Many embroiderers strive to master continuous embroidery that is seamless and flawless. It looks so impressive and with a little planning and the right tools, you can achieve professional results.
You’ll need some basic tools for seamless continuous embroidery:
-Printed templates of the embroidery designs
-The right size hoop
-Embroidery machine with 1 degree rotation and the trace feature
-Angle Finder or machine auto-rotation feature
Print templates of the designs. You must see the designs in actual size on the fabric before you stitch the designs to make continuous embroidery seamless! Place vellum in your printer and print templates of each design you intend to use.
Audition the templates on the fabric, connecting the designs as desired. Don’t focus on the center of the designs; look at where one design ends and the other begins.
Once you have the designs connected or linked, slide target stickers under each template.
The target stickers designate the center of each design and allow you to remove the cumbersome paper/vellum templates. Write the design name (on the target stickers (or MI if mirror imaging of any design is required). Keep the templates handy, you’ll need them again to confirm placement.
You’ve heard the adage: select the smallest hoop available for the design. Well, that is good advice because it will give you the best tension on the hooped fabric. But you might want to ignore that good advice if you are creating multi-hooped embroidery. If your design is the same size as (or very close to) the hoop’s sewing field that means you have to hoop the fabric perfectly centered and square. There will be no room for any adjustments such as rotating and positioning. Talk about pressure!
Continuous embroidery often involves minute adjustments of the design right under the needle. If your design completely fills the hoop, then you won’t have any options for making needed adjustments. So select a hoop that leaves you some wiggle room or shrink your design a bit.
Once the first design is stitched, it’s time to rehoop the next design area.
1. Center the second target sticker in the hoop but make sure the lower portion of the first design is captured in the sewing field so that you can connect the two designs.
2. Place the template back on the target sticker. Verify the target sticker is in the correct location. If not, make final adjustments now. Remove the template.
3. Use the Angle Finder to rotate the design so the rotation on the screen duplicates the rotation on the target sticker. You’ll get the full rotation of a design in the center of the hoop so always rotate first, then position the needle over the target sticker.
4. Position the needle over the target sticker.
5. If you’re still unsure of the placement of the second design, trace the new design. Watch the needle as it travels the perimeter of the design. The foot should graze the first design if you are connecting or linking designs. If it doesn’t, place the template back in the hoop and reposition the needle. Repeat this step until you’re confident the designs are aligned. Still not confident? Travel through the design to the stitch that will connect with the first design.
6. Remove the template/target sticker and stitch!
Many embroiderers are leery of attempting continuous embroidery but the truth is, placement mistakes are much more obvious on single design embroidery than multi-design embroidery. If a single design is off just a couple of degrees, it’s glaring. Think of a monogram on a towel. The monogram must be perfectly centered and parallel with the border or bottom edge of the towel, if it’s off just 5 degrees, it’s noticeable. Multi-design embroidery is much more forgiving because the intended result is not always obvious to the viewer. So go ahead and give it try – you’ll be glad you did.
It was so interesting to read last week’s comments on learning to embroider. It seems many of you have been blessed with family members who shared their skills or encouraged you to jump into a new hobby. And how about those husbands who surprised many of you with a new machine? You are lucky ladies.
It’s not always the case for many ‘stitchaholics.’ I remember hearing tales of woe about ladies who had to hide new sewing purchases from their spouses. One lady, who will remain anonymous, used to hide fabric purchases in empty cereal boxes. She saved the boxes in the trunk of her car months before her local annual quilt show. And low and behold, stuffed them with fat quarters! Apparently, her significant other never knew.
How about some of those crazy purchases we’ve made over the years? I remember driving seven hours to attend an American Sewing Guild convention when I first learned to sew. All those hours in the car – it was a big deal for me to be away from my small children overnight. But I was on a mission to go to that show. When I returned, my husband wanted to see what I had purchased. I pulled out two dozen 3” squares of sequined fabric. That’s it. That was my only purchase. I have no idea why I bought them, I wasn’t wearing sequins on regular basis. The only thing I can possibly imagine using them for is applique. Fish, maybe. Who knows?
How about you? Do you have a funny story to share about purchases you’ve made? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of two $50.00 shopping sprees to SewAZ Embroidery Designs! So that means we’ll have two lucky winners to announce next week!
Thank you, SewAZ for sponsoring this weeks giveaway!
Last week we asked how you learned to embroider. The winner of the subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery is….Grace Chapa!
“I am a self-taught machine embroiderer. For years I watched Aleene’s Craft Shows that featured the Janome Sewing Machines and when I came into a little money I bought an MC-10000. I do craft projects for gifts and keep up with techniques & supply info via various Yahoo groups and newsletters. YouTube is a great source of info and I subcribe to different newsletters and magazines. I just love this hobby!!”
Congratulations, Grace! We’ll be contacting you to get your info.