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How-To: Embroidery on Blankets

Monday, July 10, 2017
Blanket embroidery with Melco EMT16 PLUS embroidery machines

It seems that I’ve been embroidering a lot of blankets lately. Some friends are having babies and others have children or grandchildren on this or that team. Blankets are a great personalized gift that with a little bit of planning can look fantastic.

First, consider the material. Several blankets that have passed through my hands lately have been polar fleece or even fuzzier cuddly poly fleece. For these, I want to make sure that my designs are clear on the fabric. I use a water-soluble topping to keep the nap down and my stitches aloft. I also will adjust the underlay of my design to tack down the nap under my topstitching. An extra point or two of pull offset will thicken up thinner satin stitches and make sure that they are visible in all that blanket fuzz.

I choose a backing based on the stability I need. If the material has a good amount of stretch to it, I will select a stable cut-away backing. If I can get away with a less stable backing, I will select a tear-away or perhaps even a wash-away. For the less stable backings, my blanket must provide all the stability.

If I’m creating the blanket from scratch, I love to embroider the blanket before I’m finished with construction. This will place the back side of the embroidery on the interior of a turned blanket where nobody will ever see it, and I can use a cut-away backing without the worry of seeing the backing when the blanket is completed.

I like to place my designs in a corner where the middle of the design bisects the corner of the blanket. This gives an even placement and looks fantastic when the finished blanket is rolled with the embroidered corner coming over the top of the rolled blanket.

For the fairly stable polar fleece blanket that was sewn this morning, a tear-away backing was used. Because the fleece also compressed easily, a fabric thickness of only three was required for a crisp and clean sew-out.

On the machine, I tend to embroidery around 1000 stitches per minute because I’m often sewing smaller details of the child’s name. For larger design elements, I can sew faster.

Keeping these things in mind will produce a lovely and thoughtful gift or sale item in no time.

Here is a video showing a start-to-finish sew-out on this blanket.