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An ornament applique design for Free Embroidery Design Monday

Ornament machine applique design
Ornament machine applique design

And the Christmas theme continues…. The past three weeks of free holiday embroidery and applique designs seem to have been a hit. So, I am going to keep going with it! In my quest to find holiday icons to digitize – I came up with the idea of digitizing an ornament. Ok – it’s not the most original idea – but it’s a classic shape, it fits in a 4″ x 4″ hoop, and you can customize the inside with a monogram or special message. And it’s free!

Here are three suggestions for how you might use this design.

1) Appliqué them with different Christmas fabrics on a Christmas tree skirt.

2) Add a monogram in the center of the ornament and add a Christmas flair to a t-shirt of a dress for a little girl.

3) Turn it into an ornament.  If you treat it like it were a patch – you could stitch this out, trim it and hang it on your Christmas tree.

Have fun!

Download the ornament machine appliqué design file

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Rose appliqué t-shirt for a young girl: super quick and easy!

Rose applique design
Rose applique design

My daughter’s good friend, Evelyn, is having a birthday party this weekend which presents a fantastic opportunity to make something with my embroidery machine. But what to make at the last minute. I needed something quick and readily available in my sewing room.

Evelyn is a pretty sophisticated little chickadee. Her parents are British and she is lovely like a little English rose. So why not make her a modern applique rose t-shirt?

A few weeks ago I digitized a rose design and test stitched it out, (which was inspired by a book on traditional embroidery designs) and I actually turned out pretty cute.  I was ready to test it out on a t-shirt.  And I just so happened to have a girls t-shirt laying around and tons of scrap fabric.

One of the great things about this design is that stitches out very quickly. It makes a big impact with a very low thread count. And all the trimming of the appliqué fabric happens after the stitching is done, so there is no need to remove the hoop from the machine and place it back on throughout the process. For these reasons I love this design. Hopefully Evelyn will too!

The rose applique design is available on the Machine Embroidery Geek Etsy store.

Evelyn's rose appliqué t-shirt
Evelyn’s rose appliqué t-shirt



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Rose sketch triple stitch applique design

Rose sketch machine applique design
Rose sketch machine applique design

A couple of weeks ago on an Inspiration Sunday – I talked about a book that my friend hand leant me that featured traditional embroidery designs.  I showed a couple of pictures from a book about traditional embroidery that my friend, Anna loaned me, and I mentioned that I might be digitizing some of them in the near future.

Well – the future has arrived!  Today I took the rose sketch design into my little computer and digitized it as a triple stitch design.

I think what prompted me to work on this design is the impending demise of my rose t-shirt (one of my favorites).  I was wearing it the other day and noticed two small holes right in the front of the t-shirt.  Dang!  I love that shirt.  it’s the perfect weight and the rose graphic is simple and bold.

J Crew t-shirt - my fav.
J Crew t-shirt – my fav.

Then I realized the my rose t-shirt looked a lot like the rose design I spotted in Anna’s book.  Perhaps I could create something similar?

I think this design actually turned out quite well.  I am wondering if you could purchase thicker, more decorative thread for the stitching to make the appliqué look more ornate. With my test stitching looking good – I may just have to remake my beloved t-shirt.

I put the design on my Etsy store – and for it’s debut week – I am offering two sizes of this design for just $1.


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Six tips for successful machine appliqué

For a long time I was mystified by the machine applique process. I just didn’t understand how it worked. But now that I have studied up, digitized some applique designs and learned some lessons the hard way – I can officially offer up some advice the machine applique newbies out there.

1) Use designs with a placement line. A placement line is the first stitching that takes place which indicates where to place the design. Without a placement line – it’s pretty hard to know where to place the appliqué, right? So always ask – if buying a machine applique design, “does this have a placement line.”

2) Wash and dry both your applique fabric and the garment or fabric on which you are digitizing. You don’t want one to shrink after the fact. It will cause buckling.

3) Heavily starch your appliqué fabric. Why? It makes it super stiff – which helps with more precise cutting and less bunching when being stitched.

4) Use adhesive spray on the wrong side of the your appliqué fabric to stick the paper pattern to your fabric to help you cut it out more precisely.

5) Cut slits in any “holes” in the appliqué fabric. This will make it easier to trim away these area. For example, in the peace sign today – it is important to slit out the open areas inside of the peace sign before stitching it down.

6) After the appliqué fabric is stitched down with a zigzag stitch, use appliqué scissors to trim around the object. Appliqué scissors make it much easier to trim close to the design without trimming the fabric underneath.

I hope these tips are helpful for you as you embark on your adventures in machine appliqué.

Machine applique peace sign in progress. Time to trim!
Machine applique peace sign in progress. Time to trim!