HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR ELNA FOLK!! Here’s a project to celebrate the season and get excited about Elna and sewing in 2011.




 Designed and made by Liz Thompson, Elna Educator


  • 12 squares of white cotton fabric for the embroideries. Cut larger enough to fit the EL9500 Square hoop (minimum 9 ½ – 10 inch  square)
  • 12 pieces of tearaway stabilizer – 9 ½ – 10 inch square
  • Large assortment of fabric scraps for “crazy” borders around each embroidered block. I used a bunch of different width strips I had left over from other projects. Make it as scrappy as you want or stick to a colour theme if you prefer.
  • 2 ½ – 3 inch strip of cotton fabric for inner border. Join strips if necessary. You will need about 182 inches in total.
  • 2 ½ – 3 inch strip of cotton fabric for outer border. Join strips if necessary. You will need approx. 192 inches in total.
  • Backing fabric: 44 x 56 inches.
  • Piece of fusible batting  44x 56 inches.  (Alternatively regular batting + fabric adhesive spray)
  • Binding: 2 inch strip approx 200 inches in total. Make joins & Fold in half wrong sides together and press.
  • Selection of rayon or poly and metallic embroidery threads for embroideries.
  • Pre-wound bobbins (white) for embroidery
  • Varigated cotton decorative thread for quilting embellishment..
  • Bobbin wound with colour that will blend with the backing fabric for quilting & embellishment.


  •  Using the 8 x 8 inch Square hoop, hoop up a white cotton square with tearaway stabilizer & select the Sunflower design for the square hoop.
  • Embroider 12 of these designs in a variety of colours. I added some metallic thread elements as it gave a nice accent.
  • Remove the stabilizer from the backs of the blocks and press lightly. Don’t trim at this point. 
  • Attach random strips of cotton print fabric in a variety of angles and strip widths. This will give a  crazypatch look to the blocks. Depending on width & placement of these strips, you may need 1, 2 or 3 strips around each block. Use a ¼ inch seam throughout & trim excess fabric from behind where necessary. There is a bit of wastage but I figured I was using up scraps anyway so I did not mind.
  • Repeat for all 12 blocks and then trim each block  to 12 inch square.
  • Sew all these blocks together with ¼ inch seams. Press seams.
  • Attach inner & outer border strips – also with ¼ inch seams.
  • Press whole quilt top and trim around edge if necessary.
  • Sandwich the quilt with the batting and backing fabric: either press if using fusible batting OR spray adhesive if doing the alternative method. You may need to add some quilter’s safety pins if you are using the spray glue method. This is not necessary for the fusible batting method.
  • Press and ensure there are no wrinkles on either side. Resist the temptation to stretch the fabric while you press or you may distort the edges. Press gently. An Elna press is the perfect tool for this task.
  • Using the variegated decorative cotton thread and appropriate bobbin thread, select a variety of decorative stitches to stitch around each block and in the ditch between blocks. This is an excellent opportunity to try out all those lovely decorative stitches on your Elna sewing machine that you have neglected!  Test stitch each one first to see if you wish to adjust stitch width & length and DO use the Elna walking foot  or IAF Ditch quilting foot to ensure even feeding of fabric. Another tip is to use the Tie-off and thread trim functions at the end of each row of decorative stitching as this will secure all the ends.
  • Once all the decorative embellishment (and machine quilting as it is in this case) is complete, trim around the edges to ensure all is straight.
  • Attach the binding by sewing in place on the back of the quilt and then press the folded mitered corners & flip over to the front. Press and sew down in place using the Ditch quilting foot. If you move the needle position to the right, it will always “catch” the binding in place. On this quilt, I used a feather stitch for this (not a straight stitch) so I did leave the needle position in the middle. 

About Liz Thompson

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for over 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to sew, read, knit , crochet, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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