My #1 secret to successful machine embroidery applique

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog:  

I’ll let you in on a little-known secret – I hate to remove the hoop during the embroidery process to trim applique. I dislike it so much, I rarely do it. I’ve come up with two very different solutions to this dilemma.

The first – and easiest – is to embrace raw edge applique. That is what my whole Stipple! line is based on. It’s an edgy approach (no pun intended) but it works for me and I love the speed of the process.

But I know raw edge applique is not appropriate for every design. So I avoid taking the hoop off the machine during traditional appliqué by preparing the applique section in a separate hooping.

Here’s how I do it:

First, fuse interfacing to the applique fabric. Hoop the applique fabric. If I need multiples of the same design, I’ll load as many of the design that will fit in my largest hoop. Advance through the design to the tackdown segment of the design. Stitch the tackdown (the outline).

Remove the fabric from the hoop. Trim the appliqués as close to the outline as possible without snipping the threads. Set aside.

Hoop the project. Stitch the placement guide of the applique design.

Spray a small amount of spray adhesive to the wrong side of the cutout applique. Place the applique over the placement guide. Smooth in place.

Stitch the tackdown. Complete the design.

Thanks for reading!

Reprinted with permission from Eileen's Blog.

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Unique Uses for Test Stitchouts

Unique Uses for Test Stitchouts

Tote bag by Bonnie Welsh from Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Ever wonder what to do with all of those test stitchouts? Bonnie Welsh from has put hers to some of the most uniquely versatile uses I've ever seen and, fortunately, has given me permission to share them with you.

I just adore this tote bag. It uses mylar in the designs for added sparkle and dimension (More about that in another post!). Not only are the designs adorable, but the wavy border adds interest and I absolutely love how the fabric complements both the subject theme and color scheme.

As a digitizer, Bonnie undoubtedly has a much bigger collection of test stitchouts than most people.

"I try to come up with original ideas/ways to use up the test sews I complete," Bonnie said.  "I just hate to see anything go into the trash."

You never know what you might do with stitchout samples so, most of the time, they are just slightly larger than hoop size. Bonnie has addressed that variable by using applique frames and borders with her stitchouts. That way, she can make them whatever size she needs for completed projects.

Quilt block by Bonnie Welsh from Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Bonnie takes the technique even further using appliqued strips for this adorable quilt. Once again, the colors in both fabric and thread match perfectly.

Quilt by Bonnie Welsh from Sew Inspired by Bonnie

In this block, Bonnie uses an applique frame as a base for the stitchout.

Quilt block by Bonnie Welsh from Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Quilt by Bonnie Welsh from Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Gives you lots of new possibilities for test sews you might otherwise throw in a pile, doesn't it?

I'd love to hear some of the creative ways you use yours.


Debbie SewBlest



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