Archive of ‘Alignment and Placement’ category

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidering Multiple Towels

If you follow this blog I would assume many of you own the multi-needle embroidery machine because you have an embroidery business. Although some owners of a multi-needle machine use it primarily for the convenience of thread color changes and durability and do not have a commercial embroidery business. In either case, you will encounter embroidering towels at some point. We have covered proper hooping of towels in recent blogs but not simple logo placement on multiple towels.

One of my clients is a country club tennis team and they love the quality velour team towels (hand towel size) in a variety of colors. My most recent order was for 20 towels with the logo embroidered on the bottom portion of the towel.

Monogram or logo placement on towels with a woven border is actually easier because you have a straight reference point to align the design. Embroidering towels without a woven border are rather difficult because there is not a reference point to guide you. I will share with you my simple steps to embroidering towels with perfect design placement.

Step 1: Select the embroidery design and test stitch it on a similar weight towel. Check the design for stray fibers of terry cloth poking through the stitches. If this is the case, increase the density or add “under lay” foundation stitches.

Step 2: Use the Perfect Placement Kit- Hand Towel Without Border template and position the template on the hand towel at the bottom center mark.hand towel2bl Fold the towel in half lengthwise and place a target sticker at the bottom fold.hand towel3blhand towel5blInsert the target sticker in the center hole of the template. Remove the template and follow the same directions for the remaining towels, keep all target stickers in place until the cross hair on target sticker is properly placed under the needle.hand towel6blUsing the template minimizes the guess work of the actual placement of the logo and eliminates wasting time measuring the embroidery location for each towel.

Step 3: Hoop the hand towel in either a standard hoop or Monster Snap Hoop (my favorite) along with tear away stabilizer. Position the hoop on the machine and line up target sticker’s cross hair with the needle. Remove the target sticker and add a piece of water soluble stabilizer to the top of the towel. Use the basting file to hold the WSS in place. (You can create a basting file in software if your embroidery machine does not offer it on screen.). Embroider the towels; remove stabilizer and trim thread tails when embroidery is 7blhand towel8bl

*Machine embroidery business owners always purchase one or two extra sets of hoops per embroidery machine. Having multiple hoops speeds up the hooping process and total time devoted to set up.*


Click here to use a $10 coupon to use on my Craftsy Class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.


Embroidering for Small and Plus Size Figures

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

In my first attempts at embroidering a blank garment for a small child, I must admit I struggled. I often made the design too large for the small figure and it always landed in the wrong place. Oh, it looked great when the garment was flat but when worn, it was an entirely different story. The design usually hit closer to the belly button than up near the neckline. And a good portion of a left chest embroidery pretty much always wound up in the armpit.  Once the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit was available, I was saved. I just rely on that handy tool to get the embroidery in the right scale and location for young ones.

At the other end of the scale, embroidering for plus size figures gave me the same trouble.  So what’s my problem? Familiarity. I know what works on a garment that fits a person about my size, give or take a few sizes up or down the scale. But adding a left chest logo to say a man’s XXXL shirt, is not something I do every day.  So finding the right location is difficult. I was relieved when the Embroiderer’s Big Helper was released.  Everyone deserves to look their best when wearing embroidered garments and it’s up to embroiderers to make sure they do. After all, it’s the stitchers who set the look. The common man (those poor souls who don’t stitch) don’t know any better. They need to be led, steered in the right direction when it comes to embroidered garb. After all, they are a walking advertisement for your skills. So help them look their best – use the Embroiderer’s Big Helper when stitching on plus size shirts.

Let me show you how easy it to use.

Fuse Sulky’s Soft N Sheer Plus to the wrong side of the design area. Use enough to fill the hoop – you can trim the excess after stitching.

Place the shirt on a flat work surface. Align the Helper’s straight edge with the center of the placket and position the curved cutout at the neckline.  Align a target sticker to the corresponding size notch.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Remove the Helper and stitch the design.

Remove the shirt from the hoop. Turn the garment inside out and place it on a terrycloth towel on a pressing surface.  Press the stabilizer. Once it’s heated, gently lift it away from the shirt and trim away the excess leaving about ½” stabilizer around the design.  Press again to fuse it back to the garment.

Present the shirt to the lucky recipient!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Here’s your assignment this week:

Every sewing studio runs more smoothly with embroidery essentials. For today’s blog, Eileen reached for Sulky’s Soft N Sheer Plus to complete the garment. What’s your favorite go-to Sulky product?

Sulky banner

Post a comment and one very lucky winner is going to score BIG courtesy of our friends at Sulky! Prize includes:

  • 8” roll of Tear Easy
  • 8” roll of Solvy
  • 8” roll of Soft ‘n Sheer
  • 1 can of KK 2000
  • A set of 12 Rayon Threads


The retail value is approximately: $105


The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Which approach do you most identify with? Are you the experienced machine embroider that begins a new quilt like Eileen or a more novice embroider like Denise who used the quilt designs to finish existing projects? Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win Windmill Garden Quilts designs. And the winner is:  Beth R. – “I am more of a novice type – plus I have plenty of existing projects to finish!”

Multi-Needle Monday: Text Tools at Your Fingertips


One of my favorite features about my multi-needle machine (Enterprise or Entrepreneur) is the touch screen text tools. As an embroidery business owner I wear a lot of hats; marketing, finance, designer, and operator so if I can save a little time to stitch a name on a hat back or the sleeve of a coaches shirt I am elated. Using the programmed fonts and editing tools to accomplish this task makes professional looking lettering at your fingertips.

Convert horizontal text into vertical text.

There are a handful of occasions when a vertical name is needed such as: bat bags, locker bags and a length of a sleeve. This is how I create the vertical text on my 10 needle embroidery machine.


Step1. Select the lettering icon on the main screen and type in the word “Coach”. Generally the vertical name or word would be all caps.

Select the Array icon and diagonal choice.




Step2.Select and hold the lower bottom bold diagonal line. The letters will move from a diagonal into a perfect vertical line. Touch close and embroider the text. Size and spacing can still be adjusted as needed.




Array Text

Select the horizontal line icon and the arch icon. There are many different ways to position the text with the array keys. The arch feature is the perfect tool to use if you add a name to the back of a baseball hat. You can easily squeeze the letters to fit around the opening.




Slice Tool

This feature separates each letter in a line of text.



Type in the name or text needed and select “Spacing” icon. Touch the picture of a knife and you will notice the knife moving between each letter in the word.




Use the “select” key to highlight a letter to be re-sized or moved if needed. Touch edit end and embroider the text.




Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

Multi-Needle Monday! Roulette Table Cover!

If you are using your multi-needle embroidery machine for a hobby or as a business, I’m sure you have some interesting and unique requests. Through my ten years as a commercial embroidery business owner I have had my share—believe me!

Recently one of the interior decorators that I embroider for asked me to meet their client who had remodeled his living room into a small casino room. The man was widowed and decided to change his formal living room (which he never sat in during his 25 years in the home) into a real casino room; complete with a regulation size roulette table!

The roulette table has an unusual shape and the table cover was customized to fit in one direction. One end of the table is narrower than the opposite end; therefore after playing and replacing the table cover (which is 15 feet long) it was difficult to know which end would fit properly. The client suggested I embroider a monogram on the one end of the cover and then he could easily tell how to replace it on the table.  Easy enough!

Yikes….the table cost thousands of dollars and the custom cover was hundreds as well. The fabric was a medium weight vinyl and he wanted a six inch tall monogram in gold metallic thread. We decided on the font (Old English) and placement which I carefully marked with masking tape while still on the roulette table. I also took photographs with my phone so I could easily envision the layout when I returned to my workroom.

Steps to success:

  1. I used PAL2 to precisely plan the embroidery layout. In my workroom, I placed the cover on the floor and attached the PAL2 to a small table at one end. I used masking tape (not painters tape because it would not stick to the vinyl) I did not want to use pins or chalk. I measured the distance from the edge seam; which we decided while on location and checked for accuracy.
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  2. The best hoop for this heavy fabric was the 8”x 8” Snap Hoop Monster. I was concerned about marks from the frame so I placed foam wrap on the bottom of the frame on top of the magnets.Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogI used medium weight cut away stabilizer.   I attached the hoop to the machine and placed the bulk of the table cover on a chair to ease the movement of the hoop.
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  1. The metallic thread was placed on my counter, not on the spool rack, in a small mesh container I use for other notions. I have read many different tricks to working with metallic thread but this trick works for me 99% of the time. (Wish I had those odds when playing on a roulette table!)Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  2. I slowed the speed of the embroidery machine down to 700rpm and embroidered the monogram without a hitch!Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

As a business owner, it is not wise to play “embroidery roulette” on such custom items because of the risks involved.  This is no time to “learn” or “experiment” on the job – the costs are very high.  I try to steer clear of embroidering on items that I do not supply but I was confident that I had the most amazing tools, embroidery technology and experience.  When you’re in a similar situation consider your experience and the risks involved.

My client was thrilled when we placed the cover on the table and he now enjoys taking the cover off and replacing.


A New Year’s Gift

If you’re like me, you might be experiencing a reprieve now that the holiday season is over. My shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking and cleaning are done and yesterday, I finally had time to give myself a gift I’ve been longing for: the time to finish my quilt, Sun-kissed, on my embroidery machine!BabyShorte

The thought of finishing that pretty, sun-splashed quilt has gotten me through many household chores, magazine deadlines, blog posts and more. I’ve been saving this task for a block of time that I could devote to quilting it properly. I wanted to audition several different designs on it and take my time in making the decision. You see, I feel in love with this little quilt during the piecing process. I worked on it last summer during a sad time in my life and those bright colors and modern prints kept me going. They helped me focus, pray for better days and hope for a bright future. I don’t normally get emotionally attached to projects I’ve made (well, maybe a little) but this one was different. Some tasks come to us for a purpose we never intended. This was one of them.

First, I auditioned the Chandelier designs that come with the purchase of shortE. I thought they would be perfect but after careful consideration, I was concerned the geometric pattern of the Chandelier repeats would compete with Sun-kissed’s strong graphic pattern. Sun-kissed called for softer quilting designs – something fluid but more interesting than plain stipple. I rummaged through my design stash and found one I had previously sketched and digitized. Happy Flowers are big and small loopy flowers that run in a continuous line of stitches and align easily from hoop to hoop. Perfect!IMG_0204

I took a few steps to get ready for the actual quilting:

  • Fill several bobbins with my thread of choice: polyester white embroidery thread and thread the machine
  • Print a template(s) of Happy Flowers on Print & Stick Target Paper (gee, how did I live without that stuff all these years?)
  • Turn on the machine, retrieve the design and attach the bottom frame on Snap-Hoop Monster to the machine
  • Load Sun-kissed on the shortE
  • Position the Sun-kissed template on the upper right corner of the quilt (the first hooping on all shortE quilts)
  • Center the top right corner of the quilt in the hoop

Stitch the first design, and the second and the third…Oh my gosh, it was so much fun. It’s such a rewarding experience to see the first half of the quilt come to life. I love this process; I call it ‘working the quilt’: filling the hoop, aligning the designs and advancing down the quilt.

In future posts, I’ll share some secrets to success on making this process smooth, like what to do when you get this frown:IMG_0206

I wish each of you a happy and healthy New Year!

Here’s your assignment this week:If you had a day all to yourself to spend on a project, what would it be?  Leave a comment and one lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of my latest book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine (to be released January 2, 2015).
Last week’s winner answered the question, “What memories do you have that you could convert to stitches?” Elizabeth is the winner of a copy of Calligraphy Project Designer with her comment: My dear friend and I are in recovery together. I would love to put together a wall-hanging celebrating our sisterhood. Congrats, Elizabeth!



It’s Sew Easy TV: Monograms for Men

ISE 703-2 PIC 1

On October 10, log onto and watch me show you how to make any men’s garment distinctive and personal by adding a monogram in episode 703.  The key work is discretion to assure great results. I’ll discuss the variety of types and shapes available for monograming, and show how to perfectly position the garment in the hoop before you start to embroider.  Then, I’ll create the monogram on the screen of the Quattro® 3 NV6750D by selecting the font from the built-in lettering and resizing and moving the letters.  Check out how to use the snowman sticker to assure the pocket flap is perfectly positioned.


If there’s one word to describe monogramming on menswear, it’s discreet; discreet in size and contrast. Now don’t go by my samples – my samples are done for photography – highly contrasting so you can see them well on camera. But when stitched for someone to actually wear, a discreet monogram is the one most gentlemen will be comfortable wearing. You have several choices when it comes to placing the monogram. Some very popular choices are on the pocket, above the pocket, or on the pocket flap if there is one, on the left cuff, inside the placket between the second and third button or on the placket at the bottom, just below the last button on the top placket and just for identification purposes: inside the collar. ill There are countless ways to arrange the letters but I’ve focused on three versions of the three-letter monogram. The traditional diamond shape: first name initial, last name initial and middle name initial. The two outer letters are proportionally smaller than the middle letter. Diamond The standard order: first, middle and last initial – all the same size. Standard On the pocket flap, go for a contemporary approach with the first initial stacked over the middle initial. This ‘tower’ of letters is equal in size to the last initial. Take this approach when the garment is a casual shirt like flannel, worn every day. Contemp Let’s take a look at how you do it.

Pocket Flap

Find the vertical center of the flap. Place a target sticker just right of the edge of the flap. Hoop sticky stabilizer and place the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Turn on the laser and center the hoop under the laser. Position the flap on the sticky stabilizer. Smooth the flap on the stabilizer making sure the shirt is not caught under the flap. Flap1 Support the weight of the shirt while transporting the hoop to the machine. Attach the hoop on the machine and verify the needle is centered over the target sticker. Remove the sticker and embroider the monogram.


Button the left cuff and place it on a flat surface. Cuff2 Place the Perfect Placement Kit Cuff template on the cuff, aligning the fold with the template fold line and the topstitching line with the topstitching. Slide a target sticker under the template – use A for sizes small and medium and B for Large and extra-large. Cuff Unbutton the sleeve and pull the sleeve inside out. Hoop adhesive stabilizer and center the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Slide the cuff under the beam, aligning the crosshairs. Attach the hoop to the machine and embroider the monogram. These small precise monograms take under three minutes to stitch – you could do a whole closetful in an afternoon!

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your most prized monogram project? Tell us your favorite and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!


The winner of last week’s assignment is:

What foot do you have that you wish you knew how to use?  Post a comment to let us know! One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

And the winners is..Barbara. “Gee, I wish I knew where to start! Between my sewing machine and serger, there are so many adventures afoot that I can’t begin to choose! How about the ones that came with the last update?”

Multi-Needle Monday – Centering on Quick-Snap

Recently, my Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, showed me how she quickly centers an item on Quick-Snap. Since the Jnaome, Baby Lock or Brother multi-needle machines do not recognize Quick-Snap, it’s up to the user to ‘embroider responsibly’. Embroidering responsibly means taking complete control of the machine and telling it what to do instead of letting the machine tell you what it can do. When you attach a Quick-Snap frame, be aware of the size of the frame opening and the design you are trying to fit into that space because the machine thinks a large hoop is attached. Always select a frame that is at least 1” larger than the design and trace the design before actually stitching.

Here’s Marie’s tip on the easiest way to center the design. Select your design (1” smaller than the frame) and attach just the bottom frame to the machine. Retrieve the design and trace the design watching where the embroidery foot will travel. In the image below, you can see the first needle is dropped during the tracing motion. This needle is your indication of where all the needles will travel during all colors of the design. QS1
If it looks like the foot will clear the frame, you’re in good shape.
If not, use the positioning keys on the screen to move the design and retrace. QS3
Touch the camera icon on the screen and a view of what the needle sees appears on the screen. QS4
I have a target sticker designating the center of my design on a knit ski cap so I slid the hat over the frame.
On the screen, I watched as I move the hat to align the target sticker with the machine’s green crosshair. Perfect! QS6
I attached the acrylic top, dropped the magnets in place. QS7
How sweet is that? Thanks Marie!

So what do you do if you don’t have the camera? If you don’t have the camera, follow all the steps above but instead of using the camera to align the crosshair, use the needle. Slide the hat over the frame and position the target sticker directly under the needle (the one in the dropped position), verify the crosshair is square to the frame and trace one more time. (If you don’t have the camera and it’s available for your machine, I strongly suggesting upgrading, it’s a worthwhile investment.) If the camera isn’t available for your machine take comfort in the fact that you’ll be a more skilled embroiderer.

Hooping a t-shirt in Multi-Needle Monster

Today’s blog is inspired by a reader’s recent question.  We hope you enjoy and be sure to keep those questions coming!


On July 21, 2014, reader Beth Price left a comment asking how to center a t-shirt with Multi-Needle Monster and PAL. Here’s how I do it.

First, prepare your hoop. Multi-Needle Monster comes with four adhesive centering rulers. Apply them to the top of the metal frame. MN1

Mark the centers of the magnetic frame on the magnet side with a permanent marker. For illustration purposes here, I’ve place four Target Stickers on the marks so you can see them clearly. Set the hoop aside. MN2

Stabilize the knit shirt with fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer. I use the Embroiderer’s Helper for left chest placement because it provides flawless placement. Fold the t-shirt in half, matching the shoulder seams. Place the folded t-shirt on a flat surface and align the Embroiderer’s Helper’s straight edge with the fold. The notch at the top left goes right under the neckline ribbing. If there was a button on the shirt, the notch will land right under it. Slide a target sticker into the notch corresponding with the size of the t-shirt. My shirt is large so I align the target sticker with the notch marked Large. Remove the Embroiderer’s Helper. MN3

Place the shirt under PAL and turn on the beam centering the target sticker. Alignment now is not crucial; you’ll fine tune that in a few moments. MN4

Slide Multi-Needle Monster’s magnetic frame, magnets up, inside the shirt. Open the t-shirt to view the frame. Align the frame with the beam. MN5

Smooth the shirt front over the frame aligning the target sticker with the beam. MN6

Position the metal frame on one long edge of the magnetic frame holding it perpendicular to the magnetic frame. Check the alignment. The beam should hit the center mark of the metal frame. MN7Carefully release the metal frame onto the magnetic frame. Smooth the t-shirt by gently tugging on the fabric beyond the edges of the hoop. Since the t-shirt is stabilized with a fusible cut-away the fiber will not distort with the frame. Remember, it’s a flat hoop so it’s perfectly acceptable to pull on the fabric – within reason! You wouldn’t want to use brute strength, just normal handling. MN8

Attach the hoop to the machine, hem first. MN9

Inserting the free arm into the hem (instead of through the neck) insures that hoop can move freely during the embroidery process. MN10

You gotta love these multi-needle machines – they make embroidering on blanks so easy!

Multi-Needle Monday: Dynamic Duo

I have to admit when I hoop I use two devices that simplify my hooping process. I don’t have to struggle with the inner and outer rings of standard hoops or watch the outer ring scurry around my work surface while the stabilizer and fabric goes in another direction. I use a powerful duo: PAL2 and Multi-Needle Monster.

Here’s my routine: I place the Multi-Needle Monster’s magnetic frame, magnet side up, on my hooping station. My hooping station is a rubberized mat (shelf liner) taped onto a flat work surface with PAL2 centered above the mat. I have marked the center of each side of the hoop with a Sharpie and I make sure those marks are aligned with the beam.


Then I slide stabilizer and fabric over the frame centering the target sticker under the beam.


Next, I position Multi-Needle Monster’s metal frame perpendicular to the magnetic frame. I get the outside edge of one side aligned (metal frame still perpendicular to the magnetic frame). Then I carefully release the metal frame.


It all comes together in about 30 seconds and it’s perfectly centered! Love that combo!

A Closer Look… How to become more centered

Norman felt hopelessly lost as he hiked across the expanse of fabric. He had no point of reference. No guidance or direction.

One day, he discovered a beacon of hope. It was a great beam of light shining forth across the fabric giving him direction—and guidance.

He felt very… centered.

What is the source of this great beam of light? It’s PAL 2! The Perfect Alignment Laser 2!

PAL 2 uses:

  • Quickly locate the center of quilt blocks, pockets, plackets, bags and more
  • Connect continuous embroidery designs
  • Verify design placement on large items such as jacket backs, banners, pants and more


  • Adjustable lamp head
  • Lock-in permanent position
  • Swivel tip allows for proper aiming of the laser crosshair
  • Bright, crisp Non-Gaussian lines show uniform brightness across entire length of beam
  • Reflective 6″ wide and 3″ tall shade protects laser beam
  • Adjustable clamp fits table surfaces up to 2 ¼” thick
  • 28″ arm with flexible elbow joint
  • Adjustable height
  • Weighted base post firmly slips into the adjustable clamp

Once you use PAL 2, you’ll soon discover it makes centering and continuous embroidery so easy to achieve you’ll want to dance!


Here’s your assignment this week:Sewing Spoolie invites you to win a Slimline box of fabulous thread along with the pre-digitized designs to make all seven of the Spoolies in Sulky’s Collection #1. These popular sewing-themed designs, from the imagination of Joyce Drexler, are as fun as they are creative. And if you’ve ever tried to keep your stabilizers organized, you’re going to love Sue Hausmann’s bonus project included with the package. The whole package is a retail value of nearly $150 including 22 – 250 yd. spools of Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread, a 475 yd. spool of Bobbin Thread, and a CD with the seven Spoolie designs and bonus project. If you win, it’s all yours from Sulky. Now, go Express Yourself! Leave a comment below on where you would embroider a Spoolie to be entered!blog ad
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:Tell us where would you hang these adorable bird houses? One comment will be chosen to receive a one year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine! Click the link below to take advantage of our BEST OFFER EVER – only $19.97* per year for a one year subscription. Good luck and happy stitching!Nancy-Blog-Banner-1997

And the winner is… Kathy – “I would hang these birdhouses in my laundry room. They are so cute!”



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