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Freestanding Ash Berry Doily or Insert

These are instructions on how to embroider the Freestanding Ash Berry Doily or Insert. As the name says, the design can either be used as a stand-alone doily or as an insert on a larger piece.

The design is available in 3 sizes for the large ( 5" x 7"), mega ( 6" x 6") and commercial size (8" x 8") hoops.



Stabilizers: We recommend to use water-soluble mesh, such as Vilene. Vilene D0102 is a non-woven dissolvable stabilizer which is imported into the US, is sold in large rolls and is sometimes packaged under different brand names. Some of these brand names are Fabri-Solvy by Sulky, Avalon Plus by Madeira, Wash-Away, and Aqua Magic.

You can also use film-like water soluble stabilizers, such as Solvy by Sulky, Avalon by Madeira and Badge Master. However, be very careful when hooping, and use several layers of film stabilizer.

Threads: Threads: The thinner the thread, the finer the final product will be. That is why for this project we recommend machine quilting cotton thread, which gives bulk to the lace and makes it look hand-made.

Embroidery polyester thread will make very fine web-like lace.

Embroidery rayon thread is too soft, it does not keep its shape and often its color will fade under the influence of chemicals from the water-soluble mesh.

You can use 40-, 50- or even 60-weight cotton, and you can use it both in the bobbin and in the needle. If you use 40-weight cotton thread for the needle, you shoul use 50- or 60-weight cotton in the bobbin.

We used Signature machine quilting cotton thread both in the needle and in the bobbin, but similar threads from other companies should work just as well.

The drawback of cotton thread is lint. Please don't forget to clean the machine with a soft brush or compressed air after each embroidery.

To get two-sided embroidery, use threads of the same color in the needle and in the bobbin

Needles: We used size 80/12 embroidery needles and 80/12 metallic needles for metallic thread.

Most Importantly: ALWAYS make a test stitch-out and wash away the stabilizer. This helps you to select the threads, needles, stabilizers and settings of your machine correctly. It's very important to select the correct thread tension!

Washing out the Stabilizer:

Rinsing away the stabilizer is an important step, because the stitch-outs can be stretched or distorted if this is done incorrectly. We recommend to use a foam board and stainless pins.

Cut away the excess stabilizer close to the stitches. Take your time and carefully pin the outer edges of the stitch-outs to the board.

Now place the board into a bowl with luke-warm water.

Take the board out of the water and leave to air dry.

Making the Doily:

Hoop 2 layers of warer-soluble mesh, upload the file into the machine. Skip the first color, start embroidering from the second color.Cut away the excess stabilizer.


Wash out the remaining stabilizer as described above. The doily/coaster is done.

Making the Insert:

Hoop fabric with a layer of water soluble mesh. Upload the file into the machine. Start the machine. The first color will embroider a circle.


With a pair of sharp scissors, cut away the fabric inside the circle. Take care not to cut through stitches and stabilizer.


Return the hoop to the machine, embroider the insert.


Wash away the stabilizer, leave to dry out. Press if needed.

Happy embroidering!

Back to Freestanding Ash Berry Doily or Insert.


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