Platinum Pearls of Wisdom

Our Platinum-Quality Designers welcome you
to experience perfection in embroidery.

Platinum Pearl

Q:  How do you hoop onesies?

A:  Hooping a onesie is harder than a 2X shirt for sure. But it can be done. If the design is little and you have the little 2 inch "sock" hoop it is perfect. If the design is bigger, then hoop a piece of no show mesh fusible tight in the hoop. Open the onesie and insert it over the whole hoop and center the front where you want it. Using a small iron, iron the front to the stabilizer in the hoop. Now pull the rest of the onesie from the back of the hoop and just kind of roll it around the area that is ironed on. It helps to use pins to keep it in place.

Also works great with the Wet and Stick stabilizer.

You can also do the little new born socks using the wet and stick in the hoop like this as well.

A Bit Of Fun!

When using the new wonderfully fun "Glow in the Dark" thread...THINK FIRST!

a) If you use it on you child's pj's or pillow cases.....don't do monsters! Glow in the dark monsters or eyes are not fun! Ask the child sleeping in my bed!!!!

b) Don't use it on your uniforms if you develop x-rays for a living. Glow in the dark ghosts and dragonflies are not funny across the patient's arch of teeth!

c) Glow in the dark means just that! GLOW IN THE DARK. So, when you wake in the night and wander past your sewing room half asleep the pretty glowing lights are not the little elves finishing your is just the glow in the dark thread calling you to "come sew with me"!

Platinum Pearl

Q:  What should I do when the bobbin thread shows on the top of my design?

A:  There is a rule to follow with embroidery machines to keep problems from happening.

First....if the top breaks, take the hoop off and rethread the top, take out the bobbin and rethread it also. When a thread breaks it YANKS on the tension discs and can cause a tightening or loosening. So you always want to start both top and bottom over.

If you have had a major nest in the bobbin case, be sure to take the case area all apart and make sure there is not one of those little tiny ends of thread caught back behind the throat plate where you can't see it. Take a Qtip and clean out the case to be sure there is no fuzzy stuff. And make sure you clean the little flapper thing that the thread goes under on the case.....a credit card works great.

Put it all back together and it should work great.

When you have bobbin showing on the top it is usually a sign that your bobbin tension needs to be tightened. Our machines are normally set for regular bobbin thread and if you are using a prewound bobbin it is thinner. Just tighten the little screw on the bobbin case about a quarter turn to the right and try it again. You may have to do this a few times to get it set right...but once you get it, if you keep using the same bobbins it should not need to be done again.

Platinum Pearl

Linda C asks:
I thought I would write you my problem for advice since the Platinum Press – Applique Edition just arrived in my e-mail.
I am having problems with the appliquéd material fraying and pulling away when I do the satin stitch of the embroidery patterns. The rest of the embroidery is great, but the appliqué material seems to pull away from the outside satin stitching which is therefore not acceptable. My appliqués are ruined by this problem and was wondering if I could get some advice. Thank you.


Hi Linda,
THANKS for visiting us. And we are glad to try and help with your issue with fraying.  Here are the suggestions the Platinum Designers came up with.

Different digitizers do their satin and hold (tack) down stitches differently. The wider the satin stitch, and then having a bonus of the tack down stitch being either a zigzag or a stem stitch, or triple stitch will improve your rate of success. But, sometimes a design will not support a wide satin stitch without the design being too fat looking. So, here are a few ways to help improve that situation.

Try using an iron on backing on your appliqué material. That way when you are finished you can iron it and the material will bond to the backing making much less chance of fraying with washings or wear.

Use a VERY sharp scissors when trimming so you get close to the stitching. This gives you an even trim and a better chance of all the raw edges being covered. This prevents the fray look on the outside of the appliqué stitch. I love the Fiscars little curve end scissors.

You can try a spray on adhesive to your appliqué part before you do the tack down.

You can try running that tack down line again after you trim your fabric and before you do your final satin finish stitch.

We hope one of these ideas will help.

Platinum Pearl

Lorraine asks:
How do I do about embroidering a design on a T-shirt and stretch knit shirt?


Like most embroidery artists we each have our favorite methods for working with fabric and stabilizer.  Here are 4 different methods used by our designers.  It's best to experiment to find what works best for you.

Teri from Sew Terific reports:
My favorite way to embroider on knits is to spray a sheet of cutaway (light, medium, or heavy, depending on the stitch intensity of the design - larger fill areas, especially with outlines need more stabilizing) with sticky spray.  Hoop the cutaway, then baste the shirt (inside out) in the hoop to the cutaway.  If the design has lettering or other narrow satin stitching, or line stitching (like redwork), then also pin some water soluble stabilizer in place before doing the basting stitch.   The WSS will help keep the lines and narrow satins from sinking into the knit.

Lyn from A Design By Lyn says:
My tip for knits is Floriani No show mesh fusible to the back of the knit, and a ball point needle.  If the design has an outline, I usually stick another piece of No Show Mesh under the hoop just before the outline sews so that the stitches are covered and don't scratch as much.  This works great on kids things as well.

Platinum Pearl

How do I cut away excess appliqué fabric from loopy items such as towels and fleece with out cutting the fabric?


Our Platinum Designers Allene and Teri came up with the solution to this.  The trick is to lay down a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top of the fabric.  Then when you are trimming the appliqué fabric you can run the point of your scissors/snips over the stabilizer and they won't catch in the fabric loops or pile.

Platinum Pearl

A reader asked:
I would like to make a "sayings" pillow for a baptism. Can you tell me the best way to machine embroider on satin?

Carol from Art In Stitches has a great solution:
"There are different types and weights of satin, but one thing they all have in common is the very smooth top surface, which can make hooping something you will want to watch carefully. It can also show water spots, so avoid any stabilizer that is activated with water. Normally, with a slippery fabric an adhesive spray is an instant solution - but in this case, it should not be used - again, it may mark the fabric.

So what do you do? I recommend 2 layers of a medium weight tear away stabilizer, and put one at a different angle than the other. Now, to protect the finish of the fabric, lay a piece of tissue paper on top of the fabric before you hoop. You will need to cut out a window in the tissue after you hoop it, but the tissue will help prevent hoop marks on the fabric.

Use a smaller ballpoint needle - such as a 65/9 or 70/10, And a Teflon needle is even better. If possible, reduce the density of the design slightly, and stitch at a slower speed.

As with all projects, be sure to test your methods on a scrap of matching fabric first, and you will be fine!"

Platinum Pearl

Lois asked:
I would like to know how to create an appliqué from a regular design.

Teri Sullivan of Sew Terific Designs suggests:
"You can make a "Patch" from your regular embroidery design and use that to stitch to your project."

You can find patch or appliqué shapes to use for this purpose at:

Sew Teri-fic Designs


Platinum Pearl

It was recently asked how to sew on the backs of directors chairs without the stitches showing through on the front side.

Lyn from A Design By Lyn offers these suggestions:

Items like chairs and things that have backs on them can be a challenge. Here are a few suggestions.  See what works best for you. If the design has no lettering on it, then try changing the bobbin thread colors to match the front, and most of the time this will make a pretty good front and back.

You can also FAKE the back, but using the fabric markers and GENTLY and LIGHTLY stroking the white bobbin thread to match the front. can do your design on a coordinating fabric, then using an appliqué shape around the design, appliqué it to the chair. This leaves the back just showing the outline of the shape.

Another suggestion that Bonnie from Threadlove Embroidery has is:

There are director's chairs on the market that have backs that are like chair covers, they slip over the back with a front and back piece of fabric so that embroidery on either side is hidden on the inside of the chair slip.

Actually making something like this would be as easy as folding a piece of cloth in half, sewing up the sides and hemming the bottom edge.

Platinum Pearl

Heather asked:
I have a small business doing machine embroidery. I have been asked to do some embroidery on velvet. I know that one must not hoop velvet, so will use a tear away stabilizer in the hoop and a temporary fabric glue.

Are there any other things I need to know? Do I use a normal embroidery needle?


Carol H from Art In Stitches offers these suggestions:
This might be a good time to use a basting stitch to hold the fabric. You don't want to over-do the temporary adhesive on a fabric such as velvet, so running a basting stitch around the frame will help keep the fabric in place, without having to rely as heavily on an adhesive. Most velvets do not like water, so use of a water soluble stabilizer on top to hold the nap is probably not a possibility in this case.

I would also recommend a cross hatch underlay under the entire design, to help hold the nap down. There are different weights and grades of velvet, so the top density of the design needs to be watched. On the thinner velvets, the existing density might be too heavy. This is a case when you will want to test stitch your design on a similar velvet fabric.

Bonnie from Threadlove Embroidery says
When I sew on velvet, I do hoop it with a facing piece of velvet (or other nappy fabric) with a window cut out for the embroidery. I do also use wss, then I gently steam it (I have a professional steamer) to remove the excess wss.

I don't use any special needles, but I do make sure there is adequate underlay in the design to hold down the nap. I also like the columns of lettering to be at least 2.0 mm wide otherwise they tend to get lost.


Do you have questions about embroidery?

We have 5 very knowledgeable designers with over 50 total years of experience ready to answer your questions.  Send your questions to customer service.