Machine Embroidery

Test Stitching

Test-stitching on the same fabric and number of layers as your project is critical to determine any tension adjustments, the correct stabilizer choice and the overall look of your design. Don’t skip this step!


Fabric or wholecloth quilt top Assemble the thread colors in the order they will be stitched. Thread the machine with the first color.

Following your embroidery machine instructions, install the hoop and adjust the needle position, if necessary, to begin at the design center.

All machines stop when it’s time to change thread colors, so stay at the machine and change the top thread as needed to complete the design. Before stitching subsequent segments, clip all jump threads to avoid having them caught in the next color of stitching.

When the embroidery is complete, remove the hoop from the machine and clip any threads from the underside. Unhoop, remove the stabilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and remove any markings.

Trim the fabric to the designated size, positioning the embroidery as planned; continue with the quilt construction.

Layered quilt

To embroider motifs on a layered quilt, roll the bulk of the quilt out of the way and secure with clips. Support the quilt weight during the embroidery process to avoid design distortion and pull on the embroidery arm.

To quilt the layers using the embroidery machine, follow the instructions above to mark the design placement, keeping in mind that precise placement is critical for any adjoining or continuous motifs.

If you have enough fabric to fill the hoop, follow the instructions above for embroidery, hooping all the layers together and adjusting the hoop set screw for the added thickness.

If you’re quilting near the edges and don’t have enough fabric to fill the hoop, use one of these techniques. Baste fabric to the combined layers of the quilt edges to add enough width and/or length for hooping.



Be sure there is no additional fabric under the embroidery area. Or, hoop adhesive or water-activated stabilizer, activate the adhesive and position the quilt in place on the stabilizer, matching the design placement markings to the hoop markings.



If your machine offers a “baste” or “fix” function, use it to secure the multiple layers in place; otherwise baste the layers together by hand.

Remove the excess fabric and/or stabilizer after the embroidery is complete.


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