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Search tools to find machine embroidery designs – So many to choose from!

by Elaine Theriault

Now that we have the base of our collage for the journal cover, it’s time to start embellishing it. I can’t wait to start, as there are so many possibilities using the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2.

I didn’t plan on adding embroidery, but then I thought – there are some very cool ways to get embroidery designs into the DESIGNER EPIC 2, and you need to know about them! Plus, they’re so awesome and easy to use! Starting with the machine embroidery means it would be easier to hoop the project, although I could have used a metal hoop around the embellishments.

So today is all about embroidery, and tomorrow we look at adding those embellishments.

When I started to embroider many years ago, there was only one way to get a design into the embroidery machine. Can you guess? Yes – it was with a small floppy disk! Hard to believe, but true! And there was different technology before that. Times have changed, and now we have some hi-tech ways to get our embroidery designs onto the Embroidery Edit screen.

The easiest and probably the most commonly used is a USB stick. I’m so past using a USB stick because of the new technologies.

Let’s explore a couple, and then we can start the embroidery!

I wanted some texture on the cover, and I know some unique embroidery techniques are built into the DESIGNER EPIC 2, so that was my first choice. The technique I chose is called Thread Velvet.

With over 750 embroidery designs in the DESIGNER EPIC 2, and even though they reside in separate menus, how the heck will I find one specific motif? Well, that’s super easy! I’ll start with the JoyOS Advisor.

The JoyOS advisor is a great resource center built into the DESIGNER EPIC 2, where you’ll find videos, tutorials, projects, and much more.

There are four categories, and one of them is embroidery. Within the embroidery category, there’s a section called Surfaced Embroidery.

To be fully aware of all the information in the JoyOS advisor or at least understand the main parts, it’s a must to sit down at the capacitive touch screen and play. Check out all the tabs, get familiar with the categories, and know where to go when you want something. And like everything, the more you play, the more you learn, and soon, using the JoyOS advisor will become second nature to you.

You’ll see on the screen a category for Thread Velvet. Upon opening the menu, I get a selection of built-in motifs using the Thread Velvet technique. Now, how easy is that?

A menu screen on a computerized sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

The JoyOS advisor

As you can see, many built-in designs use the Thread Velvet technique, so I need to select one, and away I go. But did you notice along the bottom of the screen is a tutorial listing the supplies needed and the steps I need to stitch out this design? I don’t need a class – the information is on the screen. That’s better than having a teacher, as you can go through the steps multiple times, and no one gets impatient!

A color touch screen on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Motifs using the Thread Velvet technique

I selected a motif to bring it into the Embroidery Edit screen.

A pink embroidery motif on the screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

The Thread Velvet motif in the Embroidery Edit screen

At this point, I can add other designs, move the design around, add lettering, or make any further edits in the Embroidery Edit screen. Since I only want this motif, I’m ready to start stitching.

Knowing you can quickly locate motifs and techniques through the JoyOS advisor is huge, and it’s such a time saver. Now I never search menu by menu!

Thread Velvet is an interesting technique because it uses multiple layers of thread with a satin stitch. After the embroidery, you carefully slice open the top layers of thread to reveal the different colors inside! And the texture is so amazing! Here’s a tip: ensure the first color you use is much lighter or darker than the top color, so you can see the color come through after the cut. I used yellow as the base color and orange on top.

A five-petal flower in orange and yellow thread on orange fabric in an embroidery hoop; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Stitching the top layer of a Thread Velvet embroidery design

Thread Velvet designs use multiple layers of satin stitches and then several rounds of stitching around the perimeter to secure the stitches after cutting them open. You can’t just make a satin stitch motif into a Thread Velvet design as it would fall apart when you slice the stitches.

I chose a small design; as you can see, I’m using my 80 by 80 embroidery hoop. So this took mere minutes to stitch.

Here’s the completed embroidery, and I’m making you wait until the end of the week to see how the stitches bloom.

A five-petal flower in orange thread on orange fabric in a machine embroidery hoop

The Thread Velvet motif after the embroidery

The following method of finding an embroidery motif is even more impressive. The DESIGNER EPIC 2 is a Wi-Fi-enabled embroidery machine with direct access to the mySewnet Embroidery Library. Like other Wi-Fi-enabled devices, once you log into your Wi-Fi, the DESIGNER EPIC 2 connects when you turn it on. I also ensure that I stay logged into the mySewnet account. So if there’s a machine update or a new post in the mySewnet blog, I’ll see it and stay updated!

However, another feature of the mySewnet account and the Wi-Fi-enabled DESIGNER EPIC 2 is the ability to search the mySewnet Embroidery Library – no computer required! I can select a design or designs and download it directly to the Embroidery Edit screen. No way! YES!! I LOVE this feature!

A search menu on the screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Accessing the mySewnet Embroidery Library from the Wi-Fi-enabled DESIGNER EPIC 2

There are over 8,000 designs in the mySewnet Embroidery Library, so how will I narrow this down? There’s a search function that makes it super easy to find something. I wanted something small as my collage piece isn’t huge, so I searched by design size and used 80mm by 80mm as my criteria.

Then using the capacitive touch screen to scroll through the designs quickly, I found something that worked. If you select a motif (as you can see below), the details for that design (number of stitches, color changes, and size) will pop up on the screen. It’s so easy – I LOVE it!!

How do you access the mySewnet Embroidery Library? See the row of orange and pink buttons along the right-hand side. There’s a flower motif with a globe on it. It connects directly to the mySewnet Embroidery Library and allows you to search or browse the library.

The screen on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Searching the mySewnet Embroidery Library directly on the DESIGNER EPIC 2

When I pulled the motif into the Embroidery Edit screen, one of the colors of the flower was white, so I couldn’t see it on the screen. But I could change the background color on the edit screen or go into Color Palette (top right-hand corner) to change the color to another color (I chose blue) to see it on the screen.

Here’s an important thing to note – I’ve been chatting with a few people learning embroidery, and they’re under the impression that the colors which appear on the screen are the colors they’re supposed to use when stitching out the design. Nope – that’s why you use the printed material with a design that identifies the original colors.

The colors on the screen are there so you can more easily identify the difference between one color change and the next. If several color changes use the same color on your design (think layering and outlines) and it all appears black, it’d be a challenge to see what is what, and then you couldn’t use the color sort or merge tools. So the colors on the screen are just for show!

A flower motif on the Embroidery Edit screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

The flower motif is in the Embroidery Edit screen

Before I show you the design, which is now blue rather than white, I want to explain another thing. I wanted to position this motif in a particular place. So I used the Design Placement tool on my smartphone. You’ll find this function in the mySewnet app, which you can download from your app store (Android or Apple). You’ll need to log into your mySewnet account on the DESIGNER EPIC 2 and the smart device app so they communicate with each other. I hooped the fabric and then took a picture of it with the app, which uses the camera on my phone.

A screenshot of an embroidery hoop with orange fabric

Using the Design Placement tool in the mySewnet app on my smart device

Once I was happy with the photo, I used the green airplane symbol to send the picture to the DESIGNER EPIC 2 embroidery machine. Now, the background of the Embroidery Edit screen is a picture of my hooped fabric, which will help me to place the motif.

The flower is blue because I changed the color from white to blue. Using the Design Placement tool is so much fun and can get your design positioned much faster. You can double-check the position using the Design Positioning tool in Embroidery Stitch Out mode if you want absolute precision, but this is an excellent starting point.

A flower on orange fabric as the background on the screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

My hooped fabric is now the background of the Embroidery Edit screen.

I rotated the design slightly so the petals would fit around the tip of the flying geese. I missed the mark slightly, but this happens when you’re in a hurry, and don’t double-check using Design Positioning in Embroidery Stitch Out. But it’s close enough for my journal cover. If the flower position was critical, I’d have double-checked the placement. It was a tight spot, and using those tools made it easy to get the placement.

A machine embroidery flower on orange fabric; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

The flower is just slightly askew.

I could sit and watch the embroidery machine stitch out for hours. It’s mesmerizing to watch it work. This design isn’t large, and it didn’t take long!

Orange fabric in a machine embroidery hoop; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Stitching out the embroidery design

Here’s the flower – it looks stunning!

A machine embroidery flower stitched in yellow thread on an orange flower

The machine embroidery flower

The final step is to remove it from the hoop. Remove the embroidery from the hoop as soon as the stitching is complete to avoid the extra work of pressing out hoop marks. Then it’s time to give it a press.

I like to use a wool mat, place my embroidery face down, and press it from the back.

Orange fabric on a wool pressing mat

Press the embroidery face down on a wool mat.

And now the embroidery part of the embellishment is complete! Tomorrow, we’ll add the other items and use different presser feet. I’m so excited to see the finished cover. There’s already some incredible texture, but it’ll get better!

A burgundy and white sewing machine with an embroidery unit attached; Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

The Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 is a dream to use and has so many cool features that save time and make it easy to find anything or do anything!

Be sure to come back tomorrow to check out those embellishments.

Have a great day!


This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Making fabric with scraps – Go wild!

Go to part 4: Exclusive stitch techniques on the EPIC 2 embellish a journal cover


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