Archive of ‘Embroidery Techniques’ category

A Hidden Treasure

My daughter Janelle’s paternal grandmother, Ron Roche (known as Mom Mom in our family), gave her a very special family heirloom at Janelle’s bridal shower. It was the wedding ring she wore on her wedding day. That ring was actually the ring of her mother – Janelle’s great grandmother. The family tradition has been that every Roche woman wears or carries the ring on her wedding day and then passes it to the next bride. What an honor for Janelle to carry this tradition on.

It has been worn by Mom Mom (who was married 71 years), her daughter Sue (currently enjoying 43 years of wedlock),  granddaughters Susie (celebrating 15 years), Katie (10 + years) and Monica (5+) years.

Of course, it was Janelle’s decision on whether she would wear it, tie to her flowers or pin it to her dress.  She didn’t make the final decision until we were in Hawaii for the wedding. I arrived in Hawaii armed with an emergency wedding dress kit – scissors, pins, needles, thread, bits of lace, ribbon, seam binding, hooks and eyes.  I wanted to be prepared for any dress emergency.

Just moments before the photographer arrived, Janelle decided to sew the ring to the dress. I looped the ring through a length of ribbon and hastily sewed it to the label.LabelBL

To have Mom Mom’s ring incorporated to the label brought tears to my eyes.  Mom Mom and I have guided Janelle through her life with love and tenderness.   I don’t think two women have ever loved a girl more than we have loved Janelle. To have the tender touch of our hands joined in this momentous day was almost more than I could handle! But I sniffed away the tears and just beamed at my beautiful little girl – now a grown woman.  My only wish was that Mom Mom could be with us in Hawaii.

That dream would be fulfilled in Ft. Worth, when Mom Mom made the trip from Philadelphia to Dallas for the Texas reception. Here she is – 93 years old – still as full of life and love as she was on the day she was married.momBL

Click here to see the software lesson on making the label.  In the meantime, tell us if you (or someone you love) carried a family heirloom on your wedding day.  A random winner will be selected to win a copy of my newest book, “Hoop It Up, The Stitching Sisters’ Guide to Hooping”.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us if you (or someone you love) carried a family heirloom on your wedding day.  A random winner will be selected to win a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery gift card!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

As the fall equinox arrives today it also ends the season of summer. Its funny how the days grow shorter and the embroidery project list grows longer in in the fall. What exciting fall projects do you have in store?

The winner is:  

Debe: “My 2 elder grandsons want a large scarecrow & I want to make a new fall table runner & wall-hanging. I am starting on Christmas gifts, also.”

Puffy Foam!

This post is a continuation from the September 2015 Designs Plus Newsletter.  If you missed it, stop by for a visit by clicking here.

In today’s lesson you’ll learn how to:

  • Work with an embroidery design that is specifically digitized for Puffy Foam.
  • Discover how the stitch sequence has similarities to applique – yet is surprisingly new and different!  (And addicting!)
  • How to use the Circle Template.  (A tool you’ll also find addicting!)

Open Word Art in Stitches.

Click on the Add puffy Text icon in the top toolbar.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Arial Puffy font.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Type the letter “I”.  Click Apply.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click on File / Save As.  Save the design in C2S format.  Exit Word Art in Stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Open Perfect Embroidery Pro Software.  Then go to File / Open.  Select the “I” embroidery design.  Once the design is displayed on the screen, press Ctrl + A, to select the design.  Click on the Circle Template Icon on the top toolbar.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

A new window appears as shown in the image below.  Change the Width and Height to 100.  Change the number of Repeats to 5.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click Apply to view the layout.  When satisfied with the layout, press Ok.

Click on File / Merge.  Select the Sweet Nothing Spool Design, #09201005.  (This design is available for free courtesy of Sulky and is featured in the September 2015 Designs Plus Newsletter.  If you don’t have the design, click here.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Place the design in the center of your Puffy border.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Save the design and send to your embroidery machine.

At the Embroidery Machine

Be sure to read the instructions that are included with the Sulky® Puffy Foam™ for tips and techniques.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I used a Snap Hoop Monster to hoop a sturdy canvas fabric.  I love the color blue – so it was clear I’d use a blue Puffy Foam and blue thread for my design.  You’ll want to match the Puffy Foam with the embroidery thread color.

Stitch the first color, which is a satin stitch outline.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Place the Puffy Foam on top of the satin stitch outline.  Stitch the second color—this second color stitches on top of the Puffy Foam.  If you’ve done applique these steps seem counter-intuitive – but that’s what makes this process so intriguing and exciting!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Once complete, you’ll notice the excess Puffy Foam perforates away from the project.  How delightful!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Repeat the steps for each of the Puffy Foam designs.  Then finish by stitching the center design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s a close-up view of the 3D-effect created with Sulky’s Puffy Foam.  Looks like Henry found a nice place to contemplate his next embroidery project!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Want to learn more about Sulky’s Puffy Foam?  Visit their website by clicking here.

Be sure to visit the September 2015 Designs Plus Newsletter for more free designs courtesy of Sulky.

Here’s your assignment this week:

As the fall equinox arrives today it also ends the season of summer. Its funny how the days grow shorter and the embroidery project list grows longer in in the fall. What exciting fall projects do you have in store?

Leave a comment below for a hance to win a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery giftcard!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

Schmetz needles are available at retailers nationwide. Whenever I’m in my local sewing machine dealer, I make sure I pick up a new pack of needles.  I’m building my stash so that I’m prepared for future projects. How about you? Do you have trouble planning properly? Do you jump right in and then regret it later? Or do you approach projects with caution and prepare accordingly?

The winner is:  

Barb: “I do some of each. If I find something I really am excited to try–I jump right in. Other times I may have a pattern that I am “scared” of and I try to plan it out the best I can so hopefully I won’t have too much trouble.”

Top Five Applique Techniques for Plush Fabrics


Most embroiderers love appliqué designs. Appliqué can be used when a large embroidery design is needed but using a high stitch count design is not feasible. Appliqué can also be used to tame thick plush fabrics; such as terry cloth, fake fur and plush velour. In my embroidery business I add appliqué frames in combination with beautiful monograms to lounge chair towels, blankets and baby items. Here are some helpful techniques for creating professional looking appliqué when stitching on plush fabrics.

  1. Pre-wash all appliqué fabric before embroidering.
  2. Use a fusible light weight interfacing to the wrong side of appliqué fabric.
  3. Match the satin stitch thread to your background fabric.
  4. Test the appliqué design on similar fabric before stitching to check the density and quality of design. Adjust design in software if necessary.
  5. Place the embroidery hoop on a clean flat surface when trimming the excess fabric.


Learn more in my Craftsy class; How to Start a Home Embroidery Business with Marie Zinno.

Click here for a $10 coupon.

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 Embroidery: Using Designs with 10+ Colors

Multi Needle Monday - Diane Kron

The Baby Lock Enterprise multi-needle machine has 10 needles.  Many embroidery designs have more than 10 color changes. To utilize these designs on this machine it will require just a few additional steps.

Created by: Diane Kron, Software and Embroidery Projects Manager for Designer’s Gallery

Enterprise Multi-Needle Embroidery Machines by Baby Lock®
Built- in design

At the Embroidery Machine:

  1. In the Properties field of the machine, set the Manual Color Sequence to Off. This will be on  page 5 of the Properties.blog1bl
  1. Select the 12th design listed under Exclusive Home Décor.
  2. On the embroidery screen, each of the 10 needle bars is assigned a color based on the colors in the design. There are 13 colors in this design.blog2bl


  1. The screen also tells you how much time before the machine will stop and a spool color change is needed. The time indicator will turn red as the last color is being sewn before it stops.blog3bl


  1. To see where a spool change is necessary, touch the Forward/Backward key on the screen. A new screen appears.blog4bl

Notice the red line and its placement. At this point, the machine will stop and allow you to change thread colors for the remaining color stops in the design.  You will see a message at the bottom of the screen (Change Threads and click start button).blog5bl

  1. The LED spool stand indicator will light up in white and then flash with the new color as shown in the following illustration. If black is the next color, the light will turn off. Touch Close to remove the message.
  2. Re-thread the machine on spools 1 and 2 as indicated above in the illustration or any other remaining spool that is flashing. When the machine stops and indicates a spool change, the thread information for the spool to be changed is outlined with a red outline.blog6bl

If some of the colors needed are already being used in another part of the design, the machine will make the adjustments recognizing the previously used needle bars and thread colors so no spool changes may be necessary even though the screen may indicate more than 10 thread colors in the design. The following image shows the finished design.blog7bl

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: Automatic Appliqué on the Brother Entrepreneur and Baby Lock Enterprise

As owners of the Baby Lock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur, we are so fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology at their finger tips. We have the scanner and live camera along with automatic basting file (shown in an earlier blog for embroidering t-shirts) and another helpful, quick technique the automatic appliqué feature. The automatic appliqué can create any shape, text or embroidery design into an appliqué without using embroidery software. There is an icon on the screen to convert each design into an appliqué.

I created a simple three-letter monogram inside a diamond shape design right at the embroidery screen; no embroidery software needed. The steps below will guide you how to create your own appliqué once a design, text or shape is shown on the screen.

Step 1. Select the shapes icon under Exclusives and choose the diamond shape.

diamond mono1diamond mono2

Resize the diamond shape to approximately 4″ wide or the size you wish to embroider and select Edit End. diamond mono3

Step 2. Click the blue shield icon; this will add the automatic appliqué around the diamond shape.

diamond mono4diamond mono5

Step 3.Use the select key and highlight the black diamond shape as shown in photo (the original shape) and delete it.

diamond mono6diamond mono7

Go to “Add”. Choose the monogram icon.

diamond mono8diamond mono9


Step 4. Select the letters for the monogram; left, middle and right letters to fit properly inside the shape.

diamond mono10diamond mono11diamond mono12


Resize the letters to fit inside the satin stitches.

Step 5. Hoop the fabric and stitch the placement color (1st color). Add the fabric on top of placement color. diamond mono13diamond mono14diamond mono15 Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from around diamond shape.

Step 6. Replace the hoop on the machine and stitch the satin stitch and monogram. diamond mono16

final mono diamond

Instant applique! Right at your fingertips!


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.

Software Saturday – Two Part Applique

Hey Software Saturday readers! Check out these two videos on how to make a two-part applique. In less than eight minutes, you’ll learn how to import True Type Test, load a back drop, trace an image and convert both to applique.

View the first video here or jump over to YouTube to watch.

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And wrap it up with video 2, here or on YouTube.

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You’ll find tons of uses for two-part applique. Just imagine the fun you’ll have mastering this technique.

Converting Designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro has a unique feature – batch conversion. This handy feature quickly converts one, two, several or dozens of machine embroidery designs from one embroidery format to another. It all happens in the blink of eye – which lets you get to the fun part of embroidery – the actual stitching!

View this quick video to see how easy it is.

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To watch on YouTube, click here.

No more, Save AS, Save As, Save As over and over again!

Software Saturday – The Backdrop Tool in My Quilt Embellisher

One of the helpful features of Inspiration’s My Quilt Embellisher is the backdrop tool. The backdrop tool allows you to bring an image on to the screen and audition embroidery in actual time. It’s a surefire way to design beautiful blocks.
First, take a photograph or scan an image of your quilt into your computer. Take note of where you stored the photo on your hard drive.
Open a new file in My Quilt Embellisher. Go to File, Load Backdrop. Locate the image of your quilt block and click OK. MQE_b1
The image appears behind the grid on your screen. Chances are the image is not perfectly square on the screen. That’s ok; it’s an easy fix in My Quilt Embellisher. Hover the cursor over the backdrop tool on the left toolbar. MQE_b2
Click on the small arrow under the icon to access the Backdrop tools. Select Define horizon. MQE_b3
Place the cursor on one corner of the block and with the left mouse button depressed, drag the cursor across the block to the opposite corner. Release the mouse. The image will straighten on the screen. MQE_b4
In the properties box, notice the size of the image – it’s quite large. MQE_b5
That measurement is the size of the image, not the block. So let’s tell the software exactly what size our block should be.
Select Define Scale from the Backdrop tool menu. MQE_b6
Place the cursor on one corner of the block and with the left mouse button depressed, drag the cursor across the block to the opposite corner. Release the mouse. A window appears. Type in the correct measurement. My actual block measures 7” so I type in 7”. MQE_b9
The image shrinks and in the properties box, the size of the image changes too. MQE_b10
The properties box measurement is larger than 7” because it’s illustrating the size of the image – all the white/gray space that’s actually part of the image.
Now that you are viewing the block in actual size, it’s time to audition embroidery designs in the patches. This block was created for a sweet couple, Liz and Mike Tucker. The monogram font is August, the heart is Block Frill Heart (found in Embellishments) and the bird is #57488 in My Quilt Embellisher Free Designs.MQE_b12

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