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Stabilizers are an essential part of machine embroidery. We all have plenty of fabric scraps but do you keep your stabilizer scraps? If so, what do you do with them? Whether you're embroidering the latest new project or test sewing a new set of designs, stabilizer scraps seem to multiply just like fabric scraps do..
It’s an interesting discussion, one that I recently read on social media. The results may surprise you. Of all who participated in the discussion (just under 100), about 95% said they not only saved their stabilizer scraps, they also used them.
Here are a few of the ways that stabilizer scraps came in handy:
More than half of those that reused their stabilizer scraps (52%) stitched them together so that they could be hooped again. Some zig zagged and some straight stitched pieces together. Several even used wash-away thread to consolidate water-soluble stabilizer scraps.
Instead of stitching pieces together, some embroiderers used adhesives. Most used glue sticks while others sprayed and some even used water-soluble quilters tape to keep edges secure.
Those who did not want to stitch or glue simply overlapped several pieces across the width of the hoop.
By their very nature, scrap pieces were often used as extra stabilization with existing stabilizer. Sometimes they patched a tear. Other times, they gave added stability to highly stitched areas such as applique. Adhesive backed stabilizers, both water-soluble and otherwise, work particularly well. Otherwise, tape or adhesives helped keep pieces in place.
A fair amount of those who responded were fond of the stabilizer window technique. This is particularly useful when stitching several of the same, or similarly sized, designs. After embroidery, leave stabilizer in the hoop and carefully cut away the embroidered item close to stitching. Cover the remaining “window” with a new piece of stabilizer and embroider the next piece. Sticky-backed stabilizers work particularly well to cover the window.
Water-soluble stabilizer scraps make great fabric stiffener. Get a tutorial here.
Do you save your stabilizer scraps? What do you do with them?
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