Machine Embroidery Applique

I know you’re out there….all of you who have heard about applique using your embroidery machine, but have not seen a design created this way or have not had the courage to try it on your own.

No problem.

Last night I stitched out this design from one of the new Bernina collections called “Caravan”.  Now when I say “Bernina collections”, it just means that Bernina distributes the designs.  You don’t have to own a Bernina. The designs work on any embroidery machine, and come in all machine formats.

First start stitching out the design.  I chose a denim jacket to support all the craft stitches included in this design and I used 2 layers of poymesh cutaway stabilizer.

caravan1This embroidery machine applique collection contains designs for applique, cutwork, crystalwork, paintwork and a printable. The kit comes with a catalog of designs, as well as suggested thread colors, pattern pieces and even a way to get your designs back if you accidentally write over the usb stick!


Bernina embroider software 7Keep Bernina Embroidery Software 7 open nearby, or you can use any software or none at all. It just helps to keep track of the thread colors as you go.



placement lineBecause the design was originally digitized as an applique, one thread color will be used as a placement line. This is usually just a simple running stitch.




applique fabricAdd the fabric, then let the next thread color run.  It will trace the outline of the applique. Use applique scissors to cut away the fabric around the top running stitch.




applique scissorsI prefer to use these small rounded snips because they allow me to get into tight corners.  Because they point up, they’ll also prevent you from poking holes in the fabric underneath. You can find different types of applique scissors on the market.



caravan in progressTake your time with these designs as you will be stopping to lay down fabric, trim it away and the design will layer stitches on top to finish the look.  This particular design had 5 layers of applique.  Can you see them all?



Looks great on my denim jacket!

Looks great on a denim jacket!

I apologize for the darkness of some of these shots.  That’s what happens when I work at night!  Anyway, here’s the final design!  The detail on it is magnificent!  Machine embroidery applique is not difficult at all.  It’s just knowing when to lay down fabric.  Jump in and try this.  It will give your designs added dimension, color and complexity without adding more stitches.

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