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Part 3

Some Nice Extras

The following two steps are optional. I chose to do it this way because I prefer to trim away the excess fabric from around my embroidery block before sewing the wing needle stitches.

Optional Step 1: Additional Tack-Down Stitching

Before using the wing needle on the vest back I sewed the double line of stitching and tiny zigzag 6 mm from the left side already sewn. Why 6 mm? That is the width of the hemstitch I chose from my hemstitch sampler. These additional stitches help prevent raveling of the fabric due to the rigors of daily wear and tear, beyond what the wing needle stitches provide.

To sew the stitches the correct width from the previous stitching, I moved the needle to the left 6 marks. For my machine that is 3 mm from the center.  Align the needle with the previous line of stitching. I noted where that is in relationship to the presser foot. Mark the presser foot with a sharpie, because you are going to need this reference point with which to guide the fabric.

Now move the needle over 3 mm to the right of center (that is 6 marks on my machine). This is where you will be sewing the second set of lines.  As you sew make sure the original outline stitches stay right on the reference point.

The embroidery flourish block has a inch seam allowance. Sometimes, when sewing the second set of lines, this seam allowance floats up, creating quite a mess, if you don't catch it as soon as it starts. To keep it down flat as it should be I used a flat head screwdriver (that came with one of my old machines). Hold it on top of the seam allowance and it will keep it flat while you sew.

Once you have finished sewing the two lines and the tiny zigzag, it is time to trim away the excess seam allowance from the around the Flourish embroidery block (not the underside – yet).

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Figure 14
Additional tack-down stitching 6 mm apart

Optional Step 2: Trimming Excess Seam Allowance from the Embroidery Block

Use a pair of small, very sharp scissors (not curved) to trim away the excess seam allowance.

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Figure 15
Place the top blade of the scissors beneath the excess seam allowance of the embroidery block to trim

Notice the top blade of the scissors is positioned underneath the excess seam allowance that you are about to trim away. By placing the scissors in this fashion you trim as close to the stitching as possible.

I find that holding onto the piece of excess seam allowance as I trim prevents the point of the scissors from getting  hung on the fabric, and keeps the fabrics taut making for a cleaner, easier cut.

Now, go back and trim away any unruly threads, clipping them as closely to the stitching as possible.

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Figure 16
Trim them threads!

Wing Needle Stitching About the Flourish 4 patch Block

Now it is ready to stitch the wing needle hemstitch design. Begin by inserting the wing needle, threading it with the (same) machine embroidery thread used to stit ch the Flourish blocks, and put in the same type of super fine bobbin thread.

Refer back to your hemstitch/wing needle sampler and set your machine for the wing needle design and settings 6 mm wide x your chosen length.

While this pulled thread technique by wing needle is considerably faster than by hand, it is not “a peddle to the metal process”. If you did not noticed while stitching out your sampler earlier, a bit of patience has its rewards.

Before proceeding, read through the following instructions a few times until you are comfortable with what you need to do. Only then should you proceed with sewing the wing needle hemstitch, slowly and deliberately…at least until you are comfortable with the process.

  1. Starting at a corner where the first outlines are located, begin the hemstitch pattern at the first stitch of the design.
  2. Turn the flywheel by hand, placing the wing needle into the far left or right outline stitches (depending on which stitch you selected). The first stitch of my wing needle design started on the far left, so I put the needle into the corner stitch of the first set of outlines.
Sew slowly, watching the needle to make sure it hits its mark on the outline stitches every time. I kept the far left outline stitches aligned with the mark I made on my presser foot with the sharpie. This ensured the hem stitch sewed directly over the outline stitches on both sides.

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Figure 17
Stitching the first leg (side) of the wing needle hemstitch
  1. Sew all the way to the next corner and across to the edge of the second set of outlines, then stop.
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Figure 18
  1. Raise the needle, then turn the fabric 90 degrees.
  2. Start pattern – to begin at the first stitch of the design again.
  3. Place the needle into the hole of the previous stitching located on the outline.

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Figure 19
Turning the corner of the first leg of the wing needle hemstitch
  1. Continue sewing down to the next corner, past the corner to the second set of outlines, then stop.
  2. Raise the needle and turn the fabric 90 degrees.
  3. Start pattern – and continue as before to the next corner
  4. Continue around all four sides.
  5. Carefully trim away any pokies that may be there.

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Figure 20
A few pokies to trim

Wing Needle Lily


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