch x 7-inch hoop for your design page. Select the shape tool from the Home tab and choose the rounded rectangle.
- Click and drag the mouse to draw a rectangle with the standard fill setting. Right-click on the selected shape to bring up the Numerical Setting option for changing the size. Click on size and change to equal 6.50-inch x 4.75-inch. Next, select Arrange -> Layout -> and Move to center.
- Right-click on the selected rectangle to bring up the additional menu. Click on the Fill Stitch arrow and choose Net Fill Stitch to change to an open, airy fill stitch.
- To add the frame design featured here, click on Import Patterns and import SP_floral_frame01 from Floral4.
- To add the monogram, click on the Text tool and choose your preferred three-letter monogram style. Click in the open area of the frame design and type your three letters. Hit the return key on the keyboard to generate the letters.
Complete the design as follows:
- Click and drag on the four corners of the letters, resizing them to fill the space.
- Next, click and drag the letters to center them in the frame, or use the Arrange tab to center as you did in Step 2. Adjust if necessary, nudging the group using keyboard arrows.
- Right-click on the selected letters to bring up the sub-menu. Click on the Satin Stitch arrow and then choose Fill Stitch to change the letters from satin to standard fill. Change colors as desired or simple change the colors at the machine.
- Save the design and transfer it to your machine.
- Cut a piece of SA5931 stabilizer to match the 9-inch x 13-inch piece of fleece. Attach the stabilizer by carefully ironing from the wrong side, using low heat and taking care not to touch the fleece with the iron. Layer the water soluble on top and hoop in the 5-inch x 7-inch hoop.
- Embroider the entire design. Remove from hoop, wash out stabilizer and let dry.
- Carefully cut out the appliqué, cutting just outside the satin stitched line. Set aside temporarily.
Instructions for Finishing Blanket
- Set up machine for sewing with thread to match or contrast with fleece. Place the walking foot on the machine. Select a Zigzag stitch.
- To form a hem, turn and pin 1-inch to the wrong side of two edges of the blanket. Pinch the corner together where they meet and trim the fleece to form a miter. You don’t need to be too fussy, because fleece is ravel-resistant and the final stitches will cover the cut edges. Repeat for all edges and corners.
- Beginning on one side, stitch the hem in place with the wrong side facing up. Sew from top to bottom, catching the raw edge of the hem as you stitch. Sew all four sides from end-to-end in the same manner.
- To stitch the corners. begin by changing the width and length of zigzag to 3.0. Sew miter closed by stitching from the inner edge of the hem to the outer edge of the blanket.
- Place the finished monogram appliqué piece in your desired location of the blanket. We centered ours near the top edge with the top of the monogram facing the top of the blanket. Adjust the zigzag stitch and attach the appliqué using the zigzag stitch.
Learn More: The Walking Foot is certainly popular for quilting, but it is in fact the ideal foot for so much more than that! In this project, you see that the even feeding action of the foot makes it useful for preventing fluffy fleece from stretching out of shape.
In addition, the closed toe of this foot provides more control of the fabric layers when you are using it to sew seams or for hemming (such as the technique featured in this project). This foot is available for many Brother machine models.