Follow @Nick’s advice. He’s a professional and definitely knows what he’s doing.
I’d like to add some additional thoughts.
Here’s a shortcut. It won’t be as good as what Nick describes, but it’s workable given what we have at DMS. You will still have to apply heat transfer glue, etc. when you are finished.
- Program an appliqué for the shape of the patch.
Laser cut your patch material to that size/shape. That will help tremendously with the fuzzy edges.
- Stitch the three layers of the appliqué border, using stabilizer as your backing. Use some type of either iron-on or spray fabric adhesive to help stabilize your patch blank for the later embroidery.
- Stitch the patch embroidery.
Nick has apparently had good success with wash-away stabilizer, but he uses magnetic hoops. We have only tension hoops and I don’t know if the wash-away stabilizer can stand that tension. You may have to use cut-away stabilizer as your backing, but if you do at least it won’t leave fuzzies around the edge like raw fabric does. If you have to use cut-away stabilizer you will see a faint edge of the stabilizer, so you might want to consider black stabilizer depending on the color of your patch outline.
Now, as for the specific patch you’ve shown - it looks highly detailed to me. Detail is anathema to patch making (or any embroidery). Remember that you’re dealing with discrete stitches. It’s like painting with dots. At some point if you don’t have enough stitches you just won’t see the detail. For instance, rather than outlining the bricks, I would try to create bricks using texture instead. Of course you could make the patch bigger, which would help with the detail, but then you’re more likely to have problems with push/pull compensation.
Our programming software is rudimentary. It doesn’t have features to accommodate some of the more complex challenges. But having said that, here’s an example of something I programmed with it just to give you an example of what’s possible. I’m sure some others can chime in with their examples, too.