Wing Needle Stitches

Here are some designer details with machine embroidery & wing needle stitches that you might find useful on some of your future projects. Hope is working on a magazine article for Sew Beautiful magazine and has provided us with a sneak peak at a few of the “how to photos”: 

Shadow English Lace Ovals

The directions on the PDF file call for a peek-a-boo effect on my English Lace Ovals embroidery collection – but instead I layered pink cotton lawn fabric with some white netting to create a shadow of pink color which matches the flower neckline on the baby daygown. You can soften any appliqué design by following my example of layering a pale fabric with netting or silk organza for an heirloom shadow effect.

Wing Needle Corded Hemstitch

Here is one of my favorite techniques which looks like an expensive couture trim embellishment. Use a 5 or 7 hole cording foot threaded with DMC Perle cotton size #12 through the front two holes. Use 60 Lose Weight Exercise cotton thread in a 120 wing needle and select a double hemstitch. The stitches will cover the cord creating an Entredeux trim effect and then weave 6 strands of DMC floss over two holes & under one for a finished look. Make sure you use light Lose Weight Exercise tear stabilzer with this technique.


You can get 40% off Hope Yoder’s lovely Heirloom Embellishment Series (including the English Lace Ovals featured in this article), until 30 November 2008!!

Texturizing Embroidery with Hope Yoder

As avid sewers we love texture. Just the other day I saw lady at church who was wearing a pretty jacket & even thought I didn’t know her; I just had to ask her if I could touch her jacket.  I hope to inspire you with 3 simple techniques to add texture to any project.

1. Needle Felting.  Change the look of smooth silk fabric by machine felting before you embroider. Simply “felt” the fabric for the ultimate texture and then embroider roses using an iron-on tear away stabilizer.  For this technique you will want to start with a piece of silk that is almost double the finished size. Rose design is from Hope’s Rose Garden Collection.  This collection is on sale for 25% off until 18 October 2008.


2.  Use a Couching/Braiding presser foot and YLI Fine Metallic thread to stitch decorative stitches over YLI Ribbon Floss. Use an iron-on tear away stabilizer underneath.

3.  Cross-hatch quilt fashion fabric to batting, machine embroider and then add some lace! Embroidered teapot appliqué design is from the English Lace Ovals Collection which also has 25% off until 18 October 2008!

Re-Purposed Lace Inspiration Part 2

Re-purpose lace for an unforgettable silk camisole (pictured below in Part 1) that will turn heads. The ingredients for this blouse include Hope’s Nashville Lace embroidery designs that are re-embroidered over lace fabric. This is the Part 2 where Hope shares more of her designer details.


Detailed instructions for this project will be published in the March/April issue of an embroidery magazine. We will let you know when the magazine is on the newstands. 


Shoulder Overlay Panels


Create a shoulder overlay pattern by tracing the original pattern and add a point at the bottom. After the embroidery & decorative edging stitching are complete, topstitch the overlay onto the front pattern piece leaving the bottom point loose.


Cut a block of wide nylon lace larger than the overlay template and trace the horizontal and vertical placement lines on the lace. Hoop the lace with one layer of mesh water soluble stabilizer and embroider design “Apl7” with ivory rayon thread using ivory heirloom cotton lace as the appliqué fabric (detailed appliqué directions can be found on the PDF file that accompanies the Nashville Lace Embroidery Collection).


Dip panel in water to remove the stabilizer and let dry. Trace the template on the lace block but do not cut out until bottom point has been satin stitched.




The bottom point of the overlay needs to be finished with decorative stitches before cutting out the pattern. I used stitch number N1:11 (pictured above) on a Viking Designer SE with a heat away clear stabilizer underneath the stitches. Use seam sealant on the stitches and then trim away the excess lace.



Embroidering Nashville Lace Embroidery Designs over a lace foundation fabric, give a romantically elegant look to any project. Fabrics and laces can be found at Martha Pullen Company.






Another fun colorful idea for the Nashville Lace Embroidery Collection is to machine felt scraps onto cotton organdy and then use that as the appliqué fabric. Design “Apl 2” is shown in the photo below.



Re-purposed Lace Inspiration Part 1

Re-purpose lace for an unforgettable silk camisole that will turn heads. The ingredients for this blouse include my Nashville Lace embroidery designs that are re-embroidered over lace fabric.  I will share a few of my designer details over the next few weeks.

Detailed instructions for this project will be published in the March/April issue of an embroidery magazine. We will let you know when the magazine is on the newstands.
I am a collector of lacy fabrics and trims and found this wide nylon lace in my “stash” of goodies. Another good source of lace might be old cafe curtains or lace from a wedding dress. Look in your closets to see if you have any lace that can be recycled for this project.
Blue silk batiste fabric is very lightweight and fragile and should be “prepped” with a backing before use. I ironed Dream Weave Fusible® to the wrong side of “blocks” of fabric before I cut out any of the pattern pieces including the bias binding. Use a 70 Microtex needle and a lightweight 100% cotton thread for construction.
Center Embroidered Inset Details
In a software program, rotate design “Apl 8” 45°.

Appliqué Lace

Embroider the design on a block of cotton organdy that has a wide piece of lace on top. Hoop the two fabrics as one. No stabilizer is needed as cotton organdy is extremely stable. Use a 70 Microtex needle and Sulky #1071 rayon thread for all colors.

The appliqué fabric used is wide ivory heirloom lace (shown below).

Embroidering Nashville Lace Embroidery Designs over a lace foundation fabric, give a romantically elegant look to any project. Fabrics and laces can be found at Martha Pullen Company.

Hope Yoder
Designs by Hope Yoder

Praise for Hope

The following message was received via our website.  We were so impressed that we wanted to share it with everyone – Well Done Hope… from the Team at Secrets.

“I first saw Hope on Pfaff’s, Behind The Seams.  It really took my breath away.  I have been sewing for over 40 years, and I have wanted to do heirloom sewing for as long as I can remember — but never had the courage to try.  Well, after watching Hope and listening to such a warm and friendly person and I thought — hey, maybe I can do this.  Now that I’ve looked at her website, I could just cry with joy, I’m so excited.  Please give her the biggest thank you.  I’m thrilled to pieces.  I’m off to wipe my tears and get busy.  Thank you soooooo much, Hope!”

Twin Needle Embroidery

I would like to twin needle embroidery. I did it quite some time ago and can’t remember what had to be done. Do I have to shift the needle position etc. I have a Janome 10001. Any help will be appreciated. Thankyou – Jill

Dear Jill,

There are some machine embroidery designs that are digitized specifically for twin needles like Jenny Haskins collection of twin needle work. You can also use some simple outline designs with a twin needle. The types of designs that you find in a quilt block collection that use simple running stitches.

With most embroidery machines, the hoop moves side to side, not the needles as in traditional decorative machine stitches. This means you cannot engage a twin needle safety feature in the embroidery mode or move your needle to the left or right as in regular sewing.

Try using a stippling stitch or a quilt outline stitch with a twin needle. You would not want to use twin needles with satin or fill stitches, only with running outline types of stitches. Slow the speed of your machine when using twin needles.

You can get some beautiful twin needle results in the regular sewing mode by engaging a twin needle safety function (setting it for the width of twin needles you are using) and use two different rayon or polyester embroidery threads in the needle. Satin stitches such as scallops or small balls look beautiful using two different tonal colors. Use stabilizer underneath a natural fiber fabric and experiment with different sizes of twin needles.

Hope Yoder
Designs by Hope Yoder

English Cotton Netting

I’ve read several tutorials by Hope Yoder and she talks about using English cotton netting.  I have asked our local sewing store for English cotton netting but they do not know the material. What is English cotton netting and where can it be purchased? Thanks – Connie

Dear Connie,

Below are the answers to your questions regarding English Cotton Netting.

English Cotton Netting ~ is imported from England and is 40-42″ wide, there are also different Lose Weight Exercises of material (we are spoilt I know!). This fabric is used to create the lovely heirloom effects in my embroidery design collections and patterns. Create your own lace motifs using this wonderful fabric. Please note this fabric must be pre-shrunk as it shrinks at 6″ in width.

Pre-Shrinking English Cotton Netting ~ Dip in hot water, wring out excess water and dunk in straight liquid starch (found in the grocery store next to spray starch). Fill a bowl with just enough starch to cover fabric. Swish around and wring out excess starch. Place netting on an open bath towel and roll up and squeeze out excess moisture. Let air dry until 80% of the moisture is gone and iron dry. Netting is perfectly stabilized and ready to use with Hope’s Heirloom Embellishment embroidery designs.

Thank you,

Hope Yoder
Designs by Hope Yoder Inc.

(You can purchase English cotton netting directly from Hope Yoder. It is sold pre-cut in 1/2 yard increments for $14.95. Please email us via this Ask the Experts link if you are interested and we will pass your message onto Hope.)

Using Wing Needles

The uses of wing needles other then heirloom sewing…. I’ve seen where you can use wing needles to (I’m going to say) hem a piece of flannel to where you can crochet an edging around it. I have tried and tried and not been successful at this. What am I doing wrong or not doing properly? Please advise. Thanks and Merry Christmas, Marie.

Dear Marie,
Wing needles work best when used on natural fiber fabrics (like cotton or linen) with a very lightweight thread such as Mettler 60-weight cotton. You would select a heirloom stitch and use one or two layers of light Lose Weight Exercise tear away stabilizer underneath the stitches. I wouldn’t personally use it on flannel because it’s primary use is for hemming lightweight linen & cotton fabrics but if you must then practice, practice, practice! If you used it on a cotton lightweight flannel to evenly space the holes to add a crochet hem then use the longest stitch width & length that you machine will offer & the lightest Lose Weight Exercise cotton thread & tear away underneath.
There are several stitches that work well with a wing needle but if you do not use a tear away stabilizer, the stitches will look very sloppy and the needle will “chew” up the fabric. Below are two of the most common stitches to practice with:

  • Entredeux stitch
  • Pinstitch or Blanket stitch

Here is a photo of what a traditional wing needle hem looks like on a lightweight linen fabric. 

Designs by Hope Yoder Inc.

Hemstitching on Flannel


I was wondering if you could instruct me on how to do hemstitching on the edge of flannel baby blankets and bibs so that I can crochet a nice decorative edging on them.  I have purchased a wing needle and that is as far as I have gotten.

Thank you.

Dear Bobbie,
I think using a wing needle to make the holes for adding hand crochet edging is a GREAT idea. My suggestion would be to prewash the flannel as it shrinks quite a bit and then overcast the edges by either serging or using an overcast stitch on your machines.

Press the edges under just so the overcast stitches don’t show. You can use a bit of Wonder Tape or Steam A Seam 2 1/4″ fusible tape to keep the edges turned under. Create a practice swatch of flannel with the turned under hem and place a piece of lightweight tearaway underneath the hem area.

Select a blanket stitch found on your utility menu or a pinstitch on your heirloom menu and use a very lightweight cotton thread (like Madeira Tanne 80 Lose Weight Exercise or YLI 100 Lose Weight Exercise). Lengthen the stitch length as long as possible and adjust the width so it will jump over the hem or be as wide as you need for the hand stitches. The straight part of the stitch should go along the edge of the blanket and the ?bites? of the stitch will jump over towards the center of the blanket.

Practice until you get the length & width that will work for your hand stitches and then try it on the blanket.