I’ve had my embroidery machine for a little while now and I believe I have a good hold of it. Applique sewing using my sewing machine was the way I always did applique work until I got this embroidery machine. I love it for the beautiful embroidery, but I also love it for the appliques it can do.
Don’t be like I was when I thought it would just zip, zip, zip and my design would be done! Forgive me for saying this, but I almost think it is quicker doing applique ‘the old fashioned way.’ No not by hand, but by sewing machine. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
First of all, consider getting used to the embroidery machine, software for merging and making adjustments, not to mention downloading your designs to a card or the machine. Then there is preparing the shirt or whatever you will use. Once it is in the hoop and ready to go onto the machine….you have to make sure it is exactly where you want it otherwise there are adjustments to do there too.
Now you are ready to begin. Your software will encourage your needle to go around and outline your first piece to be appliqued. This is so you know where to lay down your piece onto the shirt. Next your machine will go around your piece of fabric with the same stitch. Are you ready for some REAL fun? It’s time to take the hoop off the machine (not your fabric out of the hoop), grab your sharp little scissors and trim what you have just sewn and then place the hoop back onto the machine; now you are ready to applique with your decorative stitch. You will be onto placing the next piece of fabric down.
The plus side of this is that the stitches are beautiful. When I appliqued with the sewing machine, it looked good but there are slight bits of error once in a while. You know how it goes, the error comes when your boys just came running into the sewing room, wrestling through the door and you begin paying attention to them (as you should). Your eyes gaze back at your sewing and you discover a kink or a zig-zag in your stitching line. Oh well, ‘it just looks like it is made with love,’ you tell yourself. With the embroidery machine, once it is running piece by piece, you can glance away for a period of time and the stitching looks smooth and straight.
All in all, I have to admit that since I’ve had the embroidery machine, I have not gone back to the ‘old fashioned way’ of appliqueing. I admit too that I think about it once in a while and then I push through using the embroidery machine. I think it allows me to make designs I never would have considered before; ones that are more detailed (which are not pictured here). You can still be creative with it by combining designs and merging them together, choosing your own colors, or putting sayings with your designs.
Think a little out of the box! When looking for designs, think about different ways you might be able to use the same design several different ways. But if you are anything like me, I hit the sales and purchase a small sum of them at a time (to be used later). There are plenty of designers out there; I have my favorites and you will too!
I encourage you to GO FOR IT! It is fun and it lifts your spirits when you see the end result. Soon you will be appliqueing for EVERYONE!