Stardust Quilt-along: Stabilizers for Embroidery in Quilts

Hey there! I’m BERNINA Expert Amanda Murphy and, as part of the Stardust Quilt-Along, I wanted to share with you how I prep embroidery for incorporation into a quilt.

High quality quilting cottons, while densely woven and easy to work with, aren’t quite substantial enough to support an embroidery over time. Because of this, I like to back the entire area to be embroidered with a woven stabilizer, like OESD’s Fusible Woven. This woven stabilizer is not stiff, but it will provide much more support for the embroidery than cotton alone.Stabilizer for Embroidery

OESD Fusible Woven

Embroidered Quilt Block with OESD Stabilizer

An embroidered block backed with OESD’s Fusible Woven Stabilizer

Usually, so as to not waste fabric, I hoop two layers of a OESD’s Ultra Clean and Tear in my hoop.

OESD Stabilizer for Embroidery

OESD Ultra Clean and Tear

Then I apply my stabilized quilting cotton to the hoop using temporary spray adhesive. I always cut my blocks a little bigger than what is needed in the finished piece, so I can trim them a bit after the embroidery process—but in the case of the Stardust quilt, I’ve already sized up the measurements for you.

Make sure not to use too much temporary spray adhesive, because the residue can be problematic when piecing the quilt. If desired, I use the first basting option on my BERNINA to baste the area around the intended design, through the quilting cotton and the tearaway. I didn’t find that necessary for the star designs but often I do. Then I embroider the design.


An embroidered Stardust block on two hooped layers of OESD Ultra Clean and Tear

I’ll be back to show you more of the Stardust embroideries that are contained in the Celestial Lights Quilting Collection on November 6th, including a peek of my new fabric collection for the spring for Contempo of Benartex that I’ll be premiering at Quilt Market! In the meantime, happy piecing and embroidering!

Stardust Quilt-along Schedule

Stardust Quilt-along: Preview

Stardust Quilt-along: Part I 

Stardust Quilt-along: Ribbon Candy

Stardust Quilt-along: Piecing Tips and Tricks

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3 comments on “Stardust Quilt-along: Stabilizers for Embroidery in Quilts”

  • I have this stabilizer sitting in stock and seldom used it; but I am now encouraged to use the clean and tear stabilizer more often.
    TIP: I use All Purpose Sewer’s Aid on needles to keep them clean when using spray adhesive. It is a clear liquid in a small clear plastic bottle found in the notion’s section of fabric stores or sewing machine dealers. I dab a little bit on my finger and apply it to my needle.

  • What are your thoughts on using the 2 layers of woven stabilizer for pillow tops that are embroidered? I am asking about cotton and linen. Oh, and do you tear away the stabilizer when the embroidery is finished or do you leave it backing the entire quilt square/pillow?

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