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Embroidering on Ribbons

Need to make a label? Use a ribbon. Ribbons come in so many styles; you’ll find it’s best to sample a few. I’m using mini lettering – just ¼” tall so my first thought was grosgrain. But the ridges interfered with the crispness of the letters while the needle penetrations distorted the ribbon fibers. Next, I selected wire-edge polyester satin. Although one side is shiny, I like the matte side.  After several tests, I decided this was the right one.

I used Multi-Needle Monster for this project because it’s so flat and makes working in the hoop a breeze.  I drew two parallel lines on hooped tear-away stabilizer. I used a dark marker because I’m going to use the Baby Lock Enterprise’s camera to help align the lettering and the dark lines will be easy to see on the machine screen. Then, I taped the satin ribbon within the marked border, keeping the edges straight and the ribbon taut. Rib5bl

Once attached to the machine, I retrieved the design and clicked on the camera icon.  The camera centers over the hoop so I used the jog keys to move over to the ribbon.  My goal was to align the grid with the edge of the ribbon, the black lines on the stabilizer. The orange line on the image below is an exaggeration of the grid on the machine. The grid was not perfectly parallel with the ribbon edge, so I rotated the design.  Now that the grid (and the design of course) is square with the ribbon, the embroidery will stitch square.  Rib6bl

The last step I took was to find the horizontal center of the ribbon. Since the camera is a live view of what’s under the needle, I slid a centering ruler on top of the ribbon. The ribbon’s edges hit the ruler at equal increments on both sides of zero.  Then I used the jog keys to move the design directly over the zero.  Here you can see the green cross designating the design center. When moved a bit to the left, the design will be centered on the ribbon.Rib7bl

And so it did! Rib8bl




  • Judy Troyer

    Where do you get lettering that is 1/4″ tall?

    • Chris Lyon

      I use the mini fonts in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

      • Beal

        Did you use thinner thread?

  • Glenda Marsh

    60weight thread for 1/4 in lettering??

  • Cathy Ervin

    Camera? Cool beans! Where is the camera mounted? How big is the camera?

    • Pam Bjorlo

      The TOL Brother and Babylock flat bed sewing/embroidery machines have cameras. The 10 needle B/BL embroidery machines also have cameras. They are WONDERFUL!!

  • Cindy Jenkins

    This is great! I can use this with my Brother Quattro single needle. Never thought of using the camera like this. Thanks!!!

  • Dottie K

    Whoopie! You’ve done it again. Thanks.vbg

  • Karen