Hoop Along–Cutwork Embroidery Part Two

Hello all Hoop Along followers. By now you should have your cutwork border designs and all your embroidery supplies gathered. Just to refresh your memory here is what you need in way of supplies:

Linen or cotton/linen blend
Wash away stabilizer
40wt rayon thread in desired colors
Embroidery bobbin thread
Inspira® Cutwork Needles
Straight stitch plate
Sensor Q foot (Husqvarna owners only) 
Temporary adhesive spray
Bent embroidery scissors or snips
Spray-on starch

If you missed the first post, Cutwork Embroidery - Part One click here to catch up.

Before You Start the Embroidery
specsPrint the document titled ha002d_specs.pdf; it’s included in the download with the Cutwork Border embroidery designs. This document includes information about each of the embroidery designs such as, number of color changes, order of colors, height, width and stitch count. Most importantly it includes basic instructions for machine embroidery cutwork. Keep this document beside you as you stitch out the designs.

Cutwork Border Embroidery Designs #ha002d is specially designed to use with the INSPIRA® Cutwork Needles. In fact the Cutwork Needles are absolutely ideal with tiny cutout areas like the one in these designs.

Don’t have the cutwork needles? Don’t worry; you can trim with scissors, just like traditional cutwork embroidery. For those of you that do have the INSPIRA® Cutwork Needles, be sure to view the how to video and to print the tip sheet before you use your cutwork needles; these are included with the kit.

Here’s what the symbols mean:

stabilizer symbolThis symbol indicates it is time to add a layer of wash away stabilizer underneath fabric.

cut symbolIf you are not using the INSPIRA® Cutwork Needles, this symbol indicates when to cut with scissors in the outlined area.

clean symbolThis symbol reminds you to clean out the bobbin area; after each cutwork embroidery design.

Let’s Get Started
Pre-wash the linen or cotton/linen blend to pre shrink. While still damp spray with starch, let dry slightly and press. Be sure to use a press cloth as starched fabrics scorch easily.

Setup your sewing machine for embroidery following manufacturer's directions. Thread on top with the rayon and the embroidery bobbin thread in the bobbin.

For best results with the INSPIRA® Cutwork Needles, be sure to use the Straight Stitch Plate. Additionally Husqvarna owners should use the Sensor Q Foot.

Cut the fabric and wash away stabilizer just large enough to fit the hoop comfortably. Spray one side of the stabilizer with the temporary adhesive spray; position it onto the underside of the fabric, sticky side of stabilizer to wrong side of fabric and finger press to adhere into place. This keeps the fabric nice and smooth as you hoop.

Hoop the fabric and stabilizer. The fabric and stabilizer should be smooth and sit flat in the hoop. Tighten the hoop well, but do not stretch the fabric in the hoop. The hooped fabric shouldn’t be stretched excessively, but it shouldn’t sag either.

Select design ha001d_01. Put the hoop into position onto your embroidery sewing machine. Stitch out the first color; this outlines the cutwork sections in the design, as shown.cutwork_step1

When the stitching stops and the cutwork areas have been outlined your embroidery sewing machine will instruct you to insert cutwork needle #1.


If your embroidery sewing machine does not recognize the cutwork needles, don't worry the needles still work. Simply follow the design guides on pages 1 and 2 of the document titled ha002d_specs.pdf.

Un-thread and remove the embroidery needle. Insert cutwork needle #1. Cutwork needles fit exactly like regular needles, flat side to the back. The needles are short and the tip is sharp. Use the hole in the Multi Purpose Tool to help hold the needle while you tighten the screw.


Press the Start/Stop button on your embroidery sewing machine to complete the first cutwork needle line. As the needle goes around the design, the sharp point of the needle cuts the fabric. Every so often there is a tiny gap in the cutting. These “secure points” are for stability, they keep the cutout areas attached until all the cutwork needle lines are completed.cutwork_step2

When prompted, insert cutwork needle #2 and press the Start/Stop button.

When the cutwork needles have completed their task, remove cutwork needle #2 and insert the embroidery needle. Thread on top with the rayon and rethread the bobbin.

Be sure to trim away the thread tails from the front and back in between color changes. For those of you with the fancy shmancy embroidery machines, I know you are looking for the jump stitch trim commands. No just stitch trim commands in these designs. Generally cutwork designs are done on items where you see both the front and back, and jump stitch trim commands tend to create little nests on the back that look just plain icky.

Cut a strip of wash away stabilizer large enough to cover the embroidery hoop area. Carefully slip underneath the hoop and stitch out the next color stop. This bastes the stabilizer into place.cutwork_step3

Stitch the next color stop. This outlines the design, stitching close to the first stitching lines. This further secures the fabric to the stabilizer and ensures that the cut out area is stable.cutwork_step4

When the stitching stops remove the hoop from the embroidery sewing machine, but do not remove the fabric from the hoop. Carefully trim the securing point in the cutwork areas and remove the fabric. Depending on the fabric, you may need to clean up the edges from fraying bits. Use a lint roller on the front and back to clean up.


Not using the INSPIRA® Cutwork Needles? It's time to trim the cutwork area.

Put the hoop back into position onto your embroidery sewing machine and stitch the final color stop. This stitches the Richelieu and the remainder of the design.cutwork_step9

Trim any thread tails from the front and the back. Remove the basting and trim the stabilizer close to the stitching. Hold under running water to remove most of the wash away stabilizer. Wash, rinse, dry and press.