Machine embroidery tutorials

Freestanding lace table runner / Doily Tutorial

Freestanding lace table runner tutorialSee how to prepare a beautiful table runner with freestanding lace and fabric.

The tutorial features the creation of our SKU 10329 Floral Freestanding Lace Table Runner Set

Similar freestanding lace project are the SKU 10308 Freestanding Lace-Floral Doily and SKU 10330 Freestanding Lace Doily Set


Click here for tutorial








In order to create this fine freestanding lace embroidery decorated table runner you will need:

  1. Our Freestanding Lace Floral Table Runner Set : SKU 10329 FSL Floral Table Runner Set
  2. Water-soluble stabilizer suitable for stitching out freestanding lace  (we prefer Vilene)
  3. Suitable machine embroidery thread: We find that polyester thread is especially suitable for these designs. In order to have the stitched out embroidery look the same on both sides, we would recommend that you use the same upper thread and bobbin thread.
  4. Suitable fabric of your choice (we have used linen to create the table runner featured on our site). Since some fabrics tend to shrink, you may want to dip the fabric in water for 2 hours before using it and then dry and iron it.

Step-by-step instructions for creating the table runner

Stitch out the freestanding lace1. Hoop the water-soluble stabilizer. Depending on the type of stabilizer you are using, you have to hoop from a minimum of 2 and up to 4 layers. Make sure it is hooped very tight.


2. Stitch out the design components.

In order to prepare the table runner featured on our site, you will need to stitch 4 times the FSL floral corner and 20 times - the FSL floral border design. Carefully cut off the loose thread ends you get in the process of stitching (at the beginning or when changing thread). Cut away excess stabilizer





3. Cut away the excess stabilizer. It will be easier to not cut the stabilizer close to the design outline from all sides. It will be enough to do this only from the sides were the pieces are to be connected like shown on the image to the right.





4. Connect the components to each other with manual stitches from the back side using the same thread you used to stitch out the designs. The places to apply the stitches are marked with red on the image below


Put lace pieces together

When you are done connecting all pieces:

5. Place the connected freestanding lace components face up on top of the fabric. You can attach the lace to the fabric with pins or with temporary manual stitches. We prefer to use the second method as it usually is better at holding the lace and fabric together.

Place the lace on the fabric


If the colors of the freestanding lace and the fabric you are using are very similar you may want to trace the outline of the freestanding lace with an invisible marking pen (like the one on the picture) in order to make the stitching easier. The ink from such a pen will disappear usually after 5-10 minutes when you place the material in water of after 24 hours. Although using such pens is considered absolutely safe, if you have not used it before, we would recommend that you test it with the thread / fabric you are going to use, just to be on the safe side.

6. Stitch the freestanding lace to the fabric using machine zig-zag stitch – we used a 3 mm stitch with a density of 0.5 mm.

Stitch the lace to the fabric

Cut away the excess fabric

When you are done stitching the freestanding lace and the fabric together:

7. Cut away the excess fabric and dip the table runner in water until the stabilizer has been completely dissolved.


8. Let the table runner dry on an towel and then iron it.






Congratulations! Your freestanding lace decorated table runner is ready.


Freestanding lace table runner



You will find other fine freestanding lace designs of this type in the Freestanding Lace and Fabric Doily and Runners section of our on line machine embroidery designs catalog.