I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here are some tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets.
Tips for Success
• Take the time to prepare the design and the sheets. It’s well worth the effort.
• Purchase an extra pillowcase to test the design before stitching on the sheets.
• Open the band before embroidering to hide the wrong side of the embroidery.
• My stabilizer of choice for sheets is fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer with a layer of tear-away floating under the hoop. Fine linens are a tight weave and benefit from a strong foundation for the embroidery.
• Insert a new, sharp needle.
• Consider adding a single-letter monogram to the center of the band. Then stitch from the center to the edge on each side.
• Allow some space at each end of the border for some breathing room (aka – room for error).
Here’s a case for prewashing the sheets. Normally, I don’t prewash blanks but sheets really benefit from this prep step. It eliminates the unwanted puckers that often appear after laundering embroidered linens.
Measure the band – from folded edge to stitch line and from selvedge to selvedge. If the band measures 4” (a common size), select a design that is 3” in height so that there will be ½” open space on each side of the design. Once you select a machine embroidery design that is 3” tall, make a note of its length. My design is 3” x 5” and my queen top sheet measures 90” from selvedge to selvedge. I’ll divide 90” by 5”. I’ll need 18 repeats to fill the band.
Hmm…90” is perfectly divided by 5 into 18 repeats. Frankly, that scares me because I’ll have to be absolutely perfect on placement for each of the 18 designs. So I’ll take a little artistic license here and set myself up for success by planning on stitching only 17 repeats. Not only will this relieve some stress, it will probably look more pleasing because the center of a design will be dead center on the band and not the join of two designs. Definitely more desirable in my opinion.
Not that I know how many repeats I’ll need, I will take a seam ripper to the band and release the hem. I know, reverse sewing but it’s so worth it. Next, it’s time to carefully press the band but I will leave the crease of the fold in place because it’s a built-in guideline for squaring the band (sheet) in the hoop.
Cut the fusible polymesh stabilizer into 4” strips and press it to the wrong side of the band.
Fold the sheet in half, selvedge to selvedge to find the center and place a target sticker to mark the center.
Print two templates of the design. Place one template on the target sticker. Make sure the template’s crosshair is aligned with the target sticker’s crosshair. Use a ruler to verify the design is flanked by ½” on each side (from fold crease to hemline).
Select a hoop that will accommodate the design – one or two repeats. Hoop the band with tear-away stabilizer. Center the needle over the target sticker and embroider the design. Place the template on the band, connecting the image to the stitched design. Move the needle to the template’s crosshair. Remove the template and embroider the design.
When it’s time to rehoop, use the template and folded crease to square the sheet in the hoop and continue to fill the band with embroidery.