Use the following steps to create templates for embroidery design “parts” that need to be combined to form a whole or larger design. The use of templates will insure the accuracy of the “parts” placement.
The 5×7" designs have two or more parts for each full design. Embroider Part "A" first, re-hoop, then embroider Part "B" and continue with remaining parts until all parts have been embroidered. New "X" registration marks have been digitized for each design’s part to assist when marking the fabric blocks and aligning them.
- Create and print paper design templates, in actual sizes, of all the design parts (A, B, C, etc.) using your computer’s embroidery software program. (Hint: printing the templates in black and white will provide a darker copy to work with.) To get accurate design part placement on the block of fabric, be sure that templates include (1) each part’s design center and (2) the vertical and horizontal centerlines and “X” registration marks.
- If you do not have software, stitch each design on see-through fabric, such as organdy. Make sure you mark the vertical and horizontal centers of the fabric template, which is critical when creating a template. Use the fabric template as described below, just as you would a paper template.
- Sometimes only one side of a design has been digitized because the other side is a mirror image. In this case you would need to make sure you create the mirror-imaged templates as well to complete the design. Mark the center point and vertical and horizontal centerlines of the fabric to be embroidered using a wash-away marking pen. Fig. 1
- Combine the printed or stitched templates A, B, C, etc, aligning the registration marks. Secure the templates with tape or glue. Fig. 2
- For ease of template manipulation, trim the excess paper or fabric around the design templates.
- Remember to keep the reference marks and lines straight and/or parallel when marking and combining.
In this example (designs A & B), a new vertical centerline for the complete design is formed half way between design part A and design part B’s vertical centers. Draw this line on your combined template. Fig. 3
- Center the combined template over the fabric marking the vertical and horizontal center of each design, as well at the registration marks.
- Stick the fabric block onto the hooped stabilizer, aligning design “Part A” horizontal and vertical center with the hooped stabilizer horizontal and vertical centerline. Press the fabric block to the stabilizer. Fig. 4
- Load Part A design into the embroidery machine. Align the design’s horizontal and vertical centerline with the hoop’s horizontal and vertical center. Embroider Part A.
- Remove the fabric block from the hoop. Carefully trim the excess stabilizer from behind the fabric block.
- Re-hoop and re-mark new stabilizer with the hoop’s vertical and horizontal centerlines.
- Select and load the design Part B in the embroidery machine.
- Re-position the fabric block onto the stabilizer, aligning design Part B’s centerlines with the hoop’s centerlines, keeping the vertical and horizontal placement straight. Advance the machine’s design stitches to check that the needle alignment for the "X" marks of Part B match exactly the same positions as the previously stitched Part A’s alignment marks. If they match, reset embroidery machine to the beginning stitch and proceed. If not, re-align the fabric block onto the stabilizer until everything matches. Fig. 5
- Embroider Part B. Fig. 6
- Continue with additional design parts until the entire design is complete.
- Remove the stitched design from the hoop.
- If using a tear-away sticky stabilizer, carefully tear away the stabilizer so as not to disturb the stitches. Remove any wash-away pen marks and let dry.
- If using a wash-away stabilizer, trim the largest portions away from the design back and then rinse and/or soak the embroidery to remove the remainder of the stabilizer and any remaining pen marks according to the manufacturer’s directions. Let dry. Fig. 7
Example of the Anniversary Quilt’s Full Center Block Templates
Left Half & Right Half
When working with a 5×7” hoop only, the Full Center block will require 6 separate hoopings to complete. The Left Half will have 3 design Parts (A, B, & C); the Right Half will have the same 3 designs Parts (A, B, & C) except you must mirror-image them to complete the Right side.
The diagram on the right shows the placement of the finished block on your embroidery fabric. The fabric’s vertical and horizontal centerlines were marked in advance with a wash-away marker to assist in centering all the design Parts on the full piece of fabric.
The diagram at the right shows how we have joined the three Parts for the Left Half of the Center Block. We printed paper templates for all the Left Half Design Parts, showing each design part’s center point so it could be matched to the hoop’s center point when embroidering. Then we cut the paper templates to get rid of any extra blank paper so it would be easier when overlaying and joining the common “X” registration marks between adjacent parts. Once we had the registration marks matched, we taped them together.
We repeated the process for the Right Half Design Parts (as mirrored images). Then we taped the Left & Right Halves together in the configuration shown in the finished diagram and marked the overall vertical & horizontal centerlines for the full Center block.
Next, we transferred all the design Part’s centerlines and registration marks to the fabric to be embroidered on, using a wash-away marker. To help in alignment we also used a wash-away marker to extend the vertical & horizontal centerlines from the indicated center points on each of the design Parts.
Finally, we completed the embroidering of each half (in A to C order), re-hooping each Part so the Part’s center point and centerlines matched the hoop’s center point and centerlines.