Embroidery on Golf Polos

I’m sewing a small logo on lightweight 100% polyester 4.1 oz golf polos.  Would a 70/10 BP be ok?  Also, what type of backing do you suggest?

You are correct in thinking that a small ball point needle should work best. However, as you will be sewing through stabilizer as well, you may actually need to use a sharp. If the machine starts skipping stitches or leaving loops of thread on the top of the design then you will need to change to a sharp.

There are many options for stabilizing knits, but one good rule of thumb — at least one of the layers needs to be a permanent cut-away stabilizer. As you are embroidering a lightweight knit you will want to keep your stabilizer lightweight as well. It is always best to adhere the stabilizer to the fabric and allow the entire stabilized area to be enclosed in the hoop.

However, if your logo is very small, you may wish to hoop the stabilizer and use a basting tool to baste a “frame” around the area the logo will stitch — this will prevent you from having to hoop the shirt. The basted frame will be removed when the design is finished and the stabilizer can be trimmed close to the design on the wrong side.
Just FYI for very professional looking results, you may wish to try a tricot knit stabilizer as your permanent layer. As that type of stabilizer is stretchy and very thin it tends to disappear when the design is finished and usually does not show through to the front on white or light colored knits. When I use this product with knits I like to iron on a piece that is just big enough to accommodate the design. I press it on lightly and then apply a layer of Sulky’s Totally Stable iron-on tear-away stabilizer on top of that. I make sure the Totally Stable stabilized area is slightly larger than the hoop. I hoop the article taking care to prevent hoop burn on delicate fabrics by loosening the hoop screw generously before pushing the inner hoop into position within the outside hoop.

After embroidering I remove all of the excess tear-away, warm up the tricot stabilizer with the iron slightly, peel away any excess and trim it as close as I can to the design. Sulky makes a great tricot knit stabilizer: Sulky Soft & Sheer Extra  and I also like Cover-A-Stitch by AllStitch.

I hope this helps you! Good luck!
Evy Hawkins
A Bit of Stitch

When Can I Resize a Design?

Dear Lodia and others

I am contacting you from South Africa.  I have a Bernina Deco 340 and have recently upgraded my software to V6 Editor.

I am wanting to know please WHEN and WHEN NOT can a design be ‘resized’.  Given that this facility is part and parcel of the embroidery software and built into the machine, I would have thought that it is there to be used within reason of course.

I know that one would not resize FSLace or photostitch designs.  I recently resized by 5% a purchased design from a reputable supplier.  Shortly before the design was fully completed, the machine stopped, showed the ‘end of design, raise pressure foot’ command.  But the design had in fact not been completed in the embroidery mode.

I contacted the supplier and they are of the opinion that it is because I ‘modified the design by resizing it and that it has become corrupt’.  They say ‘resizing’ is ‘modifying’.  My interpretation of modifying was to make other changes other than resizing but by effecting changes as are available in ‘object properties’ etc.

If it is indeed a case of corruption having occurred, why did this not manifest itself earlier in the design?  That stitched out well and it was a design that took around an hour to embroider.  If I correctly recall it was a Grade D design.

I would sincerely like to know from you, the experts, what the position with resizing is.

Yours sincerely

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for your enquiry about resizing a design. The resizing is also classified under modifying, editing or customizing. There are several reasons why a design my not resize correctly and can indeed become corrupted. I usually specify in my copyright and info letter that accompanies my sets that I cannot take responsibility for the quality if any of my designs are resized, mirrored or changed in any way with any software.
Digitisers use different techniques to digitise a design. Sometimes it is a standard technique that we all use, but most of the time it will be a technique that is specific to that digitiser. A good example of a specific technique is the free standing lace that you mention. The moment a design that was digitised with a specific technique is changed in any way the software ‘re-digitises’ it, so to speak.
Using the Bernina software you will be able to modify a design reasonably successfully if the design is a true ART design, that is a grade A. You will see a little red heart as well. But even with the grade A designs, you will have problems modifying a design if it was digitised with special techniques. The design will then also stitch out with jumps that should not be there and so forth.

When I do my digitising sessions at dealers, it is one of the first things I tell my students, do not change a design in any way unless you know it was not digitised with special techniques. Any other grade design, such as grade D, WILL NOT modify successfully at all. It may not manifest itself earlier in the design when stitching the design. It depends on where the corruption has taken place in the actual design.
If you want to change a design, my suggestion would be to contact the digitiser first, ask her if it would be possible to resize a design yourself or if she could do it for you. I am sure that most digitisers will do this for you. I certainly would do it for my customers rather than them being dissatisfied with my designs.
I hope this answered you query.
Just as a matter of interest, I do have a series of tutorials on the Secrets of Embroidery website that deals with all aspects of customizing (or modifying as you mentioned). They are called Start at Basics

Kind regards
Lodia Da Silva
Digitizer & Author of Bernina Artista Tutorials

Quilt in the Hoop Tutorial

Versatile crazy patch blocks are extremely popular as they can be made into fabulous quilts, wall hangings, bags etc. It’s easy to learn how to make your own using Carolyn Duncan’s new Quilting in the Hoop 2 tutorial with simple step-by-step instructions and clear images. Once you have created your own block design you can alter the size to fit any hoop you want! Your download file will include the 32 page tutorial plus all designs required to complete the lessons.

Thread Breaking while embroidering on Diamond

I have a new Viking Diamond, less than a month, and I am having quite a bit of problems with the thread breaking.  When I am embroidering, the thread will start to ‘catapiller’ and then break.  I sometimes cannot get through a pattern without this happening numerous times:  I have tried different top threads (40 wt) and bobbin threads (60wt) and needles (Inspira), but nothing is helping.  I was wondering is this a common problem with the Diamond?  If so, how was it resolved?

There has been a lot of talk on the net about thread breaking but I have had very little trouble myself. I will see if I can post a picture of the very odd way I thread my machine. (image to come) Here are some suggestions in the meantime:

1. Fresh needle,
2. Use a Thread stand
3. Cleaning out bobbin area
4. Topstitch or titanium needle

I ALWAYS thread off a thread stand unless I am using Mettler thread on a spool.( I usually use the ultra cheap QA embroidery threads). If I get shredding I always try changing to a fresh needle – 90% of the time it fixes the problem. I only ever use topstitch or titanium needles for embroidery. I try to completely pull the bobbin area apart and clean it out before each large embroidery.

I hope this information helps.

Carolyn Duncan

I have found that this thread path gives me great bobbin winding. From a cone on a thread stand across to a clip in the lid (part of the HV multi-thread stand setup) then down and around the spool cap standing on the main spool pin in an upright position. Then across to the thread tension disk for bobbin winding making sure that the thread lays in the small metal bobbin winding thread guide.

I use large cones of “Rasant” thread for most of my general sewing and quilting and the embroidery threads that I use are a collection of the cheapest I can get. Usually boxes of QA embroidery thread. 

When threading for embroidery or general sewing I run the thread as explained above but once around the upright spool pin then just through the standard threading path exactly as in the manual.

I have very little problem with thread breaking.  I make embroidered shopping bags to sell at local markets using very large designs. I have altered my foot position on my Diamond to -1 for embroidery (Page 3.8 in manual)

Carolyn Duncan

Secrets Neighbors, In The Hoop

 I have “In The Hoop” for about 2 years and cannot embroider without it. 

I use the ‘angle finder’ all the time and it is my best kept secret for perfect projects. 

Check it out  here because the savings, 3 free projects and free shipping are an excellent investment in your future projects.

Pat, The Computerist

The Technique to Obtain the Velvet Effect

All the work has been done for you.

1.      Embroider the pattern of your choice following the provided colour sequence.  Use the suggested colours or an alternative selection.

2.      Start with the light embroidery colour.

3.      Change to the dark colour and continue with the embroidery.  Finish off the rest of the design.

4.      After all the embroidery is completed, carefully take a cutting blade and slash the inside of the petals.  Do not exert too much pressure while you are cutting.  It is better to cut one layer at a time.  There are three layers of satin stitches. Stop cutting when the light colour shows.

5.      The cut threads will open allowing the light colour to show creating the ‘Velvet effect’.

The designs on the Velvet Collection will stand light laundering.  Plan carefully where you want to use these patterns.  You will notice that I suggest using first the light embroidery colour.  This is my personal choice.  You might like the effect of the dark colour showing through the middle of the petal.  Try both options and decide which one you prefer.
Patricia Timmins
Embroidery Connection

Tassels, Fringing, Tufts and Layers

How to stitch and cut tassels, fringing or tufts successfully as a second layer of the embroidery:

Butterfly design from ‘Something Pretty” embellished with tufts.

Embroidered tufts are just a smaller and shorter version of long satin fringed tassels. These short, fluffy, decorative tufts are stitched on top of the embroidered wings and might be tricky to stitch and to cut if it is not prepared as described below.

Adding extra stabilizer.

To start, hoop the project with the stabilizer and embroider. Stitch a sample first as this helps planning ahead, especially using a new technique for the first time such as tassels and tufts and to see when to add extra stabilizer for easier cutting of the fringe once embroidered. Whenever you have a second layer of embroidery as in this case the tufts which needs to be cut always float another piece of stitch and tear underneath the hoop. Stop the machine just before stitching this stage, slide another piece of stitch and tear underneath the hoop. This piece should be large enough to cover the entire area which will be stitched with the tufts.

Additional: place one thin layer of clear water soluble stabilizer on top of the embroidery as well.  This layer protects the embroidery on top when lifting the fringes on top as well.

Take in consideration when stitching layer upon layer and adding more stabilizer that the embroidery will be much thicker. Prevent needle and thread breakages by:

  • lowering the machine speed slightly,
  • loosen tension slightly,
  • do not stitch this step with metallic embroidery threads,
  • embroider with a thicker needle. 

Continue and complete the embroidery.

Cutting the tufts.

On the wrong side:  Do not remove the stabilizer until the all the fringes have been cut. It is now much easier to cut only the short satin fringe as this was stitched on the second layer stabilizer. Without this extra layer cutting the tufts may damage the embroidery stitches underneath. With small sharp scissors cut the embroidery thread of the fringe or the bobbin threads, depending on the look you want.  Neatly trim the bobbin threads if these were cut. Lift the satin stitches on the front, taking care not to damage any of the threads.  Trim evenly if necessary.

Carefully remove all the stabilizer now, layer by layer and trim all threads.
Have fun!
Kind regards
Louisa Meyer
Louisa Meyer Originals