|Machine Embroidered Elephant Applique Pillow|
|Panty Lines! Base Fabric Shows Through Applique Fabric|
I sourced the machine embroidery design for this cute elephant applique from Applique Corner Design, an independent Etsy seller who created the design using Bernina digitizing software -- software that I own, but never digitize with. I can almost always find a professionally digitized design that suits my project and only use the software to edit, combine designs, and tweak things. I did need to make some adjustments to this design in my software after I stitched out a sample embroidery. I added underlay stitching to the ear applique because the satin stitching didn't meet up exactly for me when the circle was complete. Also, the original design file instructed the machine to stitch the entire outline of the elephant first and then go back and do the tail separately. In my test sew, the elephant pulled in ever so slightly, just enough that the tail ended up not being attached to the body. Like pin the tail on the elephant, but without the pin. I easily corrected that by programming the tail and body outline as a single embroidery object to stitch out at the same time. Finally, I enlarged the design to completely fill the usable portion of my Mega embroidery hoop.
|Tracing Applique Shapes Onto Fusible Web|
Initially, I had planned to use Dry CoverUp, a vinyl topping product designed for machine embroidery, to prevent the embroidered dots of my base fabric from showing through the finished elephant applique. However, I tried it in my trial run and I didn't like how stiff it made the finished embroidery. This was, after all, for a baby's room, and I wanted this pillow to be super soft and snuggly when it was finished. So I used temporary spray adhesive to hold two layers of my thin cotton elephant fabric together, and then I treated the doubled fabric as one layer.
|Fusible Web with Window, Adhered to Reverse Side of Applique Fabric|
|Test Fitting Applique Shapes to Printed Template|
|Fusing the Applique Shape to the Background Fabric|
|Tackdown Stitching Completed, Satin Stitching In Progress|
Here you can see how, after the entire design finished stitching and I removed the fabric from the hoop, I not only removed my tearaway stabilizer from the project, but also cut away the background fabric inside the body of the elephant, using duckbilled applique scissors to ensure I didn't snip into the applique fabric by mistake. Note that I would not have been able to remove the backing fabric if I had fusible web permanently adhering the entire elephant shape to the background fabric -- that's why I cut that window in the fusible web before I fused it to the yellow fabric:
|Excess Backing Fabric Trimmed Away Behind Elephant Applique|
|Finished! Soft, Snuggly Applique with No Embarrassing Show-Through|
Here's the finished pillow:
|Finished Elephant Pillow|
The other embroidered pillow for this project was a custom monogram. When I design monograms for very young children, I like to use very clear, legible fonts. Although this is for a newborn's nursery, I'm thinking about this baby growing into a preschooler, recognizing his name and his initials on the pillow once he starts learning the alphabet and learning to write his name. I know I said that I never digitize anything with my embroidery software, but I do use it quite a bit for monograms. I spelled out the child's name in lower case letters using a TrueType font that I digitized for embroidery in my software. Then I combined the first name design with a large capital initial "G" that I purchased from Embroidery Arts, my absolute favorite source for machine embroidered monogram designs. This letter is from their Moderne Monogram Set 5, and I used my embroidery software to enlarge it significantly and changed the satin stitch to a step fill stitch pattern.
I was using that same pesky Schumacher Skittles fabric that already had splatter dots embroidered all over it, so there were "panty line" issues with this design, too -- especially since my large "G" needed to be stitched in pale yellow thread over top of dark blue embroidered splatter dots. This time, I did use the CoverUp product, and it worked like a charm, making my yellow G stand out boldly against the background fabric and completely eliminating show through. Since the letter "G" that needed CoverUp was skinny, the stiffness of the vinyl CoverUp was negligible with this design. I just had to go back and very carefully trim away the little whiskers of yellow vinyl that remained around the edges of the embroidery after I tore the excess product away.
|Monogram Test Embroidery Completed|
|Automatic Basting Function|
|Finished Pillow: "G" is for Graham|
|Custom Diaper Stacker|
And here's the whole nursery:
Here's the initial design rendering I made for the client:
I was really happy with how this project turned out, and more importantly, the new mom was thrilled with it. All's well that ends well. Back to that hand applique medallion!