Using Light Boxes With Embroidery

Light Boxes With Emboridery at Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Last week, I told you how cutting machines make quick work of creating machine applique shapes. So how does a light box fit into all of this?

My friend Holly Pike was doing a show-and-tell of her brand-new beautiful sewing studio and she mentioned using a light box with her embroideries. I thought that was so clever that I went out and got one of my own.

We've been using light boxes in the sewing room for years. They shine light from beneath so that we can trace out an applique by hand and stitch over it. They also help to align the pieces properly so that we don't have the head crooked on top of the body.

 Using Light Boxes in Embroidery

This AGPtek light box (I have no affiliation) comes in several sizes. It is super thin, about the thickness as my surface pro tablet computer, and has three brightness levels. I just did a search on Amazon. Mine ran about $50 but there was another really good size in the $20 dollar range.

Using Light Boxes in Embroidery I just stitched out my little Merry Mermaids designs. Laying my hoop on top of the light box, you can easily see the placement line through the stabilizer..

Using Light Boxes in Embroidery

I cut out the GlitterFlex shape on my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. The light box helps you to see that placement line much better so that you can align the applique onto the hoop. Once you have that in place, just take a couple of little pieces of scotch tape to hold it and take it over to your embroidery machine to stitch.

Can you eyeball it? Yes, but cutting machines cut very close and tight to your placement lines so your applique position must be right on. Otherwise, when you do the tack-down stitch and the applique is off even a little bit, your design won’t be tacked down or stitched properly. The light box helps you position the applique perfectly with pre-cut shapes.

See the full video here.

May your day be blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!!


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  • Bonnie Welsh - November 29, 2019

    Karen—You’re most welcome! I love mine. =)

  • Karen Knisel - November 28, 2019

    It is so nice to know there are light boxes avaible than other much higher priced ones I’ve aeen, Thanks

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