My latest project has truly been a labor of love. I brought two things together that make me very happy: sewing and French Bulldogs. If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that I am learning how to digitize in my embroidery software. Although it has been a journey, I think I am starting to see some success.
For these projects, I started with a picture of a French bulldog that I got from the internet. I made sure I used one that was free for use from the public domain. I pulled it into my software and hand digitized the image. If you have done any digitizing you know that any design can be challenging, but animals are unique because of their fur.
I did a second French bulldog that resembles Jean Luc. Once I had both dog images the way I liked them, I added other elements and text around.
I decided to embroider both designs on duck fabric. I was really pleased with how they turned out. In the digitizing, I wanted to see if I could reduce the amount of jump stitches and keep the density down so the sewn out designs would stay soft. It has become kind of like a game to see if you can retain the best qualities of the design while reducing stiches and time to complete.
I had some beautiful decorator weight fabric and ribbon that helped complete the pillow wraps. These are a really great way to change the look of a pillow for seasons.
I cut the decorator fabric about 2 inches larger than the embroidered front, tacked the ribbons to the front with a basting stitch and then wrapped the decorator fabric toward the front with a 1/2 inch bound edge mitering the corners. Then I sewed an overcast stitch all around the perimeter of the wrapped edge.
For a 14 inch square finished pillow wrap, the decorator fabric was cut 16 inches square. I also made sure that my ribbons would be long enough to go around larger pillows so each one of them was cut to 24 inches. That means the pillow wraps could also be used on a chair back.
This picture shows one of them on my sewing chair. This would be a great gift for someone in an office that wanted to have a little personalization. You could also use something like these on your dining chairs.
These pillow wraps were not difficult to put together and the possibilities are endless. With the decorator fabric on the back and the way the ribbons are sewn into the seams, they are completely reversible. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Sometimes, you just want to sew with no plan in mind and see where it takes you. When I made this shamrock block, I wasn't sure what the finished product might be but I really enjoyed the process.
One of my new tools in my studio is an electronic cutter. I had some glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl and I thought a shamrock would be an easy object to cut out with it. I used my cutter software and my embroidery software to create the cutting line as well as the placement line so I could applique the vinyl to a piece of denim.
If you are thinking about purchasing an electronic cutter or if you already have one but are afraid to use it, take a close look at the text. That is not embroidery. It is the fabric background from the text being cut from the vinyl. This is so precise if you have a good blade and all of the correct settings. Once I had it cut out, I embroidered a placement line, put it exactly where I wanted on the fabric and then tacked it down with a zig-zag stitch. A warm iron applied on the vinyl secured it to the fabric and finally the outline stitched around the shamrock. At this point it looked so pretty I knew I wanted to make something that could be displayed.
So I went into my fabric stash and found the floral quilting print. I recently attended a seminar at my local quilt shop and the floral was part of a free sample. I only had one piece so I knew I had to do something on the small side. I cut the center fabric to 8 x 8 inches. Then I cut four 2x2 squares for the corners and four 2X8 pieces of the floral.
I pieced everything together and ironed the seams.
Next I added a piece of quilt batting behind the pieced front and started playing with several stitches on my machine.
I lowered the feed dogs and did some free motion stippling
I tried a decorative stitch along all four sides and also quilted in the ditch.
I used heavy duty interfacing and made a couple of tabs so I could hang it like a sign. My sewing machine has a decorative stitch that sews a circle. This was perfect to pass some organza ribbon though.
I used the remainder of the floral print for the back without any quilting. So it was a simple sew around three sides turn and then topstitch the perimeter.
This was a very relaxing way to bring a project together. I just kind of played with materials I had on hand and I used the tools in my studio.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to sew for relaxation once in a while. Share what you have learned and be generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
We have a new furry buddy "Rambo" and he likes to chew and drag everything. So much that he has already gone through two beds. Luckily they were older beds that we had already. Instead of purchasing a new bed, we decided to make one that wouldn't be a great loss if it too went to the trash.
Here he is enjoying the new bed. The project was very easy and the addition of elastic helps keep it looking neat while hopefully deterring him from pulling the pillows out.
He really was excited to have a new place to call his own and so far it is working out great.
Of course we made one for Jean Luc as well. He looks so content here. If you are interested in making a pet pillow, download the pattern below. We hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
A tissue box cover is one of my absolute favorite things to sew and then give away. They are really easy because all of the fabric cuts are rectangles. If you can sew a straight line, you should be able to create as many different varieties you want. There are many patterns on the internet. I decided to add pockets to my cover because I always seem to have small items near my bed or couch. I thought the pockets would be a great way to keep up with small things. If you move your box of tissues to another room, all of your stuff moves with it!
I designed this one for one of my favorite people and as you can see they live in Louisiana. So an applique with the state was a great way to personalize. These covers would be an awesome gift for any time of year. You could use the seasons, hobbies, monograms or professions. I mean really the possibilities are endless. Tissues are kind of universal.
I have a download below with the measurements and several color photos showing my process. The seam allowance is an exact 1/4 inch. That is the only thing that I would advise you to stick to. When you make your cuts, anything more and the cover probably won't slide on the box. You may want to measure your brand of tissue and make sure the measurements will work for you just in case. I tend to buy whatever brand is on sale and haven't had any issues but you never know.
My receiver had a little extra "Lagniappe" tissue holder. I sewed a quick personal cover that they can either keep in a separate area of their home or in their car. I used the flannel material from the applique for the inside of the cover. Like I said this is a wonderful universal gift. They don't take long to sew either. If you are looking for a project to donate to your local retirement homes this would be fantastic. Also, your dentist, veterinarian, doctor, hairdresser etc would love to have something like this. If you have embroidery software and can personalize for their business, they will be thrilled.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
If you are a crafter, you are probably like me always on the hunt for free projects. I use fiberfill all of the time and there is a pattern on the back of the Poly-fil bags. As you can see from the photo above, it is a stuffed elephant. I was curious to see how it would turn out.
It was an easy project and could be completed within a couple of hours.
I decided to make three elephants. They were going to be a gift for three different children in the same household, so I made them exactly the same. You could do a monogram on the rump area which would be very sweet.
I also chose to use two different fabrics. Convertible toys are a unique gift item and will add to the imaginative play.
The original pattern did not include a tail, but I thought it would be an easy addition by using ribbon and yarn. You can really customize these as much as you want. The eye for my elephants was done with an embroidery machine. You could hand embroider or use buttons, ribbon or paint. Just be mindful of the receiver and be safe with things that might be a choke hazard.
The Poly-fil brand is very common and I use it a lot because it is the brand my local stores carry(*No affiliation*). They also have a website that has many more project ideas. You can click here to be redirected. I have a download below with more detailed instructions than what are printed on the bags. There are color pictures and my process. I also have a download below for the embroidery file of the eye. This was digitized by me and you are free to use it for any projects. There should be several different file types in the zipped file so I am hoping you will be able to use it on any embroidery machine with a 4x4 hoop size. If you use the file for any projects, I'd love to hear about it. Let me know through the comments below or on my contact page. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Cords for electronic devices are just a fact of life. I always seem to have some kind of bag, purse, or backpack with me and my cords were becoming quite messy. I was beginning to worry about the wires becoming frayed so I knew I needed to sew some kind of keeper for them. Although you can find other patterns for these on the internet, I wanted to customize mine with the device that each one belonged with so I used my embroidery machine.
I used very little fabric and was able to make four in just a couple of hours. I did use canvas for the outside and soft flannel for the inside. My thoughts were the flannel might protect the cords from friction and excessive wear.
I love everything about these, especially the cheerful color combination. They have also made it easier to find the specific cord if they wind up in the bottom of my bag. So I went from a tangled mess.....
To a much better alternative.
There is a link below to my process and it is very simple. If you don't have an embroidery machine, you could still sew several of these and decorate with applique or puffy paint. Using different ribbon or buttons would also be a great way to tell the keepers apart for specific devices. These would be a most welcome gift to sew for birthdays or Christmas. I have not seen anything like these in my local stores so it would be something unique.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
This post is a follow up to my remnant worksheet blog. I thought as long as I showed you some great deals on remnant pieces, I could also tell you about fabric store grab bags. As you can see from the picture, This bag is about the same size as a quart zipper baggie. I paid $5.00 and rolled the dice when I got it because there were so many trimmings stuffed inside, I couldn't really tell what I would wind up with.
Here is a close up. Can you see any good items in there? Let's open it together.
Well immediately, I have already made my money back on this purchase. There were two brand new packages of lace and chenille trim. The only thing wrong with them is the packaging. So if they don't look pretty on the shelf, they may wind up in a grab bag. As you can see from the price, just one of them is regularly $2.99. I am feeling pretty confident now. Everything else will be bonus treasure after this.
Fabric remnants were included
About a yard of hook and loop tape and some cording will come in handy.
Beautiful eyelet trims
Lace, lace and more lace!!
Pearls, crystals and decorator trims
So many possibilities with these wonderful trimmings! If you are wondering what can be done with them, just use your imagination. They are all end pieces or left overs, but I bet you can think of something a small piece of lace would work on. Perhaps a T shirt pocket or inserted into a too low V neck? Purses and bags can always use additions. What about hair accessories or socks? Handmade belts and choker necklaces. Anything that has a small pocket or diameter would be a possibility. Doll clothing is another great way to use smaller pieces.
Have I convinced you to look for these grab bags? You may have to dig around for them. Most of the time they wind up underneath all of the other clearance items and because they look so messy in the bags, most people don't want to take a chance. You can see that when they are laid out, $5.00 was an excellent investment. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Are you a person that loves to look for discounts or coupons? If you currently sew or are thinking about starting you may be hesitant because fabric can be expensive. When I talk to most people about my sewing hobby, I usually get a similar response. "I'd love to sew but I can buy it cheaper already made at XYZ store." You can fill in the blank for any big box location and that will be mostly true. If you truly love something you will find a way. Most of my sewing projects involve using remnants. These are small end pieces or precuts that are too short to go back on a bolt. They are usually rolled up and put in a separate section of the store with some kind of discounted price.
Warning! They are Addictive.......
As you can see from the picture, this remnant is 44 inches wide and regularly sells for $6.99 a yard. The quantity of this piece is 5/8 of a yard.
Now look at the new price. It is $2.62. You might ask, but is that really on sale or if it is cheaper, exactly how much? The fractions make it hard to work out because of the conversion from inches to yards and price per yard. I can help you figure that out with a new Excel spreadsheet you can download below. I was curious because I buy my fabric when seasons change, holidays are over and also when I find great remnants that I know from my sewing habits I will eventually use. I just store them in my studio until inspiration hits. I keep them in fabric baskets divided by fabric type and color. This way they are always neat and accessible. In my mind I knew I was getting a better deal but to see it in black and white really makes me feel better about purchasing something I don't need but want.
Here is a screenshot of the spreadsheet. It is free to download and use. I'll go through how you fill it out but it also has comments in the cells so it is pretty easy.
Let's see how much cheaper this remnant actually was when I purchased it.
Enter the normal full price first
Enter the discounted price
If the remnant has the yardage written as a fraction, enter the top number here
Enter the bottom here.
The worksheet will calculate the inches for you and round it up just a bit.
Take that number and use the pick list to choose the inch number. Some remnants may just have those inches written on them so you won't need to convert from a fraction first.
Once you hit enter, it will show you how much you are saving with the quantity you are buying to include the percentage.
I saved $1.85 or 41% on that remnant!
Some have even better savings like this sateen. I saved 64%.
This piece was a full yard of fabric that was in the remnant section so a great find! If you want to figure that, just enter a 1 in both places on the yardage calculator since it was a full 36 inches. I saved 64% on this piece also. This spreadsheet is a lot of fun to play with and if you have an Office Excel App on your cell phone, you could download and do some calculations while in the store. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work! Happy Sewing Savings!
Football season is upon us and in our state, it is a favorite pastime. I had some remnants of quilted muslin which I really love to sew with. Whenever I visit my local fabric store, I am always on the lookout for it. If they have any, I grab and stash for future projects. Using this fabric for the Football Season Pillow was very easy. I cut two 12 inch squares and then embroidered the football and the saying on the front of one fabric piece. Then I put the two squares right sides together sewed around four sides leaving a space to turn. Fiberfill helped fluff it up and I hand sewed the pillow closed.
Here it is about to be wrapped up for a door prize. If you are attending a tailgate party, something like this pillow would be a great last minute hostess gift also. The best part about it is if you don't make it team specific, anyone who receives it can enjoy. As it turns out the person that won this at our gathering absolutely loved it and said she knew exactly the spot in her home it would be decorating. Sometimes, simple really is the best kind of gift! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Dollar Stores are fun places to browse. I love my local spots and frequent them often. It is hard to pass up things that have bright colors and are inexpensive. I look for things that can be embellished with personalized embroidery. If I can alter something to give it a new purpose or look, it makes the creative process even more satisfying.
The friend I made these items for absolutely loves to be in her kitchen. Blue is her favorite color and she loves the beach. So when I saw these bright blue potholders and the tropical towel, I knew I had to come up with something cute for her.
I was lucky to have a dish drying mat in my stash that matched the towel perfectly so I incorporated it.
The entire gift came together nicely and she absolutely loved it. I have a video on my you tube channel showing the process. You can watch it here.
Personalization is always a great choice for gifts. I really love to create special items for people that would be difficult to find in retail stores. When their name is on the gift, it shows the receiver you went that extra step. It doesn't have to be fancy. The little burlap sign above is made entirely with remnants. Burlap is a homey textile and the family this was designed for loves that style of decorating.
The embroidery is a combination of a purchased design and software creation. Red canvas material really makes it stand out while muslin gives it a solid background to frame the design. Layering fabrics and trims helps to give the sign a more substantial look.
The best part is seeing the sign in the home of this wonderful family. They really loved it. If you would like to see my process for sewing this sign, there is a download below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
There is always a need for homemade items where commercial markets may leave a gap. I am constantly looking for things that are easy to sew or construct and useful. If you have read any of my other posts, you can see that I am fond of dish drying mats. They are usually made of forgiving materials and can be transformed quickly. I have read many blogs about Blankets or mats for Alzheimer's or dementia patients. The idea behind these is to stimulate the reflexes and keep idle hands busy as people with these ailments fidget and repetitively work things they can grasp.
I thought the dish drying mats would be a great thing to use because most of the work is done on the material. They are like a blank cushy canvas. I wanted to have a very soft back on my mats in the event they were placed on a lap or hugged to someone's body.
I used fleece cut slightly larger than the mats and sewed it right sides facing around the perimeter, then turned right side out and closed up the seam. This made for a larger finished size and also allowed me to do all of the decorating on the mat enclosing the unsightly seams inside once complete.
If you have small scraps or leftover ends and pieces of lace, elastic and ribbon, you can have a lot of fun with these. I also used some rubber stamps and heat set ink to do small details like the little pillow above. Buttons, beads, Ric Rac can also be used. The most important thing I did was use industrial strength thread like you might use for upholstery. I also made sure to use an anchor button on the back of all buttons that could be manipulated on the front. This should help with aggressive twisting.
Small pieces of hook and loop tape, will provide a wonderful sensory experience.
Little plastic pockets can hold pictures of family members and be changed out.
Fussy cutting material that has themes like this recipe will stimulate reading or memories of cooking
Zippers and ribbon can be sewn directly on top of the mat using decorative stitches.
Appliqued fabric shapes and different stitches will help imaginations go to work.
Beads and buttons can be moved back and forth across ribbon or twine.
Sweet pieces of lace can be held and admired.
This mat even has two bows that can be used to attach the mat to wheelchairs or the arms of a sitting chair.
Here is another color combination with more ideas. It is really up to your imagination and creativity what you decide to add to these mats. There is a gallery below with more pictures to inspire you. If you have small scraps, don't throw them out. We used several embroidered items that were on other projects but had to be cut apart because of mistakes. Everything is a possibility. For a minimal investment, you can create something that will be helpful for the patient and it may also assist the caregiver as it will help comfort the loved one they are watching over. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work
Mermaids are very popular right now and I have a little friend who is redecorating her bedroom. I have been collecting fleece remnants for a little while and they are starting to fill up my stash. This gave me the perfect excuse to sew something really sweet for her and reduce my fabrics a little bit.
The embroidery is from Designs by Sick. (*no affiliation*) This little Mermaid stitches out beautifully. The applique is very easy to follow and it doesn't take long to complete. I didn't have a pattern to follow, but I did create some instructions to show how I worked through the process. You can download below. My little friend really enjoyed receiving this pillow and the fleece is so soft. It is a forgiving fabric to work with as it does not ravel. The applique is not very big so there is not a lot of detail work in this project. If you are looking for something to sew in an afternoon, this might fix the creative urge for you.
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.
Sewing gives us a unique opportunity to create whatever makes us happy. It also will enable us to make others happy. When I am sewing, I usually have a person in mind that will be the receiver. For many of my projects, I am drawn to useful or things that will have a purpose. Difficult times are sometimes made easier when our friends feel we genuinely care about their hardships.
This month I have devoted much of my sewing time to being mindful of others and giving back. I have a friend who is going through a difficult time and I found a beautiful pattern offered by Embroidery Library. It is free to download the embroidery file as well as instructions to sew this very useful pillow. It is meant to be used after a surgical procedure to relieve the pressure and weight on tender areas.
I wrapped the gift and surprised her with it and she really did enjoy receiving it.
In speaking to her about the procedures she is going through and the time between appointments when the wait for results is so hard, I started to do more research and found more patterns available. I realized the scope of Cancer is so very broad and it touches everyone in some way. So I sewed more gifts for people I don't know.
These are Port Pillows. They are meant to be installed on a seatbelt and worn above a Port-O-Cath that is being used for Treatments. My understanding is the seatbelt applies pressure to that area and these help cushion the rider.
The pattern I used can be found here. It is very easy to sew and for minimal cost also. I did alter the pattern slightly as I had some 5x5 charm squares and it calls for 5 1/2 inch squares of fabric. As per usual, when I sew I love to find things that are premade and the Dollar Tree had some very soft polishing cloths in their automotive section. They are a bit messy when you cut them up, but WOW they are very cuddly.
After sewing a couple dozen, I printed off some little cards and attached them with string. I also made sure to sew pillows for the gentlemen as well as the ladies.
Here they are bagged up and ready to deliver to our local Treatment Center. I know they will be a most welcome diversion for the patients. I hope you are inspired and have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I love quick projects and everyone at some time will need an oven mitt. I used one I had on hand that has seen better days and traced around the shape adding a little extra for seam allowance. Then I decided to use a dish drying mat for the interior to see if it would work well. I can usually find these at my local Dollar Store for $1.00 which is a really good price for something finished. My mat had terry cloth on the outside and a nice foam inside. I would estimate that this project took me about 2 hours to complete and that included taking all of the pictures for the pattern which you can download below.
This would be an excellent gift for someone or a fun project if you feel creative but don't want to really get too engrossed. If your fabric stash has grown too much, these will certainly help eliminate extra material. The temperature rating for this has not been tested so please be very careful when using. In order to get full protection, you would want to line the inside with heatproof material. This should be able to be used with caution like most oven mitts or be decorative. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I have fallen in love with the Sewing and Quilt Expos. Recently I spent my week's vacation enjoying many classes, shopping, exploring you name it. It really is almost too overwhelming when you are trying to see everything in a certain span of time. A couple of hours into it you may realize you're carrying a lot of weight just in your bag or purse. This year I decided to lighten my load by downsizing my bag. I did away with everything that was not essential and then sewed a small lightweight cross body bag that would control all of my items I thought I really needed to have available. This allowed me to keep my hands free, no shoulder aches or too much shifting straps. When I needed to make a purchase, squeeze into a booth or learn a quick demo technique, I could shimmy by people without destroying displays with bag whacks or alienating myself from other attendees.
The bag has an outer pocket that will hold a larger smart phone. That really was the bulk of my weight but how can you get around carrying one of those? I haven't figured it out yet. There is a clear vinyl pocket on the outside that can hold a name tag or business cards also. You want to introduce yourself to people at these events because your next best friend may be just around the corner. There are a couple of interior pockets that are optional. They will add some bulk to the purse so decide if you want them.
Everything in the bag uses remnants so it will help your stash also. More room to buy new fabric! I came back from my trip refreshed and very inspired. So many talented people are out there. I have to mention that I did use two embroidery designs. One was from Urban Threads - UT 8413 and the other was from Designs by Sick CW Sewing Machine 002. (no affiliations) I really love these digital designers. If you have time, check out their sites. Both frequently have free embroidery designs that you can download and try. Very generous of them! There is a download of the bag pattern below for you to try or if you are like me, download and say you are going to sew one day because there is not enough time for all of the cute ideas. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Some dogs like to wear clothes including Jean Luc. Check him out in this custom fitted coat. You might think that sewing a coat for your fur buddy will be an easy process where you can cut out a pattern and it will fit perfectly. I found out that the French Bulldog breed is quite different when I purchased a ready made coat. His shoulders and neck are broad but he is short so standard sizes don't work well for him.
I decided to try an industry pattern instead. Once I made a few measurements and compared the options for sizes, I realized that I would still need to do some alterations in order for his completed coat to fit well. None of it is very hard. The only problem you may have is holding the piece up and marking places to cut or adjust while your puppy is moving around. A sewing partner would be very helpful at that time.
With a little extra effort, this coat turned out pretty cute and it fits him really well. He isn't able to pull it off and when he runs around outside, it stays in place.
There is a downloadable document below that shows some of the techniques I used to work from a purchased pattern. Your little buddy would look just as cuddly in a custom coat. I hope you have enjoyed this post, pass on what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Taking care of our teeth is not always what we think about on a daily basis; until you have to deal with it everytime you eat or drink something. If you take for granted you can pick up a snack or flavored drink anytime you want to, count your blessings. For people who have dental devices or braces, it is not so easy. Braces change every meal, snack, cup of coffee, soda you name it. To make matters worse, it becomes a little inconvenient if your meals are not always at home. You suddenly have to deal with public restrooms, offices, schools and your car to become a hygenic place to attend to your new personal matters.
This little bag is not a new idea but it is pretty neat to be able to customize your own depending on what you feel like you will need. I like the idea of having items to clean my hands if soap and water are not available. This bag has an individual tissue holder so you always have something to wipe up with. Also, when you change your devices or get your braces tightened, you will have soreness, so different types of pain relievers come in handy. Brushing and flossing your teeth several times a day becomes customary. The all important lip balm will be your new best friend also.
The size is small enough to put into a handbag, suitcase or glove box. If you need to carry it to a restroom, it looks pretty cute and no one will know what you have inside unless you tell them. Once you are ready to use it, the bag opens flat and gives you a clean work area to spread everything out. If you are interested in sewing a little Tooth Care Bag for yourself or a loved one, click on the download below. There are instructions and pictures. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
The time honored turkey hand has been around for so long and my latest project had me remembering my primary school days. I am in the process of learning not one or two but three embroidery programs. I am discovering each program will do certain things and that some parts of each are more user friendly or easier to grasp. It really depends on what you want to accomplish. If you are interested in viewing designs that you have purchased to sew out, they are all great at that. However, I am trying to learn how to design or digitize my own creations. This has been both frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. The programs really can do a lot and I am excited each time I open my computer to play with them. The hardest part is planning a design because of so many choices.
With my Turkey hand project, I started with an outline of my actual hand. Once I had it drawn out, I scanned it into the program and then used the drawing or Bezier tool around the outline. This takes a little getting used to.
Once I had the basic outline done, I had to decide on the stitching around the perimeter. This project was going to be an applique, so I had a placement stitch then a securing stitch then finally a finish stitch around the hand. I also drew a shape for the beak and added some fill to it, placed an eye, some little feet and text.
What looks good on the screen does not always stitch out that way. My first trial run shows that I didn't trim close enough around the placement stitches. Also my finish stitch was not wide enough to cover the fabric. The text
I originally chose was way too dense also. I didn't even let it finish stitching. You can see at the top right corner, it tore into the stabilizer. Back to the computer.
My second trial run, I used a cotton fabric instead of the felt for the applique and if you can't tell from the pictures, I am actually stitching on two layers of tear away stabilizer. This time after some adjusting, the finish stitch worked better, but the point on the beak had way too many stitches and the needle just punched right through the stabilizer. Back to the computer AGAIN....
Finally after some tweaking, success. Everything seemed to work better. My stitches entered and exited pretty much where I wanted them to with minimal thread jumps. It is not the quality of design that I would feel comfortable selling, but I have purchased some designs that sew out worse believe it or not. So I will continue to practice and I know I will get much better. This shows that it really is a process. If you are learning a new program and are frustrated that it doesn't look right the first time, don't give up. I have to go back to the manual a lot while I am working and I also utilize the internet for videos. These are so helpful.
For now, I have a cute project that would be fun to put over a chair back.
Or I could drape it over my oven handle to dress up my kitchen. Either way I am proud and "Thankful" that I am lucky enough to have this hobby of mine. Sometimes I don't think there will be enough time to learn everything I want to. I hope if you are reading this post, you have something enjoyable in your life that makes you thankful and that you share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work. Check out the slideshow below for pictures of the project as I worked my way through the design and construction.
Nobody is perfect. No matter how long you have been doing a hobby, you will have boo boos. Some times in my sewing studio it feels like all I am doing is fixing my own mistakes. Instead of getting upset with yourself, and doing something drastic like throwing your project away, take a break.
The quilt in the picture above was going pretty well until I got to the sashing. It just did not line up properly. Instead of ripping it out, I put it away for a little while. (Two weeks actually) When I went back to it, I had fresh energy and ideas.
I could look at my errors and think clearly on what I wanted to achieve. Mainly not starting over. In order to do that I had to get a little creative.
Now my pieced top was looking better. Instead of concentrating on vertical seams that didn't line up exactly, I had some cute little pops of color that disguised my problem areas.
The center panel really stands out with the addition of the diamonds.
There is a download below showing a few stitches and techniques that I used to disguise my sewing errors. Remember, to get better at sewing and maintain your skills, you will have to practice. This is hard when you look at online sites that only show perfectly finished seams. I promise there is a pile of unfinished projects in most stashes out there due to problems with construction. Go easy on yourself and have fun learning. I hope you have enjoyed this post, pass on what you have learned and share what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work. (even if it is NOT perfect)
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