Santa Embroidery on Velvet

by Jane Dempsey

I saw this Santa Design on Facebook and fell in love.  I have never embroidered on velvet, and it has 83,000 stitches.  But the design went on sale, so I bought it.

Prep Work

  1. As with all Embroidery Library designs, it is very dense, so I used my embroidery software to reduce the density.  Now I only have 80,000 stitches!
  2. I wasn’t sure of how successful my embroidery would be, so I bought the only green velvet from Joanne’s, and it is stretch velvet.  I fused black SF101 to the back to increase the stability.
  3. I cut the front and back of the pillow topper, leaving about 2 inches excess from the size of my pillow. I labeled the top of both the front and back panels with a “top” sticker, so the nap would be in the same direction on both sides.
  4. I cleaned my machine and put in a new needle.
  5. I hooped heavy cut-away stabilizer in my hoop.  Velvet might show the hoop marks, so I floated the velvet. 
  6. I placed the front fabric centered on the hoop.
  7. I covered the top of the velvet with see thru Water Soluble Stabilizer.   Then I basted my stabilizer sandwich together using the baste function on my machine.

Actual Embroidery

  1. Actually, this may be part of preparation.  I decided my colors for the first 12 thread changes and placed them in my numbered egg carton using the color sheet provided by Embroidery Library.  When I had used the first 12 colors, I refilled the egg carton again, so I would have a double check on what color to use next.  Just a note, the thread colors do not download correctly to my embroidery software – so I always print the color sheet.  In addition to that, Santa’s wreath was dark green in the pattern, but I had to make a light green wreath, so it would show against the background.
  2. Time to start embroidering.  It took me all day.  Of course, I did some other stuff – watched TV, fixed lunch and dinner, talked on the phone.  But with 32 thread changes, I didn’t leave dear Santa alone very much.  Halfway through the stitchout my thread started breaking.  I cleaned my machine again and replaced the needle.
  3. After about 40,000 stitches, I floated another piece of heavy cutaway stabilizer under the hoop.
  4. I would never put this Santa on clothing that would touch my skin directly.  He is way too dense and hard.  I might put him on the back of a jacket . . .
  5. I finally finished Santa, made a zippered back for the pillow cover.  I love it!  I made it to be a gift . . .  But it may stay at my house.

by Jane Dempsey

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6 thoughts on “Santa Embroidery on Velvet”

  1. Love this Santa. Saw it in person and it’s even more beautiful! Thanks, Jane for sharing your journey with us.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Jane! It is extraordinary and I so appreciate your writing all the details of making this. I do a lot of machine embroidery and admire you for even attempting this massive project and have learned from your process, especially adding more soluble as the project needed it.

  3. I love the tip to ensure the nap is going the same direction! I am about to do some embroidery on velvet and would not have though of that.

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