Textile Embroidery: Stitch Something Beautiful!

Thank goodness that textile embroidery is so much easier today. Modern embroidery machines make quick work of techniques that were tedious and labor intensive when done by hand. That means you can easily embellish most any item, whether wearable or display, with gorgeous embroidery.

Cutwork and Stumpwork

Eperatrix Corners by Into Embroidery

This gorgeous design combines stumpwork, 3-D embroidery, and gorgeous cutwork for a pillow project that is more like a work of art than a mere cushion.

Folklore Fashion

Pomegranate Stomacher by Art Embroidery

This bodice piece is based on a style of antique qold work embroidery. It is perfect for Elizabethan and Tudor period costumes and as an accent for any vintage projects, wearable or otherwise!

Folklore Shirt by Alinaline

Gorgeous colors really pop on a black background, especially when they take on a folklore theme. Add this embroidery to a simple shrug or sweater and it looks like you have expensive taste on a reasonable budget.

Crazy Quilting

Crazy Quilt Series 1, Part 2 by Molly Mine

Dating from Victorian times, crazy quilt items were reserved for only the most special occasions. Often, pieces of lace, beads, and charms were added.

Romantic Crazy Quilt 12 by Graceful Embroidery

Partly because of the expensive fabrics used and partly because they took so long to create, the crazy quilting technique is a good example of mixing textiles to create a functional piece of art.

Heirloom Creations

Net Collars by Oh Sew New

Lace collars would have taken forever to create by hand. By machine, they are stitched in mere minutes on a layer of tulle or netting.

Beautiful Swirl Lace by Embroider Shoppe

Sheer fabrics are the base for gorgeous lace work. Stitch on tulle or organza for beautiful, delicate edging you can use on home décor and bridal projects.

Heirloom Shadow Work Borders by My Fair Lady

Heirloom embroidery really benefits from modern technology. Today’s machines make quick work of labor intensive techniques like lace insertion and shadow work.

Sweet Dreams Pillow by Oma’s Place

Bed linens were often a favorite textile for embroidery and why not? This pretty pillow makes white work and scalloped edging oh, so, fabulous.

Yarn Couching

Yarn Couching Medley by Hatched in Africa

Yarn couching done by machine very much resembles the technique stitched by hand but with is so much quicker and easier. Make sure you have the correct couching foot for your machine.

Try out some of these designs and see just how beautiful, and easy, textile embroidery can be!

Design Positioning with Thumb Tacks and Basting Boxes

Imagine if I told you that there is an easy way to position multiple parts of a design using two thumbtacks and a basting box. Oh, and you will take the project out of the hoop each time a new part of the design is stitched. It’s true, and I’ll show you how it’s done.

Often, especially with quilt blocks, you will see designs that must be positioned in sets of four. I have shown you how thumb tacks can be used as a centering tool. When used in conjunction with a basting box, thumb tacks act as anchors for perfect design placement of multiple-hooped designs.

It helps if you use a larger piece of fabric than is needed. It’s easier to cut it down to size than it is to hoop and stitch it four times and have everything come out perfectly centered on the fabric. Magnetic hoops make this technique nearly effortless.

I’m using English Rose Quilt Blocks by Embroidery Weekly.

Start by hooping stabilizer. Stitch the design out and include a basting box to hold the fabric, batting, and stabilizer in place.

When stitching is done, remove everything from the hoop and trim stabilizer on the back of the embroidery. Hoop new stabilizer and run a basting stich directly on the stabilizer.

Place two thumb tacks through the back of the hooped stabilizer on the corners that will butt up against the existing embroidery.

Position the embroidered project over the hoop and line up the corners of the first basting box over the thumb tacks. A piece of craft foam on top holds the first corner tack in place while the second tack is positioned.

Smooth everything in the hoop and secure with temporary adhesive if necessary. Place the hoop back on the machine and run the second basting stitch. If everything lines up well, embroider the second design. If it doesn’t, snip the basting stitches and reposition.

Like anything else, it gets easier with practice, but this technique works pretty well, pretty quickly!


Why Use Interfacing with Applique?

Interfacing makes a difference when embroidering on light colored backgrounds. Did you know that it also helps to make your applique a little bit more crisp and clean?

No interfacing, left, and interfaced, right.

Interfacing works well with standard fill stitch embroidery, so why use interfacing with applique embroidery?

  • Interfacing supports fabric like stabilizer supports thread.
  • Interfaced applique holds up better to wear and tear over time.
  • Applique fabric that is interfaced is generally less wavy and more crisp.
  • Edge stitches are typically  more uniform.
  • Satin stitched applique designs with interfacing are cleaner around the embroidery edge. Needle marks show less.

My interfacing of choice is fusible Pellon ShapeFlex. It is available in black and white, accommodating many fabric colors.




Special Occasion Embroidery


Wedding, birthday, retirement. You can find an embroidery design for nearly every occasion. So let the celebrating begin with these fun projects for special occasions!

Birthday Card by Oma’s Place

This design is so very pretty on a towel, and who wouldn’t like a pretty towel for their kitchen or guest bath? Stitches up quickly and there is a design included that you can use to embroider your own card!


Festive FSL by MarLena Embroidery

Getting married? Retiring? Celebrating an anniversary? Color coordinate your next special event in freestanding lace! An envelope design is included to display a menu, enclose a thank you card, or even send out invitations to your party.


Anniversary Towel by Louise Meyer Originals

These elegant designs are perfect for adorning towel sets, ring bearer pillows, special birthday or anniversary pillow covers, bed linens, or greeting cards. Plus, you can personalize them with initials or a monogram.

Gift Wraps by Birdhouse Cottage Crafts

Choose elegant fabric for a wedding or anniversary or fun patterns for birthdays and graduations. Add flowers, trinkets, beads, and sequins to dress it up. Get it now for just $1 before they are gone for good!


Candy Cones by My Fair Lady

Great for guild gifts and party favors, this project is created and assembled in the hoop with no additional hand sewing. Make a pin cushion or lift the lid of the cone to reveal a sweet spot for candy or treats


Birthday Calendar by Louisa Meyer Originals

Choose from interchangeable headers for a unique way to keep all of your important celebrations on the radar. Both FCM and BMP files are included for the use of cutting machines or cut via traditional applique methods.


3D Butterfly Alphabet Banner by Ananda’s Divine Designs

With this freestanding applique alphabet, you can make congratulations banners for any occasion. Leave off the flowers and butterflies for boy names. Ananda’s also has banners with several sports themes, too.


Happy Birthday by Kreative Kiwi

This adorable quilted sign can be used for years to come! Start a new tradition to recognize birthdays at home, school, and office.


Scrap Busting Projects You Can Make in the Hoop

Hello National Embroidery Month! Dig out your scraps. We have plenty of projects that are perfect for using up your fabric scraps and precuts. Better yet, most of them are finished entirely in the hoop!

Don’t throw out those oddball pieces of fabric or batting. Scraps may be useable for in-the-hoop machine embroidery projects like these:

Mug Rugs

Blue Wren Mug Mat by All Stitches n Paint

Mug rugs are so popular right now and make a very versatile gift. Just add a cute mug and fill it with candy or a coffee shop gift card. Scraps can be used for borders, batting, or even the backing, which is often made of two pieces of overlapped fabric. See just how easy they are to make here.


Applique Flowers by Threads of Embroidery

Because they sometimes only require a little piece of fabric, applique designs make scrap pieces disappear in a hurry. You may be surprised at just how small of a scrap that can be used in an applique. That goes for fusible interfacing and fusible web as well.

Crazy Quilting

Crazy Llama by Molly Mine

Crazy quilting was created, in part, to make good use of scrap fabrics. Mixing and matching fabric prints can make a crazy quilt project quite interesting. What better way to recycle your cut offs? See just how easy it is to do here.

Fabric Piecing

American Desert Sunsets by Ananda’s Divine Designs

This set of six sunset blocks is pieced in the hoop and embellished with applique, quilting, and embroidery. Together, they create a stunning presentation that is also a great stash buster.


Love Coffee Coaster by Oma’s Place

Smaller fabric and batting remnants can be turned into coasters easily enough. Much like mug rugs, this set is pieced, quilted, and embroidered entirely in the hoop! Stitch up a bunch to keep on hand and use for last-minute gifts.