I’ve written and taught several times about continuous embroideries in the past. The latest collection “Floral Fantasy” has a free sample which lends towards the concept. I received several emails requesting for a step-by-step (with pictures) guide, so here it is. But, before I start to explain the concept, let’s understand what constitutes continuous embroideries. It is any embroidery design which can be placed over and over to create a continuity. The designs in Floral Fantasy were specially created to give an illusion of fantasy flowers, with additional care taken to blend them into a continuous mode. Each design comes with a basting box, which is the guide towards not just placement of the design on fabric, but also a guide towards continuous embroidery. This requires absolutely no measuring, printing of templates or any other specialty hoops or tools.
To begin with, the basting box is stitched out directly on the stabilizer, before the fabric is even attached. Folks who know me, know that I do not ever hoop my fabrics! The fabrics are either pinned to the stabilizer or water soluble glue stick is used to adhere fabric to stabilizer. The basting box has an extremely important function. Before I go any further, let’s look at the design itself. The design has a curvy type vine. The vine becomes the perfect element for continuous embroidery.
To show what I mean, the software image on the right shows how the design blends towards a continuous embroidery. See how the basting boxes match up, even though the embroidery is mirror imaged. That requires a bit of finagling on the part of the digitizer to ensure that when the design is mirror imaged, it will be hit the previously stitched out portion of the design precisely to make it into a continous embroidery.
I’m sure many of you are having that “aha” moment right now. So, to continue…now that you have stitched out your basting box on the stabilizer, you are going to place the fabric on top of the stitched out area and either pin the fabric or use water soluble glue stick
to attach the fabric to the stabilizer. A word about the type of stabilizer. The designs in Floral Fantasy are very light weight in density, therefore they are great to stitch out on light weight fabrics, including home linens. I am a great fan of linens and my favorite place on the net is All about Blanks. The color band tea towels are among some of my favorite items…who am I kidding! They are all my favorite items!
Placing the tea towel on the stitched out basting box, you can see where the design will embroider. This is your guide #1-placement. I pinned the tea towel to the stabilizer. Oh, and because this is a tea towel, I don’t like the stabilizer to show on the backside, so I used water soluble Vilene. Once the embroidery is complete, I can wash the tea towel and both sides will look great! So, I pinned my tea towel. Btw, I used a darker color thread deliberately to stitch out the basting box, so it would show up for the pictures. You probably would want to use a color thread which matches with your fabric color. After all the embroidery is done, there may be tiny portions of the basting box which may be covered by the embroidery, that would need to be trimmed. Stitch out your design. As my tea towel has a yellow band, I opted for yellow flower buds!
Once the embroidery is completed, trim the stabilizer an inch away from the basting box. Hoop another piece of stabilizer and stitch out the basting box again. Be sure though…mirror image that design! See how the basting boxes match in the picture on the right! Ta da! Pin your fabric again and finish stitching out the design. Continue the process until your border is completed!
Now…somethings you must pay attention to before starting the embroidery. Do measure the fabric that you will be embroidering. This will let you determine the number of times that you will need to stitch out the design (as a border).
The designs in the collection only have the basting box around them for placement purposes, they are not there for continuous embroidery. Hope this technique will allow you to create beautiful borders using the flower bud! Happy embroidering.