Creating Machine Embroidery Applique Designs
If you are new to embroidery, once you buy your first home embroidery machine and get it all set up, you will most likely create your first few designs doing stitched monograms or names.
Stitching a monogram is fairly easy, once you have loaded into your software, and to your machine. A monogram design done in embroidery is simply the machine stitch thread directly to your garment or item.
And once you have mastered a few of these you will move on to applique designs.
In fact, one of my very first embroidery machine experiences was an making an applique. I really had no idea what I was doing.
Thankfully, I was in a class, and the instructor practically held my hand every step of the way since I didn’t even know where the on switch was on the machine.
If you are new to embroidery, I do not recommend applique as your first or even second design.
You will a little experience on how the machine works, starts and stops within a design to know when and how to stop a design when doing an applique.
Starting An Applique Design
Once you have a little embroidery machine know-how under your belt, you can begin making embroidery applique designs.
The first thing you will want to do is pick out your design.
There are several places to find designs for appliques and creating unique designs. I almost recommend always using a design made by someone else that you either bought or got from another embroiderer.
Next, you will want to pick out the thread colors you plan to use in each part of the design, along with corresponding fabric choices.
Regardless if your machine is a multi-needle machine or single needle machine, layout the fabric in order to be placed or appliqued to the base fabric or garment.
For this shirt, I laid out all the variations of fabrics.
Pro Tip: I love best to try to use up all of my scraps of fabrics for new designs before cutting a new swatch of fabric from my fabric stash. I keep a large glass jar in my craft space filled with nothing but fabric scraps.
Starting Your Embroidery Applique Design
Once you have decided on your fabric choices and threads, load your thread, or first thread onto your machine along with your design.
Mark your garment with washi tape or with this painters tape to mark the center of your design. Hoop and load your garment onto your machine, and line up the starting needlepoint to your center mark on your garment where you put the tape.
Once you are satisfied with the lineup, remove your tape before you start the design in your machine.
Related Post: Embroidery Machine Software
Start the first part of your design, and allow your machine to stitch the first placement stitch outline for your first fabric swatch.
Make sure you put a stop on this first section so that your machine will not go onto the next step before you are ready.
Each machine is different. You will need to be familiar with this on your machine and its software before starting this.
Laying Dow Your Fabric
After your machine has stopped after this first stitch step, place the fabric you chose for the first applique section within your machine embroidery design.
Lay the fabric down and allow the machine to stitch the tack down stitch on your design.
Again, make sure you put a stop on the machine design to prevent your machine from going forward onto the next step.
Once the machine stops. Leave your design hooped, but cut away any excess or additional fabric from your design.
This is to allow the final stitch to be stitch to cover up the raw edge, called a satin stitch.
For this design, I chose a raggy design which means the machine embroidery applique design is intended to have a raw unfinished edge. Therefore, I allowed just enough fabric around the top tack stitch.
Here is my design where the fabric was cut away from the edges of the design.
Again, my design called for a rough edge. If your design is a satin stitch, then you will want to cut as close as possible to the stitch line without cutting the stitches or the fabric.
If you do not cut close enough you will see the raw edge peek out form your satin stitch, and if you cut too close your fabric may peel or almost punch itself out of the design.
Finishing Your Design
Finishing each step in the applique process can be time-consuming as you start and stop your machine to allow the fabric to be placed down, cut and then tacked, and or top stitched.
Most machine embroidery applique designs have anywhere between 2-7 applique sections on average. Other designs will have more or less depending on the design and how you create it.
This design is one I made myself using an applique font. Therefore, each letter was a start and stop.
If you purchase a design from an Etsy seller or Designer, then it is likely your design only has a few applique start and stops, and then the rest can stitch as usual.
Here is my finished shirt design.
What do you think? I love it! It is a cute way to show off my creativity and advertise my blog.
What applique designers or designs do you love to use?