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A re-blog: Embroidering a Wreath

There is nothing more delightful than a perfectly embroidered wreath in the centre of a table with an ornament or vase standing in the middle, but many of us may find the prospect rather daunting unless it is embroidered out in one hooping. In preparing the Anastasia’s Spring I thought a lovely wreath featuring the beautiful daffodils and tulips in this collection would be a magnificent addition.

Due to the detail that these flowers contain it was not possible to prepare a decent size wreath for one hooping. I got carried away creating the perfect segment that would multiply upon itself and be a wonderful wreath of spring flowers for an Easter tablecloth or similar project, not paying any attention to its exact size. Hope you like it!


Then I selected the whole design to discover that it would need a total of three hoopings! There was a challenge for me in preparing it and for you too, but it is sometimes good to aim high to increase your skills and confidence, so here goes. Although I would use my Outline alignment stitches to help the placement of the three designs I felt that something else was required. After much deliberation I settled on an extra outline, the inner circle which the design forms  which could be used to help align the 3 designs perfectly. This circle can be stitched out on your stabiliser or just drawn. It needs to be  6″ (153 mm) diameter. Each design will include the relevant section of this circle.

1Here you see the OAS for GFE-ATP-4-10a and the partial circle. 

2This is the first segment of the wreath when it has been embroidered.

2aThe the OAS for the second design are stitched on your stabiliser so you can place your fabric in the correct place for the second segment of the wreath.

3Lastly this diagram shows the OAS for the third design and the important alignment areas.

3bHere is the finished wreath! If you have not used my Outline alignment stitches before I suggest experimenting with them on a smaller project before attempting this one. For your information the three designs combined have just over 170,000 stitches. The wreath measures 338.9mm by 337.0mm, which is 13.07″ by 13.4″ so even our new hoops that have been developed since 2015 will not accommodate this wreath.

Now to stitch it out. I began by making sure I had a piece of fabric at least 15″ square and I prepared it by pressing and steaming it. I then marked its centre. The first hooping is made on your fabric as GFE-ATP-4-12-circle stitches out a circle which is  6″ (153 mm). Alternatively you could draw a circle this size with a compass on your fabric, which is what I did. The wreath needs to sit outside of this circle. After that was done I hooped another piece of stabiliser and stitched out the first colour way for GFE-ATP-4-12a which are the Outline alignment stitches (OAS)


Notice the outline of this design and the section of the circle which it sits against. I left the stabiliser in my hoop, sprayed it with temporary adhesive well away from my machine or other devices.


I matched the circle with curved outline as shown here. You can also use pins placed well outside of the stitching area or tacking stitches to hold the fabric in place. The next colour will stitch a basting box around the design.


Here is the first section stitched out. I have left the basting box in place so you can see where it all matches. I removed as much stabiliser from the back but not within the basting box. It is essential to keep the OAS on the back as they match the OAS in subsequent designs. Here is a close up view. The circle can just be seen underneath.


Another hooping was required for the outline of GFE-ATP-4-12b which was placed to the right of the first design in a clock wise direction and then aligned to the existing OAS of that  design at the points marked on this photo.


I laid the design in place making sure it was along the circle. As I was using matching points everything aligned perfectly. I checked my positioning by going back a colour on my machine and moving through the OAS to see where the needle was positioned at several places just to be absolutely sure. Then when I was happy with the position I stitched the basting box to secure my fabric in place, and then embroidered the 2nd design which has been stitched to the right of the first one.


Finally I stitched the OAS on stabiliser for the 3rd design. I knew there would be no leeway here as it would either fit or there would not be any room for it. Here is the first matching.



Everything matched all round so after double checking  I went ahead and embroidered out GFE-ATP-12c which is a slightly smaller design than the first two.


This is the completed wreath before I removed all the OAS. You can see the basting boxes of each design and how they overlap. These were then removed and the wreath was pressed on carefully on the back. After all the placing and realigning it is a little creased! I took photos of the joins between each design.


This is where the second design shown above meets the first design.


This shows how the third design joins at the top with the 3rd design.


Finally this is the join between the third design and the first.

Although this took me quite a while to stitch out I felt great satisfaction at aligning it all so perfectly. You can do the same providing you double check all the positioning. When we challenge ourselves for what seems impossible, we can achieve so much more if we take our time and work slowly through the process. Afterwards we are motivated to attempt something even more challenging, so what will be your next machine embroidery challenge? That is how we move forward on our machine embroidery journey.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

9 thoughts on “A re-blog: Embroidering a Wreath

    1. When I embroidered out my Jacobean tree of life it was very satisfying to do it in several hoopings even though I could have done it in my giant hoop. Developing the skill of design positioning will increase your confidence no end. Happy hoopings.

  1. This deserves a big “WOW”! An amazing thought process was necessary to create such an incredible work of art. Thank you for sharing. You have deepened my understanding of the amount of planning that is needed for a special project. Now I need to choose one on which to focus! Thank you so much for this and for the many possible projects from which to choose.

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