Friday, June 17, 2011

Embroidered Patches

I have a bit of connundrum sometimes. I LOVE embroidery designs. They are adorable. I think I might actually dislike to actually embroider them. It's gotten better since I first got my machine about a year ago. Initially it had a host of problems and it took buying a new Windows based laptop, reinstalling the software a bunch of times and taking it back and forth to Hancock's Bernina kiosk to get it really going.

I'm now at the point with it that I can pretty much sit back and watch it go from across the room. Or as I mentioned to my mother...I can just listen to it go (except with baby clothes, those might catch and still have to be watched). I've used it enough now that I can recognize the sound of something going wrong. So while I work/play with my Cricut, lately I've been putting it to it's paces, somewhat begrudgingly.

Finished but not cleaned up and still hooped
This weekend I had the NEW Cricut to play with and wanted to get the hang of the Cupcake Wrapper cartridge. So while the Cricut was going, I set up the embroidery machine to make patches.

Making patches is pretty easy if you've already gotten the hang of embroidering. It's basically standalone applique. You still have die lines and you still have to place fabric on top of them. Since I'm trying to get as many patches out of the fabric that I can, I precut them. But you don't have to.

Software with 2 patches in it
Over at Urban Threads you can find circles, rounded rectangles, police badge looking shapes, squares and the like for about a dollar. You open up your software and combine one of those designs with any design of your choosing that will fit. Save if you choose to do it again.

All hooped up
To conserve stabilizer, I put 2 in the area that's being hooped. Doing 2 at a time is probably how my frustration just builds and builds. There are a lot of colors, a lot of thread changes, and a lot of time. My loft has been getting hot with all the 90+ degree temps we have in Alabama right now (it rained last night!!).

The die line all stitched
There is also a tutorial over at urban threads for this. They hoop a layer of washable stabilizer and then cut the regular stabilizer into the same shape I believe. I started doing that, but I was having a difficult time getting things to not be sticky after I washed it off. So I stopped cutting the cutaway stabilizer and just hooped it like normal, forgoing the washable. Saves some time at least. I'm not sure if it's better persay. Maybe it depends on the fabric's thickness.

Precut fabric

Just like applique, it should (it didn't in one instance) stitch a die line first to let you know where to put the fabric. So spray it with some spray stuff (404? 505? I forget) and place it where it completely covers the die line. Then get it going again. This step is usually where I get the biggest break. Those shapes around it take like 5 minutes in and of themselves to stitch out, with no interruptions.

Fabric covering the die line
On that note, I've found that the estimates my software gives me for how long it will take a just for how long the actual stitching will take. It doesn't include snipping the thread, switching colors, thread breaks, running out of thread on the bobbin, etc. I spent 30 minutes this weekend just trying to find where the bobbin thread stopped going because that I can't hear.

Patch border stitched, beginning the cute stuff. And yes, I know about the lump and just didn't care.
But in the end, I have 2 cute patches. Or a lot more if you use the small sizes.

Another look at the finished patch

That's pretty much it. And just look at all the cupcake wrappers I made in the meantime!

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  1. To be honest with you I never knew about these machines, Because here in my country I have never seen it. I was interested in knowing more about Custom embroidery patches and thanks to your blog I really learned a lot. Looking forward for more articles from you.

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