The alignment of large machine embroidery designs

By Olla
Click on the picture to see an enlargement
Many people keep off doing big embroideries that consist of a few pieces. However, this is not so much of a trouble! As for me, I attach pieces of big designs by means of cross marks left specially when doing these pieces (at their beginnings and ends). Usually I place only a stabilizer into the hoop. As this case needed a dense embroidery, I inserted a CutAways Madeira stabilizer "Super Stable". You can use any dense tearaway or cutaway instead. While doing the first piece of embroidery, you don’t need to mind alignment much. Only when finishing the 1st piece, it’s time to make cross marks for alignment.
Alignment cross marksWhen doing the second and other pieces of embroidery, I begin with alignment cross marks that the design demands to do first.
Cross marksThen I take the hoop off its fastenings and align the cross marks processed last in the previous piece, with cross marks on the stabilizer, by pins. You can easily do this on some soft surface, i.e. on an ironing board.
Keep the fabric stableAs this fabric has a rigid lining, so, having matched all control points, I tape the fabric to the stabilizer by a double-sided tape. This is sufficient to keep the fabric stable when you turn to embroidering alignment cross marks and seaming the stabilizing trim around the design. When working with light or medium weight fabrics or knitted fabric, you'd better use a glue for temporary backing and be sure to stick the whole surface of the fabric to the stabilizer rather than the borders only.
Check whether the crosses match correctlyAfter all this is done, I check whether the cross marks match correctly. Then I place the hoop into the machine and start making control points once again. Usually, the cross marks appear exactly where you need them. If this time you weren’t lucky and the cross marks do not match, you need to unstitch them and place the fabric in the hoop correctly. Only when you have succeeded in matching control points, your embroidery will look as a single picture and borders between pieces will be hard to notice!
The alignment of pieces was good As you can see from this, the alignment of pieces was good.
DaisyFinally, I got this daisy to put into a frame and place on the wall, or to do something more interesting. Like the embroidered top of a box for valuables.