Embroidery Library

Stuffed Heirloom Applique Ornaments
(In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions for creating stuffed heirloom applique ornaments.

Free project instructions for creating an embroidered shaped face mask.


Bring a stitch of Christmas cheer to gifts and DIY holiday decor with these adorable stuffed heirloom applique ornaments! All you need is fabric, stiff felt, and a little imagination to bring these furry critters to life. Follow along with our tutorial below to learn more about stitching these festive friends in-the-hoop.


Project Needs & Notes:

- Small pieces of felt or cotton (for front, back and applique)
- Small pieces of stiff felt (if needed for your ornament)
- Tear-away stabilizer
- Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold's KK100)
- Sewing thread
- Hand sewing needle
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors
- Ribbon
- Polyester Fiberfill

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X15294, Adorable Winter Owl Ornament (In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

When you download the in-the-hoop design, you will find multiple files. One is an embroidery file, and the others are dieline files marked with the letters "DL".

Dielines are used to cut the fabric to the correct shape and size.

Open each dieline file with embroidery software and print it. If you do not have embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Some of the designs will have more applique pieces than others. Be sure to print enough copies of the dielines for the design you are doing.

Follow the color change sheet closely and place each fabric piece before its tackdown step.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Spray the back side of the paper dieline for the main front piece with temporary spray adhesive. Then smooth it onto the right side of the fabric.


Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Cut out the shapes. Then, repeat the previous step to cut all of the front applique pieces.


Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

If the design includes stiff felt pieces, cut those pieces out as well following the process as demonstrated above.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Once all the fabric pieces are cut to the correct shapes, its time to embroider the design.

Hoop a piece of tearaway stabilizer. Madeira E-Zee 1.5 oz or Floriani Tearaway Medium are good choices. Those brands are more fibrous, less like paper, and will tear more cleanly.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Attach the hoop onto the machine and load the embroidery file (not the dieline files).

Use a 75/11 sharp sewing needle instead of an embroidery needle. The sharp sewing needle has a finer point and it will make smaller perforations in the stabilizer.

Embroider the design. The first thing to embroider will be a placement dieline (or outline stitch). This marks on the area where the fabric piece will be placed.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

After the dieline has sewn, remove the hoop from the machine but do not unhoop the stabilizer.

Spray the wrong side of the first fabric piece with temporary spray adhesive. Place the fabric on the stabilizer inside the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Place the hoop back onto the machine and embroider the tackdown for the previously placed fabric piece. A tackdown holds the fabric piece in place for the remainder of the design.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Some designs have embroidery under the applique pieces. Follow the color change sheet for the design and embroider any details until you reach the next dieline step.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Follow the color change sheet, and embroider the dieline for the first piece of applique.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

After the first applique dieline has stitched, remove the hoop from the machine (do not unhoop your stabilizer), spray the wrong side of the applique fabric piece with temporary adhesive, and place it inside the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Return the hoop to the machine and embroider the applique tackdown step.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Some designs have more details that will sew out in between applique pieces. Follow your color change sheet closely and embroider all details in the correct order.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

If the design has multiple applique pieces, follow the color change sheet to embroider every dieline, place each fabric piece, and sew each tackdown.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Then follow the color change sheet to embroider any remaining details. Stop the process before embroidering the "Back piece tackdown" step.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Before sewing the "back piece tackdown" step, remove the hoop from the machine and turn it over so that the backside of the embroidery is facing up.

To add a hanger or loop, cut a length of ribbon that is 7" long and make it into a loop. Then tape the loop into place along the top center edge of the design.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

If the design has stiff felt pieces, position them over the edge of the main fabric shape and tape them in place.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Spray the wrong side of the back fabric piece with temporary adhesive and smooth it inside the shape on the back side of the embroidery.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

From here on out, your bobbin thread will be seen from both sides. Wind bobbins to match the remaining thread colors used in the design.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Place the bobbins into the machine so the bobbin always matches the top thread. Follow the color change sheet to embroider the rest of the embroidery steps. A tackdown should sew first, followed by the finishing seams and boarders.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

Once the embroidery is finished, carefully tear the excess stabilizer away from the outside of the design.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

The "back piece tackdown" step will leave an opening in the ornament. Use this opening to stuff the ornament with polyester fiberfill.

Free project instructions for creating an in-the-hoop stuffed heirloom applique ornament.

When the ornament is stuffed completely, use a hand sewing needle to sew the ornament closed along the original tackdown line.

Free project instructions for creating an embroidered shaped face mask.



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Products used in this Project: