Machine Embroider Your Life: Wallhanging Part 2


Let’s make an Embroidered Wall Hanging!

It’s the eleventh week and the ninth project of Machine Embroider Your Life from American Quilter’s Society and EverSewn! We’re so excited to bring you nine great machine embroidery projects to make in the following weeks. There’s lots of fun in store. This week we’re sewing together the blocks on our embroidered wall hanging. Let’s get started!


Project Planning

In Part 1 we discussed design choices to make about your wall hanging. In this part, it’s important to know what size you want to cut your blocks. You’ll be cutting your blocks the finished size you want them + 1/2″ for the unfinished size.

We chose designs that fit easily inside a 5″ finished block size. We made a wall hanging with nine 5″ blocks for a 15″ x 15″ wall hanging. So we cut our blocks 5 1/2″ square.

Block Marking

Because of the time and materials we invest in our applique blocks, being able to measure twice and cut once is more important than ever! So we’ve got a few ways to ensure our blocks look just like we want before cutting.

To begin, place one of your blocks on your work area. Lay a ruler over the stitched area of your block. It can be helpful to mark out the unfinished size of your block on your ruler with a couple pieces of tape or a sticky note.

Find the center of your design with the center of the unfinished block size area on your ruler. For our 5 1/2″ blocks, 2 3/4″ is the center. Another great way to center is to look at the perimeter of the unfinished block size area and make sure there is even space around the design.

Once satisfied, use a marking tool like a chaco liner pen to mark two sides of the block square. Turn your block, lay the ruler over the previous markings, and mark the other two sides to finish marking the block.

Marking first lets you visualize the block before cutting, so you can make any last minute changes.

Trimming the Block

Start on one side of a marked block and trim on the marked line. Turn the block to trim the opposite side, making sure the measurement is true. Repeat this process on the two remaining sides to finish trimming your block.

Cutting Multiples of the Same Block

If you have multiples of the same block, like we do, it can be important to ensure a uniform cut.

To do this, cut the first block as described above. Then, when marking the subsequent blocks, start lining up the ruler as before. Once you have the block lined up with the ruler, place the previously cut block on top of the ruler, lined up to the edge. Fold back the cut block and pay attention to the design to see that the design on the block under the ruler appears as you pull back the design on the top block. Make any small adjustments needed for uniform alignment, and then mark and cut as before.


Once all the blocks are cut out, lay them out as they will look in the wall hanging. Our wall hanging is a made up of three blocks in three rows.

Sew the blocks together into rows as follows.

Layer two blocks, right sides together. Secure with craft clips.

Sewing Rows

Remove your embroidery module, uninstall the embroidery foot and install a walking foot to put your Sparrow X in sewing mode.

Sew a 1/4″ seam allowance where the blocks meet when laid out in their row. Repeat to sew the whole row together.

Sew all the blocks into rows.


With the blocks sewn into rows, it’s time to press the seams.

Take the rows to the ironing area. Lay some scrap fabric to either side of the seams on the back side of the quilt to protect the stitching which can be heat sensitive. Run a finger in between the seams of two blocks to open the seam. Follow with the iron to set the seam open. Repeat to press all the seams open.

Sewing the Rows Together

Lay the rows back out in order on your work area.

Layer row 1 and row 2. Be sure the seams where the blocks meet line up from row to row and secure those intersections with craft clips.

Sew a 1/4″ seam where the rows meet. Stop with the needle down before reaching the first seam intersection to remove the craft clip and hold the rows steady while slowly sewing forward to ensure the seams match.

Repeat to sew all the rows together until your wall hanging front is complete.

Next Time

Check back August 21st for part 3 of 3. We’ll be sewing on the backing and finishing our wall hanging!

Keep the fun going!

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