As I move into preparing for the New Year, I have really been using my In The Hoop Calendar Topper. After searching for my chalk marker and ink pen a couple of times, I realized I needed a special place to keep them close to my refrigerator to make it easier to write my notes and reminders. So I created my newest design which is a magnetic pen holder.
Here are both designs on my fridge. The calendar topper has chalkboard fabric which I have been writing on with my chalk marker. I also like to write on the calendar so an ink pen is necessary. This design has a front pocket that will hold two pens. It is a 5x7 design, stitches out really quick and in one hooping.
It has nice quilting to give it some stability and here you can see the front pocket divider.
This shows the back pocket that can hold magnets to attach it wherever you need to be able to find your writing tools quickly. My family has even started using them because it is so handy! It is amazing how something so simple can become part of your routine.
The design is available in my store here. There is also a You tube video below showing how to create the entire project. 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!
This year is winding down and if you are like me you have some organizing to do. One of the best ways I accomplish this is by having a calendar. I like to keep up with appointments that are coming up, write my shopping lists and also make small goals for the upcoming year. At the end of each year, I like to look back and remember what I accomplished.
You don't have to spend a lot of money on a calendar. In fact I found this one at Dollar Tree and thought I would digitize a topper for it so I can hang it on my refrigerator. The project is easy to finish and you can use your 5x7 hoop. There is no hand sewing involved but you will need to use three different designs to complete the calendar topper. When you download the design you will get full color instructions that show all measurements and process.
This particular calendar works well because it is very lightweight and comes with a small wire hanger. The project wraps up with a ribbon and snaps to hang the topper from the calendar. There are also pockets on the back where you can insert magnets so it will stick to your surface.
The chalkboard fabric is appliqued onto the topper and gives you a great place to add notes and lists. I love how it looks on my fridge. Just having a place to begin my organization really inspires me to work on it. I have a You Tube video below that shows the entire project from start to finish. Maybe it will inspire you to do some organizing yourself! You can see the design in my store 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!
One of the tools I have in my studio is a Sawgrass SG400 printer. I have had it for a couple of years and it is really fun to use when making special fabrics. I had a Christmas gift in mind for a family member that loves to ride Indian Motorcycles.
I used McCall's pattern M7139 version C which is a device stand. I have seen these online and thought it would be just about the right size to be able to print my own small piece of fabric. The printer can handle a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of printing paper. It is specialty paper though and is a little different than the transfer paper from an inkjet printer.
If you are thinking of breaking into Sublimation, you will also need a Heat Press. The paper reacts with the printed image and as the heat works on it, a gas is created. That process pushes the image permanently into the fabric or whatever substrate you are printing on. Each item you are sublimating to will need to be treated to accept the pressing also. So Cotton shirts might not be the best thing to work with unless they have been treated. 100% Polyester shirts will work but I have noticed if I purchase shirts off the rack, they sometimes don't have the vibrant colors when pressed. Shirts that are purchased specifically for sublimation do much better. Lighter colors seem to show up better with the paper I keep in stock. I use Texprint R.
For this project I had several yards of 100% Polyester knit fabric in my stash. If you look at Wal-Mart, some locations are now carrying pre-cut fabrics in larger quantities. You can see this yardage was very reasonable and it allowed me to kind of experiment. If you ever purchase something like this, you may notice when the fabric is unfolded, there are stains or even debris in them. I think they must be off cuts from the factory or ends that are not really loved. For my purposes, a small stain won't matter because I am going to cover it up. Just make sure you launder the fabric before you use it.
I designed my fabric in Corel Draw and sent it to my printer.
Here is the printed page and my fabric ready to press. Notice it is printed in reverse.
The fabric is first pressed briefly for about 5 seconds to take out the moisture. Then the image is placed, a paper topping goes on top to help protect your platen and it is imprinted.
These are the settings I used for this particular project.
Here is the fabric once printed. Pretty cool to be able to make that since I could not find any ready made fabric with these logos.
Here is the pattern piece placed on the fabric so I used most of the images.
Here is the device stand all finished.
I made another one in denim. I will advise you to put something in the bottom to weigh it down just a bit. You could use small stones, marbles beans etc. I had some small ceramic tile samples left over from another project, so I used that and it worked really well to maintain a flat bottom.
These are very useful. I have since made a couple more and during the day, I use mine to keep my phone standing upright. I can see emails and texts coming in. I also use it with my I pad turned on it's side. Very helpful while you stream videos. If you are looking for a quick sewing project, this one is hard to beat as most people have some kind of electronic device.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
The New Year is 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.
I love to look at patterns and if they are on sale, I tend to pick them up for future projects. The Simplicity Pattern 2300 has several different bags that can be hung on a personal walker. I decided I wanted to try version C that you see in the bottom picture.
I work better on projects if I have a special person in mind that will be the receiver. This one is really meaningful for me because I hope it will help the person it is intended for. She is very independent and although she has a debilitating illness, still takes care of herself and lives alone. She also uses public transportation to do all of her shopping and make hair and doctor appointments. Currently she is using a self fashioned bag that is functioning, but I hope this will make it easier to secure her personal items safely.
I liked this particular bag because it calls for double sided pre-quilted fabric. That means it does not need to be interfaced to add stability. The amount of fabric required is 7/8 of a yard. This is perfect for me because I tend to purchase remnants and once I went through my stash, I found a beautiful piece of fabric seen above. I did need to quilt it before I could cut out the pattern.
I chose a deep brown color for the back of the fabric as the darker color should help hide any stains. Here you see the natural cotton batting I used.
I laid out a 2 inch grid with my large ruler and Frixion pen then used safety pins to hold all of the layers together. My machine has a walking foot and this made the quilting go very well with minimal shifting. The printed fabric I worked with was almost too small and I had to plan economically to use every part as the fabric is directional.
I also used two different color threads for the quilting so they would match the top and bottom fabric.
Here is the fabric all quilted and trimmed so I could see exactly where I could place my pattern pieces. This would have made a beautiful lap blanket also. Creating your own custom quilted fabric is very rewarding.
The frixion pen is easily removed with a hot iron.
So after all of my careful planning, I was able to get my pieces cut out and this was the amount of fabric left over. The pattern has only six pieces and they are easy to cut out. Other items I needed were a package of double folded bias tape, 3/4 yard hook and loop tape and 3/8 yard 1/4" elastic.
Here is the organizer after I had sewn the pockets and front and back together. Some of the things I would advise anyone sewing this particular pattern are: Read the instructions carefully before you begin. The cutting layout does have a couple of interesting things to note. The front and back as well as the tabs that hang the bag are laid right sides together when you cut them and the pattern piece is placed right side up on the WRONG side of the fabric. Sound confusing? It did to me too and I had to make sure I read that several times so really look at the Cutting layouts notes section. Another thing that may confuse you is some of the sewing directions are not listed under the part of the instructions as you work through the pattern. It will state "Apply binding" instead of showing pictures in the instructions. You have to refer to the Sewing instructions section and look up "Apply Binding" to get details. I assume this was done to save double printing the instructions for the other bags in the pattern.
Another thing I would advise is to make sure you really pay attention to the markings on the pattern pieces and transfer them to the fabric. I used my frixion pen to mark the pocket, velcro and tab placements. The outside phone and water bottle pockets are sewn on first. The middle pocket is sewn on top of these and hides unfinished areas of those outside pockets. There is a small amount of hand sewing required also. Here you see the red clips at the top of the organizer. The front and back are sewn around and then turned with an opening to be closed with needle and thread.
The tabs are the last two things that are attached to the organizer and because of the pockets on the front, they have to be hand sewn. The instructions are a little vague as they just say hand sew. I decided to use a ladder stitch and go around the three sides connected to the bag.
Then I sewed the top of the bag to the back side of the tab using the same ladder stitch.
There were of course some things that I had to figure out because I had never seen them before. One in particular is the binding. The instructions call for you to open the double fold binding and trim along the fold. There are some pictures and they do help. I tend to use the finished pictures to help me complete projects, but the cover photo does not show binding in a different color so this was one thing I had to trust I was doing correctly. The trimming of the binding reduced bulk but left the second fold so you could wrap it around.
The binding is used to create a casing for the elastic on the water bottle pocket. I think I assumed the casing would be part of the quilted material when I first began the project, but the binding is a better way to make a lighter casing and once I figured it out, I now have a new technique in my sewing arsenal. Isn't that usually how it goes? Those things that are hardest or confusing usually wind up being some of our go to things.
The velcro went on easy because I used those markings from the pattern so again, make sure you take the time to transfer everything over. The pockets did have some first time elements also for me. They are actually formed first and have some darts in them to help give volume. When you sew the outer ones on, one side that will remain visible is turned under and attached while the other is left raw because it will be covered by this middle pocket. The instructions state to baste the raw edges and I would not skip that. I know a lot of people want to move through a project quickly but that quilted material is thick and will shift. So make sure you do baste when it states to.
The last thing I would advise you to do is make sure you are using larger needles. One layer of quilted fabric is thick but there are areas when you are sewing the front and back together that you will have three to four layers of material. I started with a denim needle and did have one break. I wound up using a heavy duty 110/18 needle to finish the organizer. So maybe buy a new pack of needles and take it slow when you are sewing. I also lengthened my stitch from a 2.5 to a 3.0 and just moved patiently through the project so my machine could do it's work. My iron and pressing station were used throughout also to make sure that quilted material did not shift and was as neat as possible.
So here is the finished organizer ready to ship to my special friend. It took me two sewing sessions to complete it. If I had started with ready made quilted material, I believe I could have finished this project in one day or roughly eight hours of layout, cutting and sewing. I would not say this is a beginner project because of the type material. It does get thick and you do have to manipulate it. A beginner might not know to use all of the markings and the pockets with the darts are a little fiddly to attach to the bag. I would say a couple of easy bag projects with flat pockets might be good to practice on before mastering this pattern. It did turn out beautifully, I learned some new techniques and look forward to trying the other bags available in the pattern. 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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