6 essential tips for double-sided machine embroidery on a placemat

What do you think of the deLuxe Stitch System on the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90? I LOVE the deLuxe Stitch System because it allows me to choose which thread delivery method I want when doing something a bit different. I’ve got some great tips to share, so let’s get started!

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

I love making projects from scratch, but sometimes you need a quick hostess gift, and there’s no time. So I scout around for ready-made items that I can embroider. I found some fabric placemats that were plaid on one side and brown on the other. The signature designs in the Designer Ruby 90 have an outdoorsy theme, so the color of the placemats will be perfect.

TIP 1 Choose your design carefully

When choosing an embroidery design, be very mindful of the size and the number of stitches. You don’t want an extremely dense design if you’re doing an embroidery design that is visible from the front and the back (think finished items and garments). You also need to know the size to see if it’s appropriate for your finished article. Knowing the stitch count, along with the size, gives you an indication of the density, which is a vital component as to what kind(s) of stabilizer to use and how much you need.

Information about the selected embroidery design on the embroidery edit screen

Do you remember the settings on the Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out screen from yesterday? Let’s have a quick peek at them.

In the following image, notice that the deLuxe Stitch System is on, as well as the Automatic Thread Cutter and Automatic Jump Stitch Trim. It’s essential to pay attention to all the boxes on this screen. You can control how your design gets stitched out with the settings here. So be sure to pay attention to it—more on this in a minute.

The Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out screen

I can’t use a traditional two-part embroidery hoop as the design is relatively large, and my placemat isn’t much larger than the design, so I’ll use the Large Metal Hoop. I’ll be using Inspira Aqua Magic (water-soluble) stabilizer, so the stabilizer will dissolve in warm water when the project is complete.

The Large Metal Hoop and a roll of Inspira Aqua Magic Stabilizer

TIP 2 Set up the options on the Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out screen

I’ve made some changes to the embroidery options on the Designer Ruby 90 as I prepared to stitch out the design. Let’s have another look at the Welcome to Embroidery Edit screen.

  • I’ve changed the stitch plate to use the Straight Stitch Plate. It provides much better support for forming stitches.
  • I selected the large metal hoop to match the one I’ll be using.
  • I’m using the Baste around hoop option to help secure my fabric and stabilizer since I’m not using a traditional two-part embroidery hoop.
  • I’ve deselected the deLuxe Stitch System.
  • I’ve turned off the Automatic Thread Cutter and Automatic Jump Stitch Trim.

That last step means I’ll have to cut the threads on the front during the embroidery stitch out process, but that’s OK. It’s much better to do that than trim the threads on the back once the embroidery is complete. Remember, I want the back of the placemat to look as good as the front.

Keep that in mind when embroidering on a garment. You want the underside of the embroidery design to look clean and neat.

The Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out with suggested changes

Here’s my placemat hooped in the metal hoop. I’ve cut a piece of Inspira Aqua Magic stabilizer and placed it on the underside of the placemat. The large metal hoop comes with four powerful magnets, but you’ll notice that I have six on this project. You can purchase additional sets of magnets, or if you have the Medium (180 by 130mm) or the Small Metal Hoop, you can borrow a magnet or two from those hoops. Just remember to not place more than eight magnets on a metal hoop. The additional weight from the magnets can cause premature wear and tear on the embroidery arm.

The placemat secured to the Large Metal Hoop with six magnets

If you have an eagle eye, you probably noticed that my placemat was a bit shy of the top of the hoop, so it’s not as secure as it could be. Will that cause problems? You’ll notice in the following picture that there’s a wee bit of pulling near the top that’s directly related to this situation. I should have basted a piece of fabric to the top of the placemat so I could secure it with a magnet. Then I wouldn’t have gotten any puckering. Once it’s washed, it probably won’t make a difference, but one should always aim to do things right!

Puckering due to insufficient support at the edge of the placemat

Some settings can be modified on the Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out screen as well as the Embroidery Stitch Out screen. One of them is the Color Options. There are four color changes in the embroidery design, but I wanted to use only one color. I chose the icon for Monochrome to eliminate all the color stops.

What I love is that there are several places to do the same job, so if you forget, you don’t have to go back and forth!

TIP 3 Change the tension

One other significant change that I made was to the tension. Since I deactivated the deLuxe Stitch System, the Designer Ruby 90 defaulted to traditional tension and gave me a setting of 2.8.

The default tension setting is 2.8

Trial and error (my favorite way of learning) taught me that the tension is a bit too loose at 2.8, and some of the top threads would appear on the bobbin side. Since this is a double-sided embroidery project, I want the tension to be perfect on both sides. I upped the top tension to 4.0.

The top tension is 4.0

TIP 4 Use matching thread in the bobbin

I used a 40-weight embroidery thread in the bobbin. If the design is supposed to be double-sided, it only makes sense that I put a similar thread in the bobbin as I use on the top. In this case, I used the same color, but you can use two different colors if you want to. Test first!

The first step is a line of basting stitches around the perimeter of the hoop.

A line of basting stitches around the perimeter of the hoop

I’m using the Sensor Q-foot for embroidery. It’s a great foot, which helps secure the fabric in place, and provides more stability during embroidery. I took this picture to share with you another little mystery in the world of machine embroidery.

If you ever studied an embroidery hoop, you probably noticed that the horizontal center is not actually in the center of the hoop. It’s about 1” below the real center of the hoop. Why is that? Well, the Sensor Q-foot needs space so that it can stitch around the top of the hoop. So the center of the hoop is slightly lower than the real center to accommodate the length of the foot. Simple!

The length of the Sensor Q foot requires additional space at the back of the embroidery hoop

TIP 5 Match up the arrows when using a traditional embroidery hoop

When using a traditional embroidery hoop, there are small arrows on the inner hoop that must match the arrows on the outer hoop. Do not make the mistake of switching that around. It can significantly affect the placement of your design, and if the design is too close to the edge, you can break a needle on the edge of the hoop. Watch those arrows!!!

Match up the arrows on the bottom of the traditional two-part embroidery hoop

TIP 6 Attach the hoop properly

When you attach your hoop to the embroidery arm, ensure that it’s securely in place. I’ve made the mistake of thinking it was in place, but in fact, it was a wee bit off. That’s not good! So snap it solidly into place and wait for the click!

Insert the hoop entirely into the embroidery arm attachment

Now that we did all the hard work, it’s time for the Designer Ruby 90 to do its work. I hit START, and since I’ve made this a monochrome design, I can technically walk away! But I’m memorized by watching the stitch-out process, so I don’t stray too far away.

The embroidery is stitching out

Oh my gosh – this is looking great. But wait! It’s lunchtime, and I like to eat at the same time every day. How will I keep track of my embroidery? By using the mySewMonitor on my smartphone – that’s how.

Remember I mentioned that the Designer Ruby 90 is a Wi-Fi-enabled embroidery machine, and do you remember that I connected it to my mySewnet account? That means I can use the app on my phone as a monitor for the embroidery.

Even though the app shows four different colors, the stops are removed, moving automatically from one color to the next.

The mySewMonitor app on my smartphone

Wow – I LOVE this feature. So I went and had lunch and was soon notified that the embroidery was finished.

Oh my – It looks fantastic!!!!

My completed embroidery design!

Let’s have a close-up look at the stitches on the front. The tension looks fabulous!

The stitches on the front of the embroidery

I know – you want to see the back. Well, it’s just as spectacular as the front! It looks fabulous! And it’s immaculate on the back because the Automatic Thread Cutter and Automatic Jump Stitch Trim were not on, and I trimmed all the threads from the front.

The back of the machine embroidered placemat

Here’s a close-up of the back of the embroidery. Those stitches look as good as the front! The water-soluble stabilizer is still in place, but since it’ll rinse away in warm water, there’ll be no tugging when I remove it.

A detailed view of the back of the machine embroidery

Seriously??? If I didn’t know which side was the front, I doubt I would be able to tell. I’m so excited about this result!! These tips I gave you are game-changers for stitching anything that requires the back to look as good as the front. But let’s not forget that I had assistance from the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, which happens to contain some fantastic technology.

Keep in mind that the style of embroidery design that I chose also helps. I chose an open design. The back might not look as good with a more densely stitched tree. And if there were multiple colors, I would have to change the color of the bobbin thread and the top, and I’m not into that much detail. So choose your designs wisely.

Now, it’s possible to have the stitching mess up. In this instance, the bobbin gave me trouble because I left a long thread tail at the beginning, which got caught during the embroidery process. I happened to be standing right at the embroidery machine when I heard the change in the sound. I immediately hit STOP and looked at the back. That’s not pretty, but fortunately, it happened on the underlay stitches. So I got out the scissors and cleaned this up. I backed up the stitching position until I got back to the right spot, wound a new bobbin, and hit START. Problem solved, and it was a total operator error!

A little problem on the bobbin thread

That’s why it’s so important to make mistakes. If you make mistakes, you learn from them. By learning from them, you know how to fix something. Some people might throw in the towel, but so many things are easy to fix, and once you know how, there’s no stopping!!!

I cut away the excess water-soluble stabilizer and rinsed the placemat in warm water to remove the excess. I was so thrilled that I made a second placemat. I washed them both, and here they are! Stunning!

My two-sided machine embroidered placemats

Just like that, I dressed up a simple ready-made item into an adorable placemat that will look great at the cottage or in the RV. And if one side gets dirty – no problem. They are completely reversible so that I can flip them! I’d rather be machine embroidering than doing laundry!

I hope you enjoyed my two-sided machine embroidery placemat project. And using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90 made it so easy to get perfect results.

Join me tomorrow when I’m off on another adventure in machine embroidery.

Have a great day!


This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Wi-Fi features on the HV Designer Ruby 90 plus more tension tips

Go to part 4: Creating a machine embroidered postcard to mail to a friend

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1 comment

Jean Melching July 28, 2021 - 12:55 pm
Thanks again for "making" me take a look at my manual for specific info on my Epic. We all need a push once in awhile to utilize the scads of info available--online, our machine or a paper manual.
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