Small Town Charm – Machine Embroidery project

EDIT – March 2022 – the free pattern is no longer available.

I happened to “trip over” a post on a Facebook group I belong to that directed me to the cutest group of machine embroidery blocks being offered for FREE. Of course, I had to go look!! And register….and then go watch you tube videos…and now…figure out HOW in the world I am going to make them and put them into something useable. The collection I am loving on is the SMALL TOWN CHARM group. It seems a new block comes out once a month, and of course, I have downloaded all of the available ones from January – September.

My friend in assisted living asked me to make her a “new” bag for her walker, and I decided I would incorporate a couple of these fun blocks in the bag. I picked out four to stitch out and have ONE finished.

Scoops block
SCOOPS Ice Cream shop block

This is a 12″ background block. The embroidery was designed for the 5×7 hoop. took quite a long time to do, and I have done quite a few “machine embroidery/applique” blocks in the past. It’s a good thing I have a “general idea” of how these work, as the printed instructions were not nearly the same quality as those you get with some patterns. Now, truth be told, I didn’t read all 6 or 8 pages of the PDF instructions BEFORE I started, so that could be part of the problem. AND, I did NOT watch the YOU TUBE video I linked below for this particular block until I was ready to “put the awning on”. It took me about 3 – 5 hours to do this one. LOTS of thread changes, tack down stitches, flip & sew , and TWO hooping’s.

What I plan to do differently…next block… is WATCH the video all the way through first, then print out the accompanying templates for placement before I start stitching. I’ll share that block as it gets going and time how long it takes to do.

One thing I did for this SCOOPS block was use my 5×7 hoop. I really should have started with my 8×8, and shifted the entire project to the bottom of the hoop, and then I would NOT have had to rehoop to attach the awning section. Sigh…lesson learned. To be honest, I watch the You Tube Video on how to make the September block and got overly excited.

First – here is where you go to get the free blocks , free on DIME Designs and Projects website –

Then, off to YOU TUBE – to watch OML Embroidery (Sue is the presenter) show her methods in this stitch along. Hat’s off to Sue for the lively conversation and tips. Sue does a video for each month’s block.

I did prep my fabric for the applique by using Wonder Under on the back of the pieces. This gives you a cleaner cut (in my opinion) as you are trimming following the tack down stitch. I still need to go back and do a little “clean up” trimming, so I will catch those little bits that show when you zoom in. I also put a layer of quilt batting (Warm and Natural) under my block fabric, on top of the cut away stabilizer. This gives the heavy stitching something to bite into and a little dimension to the design. I float my background block fabric (the pink multi color) in the hoop and do a basting stitch to anchor it. I also follow Kay’s suggestions at Kreative Kiwi, and use pins on my stabilizer at the edges of the hoop. Those pins make a huge difference when stitching out something with a lot of heavy stitching.

I think this block and a couple of others will make a fun addition to a tote bag for my friend June’s walker. Maybe it will catch the eye of another resident, and facilitate a conversation and a new friendship too. Who knows? The bag this will replace was beautifully made by another resident, but is starting to show some wear. I think it might just need a good washing. June has given me her requirements for pockets etc, and I took lots of pix of the existing bag so I can meet her size requirements and attachment needs for the walker.

What’s under your needle this week??

#omlembroidery #machineembroidery#embroidery#DIME#designsinmachineembroidery



12 thoughts on “Small Town Charm – Machine Embroidery project

    • Thanks ! There are so many good designers out there and I have so many on my computer saved. I can’t say no when a free one just finds me! I do enjoy the ability to download and import. Can’t wait to see your fair submissions!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is so cute, Mary! How very sweet of you to do this for your friend. I’m sure she will be so happy with this tote. I love machine applique, though it does take some time to do! This is a cute design and I love the background fabric!! It is so bright and cheery!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I know you know!! So far, no yardage has been injured in these blocks! The background for the SCOOPS block was left over from my Scrap Dance Pachanga backing. That is the fun of machine embroidery applique, you don’t need big pieces. The rest came out of my scrap drawers. Got the 2nd one done yesterday.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Most importantly, these blocks are lovely. I would never attempt them on my small machine because if it took you 3-5 hours, I’d be looking at days. My sewing mojo got up and left in the spring, and it hasn’t returned yet. It better circle back around because gardening is coming to an end. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy! The nice thing about my machine is it will remember where I was and resume in the right spot after I return to it. A lot of the time is taken up with trims and thread changes. I love that my machine tells me how many “stitching minutes” a pattern takes and how much longer it will be. My husband laughs because I totally lose track of time. I bet your gardens look terrific and your sewing mojo will return when the weather cools down later in the fall.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The Small Town Charm is no longer offered on DIME’s website. I am missing July, Sept, Oct., Nov., and Dec., Do you know where I can get them? Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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