Tips for Embroidering OESD’s Starry Night Santa Tile Scene

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We Carry
by Sara Snuggerud in Embroidery

OESD brings its embroiderers a peaceful, holiday tiled scene to embroider as their very own. Join artist, Dona Gelsinger, as her beautiful “Starry Night Santa” artwork is turned into amazing shaded detail with thread and stitches.

Below we share our EXPERT tips everyone needs to know before tackling these 32 tile scene designs to create this treasured 32″ x 40″ keepsake.

Each tile scene stitches out approximately 4.5” x 6.75”. The beauty of these postcard sized designs is their smaller size makes them easy to handle and easy to accomplish one by one. As you look at the finished photo, you will find many of the blocks are simple background filler blocks, where others are a bit more heavily stitched. Should a block not turn out to your liking, simply start over and try again.


For the blocks that are heavier stitched, the correct stabilizer is key. Cotton fabric is an excellence choice for the base of the Starry Night Santa tile scene, but it needs some additional body fused to the back of the fabric to support the blocks with the higher stitch counts. 

Start by ironing OESD Fusible Woven stabilizer to the back of the background fabric. Hoop the fused fabric with two layers of OESD HeavyWeight TearAway. The extra stiffness of the TearAway stabilizer is the KEY to having blocks stitch out flat. Temporary spray adhesive can also help keep all the layers securely together. 

Isacord Thread Colors Used for the Starry Night Santa:

Click the picture above to bundle the Starry Night Santa and the Thread Kit together!

The following is a list of Isacord threads used to complete the Starry Night Santa tile scene. Starry Night Santa thread kits are also available. 

0015 White
0020 Black
0138 Heavy Storm 
0532 Champagne 
0555 Light Sage
0576 Very Dark Brown 
0622 Star Gold
0776 Sage
0853 Pecan
0933 Redwood
0970 Linen
1133 Peru
1141 Tan
1233 Pony
1346 Cinnamon
1362 Shrimp
1521 Flamingo 
1725 Terra Cotta 
2022 Rio Red
2336 Maroon
2776 Black Chrome 
3574 Darkest Blue
3743 Harbor
3951 Azure Blue 
3953 Ocean Blue 
4071 Glacier Green 
5552 Palm Leaf 
5555 Deep Green 
5743 Asparagus 
6071 Old Lace

Tip for Embroidering the Last Color of Each Design – “THE SEAM LINE”

The last color change in each block is called “Seam”. This stitch is very important in the process of assembling the wall hanging. Stitch the top color in a thread that blends with the fabric, invisible thread or water-soluble thread. For the bobbin, use red or another easily visible color. You will use this line as a guide when trimming the blocks.

After embroidery is complete, remove excess stabilizer to the edge of the stitching. Then, trim away excess fabric 1⁄2” away from the “Seam Line.”

Sewing Blocks Together & Pressing

Sewing with a 1⁄2” seam allowance and pressing each seam open will help the quilt lie flat when complete. After pressing each seam open, flip it right side up onto an OESD Perfect Embroidery Press Cloth. Press with steam to set the seam.

OESD’s Perfect Embroidery Press Cloth helps press puckers out of embroidered fabric, absorbs steam when using a steam iron and prevents embroidery stitches from getting shiny or crushed by the weight and heat of an iron. The OESD Perfect Embroidery Press Cloth can also be used like a traditional press cloth – place project right side up on ironing surface and place press cloth over the top of the project especially when ironing bulky seams.

Start the Starry Night Santa anytime of the year to have done in time for the next holiday.

Finished Size: 32″ x 40″

  1. Rita Holverson says:

    Starry Night tile scene, what color fabric was used and was it Kona?
    What size needle was used on this project?

    Thank You,
    Rita Holverson

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Rita, Use a solid navy fabric. We did use a Kona cotton with an Embroidery 90/14 needle.

  2. Angela Summerside says:

    Hi what is it that I am actually buying? Is it a disc or a download for the embroidery? I have a Bernina 790B plus, I have never owned an embroidery machine before but I would love to have a go at this project. I live in Australia. Would the format work here.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Angela,

      You have a beautiful Bernina sewing and Embroidery machine. The Starry Night Santa is a downloadable embroidery design collection. You will want to download the .EXP or .DST format for your embroidery machine.

      If you want to master your embroidery machine you mind like to start with our Embroidery Essentials Online Course. Might be a little better project to start with since you are new. Check it out here:

      We have many online students from Australia who rave about this course. If you have more questions please email is at

      Thanks! Sara

  3. Linda Koerner says:

    It is Kona Midnight, a supper dark purple with a navy undertone to it

    1. Sara says:

      I am sure that would work. I am not sure for the exact Kona color we used.

  4. Sue says:

    The instructions say to use 3 pieces of Heavy Weight Tear Away and 1 piece of Ultra Clean and Tear and your saying to only use 2 Heavy Weight Tear Away. What is your suggestion. Thanks

    1. Sara says:

      We used the 2 layers of Heavy Weight Tear Away along with the FUSIBLE iron on interfacing to the back of the cotton back. 🙂 The fusible helped keep the cotton fabric from showing any wrinkles when it was done.

  5. Blanche says:

    Could you use battilizer as the stabilizer or would you need added stabilizer with it?Thanks

    1. Sara says:

      I would test a few blocks first. These designs really need heavy stabilizer to make them turn out flat.

  6. Sharon LaTour says:

    I notice in your photo that you do not cut tiles prior to sewing. Is this easier than cutting the individual tiles first?

    1. Sara says:

      In the photos you are seeing about 1/2″ seam allowance that each of the blocks have been trimmed down to prior to sewing.

  7. Marilyn Erter says:

    I love your suggestions, but I have learned to float my material and 1 piece of stabilizer. I cut a 6” x 10” of material and stabilizer and baste them on top of 1 piece of hooped stabilizer. So much easier than hooping all three.

  8. Nancy Motz says:

    I bought the CD and was able to open it. How do I transfer it to a thumb drive in PES format? Also, do you know the colors of other threads, such as Robinson-Anton to use? There are no instructions with the CD

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Nancy,
      You just need to copy the PES files and paste them on the USB stick. As for a color conversion, you can search “Isacord to Robinson-Anton color conversion” on Google. There are lots of conversion pages for this information.

  9. Jacqueline Gould says:

    Hi Sara
    I have Floriani stabiliser and I was wondering which one you would be suitable using this brand.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi, You will want a heavy tear away and a fusible woven interfacing.

  10. Louise Rodgers says:

    I would like to use Bother threads as I have some much of it in different colours. Is there a way to colour match?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Louise,

      I found a website you can select Isacord thread, type in the number and choose the brand (Brother) you wish to convert it to.

  11. Peg says:

    Are you cutting fabric into larger tiles,
    embroidering each tile. Then joining tiles by 1/2 seam? Or are you making 4 strips, length and width of tiles, then stitching seam lines?

    1. Sara says:

      We make individual tiles, cut them to size and sew each of them together.

      1. Jane Raths says:

        I am in the process of stitching out this project. I attended an OESD event at your store where she suggested using the fusible but only one layer of heavy weight. She thought it just got too bulky with 2. I am on block 10 and it has worked out great so far.

  12. Luciana Indiveri says:

    Hi Sara. I would love to make this for a Christmas gift but beforeI start I want to know how many reels of each color I need.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Luciana,

      Here is a supply list of the threads you need for the OESD Starry Night Santa Tile Scene:

  13. sandy williams says:

    I finally got up the confidence to sew this out. My problem is matching the thread colors and the list in my Brother machine. I went to the web site above to attempt to use. The colors don’t match up, for example there is a color on Brother country of light blue, on the Isacord chart comparison is an off white.
    I have tried to use the different thread colors on my machine, the problem is a number or color comes up which does not correlate with the Isacord. I have tried
    Brother Country, Maderia Poly, Madeira Rayon, Sulky, Robison-Anton, Brother Embroidery, none that correlate.
    I just want it to turn out right. I have invested a significant amount of money to not get the colors right. I have the Isacord threads, just cant figure out how to get them to match up

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Sandy,

      We would recommend just using the Isacord thread to make sure it turns out perfect. 😉

      Sara Snuggerud

  14. LeAnn Zogg says:

    I am in the process of making the tiles and am using a dark navy batik with variation of white dots in the print of the fabric. The result is an interesting ski that looks like stars and snowfall from a distance.

    1. Sara says:

      Sounds fun! Please share a picture when you are done.

      1. LeAnn Zogg says:

        In the process of stitching the dense tiles out, I’m using the correct threads, stabilizers and a 90 needle (titanium) changing with each panel. I have encountered a couple of times when almost finished the black backing thread being pulled through to the front – needless to say not happy when this has happened as i have to redo the tile panel. However, are there suggestions or tricks to help this not happen?

        1. LeAnn Z says:

          Additional note after working with this. The kit i purchased from OESD had bobbin thread included with it. It is 40 weight. When combining the woven fusible, batik fabric, 2 layers of heavy weight tear away stabilizer and the dense s of the stitching – it was the bobbin thread that was causing the problem. I switched to Thread Art 60 wt as a test sample and had no problem, stitches look comparable and no poke through from the black bobbin thread. All machines are different, and I sew on an advanced system – so it is possible that the original bobbin weighted thread form OESD might have worked with a different machine – but this soloution solved my issue. Thanks

  15. Jeri Mize says:

    When I read the info in the pattern it states to cut 10X15 pieces of everything to embroider – why when a bloc is 4.5 X 6.75. I seems that I could make it in my 5X7 hoop or my 8 X 12.5 hoop and cut smaller pieces of stabilizer and fabric and reducing the amount of wasted product. Can I cut smaller pieces or please explain why I need to cut 10 X 15

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Jeri,

      Yes, you can always work with the hoops that make the most sense to save fabric. OESD had to make a generic set of directions that would work with most embroidery machines.


  16. Cody Bach says:

    Do you use black bobbin thread?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Cody,

      Yes, using a black bobbin thread is always an option when embroidering on darker fabric. We used white thread because our machines are kept in top running condition at our store. When machines are properly serviced and maintained, the top thread should always pull to the back so no white bobbin thread would show. Sara

  17. Ingrid says:

    Do you remove both the fusible woven and heavy weight stabilizers to the seam line or just the heavy weight and leave the fusible woven?

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Ingrid,

      Always leave the fusible woven attached to the back of the fabric. We usually leave the heavyweight stabilizer as well and sew it all into the seam.


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