“Appliques and Patches”

If you own an embroidery machine, you may have a feature called “Design Applique” (Husqvarna Viking), “Applique Creator” (Pfaff) or “Applique” (Brother).  This feature allows you to create an original applique, or in my case, a patch that can be used anywhere.  I was asked to make some patches for my nephew’s wife who is currently making pre-school music teaching videos to support her music teaching business that has had to go from in-person classes to online learning.  She is teaching the concepts of loud (forte) and soft (piano) and needed some patches to put on her hand puppets.

The only difference between an applique and a patch is how you use it.  An applique stays on a base fabric as an embellishment and a patch is stitched out on stabilizer and then torn away from the stabilizer to be attached to a back pack, garment, towel or anything you want.  Each machine has a little different method of creating the applique, but they all do the same thing in the end.  The patches I made were made on the Brother Luminaire.

First, I had to look for some clip art of the symbols for forte (f) and piano (p).  Once I found what I was looking for, I scanned the images into my machine so it could convert the clip art into embroidery language (in this case, PES).  (On the Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking, this step would need to be done using the add-on software that is purchased separately from the machine.)

After finding the clip art I wanted, I put it into a Word document, printed it and then used the included magnets to attach the paper to the scanning hoop for the Brother.

Once the images were scanned, I chose my material and added fusible stabilizer to the back to give it body and strength once the patch was complete.  In this case, you do not want fabric to have a soft “hand”, so I chose a bottom weight cotton fabric and a heavy weight fusible cut away stabilizer.

This is a heavy cotton fabric. I used this for the front of all the patches.
I wanted the material to be rather stiff when the patch was complete so I used fusible stabilizer on the back of the fabric.
This fusible stabilizer gives the fabric a lot of body.

Once the stabilizer was fused to the back of the fabric, I put some tear away stabilizer in my hoop and was ready to start.

I created my patches by following the directions in my manual and changing the stitch out order to first stitch a placement line where I placed the top fabric and then a tack down line to secure the fabric. Next came the actual embroidery for the center of the patch.

After the placement stitch and the tack down stitch, I skipped to the embroidery design. I did not want the embroidery to show on the back of the patch.

Once the embroidery was done, I put a piece of felt on the back of my hoop, covering the placement line I had stitched out previously.  I ran another tack down stitch to attach the felt to the back of the patch and then removed the hoop from the machine so I could cut away the fabric on both sides of the hoop, close to the tack down stitching.

I added a small piece of felt to the back of the patch and stitched it down with another tack down stitch.
Once the felt was attached to the back, I trimmed both the front and back fabrics close to the tack down stitching. They are now ready for the finishing satin stitch around the edges.

Once the fabric was trimmed, I placed the embroidery hoop back on the machine and finished the patch with the satin stitching around the perimeter of the patch, catching both the front and back of the patch in the stitching.

This is the finished patch from the front….
…and from the back. They are now ready to be attached to the puppets’ chest.

The satin stitching on the outer edge tended to tear the stabilizer, so I did have to float a separate piece of tear away stabilizer under the back of the hoop, but it was very easy to remove.

The Brother machine also has an option to create an applique in the shape of the embroidery design used.

The patches are now on their way to being YouTube stars on the front of their new puppet friends. Happy Sewing!

The patches on the top row can be made by the Husqvarna Viking and the Pfaff. The bottom row is exclusive to Brother.