Tracing your own outlines

Hello everyone

It has been some time since I posted, but that is because I have been very busy working on something on your behalf!  Do you dislike tracing your own outlines?  That slightly wobbly line that you get no matter which method of tracing you use or how hard you try to keep a steady hand – it is just never the same as a nice pre-printed outline?  Then this is the solution for you read on……….

Ready traced fabric available in Etsy store.

For many years I have been trying to find a company who could manufacture iron on embroidery transfers.  They were used extensively in the good old days – if one wanted to order an embroidery pattern you could order the iron on transfer and fabric by mail order, but that all seems to have changed and they are now only produced by a few select companies, or occasionally provided at the back of a book.  Again many of the transfers bleed when ironed on to the fabric or produce an unsightly thick line which is difficult to cover with your stitching.

trasnfers 2

Vintage iron on embroidery transfer

When I created the new online DIGITAL STORE this year, I had a list of motives that I wanted to achieve:  One of them was to save you the customer on shipping costs and delays, by making my embroidery patterns instantly available.  This was easily achieved by providing a great source of digital patterns , but then it occurred to me that if you were new to embroidery and did not have a supply (“stitching stash”) of fabric, needles, hoops and threads on hand , would you know where to get them and what you should buy?  So I got in touch with as many online shops around the world as I could and asked if they wanted to be listed as a supplier on my site and if they were prepared to keep stock of the materials needed for my patterns.  The result was a list of global stockists who can supply the materials in your own country.


The next problem was how to overcome the problem of providing ready printed outlines on fabric without shipping.  I know many of you dislike tracing your own outline, because I receive many emails to this effect!  The answer of course was to provide iron on transfers, but where to find a manufacturer and how to make them more accessible to you the customer.  This is what I have been working on for the last few weeks.
pack 1

After much searching, and samples going backwards and forwards, and testing out of the samples,  I finally found a company that can produce good quality iron on embroidery transfers with a fine line and crisp print that will ensure accurate results in your stitching. We put them through rigorous testing, washed, ironed, left them in the sun for days and they passed all the tests!    I am thrilled to let you know that very soon in the next week or so these transfers will be available for sale in the Etsy store.  Yes you will still have to wait for them to be shipped, but once you have the transfers in your stash, you will be able to purchase a digital pattern for any of those transfers, whenever you feel like it,  iron the transfer on to your fabric and be stitching in minutes!

iron on

The iron on transfers will be available in packs – so you can purchase a pack of birds & butterflies, or flowers etc, – there is an iron on transfer for every digital pattern available (at present) in the shop.   There will also be a pack available for each of my last four  books and I hope to add to this in time.  For example any of you who are in possession of my new book Whitework With Colour will be able to purchase a pack of transfers for every single project in the book.

Pack 5 transfer sheet


I will give you more detail on the packs when they are available.  I am very excited by this new addition to the collection and hope they are going to make your life so much easier!  Please let me know your thoughts it is always useful to receive feedback.  Till next time, wherever you are in the world, have a wonderful weekend and many happy hours of stitching!



60 thoughts on “Tracing your own outlines”

  1. I am new to embroidery. Never done it. Cross Stitcher by heart but want to delve into the embroidery arena. One of my upcoming projects is for a friend who’s son suffers from a rare form of epilepsy. She is putting in a custom order and I think I want to try the embroidering on that piece. I’m not an artist so the design part of all of this is not possible for me at this time, but I think your Etsy shop may be able to assist. I just visited and I see you are away until April 30. So I will definitely be checking back. This is awesome!

  2. I received your amazing Whitework with Color book. What a treasure trove of ideas. I’m not sure if you have been told, but there is an error in the page numbers in the Hummingbird/Lion section.

    Enjoy every day!!


  3. Hi Trish,
    I live in one of the most remote areas of Australia, and am so very grateful for all you are doing to make access to embroidery supplies easier. My nearest shop is 1 hour’s flying distance away, so I have to order everything online. Your store and your support are wonderful as I am the only person on my remote island that does any embroidery!! I have to learn all techniques by myself from books, or YouTube videos, and yours have taught me so much. When I order supplies from you they come packed beautifully, promptly and are always exactly what I order. THANK YOU!!
    I am gradually working my way through the birds and miniatures in your books, and when I email you to ask a question, you always reply promptly and the information is always just what I need.



  4. I’am very excited about iron on, transfers, tracing is my worst nightmare. Will it be possible to purchase instructions with it? regards Irene

    1. Thanks Irene. I presume you mean instructions for using the transfers – yes there are step by step instructions with photos. If you mean instructions for each project you can purchase the digital pattern for any of the transfers in the digital shop here:

  5. I will trace when I have to, and I have a light box, but this will sure make things easier! Hooray!…. and I couldn’t pass up your book “White Work With Color” and the technique book that came before it….Thank you Trish. You think of everything. 🙂

    1. I agree Gail, will trace when I have to, but these transfers look so good when ironed on to the fabric there is nothing to compare and literally takes a minute:) Thanks for your kind words, I do try (and have fun thinking these things up and putting them into action:))

  6. Hi Trish, I can only say Thank you so much. Your work is much appreciated by all who follow you I’m sure. I will be waiting for transfers to be available. Many thanks patricia

  7. Fantastic Trish. And thank you so much for going through the hassle of helping embroiderers all over the world.

  8. Thanks for all the work you’ve done to make these iron-on transfers available. It’s very much appreciated.

  9. I am delighted to know you will be making available for purchase iron on patterns for your designs!!!! I detest tracing for the exact reasons you stated!! I have your new book and did order three of your design from your Etsy store……but when I went back to order a few more, they were no longer on site………so I am doubly pleased to know they will be available shortly. Actually, I truly didn’t mind ordering your designs and having you put them on the appropriate fabric. I always knew it would be on the nicest fabric an it is not always easy to find really nice fabric in the USA.

    Thank you Trish for all your wonderful designs and making access to them and in multiple ways for your ardent stitching followers.

    P. Alexander

    1. Thanks Pamela for your loyalty and support as always. The fabric with pre-printed outlines for the book are still available in store and will be until stock runs out, when the transfers will replace them. THey might have been temporarily out of stock but are back in now:) I will continue to sell both the linen and cotton muslin in the Etsy store, so you can purchase it in bulk and iron your own transfers on when needed. It will be much more cost effective for you. Of course I will continue to provide pre-printed fabric in the kits. So you have more choices! Enjoy your weekend. Trish

  10. Yet again you have spent lots of time for the benefit of the people who love your designs. It is a shame that the DMC floch is unavailable in the UK even though it seems to be the most popular embroidery thread here.

    1. Thanks Maureen. Yes it is very sad and puzzling! Floche is manufactured in Europe and also in USA under licence to DMC but seems to be something to do with the EU Union that prevents sale of it in UK? I cannot understand it but you can always order from Europe as shipping will be quicker and cost effective for UK. Trish

    2. Hi Maureen,

      Unless we are not referring to the same thread, the DMC flosche is not easily found where I am in South Africa. I ordered some from Trish. The only source I could find supplying some.
      It is only the normal DMC embroidery cotton that is easily available.
      Appleton for crewel embroidery, you can still find from a few stores (and have it posted) but they are very few indeed. The same applies to the DMC wool for tapestries.
      Happy hunting for embroidery yarns. Just about the only thread available, is the DMC embroidery thread.

      Take care,


  11. Good morning Trish ~

    The transfers sound wonderful – doing the transfers is the hardest part and I often put off stitching a design, just because I hate doing transfers.

    I still have a few yards of the lovely cotton satin, are you not suggesting it any longer? Did you want to list Threads in Bloom as a supplier of the cotton satin, at least until I run out?

    In the Quilt department of Joanns I found some 200 ct 100% cotton that has a paper on the back to stabalize to be able to run through the printer, I was going to try that for the Giraffe, haven’t had time yet.

    As so many, I am looking forward to the iron on transfers.

    Thank you ~

    Stitching keeps our souls content, Sharon Shetley Threads in Bloom Modesto, CA 95350-0533 USA

    1. Hi Sharon
      firstly thank you for making cotton satin fabric available for customers in the USA I know many of them love this fabric and appreciate being able to source it close to home. You are still listed as a supplier on my website but the stockists for cotton muslin, DMC threads, needles and hoops are for the digital shop. The reason behind this is to make available the necessary materials for the customer when they purchase a digital pattern. If you carry stock of all these materials and would like to be listed as a supplier please email me and I will happily add you. I am not stocking cotton satin fabric any longer, although am still using current stock in some of my kits. The reason is nothing to do with the quality of the fabric, it is wonderful, but purely to do with the cost of shipping to South Africa from UK which is now proving prohibitive. The duties incurred once landed are making this fabric too expensive for me to use it any longer. The premium linen is imported from Europe and South Africa has an agreement with the European Union that goods can be imported duty free which makes it more feasible. Of course the supreme cotton muslin is a wonderful cost effective fabric for use in both Whitework and Needlepainting. The 200 count cotton muslin is available in most countries in the world and it is for this reason that I have listed it as the fabric of choice for digital patterns. It is all about keeping it simple for the customer, especially those who are new to embroidery. Have a lovely day:)

  12. Dear Trish,

    Iron-on transfers are a great idea!

    Meanwhile, what I do sometimes with my own printer: I iron on my fabric to a piece of waxed freezer paper sized to fit in the printer as a standard 8 x 11 sheet. I tell my printer I’m using photo/special paper so it can grab the extra thickness. Then I print a digital design right onto the fabric.

    I love your designs and I’m so thankful to you for sharing your talent.

    Thank you, Sharon

    On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 11:58 PM, Trish Burr Embroidery wrote:

    > trishburr posted: “Hello everyone It has been some time since I posted, > but that is because I have been very busy working on something on your > behalf! Do you dislike tracing your own outlines? That slightly wobbly > line that you get no matter which method of tracing you u” >

  13. I am so excited! Can’t wait for the packets as well as other just individual projects. Thank you for all your beautiful work and for sharing your knowledge and creativity with others!

  14. Trish I love all your ideas, they are fabulous and I cannot wait for the packet of transfers from your last book! I have already stitched the royal owl for a friends birthday and I want to do most projects in the book !!! Cannot wait.

  15. Am thrilled to have a list of stockists here in the U.S.! Thank you so much for taking the time to research it for us.

  16. Totally awesome idea!!!! I love your patterns but they are hard to transfer and get the picture or shape like yours!!!! I for one, can’t wait!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  17. You have mentioned this before. It is a great idea. I love reading about what you are doing with embroidery. You keep me excited about it. I teach beginning embroidery and a little Brazilian embroidery, but I just love what you do. Maybe some day I will do one of your birds. It is my goal. Thanks for continuing to inspire.

    1. Thanks for reminding me, I am sure I must have mentioned it before have been thinking about it for years:) Hopefully you can adapt them for use in your classes. I forgot to mention that I got 8 clear imprints out of one transfer and think I could possibly have got 10.

  18. What a wonderful idea! I am one who always ends up with wobbly or thick lines so this is great.

  19. Trish you did a great job creating an informative web site. I learned so much in just a few minutes of looking around the web site. I love you partnering with others for ease of getting supplies from different locations around the world.

  20. I am very excited about your designs being available as iron on transfers. Looking forward to trying a few out. Will the transfer image wash out? That is what I always hated about the “blue” ones, the transfer blue did not wash out. Thanks, Judy, Mars Hill Maine, USA

    1. Thanks Judy. Unfortunately the wash out inks are unstable and fade as you stitch, so they are permanent. But the lines are very fine, not like the ones in the past and with my type of stitching the image will be covered over. 🙂

  21. Hi Trish,

    What good news. I still have one or two of those transfers.
    It will be absolutely great to have them again – well done.

    Lucretia Strydom

  22. Trish

    Is the new book available yet for purchase. I did not see it on the website when I last looked.

    We have ordered one from Amazon for my birthday but I have students.

    Please let me know.



    1. Hi Annamaria
      It is available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It will be available in RSA next month. Unfortunately I am not selling copies in my shop as the only way I can import them is by courier and the shipping costs are too expensive.
      You can order a copy from Loot or Amazon UK, they ship to SA.

  23. Hi Trish

    That is just brilliant. I am one of those people who hates tracing because I want to get in with the embroidery.

    Well done.

    Looking forward to seeing the packs.


    Annamaria On Fri, 24 Mar 2017 at 8:58 AM Trish Burr Embroidery wrote:

    > trishburr posted: “Hello everyone It has been some time since I posted, > but that is because I have been very busy working on something on your > behalf! Do you dislike tracing your own outlines? That slightly wobbly > line that you get no matter which method of tracing you u” >

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