3D Embroidery Brings Designs to Life!

Your embroidery will come alive when you stitch three-dimensional designs. Go full-throttle 3D with freestanding lace or applying freestanding applique techniques to organza. Both are surprisingly easy!

Your embroidery will come alive when you stitch three-dimensional designs. Go full-throttle 3D with freestanding lace or applying freestanding applique techniques to organza. Both are surprisingly easy!

Stitching 3D machine embroidery designs makes them jump off of the fabric. Usually, the dimensional part of the designs are stitched like a freestanding applique  on fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer, in a separate hooping before you start stitching the actual project.

Remember to use the same thread in the bobbin as that with which you are stitching the satin stitches. That way, the edges of your 3D embellishment are pretty.

After embroidery, the stabilizer is trimmed away and the remainder is removed with a wet cloth or stencil cutter.

When you get to a certain point in the project, you will be instructed where to place the pieces. Depending on the digitizer, dimensional embroidery may be attached to the project while in the hoop or may be added after the project is finished.


3D Butterfly Purse by Oma’s Place

An adorable little girl’s purse becomes so much more enchanting with a 3D butterfly on the front! Butterfly wings are created before the butterfly body stitches out. The body attaches wings to the bag before it gets turned right side out.


3D Easter Wreath and Basket by Ananda’s Divine Designs

How cute would this be hanging on your front door? There are dozens of options with this design since each piece is made in the hoop separately. Basket, bunny, eggs, chicks, and flowers are all  freestanding appliques.


3D Flowers Delight by Mar Lena Embroidery

Stitched similarly to the Poinsettia Tea Lights project, organza flowers add depth to the rippled embroidery underneath. Together, they make a stunning statement.


3D Iron On Flower 2 Neckline by Embroider Shoppe

Organza flowers make a gorgeous presentation here as well. These flowers were stitched, assembled, and embellished with beads before being fused to the garment using fusible web.


3D Pearly Daisy by Embroidered Necessity

Dimension can also be accomplished using layers of freestanding lace. The two flower layers are stitched separately, then layered and accented with the center embroidery which holds everything in place.


Stumpwork Mylar Fairies by Embroidery Weekly

This is perhaps my favorite of all of these samples. Not only are the skirt and wings added over the rest of the embroidery, the entire design sits on a scenic fabric panel, which adds even more depth to the project.

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Top-10 Machine Embroidery Designs of 2018

It is always interesting to see what everybody else is stitching. Here are Secrets of Embroidery’s  top-10 machine embroidery designs of 2018.

#10 Christmas Towel Toppers by Embroider Weekly

Super easy to make in just two hoopings. There is a little bit of hand stitching to close the opening and attach the hanging ring.


#9 Ornament Runner by Kreations by Kara

This design is perfect on a table runner or for making placemats, a wallhanging, or a deorative flag.


#8 3D Christmas Angel by Graceful Embroidery

Mix and match components of this gorgeous design, then accent with metallic thread, beads, crystals and lace.


#7 Flower Bear by Louisa Meyer Originals

Stitch this adorable bear for girls or leave off the flowers for boys. Personalize with a name on the front. Bonus heart balloon is also included!


#6 Folding Tote Bags by Stitch Soup

This handy tote folds up into a snapped pouch for easy storage. Made in the hoop, it sewn together with French seams for no raw edges!


#5 Crafty Divas Set by Threads of Embroidery

It is easy to see yourself or your friends in this eclectic set of creative divas. They can sew, quilt, and embroider.


#4 FSL Realistic Butterfly by Ace Points Embroidery

Everyone will do a double-take with these freestanding lace butterflies. Stitched on water-soluble stabilizer, they look like the real thing.


#3 3D Animal Towels by Ronels Creations

Kids will love bath time when they have their very own 3D towel. Removable wash cloths form the feet and fins.


#2 Pixies and Fairies by Artistic Designs

Eight adorable garden fairies in two hoop sizes provide many options for fun embroidery that speaks to the little girl in all of us.

 And the most popular design of 2018 is

#1 Snowman Christmas Tree Skirt by Ananda’s Divine Designs

This 32” diameter tree skirt is made up of 12 panels. Each has three individual designs made in the 6×8 hoop. Pieces are finished off with a satin stitch outline for easy joining.

It’s not too early to start projects for next Christmas!

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8 Great Design Sets for Fabulous Fall Projects

Looking for a fun fall project? Take a look at these gorgeous machine embroidery designs!

Dress up your table with the Colors of Fall Runner by Kreations by Kara. Created in the hoop, these designs also include the quilting. Make a table runner, placemats, or both.

What little girl wouldn’t love to have her own Maple Fairy? Embroider Shoppe made her three-dimensional with an organza leaf skirt and fairy wings.

The Falling Leaves Quilt by Birdhouse Cottage Crafts is very versatile. Appliqued blocks can be made into a throw, table runner, pillow or wall hanging. See how easy it is to stitch applique here.

The Autumn Banner by Oma’s Place looks beautiful hanging on a wall or on the front door. It would also make a beautiful garden flag. The piece is embroidered, quilted, and assembled completely in the hoop.

Borders look great on towels, t-shirts, jackets, and sweatshirts. The sunflower fill stitch, sunflower redwork, acorns and oak leaves, pumpkin fill stitch, and pumpkin redwork are all available from One by One Embroidery.

Grab your scraps and stitch up this adorable Pumpkin Pillow by Oma’s Place. The applique pumpkin block in the center is quilted and side borders are pieced in the  hoop before final assembly by sewing machine.

Simple Fall Leaves  by Ace Points turn ordinary shirts and totes into seasonal favorites. Eliminate the background swirls and these leaves would look great on battery-operated candles. Get the project idea here.

Help the little ones count down the days to Halloween with this adorable project. Creepy Countdown by My Fair Lady contains an embroidered, numbered mat that corresponds with embroidered designs from a Halloween scene. Tabs allow numbered freestanding applique pieces to be inserted into their corresponding number on the mat.

Grab these autumn designs (many are on sale) and create something pretty!


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Re-sizing Designs

Don’t we have a wonderful choice of designs available to us these days, either over the Internet or on embroidery design cards? But how many times have you found the perfect design to realize that it’s not in the size that you want to embroider it? Do you sigh in frustration and look for another design in the size you want or do you have a go at re-sizing the design? Have you tried re-sizing the design and found when you embroidered it out that it was either too dense or had gaps in the design?

The “powers that be” state that when re-sizing designs that the maximum that you should re-size up or down in size is 20%. Beyond that amount the quality of the design isn’t guaranteed. However I have taken designs such as Amazing designs and re-sized them by 100% successfully. It depends entirely on the design itself whether it can be re-sized by a large amount and also a little bit of “insider knowledge” and a correct program for re-sizing.

If you do not own a software program specifically for re-sizing then you are really stuck with either re-sizing on your machine – if your machine has this function – or resizing in your machine’s embroidery software if you own it. Then you really are limited to the 20% increase or decrease in size. Any size beyond that is taking a bit of a risk on the finished result unless you test the design first at your new size.

If you resize upwards you risk gaps because as you enlarge the design you are also lengthening the stitches including any satin stitches. As satin stitches are generally already longer stitches, by increasing the size of the design you are also increasing the length of the satin stitches to such a degree that your embroidery software “thinks” that these stitches are actually jump stitches. Then when you view your design in a realistic or 3D view you will see the gaps in the design.

The reverse will happen when you decrease the size of a design without re-sizing software. Your stitches will bunch up as you are squashing them into a smaller area. You will now be in the danger of breaking needles when you embroider and we all know what ”fun” that is.

The best way to re-size designs – if your embroidery software doesn’t have this function – is to purchase a program that is designed for re-sizing. My favorite (of course) is Embird.

In Embird Editor you can take a design and increase or decrease the size of it and also increase or decrease the density if you wish. This means that the stitches will re-calculate if you choose certain settings. There is also the ability to change satin stitches to fill stitches if the length of the satin stitch goes higher than a set size. This means “no more gaps”. Embird also allows you to change the density of just certain parts of your design as well. If you find a design is too dense in one area only then you can separate this part of the design and change the density of just that part.

Just a word of warning though – if you currently own Embird and have a design open in Editor and then decide to go into the Density screen for a little “look” just to check it out, make sure when you exit this Density screen that you click on Cancel if you do not want the density in your current design changed. If you are “just looking” in this Density screen with no intention of altering your density in your design on the design page then by clicking OK to exit you are telling Embird that you want your current design to be the same density as their default setting – which is not necessarily the same density as your design. A few people have been fooled by this in the past – VBG

I am sure that if you own Embird that you have already discovered that it is an excellent all round editing program as well as being great for re-sizing. For those of you that don’t own Embird then you don’t know what you are missing!!

– thanks to Carolyn Keber, author of Embird and PE Design tutorials

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This tip is for those of us who sometimes have problems with the outline being off or a part of the design stitching on top of another part. Outlines being off registration are almost always caused by one of two things. Either the hoop got bumped or the design was not properly stabilized. Sometimes it will be due to a poorly digitized design, but more often it will be caused by one of those two things. By poorly digitized I mean that the design has all the fills running in the same direction and no underlay.

Many times all the fills will run at the default angle of 45%. This is on the bias of the material and will cause a pull in that direction. Many times an outline will be off because of a thread nest that has occurred. Sometimes it is caused by a broken needle. When you clear away the thread nest and start stitching again, many times the design will have moved a bit due to the pull. It does not take much for the machine to be pulled off track a little bit. Just a tiny bump to the hoop can do this. Then when you start stitching again and realize that the design is stitching over on top of itself and have to stop and pick out stitches, it is very frustrating.

I have found that most of the embroidery machines have a forward search feature. All of mine do. The way to cure the above problem is to always stop the machine, turn off the machine and then restart it, forward search to the right place and then start sewing again. This will reset the machine and the design will be back in the proper place.

Also if you have one of the machines that has a feature that allows you to combine designs at the machine, you should always use that. Mine has an embroidery edit feature. You can use this to bring the design up in the machine, save it to memory and then if your thread nest or broken needle or any of the other things that can happen do. You can then turn off the machine and let it reset itself, turn the machine back on and bring the design back in from memory. Then it will be at exactly the correct placement and you can forward to the correct spot to start stitching again.

This way, you will return to the correct placement even if you have positioned the design differently than it comes up from the card.
Other times ,the design will be off due to the hoop getting a little bump during the embroidery process.  The same cure works for that too.  Reset the machine.  Sometimes you will be doing a design on fabric or something large and heavy.  This can create a drag that will pull the design off the track too.  Find a way to rest the fabric on the table so that is not dragging against the hoop.

– thanks to Nita O’Keefe of Fancy That Designs

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