Machine Embroidery Terms: I to K

Whether you are a seasoned embroiderer or just starting out, we hope the third installment of machine embroidery terms is helpful!

In-the-Hoop (ITH)

Picture of in-the-hoop machine embroidered Needle Keeper
Needle Keeper

 So many machine embroidery projects can now be completed, sometimes entirely, in the hoop. Bonnie’s Needle Keeper is one such project. Its individual pages can be stitched completely in the hoop.

Picture of cover page of Needle Keeper ITH machine embroidery


Each page is stitched in the hoop like a freestanding applique. A placement stitch shows where to position the batting which is tacked down to the stabilizer, and trimmed. Fabric is placed and tacked on top of the batting, embroidery and pockets are added, a backing fabric is added to the back of the hoop, and after tacking and trimming, the finishing satin stitches are made all around the edges.

In the end, the piece is removed from the hoop and several other pages are stitched out. The only finish work is rinsing away the water-soluble stabilizer away and punching out the eyelet holes for securing the pages together. You can see the Needle Keeper tutorial here.

One of my favorite ITH techniques is adding a zipper - it is a thing of beauty. Some ITH projects are partially created in the hoop and finished on the sewing machine.


Feathered Friends Designs  |  Project Blog

Picture files, like you take with a camera or your cell phone, have an extension JPG or JPEG. They are sometimes included with embroidery designs that you purchase and show what the design looks like when it is stitched out. Most computers will automatically open these files by double clicking on the file name.

The only difference between JPG and JPEG is the extra letter of the extension. They are the same file formats. Originally, file extensions could only have three letters (JPG). Extensions can now contain four letters (JPEG).


Picture of machine applique airplane on back of knit jacket on Bonnie's Blog
Airplane Adventures

 Embroidering on knits, like t-shirts and sweatshirts, necessitates a bit more care than stitching on quilting cottons. Knits stretch and always require a cut away type stabilizer.  Some knits have a puffy thickness where stitches can sink. A topper keeps embroidery sitting on the surface. You also must be careful to not stretch the shirts too much while hooping, which will cause puckering. Get tips for stitching on knits here.

Stay tuned for future installments of Embroidery A to Z!

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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