Tips for Embroidering Free-Standing Lace Projects (FSL)

by Kris on November 23, 2009

Love the look of gorgeous lace, but intimidated by FSL projects? Don’t let the “unknown” hold you back from opening up a whole new world of machine embroidery to you! I will share some general guidelines when working with FSL designs and I’ll show you just how easy and fun it can be!

Once your design has finished stitching out, simply remove the hoop from your machine and the design from the hoop! Trim the stabilizer just outside the edges of the design and soak in a bowl of water for 1-2 minutes to fully remove all stabilizer. Blot dry and using a press cloth or towel, press design with a warm iron. That’s it! Beautiful!

I loved the look of using verigated thread as well! Here are a few pics of the finished designs.

Featured design in video: FSL Crochet Coaster and Napkin Ring

Click here to find all of the FSL projects at SWAK!


1 Alisha 11.24.09 at 1:44 pm


2 Jean Lowenberger 12.03.09 at 5:05 am

Tie a string on your FSL and use it as a tree decoration. Add a ribbon and you can share your decorations as a gift add on.

3 Sara@HappyBrownHouse 12.03.09 at 8:07 am

I’ve never tried a FSL design. I’m always too busy putting names on clothing!

4 Tiffani 12.03.09 at 8:38 am

I love sewing FSL designs. My favorite are of angles, and to make bookmarks.

5 gramma grammie 12.03.09 at 9:36 am

My answer is no, I’ve never tried this design as an embroidery machine is on Santa’s wish list. I’ve been good, Santa!

6 Marilyn2222 12.03.09 at 11:17 am

Using the same color bobbin is key for these designs. They look great.

7 Marilyn2222 12.03.09 at 11:17 am

I love doing FSL. It makes a quick and easy project.

8 Dina 12.03.09 at 11:46 am

I have never done a FSL project…maybe soon!

9 Becky 12.03.09 at 4:08 pm

One of Kris’ tips was to slow down your machine for even stitching.

10 Carolyn Hutchinson 12.03.09 at 5:06 pm

I’ve made a few FSL projects so far. It is fascinating to watch them stitch out.

11 shelley cline 12.03.09 at 7:28 pm

i have never done a fsl. i have an embroidery machine but i don’t use it that often.

12 Crystal 12.03.09 at 8:18 pm

I have not tried a FSL project. I have purchased several of the FSL designs from SWAK, but was too intimidated to try them. I loved the video. It really helped me to get past the fear of messing it up and Kris made it look so easy.

13 Crystal 12.03.09 at 8:21 pm

The best tip that Kris gave for FSL is to slow down the speed of the machine. I honestly wouldn’t have thought to do that. I am a rush kind of person and this tip will definitely save me some frustration. Thanks for the tip.

14 Connie T 12.03.09 at 9:24 pm

Wow she gave many tips..but the one Tip was using the correct stablizer..water soluble…and depending on how dense the design may need to use 2 layers of it!!

15 Rachel 12.04.09 at 9:19 am

I’ve never done a FSL project, but it is on my list of things to try, I will make sure to slow down my machine when I do it like Kris suggested.

16 Adena 12.04.09 at 7:13 pm

I have never tried one of these projects but bookmarking for the time I get an embroidery machine!

17 Laura 12.04.09 at 8:48 pm

I have done several of Marie Osmonds FSL projects and they are very easy and pretty when finished. Thanks for the tip about slowing down the machine, I will have to try that next time.

18 Sheila C 12.05.09 at 10:57 am

Tip: slow the machine down so the stitches come out even



19 Karen 12.05.09 at 6:17 pm

I’ve never done FSL. I’d need a new machine for that, and don’t see it on the horizon :)

20 Jaime B. 12.06.09 at 10:04 am

I make a lot of FSL at Christmas time. There are so many options for everyone.

21 Sarah in MO 12.07.09 at 12:45 pm

No, I’ve never made an FSL project – I don’t have an embroidery machine. :)

22 Melissa 12.08.09 at 11:01 am

I must try that and soon! Too bad I don’t have a bigger hoop tho. Thanks for the tip on slowing the machine down, great to know.

23 Deborah K 12.08.09 at 4:47 pm

never tried

24 Kelly O. 12.15.09 at 6:50 am

These would make lovely gift add ons. I don’t have an embroidery machine… but one day….

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