Tips on Tiling Scenes

Embroidering and stitching together a tiling scene is a simple process with these time-saving tips. At OESD, our tiling scenes feature two different looks. Some are only embroidery stitches, while others involve the appliqué technique for the components of the scene. White-tailed Buck Tiling Scene #12570 is an example of an embroidery-only tiling scene:

And here is an example of the appliqué technique, Christmas Eve Tiling Scene #12517. The moon, sleigh and some of the building pieces are appliqué.

It is important to use the proper amount of stabilizer when stitching the tiling scenes. For each of the tiles, use two layers of tear away stabilizer with the background fabric. A crisp medium weight tear away and a softer tear away is a nice combination; place the crisp tear away against the fabric and the softer one on the bottom. Two pieces of crisp medium weight tear away is difficult to hoop with the fabric, but will work if that is what’s available. Be sure to spray temporary spray adhesive between the layers and adhere to each other. Hoop all the layers.

When embroidering the tiles, the last thing that is stitched in each design is a border, referred to on the thread chart as “Seam”. This stitch is very important in the process of assembling the tiling scene. It is vital that it is not skipped. It is recommended to stitch this thread color in one that will blend with the background fabric (needle thread). Use a darker color in the bobbin, so it contrasts with the stabilizer.

Once the embroidery process is complete, trim away excess fabric by cutting ¼” away from the “Seam”. This process is easily done using a rotary cutter and ruler. Do not remove the stabilizer. It might be easier to cut with the back of the block face up on your cutting board, since the darker thread from the bobbin is easily seen against the stabilizer.

After the tiles have been trimmed, lay out the pieces according to the Diagram included in the complete instructions. To stitch the tiles together, place right sides together and pin just inside the “Seam” line. Using a ¼” foot, stitch a fat ¼”. After stitching, turn to the right side to see if the “Seam” line is showing. It should blend in if the thread matches the background fabric. If it shows too much, then rip out the seam and stitch again. Once the rows are stitched together, stitch the rows to complete the front of the tiling scene. As you stitch, make sure that the intersections line up between the rows.

Cut the backing fabric and batting 2” larger than the size of the assembled tiling scene. Layer a quilt sandwich, by placing the backing fabric wrong side up, then the batting on top of that, and then the tiling scene right side up. Pin together with curved basting pins or use temporary spray adhesive to baste the layers together.

It is recommended to quilt by stitching in the ditch using a color that blends in with the majority of the background, or use clear thread.

There are three different ways for finishing the tiling scene:

1. No panes separated which requires no extra steps. You have to use the ¼” seam allowance to stitch the tiles together, like Autumn Morning Pasture #12533:

2. Satin ribbon fused over the seams of the tiles with ¼” fusible web tape. You can use the ¼” seam allowance, but it is best to trim off the “Seam” line, butt the pieces next to each other and zigzag them together. The satin ribbon then covers the zigzag stitch, like A Country Spring Lane #12456

3. Satin ribbon zigzagged over the seams of the tiles. Fuse the ribbon on the seams first with the ¼” fusible web tape. Again can use the ¼” seam allowance but it is best with less bulk to trim off the “Seam” line, butt the pieces next to each other and zigzag them together. The satin ribbon then covers the zigzag stitch, like Dashing Through the Snow #12359

The last step to finish the tiling scene is to attach the binding. In our tiling scenes, the mitered corner technique is used.

Watch our video "Tips and Tricks for Tiling Scenes" for more information.

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