Couching adds the finishing touch to handmade gift tags

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I used the Dreamweaver XE to do some super cute free motion applique and embroidery. Today I’ll make two of these pieces into gift tags and I show you how to do some couching to give them the finishing touch.

The Dreamweaver XE

Here’s one of the pieces that I finished yesterday, it will make a very charming gift tag.

Completed applique/embroidery

After all of the stitching is done, the Totally Stable interfacing can be torn away from the back of the fabric.

Tear away interfacing

Now I layer the embroidery with a heavyweight interfacing like Fast2Fuse and a muslin backing fabric. The Fast2Fuse is fusible on both sides, so it can be ironed on both sides to secure the fabrics.

Layer with heavyweight interfacing

If your embroidery is 4″ x 6″, you can make it into a postcard and use a postcard stencil and fabric ink on the backing fabric. Just make sure that you center it well on the back of the embroidery, so you don’t end up trimming some of it off by mistake.

Postcard stencil

I’ve put three of my embroideries all on the same backing fabric. Once they are fused in place with the iron, I can cut them apart and trim through all three layers.

The assorted embroideries

For my two tags I trimmed the the three layers to 3″ x 5″. To make a tag shape, I made two marks on the back the same distance down from the top of the tag and two marks the same distance in from the sides of the tag.

Marking the corners

Using a rotary cutter and ruler, I cut away the corners of the tag along the line between the two marks.

Trim away the corners

I finish the edges of the tags using some thick wool yarn. To couch the yarn along the edge of the tags, I use the zigzag stitch “1-10”.

Select zig-zag stitch “1-10”

I lay the thick wool yarn along the side of the bottom edge of the tag and use the zigzag stitch to stitch into the edge of the tag and over the top of the yarn to secure it in place.

You may need to adjust the width of the stitch to make sure that you catch all of the yarn!

Lay yarn along edge

I stitch down one side of the tag and then when I get to the corner, I use the needle down function of the machine to pivot. Wrap the wool around the corner and along the next side of the tag and then drop the presser foot and continue zigzagging along the second side.

Pivot at the corner

I keep couching the yarn to the edge of the tag until I reach the place where I started. Then, I keep stitching for about a ½”, overlapping the beginning of the yarn.

Overlap the end by ½”

When I finish stitching, I press the reinforcement stitch button on the Dreamweaver XE to lock off the stitches and press the thread cutter button.

Press reinforcement stitch button

After locking off and cutting the stitches, I clip the yarn close to the final zigzag stitches using a sharp pair of scissors.

Clip close to the stitching

Use your favorite method to add eyelets to your tags. This tool that I used is called a “Crop-a-dile”.

Attach eyelets

Here are the finished tags, postcard and wallhanging made with the Dreamweaver XE from Brother.

The finished projects

I love using this technique to finish off the edges of projects I made using Fast2Fuse on the Dreamweaver XE. Get creative and use threads that contrast with your wool, or metallic threads. You can use thicker or thinner or fancy yarns too, the sky’s the limit!

Tomorrow I’m using an old wooden embroidery hoop to finish off another of our embroideries – see you then!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3:  8 simple steps for free motion fusible applique

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