Can you find the problem towel above? If you have done any kind of Machine Embroidery, you have probably had a moment when an issue came up. I think more people would enjoy doing embroidery if they gave themselves a break and understood that things don't always work out the first time you sew a design. Frustration will usually cause them to give up but trust me, practice really is necessary to consistently get good results. I do machine embroidery pretty much every day and I have some doozies in my studio. In fact I have a path around my house that gets used quite a lot while I clear my head and get out of my workspace. It is the nature of working with an unpredictable medium. You have so many variables that you have to work through. First you have the complexity of a machine that wants to stitch in one direction. Think about it. There really is only one way a stitch forms. The arm on the machine moves in multiple directions in time to that stitch forming. If everything is in time, you should see a design taking shape. Other possible issues are material you are applying the design to, stabilizer needed, type of thread top and bottom, trimmers, needles, digitizing, dirt and dust, the day of the week- no wait that doesn't matter. There are just so many things that can go wrong. So why even do it? It is beautiful when the work comes into focus and a design starts to peek out. Hypnotic to watch that arm swing and sway and the hum of the machine lulls you into a calm place. If you are a person that likes a challenge and puzzle solving, you might grow to become an embroidery addict. You just need to develop and have some tools in your back pocket for the times when trouble arrives. It will arrive.
Here is a recent problem project I was working on. If you look at the photo above, you will see an unfinished towel. I had several of them to do and as this one was stitching, I noticed a dull thumping sound when the needle struck the fabric. That always indicates to me it is time to change the needle. When you embroider on a machine and become friends with it, you can hear changes. So , I replaced the needle and immediately, my bobbin wound up tight causing the towel to pull down into the bobbin case. This skewed the towel in the hoop. There was no way to salvage the design in that hoop. When I removed the new needle, I felt a burr on the end of it. So even though it was brand new, it was faulty. I had to cut away the thread that had wrapped around the inner case. Luckily the towel wasn't damaged. Another good reason to stay close to your machine while it is working. First thing I did was make a note of the stitch number where this happened in the design and I wrote it down. I would need it later.
I was using my multi needle machine to embroider the group of towels and I didn't want to lose any production time, so I replaced the faulty needle, hooped another towel and started it stitching while I worked on my problem piece. This particular machine does not have a camera function. So if I have to re hoop a design to complete it, I will usually move to my other machine that helps me ensure a good stitch out.
I floated the towel on the hoop with some adhesive spray and tried to get the towel straight but perfection is not necessary when you can scan a picture and see placement.
Here is the hoop loaded on the machine and you can see the screen shows the towel and the design overlaying it. This type of embroidery machine really gives you great options instead of trying to rely on your hand eye coordination to re hoop and get correct placement. I can see the previous design stitched on the towel in real time. This allows me to line up the electronic design in the machine for better accuracy.
Here you can see the movement and rotation options available. So even though my design was slightly skewed in the hoop, I was able to rotate in one degree increments until I got it right where I needed it. I will usually go into the embroidery function and test the first few stitches to make sure it is where I want it to be. Sometimes you need to do this a couple of times to get it right. Don't rush it. Then I use the number that I wrote down from the previous stitch out and I forward through the design to the place where it had a problem to begin sewing. Each machine has different functions to accomplish this. Use your machine manual to verify your tools.
Here it is completing the design. I was able to get it just about right. As it is a towel there will be slight fudge room because of the pile. Still it is very close to the original placement.
The best part of having a second machine is my other towel completed while I was working with my problem piece so no production time was lost.
Now this is a trick that I have seen at many trade shows and classes. Most embroidery artists have a good supply of permanent markers. If you have a few threads that are not perfect while you are working on that placement, you can very lightly touch them up. Especially something with a pile. Just be very ginger when using these type markers as your fabric will really want to soak up the ink.
So here they are side by side. Left side is an original towel, right side is the re hooped towel. Unless I told you I had any problems, you might not be able to tell. An embroidery machine with a camera function is a very good investment if you are doing commercial work of any kind. You can see I was able to save product and keep production rolling along.
I have a You Tube video showing my process below. If you are considering a purchase to upgrade your studio or if you already have a machine with camera, you might enjoy seeing it in action. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Summer's official start date is right around the corner. In honor of those long lazy days we have created some really cute water creature designs just released today. Whether you are on the lake or at the beach, these will help you decorate your summer projects! Let's take a look at them.
Our Crab With Shell embroidery design stitches up in a 4x4 hoop and would look precious on beach bags or home decor projects. His friendly grin will make you smile.
This Fish Embroidery Design is also a 4x4 design and has beautiful blended colors. Stitch him in the suggested orange tones or customize with different colors and group them on bathroom decor.
Our 4x4 Seahorse Embroidery Design is very simple and sweet. Blended threads and an innocent expression makes this a perfect choice for children's decor such as linens or blankets.
Our 4x4 Turtle Embroidery Design is so friendly. He would be another awesome choice for children's items. Look closely and see his shell has beautiful scroll work.
Our 4x4 Frog On Lily pad embroidery design has several greens that blend together and really make him look plump and cute. He looks ready to hop right onto your next project!
Here are all of the summer critter designs on towels. If you are looking for a unique way to dress up your kitchen, these just might do the trick. Not at the beach or the lake? No problem, you can pretend to be by decorating your home and having a "staycation" These would be really precious stitched on a table runner out by the pool. Add some custom text with summer quotes to make these designs perfect for your decor. I hope you have enjoyed and been inspired by this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Who doesn't love Spicy Mexican Food? I know I do and after several months of being at home, I was able to finally dine inside one of our local restaurants. I can tell you I savored every bite. After enjoying that awesome meal I decided to release several new designs that pay homage to one of my favorite food types. Let's take a look at them.
There would be Tacos design is perfect for that person that has to be bribed with tacos to show up. Or maybe that person who looks forward to Taco Tuesday every week? It is a fun way to tell everyone that you are a taco expert.
Of course you have to have Chips Dip and Margaritas with those tacos. I think those hot crispy chips are my favorite part. Add some cheese Queso and I can make a meal right there.
The Extreme Sauce embroidery design has several choices of heat. It looks like you might go for the hottest of the hot though. This is perfect for that spicy foodie.
The Born To Be Mild embroidery design shows two peppers talking about their "personalities" This is a cute design for that person that might like their food a little tamer. Check out the examples stitched on kitchen towels below.
All of these designs are available in my store. Click on the links above to be taken to each one. Maybe this will inspire you to enjoy some of your favorite spicy food. 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 embroidery designs are being released today. These patches are a unique way to customize suspenders. If you are looking for something "different" for Dad, Grandpa or Husbands this might just work. There are several designs that the ladies would rock also. I think suspenders should make a comeback. They were popular in the 80's after Marty from Back to the Future wore them. I had a rainbow pair that I wore because Mork from Ork was a favorite TV character. My husband is in the picture above showing off his custom patch. Let's look at all of the different designs available. Click the links under each picture to visit my store. Remember you will need an embroidery machine with a 4x4 hoop to sew these patches. The designs are digital and not fully made patches.
The Biker Suspender Patch is perfect for anyone who loves to ride motorcycles. Best part is you can customize the colors of this patch to match their wheels.
The Dressy Attire Suspender patch is perfect for that person who loves to be comfortable wherever they go. Take them as they are because their suspenders are how they dress up!
The Gone Fishing Suspender Patch says it all. They won't need to explain where they are going as you watch them walk out the door.
The I'm Retired Suspender Patch will let all of their friends see the official dress code of retirement.
The Mister Suspenders Patch is the design that raises it's nose to the belt establishment. No more uncomfortable bellies in tight pants!
The Nerd Suspender Patch proclaims it loud and proud. Remember yesterday's Nerds are today's and tomorrow's Billionaires.
The Veteran Suspender Patch is a great way to honor that person in your life. If you see a Veteran thank them for their service.
The Groom Suspender Patch is perfect for the groom on his wedding day. Hidden under the jacket but out and proud for the reception.
The Best Man Suspender Patch will let everyone know who the special person is standing beside the groom.
The Groom Crew Suspender patch would be a great gift for the wedding party. After all, what is a groom without his buddies?
Customizing your suspenders with any of these patches is very easy to do. In fact, when you download the designs, you will receive full color instructions. If you would like to see all of my tips and tricks, you can watch the You Tube video 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.
My latest project for my home has recycling, gardening, sewing and embroidery all together. I really hate to throw away any kind of container and when I recently had problems with my washing machine, the leftover parts gave me all kinds of crafting ideas.
Here is the original tub from our front loading washing machine. It is the back end of the tub. The front end has two large pieces of concrete that act as counter weights so the tub will spin correctly. My washer sounded like an airplane taking off when it would spin. In fact it was so loud, we had to close doors to hear anything. We tried to first change the four shocks on the tub which was the "Hopefully Easier Fix". After taking everything apart and rummaging around in VERY tight spaces to change those shocks, it helped but we realized it didn't completely solve our issue. We ordered the rear tub part and found that our bearing had blown out when we disconnected everything. The tell tale oil dripping out confirmed we had found the problem. We did have to move the washer in and out of our home twice and that is how I can assure you that if the repairman gives you a price, you may want to bite the bullet and pay the man. Unless you have a handy husband and two grown sons to help disassemble it. Or you are extremely cheap with your money and are too stubborn like us to at least give it a shot. I can say that instead of purchasing a new washer that might have cost upwards of $1500, we spent $127.00 on the parts. So not too bad.
The silver lining to all of this besides being able to run my laundry with all doors open is I had a very heavy duty container complete with drainage holes. I knew a planter would be a great project.
First I painted the tub with spray paint. It is amazing how a little color can transform any object.
I had already started a flat of zinnias and marigolds from seed several weeks ago, so plants were ready to go in. It's almost like I planned this. No I wouldn't wish that repair on anyone.
I love garden flags so I knew I needed to come up with some kind of hanger. I had several PVC pipes and a T connector from other projects. When I tried them in the bearing hole, it was light bulbs and excitement as I began to figure out my flag options.
Using a spray paint that resembles metal helped hide the PVC pipe and gave the stand a sturdy look.
I digitized a sunflower design and added some fun text to stitch on my fabric which by the way is Duck Canvas. Canvas is a great choice for outdoor projects. It isn't UV rated, but should last for the season. This embroidery design is available in my store in a large 9.5x14 size here or a 5x7 size here.
I sewed the flag and added buttons with elastic to the back so it would be very flexible on the stand. Then I planted everything and added rocks from around my yard. This was such a fun project and I filmed a You Tube video showing the entire process including how I sewed the flag. You can watch that below. Maybe it will inspire you to recycle containers for planting or sewing a garden flag. Or repair your washing machine????
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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