Applique with the Home Embroidery Machine
Today, we can do just about anything with our sewing machines. With the introduction of the embroidery unit and digitizing software, our creative possibilities seem endless. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
I loved embroidery, but what really got me interested was the software and the idea of digitizing my own artwork. How fun is that!
I have really enjoyed working on my appliques for children, and at present, I am doing stitch-outs of the designs to make sure they stitch perfectly and look the way I wanted. After that, they are off to the the printer and available for purchase. Yesterday, while working on my samples, I thought you might enjoy seeing a little of the process involved in applique with the embroidery unit.
It’s not difficult and is really quite a lot of fun. The hardest part is picking out the fabrics.
All digitizers of embroidery designs have their own way of doing things, so these steps reflect how I digitize my appliques for the sewing process.
My appliques are digitized with three stitching steps.
Stitching of the Placement Line
Stitching of the Tacking Stitch
Stitching of the Applique Stitch
In the digitizing process, we assign different thread colors to each of the above steps in order to make the machine stop for a thread change. Even though the machine thinks we are changing threads, we simply tricked the machine so that it would stop sewing and allow us to do some other needed things. Keep reading and you will understand what I mean.
First, I load my fabric in the hoop without stabilizer. This is just my preference and is not written in stone. I just feel I can get a better grip by the hoop on the fabric without the stabilizer included in the hooping process.
Attach your hooped fabric to the machine arm and slide the stabilizer under the hoop.
After attaching the hoop and slipping your stabilizer under the hooped fabric, the machine will apply the placement line of stitching on your background fabric to show you where the first applique part will be applied. In this case, we will be appliqueing the puddle of water for our little duck. The photo below, shows the straight stitch outline for placement of the fabric.
Next, we will position our applique fabric over the placement line, and stitch the tacking stitch shown below in the next two photos.
We now need to trim away the excess applique fabric close to the tacking stitch.
You need to be careful not to loosen your fabric in the hoop during the trimming process. I remove the hoop from the machine and place it flat on a table. I then hold the excess applique fabric in my hand pulling gently to create a little tension on the fabric which seems to make it easier to snip. I only snip about 1/4 inch at a time using the very tip of the scissor rather than trying to make big cuts. I also keep the scissors in my hand in a comfortable position and turn the hoop to accomodate the scissor position, rather than moving the scissor around the stitching line. I hope that made sense. Try to cut as close as you can so your final stitching will cover your raw fabric edges.
We’re almost finished with the puddle!
Place the hoop back on the machine, and stitch the applique stitch which covers the exposed edges of the applique fabric.
Puddle part is finished and we are ready to move on to the next part of our applique and repeat the same three step process until our applique parts have been applied and our applique is finished.
How easy was that?
Hope that helps.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them.
Here’s our little Sailor Puddle Duck.