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4 tips for trimming and thread organization for Machine Embroidery Applique

 

Welcome back as we spend another day exploring machine embroidery with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50.

The Designer Topaz 50 is a great sewing/embroidery machine. Looking at the comparison chart of the sewing/embroidery machines offered by Husqvarna Viking, the Designer Topaz 50 is right in the middle. There are so many features for an embroidery machine and the sewing machine abilities are awesome as well.

Today, I’m going to talk about the results of my machine applique embroidery from yesterday and provide you with a couple more tips.

Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50
Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50

 

Trimming machine applique embroidery

Here’s the stitch out of my snowman from yesterday. I’ll admit that I wasn’t completely happy with the stitch out. The embroidery stitches are just fine. But there are threads hanging off the snowman which aren’t appealing. There are a couple of reasons for this and that’s why I didn’t show you the finished project yesterday as I’m going to show you how to fix this today.

This fuzziness can happen for two reasons. I didn’t trim the fabric away close enough to the outline stitching or the width of the satin stitch isn’t quite as wide as it can be to hide that raw edge.

Completed stitch out with a few fuzzies around the machine embroidery applique
Completed stitch out with a few fuzzies around the machine embroidery applique

 

As I mentioned yesterday, you want to make sure that you have excess fabric to hold onto as you’re trimming the fabrics away from the outline stitching. I also take the hoop off the embroidery arm so it’s possible to twist and turn the hoop, making it easier to get into all the little corners. DO NOT unhoop the fabric. You’ll never get it back in the exact same spot in the hoop.

There are several different kinds of scissors that you can use for this trimming. I do find that these bent handled scissors are the best to allow you to get close, but sometimes I don’t find them quite sharp enough or the scissor blades are a tad too thick to get in as close as I would like. However, they do a great job and I would be lost without them.

Using bent handled scissors to trim as close as possible to the tacking stitches
Using bent handled scissors to trim as close as possible to the tacking stitches

 

After working with the bent handled scissors, I sometimes take a small pair of very sharp applique scissors to get right into all those nooks and crannies. It would be easy if we could remove the piece and fold the background back on the edge of stitching, but that isn’t possible so we do the best we can.

But once the embroidery was complete and removed from the hoop, I took those small sharp scissors and trimmed the edges. I removed all the stabilizer from the back of the design and then folded the edges of the fabric back around the edge of the applique. Using the sharp scissors, I was able to trim away those excess threads. A little bit of extra work, but it was well worth it. The fuzzies are gone.

Using sharp applique scissors to trim off the excess threads
Using sharp applique scissors to trim off the excess threads

 

The design looks much cleaner now that those threads are removed.

Snowman stitch out looking pretty awesome
Snowman stitch out looking pretty awesome

 

In this case, I feel that the satin stitch could be a smidgen wider as it was difficult to get the fabric trimmed down (during the machine applique embroidery process) enough to not have those loose threads. I did a second stitch out and trimmed very meticulously and still got a few excess threads. But as you can see above, it was easy to get rid of them.

Second snowman stitch out still has a few fuzzies
Second snowman stitch out still has a few fuzzies

 

Here are my two snowman designs. They’ve been unhooped, stabilizer has been removed, threads trimmed away from the edge of the applique and the blocks are trimmed down to size for the project which I’ll be working on at the end of the week. Make sure you stick around for that as it’s going to be very cute.

Two finished snowmen stitched out with machine embroidery applique
Two finished snowmen stitched out with machine embroidery applique

 

Tips on thread for machine embroidery

Depending on the design and thread colors you’re going to use, check if you can purchase large spools of thread. I’m working on a design on my own embroidery machine that needs LOTS of the orange thread. I normally buy the small spools to add to my thread collection, but if I’m going to need lots and I mean lots (my other project has 25 blocks so I need a lot of a few of the colors) then I purchase large spools of those colors.

Two different spool sizes of thread
Two different spool sizes of thread

 

If I have a large project (multiple stitch-outs), I keep those thread colors separate once they’ve been chosen. If I were to put these back in the thread containers, it would be a waste of time to have to re choose them every time I go back to the project. But here’s the danger. If those thread colors are set aside for a particular project, that means that they won’t be seen when I search for a thread for something else.

Find a container that you can keep all the threads in for your project and keep it handy to the sewing machine or your project box. Just remember that there’s a lot of thread set aside so focusing on finishing is always a good idea.

Threads for one project are set aside in a container
Threads for one project are set aside in a container

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be working on a different style of machine embroidery so be sure to come back to see that. It’s great that there are so many embroidery designs built into the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50, but I’m very surprised at the number of different techniques that are included in the built-in designs. Lots of opportunities to play with different embroidery styles so if you want to purchase some designs, you’ll already have an idea if you’ll like that technique before you buy a design. That’s great!

Have a great day!

Ciao!

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 4 key tips to successful and stress free Machine Applique Embroidery

Go to part 4: 9 check list items for successful machine embroidery before you press START

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

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