As a digitizer for machine embroidery, you need to consider your end product.  What are you digitizing for?  Are you making a home decor item, a quilt, a decorative element on a garment, or for a craft that is not traditionally done on fabric?  All of the different projects require different settings for stitches when you are digitizing.  Also consider  how the product will be handled.  Will it hang on a wall, be washed constantly, or simply viewed and treasured with little touch?  So many questions need to be asked before you even begin as it influences how you digitize the design.

Consider how you would digitize an embroidery design for stitching on card stock.  If you have stitches that are small in length and very dense and close together, it will actually poke so many holes into the card stock that the design will fall out of the card.  This does not mean you can’t stitch on cards.  You just need to make a design that can be supported by the card without punching out the area.

Start with stabilizing the cardstock with a sticky backed stabilizer.  This supports the card and helps to keep the stitches from  punching out the card.

Choose a design that is very open and airy.  Don’t have dense filled stitch areas and use only linear stitches that are a little longer in length (3.5 mm).  Don’t have stitches start and stop all at the same point and don’t have stitches that cross over each other a lot.  Stitches that are a running stitch are better than a bean stitch (triple stitch).

After the design is stitched on the card stock, back it again with another layer of sticky backed stabilizer to cover the back of the stitches and help to lock them into place on the card.

Experiment with the materials you stitch onto and how the stitches will effect the outcome of the final product.  Create several different designs that are generic so you can use them for any occasion.

Imagine how nice it would be to receive a stitched card with a hand written note inside!  Use up your little thread bits on a bobbin left over from another project and create a whole supply of stitched cards ready for use on those special occasions through out the year.

Join me at EQAcademy in Denver, Colorado September 2016