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2 essential tools for precise positioning of embroidery designs

by Elaine Theriault

It’s the end of the week already! I’m having so much fun and there’s so much more to share with you.

In yesterday’s post, I shared tips for successful quilting in the embroidery hoop. Today, I’m using the Design Positioning feature on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 with the mySewMonitor app to show how easy it is to get your embroidery (or quilting) design exactly where you want it to be.

Let’s get started.

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 with the embroidery unit attached

Dream Big

I’m quilting one of the Dream Big wall hangings in the embroidery hoop. The project consists of 52 embroidery designs that will require very precise design placement and properly hooped fabric.

I’ve never been the best at marking lines on my garments or projects to get the embroidery (or quilting) lines exactly matched up. Then there’s the hassle of carefully hooping the project. It’s not that I don’t know how it just takes more time than I want to spend.

When I found the mySewMonitor app and Design Positioning, I knew they’d been made for people like me.

In case, you’re not familiar with the Dream Big panel, here’s the one I’m working on. The center motif is already stitched out.

The Dream Big panel with the center design stitched out

Here’s a detail shot of the center design. Fabric is a very fluid material and some parts of the panel are not clearly defined, especially in the center. Then there’s the question of should the panel be washed or not? I washed based on recommendations from the embroidery designer. Those factors can play a part in how the embroidery design appears on the panel.

I used the Design Positioning and the mySewMonitor app to get that center design positioned exactly where it needed to be. The bottom three swirls were the focus of the placement.

A detailed look at the embroidered design in the center of the panel

I’m using a 40wt embroidery thread in the bobbin that more or less matches my backing fabric. The color of the fabric is very washed out in this photo and the stitching is quite dense so it shows up a bit more than I would have liked. But wait until you see more of the stitching!

Remember, I chatted about the hooping process yesterday when hooping a quilt project.

The back of the center motif

Loading the files

I downloaded all the files onto a USB. I could have downloaded them to the storage cloud in mySewnet, but chose to put them on the USB.

I can easily load embroidery designs from the mySewnet cloud, the built-in designs on the Designer EPIC 2 or from the USB.

The menu for loading an embroidery design into embroidery edit

It’s best with something this intricate that you have a plan for the order of stitching. I started with the center motif. I’m starting by stitching all the petals that touch the center motif. I’ll pick one petal and work around the center in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, but I’ll stitch them in a sequence. Then I’ll choose the next round and so on until I reach the edge of the panel.

This is the next design and here’s the problem. Is the design in the correct position? How do I know where to move the design so it matches the petal on the wall hanging? Does it need to be rotated? Will it snug up against the design in the center?

This can be very intimidating. But wait – there’s an easy and fast solution to this dilemma.

The next design is loaded into embroidery edit

mySewMonitor app

I’m starting the process by hooping the petal for the design I brought into embroidery edit.

I find it easier to use a larger than necessary hoop, although I do try to go as small as I possibly can. The larger hoop provides more flexibility in getting the design positioned correctly.

Notice there are no reference lines marked on my panel. I wasn’t super careful that the petal was exactly straight in the hoop. I just made sure there was equal room on all sides for the embroidery design to fit.

The next petal is hooped

As I mentioned yesterday, I did not baste the panel. However, just like with regular not-in-the-hoop quilting, I would check and double-check the backing doesn’t have tucks or wrinkles. Everything looks good on the back of the hoop – so I’m good to go.

It’s OK to press the top and back if you feel there might be some fullness or to remove the lines created by hooping. Make sure you press away from the center so any fullness goes to the outside. I’m already using a very thin batting so a little bit of pressing won’t flatten it that much.

The back of the hooped project with no wrinkles or tucks

This next part is like a magic trick. I used the mySewMonitor app on my smartphone and took a picture of the hooped fabric.

I sent the picture to the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 which is connected to the WiFi. It’s super easy to make that happen. All I had to do was to allow the Designer EPIC 2 to receive messages from my smartphone.

The Designer EPIC 2 asking permission to receive a file from my smartphone

Guess what? Yes – an image of exactly what’s in my embroidery hoop now appears on the interactive touch screen. The lines of the embroidery design are almost the same color as the blue in the panel so it’s a bit hard to see, but in real life, it’s easy enough to see.

This will make it much easier to position the design. But wait! – it gets even easier.

The background of embroidery edit is a picture of my hooped fabric

Design Positioning

At the bottom of the screen is the Design Positioning icon. It’s second from the left  – the flower with what looks like a small compass in the center.

The Design Positioning icon second from the left

Design Positioning allows you to create one or two locking points on your embroidery design and then to move those locking points to the desired placement on the screen. While you could do this without the picture of the hooped fabric in the background, having the picture makes this process so much faster.

Step 1 is to create the first locking point. A crosshair will appear on the screen and you move the crosshair to a point on the embroidery design you’ll use as the locking point.

Tools like Zoom to Cursor make quick work of getting the crosshair in the exact position that you need it to be.

The crosshair denotes the first locking point

Once the locking point is selected, Step 2 involves moving the locking point to the appropriate spot on the design. This is super easy because I can see on the screen, where the design needs to be positioned.

Step 2 of the Design Positioning Wizard

You can see I’ve moved the first locking point to the position on the screen where I want that part of the design to be placed. This is not the final position, but rather the starting point of the design positioning process.

Although the one locking point may be positioned more or less where I want it to be, the design itself is not in the correct orientation. You can see the design is outside of the hoop.

The first locking point is placed, but the design is actually out of the embroidery hoop

It’s easy (and recommended) to double-check the positioning of the first locking point by lowering the needle onto the hooped fabric. If I’m not happy with the placement, I can use the design positioning tools (Step 2 of the Design Position Wizard) to get the locking point exactly where I want it to be.

Using the needle to double-check the position of the first locking point

Step 3 of the Design Positioning Wizard allows me to choose a second locking point. Another crosshair appears on the screen which I’ll move to my second reference point on the embroidery design.

The green crosshair allows for the second locking point to be determined

Step 4, allows me to pivot the embroidery design (using the locking position from Step 2) to assist in getting the design positioned exactly where I want it to be.

Step 4 of the Design Positioning Wizard

The first locking point (in red) has been positioned and I’m playing with the placement of the second locking point.

It’s easy to Zoom in or out so I can see either the detail or the full hoop.

The first locking point (in red) has been positioned and second locking point is being placed

Once again, it’s critical to check the placement using the needle to make sure the design is placed where you want it to be.

I’ve found that some of the embroidery designs on this panel don’t fit exactly on the petals. Sometimes, they’re too big, or just slightly too small or the lines are a bit off. As I mentioned, the fabric is very fluid and this panel has been washed which means it may no longer be the same size and shape it was when it was right off the bolt. You just have to let that go.

Once the entire panel is quilted, I doubt anyone is going to see any of those overlapped spots.

The Design Positioning tools have helped enormously to make the hooping process so fast despite the inconsistency between the panel and the embroidery design.

Using the needle to check the placement of the embroidery design

I find that I move between Step 2 and Step 4 to get the design positioned exactly where I want it to be. This is super easy and allows for very precise design positioning.

Don’t forget that in addition to lining the embroidery design upon the petal, I also want it to fit with the center motif.

Using Step 4 of the Design Position Wizard to rotate the embroidery design into the correct position

While you would think that the Design Positioning Wizard would be in embroidery edit, it’s in fact in the embroidery stitch-out menu.

Once you’re happy with the placement, you can touch the checkmark at the bottom of the screen and you’re ready to hit START.

The embroidery design is positioned and ready to stitch out

Each of the embroidery designs has two colors per design. The first one is a placement line. It’ll stitch the outermost line of the design in a large stitch (in the event you want or need to rip it out) and the second one will stitch out the details for each petal.

I’ve had so much success with the mySewMonitor app and Design Positioning that I haven’t had to do any ripping. It’s a good reality check in the event you didn’t quite get the embroidery design positioned where you’d like it.

The placement line has been stitched out

I’m happy with the placement, so I can hit START again and let the Designer EPIC 2 stitch out the design. I can check the status of the embroidery on the mySewMonitor app so I don’t have to stay close to the embroidery machine.

I love this feature as it means I can continue to do other sewing or tidying without having to babysit the embroidery.

The embroidery design is being stitched out

The back looks pretty amazing. I used a fairly good color match for the back. You’ll never get all the stitches to completely disappear as there are a lot of stitches. This is a wall hanging so if the threads show on the back – I’m OK with that.

I chatted about the deLuxe Stitch System yesterday and if you make any necessary adjustments, the stitching on the back is as soft as the stitching on the front. Yes – even using 40wt embroidery thread in the bobbin and all the dense stitching.

The bobbin threads blend into the backing of the wall hanging

I’m not finished all the embroidery/quilting, but I’ve made pretty good progress and I’m thrilled with how it looks so far. I’ll have to add some waste cloth to the edges of the backing so I have enough fabric to hoop the outermost parts.

With the 52 embroidery designs that all need to be positioned in a very precise placement, it was super fast and easy to place the designs using the Design Positioning Wizard and the mySewMonitor app.

Let’s just say that by the end of a project like this – you’ll be an expert on using the two tools.

So if I can get this precise of placement using the Design Positioning Wizard and the mySewMonitor app, imagine if I wanted to position my embroidery design on a ready-to-wear garment? Or in a quilt block?

I can get the design exactly where I want it to be. That feature alone would make me want a Designer EPIC 2.

The embroidery/quilting for the Dream Big panel is complete!

Thanks for following along this week. I hope you enjoyed the posts for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 and how you can use this amazing sewing and embroidery machine to quilt your quilts.

I’m off to finish up my zippered pouches and my quilt projects.

Have a great day!


This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: 7 tips for successful quilting in the embroidery hoop



Wanda Sotkowy May 22, 2020 - 10:21 am

Such amazing and detailed information! Thank you

Rose Anne Burdeny March 27, 2020 - 12:29 pm

WOW Elaine you are a terrific demonstrator/teacher on this technique! Even though I’ve no embroidery machine I still was hooked to read to the end and see how it turned out up close! BEAUTIFUL!!! I can’t wait to see the red panel stitched!

Elaine Theriault March 28, 2020 - 9:51 am

Rose Anne — thanks so much! It was loads of fun. I need to buy thread for the red one so it’ll have to wait for a bit!!! Elaine


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