Stitching a name on fabric

jennOctober 14, 2006

Hi, I frequent some of the other forums but I have an embroidery question that I hope someone can answer.

I'm planning to make quillows (a quilt that folds into a pillow) for Christmas gifts this year.

I would like to each child's name outside the pocket in red embroidery thread. I have never done this before, and I do not have an embroidery machine. I thought I'd locate some tracing paper at the sewing store, tracing the letters onto the fabric, and, using a simple embroidery stitch (backhand? chain stitch?) stitch over the markings with red embroidery thread. I think I can print a page with the name in a huge font and trace that onto the paper.

Two questions:

1. Are there any problems with my technique?

2. What type of embroidery stitch would be best, and how many threads do I use?



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Check your manual to see if it does Monogramming. Then check if it has satin stitch and does applique. If it does do that.
I would applique then put it on the blanket.Using a satin st to hold it down. The stabilizer stuff will curl up at the ends and start to come off, so that is why you need to stitch it. Put your name on a piece of square shape fabric easier to stitch. Another idea do free motion embroidery, Another idea ask a friend to do it on their embroidery machine. Do a satin st.(close zz st.)You can use embroidery thread in your machine. You could even do varigated thread. White thread in bobbin or the same colour thread that is on the top. What kind of machine do you have???? brand?? You do not have to worry about the kids picking at it, they won't. I made one out of fleece and used a wavy blade on the rotary cutter for the sides and ends for a boy. You can also do the pocket in diff fabric. The name everyone is saying from the other forum not to use. For inside home use only is fine. On a T-shirt never. People still put kids names on T-shirts. Your techinque trace the letter on paper , cut it out, use it as a template, lay it on fabric ,Pin, cut out the letter, then stitch it onto the pocket. BUT first do all the letters, lay then on the pocket where you want them to be, put a pin in each one. and then do your stitching. I hope this has answered your questions. B.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 7:57AM
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Thank you for all the nice ideas.

I don't believe my machine does monogramming. It is a White model that I bought in the mid-80s. It has several stitches including a zigzag and buttonhole, but even if it has monogramming I don't want to try something like that for the first time on a big project like these. I'd tear my hair out if I made a big mistake and couldn't fix it.

What I meant by tracing the letters on paper was to PRINT each name on the computer with a font in large block letters. Lay the name down on top of tracking paper, and trace around the letters on the back of the paper. Then lift it off and stitch each letter. But that too is a big project if I've never done it before, and I have a lot of these to do, and I work full time and do other things as well. I don't want to get in over my head and wish I never thought of this idea at all. :o)

I found some iron-on embroidered block letters at Joanns that I really liked. Not only do they have a sticky back, but they are also ironed on for additional adhesiveness. I am planning to buy just one, adhere it to a scrap of fabric according to the directions, and send it through the washer and dryer a few times.

Or, I may just forget this idea altogether... with or without the names, I think they will like the quillows.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 11:36PM
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Without an embroidery machine, I think it will be a lot of work. Unless, as Stitcheasy says, find a friend with one LOL

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 1:44AM
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Do the blocks you got from the store but satin st.them so they will not wear off. Use a satin stitch on your machine and go all around the letter first. Do a practice first. Your manual should have a satin st in it. or use a zz st. shorting the length of it. then sew the pocket onto the blanket. You are taking about applique with printing them off. Have you done applique before?? check this out , it has letters.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 7:58AM
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If the above does not work
that is the web site. right hand side , click on pillow and pillowcases. free patterns

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 8:04AM
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It's easy to do free motion satin stitch writing on your White machine...actually rather fun to do. You set up for satin stitch (about 1 length and a 2 width), drop or cover your feed dogs, use a ball point needle, put some stabilizer under the fabric, drop the presser foot, and start doodling. If you want more structure, have the feed dogs up, and guide the fabric on the line you drew, or in your case, the template you did on computer.

Some people will use a spring embroidery hoop and guide the hoop, some prefer not to use a hoop and grip the ends of the fabric to move the fabric.

You can also do free-motion thread painting using a straight stitch, drop the feed dogs, and fill the area in any which direction you want.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 8:45AM
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I do not see any problems with the technique you describe for hand embroidery. I do recommend going to your local library and getting a book that explains basic embroidery stiches.

The number of threads is related to the stitch, needle and size of the letters. In general, two threads will cover more than one thread would. I suggest practicing - make your letter templates and try them on a scrap piece of fabric. This way you'll can experiment until the letters are just want you want. I would try using a simple back stitch.

May I also suggest that you sign and date your work? The project sounds very special. Hand embroidery is a very rewarding endeavor.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 11:22PM
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Jenn, I'm not sure where you're located, but I'd be willing to do that embroidery for you if you're interested. I have the Singer XL6000, so I can do up to 6 x 9 area. I did about 5 of them for a friend of my mom's last year, and they turned out really great. If you'd feel comfortable sending me the pieces that need to be embroidered, let me know. If it's just a few names, it shouldn't take me more than a couple days depending on my work schedule, and I'd love to do it. The kids enjoyed their quillow so much, and their mother sent me pictures of them all cuddled up with them on Christmas morning. It was really sweet! Anyway, email me if you would like to do that. There wouldn't be any charge, just the shipping costs, I suppose.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 11:37PM
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Jenn or Laura I'm curious where you get directions for the Quillow's. Also how did your's Jenn turn out for the Holidays? I was going to suggest that you switch to Initials instead of full names but that's not always possible or as nice. If you can put your 80's machine into a darn mode or disengage the dog teeth you can do free motion emroidery probably nicely with your machine. Check it's manual. And make a practice piece up until you get the hang of it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:46AM
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Gosh, I forgot all about this thread and came here to search "blanket" and found it again!

Unfortunately I am still working on the quillows. In November, after I posted this thread, I cut my thumb with a rotary cutter I was using to cut the fabric for one of the pockets. The blade severed the extensor tendon and the capsule between the bones of the 2nd joint. A week later, I had out-patient surgery, then spent 4 weeks in a cast. Then, my thumb needed to heal and regain strength, so the quillows were set aside until just a couple of weeks ago when I started to work on them again. One is done, and the remaining three are getting there.... I just need to top-stitch the quillow part and add the pocket, then tie, and I'm done. My thumb is healing pretty well, though the joint is still swollen and doesn't have full range-of-motion yet and I'm wondering if I ever will. The doctor said to give it another 3 months for the swelling to go away. But, even if it doesn't, I can live with it as it is. Meanwhile, I have a scar to always remind me to be *extremely* careful with the rotary cutter!

I came here tonight to look up blanket stitching. I abandoned the embroidery idea, and I'm now considering appliqueing the boys' names on a quillow corner or outside of the pocket, using the fabric from the other side of the quillow.

Here's my idea: On one side of fusable web, trace the letters, iron to the wrong side of the fabric, cut out the letters leaving about 1/4" all the way around, and stitch to the pocket or quillow using a blind stitch, then use a decorative blanket stitch all the way around.

Does anyone see anything wrong with that idea? Do you think I can get them done in my lifetime??? I think the boys' quillows will get a lot of use, and washings, so I want the applique to be durable. I can't machine applique because the layers are already sewn together with batting in between; if I sew through all the layers, the letters will appear in reverse on the under side.

The blanket stitch looks easy and I think I did it eons ago. What I don't understand is how to space the stitches so that the first and last stitches (which will meet when I get all the way around a letter) are the same distance apart as all the others.

Any tips would be appreciated. I'm also considering abandoning this idea altogether so I can get the quillows finished before spring... at the rate I'm going they might be THIS year's Christmas gifts! LOL!

Thanks to everyone who offered embroidery suggestions and offered to help.

Oh, about the quillows... just Google "quillow" and you will find lots of sites with instructions. These are some I bookmarked:
The one I use:


    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 10:07PM
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Hi Jenn, Sorry about your accident(had to be awful!). Glad you are getting better.If you just keep your blanket stitches rather close(1/8 to1/4 inch) depending on the size of the letter it will come out close enough. Are these for grandchildren? Mine love everything I do even if it isn't perfect. Good luck with your project. Sally

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 10:23PM
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