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A 'Tutorial' Of Sorts

18 April 2010

The fact that I'm doing anything closely resembling a tutorial is laughable, as I am just certainly not an expert. But, I'm mostly doing this for Aunt Deb. If you're anything like me, pictures are helpful. I'm very visual and find step-by-step pics work so much better than just a list of instructions. So this is a guide about how I do applique on my embroidery machine. This would be the same for just monogramming and embroidery as well, just minus the fabric. Here goes...

First, I start by hooping my stabilizer. For this shirt I used cut-away stabilizer, sometimes I use tear-away.
Then I mark the center point of my shirt, so that I can line it up on the hoop.
I don't always, but lately I have been using a spray adhesive to help the shirt stay in place on the hoop. I really like this one, Sulky KK2000. It doesn't have horrible fumes, it's not overly sticky or leave a residue behind, and you only need a small amount.
Then I get my shirt centered on the hoop and pin it in place for extra security, to keep from slipping. I always use pins, even if I don't also use a spray adhesive.
I get my hoop on my machine being sure to pull up all the excess of the shirt, so that nothing gets caught under the hoop in stitching.
I then stitch out the first run so that I know where to place the fabric.
After the first run is stitched out I place down my fabric. I usually just hold the fabric in place with my hand while stitching, although you could use a spray adhesive at this point too. I then stitch another run.
This next step became much easier after my MIL gave me a pair of applique scissors for Christmas. Until that point I didn't even know such a thing existed, although I was confident that it should. I would use regular scissors and try to invent a way to make things easier while cutting. These scissors are awesome. Oh, so the point of the next step is to cut around the entire applique. I like the leave the slightest amount of fabric on the outside, since I know my next stitch will cover it, and it makes me feel like it is more secure.
Here is my applique fully cut out.
I then get the hoop back on the machine, this time with WSS (water soluble stabilizer) or topping on top. It looks like the picture is blurred, but that's the topping. I then start the next run of stitches.
This isn't a step at all. I just happened to look down while I was stitching and laughed. This is pretty much what the front of my machine looks like every time I'm stitching something out. I have large fabric scissors, small scissors, embroidery scissors, applique scissors, a seam ripper and tweezers.
Back to the last few steps. After I have stitched out all the remaining portions I then remove the hoop, then tear off all the WSS on top.
Then I turn it inside out and trim the stabilizer around my design. This is another time I use my applique scissors.
I like to follow up every design with a quick pressing. I like to make things crisp and neat.
And there you have it! A finished product.
This was an order I did a few weeks ago for a couple sisters. I hope I didn't bore everyone to tears. Aunt Deb, I hope this was somewhat helpful for you too!


  1. For your first tutorial, great job!!! I just got Deb set up with a Gmail account, so I hope she leaves you a comment soon. I'm glad the scissors work. I love the new look of the blog. Mine needs some work soon. Love you!

  2. Kate,
    You are truly an inspiration to me!!! You really explained well enough that I am going to try this method. Love the new look on the blog. Thanks for the tutorial; I hope it's the first of many. Keep up the good work! Love, Aunt Deb

  3. Love the new look of the blog and the font....Super Cute. So glad to know I am doing my applique the same way...and I couldn't live without KK2000. I use it on everything.


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