The New Year is closely approaching and I have digitized a great design to help you create a hostess gift or a gift for yourself. I like to bring something when I am invited to a party. It just feels right to do it. A bottle of champagne or wine can add to the party or be saved for another time.
I wanted to have something that could be used for future events so I didn't put the year in the design. All of the fun elements just look like a New Year's Eve Party!
Flour sack towels were my material of choice because they are relatively cheap and easy to work with. Here you see my champagne bottle ready also. The design uses a 4x4 embroidery hoop and doesn't take very long to stitch out. Within about 20 minutes, you can have this sewn and be walking out the door.
So here it is all jazzed up. I filmed a You Tube video showing two ways you can present the gift to your hostess. One way is a very creative bag you fold the towel into. The other one shows you how to wrap the towel around the bottle so you can impress everyone at the party! Check out the video below. The design can be found in my store here. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what your create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I purchased the Echidna Hooping Station in two sizes several months ago and I wanted to do a review after using it for a little while. I have been a fan of John Deer who is an Embroidery legend and have had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago at a sewing convention in Atlanta. I actually purchased my embroidery software from him and attended his digitizing training. He also has a You tube channel that is very informational and is one of the people I credit much of my embroidery knowledge to. I so appreciate how he freely shares his techniques. The Echidna Hooping Station is a product he endorses so I was intrigued when I began my research into adding it to my studio. Click the hyperlink above to be directed to his page to see embroidery knowledge and purchase the hooping station. I am not affiliated with him or his site but I want to rightfully acknowledge him.
The order arrived very quickly and it came in flat boxes so there was some assembly. The pieces are minimal and one Phillips head screwdriver is all that is required.
I was pleasantly surprised that they did send extra screws/parts in the order. That was an extra bonus. Don't you hate putting something together and not having all of the pieces?
The stations did take up some of my working table so I had to make room for them. I have really enjoyed using them and now they are just a part of my working process. Here is just one of the ways I use them.
If I am going to embroidery a polo shirt, I first mark my embroidery location with my chalk marker and placement ruler.
I put my hoop on the board and secure stabilizer with the magnets that will come with the station.
I slide the shirt over the station and use a small ruler to ensure it is centered in the hoop.
Then the top hoop is carefully placed and the item is ready to embroider. Overall, I think if you are considering purchasing the Echidna Hooping Station, you will be pleased. It has become an integral part of my studio. I do have a You tube video that goes into a little more detail of my Pros and Cons. You can watch it below. 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's that time of year and I have been working really hard on original Christmas Embroidery Designs for you. Some are sentimental. Some are cute and some are just plain funny. They are all on sale now through the end of December on my SALE SALE SALE page. I know you will love thinking about the creative projects you can make. Let's take a look at them.
The Whimsy Tree stitches out in one color with no trims. It would be beautiful on crisp white linens or tablecloths.
Seasons Greetings will make that chef in your family smile. Perfect for kitchen items!
This little Chicken doesn't "Deck the Halls". She "Pecks The Halls!" If you have a farmer in your life, they would love this design stitched on a pillow or kitchen towel.
Do you have a traveler in your family? Roam for the Holidays would decorate their mobile home quite nicely!
A Jolly Snowman just makes you feel like singing doesn't it?
Mistletoad is puckering up for a kiss. This design comes with a FRINGE element in his scarf. Instructions included with the download!
Merry Fishmas would be perfect for that fisherman in your life or for that Aquarium lover!
Know someone celebrating Christmas on the coast? Santa Claws is a cute beachy design.
Are you in Puppy Love? My Merry Kissmas Design will help you share it with that special someone.
Fleece Navidad looks so festive and will bring a smile to your Christmas gathering.
Mooey Christmas is perfect for that person who can't get enough of decorating with Cows.
Bark the Herald Angels will make even the Grinch smile at Christmas!
Sheeps Until Christmas comes with two designs in the download. One is the little sheep that you can use to countdown until Christmas with Chalkboard fabric. The second one reminds that Santa is watching Ewe! Check out the sewing project we used these two design with here.
My Manger Silhouette design would be perfect to add to a couch pillow, towel or table runner.
My In the Hoop Sock Monkey Ornament would look so cute on your Christmas tree!
Those Old Pickup Trucks are very popular right now. Stitch out this Old Winter Truck and decorate your home past the Christmas season!
As a Merry Christmas to all of my customers, I have also added the Dog Paw and Cat Paw Humbug designs. Check them out on our Free Designs page
I hope this year has been a good one for you and your families and that your Christmas Season brings you much Peace. That is my special Christmas wish for you. Joyeaux Noel and remember to share what you learn, and be generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My family just shake their heads at me when I wash out plastic containers. They don't even ask any more if I want to save unique packaging. Sometimes I don't have a problem discarding them but when we finished off a container of Cheeseballs recently, the tub was so big and sturdy, I had to come up with something I could re-purpose it for. So it sat on my studio table for a couple of days while I pondered. The hardest part was singling out where I could most use it. Right now as the seasons have changed, my yard is getting bare and I always feed the birds. That was my light bulb moment.
If you are interested in the brand cheeseballs, the picture above might look familiar. I could have just used the container to store my bird seed as is. If you have one in your pantry, don't throw it out. These have a wide opening perfect to reach into. I think you could come up with a multitude of uses in your house.
I digitized a really simple embroidery design for the project and used an old pair of blue jeans that I cut apart. So my project was Upcycled and Recycled! The design can be found here in my store. Cutting the jeans apart meant I did have to piece all of the fabric together and there were seams. I don't mind that but you might want to use a large piece of fabric instead. I think a canvas drop cloth would be excellent also.
I wanted my cover to fit snugly around the container, have a handle, a pocket and an open bottom. Since it would be made of fabric, I didn't want it to get too dirty as I carried it around my yard refilling my bird feeders. In the picture above, I sewed the cover so it comes just above the bottom edge. That way it still sits on plastic. I am not worried about the cover slipping off because I made sure the elastic is good and tight. Using the denim also helps stabilize the fabric and it is really sturdy. You could of course add a bottom very easily or sew a few strips of belting to enclose the cover.
The pocket is very spacious and covers most of the front. My thought was I might need to carry some tools to clean out old birdseed or maybe a funnel. I added tucks on the bottom and elastic to it can hold larger items very easily. This is where I embroidered the cute design also.
When I cut the jeans apart, I kept all of the seams and used them for the handle. I just braided them together and sewed them flat to either side of the cover. Then I trimmed them straight across so they would look neat.
The top and bottom include a casing so elastic could be pulled through. This makes the cover stay snug against the cover. It is very forgiving also since the cover has a lot of different dips and valleys. I will tell you that depending on the type fabric you use, this may differ. My denim was very thick and I did use a large needle for sewing leather. I had some areas that also required some hand stitches just to secure. This was usually where I double folded the casings and seams met together.
So now I have an excellent "upcycled tool" that will be useful to carry around my yard while I refill my feeders. I can also be assured when I store any leftover seed, the critters that might be looking for the buffet won't have such an easy time. If I store seed in the bag it usually comes in, I will more than likely find evidence that my shed has had "visitors"
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 to re purpose something. If you have read my blog posts, you will see that I do have a hard time throwing anything away. I keep a stash of items stored in my craft room and it does tend to grow out of hand so I am continuously working on projects. My newest project has upcycling, sewing, quilting and embroidery all wrapped up. I purchased some flannel sheets last year from Wal*Mart in the buffalo check pattern. When you buy those sheets they will usually come enclosed in a boxy fabric zippered bag. Don't throw these out! You can use them for so many projects.
Here you see the outside bag with an added handle, cute embroidery and a pocket. The sheep is an applique design with chalkboard fabric. You can officially write in how many "Sheeps" until Christmas Morning on his body. The Text also lets you know that Santa Claus is watching "EWE" I took the original bag apart and drafted a pattern from it so I could make a lining. The lining was quilted so once I installed it , the structure of the bag would be more stable and stand up. I also used cutaway stabilizer in the pocket so it would help the bag stand up better.
When I was planning the project, my thought for a final use would be a pajama bag for kids. Holiday pajamas are really popular and instead of them winding up on the floor, a bag like this would be a great place for them to be stored. It could sit on the bed and also allow for interaction with counting those precious days away. The pocket can hold chalk and erasers. This would make such a cute bag to carry to grandma's house. The set of sheets that I purchased was a Queen size. I do have a generic drawing of the pattern with measurements I drafted so you can try this also. Just know that each set of sheets may come with a different size bag so measure your project accordingly. Look for the pattern download below.
Both Embroidery patterns are available in my store here. They come bundled together so you can embellish any project you want for the holidays!
I also did a You tube video showing my process. It is the complete bag from start to finish so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy watching below. 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 Sock Monkey Ornament design has been released today and I think it just may get you in the holiday spirit! I know it is a little early but it does take some time to create those little special items. This one would be perfect to have stashed away for those last minute ideas. I envision gifts for teachers, Co Workers, Children or using these as tags on other gifts.
It finishes in one hooping and the back would be an excellent place to embellish with a sentiment or the year the ornament was made.
You can also customize it with your fabric choices. Maybe your decor isn't red and green for the holidays? No problem. Try it in any color and I know it will still be precious. Soft decorations are a great thing for children and pets. I gave up using those little metal hooks years ago because I always have someone curious in my household. These also are flat so they take up less storage space. That is a win in my book.
Full color instructions come in the download and if you have a few pieces of fabric, leftover quilt batting and ribbon, you can have a fun afternoon by yourself or with your children. Maybe let them decorate their own tree with sock monkeys? I created a short You tube video below so you can see how easy they are. Visit my store here to get the design. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
To honor our Veterans, I have released a brand new design that is FREE! This is an applique design that can also be a free standing patch. The picture above shows it stitched out using a mesh type wash away stabilizer. When I embroider patches, I do use either a mesh type or a "Vilene" or clear wash away. This does depend on the type of patch, how dense it is or stitch intensive. Sometimes I can embroider the entire patch in one hooping. Other times in order to get the best outcome, I will sew the inner part of the patch in the first hooping, then sew a placement stitch and the satin outline in a second hooping. I did a little experiment with both types of wash away stabilizer on this design and filmed a You tube video for you to watch. The link is below. With any design, I always do a test stitch before I work on a final project because it helps me determine any changes I will need to make. In the beginning, I did think I was wasting materials, but doing a practice run will allow you to learn so much and hone your embroidery skills. Don't give up if you have a design that stitches out and does not show the results you want. Sometimes, just changing the type of stabilizer will make all the difference. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays. I love it because we usually do have a great meal with family, we reflect and remember, and it is a very relaxed day. In preparation for having guests over, I have been working on some new designs to help with my decorations and they are on sale! The Gobble design above comes in a 4x4 or a 5x7. This would be great on your table linens or as placecards.
The Turkey applique is so round and cute. Use this design on oven mitts or tea towels to hang on your oven door.
My Happy Thanksgiving design looks beautiful on a table runner. Check out my post here to see how to make one.
At Thanksgiving, we are counting our blessings and this applique design really speaks to that. Use it on pillows or towels in your bathrooms. Check out the magnet design also here. I did a post showing how it looks with pictures of all of your blessings. When you download the magnet design, it creates a soft in the hoop project.
My Sunflower design just goes with this time of year. In our area, it is the last flower putting on a show before the first frost. This would look lovely on couch or chair pillows. Maybe decorate your guest room with a fall theme?
Rustic comes to mind at this time of year also. I am a rooster lover and this Weathervane design is one of my new favorites. The contemporary look would be beautiful on crisp white napkins.
I had to include something for the nature lovers also. I am a bird lover and the Owl is one of my favorites. We have many that live around our house and their comforting Hoots remind me of home. I designed three different colorways. This Camo Owl design uses camouflage colors. The hunter in your life would love to see this decorating their space.
The Day Owl Embroidery Design is bright and reminds me of when I actually see the owls around my home. Sometimes they let you walk very close to them because they are curious too.
The Night Owl embroidery design is just WOW to me. Here it is stitched on black fabric to really highlight those unique colors. All of these Owl designs use a method of layering light fills on top of each other. It creates beautiful dimension and feels so textural without being heavy or stiff. I see these stitched on a jean jacket. Wouldn't you be the talk of the gathering with this decorating your outfit?
The Sewing Set comes with six different designs ready to show off your crafting passion. When I have guests over to my house, they always want to come into my studio and see what I am working on. These designs would be great to put in frames on your walls. Maybe add some cute little sewing sayings too. Or if you are already thinking about Christmas gifts, these would be perfect for that seamstress in your life.
My Autumn Leaf, Home Sweet Home and Pumpkin Talk have been favorites so they will continue to be on sale along with all of these new designs. Visit my Sale Sale Sale Page to see all of the embroidery designs on sale that will be available until November 30, 2019. 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!
I have been doing a lot of sewing projects. This time of year really makes me want to be creative and instead of solely working on embroidery digitizing, I have been catching up on all of my unfinished projects. This is one that I have wanted to try for quite a while. I am a member of the American Sewing Guild and they have wonderful projects on their site.
Here is the view of the pattern from their site. As you can see it states it should take roughly 10 minutes and it does. I had some pre-cut fat quarters that I used by seaming them together for the back. The pattern calls for a theme print for the front, but I wanted to showcase one of my newest embroidery designs so I used a small print fabric for that.
Here are the fabrics laid out as I was auditioning them. This is one of my favorite parts in the sewing process. I keep quite a stash of fabric and when I have the urge to sew something, I can choose without having to drive to the store. I like to purchase seasonal pieces like this after the holiday has passed. Then I get a great deal. For some reason, if I have to go somewhere I might lose my creative urge so having that stash makes me feel more relaxed and able to just move forward with whatever I want to work on.
When I digitized this design, I thought it would be perfect for a table runner. Now I have something beautiful to decorate with when that holiday comes. If you are interested in sewing one of these table runners click the link here to go to the American Sewing Guild Site. Visit our Seasonal Design page to see this design and many others. I have also created a You tube video showing how to sew the table runner. The pattern has mostly written instructions with a few pictures. If you are just starting to sew, the video may help with any confusing parts. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My latest design has got to be one of my favorites. I really love cute items to decorate for the changing seasons. When those items do double duty, it is a win for me. The Count Your Blessings Magnet design is a magnet that you can put on your refrigerator, filing cabinet or any other metal surface. The best part is it will fit three standard 2x3 inch pictures. So you can see your most precious "Blessings" on display!
It finishes in one hooping and does require at least a 6x10 or larger embroidery hoop. There is quilting, an applique and plastic pockets on the front.
The back has two small pockets that you can slip magnets into. So easy and they won't scratch your surface because the pockets will help pad them.
The Applique is so pretty we decided to release it as a single design also in a 5x7. Check it out here. So if you don't want to stitch out the magnet, you can purchase the Applique design by itself. I can see this on any number of items to decorate your home.
This design takes just a little bit of fabric and batting, but it makes something that can be cherished. If you are looking for a gift for a grandparent or friend that has limited space, this would be awesome! Pictures are always welcomed! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Fall is here and we have been working on several new designs for you! Of course we have many on sale and some that are free!
Our Pink Ribbon Warrior design is FREE! If you know someone that is currently fighting Breast Cancer or has fought in the past, this design would be a great one to stitch out for them! Check it out here.
Here is another FREE design for you to try out. This one was stitched out using glow in the dark thread! I digitized it especially for Fleece so grab it up here and sew on your favorite sweatshirt!
I love drinking hot beverages when it starts getting cooler and of course coffee is at the top of my list! If you like to feel cozy while holding your cup and keep the hot temperature from burning your fingers, this mug wrap will do the trick! You will need a 6x10 hoop for this design. The mug wrap will fit around Yeti cups also! Christmas is right around the corner. This would make a super gift! Check it out here.
Our School Day soft book pattern is perfect for a gift also! The set is on sale. You have plenty of time to stitch one of these little books out before Christmas! Check it out here.
Our Pumpkin Talk design includes six different color waves. That is an excellent one to grab up during this sale. Get it here.
Our Autumn Leaf design stitches out quickly and would make a great addition in single or grouped designs! See it here!
Those Old Trucks are everywhere and our design couldn't be cuter! We have listed our single design here on sale and if you are thinking about future seasons our set is on sale also!
Daylight Savings is here and if you are doing calendar projects or quilts that have months in them, this simple set would be a great addition!
Our Spider In Web is a quick Framed design. There is plenty of space to add your Creepy Text! Check it out here.
Our Pumpkin Wagon design is the quintessential Halloween Image! Stitch this out on kitchen towels or pillows to decorate your home. Too Cute! Grab it up here.
Our Fall Tree is really one of our new favorites. So many design possibilities with this one. You could add cute sayings, poetry or smaller design details like characters. I see fairies and gnomes sitting under this tree! Check out the multiple designs on our sale page here.
Apples are for picking and Fall is that time of year! This design would be perfect for that gift for teacher! "Pick" it up here!
Home Sweet Home. Doesn't Fall just make you want to stay at home, rake leaves, build a fire and sip hot cocoa? YES PLEASE! This design stitches quickly and we used our Autumn colored variegated thread. Just WOW! I see cute pillows in your future. See this design here.
You can get to all of our sale items on our SALESALESALE page. We have created some new COUPON CODES also. Be sure to read our blog when you visit because we may mention them in our articles. The coupons pop up randomly in different places and you might even see designs that are UP TO 100% off or FREE for short periods of time. But you have to check back often to catch them! 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 to try different elements in my embroidery and one of those is using variegated thread. You may have seen this type thread at your local sewing store but were hesitant to purchase it. There are many brands on the market and they do have some differences. The main similarity is that they have multiple colors along the length of the thread. The distance of the color changes can be longer or shorter. Also, I have purchased both polyester and rayon.
This brand also has what is called a "twisted" variety. When it stitches out, you can see two threads that are twisted together instead of one that has been dyed different colors.
Here is what I have in my stash. They look really pretty lined up don't they? I like seeing them displayed but sometimes it is difficult to know which color to use in my project. You have to look really closely at them because they will surprise you. Your eye may not see all of the colors because they can blend together.
I took all of the numbers and names of my threads in stock and created a design in my embroidery software. This way I could "test" stitch each one out and see what they actually look like.
Here is that "twisted" variety
Here is one of the dyed threads.
Here is one of those that surprised me when it stitched out. Look at the thread cone closely. Do you see the Peach color in the thread?
Do you see it here in the closer version of "2367"? I didn't see it at first and would never have picked it in a project that had peach colors until I stitched it out.
I like to buy fleece in large yardage to practice some of my designs and also keep them for future reference.
Here are all of my variegated threads stitched out on the fleece. See how I used the thread number or name? Now I can grab the correct one just by looking at this stitchout.
I just trimmed the fleece to a size that would fit into a binder with plastic sheet covers.
Now I have a permanent organized way to see what variegated thread I have in stock and exactly what it should look like when it is stitched out. This will save me from choosing colors that might not go together in my projects. It is also a great way to get inspired to create something and use those materials I have on hand. I have also used this as a tool to show customers alternatives in their designs. You would be surprised how fun it is seeing a simple design changed just by using variegated thread. Maybe you have some in your stash? If so, have some fun and give it a try. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Day of the Dead is a beautiful way for families to remember their loved ones who have passed. They gather together and celebrate good memories, decorate their homes with altars, marigolds, candles and sugar skulls. The colors are vibrant and cheerful. I really can't get enough of it and I made a beautiful wreath to hang on my front porch so I can celebrate and remember my loved ones from now until November 2nd! BONUS! GRAB THE COUPON CODE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST TO GET 20% OFF THESE DESIGNS THROUGH NOV 2, 2019!
This sugar skull design is very special because I digitized it to either be a freestanding face or it can be appliqued onto something. If you notice, there are several circles on it also. Those are for the addition of LED lights! Yes this design lights up! There are also button holes along the outside so you can wire the design to a wreath! There are three additional designs available to go with the sugar skull.
When you purchase the Day of the Dead single design or the set, there will be instructions on how to add the LED lights. Here is a back view of everything put together.
Here are the lights. You should be able to find them at your local crafting store.
Look what else you can do with the small designs! Decorate your shoes.
Make cute jewelry
Just go nuts!
This is a lot of fun to make and my front porch is so bright and cheery. Check out the video below to see the lights in action. You will definitely fall in love with it! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
ENTER THE COUPON CODE
AT CHECKOUT TO RECEIVE 20% OFF these designs!
Day of the Dead Set
Day of the Dead Single
Good through November 2, 2019!
I have never seen a dog refuse to ride in an old squeaky pickup truck. At least mine don't. They love it. The more wind and noise the better! Antique trucks are really popular right now so I have released four new designs showcasing them. Each one designates a different season so you can be inspired to create a new project as time moves on. I have them listed individually or in a complete set! Check out the slideshow below.
Aren't those so cute? I love that they are seasonal but more generic. So these will last for several months in your decorating. I can see them on pillows or how about a wreath for your front door? Just have a simple wreath that you can interchange these on. Now that would be a fun quick project! Check out the single designs on our seasonal page here. Or look for the complete set of four here. 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. Driving around my neighborhood you can see the leaves starting to turn. It is refreshing to feel those first cool breezes. If you are like me, the urge to do some Fall rearranging in your closet may be beckoning you. Let me suggest a quick upcycling project that you might love. This simple little leaf stitches out quickly. How about adding it to a collar on a shirt?
Or to that light jacket that may be showing some wear?
Maybe you have a shirt that has a small stain on it or you just don't wear it because it is kind of plain?
Have I gotten your creative ideas going? Embroidery is a great way to make that piece of clothing look new. You can create a whole new outfit with several pieces by coordinating embroidery also. Do you have some accessories that could be embellished? Bags, Belts and hats? This simple design can also be changed by altering the colors. Maybe use several of them and try greens, yellows, browns, oranges. Group them together. Just go crazy!
Check out my store here to see this design and many others. I hope you have been inspired by this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Check out our FREE Designs page and download this for an awesome project! It is just in time for that nippy weather because I digitized it to sew on Fleecy fabric. So grab a sweatshirt and some cutaway stabilizer because your new outfit is a short stitch away! To make it EXTRA special, use GLOW in the Dark thread on the white colors! If you haven't tried it, I promise you will love it. So during the day you have one look and at night a second. Now you won't be scared on that hayride or getting lost in the corn maze! I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My latest design collection is being released today and all I can say is I know you will love it. There are twelve different embroidery designs that are included in the download. Two of those designs are appliques. The other designs are all thread based. The little bear shows you each part of his school day from the early morning until the school bus takes him home! I digitized these so anyone with an embroidery machine should be able to stitch them out as they use 4x4 hoops. The best part is a BONUS soft book pattern will be included in your download items! You will need a sewing machine to finish the soft book but it is an easy project. If you have 1/2 yard of fabric and a few scraps for the appliques, you are ready to go. A grosgrain ribbon ties into a cute bow to keep the pages together.
So the little bear arrives at school; Hears the bell ring, Says the Pledge of Allegiance; Has circle time; Does art projects; Goes to the potty; Reads in the library; Has lunch in the cafeteria; Plays at recess; Takes a nap; Eats a snack; and Rides the bus home. Whew! That is a busy day for a little person! I am tired already!
This project would be very sweet to personalize with your child to remember their early school days. If you have a special teacher in your life, they might love to have one of the soft books in their classroom to help the students learn about their day. It would also be great to prepare young children for what they can expect when they are getting ready to begin school. There is ample room above and below each embroidery design in the soft book to write your child's story! Just use a fabric marker and heat set it. Jump over to my store here to see the collection.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I took a really good look at my embroidery hoops and they are gross. No nice way to put that really. I use them a lot because I digitize pretty much every day and when I am not working in my software, I am testing designs. So it was time to try to get them cleaned up.
WOW! Almost like brand new. I will say that it took me a few tries to get all of the spray adhesive and loose threads to come off. First I tried baby wipes. They took some of the sticky residue off but didn't cut all the way into it. Then I used some Dawn Dish washing liquid and let it soak for about 10 minutes. That helped but my ultimate success came from soaking overnight. I tried a scrub brush and a hand towel. The towel was by far the best scrubber. The soap didn't do all of the heavy lifting though. I still had to use some elbow grease. Moving forward, I will wipe my hoops daily with the baby wipes and when I need a good clean, use the soak method. I have a video showing each of the trials you can watch below. Don't you just love science experiments? Especially when someone else does all the work and you can sit back with a cup of coffee and watch? I do. 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 a recycling project and this one is pretty cool. I don't know what it is about hanging on to bent pins and needles, but it seems like a common thing in a craft room. I guess it might happen because we get in a rush while working or we don't really want to put those sharp little items in our trash. That is very dangerous to think about. When you empty your bin, you run the risk of poking yourself.
I have actually had this little project on my sewing desk for a couple of years and it occurred to me that I use it on a weekly basis so I wanted to share it with you. It created a place for me to put those pins and needles from all of my machines. Since I have orders for commercial work, I do have to change out my multi needle machine needles frequently. When that happens, I pop them into the bottle and don't think about them again until it is full.
The next time I visit my doctor's office or know I will be shopping in a store that has one of these SHARPS containers in the restroom, I just carry my bottle with me. Then I can dispose of the items in the proper receptacle.
This project comes together fast and I know it would be awesome as a stocking stuffer or gift for someone that loves to sew. We are always looking for cute things to hold our tools. This design is in my store here. You can also watch a video showing how everything is sewn and finished below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
When I have been in seminars or classes for embroidery, the question always arises from the instructors: "Who in this room embroiders caps?" Most of the time only a few people raise their hands. Then the second question is " Who loves to embroider caps?" This is almost always answered by grumbles and even fewer raised hands. If this is you, don't feel alone. My "relationship" with caps is still developing and as such some days I am in love and other days I want some alone time. Caps are a unique item to embroider because they are not flat and your embroidery machine really likes to sew flat things. So you have tools that help get around the curves on the cap; like special cap hoops, and extra clips that can hold things taut. Heavier weight stabilizers that give more structure to your cap to prevent flagging are also important. My machine even has a separate needle plate that is slightly raised around the needle hole. This helps isolate the needle to make sure it can penetrate where it needs to. I have even used steam in the past to try and loosen up the cap before doing my embroidery. This does work, but worrying about the possible watermarks or color changes on the cap and the extra time can slow your production process.
All of these things are very helpful, but you still have to contend with the design of each cap, materials they are constructed of and the person who sewed it all together. When sewing a group of caps, you will see that even if they are the same brand, color, style etc. each one will be slightly different because they are sewn by individuals. Until you start working with a lot of caps, you may not realize this.
So you are not crazy and stop pulling your hair out.
If you have a design that has been digitized to sew on a cap, you may see that each time you press start on your machine, you get a different reaction. Sometimes it may sew just fine, and other times you may get a needle break. There are so many variables to work through and your inner detective may need to come out. This is very frustrating when you are in the middle of an order and worried your needle supply is dwindling. The picture above shows a structured cap and I am pointing to the root of a lot of problems. The middle seam on a six panel structured cap can be quite thick. Depending on the design you are stitching, the results of your sew out can vary.
On this cap, the inner material includes a piece of buckram and a finished seam which overlaps. So the needle is dealing with several layers. When a cap design is digitized, it usually starts in the center and moves out to either side then moves up. This is to promote even stitching as the material is pushed along. When I digitized this design, the letter C was the very first thing to start sewing. As you can see, it is right smack dab in the middle of the cap front. Since the design itself is text and I was constrained by size, I couldn't move the text around too much to avoid that middle area because you would see it. Sometimes, depending on the cap, it would sew on just fine. Then other times, the minute I pressed start, my needle would plunge into the cap, get stuck and the tip would break.
I was able to workaround the issue by going into my design in my Embroidery software. I first changed the sewing order to start with the letter O and move to the left. This kind of goes against that whole start in the middle concept, but it is still close enough that the push of the material is in the same vicinity as the letter 'C". Then when my machine moved back to the right to sew that letter C right in the middle, I added a small meandering tie in stitch. That way, I could know for certain exactly where my needle would make the first penetration and the stitch line would meander toward the first part of that letter C. I was able to hide the meandering stitch underneath the "C". By adding that little bit of machine stitching, I had movement from the left outside the bulky middle materials. Instead of my needle plunging and fighting with the force of downward movement, the motion of the previous stitches helped it move through that middle bulk. Remember Sir Isaac Newton's Law of Motion? An object at rest stays at rest but an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by another force." Those small adjustments made all the difference and the remaining caps I sewed all performed much better.
If you are digitizing designs yourself this would be an easy addition or your digitizer can add something similar for you. Of course this will be different depending on each design and having the option to hide any tie or beginning stitches. The key is to watch your stitches, look at the cap and try to diagnose the problem. I made sure all of the mechanical areas were good on my machine first, then I looked closely at the cap and then I looked at my design. So for this particular one, I should be able to move forward confidently no matter what cap I am sewing it on. I do have a video that goes into more detail on the cap parts and also shows my actual software and the changes I made to the design. You can watch it below. 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