“If apples were pears…


And peaches were plums, and the rose had a different name.

If tigers were bears and fingers were thumbs, I’d love you just the same.” Anon

This sweet sentiment is the focus of the small quilted wallhanging. Suzanne Sawko digitized the text and embroidery designs, then I stitched the little heirloom quilt. This joint effort was for a class we co-taught at a Brother dealer convention in Denver.



It is to the credit of Suzanne’s skill, perseverance and diligence that the floral designs look very much like hand embroidery. They are made all the more so by the use of Brother’s Country Threads with their matte finish. They look just like cotton but are, in fact, polyester.  However, the color palette is limited to 61 colors.  Still, it is my favorite as it offers the look of cotton with the durability of polyester.

Cotton is my favorite thread for most fine machine embroidery.  Play clothes for the grandchildren and utility items are exempt from this category.  It has taken a good bit of time to assemble an assortment of cotton threads, including 60/2 Mettler (my favorite for outlining), 50/2 DMC, 50/3 Mettler Silk Finish (stitches just like 30/2), 30/2 Mettler and 12 wt. Cotty or Sulky.  If you are trying to replicate handwork, the cotton thread gives a lot of support to that illusion.

Suzanne and I tried to incorporate a number of techniques without cluttering up the very small 14″ x 15″ area.  The yo-yo’s are made on the embroidery machine and the tiny text was digitized with a running stitch, rather than satin.



Also, this was the first of our whole cloth quilt projects in which the illusion of individual blocks is suggested by wing needle entredeux. It is stitched along what might have been a seam line. Several strands of embroidery floss were stabbed through the holes, quilting the piece with large but even stitches.

From Brother embroidery cards, the quilting designs and appliquéd antique lace corners were stitched in the hoop. The quilting designs were worked in the same manner as the seam line, with a wing needle and quilted with floss.

A classic Liberty of London tanna lawn was used for the binding, yo-yo’s and backing.  It also served as a source for the color palette.

Suzanne and I met at a sewing event and have built a warm and lasting  friendship over time. For 18 years now, we have  collaborated and consulted with one another about sewing projects, child rearing, garden layouts, cake decorating and grandchildren. I guess I could say that if apples were pears and peaches were plums, I’d love her just the same.

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