As soon as I saw that the contest this year is open to embroidery, I knew I had to enter. I considered embroidering on felt or on vinyl, which both make a neat project, but then I realized I could do it without any fabric at all.
This ornament is stitched out on water soluble stabilizer, which is then washed away, leaving only the stitches behind.
I created the file in Embrilliance StitchArtist.
I then saved it in a format that my embroidery machine can read (PES because it is a Babylock) and transferred the file to a USB stick. I inserted that stick into my home embroidery machine and loaded the file.
Most embroidery projects use colors on top and white bobbin thread. This will be seen from both sides, so I wound a bobbin with red thread for the red areas so that it would look great from every angle.
I placed the bobbin with the red thread into the bobbin case and red thread through the thread path and through the eye of the needle and stitched out the first color, which was the fill of Makey's body and his red hat, as well as the outline of his hat and the circle for hanging.
The machine stops at the end of each color and alerts me to change to the next thread color. I then removed the red bobbin and the top thread and replaced both with white. I hit start to stitch the next color block, which is the white fill in Makey's belly and hat, as well as all of the white outlines and his eyes. The machine stops again to alert me to change to the last color. This was the M on his chest. That could not be stitched in the first block of red because it has to go onto the white fill. I try to get all of one color stitched at once so that I do not have to change thread as often, but sometimes a color just has to be separated into more than one block.
After I was finished stitching, I removed it from the embroidery hoop and ran warm water over it. Within a minute, all of the stabilizer is gone, leaving behind wet thread. A quick blot with a hand towel and some time to air dry and Makey is ready to hang on the tree.
The only "special" item needed is the washaway stabilizer. Almost every project will need some form of stabilizer, this is just one type. Any embroiderer will have multiple thread colors and bobbins on hand as they are needed for any project.
The key to creating freestanding lace designs is to run lines of thread in multiple directions so that they form an interlocking pattern. The satin outline ties the edges together so that the pieces stay connected. The washaway stabilizer gives the thread a foundation until they are all stitched together and able to stand on their own.
This can be stitched on any home embroidery machine on the market. I have included files that can be read by all of the major embroidery machine brands on the market. I have included 2 sizes - I prefer the slightly larger version, which is approximately 115mmx144mm. Some machines have a 100mmx100mm (approximately 4 inches x 4 inches) field so I included a file for that as well, so that everyone can play along.