My blog as has taken a back seat after the newest Apple update crashed my computer. Apple was kind enough to wipe it clean and restore it to a 2014 update – and today I am writing you from my cell phone.

So, I’m ten months into my Year of Less and finding even more creative ways to either make what I want, get it locally, or just go without.

After a month of practicing free motion sewing machine embroidery I tried my hand at making my own elf patch.

I hope you enjoy my tips to get you started making your own patches.

1. Screen shot or download an image you want to use.


2. You can trace the image with tracing paper and a pencil from your computer. I used my iPad and procreate.


3. Once I had my image I deleted the background and saved it as a PNG image so it would print clean.

4. Print your image and make sure it is to the scale you want.

5. To transfer to cloth use a fine tip transfer pen and tracing paper. With a very hot iron, designs can be pressed into your fabric. Transfer pens can be purchased at any fabric shop and they come with directions.

6. Once the image is transferred you will need to iron interfacing onto the back of your fabric to make it sturdy. If you don’t get it sturdy enough many little stitches will get pushed into your feed dogs and be eaten up.

7. Take your design and put it on an embroidery hoop nice and tight, so tight it beats like a drum.

My third practice. The wrinkles are due to not pulling the fabric tight enough on the hoop.

8. Drop your feed dogs, use bobbin thread in your bobbin, grab an embroidery sewing machine needle and put your free motion foot on.

9. Draw the bobbin thread up through your hooped project first. Don’t forget to back stitch and cut those strings as any strings hanging from your patch will be problematic.

10. The zig zag stitch is a great stitch to quickly fill in areas.

Free motion embroidery takes a little practice but if you keep at it you will get it. Always remember nothing is ever perfect.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!