Make Exotic Cuffs with Machine Embroidery Designs

Quilters from across the world share a passion for unique accessories to wear. But you don’t have to travel the world for an exotic adornment. With snippets of fabrics you probably already have in your stash and machine embroidery, you can create your own.

Jill Amanda Kennedy created the rich-looking, Indian-style cuff shown here using machine embroidery techniques and a combination of silk and metallic fabrics.

cuff with machine embroidery kennedy
Exotic cuff with machine embroidery by Jill Amanda Kennedy.

Here are the basic directions for the cuff.

1. Make a template to fit your wrist, then use it to cut a piece of dupioni silk and a piece of heavy interfacing. Lay the silk on top of the interfacing and stitch around the outside edge to hold them together.

2. Randomly lay scraps of gold lame fabric, metallic organza, and copper foil on top of the silk and lightly free-motion stitch them in place, using a variety of different thread types and colors. This forms the base upon which you’ll add more rich fabrics, while building up texture.

silk and metallic fibers for machine embroidery on cuffs
Scraps of silk, organza, and metallic fibers are secured
to the cuff base with machine embroidery stitches.

3. Select fragments of heavy metallic lace and embroidered sari fabric, and use machine embroidery to secure them to the top of the base.

Note: To keep the embroidery stitches balanced and interesting, think about contrast. Use light threads to accentuate dark fabrics, and where there are busy patterned areas, use simple, minimal stitching.

machine embroidery stitches on fabric scraps
Fibers stitched down decoratively with machine
embroidery using a variety of thread colors.

4. Change to a darker thread and outline the shapes and patterns found in the lace and sari fabric to highlight them. When using machine embroidery to attach these fragments into the background, aim to blend and integrate them to avoid having them look like they were just plopped on top.

5. Add a loop and button (or other fastening method) and wear!

For full instructions for this cuff and several more jewelry designs, be sure to download our new eBook, Fiber Art Cuffs, Necklaces, & Brooches, and make yourself something pretty to wear.

P.S. Want to learn machine embroidery, improve your skills, or learn new techniques? RNK Distributors offers classes in how to create artistic stitches with machine embroidery software, stabilizers, and other products.

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Embellishing, Machine Embroidery, Quilting Daily Blog