Many to One - the Process

As I was working on samples to put on the web site that might inspire ideas for customers, I decided to take a design pack that I had purchased from Embroidery Library and combine several elements together to make a larger design. Using my embroidery software, I merged several elements into the design, split a few parts, resized a couple of things, recolored bits and pieces, and then decided to bravely take it to the machine to stitch out. In this article I will take you step-by-step through the process I used to produce this product. It will also provide a bit of insight in what we do here at Daywalker Customs Embroidery for our customers.

With my 10 needle machine, the first stage of my process is to select the thread colors and determine if 10 colors will be enough or there will be thread changes somewhere in the design/stitch-out that I will have to stop for and change spools on the machine. Taking the first element of the design, the wreath (pictured below) was just 10 colors with 14 color changes - this was a good start as it kept it to my desired limit of 10 colors. Next I compared the rest of the elements I had merged into this larger design to determine if their colors also stayed within those original 10 colors, if I wanted to change colors to fit within those 10 colors, or if I would be making thread color changes somewhere in the stitching process. Upon review only one of the smaller designs had 2 additional colors, but I easily substituted one of the original 10 and my color planning for the threads was completed. The thread colors were then loaded onto the embroidery machine and we moved on to the next phase of preparing this project.

The selection of background fabric and stabilizers was the next step. I knew I wanted this piece to be well stabilized so I chose a piece of medium weight tearaway and a piece of polymesh as my stabilizer pieces. Probably overkill to use 2 stabilizers but I wanted to be sure with as intense as this design was that we'd have few problems with pull compensation which causes major puckers in the fabric around the design. The fabric choice was a white/off white fabric with butterflies in the off white design. I marked the fabric's midpoint, hooped it in the 200x360mm large hoop with the stabilizers using my 505 sticky spray, and this phase was complete.

The next step prepares the machine to stitch out the selected design. This included loading the design, making sure the orientation fits the hoop, setting stop points in the stitch-out process as validation points, and then setting each color to the needle that contained the spool color loaded in the previous step. Overall this design was nearly 77k stitches with 51 different color changes. The design contained 9 different elements brought together into one embroidered product which would take approximately 160 minutes to stitch out.

The design began stitching and the wreath finished first. The colors looked good, the stabilizers held up with hardly any puckering, and it was a pretty good start to the process with the largest element completed. The left side had a couple of problems with colors that I noted and corrected for the right side, then the stitching continued until it was finally complete. Utilizing these 9 different elements, combining them into one design, and then stitching them out to completion was challenging and actually a lot of fun too. Here's the picture of the final stitch-out. I have yet to decide if this will become a pillow top or a picture or other completed product, but whatever it is, it is going to be a nice piece to add to the collection.

I can definitely see using these elements again with another completely different set of thread colors to give it a brand new look. And as usual, the designs from Embroidery Library are top quality. Thanks for following along and please leave a comment if you have any questions about this process.

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