Laying Out Multiple Embroidery Designs can get frustrating if you have an item that is an odd size; or if you are like me and math and measuring don't always come easy. I have gotten so much better at using tape measures as I have practiced, but my latest project gave me an opportunity to figure out a simple way to work around using just measurements. You can see in the picture below that trying to get many designs placed just right when they are separate is very time consuming.
This baby blanket was the item that I wanted to work with. I found it in the clearance section of Hobby Lobby for a great price so of course I purchased it and stored in my stash until inspiration hit. One morning, I woke up and Gingham Embroidery Letters flashed in my head. I thought, I will digitize an entire alphabet to go on that little quilt and it will be so cute. Then I set to work in my software.
The Gingham Alphabet letters are stitched in a 4x4 hoop. Once I laid them on the blanket, I discovered it was wider in the middle and sloped toward the curved ends. When I tried to take measurements from any point, I couldn't get a good center mark to even begin with. The edges were not an option because my letters would rise up. In order to get a grid set up, I would need to do some figuring and each time I tried, I just couldn't get it right. The individual printed letters would slide on the quilt and move out of place when I bent over the surface. Then I noticed that each letter I had printed out would be really difficult to get straight. That would affect my ability to hoop them squarely. I knew this was going to be a wall hanging, so any skewed letters would show up prominently.
So I got several pieces of regular copy paper and I cut them out to a 4x4 size. That way they were the same size as each of the letters.
Then I used regular tape and put all of the letters and blank squares of paper together to form one large template.
Now this was so much easier to work with. I could place it anywhere on the blanket and slide it around without fear of the letters becoming skewed. Also since the center grids were printed on the designs, I had a ready made place to mark all of my letter placements. It was so much easier to be able to take just a few measurements now around the edges. I used a heat erase marker and my long ruler to mark lines and then I removed the template and connected all to create the grid.
Here is everything laid out.
To make it easier to keep up with the exact placement of each letter, I wrote in the center of each cross mark the name of the letter design that would be sewn. This helped tremendously. Embroidering 26 letters can get monotonous and I would have hated to sew the wrong one in the wrong place.
Another great simple tip is to use a check off list. I crossed off each letter as they completed. I also wrote the colors ahead of time and used this to double check I had the correct thread color sewing each one.
Once I had everything set up, I was able to work through them one by one with my Echidna Hooping station and Mighty Hoops. I have a small plastic template that I made to help me make sure the letters were placed well. I also did not use any stabilizer when these sewed out. The baby quilt was thick enough and the Gingham Embroidery Letters did just fine.
Here you can see how I arranged the quilt in my Multi Needle machine as it was stitching out.
I finished the blanket with a couple of quotes from the Alphabet song. Since I had my grid already laid out, their placement went really quickly.
All of the grid lines went away with a quick pressing.
Guess what? There are numbers in the Gingham Alphabet pack also. I stitched these on a different color background and thread so you can see that they are just as cute in baby color tones. These designs can go from the nursery all the way up to classroom. If you home school, you could add these to your home study area or even make a soft book. How about using the letters for monograms? Maybe add a name across the letter? Have I got you inspired yet? I have a video below that might help even more. It shows you how I laid the blanket grid out and shows some of the letters stitching.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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