Baste it!

Sometimes, the simplest thing can make a big difference in your embroidery projects. Running basting stitches before the embroidery sequence is one of them.

Basting stitches help to secure the fabric, or object upon which you are embroidering, to the stabilizer. That keeps everything from shifting and putting off registration so that every component of the embroidery design is aligned properly.

When basting, a rectangle is loosely stitched around the outermost edges of the embroidery design, like this one from the autumn candle project. It appears a little crooked in this photo because it was taken out of the hoop after embroidery finished.

You can use whatever thread color that stitches first in the embroidery design to create your basting stitch. When embroidery is finished, simply clip every third or fourth stitch and they pull right out.

Many embroidery machines have a basting feature built in, so check your manual if you are not sure. On my machine, it is called the fix stitch. When touched, it adds the basting stitch at the beginning of the other color stops in the embroidery file.

If your machine does not have a built-in basting function, check out these free basting files you can download for your embroidery machine.

Whether you hoop the base fabric with the stabilizer, float the fabric in the hoop, add batting to quilt in the hoop, or float an additional stabilizer beneath the hoop, the basting stitch will become your new embroidery best friend!