Technique Tuesday: Crochet Edge Embellishment

Greetings fellow thread lovers and welcome to Technique Tuesday, the last of four technique-based tutorials featuring Aurifil thread.  We’re nearing the 1 year anniversary of the Aurifilosophy Special Exhibit at Fall 2019 International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX and we wanted to shine a light on the brilliant makers included with their remarkable methods.

Many thanks to Aurifilosophers Barbara Persing, Patricia Belyea, Annie Smith, and Karen L. Miller for sharing their time proven techniques with us.

This week we’re excited to highlight a hand embellishment technique dreamed up by Master Educator and Aurifilosopher Karen L. Miller of Redbird Quilt Co. Karen is always looking for new ways to create with her large stash of Aurifil 12wt. We fell in love with the traditional crochet shell stitch embellishment on her original quilt design “Simply Spring Fleur”.  

Before jumping into the technique we wanted to share a few images of the completed quilt top. The fabric, “Millie Fleur” by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics, was the perfect canvas for a few extra fleurs. 

Karen highlighted the beautiful prints in the Millie Fleur collection using a simple on-point string quilt design with fussy cut applique accents. The crochet edge embellishment was the cherry on top of an already brilliant creation!

We’re honored to have Karen share her crochet edge embellishment with us – thank you Karen!  

− Begin by preparing flower templates from heat resistant plastic or cardstock. The template size and shape will match the flower size and shape. Use the template to cut 2 layers of batting. Karen used Quilters Dream Cotton for this step.
− Next, use the template to cut the flower fabric, adding ½” diameter to the cut. Elan 4” Embroidery scissors are Karen’s favorite tool for snipping thread and precise fabric cuts.
− With Aurifil 12wt thread and a #5 Bohin Crewel / Embroidery needle, apply a running stitch around the outside edge of the flower fabric. Leave the excess thread attached for use in the next step.

− Place the batting rounds inside the fabric with the template on top. Draw the running stitch tight
− Dab the outer edge with starch and press the edges only with a dry iron. (Pressing the entire piece will flatten the batting)
− Once cooled, remove the template and secure the running stitch.

− Continuing with Aurifil 12wt thread and the #5 Bohin Crewel / Embroidery needle, add a blanket stitch around the outside edge of the padded flower. This acts as the base or the chain stitch for the crochet embellishment.

− Continue with Aurifil 12wt thread using a 1/ 2.75mm crochet hook to add a crochet shell around the perimeter of the flower.
− Secure the embellished flower to the background fabric with tack stitches.

− Quilt as desired with Aurifil 40wt or 50wt thread. On her home machine Karen quilted all-over feathers and highlighted the borderless edge with a swag and piano key finish.

Are you ready to give this method a go? We ’d love to see anything you create with it! Karen has a variety of machine quilting tutorials on her blog and is available virtually to share her expertise with Guilds worldwide. Do visit her website and blog to learn more.  

Many thanks to Karen for sharing this technique with us.

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Karen L. Miller, owner of Redbird Quilt Co. is an Aurifil designer, Aurifilosopher, national educator, author, and cheerleader of all things free motion quilting. She launched Redbird Quilt Co. to share her love of appliqué and show others how free motion quilting on home sewing machines can bring their projects to life. Karen plays with all weights of Aurifil thread and openly contributes her knowledge and experience to the greater quilting community.   When she’s not home enjoying the multitude of songbirds that grace the Finger Lakes Region of NY, you’ll catch her traveling the countryside sharing her passion for quilting with Guilds and Shops alike.

Karen and her husband Cliff own one crazy Yellow Nape Amazon parrot named “Cayman”. Their children are grown and they are blessed with 8 grandchildren, many of whom love to sew with Gramma Karen!

Interested in learning more about Free Motion Quilting?  Be sure to check out Karen’s Fall Lecture Series currently in its 3rd week.  Learn more by clicking on the image below!


At Aurifil we believe that education is key… that sharing extensive knowledge and truths on the construction, nature, and behavior of Aurifil threads will inspire, educate, and enable all makers to achieve brilliant results.

With that in mind, we’ve trained and certified a team of dynamic, charismatic, and brand-loyal designers, artisans, and educators to offer Aurifilosophy programs using a structured presentation and thread demonstration.

Aurifilosophers will travel the countryside to educate on thread basics, including information on weight and ply, spool positioning, needle recommendations, and tension settings. They’ll offer helpful tips and tricks and will share projects and photos aimed to inspire and expand your creative use of Aurifil threads. At each Aurifilosophy event, program attendees will receive a bag of exclusive Aurifil swag!

To learn more about Aurifilosophy, view upcoming events, or locate an Aurifilosopher to speak at your shop, guild or group event, check out our website.

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