Today, I’m looking at a different embroidery technique, exploring the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. This attachment works on the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC and the EPIC 2 embroidery machines.
Yesterday, I used several embroidery designs that I downloaded from the Husqvarna Viking website that fit the new Mega Quilters 260 x 260 hoop. Today, I’ll download an embroidery file from the Husqvarna Viking website, but from a completely different location on the site.
Husqvarna Viking has a subscription service for embroidery designs. You’ll find the embroidery designs in the mySewnet Library, which is part of mySewnet.com. You can access mySewnet directly from the link, or from the Husqvarna Viking web site. You can also visit the Help Center to get more information on what mySewnet is all about.
There are over 5,500 embroidery designs in the mySewnet Library, covering many different techniques and styles. New embroidery designs are added each week, and it’s always fun to check the library regularly to see what’s new. I see Halloween designs were added this week. I can’t wait to experiment with some of those!
There are several ways to search the database of embroidery designs, with filters to help you find the perfect embroidery file. You can search by technique, and there are many different embroidery techniques. Or you can search by category. You can add further refinements for size, the number of colors, and even the number of stitches.
I searched for Ribbon Embroidery in the technique category, and a lot of designs came up. As I browse through the designs, it’s an excellent opportunity to review what’s in the database. If I see something, I like but don’t have time to play with, I can click on the heart symbol to add that design to my favorites. Then my brain starts to work to find places where I can use those embroidery designs. Can I combine them with regular embroidery? Can I create a project or embellishment just out of one design, or several designs? It’s good to review the resources available to you, so you don’t forget they are there.
I had a particular idea in mind when I searched for the ribbon embroidery designs, so I quickly scrolled through them and found this Yin Yang design. It’s perfect for what I wanted to try. The amount of ribbon required for the design appears at the bottom of the thumbnail sketch. I need two pieces of ribbon at 92″ each.
Now I need to get the design to the DESIGNER EPIC 2 to stitch it out. Where’s my USB stick? WAIT – I don’t have to do that. The DESIGNER EPIC 2 is Wi-Fi enabled, so guess what? I click on the little paper airplane symbol on the design, and a pop-up message gives me a list of Wi-Fi enabled devices where I can send the file. If I had another Wi-Fi enabled machine or the Premier +2 software open, those devices would be on this list, and I would have to choose where to send the file.
I selected DESIGNER EPIC 2. If you have more than one DESIGNER EPIC 2, you can rename the machine in the Settings menu to help differentiate between the two when sending files through mySewnet. How cool is that? I haven’t changed the name of my DESIGNER EPIC 2, but it’s amazing how many people give their sewing/embroidery machines a name.
I get a pop-up menu on the DESIGNER EPIC 2 to confirm that I’m okay to allow that file to be uploaded.
Honestly, it doesn’t get any easier than that! There’s my Yin Yang Ribbon Embroidery Design in the Embroidery Stitch Out screen.
You can use many different kinds of ribbon in the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. The width of the ribbon can range from ¼” [6mm] to ⅝” [16mm] wide. You can also get creative with ⅛” [2mm] ribbon, but I wouldn’t use that for my first project. I used ¼” polyester ribbon. The Ribbon Embroidery Attachment will hold up to 25’ of ribbon.
The first two colors in the Yin Yang design are traditional embroidery. I’ve got my Sensor Foot Q attached to the DESIGNER EPIC 2, and you’ll notice my fabric is hooped in the 200 x 200 hoop. Remember that the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment is an attachment, not a hoop, so you need to hoop your fabric as you usually would.
I get a notification when it’s time to add the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. There’s a connection plug that you insert into the accessory socket at the back of the sewing machine. The first time you attach the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment, you need to follow the instructions, but once you get the hang of it, the installation is quite straightforward.
TIPS for successful Ribbon Embroidery
- Make sure you have enough bobbin thread – you do not want to run out of bobbin thread. You can change the bobbin, but it requires a bit of finagling.
- Place your hoop on the bed of the sewing machine or attach it to the embroidery arm before you install the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. You can’t place your hoop under the attachment once it’s in place. Ask me how I know!
- Make sure your ribbon is wound onto the ribbon ring. It’s like a bobbin for the ribbon!
- Make sure your needle is threaded.
I recommend that you make a checklist, so you don’t forget any of those steps.
It’s fascinating to watch this attachment work. It turns and clicks and whirls around as it changes direction. I love watching it!
Here’s the first half of the Yin Yang design stitched out. I haven’t cut the tails of the ribbon yet. You can cut the tails off, or you can bring them to the back of your work and secure them.
I removed the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment so that I could reload the ribbon ring with the white ribbon. I mentioned that I need 92″ of white and black ribbon. I wound the entire length of the ribbon that I had onto the ribbon ring. When I finished each color, I took the ribbon off the ribbon ring and rewound it. I think it’s better to have a bit more than not enough.
Here’s the Yin Yang design. I still have to cut off the ends of the ribbon.
I trimmed off the ends of the ribbon with a very sharp pair of INSPIRA scissors. It’s convenient to have sharp scissors and tweezers to tidy up the embroidery once it’s finished.
I LOVE the result. The black and white ribbons on that vibrant red are gorgeous. I could use this for an outside pocket on a tote bag, a cushion, or it would be great on the back of a garment. Oh, wait – I’m looking for designs to embellish a jean jacket – this would be awesome on the back of a jacket.
As you know, I like to experiment. What if I didn’t want the red fabric to show through the embroidery design? Is that even possible? Yes, it is! I disabled the command for the ribbon embroidery attachment in the design by changing the color of that color block in Embroidery Edit. I did that for both the black and the white.
Then I moved into Embroidery Stitch Out, and when it came time to stitch out the ribbon section, I placed a piece of fabric (black where the black ribbon goes and white where the white ribbon goes). The DESIGNER EPIC 2 stitched out the lines used to attach the ribbon. In effect, I was using those lines to applique my black and white fabrics in place.
Once the black and white fabrics were stitched in place and trimmed, I reloaded the original embroidery design with the commands for the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. I moved through the Color Block List to the last two color changes. I loaded the appropriate color of ribbon and attached the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. Then I started by stitching the black ribbon over the black fabric.
Here’s my final piece. While I loved the original version, I love this one even better. I love the three dimensional texture created by the ribbon, and I love the solid look of the design.
What I love the best of all is that there’s so much flexibility to do pretty much whatever I want. You need to understand the basics. You need to know how the embroidery machine works, and you need to follow the rules for how the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment works. But if you can pull something apart and put it back together again? Why not?
I had great fun playing with the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment and figuring out how to applique fabric beneath the design to give it more depth. I would not do this for all designs, as many designs do not need this extra step, but I love the flexibility I have with these great tools so I can make the designs my own.
Be sure to come back tomorrow as I’ll be working with another embroidery hoop and the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2.
Have a great day!