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Collar Design Placement

On October 15, Barbara Grant asked, “I want to embroider little flowers or a vine on a collar for a toddler’s dress, the heirloom kind that I used to sew by hand. How can I set up placement so the machine embroidery will stitch precisely where I want it?”

That’s a great question, Barbara, because placement is crucial to embroidery success and little bit of planning will make your embroidery look professional. You’ll need embroidery software* so that you can print templates of your collar design.  Open your design in your software program and print a template of the design on vellum or paper.  This step is most often accomplished by going to File, Print.  If you have the option, make sure you have included a crosshair. Print one template for each side of the collar (right and left) by mirror imaging the design before you print the second design.

Once the template is printed, audition it on the collar.Collar2BL

I suggest taking a photograph of the placement and then moving the template a bit and reshooting.Collar3BL

Do this a couple of times and then review the images on the camera. You’ll quickly know which one is the most pleasing.  Tape the template to the collar. Spray the wrong side of the collar with temporary adhesive.

Hoop stabilizer (tear-away, cut-away or wash away depending on your fabric and design).  To achieve perfect placement, use PAL, the Perfect Alignment Laser. Place the hoop on a flat surface and turn on PAL. Align the beams with the horizontal and vertical markings on the hoop.Collar5BL

Slip the collar over the stabilizer aligning the template’s crosshair with the beams.  Finger press the collar to the stabilizer. For added security, you can always add tape to the edges.Collar6BL

Carefully transport and attach the hoop to the machine, retrieve the design and verify the needle is perfectly aligned with the template’s crosshair.  Remove the template and embroider the design.

Next week, I’ll show you how to achieve perfect placement on Brother’s DREAM machine.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Now that Halloween is over, we’re just about in full swing of the next holiday – Thanksgiving.  I’d love to know if you’re hosting the meal or if you’re being treated to a year off – and celebrating in someone else’s home.  Tell us your plans and a random winner will receive a 13” x 54” ruffled-edge burlap table runner.  Perfect for a holiday table!


The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

As I mentioned above velvet can be a challenging textile. What other fabrics do you find challenging yet alluring to use? Your comment will enter you in next Wednesday’s random drawing for a $20 gift card to !

The winner is:  

Gail: “Satin, silk, and fur are the hardest to embroider on for me. Satin and silky type fabrics tend to have wrinkles around the design and fur tends to leave little bits of fur outside of the outlines.”

*You can make your own templates by stitching embroidery designs on stabilizer and drawing a crosshair in the center but if you’re serious about embroidery, then you need a robust embroidery editing and digitizing software program. It pays for itself in eliminating frustration and opening possibilities. If you don’t have software, investigate different programs at your local sewing machine retailer since you’ll want to purchase software where you can get education.




  • Clem

    I live in Ohio(now) and this year my honey and I decided to visit his family in Colorado. This has been a hard decision as my husband’s health is not good. It will be a great time and we are looking forward to it for at least 2 reasons. First, we get to visit a great many family members, second, I get to help instead of being in charge. Much more relaxing that way!

  • Karin

    We are actually hosting 3 couples from out of state….they’re all square dancers from where we used to live, years ago. We haven’t seen them in years, so it’ll be loads of fun. They’re sure going to be surprised when we all pack into the truck and head out for Chinese on Turkey day. But, if I get lucky, we can enjoy the burlap runner at all the other meals we’ll share! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  • Sandy

    I’ll be driving up to visit dear friends in Nashville. We enjoy all getting in the kitchen and cooking together.

  • Sandy

    We are hoping to have Turkey Day Dinner with at least half of our Kids, since the other half live in Alaska, we don’t get to see them as often as I would like. It’s my turn to cook, but since husband is Retired, he’s been a great help in the kitchen, so if the one set of kids can’t show up, it will be just the two of us. That in itself, will be different and who knows we too may end up at the Chinese restaurant. Either way, I always decorate and would love to embroider a new table topper, I haven’t tried burlap yet. (hint, hint)

  • Pam

    Off to Junction, Texas to be with extended family. 30+. Everyone is assigned meals and we all pitch in Thanksgiving.

  • Gail Beam

    It will just be my husband and me, as all our family live out of state.

  • Linda Mundell

    I always have my 3 daughters, their husbands , and my 3 grandchildren , here for turkey day. I bake a turkey, one of my son in laws will fry 2 turkeys, one to take to his mom’s later in the day, and since I have adult daughters, they always bring wonderful foods. I bake pumpkin and pecan pies, enough for each child to take an entire pecan pie home. We have a great meal, great conversation, and pretty good naps, before we get up to eat again. I am very blessed to have such great family gatherings.

  • Shirley Clark

    Since both of my kids are working, we won’t be together on Thanksgiving Day, but we will get together one evening just so we can ALL be together. That’s all that matters. However, we will be together for our family Christmas.

  • Pam

    What I find hard to hoop and embroidery on is large thick jackets.

  • Pam

    What I find hard to hoop and embroidery on is thick jackets.

  • Nancy Weber

    Both our children will be with in-laws for Thanksgiving this year so husband and I will have a few neighbor couples who also have no family to celebrate with to our home. Love to share as we have lots to be thankful for!

  • Barbara

    My youngest son and I will be traveling to California to spend the Thanksgiving season with his eldest brother and family. I look forward to a Thanksgiving meal thatis not my responsibility!

  • Karen

    Our son and daughter and grandson will join us this year for Thanksgiving, minus our son in law who has to work. We will be busy preparing for our last Thanksgiving in this house as we plan on moving next year. Baking ahead of time and cooking on Thanksgiving always makes a cozy family day and we look forward to spending time with everyone, including our first grandbaby, Zoë, our furry granddaughter.

  • Barbara Grant

    Thanks so much for answering my question about placement on collars. Your tips are great and I’ll try them on a dress for my GD. I’ve learned so much on your blog!

  • Barbara Grant

    In the past we always had a large family gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas at our home. Now with the children married with their own little ones, it’s more difficult for them to travel. For the first time this year we will spend Thanksgiving in NJ with one daughter and Christmas in NM with another daughter. its hard to let go of the family gatherings with all of us together.


    We are going to go to Colorado to meet up with two sons, their wives, one 2 and 3/4 year old, and I am thinking of things to cook in a condo kitchen so we DON’T spend all day in the little kitchen. I’m busy making Nancy’s round napkins right now. They would look great near burlap.

  • beth daniels

    We go out of town for Thanksgiving and go out to eat Thanksgiving day. So no cooking for me that day.

  • Joan Shriver

    For years we have traveled to my husband’s sister. We always have a huge group of relatives to enjoy again, see the new babies, catch up. My sister-in-law is my best friend!

  • Sara Redner

    We will cook a nice turkey dinner, and our son lives close enough to join us for dinner. We don’t have any special Thanksgiving day plans, but for Christmas I bake a gingerbread man so our son can take home his head.

  • debe

    Thanksgiving in Canada is already over, but we had a quiet one on the actual day as the children celebrated with the in-laws & then I hosted a family meal a week later for many Oct birthdays & Thanksgiving.

  • Pam Carter

    I love this time or year. My husband and I usually grill our turkey with all the fixings! I actually enjoy doing everything from scratch including making the bread for the stuffing. It may be a lot of work but it is so good!