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A machine embroidered heart card

I looked everywhere to purchase cards for my twin daughters fortieth birthdays but nothing was suitable so I set about creating machine embroidered ones. When I last made an embroidered card I used a blank card without an opening with success so I decided to do this again, but it went wrong so I had to think around the error….

I looked through my most recent collections and decided that the elements from the Royal Heirloom collection would be appropriate for a heart shape with a 40 in the middle using the same properties as the lace inserts which can be found in the collection. As I did not have a card with this shape insert I intended to add the embroidery as an applique to the card as I had done before.

I choose ivory silk dupion for the embroidery. Here you see the outline of the design holding the silk to the hooped stitch and tear.

For a touch of luxury I laid silk tulle in position where the numbers would be, to replace the fill stitches.

I slowed my machine down for the next stage. The outline is quite narrow and I had to carefully move the silk tulle during the stitch out as I did not want to use any adhesive to hold it in place as it is very very fragile and quite old too. It all went to plan but I decided that the outline needed a darker colour.

After this I removed the hoop from the machine and very carefully trimmed around the numbers. This could not be rushed as the tulle inside the figures easily got caught by my sharp scissors.

The embroidery was then returned to the machine so that remaining colours could be embroidered out.

The leaves and dainty flowers were stitched next.

When the outline of Sulky Rayon Gold 1070 went around the leaves and flowers I decided this should be used to do the outline again.

This made the numbers stand out so much better. After that I finished off the embroidery.

Here you see the completed heart embroidery.

I then hooped more stabiliser in my 5×7 hoop and stitched out the outline of the heart.

Then I took the card and measured each side with tiny pencil marks, so I could place the heart centrally on the stabiliser were similar markings had been made. Then I laid the card in the hoop with a puff of temporary adhesive to hold it in place.

I trimmed around the embroidered heart leaving about a half an inch overlap. I intended to trim the silk after the satin applique was applied. I double checked that everything was in the proper place.

An underlay of zigzag stitches were embroidered first. It was all looking good at this point.

After the underlay was finished I began the satin border which had been given a slight decorative pattern.

The border is almost finished!

Then I took the embroidery out of the hoop to put the finished touches to it.

The back needed some tidying up as this would show inside the card. Ideally you should use a triple folded card so the back can be covered up.

It was at this point that everything went wrong. As I examined the edging deciding where to trim it away, the embroidery came away from the card!!!! This was not what I wanted at all but then I realised that I made the perfect aperture. As I had not trimmed too much fabric away the embroidery could go behind the aperture.

I used sticky tape to hold the heart in place making sure that it was sitting perfectly in the cut out.

I had to find some paper to cover it all up but could not find a perfect colour match even though it was white.

Double sided sticky tape was used to hold this in place.

Not perfect but an adequate work around the dilemma.

As you can see the edge of the aperture is not smooth but I decided against trying to do anything to it as the card may get spoilt.

Here is my first finished card. I then set about repeating the process again for a second card hoping that the embroidery would pop out again. It did I am pleased to say, which meant I had two unique birthday cards for my special girls on their birthday.

Never panic when your embroidery goes wrong. You may end up discovering something new as I did. With careful consideration you will hopefully be able to avoid it happening again. That is how we improve our embroidery skills.

To complete both cards I added a few coral coloured pearls to each. If I did this again I would be sure to get some three sided cards so that the back of the embroidery was hidden. This gives a very professional look. As my previous embroidered card did not have this problem of popping out, you may be wondering why it occurred. I think the applique border was too dense and all those needle penetrations cut the card completely, but I am so pleased it happened as it is near impossible to find cards with the right apertures. Needless to say my girls were delighted with their birthday cards.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

10 thoughts on “A machine embroidered heart card

  1. Instead of trying to match the color of the card to cover the backside of the embroidery, use a complimentary color to the embroidery.

  2. Thank you Hazel for this in-depth description of making the embroidery cards for your daughters, The detailed instructions of how you compensated for the problems that occurred are phenomenal, and gives us all some ideas for when we encounter similar problems.

  3. As always, your designs are lovely.

    With your new Epic 2, consider trying the ribbon attachment for you outline. Have you setup your 3 months of free access to the embroidery library? Or better yet, digitize your own. A new challenge for a great artist.

    1. I will look into that. I hope eventually to digitise for the ribbon attachment but that may not be possible yet. It is still early days to realise all the features and possibilities of the Epic 2. In the meantime happy embroidering from Hazel

  4. Your card is beautiful. I enjoy making embroidered cards and have a wedding card to make. I’ll try your new technique, thank you.

  5. Hi my name is Irma, I think your nutcracker designs are exquisite and I’m wondering if you have designed even more, like a baker, toy maker, hunter, seamstress or tailor, horn player? Just examples. I can hardly wait to see, thanks

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