How to transfer embroidery designs to fabric (video)

How to transfer embroidery designs to fabric


Embroidery is big in quilting circles these days—browse a recent quilt magazine or visit your local quilt shop and you’ll likely see running stitches, lazy daisies, and French knots on quilts, bags, pincushions, and almost anything else you can poke a needle into.

Garden Delight needle book
“Garden Delight” needle book from Patchwork Loves Embroidery

Why is embroidery so popular? It’s easy, inexpensive, portable, and a fun way to personalize fabric projects. And whether you prefer timeless floral designs or trendy monster motifs, embroidery techniques remain simple, and remain the same. Learn them and they’ll serve you for the rest of your creative days.

Lovebirds table runner
“Lovebirds” table runner from Patchwork Loves Embroidery

With embroidery, every maker starts at step one: learning how to transfer embroidery designs to fabric. We caught up with Gail Pan, author of the best-selling Patchwork Loves Embroidery, at Fall Quilt Market, and asked her how she transfers her charming embroidery designs to fabric. Watch her easy method in this video (and delight in her Australian accent!):


Reading this in email? See the “How to transfer embroidery designs to fabric” video at the Stitch This! blog or watch it on YouTube.


After tracing, Gail says, “I always back my traced fabric with a very lightweight fusible interfacing. This serves to prevent show-through of the embroidery threads and knots. And, because the interfacing stiffens the fabric a bit, there is less distortion of the fabric and stitches when the embroidered piece is hooped. To do as I do, cut a piece of interfacing the same size and shape as your background fabric and, following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse it in place after you’ve traced the design and before you start stitching.”

Happily Ever After sewing bag
“Happily Ever After” sewing bag

Patchwork Loves EmbroideryEager to embroider? Pick up Patchwork Loves Embroidery for all of Gail’s embroidery techniques plus 15 of her patchwork and hand-embroidery projects.

See more from Patchwork Loves Embroidery

Print book: $24.99
eBook: $16.99

Already own the book? Write a review! Click on the “customer reviews” tab and share your thoughts.


Stitched for FunWant more embroidery projects?

Quickly transform most any plain textile object into a personalized work of art! Even a complete beginner can embroider the simple motifs in Stitched for Fun on all kinds of items, from aprons and linens to shoes and lampshades. Choose from 35 sweet embroidery projects; use the motifs to embroider on cotton, fleece, felt, denim—even paper! See the projects.


On a scale from 1 to 10 stitches (10 being the best): how do you rate your embroidery skills? Tell us in the comments!


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