Hints & Tips





Colour Changes

Hotfix Swarovski Crystals to use with Machine Embroidery Designs

Stitching out Free Standing Lace


To obtain the best quality embroidery, it is important to use stabilizer.   

Types of Stabilzer

Tear-away stabilizer is made from a fibre that will tear easily.  Use tear-away stabilizer for stable woven fabrics.  After stitching, tear away the stabilizer so that the small portion left in the back of the stitching will not affect the wear.

I always use a new needle for every design.  Consider the number of times that poor needle is hammered into the fabric, more than 10,000 times depending on the number of stitches to a design. 

Before starting a project ensure that you begin with a new needle.   

At the end of it the needle is not really suitable for re-use I always use Schmetz microtex needles for my embroidery.  

Iron-on stabilizer is an adhesive type stabilizer used for knits and all kinds of unstable fabrics. Fuse it to the wrong side of the fabrics with an iron. You can also use cut-away stabilizer for knitted garments, such as cardigans, and jumpers.

Cut-away stabilizer is a non-woven fabric that does not tear. Cut the excess portion after stitching.  Use cut-away stabilizers for knits and all kinds of unstable fabrics.

Water soluable stabilizer will dissolve in water. Use this stabilizer for cutwork or lace embroidery, and also for the right side of looped fabrics such as towels, knits or fleece to avoid loops coming through the embroidery. Also use as a backing when embroidering on felt to keep it from stretching.

Sticky stabilizer is a sticky paper used for securing fabric or work that cannot be secured in the hoop.  It is also used for velvet and other napped fabric that would otherwise be permanently marked by the hoop.  



The stabilizer should be attached to the wrong side of the fabric.

More than one layer may be required.

Stable fabrics do not need to be stabilised and you may embroider directly on to it.

For firm fabrics, you may place a thin paper under the fabric, and iron on.

The non-adhesive type should be used when embroidering fabrics, which cannot be ironed or for sections, which are difficult to iron.

Cut the stabilizer larger than the embroidery hoop and set it on the hoop so that the entire piece is fastened with the hoop to prevent looseness of the fabric.

Adhesive (Iron-On) Stabilizer   Place the wrong side of fabric and the glossy side of the stabilizer together.  Fold up a corner of the stabilizer and fuse it with an iron. 

Note:  Fold up a corner of the stabilizer, to make it easier to peel off the excess stabilizer after stitching.

 Ironing temperatures vary depending on the kind of adhesive type stabilizer.


Embroidery needles take a hammering !!! 

I buy my needles in assorted sizes and use the needle most suited to the fabric on which I am doing my embroidery.

Always remember to have the presser foot raised when threading your machine, otherwise tension is added, raising it will prevent added tension and bunching to the first few stitches to your designs.



Colour changes are there for a reason !!!   

I had one lady email me asking why her sewn out design did not look like the one I had on my website ?   I had one question for her, ''did you by any chance alter the design at all in your software?''    ''Well, yes, I opened the design and saw there were too many colour changes. So I put the design into my software and 'sorted the colours' to reduce the colour changes''  

All the colour changes programmed into the design were put there for a reason, the results of her changes completely changed my original design.  I re-sent the designs to her and she emailed me again saying it has now stitched out perfectly and looks just like the design on my website !!!  

If you want to change the colour sequence do so with caution because it will take away the first effect of my design !!! 


 Kandi-Kane Applicator Wand 

To embellish my Hot-Fix designs you need a Kandi-Kane Wand.  This wand is very similar to a soldering iron ! It comes complete with a set of screw in applicator tips (for crystals sizes 2mm - 7mm) plus 4mm & 9mm Hot Spots which can be used to attach Rhinestuds, Nailheads and stones for which there are no tips available. The Hot Spots do not pick up they are just a heating attachment.  This Rhinestone Applicator is brilliant for use on embroidery designs, fabrics, greetings cards, bridalwear, shoes, candles, ceramics, glass, quilts etc. 

Easy to use.  Select the attachment required depending on the size of stone and screw in. Plug in the Crystal Applicator and wait for a couple of minutes for the tool to heat up. (KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN)  Place some Hot-Fix Swarvoski stones on a plate (shiny side up). Gently pick up with the applicator, wait a few seconds for the glue on the back of the stone to melt and place down onto your work, using a small knife and pin in the slot to help the stone out if necessary.  If applied on correctly, the stones are fully washable.  They also stay put on cards through the post.   

This item is inexpensive and costs in the region of £19.99.  You can also buy a large selection of Swarovski Crystals and really enhance your embroidery and other items.  Once you have used this wonderful item, you will be hooked on it !!!! 

This Application comes with 13amp 3 PIN English plug fitted.  All metal parts get HOT so hold onto the plastic sheath.  The Wand also comes with a selection of crystals.



 You will need

      • Water-soluble stabilizer 


      • Spray Starch

        Paper Towels  

      • Glue
      • No: 11 Sewing Machine Needle              
        Fine Thread

        Bobbins wound and ready for each colour used

        I use Sulky Ultra Solvy, this obtainable from all good sewing machine shops. 

Because you are doing free standing lace, you need to have bobbins wound in the same colours, so the back and front look the same. Chose very fine threads for this project. 

After completing your sewn out designs, take the embroidery out of the hoop, and cut away the excess solvy, be careful not to cut any of the stitches. leave a small excess around the design. 

Soak the design in tepid water for about 15 minutes and the solvy will soak away. When this is all disappeared, place your embroidery flat on a paper towel, and gently dab it dry, taking great care not to disturb any stitches and leaving the design flat on the paper towel.   To add support to the design, spray the entire design with the starch.  Put another paper towel beneath to soak up any excess liquid and leave for about 24 hours to completely dry.

Your design is now ready to stick onto your card using a little good quality glue. 





















































Secure Payment by Paypal