Tag Archives: stabilizer

Machine Embroidery Tips for Perfect Applique

Sew Crafty Ladies!

The Sew Crafty Houston Ladies! Photo By: Laura Burlton

Ok!  I know I posted this picture just a few weeks ago, but I have a good reason!

#1 I’m really missing my time with these gals.

#2 Don’t we look great?

#3 I promised to talk about how I made this applique banner in a future post.

Remember?  Well,  we are presently in the FUTURE!

So, here is a “General” Tutorial for how I did this and also some great tips for making machine embroidered appliques!

Machine Embroidered Banners 101

  • Decide how wide your finished banner will be.
  • Decide how large your letters will need to be.
  • Select the appropriate font and size from your favorite embroidery designs collection.  (I purchased an applique font online and chose the 5×7 hoop sized letters for this project)
  • Using your embroidery software, print out a template of each letter in your banner.
  • Using see through tracing paper, make a triangle template that nicely frames your letters.  Mark center on this template.
  • Using Embroidery Machine:  Hoop a 10″x10″ or larger piece of background fabric and applique a letter to it.    (see applique tips) Make sure you place the letter carefully so that you’ll have enough room to cut out your triangle!
  • Un-hoop the fabric.  Press if desired.  Lay your triangle template on top of your fabric, centering the appliqued letter within the triangle.  Pin the template to the fabric and cut out the triangle using pinking shears.  (If you don’t have pinking shears, you could just use regular scissors and hem your triangle to prevent unraveling.)
  • Repeat for all the letters in your banner.
  • Sew your appliqued triangles to a ribbon (I used 1″ wide grossgrain) and make sure you leave long tails at each end so you can hang your banner.
  • Enjoy!

A blurry closeup of one of my letters!

Machine Embroidery Applique Tips:

Recommended Stabilizers:  Floriani Appli-Kay Wonder or SewVac Outlet’s Fuse ‘n Stick

These stabilizers are fusible on one side and sticky on the other.  This allows you to hold applique pieces in place while you stitch.  I love it because it prevents shifting and bubbling in my applique and my needle doesn’t get gummy!  An alternative to the stabilizers would be a temporary spray adhesive that you use to spritz the back of your applique before you place it on the fabric.  This works, but I find that the stabilizer gives me more consistent results.

Seven Steps to Perfect Appliques:

Step One:  Hoop the fabric that you will use for your applique letter.  You don’t need a stabilizer beneath it – unless you’re using stretchy fabric.

Step Two:  Stitch the outline of the design.  Un-hoop the fabric and press if needed.

Step Three:  Lay your fabric with the design outline wrong side up so that you are looking at the back of your design.  Lay a piece of the Fuse n’ Stick or Appli-Kay Wonder on the fabric with the fusible side touching the back of your design.  (The fusible side is the shiny side.)

Step Four:  Fuse the stabilizer piece to the wrong side of the decorative fabric using a medium to high temperature setting on your iron.  (No Steam).  Start at a med. temperature and slowly increase until you get a good fuse.  Hold the iron in place for at least 3 seconds and then flip the piece over and press again on the fabric side.

Step Five:  Once cooled, cut out the appliqué design using the trace lines/ stitched lines.

Step Six:  Peel back the protective sheet to expose the sticky surface. **It is very important to let the applique cool before removing the paper.

Step Seven:  Hoop your backround fabric (use a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer behind it!)  and stitch the design outline one more time.  Now, position the sticky appliqué piece over the design outline and finger press in to place. *Press on the appliqué side and the fabric side for maximum bonding. Finish by stitching out the rest of your embroidery design, changing thread colors as needed.

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Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Tutorial: Personalized Mug w/ Embroidery

Personalized Mugs Make a great gift!

One of the very first things I learned to do with my embroidery machine was this quick and easy project when I attended an embroidery class at Humble Sewing Center with Instructor:  Marje Agostini.

FYI:  She’s pretty much an embroidery guru, so if you ever get the chance to attend one of her monthly Inspiration classes – you’ll have a good time, get more comfortable using your machine, and learn some neat tips & tricks for machine embroidery.

Ok, back to the mugs!  In the picture, the mug on the right was done using Marje’s instructions, except I decided to use fabric instead of kiwi paper.  If you decide to make one with fabric, just be sure to use a medium to heavy weight, fusible, cut-away permanent stabilizer.  Fuse it to the wrong side of your fabric before stitching and your fabric will behave just like the kiwi paper.

With permission, I’m posting Marje’s class instructions and a supply list for your review:

Supplies:  one 16oz. mug (available at Humble Sewing Center), one sheet of Kiwi Paper (at HSC), Peel ‘n Stick Stabilizer, Use a 4×4 or larger embroidery hoop,  16oz. Mug Template (attached to this blog post in a  link)

16oz.mug template

Note:  If you enjoyed this project and you want to order mugs in bulk, visit this link.  There is a $50 minimum order required.

http://www.discountembroideryblanks.com/1do16oztrtu.html

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Stabilizer Tips: Monogram Towels

Happy Monday everybody!  I’ve spent the last couple of days battling a cold and the cold has been winning.  But, today’s a new day and I’m glad to be on the mend!

I wanted to take a minute to post some tips for Monogramming Towels because, I find these make the perfect gift for a number of occasions.  I enjoy giving them to friends and family alike.  Especially at Christmas, weddings, housewarmings, to college kids who’ll be staying in a dorm, etc., etc.

First off, if you have an embroidery machine, it likely came with a number of lovely fonts built in, which you can use to create a design.  But, if you want to expand your options with a very user friendly software, I’m loving Monogram Works from Designer’s Gallery.  You can check it out here and you can buy it at Humble Sewing Center.  http://www.designersgallerysoftware.com/products/Lettering-Embellishment/MonogramWorks/

Whatever software you use, here are few “Rules” for monogramming:

1.  When the monogram is for an individual, follow this sequence:  the 1st letter of their first name, the 1st letter of their last name, then the 1st letter of their middle name.  For example, in the photo above, the person’s name could have been:  Arthur Ned Fuller.  In monograms, the letter for the last name is often larger than the other letters.

2.  When the monogram is for a married couple, follow this sequence:  the 1st letter of the groom’s first name, the 1st letter of the groom’s last name, then the 1st letter of the bride’s first name.  For example, in the photo above, the couple could be:  Arthur and Natalie Fuller.

Let’s talk about some recommended supplies and stabilizers:

When I give a set of monogrammed towels, I use “The Perfect Placement Kit” to help me make sure all the monograms are placed uniformly on each and every towel.

The kit contains 15 reusable plastic templates for embroidery on towels, napkins, shirts, burp cloths, and more.  It also comes with a fully illustrated booklet so you can jump right in and get busy with your projects.

Ok, on to the stabilizers.  You’ll need both of these:

  • Self-Adhesive Wash Away stabilizer – it’s a water soluble stabilizer w/ a paper backing.  When you peel the paper away, it reveals a sticky surface.
  • Water Soluble Stabilizer – this is a light weight, clear stabilizer that tears easily and dissolves with just a spritz of water.

Here’s what to do when you embroider on a towel:

  1. Fold the towel in half vertically to find center front.
  2. Use the placement template to determine design placement.
  3. Place a target sticker on the towel to mark the center of the design.
  4. Cut a piece of the self-adhesive wash away stabilizer that is big enough to give you about a 1/2 “lip” around your embroidery hoop.
  5. Peel the paper backing from the stabilizer.  Lay the stabilizer with its sticky side up.  Lay your inner hoop on top of the sticky stabilizer.  Wrap the sides of the stabilizer around the hoop, pulling and adjusting so that the stabilizer is stretched and taut like a drum.
  6. Place the inner hoop into your outer hoop and tighten the screw to secure. (The sticky surface should be face-up)
  7. Position your towel so that the area you want to embroider is over your hoop.  Lay the towel onto the sticky surface and press lightly to make sure it is securely attached.
  8. Attach your hoop to your embroidery machine and dial up the letters or design you plan to stitch.  Use the target sticker to make sure your needle is in the correct starting place.  Peel away the sticker.
  9. Cut a piece of the water soluble stabilizer that is a little larger than the design you want to stitch.  Lay this stabilizer on top of the towel.  (This topper prevents your stitches from sinking into the towel and disappearing.) You can either use a few pins to hold it in place, or you can use your hands to hold it steady until it gets tacked down by the first few stitches.
  10. Sew out your design.  When finished, you can gently tear away the water soluble topper you used and you can spritz to dissolve any unwanted traces.
  11. Remove your hoop from the machine and peel your towel away from the self-adhesive stabilizer.  You can cut the excess stabilizer away and rinse away any unwanted traces.  (I tend to just cut the excess stabilizer away, since the traces will dissolve in the first washing.)
Well, I hope you find this helpful.  Have fun!
Let’s Get Sewing!
Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Stabilizer Tip – Perfect Stick Stabilizer & Adhesive Sew & Wash

In addition to our Sew Vac Outlet branded stabilizer, we now carry Floriani products.

Perfect Stick Tear AwayWith Floriani Perfect Stick, embroidery in almost any area is achievable! Enjoy quality stitching with no residue build up or gummy needles. Floriani Perfect Stick is ideal for hard to hoop items such as bulky towels, backpacks, collars, napkin corners, or socks. Also use for fabrics that can be damaged by the hooping process. You can prevent Hoop Burn. embroidery on  fabrics like leather, velvet, ultra-suede and satin easily. With Perfect Stick you will enjoy the stability of a firm yet flexible stabilizer that will support all types of embroideries on most fabrics.

A similar stabilizer is Adhesive Sew & Wash. The difference is that Adhesive Sew & Wash dissolves in warm water. It does not tear away. Adhesive Sew & Wash is sold under the Sew Vac Outlet brand.

When using either stabilizer, I like to cut the stabilizer about 1″ larger than my inside hoop. I peel off the paper from the entire piece. Then, I place the inside hoop on top of the “sticky” side of the stabilizer and wrap it around the edges of the hoop. This provides for a no slipping of the stabilizer in the hoop. Place the item to be embroidered on top of the sticky stabilizer.