Creating beautiful cutwork designs on the Designer Sapphire 85

Welcome back! I hope you read yesterday’s post on my learning curve for machine embroidery! If you do the same thing repeatedly, there’s no learning curve. However, branching out, exploring all the available tools, and letting your creativity soar? That’s what makes life so much fun.

Today, I’m on another adventure with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Sapphire 85. This time, I’m incorporating several cutwork designs into another cushion cover. Let’s check it out!

Husqvarna Viking Designer Sapphire 85

I admit I’ve gone a bit over the top for these cushion covers, and I’m okay with that. I’m a maker, and I love to learn, so when I have an opportunity to make something for someone (this time, my daughter), I love it. As a bonus, I get to share my experiences with you, so it’s a win-win all around.

Today, I’m doing some cutwork embroidery. I found a pretty, loopy design in the mySewnet Library. I think it’ll look great with the patterned green fabric peeking out through the holes. Here’s some sound advice when using the embroidery designs in the mySewnet Library. Check out the related files (if any), and don’t forget to browse the technique book (if there is one). You’ll find valuable information that can make or break the success of your stitch-out. And remember to print out the template to help with your initial positioning.

This time, I played it safe. I stitched the design out to see what it would look like and what was involved in stitching it. I won’t use pink on the real thing – it was just for the test.

Sample stitch out of the cutwork embroidery

I wanted to work out how carefully I needed to trim away the loose threads from the cut-out sections. The design uses cutwork needles, so I don’t have to cut the pieces out, but my fabric frays a lot, and I needed to know how much tidying up I would have to do before the last step, which is the satin stitch. So, I didn’t tidy up one side of the design while I tidied up the other. Let’s see what happens when the satin stitching goes on.

The open shapes on the cutwork embroidery

The side I left untrimmed is a wee bit messy with a few loose threads, but really, the satin stitch did a great job of covering the raw edges. It’s good to know I don’t have to be super meticulous with trimming after completing the cutwork section.

The satin stitches cover both the untrimmed and trimmed side nicely.

I tested how much scarring (or marks) would appear if I hooped the fabric and the stabilizer. Remember I floated the fabric yesterday because I was worried about the marks. I realized that by hooping the fabric on the diagonal, the corners would either be on the outside edges or hidden by the other designs. I decided to go ahead and hoop the stabilizer and the fabric.

A bit of scarring as a result of hooping the fabric

I started with a much larger piece of fabric than I needed, since the embroidery designs will be placed on the diagonal, and I needed the extra fabric for the hooping process. I marked the perimeter of the cushion cover, and, using chalk, I drew diagonal lines from corner to corner. Now I had the central arrangement of the embroidery design.

Marking diagonal lines on the cushion cover

I used the printed template to position one motif on each of the four diagonal lines. I marked the center position on each line for hooping purposes.

Using the printed template to create lines for hooping the fabric

Once the positioning lines were in place for the four motifs, it was time to stitch. I used Odif 505 Temporary Quilt Basting Adhesive Fabric Spray to adhere the Inspira Cut-A-Way stabilizer to the back. Why did I use a cutaway stabilizer when I used a tear-away stabilizer yesterday? I’d done some additional research, and while we primarily use tear-away for woven fabrics, the cutaway can provide better stability. Since this is a cushion cover, there’s no need to remove the stabilizer, and it’ll give some extra body to the project.

Using a spray adhesive to adhere the cutaway stabilizer to the wrong side of the fabric

Then came the fun job of hooping. It can be tricky sometimes to get everything lined up correctly. Be persistent and take the time to fuss. Line the centering lines on your project with the centering lines on the machine embroidery hoop, and you’re good to go. This time I’m using the 260 mm x 200 mm embroidery hoop. I try to use the smallest machine embroidery hoop possible for each design, which, in this instance, is the Designer Crown Hoop at 260 mm x 200 mm.

The fabric is hooped with the centering lines matching the centering lines on the hoop.

When you hoop a project with a lot of extra fabric, make sure no corners are tucked beneath the embroidery hoop. You may want to roll up the edges along the side of the hoop and pin it out of the way. You don’t want anything extra beneath the hoop, nor in the top.

Ensure the excess fabric is not under – or in – the embroidery hoop.

For this project, I need Inspira Embroidery Cutwork Needles. They come in a set of four with numbers 1 to 4, but they are also color-coded. When using a cutwork embroidery design, your instructions should include which needle to use at specific points in the embroidery stitch out.

A set of cutwork needles

Essentially, the cutwork needles are sharp knives that cut out the unnecessary sections. Here’s a close-up of the two needless I used. Notice there’s no hole for the thread. You don’t use top or bobbin thread when using cutwork needles.

Two of the four cutwork needles in a set

So, what do you put in the bobbin? You don’t need any thread in the bobbin when using cutwork needles, but the bobbin sensor expects to sense thread on a bobbin. Insert an almost empty bobbin into the bobbin case for the cutwork. Be sure the end of that thread is not sticking out, or it may get caught during the cutting process. In the photo below, my cutwork bobbin is on the left, and my regular embroidery bobbin is on the right:

An almost empty bobbin for cutwork and an almost full bobbin for machine embroidery

Here’s one of the messages from the embroidery design telling me to change the needle. You’ll see the cutwork needles in the Color Block List as well.

A pop-up message to change the cutwork needle

With all that connecting and disconnecting your hoop from the embroidery arm, always be sure the hoop clicks properly back into place. It happened to me once – heck, it’s happened to all of us. Just be careful when reconnecting the hoop to the embroidery unit.

Ensure the embroidery hoop is correctly attached to the embroidery arm.

Here’s what the piece looks like after using the two cutwork needles. You’ll notice the shapes are cut, but not entirely. That’s a good thing, as it could cause quite a mess if those pieces got caught up in the stitching.

The shapes after using the cutwork needles

I used the Inspira EZ Snip Curved Scissors to cut out the two threads holding each cut out section in place and to trim some of the frayed bits from my fabric.

Trimming the shapes out and cleaning up the edges

Once the cutwork sections are clean, the outline can be stitched. Not only did the fabric shapes get cut with the cutwork needles, but so did the stabilizer. If I were to start the satin stitch process, there’s nothing to support those stitches. So, I placed Inspira Aqua Magic water-soluble stabilizer on the underside of the openings. Why a water-soluble stabilizer? I certainly wouldn’t want to tear or cut away any stabilizer from that finished edge of the satin stitch. But the water-soluble will dissolve away, giving me a nice clean edge.

Water-soluble stabilizer placed on the underside of the openings

I put the hoop back onto the embroidery arm and the design basted the water-soluble stabilizer into place.

Basting the water-soluble stabilizer to the cutwork design

With the water-soluble stabilizer firmly in place, I satin stitched to cover the raw edges.

Satin stitching covers the raw edges of the cutwork embroidery.

Here’s a tip to make your machine embroidery easier: keep your work area neat and tidy. I only have the items I need for this project on the table – the cutwork needles, extra bobbins, the pattern, and a screwdriver. That way, it’s easy to find what I need and not have things falling off the table.

A tidy workspace can make the embroidery process much more enjoyable.

Here’s the final stitch out. Oh, I LOVE it! I should mention this design is an endless design, but the way I stitched it on my cushion cover, it doesn’t matter.

The cutwork embroidery design

At first, I thought the design was a bit formal, but the more it stitched out, the more I loved it. And seeing the result makes me love it even more.

Only three more to stitch out! Here’s the second one in progress.

Stitching out the second motif

And here is it… the finished embroidered design. I had some room in the center to add another motif. I didn’t plan that one – I realized I had a bit too much space, and the additional motif fit perfectly. I love a happy accident! I will say, reading the instructions for the second motif was critical. The design is for a hanger on a towel, and I had to get a wee bit creative with how I stitched it out.

The finished cutwork embroidery design

Well, that’s it for today! A little creativity and a little ingenuity goes a long way to make your unique creation. I used an endless embroidery design in a non-endless format. I used part of the towel hanger motif and combined the two designs to create a unique, new design. And if I didn’t want to make this a cutwork design, I could have eliminated those two steps in the embroidery stitch-out process.

Be sure to come back tomorrow. The machine embroidery is nearly finished, and I’m ready to start assembling. We’ll be looking at some great features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Sapphire 85 to help with that.

Have a great day!


This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: The importance of making a sample embroidery stitch-out

Go to part 4: Easy zipper insertion and tips for outstanding cushion covers

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