Eight Great Tips to Make Holiday Embroidery Happier

We are rapidly approaching the most wonderful time of the year and for makers, that is certainly true.

Get Organized

I haven’t organized my sewing room for way too long. When I can’t easily find what I need, embroidery and sewing become an ordeal. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul, but at least make sure that your tools like scissors, rulers, stabilizer, and thread are where they belong.

Take Inventory

While you are at it, make sure you have enough of the essentials: stabilizers, common thread colors, tape and spray. It is frustrating to be “in the zone” and find out that you don’t have enough red thread or are out of water-soluble stabilizer.

One Step at a Time

I like to tackle these kinds of projects in assembly line fashion. Cut all of the pieces that you need to size including batting and stabilizer. Iron pieces and attach any fusibles to fabric and applique pieces. If you need to interface, do that too.

Print Directions

Most embroidery design files contain a PDF of directions. I like to print out a copy of the project directions and keep them on hand while I am stitching. That way, I can also add notes and other helpful tips that may be forgotten since the last time I used that design.

Make Kits

Assemble everything you need for each project in plastic zip bags and mark them. Include thread colors and any trim, zippers, or accessories to complete the project. That way, you are ready to go. Even if you only have 15 minutes to stitch, you can do just that. You would be surprised at how much you can accomplish in 15-minute intervals.

Don’t Stress

The season of making should be joyful. If you are too stressed to enjoy the process, you may want to take a step back. Many Christmas projects I have created were conceived the previous year, or several years ago.

Care for Your Machine

While it is ideal to have had your machine serviced prior to the busiest time of year, that is not always possible. Make sure to clean out your bobbin area often, especially if you have been burning the midnight oil on a regular basis.

Don’t Skimp on Supplies

This is one hobby where you do get what you pay for. Don’t use coffee filters as stabilizer. Change your needle after 8 hours of stitching. Buy quality thread. That doesn’t mean that the most expensive supplies are best but if you spent as much on your machine as I did, it isn’t worth taking chances of damaging it. Besides, ruining a project means wasting more than just your time.

Debbie SewBlest

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