Machine Embroidery Terms: E to H

The second installment of our Machine Embroidery A to Z, offers a few more terms, techniques, and tutorials for machine embroiderers of all experience levels!


Picture of machine embroidery file extensions on Bonnie's Blog at Sew Inspired by Bonnie

 File extensions, the two- or three-letter tags at the end of digital files, help to identify file types which are specific to different machines and software. Machine embroidery files can range from ART and BE to VP3 and XXX. You can read more about machine embroidery file extensions here. We will cover other file extensions and their meanings, like JPG, PDF and SVG, later.

Freestanding Lace (FSL)

Picture of machine embroidered lace on Bonnie's Blog at Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Freestanding lace is a marvel of modern machine embroidery. How can one continuous piece of thread be stitched into a pretty lace motif or edging and not come apart? Originally, lace was painstakingly created by hand, usually with lace bobbins, a tatting shuttle, or crochet hook. Now, with the proper embroidery design, you can stitch lace on water-soluble stabilizer, rinse it away, let it dry, and put it to use. Get freestanding lace tips here.


GlitterFlex makes all applique better. The gorgeous, fusible sheets are Bonnie’s favorite for ultimate sparkle and flexibility, and they can be laundered. The same thickness as cotton quilting fabric, GlitterFlex easily tears away from your stitching line with little to no trimming.

Sea Buddies GlitterFlex Bundles

There are four different varieties of GlitterFlex, available in 10x12 and 10x18 sizes, as well as in bundles and grab bags. It’s the same material many commercial embroiderers use on athletic gear so it’s been heavily tested for quality and endurance.


Picture of butterfly on top of wing needle machine embroidery work on Bonnie's Blog at Sew Inspired by Bonnie

One of the main reasons that I purchased an embroidery machine was because of my love for all things heirloom. Bonnie’s Wing Needle Butterflies show delicate heirloom style with decorative stitches created with wing needles. See how pretty it is to add mylar here and make a kitchen boa here. It’s one of the few times that it’s okay to put a hole in your fabric.  

Please add your own tips below!

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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