Flat Sue and Sam

I love working with digital files and machine embroidery.  I also love doing things the easy way too!  I'm a hobbyist and not a professional and I love creating items to give away or sell for charity.  If I can put less stress and pressure on myself, I'm all in.  The quicker and easier things are, the better.  You are seeing the picture.  That's why I also like the AccuQuilt Go and fabric die cuts. 

When I saw Marjorie's shop at http://shop.b-quilts.com/ and all the beautiful Die Cut and AccuQuilt Go Machine Embroidery Files, I thought it was great find and count me in. When I reviewed all of her files, I was drawn to Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam.  I recently purchase the AccuQuilt Go templates so I was excited to put them to use.  I've just found a new obsession thanks to Marjorie!

I'm pulling Sam and Sue off the fabric quilt blocks and creating my Sam and Sue for unconventional uses.  You never know, your children may make them their new Flat Sue and Flat Sam.  No one knows, where they will be photographed next.  I can see future posts on new versions so I've added a new category for Sam and Sue on my blog!  So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

My Favorite Tips
  • If you are going to applique for a quilt block, try and cut the quilt block fabric larger than needed and then you can center the applique after the machine embroidery is completed.  This way, you are guaranteed to be centered!
  • Don't be afraid to stop your embroidery machine and change colors mid stream.  Even though a piece may be designed as one color, you can stop and switch colors and then let it continue on.
  • Consider making your machine embroidery pieces as free standing appliques and then sew, glue, or iron them on to their destination.
  • Unless you are doing contest pieces, just enjoy the process and go with the flow.  If the thread breaks, OK, back up a few stitches and restart. If it keeps breaking... cuss a little and keep going. 
  • I love using sticky back tear away stabilizer.  It works well with making applique machine embroidery pieces.  It sometimes has little fuzzies around the edges so sometimes I combine it with water soluble stabilizer.
  • If the stabilizer is not sticky back, I'll use the 505 Temporary adhesive spray to help keep the fabric pieces in place.  
  • If you have questions on anything, please feel free to email me!

Don't worry If you don't own the AccuQuilt Go Sunbonnet Sue and Sam,   Marjorie's excellent instructions also come with a printable template for the pieces!  Here are the dies used as well as my Fall fabric choices in the cut pieces.

As mentioned above, I like the function and stability of the sticky back stabilizer but I don't like the feathered edges it sometimes produces when you pull it away from an embroidered piece.  So, sometimes I go the extra step to stitch out the template outline on the sticky back stabilizer and then I cut it out in one piece cutting directly on the sewn outline (See Steps A and B below).  I then redo the first step of stitching out the template onto wash away stabilizer.  Where the outlined it stitched on the wash away stabilizer, I then place the sticky stabilizer "cut out" within the lines. (See steps C and D below)  I use some temporary adhesive spray to keep it in place.  Then I add the fabric pieces as instructed. 


I have to say that Marjorie's files do stitch out beautifully!  I love the variety of options you get in each embroidery file purchased.  For Sunbonnet Sue you receive 7 different designs and with Overall Sam, you receive 5 different stitch combinations.  I place the fabric according to the instructions (See image A below).  The white you see around the edges is the sticky back stabilizer. Next time, I'll cut it a little smaller,  Then I let the design files and decorative stitches take it away from here. (See images B and C below)


Once the file have stitched out, now comes the fun part.  Even though I used the combination of Sticky Back stiff stabilizer and wash away stabilizer, it's really the wash away stabilizer that's keeping Sue and Sam on the hoops.  Once I take the stabilizer out of the hoop, I just give a little tug and it starts to separate easily from the wash away stabilizer.  If you would prefer, you can follow the instruction for the wash away stabilizer and use water.  Again, quick is good for me.  You can see the freed Sue and Sam below.  Also, a photo for the back of the stitch outs.  You can now see the sticky back stiff stabilizer.  This helps in giving Sue and Sam some structure!


OK, from here there's so many things to do with Sue and Sam.  Here are a few of my ideas:
  • Obviously, you can applique them onto fabric either using fusible webbing or stitching without having to worry about whether it's centered or not.
  • You can glue a stick on the back of them and then cover that with felt or something harder like cardboard to make stick puppets... lol
  • You can add business card magnet paper to the full size and make a car magnet.  :-)


I had so much fun creating the Fall Sam and Sue that I couldn't help but go back to stitch out another set using Marjorie's other layouts for Sue and Sam.  This time however, because of a cantankerous bobbin and temperamental top thread, I had one heck of a time on Sue.  This is exactly what I meant with just relax and most all things will  work themselves out.  Look at the mess I created with the bobbin thread and breaking top thread.  This was totally my machine's fault and nothing to do with the beautiful embroidery files.

But, if you use a little creativity, you can fix anything.  Here is the Sunbonnet Sue before the bobbin and top thread fiasco on Sue's decorative dress border and then after.

And after I finished the Sam, I added few magnets to the back of Sunbonnet Sue and Sam and here's the great reminder I have for everyone today!!  Right now they are on my fridge, but they are moving to my filing cabinet at work today!

Thanks for stopping by!