Using decorative stitches to create machine embroidery motifs

The quilted mug rug and the table runner were super easy to create with the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 and the Circular Attachment.

Today, I’m using a couple of decorative stitches to create a machine embroidery motif. Let’s get started!

There are multiple ways to use the 840+ decorative stitches in the DESIGNER EPIC 2. The most common way is to select a stitch from a menu and load it on the preview screen. The stitch will remain the same length and width as long as you keep sewing. You can stop and change the width or the length, but each time you want to change the settings, you have to stop and make those changes.

However, you can combine different stitches and different sizes of stitches by using the Program feature. It’s the third symbol, from the left at the bottom of the sewing and embroidery edit screens.

The Program function is the third symbol from the left on the bottom of the screen.

Almost all the stitches in the DESIGNER EPIC 2 work in programming mode, although a few will not. You’ll get a pop-up message if you try to program one of those.

Some stitches will not work in programming mode.

Then you have other stitches that work in the Program function, but based on the start point of the stitch, you may not like what you see. This stitch is from Menu O – The Single Motif stitches, and you can see how the stitches overlap because of the start point.

Stitches in the Single Motif menu may not be appropriate for the Program function.

So why would you want to program stitches or a combination of stitches? Using the Program function eliminates the need to stop and change the length or width, allowing me to plan my rows of stitches by adjusting the length and width before I run into trouble with measurements.

But for me, the ultimate reason to program stitches is that I can then bring those stitches into embroidery mode, which is fantastic. I can use the tapering function (for the tapering stitches) to get precise borders (think – quilt labels). Lines of decorative stitches will be perfectly parallel and exactly the right length to create textured fabric, embellishment for garments, and much more.

Since I’m looking at hearts this month, I programmed all the heart stitches (individual rows) I found in the DESIGNER EPIC 2 and brought all the stitching lines into embroidery mode in the 260mm by 260mm hoop.

I didn’t bother stitching this out, but it’s a great exercise if you want to learn. The key to remember is the length of programmed stitches cannot exceed the size of the hoop and remember to factor in the orientation – are the stitches going parallel to the length or width of the hoop?

Rows of programmed heart stitches

I can save the stitch programs in the mySewnet cloud for when I want to use them. Often, I’ll do all the programming I need in one session and then go back and work on my embroidery design. I can also save the files on a USB if I wish.

The file manager screen

Here’s a key factor to creating a design. You MUST be willing to play, as I usually discover my design by playing. I rarely start with a preconceived idea. In this case, I wanted something for my cushion cover, I wanted it to be square, and I wanted hearts.

I’m using the Mega – Quilter’s Hoop (260mm by 260mm), so I started by programming one line of stitches using the stitch K:04, which is one of the Omnimotion (sideways) stitches with a default width of 24.8mm. I used seven repeats (length was 197mm), so they fit within the parameters of the hoop. When I brought the line of stitching into the embroidery edit, I realized I could have a neat border of hearts around the outer part of the hoop.

Using embroidery edit to design my cushion cover

While it was nice, it needed something else, so I went back to programming and made a second line of hearts, using only five hearts since I wanted it to fit inside the other border.

Two borders of hearts in embroidery edit

Using the edit tools in the embroidery edit screen, I can rotate, mirror, and move these lines of stitching around to get them where I wanted. I have to play, and having all those editing tools is amazing! It allows me total freedom in designing using embroidery designs and programmed stitches on the screen.

I mirrored the row of five hearts, and it fit perfectly inside the border of 7 hearts. But there was a gap at the corners.

Playing with the placement of the rows of heart stitches

So, I looked through the other stitch menus to find something to fill the corner, and I found a scallop stitch (Menu J) to fill the gap. It wasn’t a perfect fit, but I could go into the mySewnet embroidery software and remove the overlapping stitches.

A scallop stitch fills the gap in the corner

Understanding the powerful editing tools will get this design in a suitable stitching format. Once I knew what the design would look like, I deleted three rows of the hearts and all but one of the scallops. Then, I grouped the scallop with the row of hearts. Then I duplicated it three times and used the positioning and mirror tools to position the rows around the inner square in the proper stitching order.

Duplicating the heart and the scallop group of stitches

Here’s my design, and I love it. I never would’ve thought that’s what I’d end up with when I started. And it was so easy to do! One thing to be careful of (which I realized after) was that the scallop stitch was a single stitch and the running stitch between the hearts was a triple stitch. That’s where some pre-testing or knowledge of the stitches helps! Yes — stitch-outs are important!

The two borders of hearts

There’s a bit of overlap, which is hard to see on the embroidery edit screen, but I saved this design and took it into mySewnet embroidery software and cleaned up the overlaps at the corners. Keeping working files in the mySewnet cloud is the best way to move files between the software and the sewing machine. I love the Wi-Fi capabilities of the DESIGNER EPIC 2.

The capabilities in Modify Design are endless. I won’t go into the details, but once you understand this software module, anything is possible.

The stitch points on the corner of my heart design

Once the two borders were to my satisfaction, I wasn’t sure if I wanted something else in the middle, so I decided to stitch it out and see how I liked it. If I don’t unhoop my fabric, I can still add something in the middle. If I had unhooped this fabric, I could use Design Positioning to position a design in the center, but this was a work in progress and was still in the hoop.

Stitching out the embroidery design

OH — this is so exciting. I created this from one single stitch on the DESIGNER EPIC 2. And if I wasn’t so fussy with the corners, it could’ve all been created in Embroidery Edit. WOW!! I impressed myself, and it’s amazing what can happen when you take some time to play. Of course, it helps to have all those amazing editing tools on the DESIGNER EPIC 2. That’s the beauty of the large format screen – you can do a lot of editing right on the screen. Something that’s not as easy and sometimes not possible on a smaller screen.

The heart borders on the cushion cover

I decided that the center was too open for my liking, so I went into the Design Shaping tool on the DESIGNER EPIC 2. I used the same stitch (K4) but created a circle instead. So easy!!!!! Again, there are many tools in Design Shaping to help you get the design you want, and it’s another tool that one must spend some time playing with to appreciate all the possibilities.

Using Design Shaping to create a center

I thought about putting a second circle of hearts inside, but it was too much. Once I was happy with the circle created in Design Shaping, I went to stitch-out mode and here is the final design. This time, I did not remove the overlap of the ends of the heart stitch, and you can see them overlap in the center motif. I’m OK with that – this piece was about experimenting, making mistakes, and learning the various tools on the DESIGNER EPIC 2. I’m so thrilled with the result!

One decorative stitch is the basis for this final machine embroidery design.

WOW – so much to learn! I learned I can program my decorative stitches in sewing or, more importantly, embroidery mode. By being willing to play, I came up with an elegant design that I can save as an embroidery motif, so if I want to stitch it again, it’ll be super easy to load the design.

I learned that I can use Shape Creator to create shapes (I could’ve used it to create the two squares). I learned how versatile and flexible the tools in the DESIGNER EPIC 2 sewing and embroidery machine are. There’s more than one way to do the same task, and flexibility makes me happy. I love how easy it was to make this happen, and if there are multiple ways to do something, I want to know them all, as each can produce a slightly different result. The DESIGNER EPIC 2 doesn’t disappoint.

I removed the design from the hoop and tore the Tear-A-Way stabilizer away. Then I trimmed the piece to 12½” and added a 2½” border. The first side of the cushion cover is ready for assembly. Since I’m using an invisible zipper, I can decorate both sides of the cover, and you’ll see what I’m doing with the second side tomorrow.

One side of the cushion cover

And there you have it — so easy to create embroidery designs using decorative stitches, Programming, and Shape Creator.

Knowing that I can use almost all of the 800+ decorative stitches in embroidery mode and modify the length and width, plus use the Programming and Shaper Creator tools in the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2, well, there is no stopping what I can create! WOW!

Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

Be sure to return, as I’ve done some fun things with embroidered hearts for the second side.

Have a great day!


This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Get perfectly stitched hearts with the Circular Attachment

Go to part 5: Finishing off a cushion cover with machine embroidery and LOTS of hearts

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