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funny pillow cases Creating a Border Design with BERNINA Toolbox decorative pillow shams
Views: 181 Updated: :2020-03-06

Floral borders have a unique way to turn a plain tablecloth or table runner into a striking décor piece. They can also set the tone for a meal or event. I like to start with a simple motif, tile it along the edge and let it do its magic. With BERNINA Toolbox software, it’s quick work to assemble a basic repeat of the border. After that, it comes down to stitching it out and rehooping as needed.

Preliminary design considerations:

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Let’s create a border design!?

Start with a New design file.

The main workspace screen of Toolbox will now open up.

Your hoop settings should be like the following:

Let’s add the first motif.

Using the Add Design Tool: Select Add design >; Import Design >; Import Design from PC.

You should now have the following design on your screen: a florid Greek key element.

Making the full Greek key by combining 2 of the single motif

The following steps will rotate, copy and combine the key elements into a single arrangement: Edit >; Scale/Rotate >; Rotate 90 degrees Right (You can do this by clicking twice on the Rotate 45o clockwisefunny pillow cases, or by typing 90 into the box.)

The design will now be rotated as illustrated below:

Edit >; Copy/Delete/Group >; Copy (Click the down arrow next to Scale/Rotate if you cannot see the icon.)

Rotate it 180 degrees.

The result is as follows: (see the red arrows where the open lines overlap by about one stitch, without a gap).

This now constitutes the basic motif of the border.

In order to keep everything together, Group the two designs together.

Edit >; Copy/Delete/Group >; Group (CTRL-G)


To find out the size of the basic motif, review design information in the View >; Design Information panel:

Let’s rotate the motif now so that we can start working with hoops.


Now… what hoop to use?

Medium Hoop: 130 mm tall X 100 mm wide (5.1 X 4 inches)

Large (Oval) Hoop: 255 mm tall X 145 mm wide: (10 X 5.7 inches)

Mega Hoop: 400 mm tall X 150 mm wide (15.75 x 6 inches)

Cloning the design to make 4 repeats:

With the original motif (pair of keys aligned and grouped) on your screen:

You now have a pair of motifs. To make this 2 pairs (4 pairs in total):

To re-center your design:

TIP: Use the Sizing (black square) and Rotation (black circle) handles to align with the horizontal origin (red) line. The small circle at the center of your selection should be right on top of where the origin lines intersect (i.e. on the origin).

Your design is now composed and ready for embroidery prep and should look like the following:

It’s now time to optimize our design before exporting it for the machine.

The original motif (82021-39) has 4 colors:

Note: If your machine has the Color Resequence feature (see image below), it can do this automatically and you can skip the next steps!?

This design is simple enough that we can merge color stops so that we will have only 4 color stops in the end. ?The simplest way to do this is:

First, collapse the colors sequence listing to its simplest form by using the Sew Sequence Collapse tool.?

Then, after the first sequence of colors 1, 2, 3, 4:

Select the second occurrence of Color 1 (red) and click on the Up Arrow 3 times to move it up until it merges with the first occurrence of red.

My Design information panel now looks like the following and my design is 3.2 X 13.3 inches (80.6mm x 337.3mm).

You are now ready to export the design to the machine file of your choice using the Export tool.

In addition, now is a good time to print a positioning template of your design by using the Print tool. This can be very helpful in accurately positioning the designs.

Layout considerations… aka how do I embroider this on the border of a tablecloth?

Here’s a few things to consider—especially in making your embroidery easier:

?To embroider a complete rectangle (e.g. even at the corners) or NOT!

I like to simplify the process where I can without sacrificing style. Luckily for us, this is not only achievable, but also desirable in this case. I will only embroider the border on the sides, stopping shy of the corners.

For more helpful information on using templates for multi hooping, Check out the eBook Just Embroider It – Multi Hooping with Templates on

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