Keepin It Straight

I’ve been working on a few designs for embroidery that will be adorable to use on collars, yokes or hem lines of heirloom dresses.  When I showed the designs to my friend Regina, she immediately planned a beautiful dress and asked me to create 2 yards for the hem  and 18 inches to use in the yoke.  We decided to apply the embroidery to a blank entredeux insertion that is approximately 1.5 inches wide.  It comes in various widths and is great for creating your own bands with decorative stitches from the machine or in this case designs created for the embroidery machine and embroidery unit.Immediately the problem with this product is hooping.   The hoop is too wide to be able to secure the piece on all sides.  There are stabilizers that have a sticky surface that you can load in the hoop and then place the item directly on the sticky surface.  They work very well on many items but, in this case, that type of stabilizer is not a good choice.    The designs I digitize for heirloom sewing are very delicate and are sewn with light weight thread.   Sticky stabilizers could be problematic.

I prefer using a crisp tear away stabilizer, that will tear away from the embroidery smoothly and easily much like a piece of notebook paper.   This stabilizer will make it very easy to remove from our tiny stitches without damaging or breaking the threads.  When removing the stabilizer, I tear from the sides in toward the embroidery and then while supporting the embroidery with my hand, I tear away the remaining amounts of the stabilizer very carefully and gently.  The products I primarily use come from OESD.

One of the things I always do to my embroidery hoops, is mark some centering lines on the top and sides of the hoop.  Place the template in the hoop, and with a permanent marker,  place a mark to represent the vertical center, and the horizontal center.

Load the stabilizer in the hoop keeping it as flat and taught as possible.   Tighten the hoop to prevent shifting during the stitching process.

Place the hoop on a cutting mat and line up the marks placed on your hoop with the lines of the cutting mat.

Now that we’ve lined our hoop up with the straight lines on the mat, we can draw a line down the center of the stabilizer following the line on the mat. The line will definitely be straight and not at an angle.  I use a water-soluble fabric marker instead of pencils or pens to prevent leaving a residue in the embroidery.

Along the area where the insertion will be placed, lightly spray with a temporary adhesive spray.   Don’t over spray and make the surface too sticky and gummy.  My favorite spray is 505 Spray and Fix.

Draw a line down the center of the insertion with a water-soluble marker.

Place the insertion on the hooped stabilizer lining up the lines.

I can now be sure that the design will stitch evenly down the center of the insertion.  Just a few checks at the machine and we’ll be ready to sew.

I like to use a few clamps to hold the excess amount of insertion.

Lets check to be sure the machine will place our design over our center line.  Most machines have the ability to show you where they will place the center of your design.  Use whatever means that is available on your brand of machine.  I have a Bernina 830, so the pictures I am going to show you will be from my personal machine.

After attaching the hoop, I select the icon on my machine that will show the center of the design placement.  It does this by moving the hoop till the machines default center position is below the sewing needle of the machine.

As you can see,  the machine wants to place the center of my design slightly to the left of where I prefer the center to be placed.

I will re-align the machine to place the center where I need it rather than the default centering position of the machine.  I first select the Move Icon on the machine and using my stitch width dial, I turn the dial until my needle is above my drawn center mark.

Now, I am ready to stitch.  Even though we sprayed the stabilizer with 505, it may not be enough to hold the insertion firmly once the embroidery begins.  My embroidery machine has a basting feature which is wonderful for this type of situation.  I’ll choose the basting style that will stitch a boundary box slightly larger than the embroidery.

Now for the embroidery.

I believe we were successful.

And now, the finished product.  Two yards of beautiful machine embroidered insertion.  Just think of the beautiful things you could make with this.  I have a few things in mind myself, but that’s another post.

To see more of my designs, visit my website at www.kathydrewquiltingandembroidery.com

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A Short Post

Just a short post today.  I think it must be the spring weather and the buttercups and tulips, but my mind can’t seem to stop thinking about heirloom sewing and all the beautiful dresses I made for my daughters when they were small.  I still have each and everyone.  I just couldn’t part with them.   My girls are in their thirties now, and when I made their dresses, I always embroidered them by hand.  My how things have changed.  I still love to hand embroider, but I also love to digitize embroidery and since I love heirloom sewing, I am beginning to digitize some of my designs for those of you who own embroidery machines.  Below is a picture of one of the designs.  I have made some improvements in the design since this pillow was made, but I think you can still see how very delicate it is.  I plan to start adding designs to my website next week.

Hope each and every one of you have a beautiful day filled with the pleasures of spring.