Tips & Tools

September 10, 2009
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I get tons of questions about embroidery – hooping, stabilizer, placement and the like. I understand that many embroiderers still struggle with the basic elements of embroidery. The embroidery machine manufacturers offer us wonderful new features with every new machine. But we’re still challenged on landing an embroidery design exactly where we want it on the fabric.

I’ve learned the key to success in any embroidery project is planning. Planning on where to place the design, select the proper stabilizer and find the correct hoop for the job. I’ve also learned that planning is whole lot easier when you have the right tools. The first tool I start with is a printed template of the embroidery design. I print on vellum – available in the scrap book section of most craft stores – because it’s sturdy and translucent. If you’ve never created a template, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to do and how valuable they are.
Insert a sheet of vellum into your printer. Open your embroidery design in embroidery software (any embroidery editing software will work). Go to File, Print and click OK. A printed image of your design will appear on the vellum. Most likely the image will have a cross hair to designate the center of the design. Now, place the template on the fabric in the intended spot. If you need to center the design on a pocket or cuff, use a centering ruler (three sizes are found in the Embroidery Tool Kit).
Just position the template on the zero mark of the ruler. Remove the ruler then slide a target sticker (found in Designs’ Embroidery Tool Kit) under the template, aligning the crosshair. Now remove the template. Your center point is marked and you won’t have to deal with the cumbersome vellum template during the hooping process.
Time to select the hoop – pick the smallest hoop available for the design. If using a spray adhesive, protect your hoop with Hoop Guards (found in the Embroidery Tool Kit). You’ll never have to clean a sticky hoop again.
To make sure you’re hooped straight, there are a number of tools to aid in that task. First, adhere Adhesive Centering Rulers to the hoop (these highly visible marks make alignment a breeze).
Another handy tool is Target Rulers – large crosshairs (comes in two sizes) with a hole in the center for the target sticker. Place the Target Ruler over the target sticker. Make sure the Target Ruler is parallel and perpendicular to the edges of the hoop. If so, you’re ready to press go.
If not, use the Angle Finder to determine how many degrees you must rotate the design (on the machine’s editing screen) to land the design exactly how you planned.The right tools make your planning process so smooth – you’ll be stitching mistake-free right away!
Click image below to watch a video demonstration!


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One Response to Tips & Tools

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