How to make Free Standing Lace Stained Glass Embroidery

by Nicholas Myers on February 11, 2021

For this project we are pulling from Anita Good Design and it is from her Express Line. This is a great project for someone just beginning because you have no thread changes. The most difficult part about this project is cutting your material. In our example we used tule in the instructions it recommends organza which is finer, a closer weave, and silkier. 

The hoop we are using is the DIME Magnetic Hoop which is loved by Shirlene and it makes it easy for her to hoop! The new product we have in the store is the Kimberbell Wash Away Stabilizer. We use this for the project because the final result will look like the image below. 

free standing lace stained glass

We will be using one thread and start with a placement stitch on the stabilizer, and then we will tack down with different material, cut and then move onto the next portion for the stained glass. Once you have the placement stitch (which for us is the outer part of the circle) you are going to place your material (tulle or organza) onto the hoop. We are going to keep in mind that both sides are going to be the same and so will the bobbin. 

It’s advised to take your first thread and bring up your bobbin thread. This allows you to not have a bird nest underneath. (2:28) Go ahead and do a few stitches and cut them so you won’t have a mass of threads underneath. Now you’ll do the same stitch pattern to get the tulle or organza onto the stabilizer that was originally on the stabilizer. Make sure that when this is happening to help guide the material so it doesn’t bunch. We used white tulle for this.

Now we are going to put the vinyl on top of our tule, but before that we need to make sure to check our placement stitch depending on the pattern you choose. Some of the designs in the package have a border around it, so you may have two different borders. When using the wash away stabilizer you will use two layers as a recommendation so it doesn’t do any puckering.

Once that has finished you can place your vinyl on you can do the tack down for the vinyl. Like before we are only going to do a couple stitches, to catch it to pull up the bobbin thread, and Shirlene does this by hand. With the vinyl on top we will do the placement stitch for the first layer. This will happen on the top, bottom, and both sides of the circle. When the placement stitch is going, try and pull on the material to keep it as flat as possible. If there are creases in your vinyl, take a cloth and put it over the vinyl, and then with a dry iron press the creases out. Once this is done go ahead and cut away the excess vinyl and tule to free up your workspace Shirlene does leave a little bit of a border because when the project is finished she hopes that by doing so it will give it a little more support. You do not have to remove the embroidery hoop if you don’t want to, it's up to you! When placing your tule you can either be frugal and use scraps or use big pieces.

We are moving onto our first layer of color and Shirlene chose 4 layers to add more depth and color in the window if that’s where you are going to hang the stained glass. With the pink tule in place the placement stitch is already there so we are going to do the tack down. Do your best to keep the fabric nice and smooth and take care that your fingers are not in the way. The placement stitch will happen four times like it did with the white tulle, once that is completed go ahead and remove any excess fabric.

Be careful when cutting away the pink tule that you don't cut the tulle underneath if possible. If you do it may not tack down later, but if you do hopefully the top stitching will be wide enough that it will cover any of those little boos boos that we do. Now we have our first color for our circular stained glass design (11:15)

pink tulle cut away

Now we are going to move onto our second color which is white. In each portion Shirlene states that she should have pulled up the stitch but didn’t because of time and we’ll be making multiple. So instead she is going to let it go and hopefully the black trim on the outside will cover it all. We chose black thread just in case there is overlap that not any of the other colors will come through other than the black. 

With the white tulle Shirlene has less than before so is going to hold the tulle instead of using the hoop. Do your best to keep it flat and watch out for your fingers. Since Shirlene is piecing it she is going to stop and cut away the excess white tulle before moving onto the next section. She uses 4 layers to have consistency within the design with the scraps but you can mix and match whatever technique you choose. 

Once all four sections are done you’ll need to go back and cut away any excess tule. The more layers you have the easier it will be to cut into the previous layers so be careful. You want to get as close as you can to the placement line or the tack down stitch whichever you choose. Without cutting into the stitch because you want to make sure the border has covered any of the edges. 

Moving onto our next color we are going to use yellow! Start your next tack down on that we’ve just created. Place the yellow tulle on top of your design and do the tack down again. Once this is finished go ahead and cut away the yellow tulle while and of course be careful not to cut the black thread from the pink or cut into any yellow. We will still have to cut out the center because that will be another color. (18:53)

yellow tulle stained glass

Next up is the placement stitch of the blue, and we will follow the same process as before. Then we will piecemeal some extra white tulle onto the small triangle sections and create 4 layers of the tule if possible, and once this is completed go ahead and cut away any excess material. 

With our last color we will be using red and then we will be doing our satin stitch on the top to make it look like the let of a stained glass window. We chose to use black because the pattern chose black however most stained glass has a pewter trim and that would be great as well. Go ahead and do the placement stitch and and get the red tulle placed. If you pulled up the stitches before you would avoid having to cut away tails with this final placement but it’s up to you.

Last but not least we’ll do the border! This can take awhile up to 57 minutes I believe so feel free to go do something else in the meantime. Once it’s finished go ahead and wash the stabilizer away, and there is a hoop on the design so you can hang it in the window easily. 


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