Using up scraps with Design Centre and the XP1 Luminaire's Projector feature with Angie Lawrence

In my last blog, I mentioned how much I enjoyed making bags and purses of all sorts. I like to create with all sorts of materials, and that means – like most sewists – I have a lot of scraps to show for my work! 

I'm a firm believer in using scraps, and above you can see some Abraham Moon tweed offcuts which I have made into a couple of little zip top coin purses with the aid of my trusty Brother XP1/Luminaire.

I hope this brief tutorial inspires you to have a go too!

Step one

Select your scraps – for the purse on the right, I decided to use some of the one-inch pieces I had and applique them on to a five-inch square of tweed. The left-hand purse was another scrap of blue tweed which I decided to applique along the top using a heart design.

Step two

So, off to the Design Centre to select one of the built in shapes. I selected a simple circle but you could use a heart (as I did in the second purse) a leaf, a square – whatever you like. As I look at this picture now I can see many more possibilities! 

For instance, you could create some concentric circles or put a heart within a square or a star within a shield. Enjoy using your creativity, secure in the knowledge that your lovely machine is going to make it sooo easy for you to get to the finished article.

Step three

Still in Design Centre, reduce the size of your selected shape right down – according to the size of the piece to be appliqu├ęd. My circle was sized to fit neatly inside one of my one-inch squares. The heart was also sized to fit along the strip of contrasting fabric. One of the big advantages of creating a simple outline design in Design Centre is that you can reduce it right down to quite a small size.

Step four

Decide what you want your outline to be. I chose satin stitch but there are several other options available, of course. You might like to try a blanket, buttonhole or even a chain stitch. Save it in Design Centre in case you want to work on it again at a later date, and take it through to Embroidery.

Step five

Hoop up a hoop of the right size for your project with polymesh stabiliser. You could use regular tearaway but I prefer polymesh as it gives more stability to my finished item. I found that my 4x4 hoop was the perfect size – remember your actual design is very small - although you might like to use a slightly larger hoop to give you room to manoeuver.

Step six

Lightly spray glue on the back of one of the pieces of fabric onto which you want to applique your smaller pieces (well away from the machine of course!) and place it on the hooped stabiliser. This will hold it just enough – no need to baste etc. 

Step seven

Now, using a glue stick – less messy than spray for small pieces – arrange your squares how you want them to be on top of your base fabric. You can be creative here – you can arrange them randomly, in lines, in circles etc. It doesn’t matter, the projector feature is going to help you place your embroidery design exactly where you want it.

Now it gets interesting!

Step eight

Call up your embroidery design and press the projector button (indicated by the wobbly black arrow in the left image!). You will see that the design is projected on to the bed of the machine and that you can move it – using the arrows – so that it is placed exactly where you want it to be. 

You can also change the background colour (pointed to by the red arrow in the right image) and the colour of the projector to whatever shows up best on your base fabric. The red box around the design gives you an indication of the area of the design highlighted. In a larger design, this would only show part of the design – so you can decide where you want it placed on your project. The red box can be moved around to highlight different parts of the design. But for now we have a small design which we can move wherever we want it.

Step nine

Embroider your design (I used multi-colour thread for both purses) once. Start the design again and move on to the next piece to be appliqued, moving the design by using the projector arrows in the same way.

Your squares are now firmly appliqued to your base fabric and you can go on to make whatever you fancy – coin purse, pencil case, bag panel – there are lots of possibilities. Your edges are loose, so you could fray them out if you wanted to create a different look.

I made the other purse (with the blue strip and the hearts) in much the same way. The blue strip was loosely glued to the base fabric and the ends of the strip were caught in the side seams when I made up the purse.

And remember you can also use this feature to accurately place designs on your fabric. For example, instead of the circles or hearts created in the Design Centre you could take a small design and precisely place it inside a shape. 
You could make some cute, self-covered buttons or even a simple key ring as I have done here. It doesn’t show up very well in the top picture as it is black on black, but the white rectangle in the hoop is the light from the projector. And yes, that is leather, and yes the XP1 Luminaire handled it perfectly!

Have fun! I can’t wait to try other motifs and fabrics and would love to see what you do too!

Angie Lawrence
Cinnamon Crafts
Isle of Man


  1. This article is really impressive to all the embroiders for developing their skill, I really liked your writing & creativity skill now left chest digitizing with quality is possible by using our service.


Post a Comment