Outline Alignment Stitches (OAS) Part 1

Ever wondered why Graceful Embroidery designs come in two versions? Hazel Tunbridge shows you the magic of OAS!

Most Graceful Embroidery designs released since 2011 come with and without Outline alignment stitches (OAS), a feature unique to my designs. OAS files are identified by -S at the end and are included in a separate folder.

I wanted to create a simple way to place designs accurately by using the shape they create. OAS files have two sets of Outline alignment stitches, which are the first two colourways.

The first set always shows red on the machine or in your software and stitches on hooped stabilizer, usually about 1.75mm outside of the design area. The beauty of these stitches is that they enable you to pull away stitch-and-tear stabilizer much easier.

When the outline stitches on your stabilizer, you can see the shape of the design, which helps with placement of the fabric. I prefer to attach my fabric with temporary adhesive spray. Make sure your room is well ventilated and do not use it near machines or computers. You can also use pins, adhesive tape, or large hand stitches.

The second set of Outline alignment stitches are blue. This box of basting stitches surrounds the design, holding fabric in place before the main embroidery begins. Some machines have this facility, but I include them for those that do not.

This method is helpful for positioning small designs more accurately on pockets, cuffs, and collars. OAS really come into their own when your embroidery project requires that you place several designs accurately alongside each other.

Here is our design stitched out in different colours. Notice how well the colours blend together. This design sits nicely alongside itself so we shall stitch a row of them perfectly.

When done, remove the design from the hoop and trim the excess stabilizer away but leave the Outline alignment stitches in place for now.

Hoop a new piece of stabilizer and stitch the Outline alignment stitches from the same design.

Use these to apply the fabric correctly for the next design. When you have double checked everything secure the fabric in place.

Apply the second set of outline alignment stitches. Notice that they sit perfectly alongside. If they do not remove and start again.

Once the second set of stitches has attached the fabric securely the second embroidery can be stitched out. It is important to double check everything even after the fabric has been attached.

Here is the finished embroidery. If another design needs to be placed to the right repeat the process.

Remove the blue outline alignment stitches. Then you can remove the stabilizer by pulling away the red outline alignment stitches.

Press on the back to finish the embroidery.

Now you see how useful they are I hope you will use them for future embroidery projects as your confidence grows.

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Happy embroidering from Hazel!