I try to keep an eye on what is going on in the Machine Embroidery world so I know what problems need to be addressed. Nothing seems to be spark more comments than jump stitches! Many of you hate them and I have read that some prefer not to purchase embroidery designs where jump stitches exist. I would like to show you that they are not to be avoided at all costs and how necessary they are to some styles of embroidery, particularly mine at Graceful Embroidery.
I am currently working on the designs which will make up the Jacobean Sampler collection. These are very brightly coloured designs which lots of thread changes. I do not apologise for this because the Jacobean look can only be created with lots of colour, threads changes and “jump stitches”! Take the design shown above, which stitches out in a 5″ x 7″ ( 130mm x 180mm) hoop. It holds quite a few of the elements of the collection, has 16,809 stitches, 30 different colours and 41 thread changes.
With careful planning I have created it to sit alongside itself for borders and panels. The collection is being developed so that a Sampler with borders and panels can be embroidered out. Here is the design production information on this design taken from my Wilcom EmbroiderySuite e4.5 software.
As you can see it has 71 trims and that may put you off embroidering it out.
Before you dismiss this design and others like it, consider with me why there are so many thread changes and jump stitches. There are many styles of embroidery, some dense and some more open. The design shown below is a rose from the Floribunda’s Serenade collection. Although it has several shades of red and pink to give the petals depth there are no gaps within the embroidery. So does this embroidery design have no jump stitches?
I am afraid to say that it does have a few but not as many as our first design. Often times when digitizing flowers it is vital to have jump stitches and quite a few colour changes so that the flower appears natural and not flat. I often give my flowers outlines to emphasize their edges and these may be added in sections at the end, requiring a few jump stitches.
A more open design like those in the Jacobean Sampler must have gaps between the elements. I prefer this type of embroidery. With machine embroidery we often try to emulate traditional styles of embroidery. Remember these were done by hand, taking many many hours of patience. Fastening off and starting in another place on the fabric was not an issue like jump stitches are now. Many of us have machine that will cut the jump stitches but it still seems to be an issue. I know that some do not use the jump stitch function on their machines as they do not like the way it makes the tie on the back of the embroidery. I don’t mind this and have not found it increases puckering. Let us not forget that our machines have the capacity to stitch out “breathtakingly beautiful” embroidery but this cannot be an instant process and takes effort and time.
When creating my designs I do look to see when running stitches can be used to link elements of the design, avoiding jump stitches, BUT I am always aware that these can show through especially when dark or vibrant colours are used, or the stitches that cover them are only just delicate running stitches. I would rather create a jump stitch than ruin the design with show through. My other option would be to widen or make the covering stitches denser, but that can spoil a design altogether. So try not to regard these necessary functions in your embroidery as the enemy but as necessary to the overall look of your embroidery. They can be eliminated completely when digitizing badges and emblems but not for my style of embroidery. In summarizing I believe that they are not the enemy! I hope you can see them in the same way.
The Jacobean Sampler collection is still in development and will be released later this year.
Stay safe and well. Happy embroidering from Hazel