It is Gardening season in my area and if you have read other articles here you know that I am a fan of flags. I think they are one of the easiest and most rewarding projects you can create. Today I am releasing a new embroidery design that will sew an In The Hoop Water Me Garden Flag.
This design will sew a complete small flag in one hooping. I used polyester fabric but you could use canvas or duck as well. If your flag will not be exposed to the weather you could also use cotton fabric. I think these would be really cute on a front porch, in planters or even on a desk. I have seen the small flag holders at my local Dollar stores but most of the time, they sell out rather quickly. If you don't grab them when you can, they might not be re stocked. To avoid this problem, I have also included a template in the download you can use to create your own using a wire coat hanger.
Here is my flag holder once I finished it. I will advise you to wear eye protection and be careful because some hangers can be sharp. I used wire cutters and pliers to help me follow this template and bend the hanger. If you wanted to get extra fancy, you could spray paint yours also.
If you have some scrap fabric in your stash and end pieces of grosgrain ribbon, you can machine embroider one of these in under 30 minutes.
Then install your flag on your holder and decorate your flower beds or potted plants. If you have a gardener in your life stitch up several so they can use these to remind themselves which plants need to be watered. I have an instruction video that you can watch below to see how easy this In The Hoop Water Me Garden Flag will be. Don't forget Mother's Day is right around the corner. This would be a fantastic little gift to add to a seasonal plant.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Bicycles are perfect for springtime sewing projects. Today I have four brand new bicycle embroidery designs being released and a bonus pillow project to give you some inspiration. Links to each design are below.
The Bike With Balloons Embroidery Design has so much going on. There is a colorful bike with balloons and a puppy. Customize this one any way you like and it will be perfect.
The Bike With Floral Basket Embroidery is a standout design that would be so sweet on towels or linens.
The Bike With Heart Basket Embroidery is a whimsical design that could be used in Springtime or Valentine's Day.
The Bike With Ribbon Bow Embroidery Design has a basket and flowing ribbon Customize all of these designs by changing colors. An Interesting look might be using the same design with different colors for your project.
Or you can get all four bike designs and sew a patchwork pillow which is what I decided to do. I usually have many embroidery samples in my studio and I am always looking for easy quick projects that can incorporate them. I think you'll love this one.
Sewing a pillow is a great beginner project because you can determine how large or small you want it to be without a pattern. I even sewed my own pillow insert and made my project into a removable cover so I can launder it.
I cut my pre sewn embroidery designs into squares that were the same size. I left a nice one inch border around the designs. Then I used some scraps that were 2 1/2 inches wide. I cut those slightly longer than the embroidery squares. A 1/4 inch seam allowance was used and I attached them with right sides facing. I used my iron to press after piecing the seams together so everything stayed straight and crisp.
When I had the short pieces sewn together, I trimmed them with my rotary cutter and then added the center strip using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be careful here to line up the design squares so they are not skewed. A few pins helped hold them in place.
I sewed more strips to the top, bottom and then the sides. Then I found the center of the strips and embroidered a cute saying in the middle. You could use the built-in fonts in your embroidery machine for this part. Now you have a large piece of fabric with cute designs that can become more than a pillow. Another great idea would be a wall hanging or create more blocks for a quilt.
Using two pieces of fabric for the back, I folded the ends over and sewed to create a 1/4 inch hem on each. Then I made sure to over lap these hemmed ends by about two inches. Placing the two pieces right side down on the center of the embroidered fabric pieces with the hem running vertically, I lined up the sides and top. If you have to trim the sides of your front piece to accommodate the width, it will be just fine. I had to because I was using leftover scraps. Everything was right sides together at this point and all of the edges lined up. A seam all the way around the perimeter held everything in place. You could add a Velcro closure if you wanted to also. My center overlap was wide enough to keep my cover closed once the pillow insert was installed.
The cover was trimmed at the corners and turned right side out. I pressed it well and measured for my pillow insert using some left over fabric in my stash.
The pillow insert was pinned right sides together leaving an opening for turning. After stitching around the perimeter and clipping the corners, it was turned, stuffed and hand sewn closed. Then it was placed inside the pillow cover. So cute.
This project would be great for an outdoor space especially if you are using canvas or duck fabrics. Since my cover is removable, I can change my pillow seasonally. Or you may want to update a small space inside your house like I decided to do. Here is my new pillow on an entry chair.
Now when I come in my door, a fresh new look greets me. Amazing how something small can give you such a lift in spirit. This was a fun project and I enjoyed watching it unfold using my latest embroidery designs and leftover fabric materials that were in my stash. Are you inspired to try a project like this? I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I love walking through my local Dollar Tree and searching for unique items I can upcycle. It is kind of thrilling to get that spark of inspiration and see it actually come to life. The price point makes it attractive also. My latest Embroidery design is called Coffee Time Pad and it is made using a Dollar Tree Microfiber product.
These are the microfiber pads that I found in the personal care section of my store. There were four different color selections available. I like the pads because they are made from a microfiber material on one side and that is perfect to catch any coffee drips and keep a cup stable on your surface. It is pretty sweet that they are already finished around the edges with binding also. The opposite side is a scrubby material but the design will cover that area with fabric.
It is a very easy project done in a 4x4 hoop and I was able to complete 12 of them in a few hours. If you have fabric scraps in your stash, this is a great way to use them up.
You can see here that I am trimming away the excess material while it is still in the hoop. This design will use a 4x4 piece of scrap fabric. If you are like me, you probably have many of those.
All of the edges get covered after that and you are ready to remove from the hoop. I did use wash away stabilizer and after trimming closely, I was able to remove the extra with warm water.
A little extra bonus in the design download is this graphic. If you print it out on card stock, you have a perfect gift card that the mug rug can be slipped into after some trimming.
Instead of sewing one at a time, I used my larger hoop and ganged them up to four in one hooping. This made my stabilizer go a little further.
Here is the removal of the extra stabilizer once they are out of the hoop. When they are dry, you can insert them into the cards.
I made the entire batch of colors I purchased and they will be going to one of my local senior citizen homes. I have brought other projects to them in the past and they love getting things they can use in Bingo or game days for prizes. These would be awesome for that.
So have I inspired you to look for those unique upcycling ideas at your Dollar Store? You never know what you might find browsing the shelves. I have filmed a tutorial video you can watch below to see how the Coffee Time Pads come together. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Time is surely passing quickly and Easter is upon us. In honor of holy week and springtime, I am releasing my latest design today for an In The Hoop Bible Cover. This project is designed to cover a small bible that measures 3 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall. I purchased mine from my local Dollar Tree
The entire cover is quilted and there is a cross stitched detail on the front of the cover. The back of the cover has a bible verse. The addition of a ribbon bookmark with a free standing lace cross and ribbon closure dresses up the cover nicely. The snaps allow the bible to close so you can place any small items inside the front or back pockets like an announcement from a newspaper.
My Dollar Tree has these small bibles in two colors. Look for them in the book section. They are usually stocked on the very top shelf. If your store doesn't have them, you may be able to locate a similar size at another big box location.
The project will have two separate parts so you need a 4x4 hoop to do the Free standing lace. Then you need a 5x7 hoop to sew the actual cover.
Free standing lace is a lot of fun to stitch out because it is done with wash away stabilizer. Here you see the small cross just after I have pulled it out of the hoop. Your best bet is to try to leave some of the stabilizer in the item so it gets stiff as it dries. I accomplish this by using a small spray of water and my iron with a pressing cloth.
I also use an additional spray of starch on the item while it is wet so that as it dries, it will get even crisper. Then if you wash the item later, you can always use starch again to retain the shape.
All of the design elements for the cover sew in the 5x7 hoop and that includes adding the ribbons for the snap closure and book mark. You can cut your bookmark ribbon short or long. I wanted mine to hang just outside of my bible when it was complete.
When it comes out of the hoop you will have trimming to do and then turning the entire book cover so you can close it up. I used a needle and thread but hem tape would work also.
When you are ready to attach the Free Standing Lace cross to the ribbon, you will need to set your machine to a zig zag stitch. The ribbon is simply threaded through the eye of the cross and then doubled over the back. This zig zag will sew both layers together. On a side note, the embroidery design for the free standing lace cross could be used on it's own. If you have a bible with a ribbon in it already, just stitch this out and add it to your favorite one or gift a Free standing lace cross to a friend or family member. Such a cute little treasure.
The final steps will be installing the snaps on the book cover itself and the ribbon. I like to fold the end of my ribbon on itself to create a double thickness before I install the snap. This will give it extra strength. I usually also seal the end of the ribbon with a lighter after I trim the extra length so it does not fray.
When you download the design, you will receive a set of full color instructions that take you step by step. This little bible cover has so many uses and it is inexpensive since I purchased mine at the Dollar Tree. Think Bridal parties for favors, Baptism or dedication ceremonies, gifts for shut ins, retirements centers or cancer treatment units, or just to carry along with you. This is a sweet item that will be a pleasure to open and read, mark your favorite passage or particular scripture you are studying, or hold when comfort is needed.
There is a full video tutorial you can watch below (JUST CLICK ON THE VIDEO PLAY BUTTON ICON) where I take you through an entire project. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Brand New Patch Embroidery designs are being released today! Who doesn't love Pizza? I have been trying a new diet and of course the first thing you want is exactly what you are not supposed to have. So I consoled myself by digitizing these new patch designs. Let's take a look at them and dream about our favorite toppings.
You are going to see a recurring theme with these patches. Usually I can pass up junk food, but the minute I think I can't have it, my brain gets stuck. So this First Pizza Embroidery Design really shows that when I was working, all I wanted to do was drop everything and call for delivery. Here are a few project ideas for you.
The next design Pizza Crust Embroidery is an homage to bread, which by the way is not on my diet. I could really go for a deep dish right about now. Check out some cute project ideas below
The next patch design, Rain Pizza Embroidery was my wish that the floodgates of heaven would open and Pizza would appear around me. It could happen...RIGHT? More cute ideas for you here.
My final design Stolen Heart Pizza Embroidery says it all. I had to just admit that Pizza is at the top of my list of loves in life. See just a few ways you can use this patch design.
So while you watch these patches and start to get hungry, let me tell you about what comes in each design download. You will receive multiple design files for various machines. If you check out each design, you can click on the graphics and there is a list attached. Also in the file, there will be a design sheet to follow along with while you stitch the patch, an SVG file in case you want to cut your fabric with an electronic cutter, a paper pattern to use instead and full color instructions. When you are done stitching and the patch is ready you can sew it on your project of choice or add your own fusible adhesive to make the patch iron on ready.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. If you aren't on a diet, eat a slice of PIZZA for me!
Brand New African Sunrise Embroidery Designs are releasing today. Wow! These have been FUN to stitch! Such beautiful colors and mesmerizing to watch all of the Light fills come together to create Blending. In my part of the world, we are about to move our clocks forward one hour this weekend. That means longer days and hopefully some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I believe that has got to be the thing I miss the most when we are in our Winter. Our daylight is short and when we do get a sunny day, the light is very dim. I have never been to Africa, but when I think of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, it has to be the image that pops up in my mind.
The Elephant Sunrise Design has blended colors with a Yellow halo surround. The Elephant is simple and elegant.
The Giraffe Sunrise design holds your gaze with long eye lashes on the giraffe. Can't you just imagine her chewing leaves while she stands in the morning sun?
The Lion Sunrise Embroidery design is a perfect reminder of why they are the king of the African landscape. He's not smiling, unless he's thinking about his next meal?
The Rhino Sunrise embroidery design is simple yet tough. Just look at that stance. I would not want to confront this guy anywhere. Maybe he's just enjoying the morning? Maybe not?
How about doing a wall hanging with all of the designs?
A quilt would be another creative idea. Or how about placemats or table runners? I'm thinking animal prints? Have I inspired you to start a new project? I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Just released today is my In The Hoop Alphabet Pennant design. This set is going to provide so many fun projects and there is a backstory to it. Last year at this time (In fact this exact week), I had plans. We all know where we were and what we had going on the moment we realized everything had changed with the pandemic. This design has been ready to go for a year but I just didn't feel like it was a good time to put it out yet. My original thought was it would be perfect for retail spaces or classrooms. Since that was in my mind I didn't expand enough to realize it would be perfect for home offices, or kids' bedrooms. Maybe you would like to make signs for medical facilities, retirement centers, thank your local fire department or essential workers at the grocery store. So, a good lesson learned. Sometimes waiting a bit and looking at something in a different time will give you perspective. Let's take a look at what is in the set.
Each one of the pennants will complete in one 5x7 hooping. Customize them to your space with fabric and thread. You can use prints, solids, stripes, polka dots, you name it.
The hangers are created by using 5/8 inch grosgrain ribbon. Just another material that you can change up. How about a sports theme for a bedroom? Or dinosaurs? Maybe princesses? Unicorns? Once you get started, you may not stop. This one set could potentially keep you occupied for a while.
Here are all of the Letters, Numbers and Punctuation that come in the Pennant Set. That is a lot of embroidery design possibilities!
Here is a finished pennant so you can see the size.
For a different view next to my hand you can see that they are bright and cheerful. The text is large enough to see across the room.
Look at all of the different colors I used to make these pennants. If you have remnants in your stash like me, this is a great way too use them up. Those special life events are still happening even though we are social distancing. If you create pennants for someone you can celebrate via remote and hang your sign up. Have I got your creative ideas going yet? I have filmed a tutorial video you can watch below that will take you through the entire process.
I hope you are well in your corner of the world, have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
When you start doing machine embroidery, you find that there is an infinite supply of alternate stitches and materials to try. I have written about Mylar projects in the past,( You can see another blog post here. ) and I wanted to revisit it because I have really been having fun this week in my studio. My first design Pot of Gold is a nod to St. Patrick's day which is right around the corner.
In this design I wanted to see if I could incorporate regular stitching details as well as the fill for Mylar. I thought it would add more dimension and I was pleased with the results. The handles for the Pot sew first with a satin stitch and an outline for the pot itself. This tells you where the Mylar will be placed
Then a piece of Mylar is placed over the entire hoop surface. I used a small amount of adhesive spray to hold it down but you could also use masking tape. If you are not familiar with Mylar, look for it in the gift wrap section of your store. It comes in several different colors and will usually reflect the thread color used. So you can keep one color in your studio and depending on the project thread, you will still have versatility.
All of the Mylar details stich out and then the hoop is removed from the machine. At this time the Mylar should be easy to tear away because the needle perforates along the edges. I find that the best way to tear it is toward the design. This puts pressure on those edges. Any small pieces can be removed with tweezers.
Then you replace the hoop back in your machine so the last details can sew. The gold in this case is a really cute motif stitch that resembles coins.
That sparkle on the entire design is so satisfying and this picture doesn't do it justice. In person under the light or even in sunlight it is beautiful. I am always trying new materials and as of yet, metallic thread hasn't won me over. I am determined to find a brand that I like but each time I do some experimentation, I inevitably have to disassemble my machine because the thread flakes off in my check springs. This causes the sensor to stop my machine from sewing so I have not had great luck in the past with any brand of metallic thread. I will keep trying and when I find one, I will surely pass it on. If you have had similar problems with metallic thread, you may want to try Mylar because you will get that sparkle you love without metallic thread issues.
This Pot O Gold embroidery design would be perfect for St. Patrick's day stitched on a towel, pillow or added to a T Shirt
My next new design is really sparkly. You wouldn't think a design so simple could look dressy but this one definitely does.
I think it is the thread color combination that makes this look like tiny diamonds all over. I am in love with this Mylar Elephant.
Again, this design will show you exactly where to place the Mylar first.
Once the fill has completed you will remove the hoop from your machine. You can see I just used plain silver Mylar for this design. See how the thread color determines the finished result on this one versus the previous Pot O Gold Design.
Then the Mylar is torn away and instant sparkle. Replace the hoop in your machine.
Then all of the final details stitch out. Don't you love that check fabric?
Just a couple of cute project ideas for this design.
I did put the Mylar Elephant design on baby bib to see how it would look and I think it would be absolutely precious but let's talk about care of your garments with Mylar designs. A baby bib does get washed frequently and you can launder your Mylar projects with care. I would advise using a delicate cycle on your machine or hand washing. Maybe even use a laundry sack for undergarments. Then hang to dry or machine fluff/dry on low. If you need to press out a few wrinkles I would always use a press cloth on the reverse side of the Mylar so it doesn't come into direct contact. Remember, it is a synthetic material so it will need to be treated like you would any other delicate textile.
So are you inspired to try Mylar with your embroidery? I think you will really have fun watching the sparkle come to life. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I recently was commissioned to do machine embroidery on several masks. When I begin any project, but especially embroidery on multiple items, there is a mental checklist that helps me work through any issues before I start. Of course the first thing I think about is the embroidery design and if it will be possible to place it on the item. If I need to do any digitizing to alter the stitch count or size that is usually what I do immediately and then stitch samples. The size matters and on this project I chose to use a 2 inch x 2 inch format which is a great size for adult masks. The next thing I think about is what fabric type I will be stitching on and stabilizer choices. Once I have these things determined, I start looking at logistics and how much time it will take to complete the individual items.
I am very fond of using templates to help assist with embroidery placement. I have written other articles and there is a very detailed one along with a video you might like to see here. For this particular mask, I created a template that could be used over and over. Templates help shorten the preparation time and assist with accurate design placement. I make these templates from chopping mats seen below.
When I am in my local Dollar Tree I tend to pick up several because I know eventually I will use them. They are easy to draw on with permanent markers and plain scissors can be used to cut them out.
I specifically wanted to reduce the number of times I would need to hoop a piece of stabilizer for these masks. Normally I use the smallest hoop possible for embroidery but in the case of masks the hoop can be just about any size as long as it is bigger than your design.. Since the masks are not an easy shape to place inside a hoop I knew they would require floating on top of the stabilizer with spray adhesive and masking tape. You could also use sticky back stabilizer but I had plans to use my magnetic hoop. I like to use the Dollar Tree brand of tape because it has a low adhesive quality and I have had good luck removing it without damaging fabric or stabilizer between sewing designs.
I used my 10x10 inch Mighty Hoop and with a Frixion pen, I drew a grid that would help me place each mask in a specific area. Any time you embroider something in a hoop, you will have an area around the perimeter that is a "No Sew" zone. Your machine can either read this with built in sensors or you may need to choose or program hoops in your machine and then tell it which one you are using. The machine can read the programmed Hoop Map which includes the measurements that are safe and leave room away from the edge of the hoop for your sewing foot. By creating a grid before I began stitching, I could see how many designs I could safely sew in each hooping. I used my cutting mat grid to help measure everything. Since I knew the design size, I could determine the number of times my machine could be re positioned safely. This might seem like a lot of work but a little planning in the beginning actually made my process go very smoothly.
I like to use a six inch Omnigrid ruler to draw my lines. First I make a square around the hoop. Then I make center marks vertically and horizontally. Small X's tell me exactly where to place the middle of each mask.
I use my template and mark the design placement with a chalk marker on the mask. The grid on the stabilizer helps line everything up so you know it will be straight. Small items like this are hard to judge especially with the curves and shapes of the masks. The temporary adhesive spray and masking tape are used to hold the mask in place. I also used a couple of straight pins on the left side so there would be even tension all around.
By starting in the top right side of the hoop, you can complete that design and then use tape to hold the mask out of the way for your next design. Move to the bottom right and complete that one. Then move to the left top and then left bottom. Each time, you can position the extra fabric out of the way with masking tape. Having the small X's marked on the stabilizer helps with placement each time and knowing that you will have room to sew the design. Remember to check that the mask is right side up or being sewn in the correct area. Your X's marked on the stabilizer will help keep that part simple as the longer you sew similar items, you might tend to get tired. It is easy to lose track or feel a monotonous relaxing of your senses while you watch each design so always double check your placement on the mask. These had a small tag on the right side so that helped me know each mask was correctly oriented before sewing.
Positioning your foot on the center where the design will start sewing will also ensure you are on the right spot. Here you see my foot ready to go and I am pointing to the straight pins holding the outer edge of the mask. I also stay close to my machine when I float items in a hoop. No walking away. I keep my mind on the machine and if I need to do trimming on other masks or preparation, I station myself near it.
Here are all four mask designs completed. The back shows that placement on the center and the front shows each mask held in place with masking tape.
Once done, you just need to trim away the stabilizer. These masks were 100% cotton but they had stretch and a lining. I used cutaway stabilizer to make sure they had good structure for the designs. They will be washed and dried a lot and the cutaway stabilizer will help keep the design for the life of each mask. It is also firm enough to withstand the pressure of multiple designs. I would not try this with tearaway stabilizer as the needle perforations might loosen the tension and registration would suffer.
I always like to use a lint roller after trimming away loose thread tails. These masks were provided by my client so I took extra care with his packaging and reused all of it.
Here they are boxed up and ready to go. I filmed a video that you can watch below. It shows my entire process and goes into a little more detail. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This year's Christmas gifts for family were all about quilts. I finally feel safe writing about them because they have all received their gifts and I no longer have to worry they might see them online. I consider myself an experienced seamstress in that I have "experienced" sewing a lot of different projects. That is how I keep my creative mojo, but I wouldn't call myself an expert in quilting just yet. It fascinates me to see complex quilt designs and try to figure out how they were put together but I have found the designing and following patterns to be a little out of my reach. I have several quilting books and I absolutely love to read quilting magazines so the desire is strong. I purchase beautiful pre cut fabrics and wait for inspiration. In fact that is what happened with the three quilts above. I had purchased several 2 1/2 inch fabric rolls and stashed them in my studio for the spark of creativity that I knew would happen. For me that is the key. I always have a selection of materials in my reach so I can immediately move toward working on a project. Getting in the car and driving to shop only causes me to quickly lose interest so if you have similar feelings, you might want to buy your beautiful fabrics long before you have a project in mind and just wait. It will come to you.
This was the beginning fabric roll. It contained 40 pieces of fabric. They were cut 2 1/2 inches by 42 inches or the width of the fabric. If you are an experienced quilter you know this already, but I'm going to aim toward those beginners like me because just holding this little roll and trying to figure out how big it would wind up becoming, how much batting I would need, and back fabric to finish it was a huge problem for me. Think "Word Problem" and feel the headache begin.
I did have yardage in my stash that I thought would be perfect for the back. I purchased this piece from a second hand store. I love finding those pieces of fabric that are hidden and creating something lovely. It makes me feel like a treasure hunter. I always bring them home and immediately wash and dry so they are ready for me. It was a light cotton and I thought there should be enough to make a lap quilt. By this time, I had done some research on pre cut fabric quilts and found several blogs on 1600 or Race Quilts. Quilt guilds or groups use the pre cut rolls as a competition to quickly and easily piece quilt tops. This is a great way to sew many quilts for donation. There is very little preparation or cutting and within a short time you can have your top pieced. That was exactly what I was looking for because I had three quilts in mind and about two weeks to get them ready. Yes you read that right. I pieced, quilted and bound all three quilts within a two week period.
Here is my set up. I had my sewing machine of course with a regular sewing foot. I also put my folding table to my right. This little table is one from the camping section of Academy Sports. I love it because it folds away flat and I keep it out of the way unless I need it. I also had my wool pressing mat and a small travel iron just because it is easier to work with while sitting..
The first thing I did was unroll my fabric strips. I did not prewash them. When I did my research on the 1600 quilts, every blog stated not to think too much on laying out your different fabric strips. It is very difficult to plan or determine any kind of placement due to the construction. The whole point of this type of quilt is ease and speed. By the way if you are wondering why they call it a 1600 quilt, it is because by the time you have sewn all of the fabric lengths together, you should have roughly a 1600 inch length. So I just placed my similar strips together and put them on top of my table so I could reach for them as I sewed.
Piecing the strips together can be done two different ways. On my first quilt I placed the ends of the pieces right sides together and sewed a diagonal line just like I would for binding. As I worked, I did not cut any of the stitching. I chain pieced. This will create a quilt top that has a diagonal look to the sewn pieces. On the subsequent two quilts, I laid the ends of the fabric right on top of each other and pieced straight across. If you will look at the finished picture below, you can see the lavender quilt has diagonal seam lines. The other two quilts have straight seam lines. I think it is personal preference and it didn't make sewing any harder on either option. I did however have an extra step of trimming the diagonal fabric ends. The straight ends were just sewn with a 1/4 inch seam allowance with no trimming needed after.
All of those little triangles are trimmed and expect a lot of fluff to come away from the precut strips as you sew. My lap was covered along with my studio floor from manipulating the strips. A good sweeping was necessary several times. I also had to pull out my vacuum wand to clean around my machine.
As you continue to sew the strip ends together you will begin to have quite a pile of fabric, so make sure you have room around your sewing space to keep all of it out of the way.
After my chain piecing, I used my small scissors to clip the threads
What was a neat row of strips becomes a long pile of fabric. There is no rhyme or reason to the placement of color. That is the fun part. You just grab piece after piece and sew them together. It can get hypnotic to sew like this and my best advice would be to make sure you are placing your right sides together before you sew the ends. Also VERY IMPORTANT, go through these strips before you move to the next step one more time and make sure the right sides are sewn together and you don't have any flipped or a right and wrong side sewn together. Make your corrections as it is easier to pick out a short seam now before you begin to sew the top together. Ask me how I know?
You will cut 18 inches from one of the ends. This will ensure that your seams do not line up throughout the quilt.
Now that you have your long strip of fabric, you are going to find both ends. Take one end and place it on top of the other end right sides together. Then using a 1/4 inch seam, you will sew the sides of those strips until you can't sew any more. I changed from my regular sewing foot to a piecing foot here. Once you get to the end, you will cut the u shaped fabric piece straight across. I have to tell you that even though I had my pressing station all set up, I didn't make use of it much while piecing. I did once complete with the top, press all of the seams
The first length of sewing will seem like forever until you get to the end. Once you do you will see that you can't go any further and you have to use your scissors to release the ends and make them lay flat. It is difficult to do it exactly straight and you don't need to stress about that. There will be some fabric trimming and squaring before you do your quilting.
Now that you have finished your first long seam, you will find the two ends again and do another long seam the same way. This process will be done FIVE times in total. As you find the ends each time, the piece will get wider and wider and your seam will get shorter and shorter. I did read blogs that stated not to worry about un winding the long lengths of fabric between each long seam as this saves time. I will tell you that on my first quilt, I must have been doing something right because each time I got to the end of the seam and did my trimming and then picked up the two ends to begin sewing, I did not come to much of a fabric twist at the end of my seam. It was fairly easy to cut the U shape of the fabric. When I did my second quilt. I had some confidence and I just sewed really fast to see how long it would take to finish. I didn't even bother to make sure my long length of fabric wasn't twisted and I did have some repercussions from that. When I had the final seam to sew and I was ready to cut that final U shape at the end, the fabric was twisted so much, that I couldn't get a very straight cut. So my top was wider on one end when I squared it off. I lost about six inches of fabric. I had to piece the two ends with additional fabric to keep the size I wanted. So my second piece of advice to you is unless you are doing a race and you don't mind how big the finished quilt will be, make sure to unwind the long fabric piece and make sure there is no twist in it before you place the right sides together to begin sewing.
Here is the top on one of the final seams and you can see it is getting wider and wider and look at the bottom of the fabric where it forms a U Shape. This is what needs to be cut across to release the fabric so it will lay flat. As you can see if the fabric is twisted, cutting would be difficult. Again ask me how I know? I feel confident, I could have gotten these three quilts done sooner if that event had not happened. I lost about two days because I was so mad at myself for rushing through the second quilt and then knowing I was going to have to do some Quilt Math to figure out a solution.
Oh the beauty of a finished quilt top. Is there any site more beautiful to behold? Except a quilted and bound quilt top of course. Which by the time you get to this point you will begin to think about. Now you get to trim up any edges that are not straight and decide what kind of batting you want to use, what kind of quilting designs and how you want to finish the edges.
So I don't think there is an easy way to prepare one of these for quilting except dive right in and know that you will need to flip it a couple of times to make sure there are no areas that will cause puckers. Aggravating I know but worth it. The batting was larger than the top to ensure I would have enough for shrinkage while quilting. I used some adhesive spray and safety pins to layer my back fabric, batting and top. The batting I used is 100 % cotton which I chose because my recipients all live in climates with humidity. I envisioned them using their lap quilts to snuggle on the couch watching tv. Even in summer you can use a 100% cotton quilt and not get too hot. Polyester batting is wonderful for extra warmth in very cold climates. I have several different quilts that I swap on my bed each season and in the summer months, cotton is my favorite.
I did install my walking foot on my machine to help keep all of those layers together as I quilted along.
Once I had everything pinned and ready to go I rolled up one end and you can see that it went to the right side so I could begin my quilting in the center. I decided too keep it simple and just sewed in the ditch along each seam line. I worked from the center to the right side then rotated the quilt and did the same from the center to the left side.
I made my own binding for the quilt by cutting 2 1/2 inch strips on the bias. I only did bias binding on the first quilt. I did make my binding for the other two quilts but the binding was made with straight ends. If you are making a quilt with straight edges, there is no need to go around curves which is the purpose of bias binding. Try straight edge binding for your next quilt and you will see that it works great on those right edges. You will have less trimming of fabric on the straight seams. Once everything was sewn together I pressed the seams open and then I did press the binding in half with the wrong sides together. Some people do not press their binding but my finish seam worked better with a very crisp edge.
I sewed my binding to all three quilts along the back with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then pulled the binding to the front of the quilt and held it in place with clips.
My finish stitch of choice was a serpentine. If you look online, you will see an infinity of ways to attach binding. I wanted something very quick and with a utilitarian quality. I wanted my recipients to use these quilts. The finish size makes that extremely likely because they are large enough to give lap coverage and small enough to clean in a standard washer and dryer. I wash my quilts regularly so very firm stitching is in order. This serpentine stitch also is VERY forgiving. If you go off a little, it is hard to detect but the coverage and grip of your binding width is a great choice for an everyday quilt.
I think it looks extra pretty. This is what you see from the front. I like to sew it from the front so I can see exactly where those stiches are landing.
Here is the back. Everything is attached with sound stitching and I know if they wash and dry their quilts, there will be no broken stitches or sad surprises. I also love this stitch to give myself a break from trying to get perfectly straight stitches in the ditch from one side and ensuring I have "captured" the binding from the other side that you don't see while sewing.
Pretty isn't it? Also notice the strips that touch may be the same due to the construction. Even though I picked up each color individually as I connected the fabric pieces, the long seams will cause similar strip colors to be side by side on your top.
Here are some roundabout measurements in case you are wondering how large it is. This will vary depending on your end cuts of course.
Here is the second quilt. Remember the difficult one? Look at the two sides and you will see a navy border. That is what I had to add to keep the finished size I wanted due to the fabric twisting. So if you do have a smaller finished top than you planned, you can add fabric to it. Not sure why I couldn't think of that when I lost those two days, but when you get deep into a project with a deadline in mind, tunnel vision can occur. Take a break and breath, It's ok.
By the time I got too my third one, I was very sure of myself which usually happens when you practice something. For this top, I wasn't sure what color to use for the back and I did have to make a shopping trip to purchase fabric. I bought a 4 yard fabric cut from Wall-Mart in this bright sunny yellow.
This is how I pieced that back from that fabric cut. It shows my top final measurement. The fabric is 44 inches wide so I cut two lengths 55 inches long and pieced them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance for strength. The width needed to be cut off on either side at 10 inches. This gave me a extra fabric when creating my quilt sandwich. After everything was quilted, I did some squaring up. I had extra fabric left over for my binding and even some more for future projects. These fabric cuts from Walmart are usually a great price also. They are a polyester blend so if you want 100% cotton just make sure you look for that on the label. Or visit your local quilt shop for your fabric where you will have a great selection that is wide enough for quilt backs and 100% cotton.
Just a few more pictures of that serpentine stitch for you to see. Nice work on that binding corner don't you think? Very crisp. Using your iron to press that binding edge makes that happen.
I love that bright sunny back. I enjoyed making each one of these quilts because they were all straight seams and I was able to finish them within a short timeframe. If you are not in a rush, this project would be very easy to lay down and come back to at a later date without having to think too much on where you left off.
Here is the best part. A picture from my family member underneath his quilt with the caption "MY BLANKET IS PERFECT". Now THIS is the goal accomplished. Exactly what I envisioned coming to fruition. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Embroidery Placement is one of those subjects that most people have questions about. I recently had a comment on one of my You tube videos that pointed to that subject. So I decided to look at some of the various tools I currently use or have in the past.
I think this might be the most important thing to learn when you are machine embroidering and I really struggled with it in the beginning. Knowing your machine capabilities with the hoop sizes available to you is the first step. If your machine came with one hoop, say a 4x4, you will be able to stitch embroidery designs no larger than 3.93 x3.93 inches. That 4x4 hoop is also known as a 100mm x 100mm hoop in metric conversion. Sometimes you may purchase designs that are denoted in inches but many will also have those metric numbers. I like to keep this chart handy near my machine so I can quickly glance at it before I begin any project. The size of your design will be constrained by not only your hoop size but the area you want to place it on your project. I have found exceptions to this chart with some designs. My Mighty Hoops have a "suggested" maximum that can vary between two measurements. Depending on the design shape, the rounded corners of the hoop will sometimes cause issues where I need to reduce the size. So always do a trace of your design on your machine before you begin to make sure it will fit inside the hoop and not strike the sides.
Templates are one of my favorite tools when doing machine embroidery. This picture shows a 4x4 hoop and the template that came with it. If you will look closely, you will see the template has a small purple square with a grid. This is the actual sewing field available in the hoop. Most of the time, these will be roughly 1/2 inches inside the hoop edge. That is a default determined by the machine manufacturer to make sure you will not damage anything. On my commercial machine, there are ways to extend this a little in the settings, but I would not suggest doing so without the assistance of your technical support. This template is helpful for placement because it has a cross hair in the center that lines up with the four markings on the hoop itself. The small circle in the top of the template allows you to remove it once you have your item hooped.
Although I like to use the templates that came with my hoops, I do have some that did not have any when I purchased them. So I make my own using these chopping mats purchased from Dollar Tree.
Here is one I made for my 5x5 Mighty Hoop. I used a permanent marker, hole punch and scissors to customize it exactly how I wanted.
You may not realize it, but you probably have a template in most of your embroidery designs that is easy to use. This is a printout of one of my free designs and as you can see there is a cross hair in the center. I like to use these to mark placement and also see how a design will look on my projects. I usually will cut the center cross and use a chalk marker to show me where I need to place my hoop.
Here is a closeup of my chalk marker. These can be purchased at most sewing and quilting stores. You can buy replacement cartridges or loose chalk to fill it. The chalk comes out when the small rolling teeth go across the fabric surface. I like chalk because in most cases it brushes off fabrics and won't leave any marks. Now I will warn you that if you mix that chalk with another marking pen like a disappearing one and then iron or place heat on it, you may set the color. So always test the fabric before you make your marks.
I also like to keep many different rulers and tape measures close by when I am placing my embroidery. Working with fabric can be tricky because it moves and distorts. This small six inch ruler is great to work in smaller areas.
Placement rulers can be a helpful way to get a measurement for apparel. I have a couple of different ones and I will say that they sometimes differ in their suggestions. Most commercial placement rulers have a disclaimer that the final area is determined by the person doing the embroidery. So just be aware that these are meant to assist but they are not always the final or perfect tool. If I am doing many shirts or garments, I will usually make my own templates so placement can be done quickly without guesswork.
Here you can see one that I use for shirts. This was made using one of the chopping mats. I usually make one for each size that I will be working with. I make notes on the template telling me where the design should go. I will draw buttons, collars, seams or any defining placement areas so I can lay it on top of the garment quickly. Then I have a cross hair cut out that I can mark with my chalk marker. This one has two cross hairs because depending on the design shape or customer preference, I may need to move it 1/2 inch on this particular shirt. There is not a perfect location. Each project may need to be tweaked a bit.
I do like to use my Echidna hooping station to assist in lining up the hoop. The magnets hold the stabilizer in place so it does not slide around. Then I can confidently place the garment or fabric and quickly secure the top hoop.
Before I purchased my hooping station, I did primarily use temporary adhesive spray. This holds your stabilizer in place until you can hoop the fabric. I have in the past had some shirts Pill when the stabilizer is removed after stitching so always do a test with a garment that I don't mind damaging. I try to have extras for this purpose. It saves some stress in the event you have a machine malfunction or if it's "Just One Of Those Days"
I find that the hardest part of hooping any project is knowing where the bottom hoop is located. You can't see it once you put your fabric on top. That is where the templates come in handy. Here you see I have a towel on top of my hoop and I am using my template to "feel" the bottom hoop location. If I have marked my placement with my chalk marker, I can also Line up that chalk inside of the cross hair of the template.
Then I can place the top hoop on and decide if that placement will be good. I will tell you that this doesn't always go as planned. No worries, just take it out and try again. Some fabrics are harder than others. The location of the embroidery can be tricky also if you are embellishing a ready made product. Don't get frustrated and sew it because you are tired. Take a break and come back to it later.
So templates are a great way to line up projects. They are also an inexpensive tool that you can print off or make yourself. I found that once I started getting the hang of using them, I enjoyed creating my own as it helped me understand the hooping process more. This blog post is just the tip of embroidery placement. I have more detailed information in my video below. I show you how I use all of these tools. If you are interested, scroll down and watch it. I bet you will pick up some new tricks of your own.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
The New Year is approaching and once again I have steered myself back into my studio. This project won't take too much time and it would make a wonderful gift for someone in your life.
I had this drying mat in my stash and I thought it would be perfect to upcycle into a wine bag. If you have a Dollar Tree in your town, they usually have a good selection of colors and for One Dollar you can create a personalized item. Maybe you aren't going to attend your normal New Year's Eve party but you still want to celebrate with family, friends or neighbors? How about delivering a bottle of wine to them as a surprise? Leave it on their front porch or hang the bag on their doorknob?
This project really is just a few seams. The padded material of the drying mat is great to protect the glass bottle. Maybe customize yours with embroidery. I used my latest New Year Balloons design that you can find here. Some pretty satin ribbon is an easy handle.
I used a 4x4 hoop with tear away stabilizer and floated my drying mat in the embroidery hoop with temporary adhesive spray.
After doing the embroidery, I placed right sides together with clips and sewed along the bottom and side of the mat. Make sure you lengthen your stitch and use a larger needle.
I created boxed corners with zig zag stitching on the bottom. This makes it flat once you turn it inside out. You can trim these away but I left mine as they give a little more structure to the bag.
The satin ribbon is folded under on each end and stitched to the outer sides. The box and cross stitching will give extra security to the wine bottle in the bag.
Now you are ready to add the wine or any other libation of your choosing. I filmed a short You tube video that you can watch below that will take you through the entire process. I hope you are well in your part of the world and that you have enjoyed this along with my other posts, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This project is an oldie but goodie and I thought it needed to be brought back. I found it in one of my old sewing books from the eighties. Just looking at it reminds me of that Heirloom trend we were all decorating with back then. It can be sewn or if you have some fabric glue, you should be able to make one as long as you dry your glue in between steps.
Here is the secret ingredient that keeps the wreath shape. These book rings were purchased from Dollar Tree and they have a hinged side with a lock. A package of eight means you can make a lot of wreaths
Here is a view of the ring being opened. You can see that makes it easy to slide your fabric on and then close up to secure everything.
You will need a piece of fabric cut 18 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Also, any kind of lace, ribbon or ric rac will dress up the wreath.
A tube turner really comes in handy also and if you have never used one of these tools, you might want to give it a try. A long narrow tube of fabric is sometimes difficult to turn right side out but one of these makes it effortless.
Here is an abbreviated version of how they go together. The lace or ribbon is pinned to the right side along one edge. I like to baste it on first. Then sew the edges together along that length. Use the tube turner and turn right side out. Then press flat so the lace is one one side and the fabric tube is on the other.
Then you take it back to your machine and sew a seam right in the middle down the length. This creates a smaller casing. If you are using fabric glue, this part won't be possible but you will already have a wide casing that will work just fine. Thread the material on the book ring and snap closed. I make a hanger with 1/4 inch ribbon and a simple bow. Both are attached with a needle or thread. If you are using glue, you should be able to attach both.
I made two versions so you could see by decreasing the fabric width to two inches, the ornament has a slightly different look. As a final creative idea, you could place a small picture behind each wreath with hot glue. This project would be easy for kids to design with their favorite fabric pieces. If you are like me, you probably have some remnants that would work great for this.
I have a complete video tutorial that you can watch below as you are sewing your wreath ornaments. Handmade projects are on my Christmas list this year. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work! Have A Merry Christmas!
My latest embroidery designs are close to my heart because they were requested by a family member. When the pandemic started, I set to work on drafting a face mask design that you can find here. Then I went to work sewing many masks and mailing them to my family in South Louisiana. I put them in individual polybags and asked that they distribute as they saw fit to anyone in need. At that time when everything was new, supplies were short so everyone was looking for any kind of face covering. I sewed a mask for my uncle that is a Navy veteran and the fabric had ships and compasses all over it. Last week he was filling up at a gas station and a man came across the parking lot to talk to him. He saw the fabric, commented on the mask and said he wished someone could make him one that had his Shrimping profession on it. That is all it took for me to get to work on sewing a new batch of masks and getting them mailed to my family again. So Mr. Reuben or "T-Reub" this is for you. I hope you love your custom mask.
The Trawler Embroidery design is perfect alone or you can add custom text like a personal or business name above or below. The boat design is less than 2 inches square so it will work great on masks, caps or hats. See the inspiration pictures below for some gift ideas.
The Compass Embroidery Design is also less than two inches square so it will work on masks, caps or hats. You know any person that fishes as a profession or hobby uses compasses and maps to navigate the waters. This design looks great by itself but the addition of a name will make it really special. Campers, hikers or scouts would love this also. See the inspiration pictures below.
The Shrimp Embroidery Design is one of my new favorites. I love how simple and clean it looks stitched in the white thread against the navy fabric. If you have a shrimper or chef in your life they will love this stitched on their favorite items, like masks, hats, towels and shirts. Add their name and they might cook up a nice meal for you. See the inspiration photos below.
This picture shows the piece of fabric in my hoop after it has been embroidered. If you are making custom masks, just draw the outline of the mask pattern with chalk and you can place the design right where you need it before you sew up the masks.
Here are just a few of the custom masks ready to send out. I did sew a special one for my uncle with the Navy veteran logo embroidered on it. Sadly I don't offer this embroidery design, because the Navy logo is trademarked by the Naval Department, so without their permission, I would only sew this for family members as gifts. I think my uncle will love it though.
I do have one more embroidery design that was just released a few days ago and it ties in with my South Louisiana Heritage. This Sportsman Paradise design has a Pelican sitting on a log which is something that you will see if you are ever visiting along the Gulf Of Mexico. It is perfect for those outdoorsman or anyone that loves Louisiana culture. Check out some Inspiring photos below.
So that brief meeting at a gas station started all of this. Mr. Reuben did you know when you walked across that parking lot and spoke to my uncle that you would inspire these embroidery designs? I loved creating all of them and making masks which I hope the receivers will enjoy wearing. Maybe the embroidery will spark conversations like the one you had with my uncle and give a moment of normalcy to this time in our lives. We from South Louisiana love to talk and visit after all. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Life's celebrations are one of the things we can count on. No matter what happens, we will always have loved ones, friends or co-workers that will be celebrating milestones. In honor of that I have digitized several new designs that are releasing today. Of course, we all have birthdays in our lives. This Happy Birthday Embroidery design stitches in a 4x4 hoop and within just a few minutes you will have a hip customized project. Also, this design is part of my Celebrations design pack that includes three other celebratory designs! See them below.
Do you know someone who is celebrating and needs a little congratulating? My Congratulations Embroidery Design is part of the Celebration Design Pack also. This 4x4 design can be customized with any color under the sun and would be perfect for so many occasions!
Help someone acknowledge that special date with my Happy Anniversary Embroidery Design. This would be beautiful in any thread color but Golds and Silvers would be very luxurious. This 4x4 design is part of the Celebrations Design pack also.
My Good Luck Embroidery design will help you send that special person off with a very meaningful wish. This 4x4 design is also part of my Celebrations Design pack. The best part about these four embroidery designs is they are all ready for you to pick your favorite thread color and within just a short time, you can have a very special customized project.
So I bet you know what is next? Birthdays for those little ones in your life. We all like to celebrate those special days that only come once in a lifetime. I have several birthday embroidery designs that you can stitch up in your 4x4 hoop. Let me show them to you with a few inspirational projects. This is My First Birthday Embroidery Design. These all include text and an Applique Number.
How about stitching this on a cute and soft bib?
This is My Second Birthday Embroidery Design and remember that you can always customize the colors on these so they will be perfect for many little ones.
I know a lot of two year old children that love to cuddle underneath a cover. They will know which blanket is theirs with this stitched on the corner.
When you get to My Third Birthday you can start working on those older projects for your special little people. Or have you thought about using any of these designs for your pets? They love birthday gifts too!
All kids love a Shirt just for them and they can tell everyone how old they are. I see birthday cake on the front of this one already!
My Fourth Birthday embroidery design lets those little buddies know they are still special and that you are taking time to create memorable gifts for them.
So how about a cute apron that they can wear while doing their crafts or helping you in the kitchen?
We have made it to My Fifth Birthday Embroidery design and they aren't babies anymore but I bet they still let you hug and kiss them. Let them be little as long as they can and make that homemade gift they will love to show off.
Now they are big enough to carry their own bag. A cute backpack for pajamas and overnight stays would be an awesome project for this design!
We have so many celebrations to look forward to and my wish is that these designs get you inspired to be creative. Remember how good it feels to give. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
It is that time of year when the turkey becomes part of our holiday season. Today I am releasing this new In The Hoop Turkey Ornament as my ode to that tradition. This project is fun because two hoopings are required. The first hooping uses a 4x4 embroidery hoop which creates the face and details of the turkey.
If you look closely at the picture, you can see that the face/body is attached with a U shaped stitch just around the widest part of the body. This creates a small pocket that is perfect to hide small surprises. What kind of surprises? Keep reading.
The second hooping is done in a 5x7 hoop and I love this one because you can go through your seasonal fabric. If you look at the picture above you will see all of the fluffy fabric edges or Chenille. This makes the fabric look like the turkey's feathers. If you have Fall inspired charm packs, they would be so cute in different turkey ornaments. If you have never done chenille techniques, it is really easy using a small chenille or wire brush. The design comes with a full set of color instructions. Also, I have created a video you can watch below to make sure you can work through the process. So be sure to check that out.
So what can you do with this ornament? Here I have used it as a napkin ring. These would be precious at each of your place settings. Remember that pocket created by the turkey face? Slide a small dinner mint or hand written note in the pocket for a sweet take home gift for your guests.
Another unique idea would be to add a few drops of scented oils to a small piece of felt. Slide the felt into the turkey pocket and make your own seasonal air freshener. Hang this in your kitchen, bathroom or car. Bringing a bottle of wine to a gathering? Hang it on the bottle for a cute hostess gift.
If you don't want to hang it as an ornament, you can always use the turkey as a cute mug rug to dress up your work space.
I bet you have other creative ways to use an In The Hoop Turkey Ornament. Fall is a season of many blessings and my wish is that yours is very full. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Nothing makes your heart stop like an error message in the middle of a sewing or embroidery project. When I have an error I usually pull out my manual first because the answer will more than likely be found there. The manufacturers are usually very good about knowing what might come up and giving you various scenarios to try. In sewing the most common will be your needle, bobbin and thread. In this error, I went through the checklist from my manual but my error still occurred. As I would sew I was able to get through 10-15 stitches and the machine would stop with the above error. I initially thought it might be the tension discs and some thread or debris so I cleaned those out by taking the top covers off, but the problem persisted. Of course I made sure my machine was powered OFF to do these checks.
So after some online searches, I found a couple of other people with similar problems and even though they have a different machine, I thought I would try looking in the same area they were indicating, so I removed my cover from the side of the machine. I have to thank generous people on You Tube and Blogs because isn't it great to be able to figure out those small maintenance repairs during the pandemic? Usually I wouldn't think twice about bringing my machine to the shop but now that isn't always an easy option.
I traced myself to the 3rd position in the flow of tension on the front. There is a very small spring located behind this front cover that helps the machine tension the thread. It is a moving part and when you couple that movement with thread, debris, moisture and dirt; the spring can become immobile and the thread is no longer in the correct placement so the machine will issue the error.
Look in the picture above and follow the thread down to the point where it passes under that straight bar. Directly underneath you will see the very small curved tip of the spring. That piece is where my problems were happening. I used a small picking instrument like a dentist would use and I VERY CAREFULLY cleaned around the spring. I also made sure the spring could move up and down and was not immobile. As I did that I saw a piece of thread remnant fall out.
You can also see the other very tiny bits of debris I was able to clean out. I put everything back together to test the machine. As a side note, this error did occur right after I had been trying out a brand new metallic thread. I can't say for certain if that caused the problem but it was a different material than I sew with on a daily basis.
The final thing I did was remove the thread and re thread it through all of the tension areas. If you don't do this, the thread placement is the same as before the repair and the error will probably show up still. Now my machine sews just fine. I will say that this is a minor adjustment and I would only recommend doing this to get you back to sewing; especially if you are in a production setting like me. I use my machine to test embroidery designs every day. It doesn't replace my usual maintenance schedule where the machine is taken apart, cleaned, oiled and tested. I will still get that done per the manufacturer's suggestions which is normally at least once a year. I filmed a short video below that will show you the error as it was happening, removing the covers and where that spring is located. If you are having similar issues with your machine, this might help. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I am taking it way back with my latest design. I wanted to do something fun and quick and this In The Hoop Fortune Teller Game is just that. Do you remember folding one of these when you were in school and playing with your friends? Back then the fortunes would make your day. Well I am hoping these fortunes will bring back that smile and nostalgia.
The materials needed are really simple. I used cutaway stabilizer in my hoop and sewed directly onto it. It is really no different than the standard paper you would usually use to fold a fortune teller. In fact, the cutaway is a little bit more resilient and should last longer. I have noticed mine has gotten softer as I use it more and more. When I digitized this design, I wanted all of the fortunes to be readable and as close to an original game piece as possible so it is only available in an 8 x 8 size. This makes inserting your fingers in the pockets easy as well.
I did use my iron with small bursts of steam to set all of the folds in the game piece.
After everything is stitched, you will remove the stabilizer and trim around the edges carefully. Then fold the game piece to play. I think this would be such a fun project for kids. It would be easy to complete as a project with them because it sews out fairly quick and they might not get too bored watching it. Then cutting is just straight lines and the folding is perfect for tactile work.
Just look how adorable that is. So simple but such great memories I have with my school friends.
On this day, my wish was granted. That is a great fortune to have come true. I have a short video below that shows the entire project, especially the folding process so you can create your In The Hoop Fortune Teller Game. I hope you have enjoyed this post, you share what you learn and you are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
If you have read many of my blog posts, you might guess my creative projects follow the seasons and what I see in my life. So right now, my yard is a priority as I continue getting it in order for winter. I really do love little yard trinkets, signs, hanging decorations etc. So you will find Shepherd Garden Stakes in many of my flower beds. They come in a lot of different sizes and styles and usually I use them to hang bird feeders or plants. Since cold weather is coming, I am looking at them to see if they need any maintenance like rust removal or cleaning out the bird feeders.
This flag project just came about because I realized I had never tried to sew something decorative for one of these shepherd hooks. I thought it would be a great project to move between seasons. Right now, my trees still have leaves on them and they are just turning beautiful shades of yellow and orange. After a few cold snaps, I will look outside and they will all be gone and then our skies will be gray for several months. This makes my yard a little depressing, but these flags might help that this winter. My intention is to sew some for those cold winter months and when I look outside my windows, it just might cheer me up and keep me excited for upcoming spring gardening.
So the first thing I did was digitize a special embroidery design for this flag. I had my husband in mind and thought he would get a kick out of seeing this in our yard. If you are interested in the An Old Fisherman design it is available here. You will need at least a 6x10 embroidery hoop. The size of the flag I was sewing demanded a larger design to fill up the space.
Here is a view of the Old Fisherman embroidery design with a different background color so you can see the details. I used canvas duck fabric for the flag and grosgrain ribbon for the casing. I didn't do a written pattern for this project but I did a full video tutorial that you can watch below. I think a beginner could sew this project as there are mostly straight seams, The long curve and adding the ribbon casing is a nice skill to practice as well as clipping along curves. All of this can be done sewing a flag like this. The tutorial will show you how to draft your own flag depending on the shepherd hook you have so it is not specific just to the type I used. In any case, I am wishing you will have fun watching the video and dreaming up ways to decorate your outdoor space year round with these flags. You know these would be awesome for yard sale signs or business advertisements also.
Check out the video below. I have assembled a playlist of several garden flag projects together. Look for that in the description of the video and you can have a creative watch party! I Hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
This Free In The Hoop Ribbon Awareness Cup Wrap is my latest embroidery design and it is a good one! We are in Breast Cancer Awareness month so this design is timely for that but did you know that the Ribbon is used for so many other causes?
I visited Disabled-world.com and pulled their graphic above. If you click on the link or picture it will take you to their site where you can learn more about each ribbon and cause. *NOTE* Some of the colors may not be listed and they are always adding causes to each color so you will probably want to go to each Organization cause on their social media sites and verify before you stitch out this embroidery design or make a donation.* That being said, let me tell you about this embroidery design.
Other than being completely FREE, the other most important fact is you will need at least an 8x12 embroidery hoop to complete the project. When you stitch the design you will have two Fleece cup wraps that are oh so soft. You can use different color fleece and thread for your cause. See in the picture above that they will fit on Plastic cups. I also use mine on stainless steel insulated cups.
The front will sew your ribbon design which is simple but effective to showcase the pattern on your fleece.
You will also have a buttonhole that sews in the design. Once complete, a needle and thread will be used to sew on your button. Here we used a 5/8 inch button. Have fun picking out cute ones!
Here is a little bonus for you! Included in the design download is a PDF gift tag. Just print these out on heavy duty paper or cardstock and slide the cup cozy over it. Fill in the blank area with your name so the person receiving the cup cozy knows where it came from.
We used a small piece of scotch tape underneath the cozy to keep it from sliding off the gift tag.
When I digitized this design my hope was you would use this as a service project for your group, school project, church, civic club or personal family and friends. Not sure how much each one will cost your organization to make? We have done the math for you also. We figure you can make 20 of these cup cozies with a yard of fleece that is 60 inches wide. So divide 20 into your yardage cost. If a yard of fleece cost you $10.00, each cozy is roughly .50 cents. That is just fleece cost. You will need to add stabilizer and buttons, thread etc. but that is a good place to start your cost analysis if you are doing a lot of cozies. Another place to look for cheaper fleece is your local big box store. Visit the blanket section and search for seasonal throws or blankets. Sometimes you can find real bargains that are cheaper than off the bolt.
Are you worried it will be too hard to construct the cup cozies? I got that covered for you too. Watch the instruction video below to see how easy they are to make. So are you ready to get started? Click this LINK to add the design to your cart. Check out in the store and you will get an email to download the design. I have done all the hard work for you. Now you just need to have fun sewing and donating. Did you know you can send me pictures and details of your cup cozy projects too? Visit my contact page here. That would make my day and I just might showcase your cozies on my Facebook page. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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