Nothing makes your heart stop like an error message in the middle of a sewing or embroidery project. When I have an error I usually pull out my manual first because the answer will more than likely be found there. The manufacturers are usually very good about knowing what might come up and giving you various scenarios to try. In sewing the most common will be your needle, bobbin and thread. In this error, I went through the checklist from my manual but my error still occurred. As I would sew I was able to get through 10-15 stitches and the machine would stop with the above error. I initially thought it might be the tension discs and some thread or debris so I cleaned those out by taking the top covers off, but the problem persisted. Of course I made sure my machine was powered OFF to do these checks.
So after some online searches, I found a couple of other people with similar problems and even though they have a different machine, I thought I would try looking in the same area they were indicating, so I removed my cover from the side of the machine. I have to thank generous people on You Tube and Blogs because isn't it great to be able to figure out those small maintenance repairs during the pandemic? Usually I wouldn't think twice about bringing my machine to the shop but now that isn't always an easy option.
I traced myself to the 3rd position in the flow of tension on the front. There is a very small spring located behind this front cover that helps the machine tension the thread. It is a moving part and when you couple that movement with thread, debris, moisture and dirt; the spring can become immobile and the thread is no longer in the correct placement so the machine will issue the error.
Look in the picture above and follow the thread down to the point where it passes under that straight bar. Directly underneath you will see the very small curved tip of the spring. That piece is where my problems were happening. I used a small picking instrument like a dentist would use and I VERY CAREFULLY cleaned around the spring. I also made sure the spring could move up and down and was not immobile. As I did that I saw a piece of thread remnant fall out.
You can also see the other very tiny bits of debris I was able to clean out. I put everything back together to test the machine. As a side note, this error did occur right after I had been trying out a brand new metallic thread. I can't say for certain if that caused the problem but it was a different material than I sew with on a daily basis.
The final thing I did was remove the thread and re thread it through all of the tension areas. If you don't do this, the thread placement is the same as before the repair and the error will probably show up still. Now my machine sews just fine. I will say that this is a minor adjustment and I would only recommend doing this to get you back to sewing; especially if you are in a production setting like me. I use my machine to test embroidery designs every day. It doesn't replace my usual maintenance schedule where the machine is taken apart, cleaned, oiled and tested. I will still get that done per the manufacturer's suggestions which is normally at least once a year. I filmed a short video below that will show you the error as it was happening, removing the covers and where that spring is located. If you are having similar issues with your machine, this might help. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I am taking it way back with my latest design. I wanted to do something fun and quick and this In The Hoop Fortune Teller Game is just that. Do you remember folding one of these when you were in school and playing with your friends? Back then the fortunes would make your day. Well I am hoping these fortunes will bring back that smile and nostalgia.
The materials needed are really simple. I used cutaway stabilizer in my hoop and sewed directly onto it. It is really no different than the standard paper you would usually use to fold a fortune teller. In fact, the cutaway is a little bit more resilient and should last longer. I have noticed mine has gotten softer as I use it more and more. When I digitized this design, I wanted all of the fortunes to be readable and as close to an original game piece as possible so it is only available in an 8 x 8 size. This makes inserting your fingers in the pockets easy as well.
I did use my iron with small bursts of steam to set all of the folds in the game piece.
After everything is stitched, you will remove the stabilizer and trim around the edges carefully. Then fold the game piece to play. I think this would be such a fun project for kids. It would be easy to complete as a project with them because it sews out fairly quick and they might not get too bored watching it. Then cutting is just straight lines and the folding is perfect for tactile work.
Just look how adorable that is. So simple but such great memories I have with my school friends.
On this day, my wish was granted. That is a great fortune to have come true. I have a short video below that shows the entire project, especially the folding process so you can create your In The Hoop Fortune Teller Game. I hope you have enjoyed this post, you share what you learn and you are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
If you have read many of my blog posts, you might guess my creative projects follow the seasons and what I see in my life. So right now, my yard is a priority as I continue getting it in order for winter. I really do love little yard trinkets, signs, hanging decorations etc. So you will find Shepherd Garden Stakes in many of my flower beds. They come in a lot of different sizes and styles and usually I use them to hang bird feeders or plants. Since cold weather is coming, I am looking at them to see if they need any maintenance like rust removal or cleaning out the bird feeders.
This flag project just came about because I realized I had never tried to sew something decorative for one of these shepherd hooks. I thought it would be a great project to move between seasons. Right now, my trees still have leaves on them and they are just turning beautiful shades of yellow and orange. After a few cold snaps, I will look outside and they will all be gone and then our skies will be gray for several months. This makes my yard a little depressing, but these flags might help that this winter. My intention is to sew some for those cold winter months and when I look outside my windows, it just might cheer me up and keep me excited for upcoming spring gardening.
So the first thing I did was digitize a special embroidery design for this flag. I had my husband in mind and thought he would get a kick out of seeing this in our yard. If you are interested in the An Old Fisherman design it is available here. You will need at least a 6x10 embroidery hoop. The size of the flag I was sewing demanded a larger design to fill up the space.
Here is a view of the Old Fisherman embroidery design with a different background color so you can see the details. I used canvas duck fabric for the flag and grosgrain ribbon for the casing. I didn't do a written pattern for this project but I did a full video tutorial that you can watch below. I think a beginner could sew this project as there are mostly straight seams, The long curve and adding the ribbon casing is a nice skill to practice as well as clipping along curves. All of this can be done sewing a flag like this. The tutorial will show you how to draft your own flag depending on the shepherd hook you have so it is not specific just to the type I used. In any case, I am wishing you will have fun watching the video and dreaming up ways to decorate your outdoor space year round with these flags. You know these would be awesome for yard sale signs or business advertisements also.
Check out the video below. I have assembled a playlist of several garden flag projects together. Look for that in the description of the video and you can have a creative watch party! I Hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
This Free In The Hoop Ribbon Awareness Cup Wrap is my latest embroidery design and it is a good one! We are in Breast Cancer Awareness month so this design is timely for that but did you know that the Ribbon is used for so many other causes?
I visited Disabled-world.com and pulled their graphic above. If you click on the link or picture it will take you to their site where you can learn more about each ribbon and cause. *NOTE* Some of the colors may not be listed and they are always adding causes to each color so you will probably want to go to each Organization cause on their social media sites and verify before you stitch out this embroidery design or make a donation.* That being said, let me tell you about this embroidery design.
Other than being completely FREE, the other most important fact is you will need at least an 8x12 embroidery hoop to complete the project. When you stitch the design you will have two Fleece cup wraps that are oh so soft. You can use different color fleece and thread for your cause. See in the picture above that they will fit on Plastic cups. I also use mine on stainless steel insulated cups.
The front will sew your ribbon design which is simple but effective to showcase the pattern on your fleece.
You will also have a buttonhole that sews in the design. Once complete, a needle and thread will be used to sew on your button. Here we used a 5/8 inch button. Have fun picking out cute ones!
Here is a little bonus for you! Included in the design download is a PDF gift tag. Just print these out on heavy duty paper or cardstock and slide the cup cozy over it. Fill in the blank area with your name so the person receiving the cup cozy knows where it came from.
We used a small piece of scotch tape underneath the cozy to keep it from sliding off the gift tag.
When I digitized this design my hope was you would use this as a service project for your group, school project, church, civic club or personal family and friends. Not sure how much each one will cost your organization to make? We have done the math for you also. We figure you can make 20 of these cup cozies with a yard of fleece that is 60 inches wide. So divide 20 into your yardage cost. If a yard of fleece cost you $10.00, each cozy is roughly .50 cents. That is just fleece cost. You will need to add stabilizer and buttons, thread etc. but that is a good place to start your cost analysis if you are doing a lot of cozies. Another place to look for cheaper fleece is your local big box store. Visit the blanket section and search for seasonal throws or blankets. Sometimes you can find real bargains that are cheaper than off the bolt.
Are you worried it will be too hard to construct the cup cozies? I got that covered for you too. Watch the instruction video below to see how easy they are to make. So are you ready to get started? Click this LINK to add the design to your cart. Check out in the store and you will get an email to download the design. I have done all the hard work for you. Now you just need to have fun sewing and donating. Did you know you can send me pictures and details of your cup cozy projects too? Visit my contact page here. That would make my day and I just might showcase your cozies on my Facebook page. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I have been buttoning up my yard in preparation for winter. My garden plot has been mowed down, all of my flower beds have been successfully weeded and my flower pots are host to new pansies. This time of year I tend to change a few things around on my front porch and I like to maintain some color as I watch the leaves turn and fall. In honor of this beautiful time of year, I am releasing my latest design Falling Leaves Flag Pattern. This embroidery design is really simple in it's concept and it only has 6,645 stitches but it has a really big impact with the addition of artificial leaves.
You can see here that the stitching includes cute seasonal text and a smiling puppy. He is watching all of the beautiful leaves falling around him. My dogs love to do that and they have so much fun chasing the leaves as they fall to the ground. I purchased a small bag of leaves from my local Dollar Tree store and it had 50 of them so I have a lot of extra ones for future projects.
There are several different fabrics that you can use for garden flags. On this one, I used OLY FUN fabric which is the same material you will find in reusable grocery bags. I have done other flag projects using this material and I like it for the price, weight and non fraying qualities. I will tell you that your flag won't have UV protection and might only last one season if you use OLY FUN Fabric. I don't mind that because I love to change regularly. Also, if I look closely at flags I have purchased they will usually fade pretty quickly and I tend to avoid putting them back up more than two seasons.
The embroidery instructions will take you through the placement of the leaves. I have included a flag pattern with the design that will help you prepare your fabric and cut the bottom portion.
You will see how to add the ribbon on the top and sides and sew the trim to the bottom of the flag.
This would be a great project for a beginner as it includes many techniques that can be used for future sewing and embroidery projects. If you have a sewing and embroidery machine or combination of the two and feel like you want to do something creative but not too difficult, give this a try. I think you will love seeing your flag in your yard. I have created a video you can watch below that shows the entire project also so if you are a more advanced seamstress, you should be able to make your own garden flag just by following along.
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 I have several brand new designs releasing today. My first design in the picture above is Happy Fall Ya'll and it caused some discussion in my household. Is the spelling Ya'll or Y'all? Well I looked that one up and I think my spelling is correct although it goes against the traditional rules. Anyway, it's still cute and would be perfect for stitching up a quick project like the example below.
So I had a little more fun playing with words on My Pumpkin Patch. I did have a garden this year and it has pretty much fizzled out so I won't be picking my own fall produce but I can wear it! Maybe you had a similar experience and need to laugh? Try out this design and see if it brings a smile or starts a conversation.
I am Nuts About Fall and my next design pretty much sums it up. This design has a couple of elements that I think you will like stitching. The acorn is an applique and I used a fabric with several different colors. You could customize your acorn with an infinity of fabric. Also, the tail on the squirrel is an open blend and it is always fun to see how two color threads interact on the fabric it is stitched on.
Crow On Pumpkin is just another fun design. Can you see a trend here? If you just need to see some cute or funny things around you right now, this little crow might cheer you up. He stitches in a 4x4 hoop and is great as a stand alone design, but an addition of your text would make it even better.
This Monster Eyeball Sign is my final try at getting you to smile. It is an In The Hoop project that uses fleece fabric and there are two appliques. One is the huge eyeball and the other is the sign that the monster is holding. Can you see his little scaly hands at the bottom? Those are fun motif stitches that I used variegated thread on. One more design choice was that I used glow in the dark thread on the eye, teeth and text. So this one will be able to warn intruders in your house to back off in the daylight and in the dark. Not that you need any kind of sign to keep others out of your space right now . RIGHT? Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how the Monster Sign is constructed.
So I hope this post finds you doing well with the change of the seasons. Even with events as they are in the world, mother nature keeps marching forward doing her best every day. I think she's a pretty smart chickie and I want to be like her when I grow up. Enjoy these designs, share what you learn and be generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I have been accused of being addicted to post it or sticky notes. I don't deny it especially as I get older. If there is a yellow (or any color for that matter) pad close to me, I am going to use it. So my newest embroidery design pays tribute to having them at your fingertips. On my desk, they will wind up underneath a pile of other papers or stuff. So an elevated position on a stand will hopefully keep them visible to "Remind Me" of everything unless I have it staring right at me.
The L frame used along with the design is 3 1/2 by 5 inches and clear. It can be found at most Dollar or discount stores. The cover has a pocket on the back that slides right over the frame.
It uses a 5x7 embroidery frame and just a few pieces of fabric. This is a project that would be a great way to bust though your stash and begin working on those small gifts for Christmas.
These ITH Post It Note Holders stitch up really quickly and are fun to customize with fabric and thread choices. I did an instruction video below that takes you through the entire process. Also, when you download the design, you will receive a full set of color instructions. 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 Happy HCS2 1201 Embroidery machine has provided me with many hours of steady sewing. Let me first start this blog post by saying I am still glad I purchased it. I knew when I made the choice to upgrade to a multi needle machine that was not a predominant model for my geographical area, I would have some challenges when it came to maintenance. This coupled with the current pandemic makes it even more difficult. So I had to dive in and try to figure out my problem. As you can see from the picture above, I have my machine ready to load a cap and the arrow points to the position that the arm should calibrate to once it is turned on. If you have never used a multi needle machine, the arm will usually move through a rotation and settle back in the center ready for you to load your cap.
My machine would calibrate and settle to the far right position instead. When the machine is turned off, you can freely rotate and move the hoop right to left and back to front which is how I was able to take the first picture. When the calibration landed in this position, it made it impossible to load the caps with the bills pointed up ready to sew. Also, I later discovered if the frame was too far right when I turned it on, the machine would try to calibrate and make a terrible grinding noise when it ran out of movement room.The weird thing is my machine sewed fine one day and the next time I put my cap frame on, it started doing this. So I was really worried I wouldn't be able to center any of my designs to sew. The trial and error period began.
I looked at the screen and noticed that even though the arm of the machine was situated to the far right position, the screen showed my design should be in the center. So that told me there was a miscommunication between the brain or computer and the arm.
I took the cap frame off and then noticed that when the machine did not see caps sewing, but a standard frame it would calibrate to the center as it should. That was the really hard one to figure out. Mechanically, the calibration cycle worked for standard but not cap frames. So I started looking at what controlled the machine knowing how to see caps.
My first thought was the small plunger underneath the arm. The small black unit in the picture above is what tells the machine you will be sewing caps. When you load the frame on the machine, it pushes that little plunger in. Sometimes I have noticed that when I take my cap frame off, the plunger will stick and I have to manually pull it out. I now make sure there is no trash in it and keep it lubricated. Even doing a thorough cleaning and oiling didn't solve the frame centering problem so I moved on to my machine manual, centering instructions. There wasn't a whole lot of information to go from. I also looked at other Happy machine manuals online and spoke to the techs at the service department where I purchased my machine. To say the least it was a head scratcher. I even re initialized the machine thinking I may have changed a setting inadvertently. Nothing worked.
Then I got brave and started taking covers off the arm. The first time I did that I noticed there were several sensor boards and wires with connectors. I did see one that looked like it might be loose, so I pushed all of the connectors in as tight as I could. I also unplugged and re-plugged the large black cable that goes from the machine to the arm unit. I loaded the cap frame on the machine and the calibration moved to the far right. This was very disappointing because what else could it be? I began to wonder if it was something in the control box so I looked up the electrical schematics and tried to figure out which sensor board and pulse motors controlled the arm. The worst part was I could see all of these parts in the list, but no real explanation of what each one did.
So naturally panic set in because I figured I would not be able to get this figured out. As long as I had a small design to sew, I could move it around in the hoop and get it stitched and over this period I still had cap orders coming in. This was very stressful so I created a work around while I still tried to figure out what was going on. When these machines are turned off, the arm becomes free and you can move it easily. This assists when you are doing maintenance or changing your frames. Once it is turned on, the arm becomes immobile. So I played with my arm position. I knew that when I turned it on, it always moved to the far right. So each time, I would move the arm starting position farther to the left, turn it on and see where the calibration landed. I did this until I got it to the center. I put a mark on the arm and matched it to a placement on a piece of painters tape. I did this for standard and wide cap settings. Each time I went to sew caps out, I just moved the arm to that location, turned it on and it always moved to center. So this took some of the pressure off and I could get my orders completed still. I have to be honest, this situation rocked on for a year until this week when I said I am either going to figure it out or load it up and make a trip to where I purchased it from which for me is about 6 hours away.
So have I got you confused enough and are you ready for the fix? I pulled out my screwdriver and once again pulled the cover off the arm of my machine. Remember I said earlier I noticed there was a connector that looked loose and I pushed it back in tight? Well, when I took the cover off this time, I saw that it was loose again. Weird right? See in the picture above I am pointing to the small screw that holds the center of the cover when it is installed. There is tape wrapped around all of the wires. When I looked closely, the tape had come unwound and all of those wires were tucked beneath the screw instead of on top of them where they are in the picture.
Here I am making sure they are all above that location and out of the way.
This connector is the one that looked like it was loose and after seeing the wires underneath that screw, I figured out that when the cover was being pushed back on the arm, it was putting downward pressure on those wires and pulling the connection loose. This of course I could not see because the cover was on top of it and I thought everything was secure because I had just pushed everything in nice and tight. It also explains why the machine sewed fine one day and the next it did not. I estimate that the wires were in this predicament when I purchased the machine and through the movement vibrations over time, the connection finally just gave way. Such a simple problem but because it was not consistent between the standard and cap frames, it was a hard one to diagnose.
Here is another shot so you can see the back of the arm with the sensor boards, connectors and wires. It feels so good to have this figured out. Now I can confidently sew moving forward and know each time I load my cap frame, it will center correctly and I can get on with the process. I filmed several snippets of the process and then the solution which you can watch below. My wish is this helps someone out there having a similar problem or maybe it will give you courage to pull out your manual and tools and try to fix your embroidery machine. Especially right now when our technicians are social distancing or working minimal hours. **Always make sure you unplug your machine before making any repair attempts.** I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with that you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
We are in that time of year where back to School plans are being made. If you have a child that is just starting school or you will be homeschooling, this little soft book is an excellent way to introduce them to ll of the things they might be doing every day. Check out our blog post about the book here. The best part is you will get multiple embroidery designs with the download and an easy pattern to sew your own soft book. It will be on sale through the end of August so don't wait!
Another great embroidery design perfect for back to school is my calendar topper. I absolutely love mine and use it for all of the things I need to be reminded to do. It along with the magnetic pen holder will be on sale through the end of August!
Both of these designs are easy and fun. I use a Dollar Tree Calendar so it is an inexpensive project and looks very nice on my refrigerator! Check out the Calendar Topper Project Here. Look for the Magnetic Pen Holder Project Here.
Who can leave out one of my favorite things in the world? COFFEE??? Yep my Coffee Mug Wrap Embroidery Designs are on sale and I know many of you teachers are going to be reaching for that morning cup. What about you parents who are going to be homeschooling? You will probably enjoy these mug wraps as well.
I hope you are well in your corner of the world and you enjoy what you do, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My latest sewing project is not only fun but economical. I am always scanning the clearance aisles of my big box stores and when I see something that is really reduced and made of any kind of material that can be stitched, I will usually grab it. On a recent trip I found a package of 30 microfiber towels on sale for $6.00. The regular amount is $9.97 so still a great price for this project.
Check out this cute drawstring bag and my (*click link*) latest embroidery design Shark Towel Applique. This bag can be used for wet swimming suits, flip flops, beach toys, you name it. If you are looking for an inexpensive gift to sew for a group of people this is almost as cheap as you can get for 20 cents per towel. Even full price they are just 33 cents each.
The embroidery design has been digitized to include a knockdown stitch you can see here. So you can put the Shark on the fluffy side of the towel and he will really stand out. Also, with the knockdown stitch, you don't need to use any wash away stabilizer on top. If you want to embroider the shark on woven fabric, just bypass the knockdown stitching and move directly to the applique parts.
This design is fun because it has two areas of applique. So if you have never done a project with multiple areas of placement, trimming and satin stitching, you will love playing with all of the different options just by alternating your colors of fabric. As you can see, I used a plain blue for the back area but the tummy has a small print. Can you imagine using stripes or polka dots for your shark? Or making some for girls or boys just by changing the towels? Look for these microfiber towels the next time you are in the automotive section of your store. They have a good selection of colors in most stores which are perfect for cute drawstring bags.
Sewing the bag is just a few seams and I thought you might want to see the complete process so I created a video you can watch 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!
Changing the thread on a multi needle embroidery machine can seem like an overwhelming task. When I bought my machine, I had to adjust from my usual threading practice because I was familiar with my single needle machine. Each time the thread color changed on a design, I was used to re-threading through the single needle machine path and moving on. A multi needle machine has many different colors on the machine and as the design stitches, the machine trims the thread and the head moves to a different position to continue sewing.
The multi needle machines are taller and usually on a cabinet so reaching up and around to change each cone is a little harder. The most efficient way to change colors is to tie onto an existing thread and pull through your tension discs and the needle. In order to do that you have to use a very small knot.
This picture shows the path that the thread follows from the top through all of the tension areas, take up levers and eventually through the needles. First you pull a long length of thread from the cone you are replacing. Cut that so there is something to tie onto left on the machine and remove the cone. I like to have around 24-30 inches. Then you place the new cone on the machine and pull a long length equal to the first thread. Next you need to tie your knot.
The original thread left on the machine is wrapped around your two fingers and held by your thumb. This creates a open loop on your middle finger.
The new thread is laid over your hand. So here you see my old thread is black. My new thread is white
Then you reach your finger through the open loop and pull both pieces of thread through. This creates a very small knot.
Looking at this type knot you can see that it does not resemble a traditional square knot. It actually looks like half the size and will be narrow enough to go through the sewing needle eye.
Once your knot is secure, you can start pulling the existing thread through the needle from the bottom of the machine. I usually hold the new thread ends taut while they go through the top tensions, Once they get past that area I continue to pull until I can see that the old thread is gone , the knot passes in the needle and the new color is ready.
This view shows that black thread tied to the white and the knot has just passed through the eye. I clip the excess off, secure my new thread to my spring and move forward.
Now you know you can quickly change those empty or wrong thread cones. It is difficult to imagine tying that knot from pictures, so I made a video you can watch below that shows the entire process with very close shots. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Bowl Cozies are one of my favorite things. If you like to reheat food in a microwave they might become one of your new favorites. The purpose of a cozy is a place to set your bowl in the microwave while it is heating. Once the food is hot, you just use the cozy to lift the bowl out. You can also eat your food comfortably so your fingers don't get burned. I like to use mine for cold items like ice cream and cereal as well. They are perfect to catch those drips. When they get dirty, I put mine through a regular cycle in my washer and dryer. You want to make sure you use 100% cotton or natural materials. Any polyester or blends may cause a spark or melt in your microwave. So use 100% cotton batting, thread and material.
If you have read my other articles you may have seen a couple of other projects using these character towels. I have used them for drawstring bags which you can see here. I have also used them for adult bibs which you can see here. When I walk through the Dollar Tree I am always scanning for new materials to remake. These towels are so vibrant and fun that they have become a staple I keep in my studio at all times.
They are also 100% cotton so perfect for these cozies. The size on the package is 11.75 x 11.75 inches and once they are washed and dried the first time, they will slightly shrink. You may also see that the shape gets slightly skewed but that is not a problem. The care instructions state they should not be ironed, but I do press them with a medium setting and a press cloth. This will protect your iron plate from any residual ink on the towels.
The cotton batting is cut to 10 x 10 inches and adhesive spray is used on the towel to keep everything together while you sew your first quilting seams. Once the towel and the batting are adhered, you can trim away any extra towel. The batting will assist in keeping the cozy square.
These bowl cozies are a simple project but they do include darts on all sides. The darts help them stand up and form the bowl shape. This is a great introduction to learn how to sew darts if you have never done them.
Here you see me marking the dart placement with a heat erase pen. It is not hard to accomplish and great practice with your measuring tools.
There are so many of these bowl cozy projects on the internet and they are all similar. Using these character towels will present one challenge that you won't have if you use cotton fabric. The terry cloth coupled with the batting makes these thick along the seams. When it is time to close the project after turning, I like to use a needle and thread instead of my machine. This way I ensure I have grabbed both edges of the towel. You will be washing and drying them frequently so you want to have a durable closure. I love to use a ladder stitch for this part because the thread is hidden. Once I have it closed up, I will go around with a top stitch on my sewing machine but well away from the edge. This is slightly different than other bowl cozy projects you may see on the internet. A regular sewing machine can be used with these towels, but you may have to help it just a bit when you get around those thicker seams. Just take your time and you should be good to go.
When all is done, you will have a reversible bowl cozy that is not only practical, but cheerful.
Look at all of the different cozies I made in just an afternoon. These are great for kids, teens and adults. Everyone in your family will want their own.
So are you ready to make this project? Click on the video below to watch me sew a complete bowl cozy. All materials, measurements, sewing machine settings are included. Don't forget to Like and subscribe to my You tube channel. Then every time I upload a new video, you will be notified. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
This project is perfect if you love to re-purpose things from Dollar Tree. I am always looking for items I can alter with my sewing and embroidery machine when I walk the Dollar Tree aisles. This one doesn't take a lot of materials and you can complete it in an afternoon.
These drawstring bags are made of a rip stop fabric which is just right for windsocks. They already have a casing sewn into them and they come with a drawstring that you can use to hang your windsock. So most of the materials are already in the bags. *Note* You just have to deconstruct them, and reassemble. You can add any kind of embellishments you want. I digitized two new designs for birth announcements since my bags were blue and pink. Click on the pictures below to visit my store and see the embroidery designs.
I added ribbon to each of my windsocks which helped maintain a heavier structure and added weight so they really catch the wind.
After making these two, I wanted to show you a variation, so I digitized another design perfect for your garden. Click on the picture below to visit my store and see this design.
This design has outline text and a simple applique flower in the center. I used some scrap floral fabric for the applique. Ribbon was added to the top and bottom of the embroidery design with a zig zag stitch. It is amazing how beautiful a project comes together using just a few elements.
Here it is adding a pop of color to my garden space. The drawstring that comes in the bag was used to hang the windsock. This bag had two fabrics instead of one plain color. The stripes you see on the streamers were one side of the original bag.
I have a complete project video below that you can watch. It will take you from disassembly, making your cuts, embroidery, sewing everything together and hanging options. I know you are going to love it. The best part is you can make as many windsocks you want for all holidays and occasions. 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 is in full swing and I bet you are having fun decorating your outdoor living spaces. Embroidery is a great way to freshen up those pillows that are showing a little bit of wear and tear. Add a big beautiful sunflower to make that garden chair really inviting.
Maybe you have a special outdoor dinner planned and are looking for ways to make those napkins extra pretty? Simple seashells would be so elegant
How about creating an oasis in your bathroom? Embroidery has a way of elevating a space and it doesn't take a lot of time to complete smaller projects. See the towel on the tub above? How would it look if you added a design with a summertime feel like the seahorse , turtle or fish?
We have a great sale going on many of our summer designs through July 31st. Visit our SALE SALE SALE page here to check them out! I have one EXTRA special offer for you. Visit our FACEBOOK page for an additional 20% off coupon on those sale items! (HINT- the link is at the top of this blog) All you will need is the coupon code to enter at checkout! That is too easy. I hope you have a great Summer, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
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.
Sewing Math. If that gives you a headache, I totally understand. My math skills have always been something that is continually evolving and also a disappointment when I just don't "get it". I can't blame my teachers because they taught math in the setting that was available to them and it was the only one I had access to. Now with the internet and so many generous people out there, we have a lot of different learning methods. I am convinced if someone would have found out my sewing interests way back then and applied Math Skills directly to that, my skills might have improved. I "see" measurements and projects in Pictures more than numbers. Another thing that I have come to understand is memorizing formulas is only as good as being able to physically practice them. This tactile learning process is so much more helpful to me than say a WORD PROBLEM. YUCK. Also, a little advice to you out there who beat yourselves up when you can't remember those formulas? Don't. You can never remember everything, but if you have a general understanding and can look it up, you will be A-OK. So how do you figure out the circles you will need when you want to make a bolster or neck pillow?
Here is a remnant piece of fabric I used to test out a Waving Flag Embroidery Design. Which you can see here in my store. When I stitch out my designs, I always have a lot of these around my studio and I like to make small quick projects with them. I am not working from a pre-determined pattern. Instead, I am using the piece of fabric in the size I have available. So, to make a bolster or neck pillow, I need to figure out how big the circle needs to be for that specific size fabric. First you need to do some measuring.
I know that when I sew this pillow I am going to fold the right sides together and sew that long edge to make a tube.
This opening on the ends of that tube is where the circles will be inserted into. So I will need that measurement. It is too hard to try and get it measured right when it is in a circle.
If I open it back up and lay it flat, I will measure that edge. This is called the Circumference. Now stick with me if that makes the brain fog start to come over you like it does to me. For some reason, the word Circumference is confusing to me. It sounds so much like the word circle. If you remember that circumference can be a "Linear" or a flat LINE measurement it might make more sense. When I lay out my fabric edge flat , I have a "Line" or "linear" measurement that will be my circumference.
If you look at the formula above, you will put that measurement where it says Circumference. My edge was 13.25 inches. Then you will divide that number by pi (3.14) Once you have done that, you will have the Diameter of that circular opening. Mine was 4.219. That is all you need to know. If I keep my fabric edge length this size I need to cut a circle that will measure 4.219 inches across. Using this formula, you can work with any size fabric you have in your stash to make a quick bolster pillow. I didn't want to try and cut out a circle that had all of those numbers after the decimal point, so I figured out my formula again until I had a number close to 4.
I cut my fabric edges to 12.5 inches and my formula showed 3.98 inches. I rounded it up to 4 so now I know I should be able to cut a circle that is four inches wide (Or has a 4 inch DIAMETER) and if I use the same seam allowance on that long edge and when I sew the circles in, everything should fit. How will I cut out a perfect four inch circle though?
You have many different choices. You can use a compass, ruler with many holes or a pencil and piece of string.
Another great option is to make your own circle template. This is my choice because it makes more sense to me and the way I "see" measurements. Also, the circle sizes are already figured out for me. Once I know my size circle, I just pick the right number and the template does the heavy math lifting. If you will be sewing bolster pillows on a regular basis and you want to be able to quickly cut out circles, this template will make your measuring and cutting easier.
I really like to use the cutting mats from Dollar Tree for my templates. They are easy to lay on top of things I have drawn out on paper and trace.
So here is how I drew this circle template out. I used my cutting mat and since I will be drawing circles by placing something on one end and tracing around, I know that I need to use half of my circle measurements. See the one inch mark on my mat? If I place my pencil there and move the template around, I will actually trace a two inch circle. If I use the two inch measurement it will make a four inch circle and so on.
Here is my circle. I used the mark at the 4 and now I have a four inch circle.
I sewed the long seam on my pillow right sides together. Leave a small opening in the middle of that long seam so you can turn the pillow later. Then I pinned the circles with right sides facing in to the tube ends. If you finger press the circles and the pillow it is easier to match your seam.
Sew around the circles, clip the curves and turn the pillow. Stuff it and sew the opening closed.
Now you have a finished bolster pillow. These are really nice when lounging on your favorite couch or chair. I am using this one in my studio at my desk chair for lower back support.
Here is a graphic if you want to try to create your own circle template. I also have a PDF download below. If you print it out, use the one inch scale to make sure it is accurate. Then trace over it onto one of the Dollar Tree Cutting Mats. I also have a You Tube video that shows the template in action and sewing the pillow. 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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