I love walking through my local Dollar Tree and searching for unique items I can upcycle. It is kind of thrilling to get that spark of inspiration and see it actually come to life. The price point makes it attractive also. My latest Embroidery design is called Coffee Time Pad and it is made using a Dollar Tree Microfiber product.
These are the microfiber pads that I found in the personal care section of my store. There were four different color selections available. I like the pads because they are made from a microfiber material on one side and that is perfect to catch any coffee drips and keep a cup stable on your surface. It is pretty sweet that they are already finished around the edges with binding also. The opposite side is a scrubby material but the design will cover that area with fabric.
It is a very easy project done in a 4x4 hoop and I was able to complete 12 of them in a few hours. If you have fabric scraps in your stash, this is a great way to use them up.
You can see here that I am trimming away the excess material while it is still in the hoop. This design will use a 4x4 piece of scrap fabric. If you are like me, you probably have many of those.
All of the edges get covered after that and you are ready to remove from the hoop. I did use wash away stabilizer and after trimming closely, I was able to remove the extra with warm water.
A little extra bonus in the design download is this graphic. If you print it out on card stock, you have a perfect gift card that the mug rug can be slipped into after some trimming.
Instead of sewing one at a time, I used my larger hoop and ganged them up to four in one hooping. This made my stabilizer go a little further.
Here is the removal of the extra stabilizer once they are out of the hoop. When they are dry, you can insert them into the cards.
I made the entire batch of colors I purchased and they will be going to one of my local senior citizen homes. I have brought other projects to them in the past and they love getting things they can use in Bingo or game days for prizes. These would be awesome for that.
So have I inspired you to look for those unique upcycling ideas at your Dollar Store? You never know what you might find browsing the shelves. I have filmed a tutorial video you can watch below to see how the Coffee Time Pads come together. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Time is surely passing quickly and Easter is upon us. In honor of holy week and springtime, I am releasing my latest design today for an In The Hoop Bible Cover. This project is designed to cover a small bible that measures 3 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall. I purchased mine from my local Dollar Tree
The entire cover is quilted and there is a cross stitched detail on the front of the cover. The back of the cover has a bible verse. The addition of a ribbon bookmark with a free standing lace cross and ribbon closure dresses up the cover nicely. The snaps allow the bible to close so you can place any small items inside the front or back pockets like an announcement from a newspaper.
My Dollar Tree has these small bibles in two colors. Look for them in the book section. They are usually stocked on the very top shelf. If your store doesn't have them, you may be able to locate a similar size at another big box location.
The project will have two separate parts so you need a 4x4 hoop to do the Free standing lace. Then you need a 5x7 hoop to sew the actual cover.
Free standing lace is a lot of fun to stitch out because it is done with wash away stabilizer. Here you see the small cross just after I have pulled it out of the hoop. Your best bet is to try to leave some of the stabilizer in the item so it gets stiff as it dries. I accomplish this by using a small spray of water and my iron with a pressing cloth.
I also use an additional spray of starch on the item while it is wet so that as it dries, it will get even crisper. Then if you wash the item later, you can always use starch again to retain the shape.
All of the design elements for the cover sew in the 5x7 hoop and that includes adding the ribbons for the snap closure and book mark. You can cut your bookmark ribbon short or long. I wanted mine to hang just outside of my bible when it was complete.
When it comes out of the hoop you will have trimming to do and then turning the entire book cover so you can close it up. I used a needle and thread but hem tape would work also.
When you are ready to attach the Free Standing Lace cross to the ribbon, you will need to set your machine to a zig zag stitch. The ribbon is simply threaded through the eye of the cross and then doubled over the back. This zig zag will sew both layers together. On a side note, the embroidery design for the free standing lace cross could be used on it's own. If you have a bible with a ribbon in it already, just stitch this out and add it to your favorite one or gift a Free standing lace cross to a friend or family member. Such a cute little treasure.
The final steps will be installing the snaps on the book cover itself and the ribbon. I like to fold the end of my ribbon on itself to create a double thickness before I install the snap. This will give it extra strength. I usually also seal the end of the ribbon with a lighter after I trim the extra length so it does not fray.
When you download the design, you will receive a set of full color instructions that take you step by step. This little bible cover has so many uses and it is inexpensive since I purchased mine at the Dollar Tree. Think Bridal parties for favors, Baptism or dedication ceremonies, gifts for shut ins, retirements centers or cancer treatment units, or just to carry along with you. This is a sweet item that will be a pleasure to open and read, mark your favorite passage or particular scripture you are studying, or hold when comfort is needed.
There is a full video tutorial you can watch below (JUST CLICK ON THE VIDEO PLAY BUTTON ICON) where I take you through an entire project. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Brand New Patch Embroidery designs are being released today! Who doesn't love Pizza? I have been trying a new diet and of course the first thing you want is exactly what you are not supposed to have. So I consoled myself by digitizing these new patch designs. Let's take a look at them and dream about our favorite toppings.
You are going to see a recurring theme with these patches. Usually I can pass up junk food, but the minute I think I can't have it, my brain gets stuck. So this First Pizza Embroidery Design really shows that when I was working, all I wanted to do was drop everything and call for delivery. Here are a few project ideas for you.
The next design Pizza Crust Embroidery is an homage to bread, which by the way is not on my diet. I could really go for a deep dish right about now. Check out some cute project ideas below
The next patch design, Rain Pizza Embroidery was my wish that the floodgates of heaven would open and Pizza would appear around me. It could happen...RIGHT? More cute ideas for you here.
My final design Stolen Heart Pizza Embroidery says it all. I had to just admit that Pizza is at the top of my list of loves in life. See just a few ways you can use this patch design.
So while you watch these patches and start to get hungry, let me tell you about what comes in each design download. You will receive multiple design files for various machines. If you check out each design, you can click on the graphics and there is a list attached. Also in the file, there will be a design sheet to follow along with while you stitch the patch, an SVG file in case you want to cut your fabric with an electronic cutter, a paper pattern to use instead and full color instructions. When you are done stitching and the patch is ready you can sew it on your project of choice or add your own fusible adhesive to make the patch iron on ready.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. If you aren't on a diet, eat a slice of PIZZA for me!
Brand New African Sunrise Embroidery Designs are releasing today. Wow! These have been FUN to stitch! Such beautiful colors and mesmerizing to watch all of the Light fills come together to create Blending. In my part of the world, we are about to move our clocks forward one hour this weekend. That means longer days and hopefully some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I believe that has got to be the thing I miss the most when we are in our Winter. Our daylight is short and when we do get a sunny day, the light is very dim. I have never been to Africa, but when I think of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, it has to be the image that pops up in my mind.
The Elephant Sunrise Design has blended colors with a Yellow halo surround. The Elephant is simple and elegant.
The Giraffe Sunrise design holds your gaze with long eye lashes on the giraffe. Can't you just imagine her chewing leaves while she stands in the morning sun?
The Lion Sunrise Embroidery design is a perfect reminder of why they are the king of the African landscape. He's not smiling, unless he's thinking about his next meal?
The Rhino Sunrise embroidery design is simple yet tough. Just look at that stance. I would not want to confront this guy anywhere. Maybe he's just enjoying the morning? Maybe not?
How about doing a wall hanging with all of the designs?
A quilt would be another creative idea. Or how about placemats or table runners? I'm thinking animal prints? Have I inspired you to start a new project? I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Just released today is my In The Hoop Alphabet Pennant design. This set is going to provide so many fun projects and there is a backstory to it. Last year at this time (In fact this exact week), I had plans. We all know where we were and what we had going on the moment we realized everything had changed with the pandemic. This design has been ready to go for a year but I just didn't feel like it was a good time to put it out yet. My original thought was it would be perfect for retail spaces or classrooms. Since that was in my mind I didn't expand enough to realize it would be perfect for home offices, or kids' bedrooms. Maybe you would like to make signs for medical facilities, retirement centers, thank your local fire department or essential workers at the grocery store. So, a good lesson learned. Sometimes waiting a bit and looking at something in a different time will give you perspective. Let's take a look at what is in the set.
Each one of the pennants will complete in one 5x7 hooping. Customize them to your space with fabric and thread. You can use prints, solids, stripes, polka dots, you name it.
The hangers are created by using 5/8 inch grosgrain ribbon. Just another material that you can change up. How about a sports theme for a bedroom? Or dinosaurs? Maybe princesses? Unicorns? Once you get started, you may not stop. This one set could potentially keep you occupied for a while.
Here are all of the Letters, Numbers and Punctuation that come in the Pennant Set. That is a lot of embroidery design possibilities!
Here is a finished pennant so you can see the size.
For a different view next to my hand you can see that they are bright and cheerful. The text is large enough to see across the room.
Look at all of the different colors I used to make these pennants. If you have remnants in your stash like me, this is a great way too use them up. Those special life events are still happening even though we are social distancing. If you create pennants for someone you can celebrate via remote and hang your sign up. Have I got your creative ideas going yet? I have filmed a tutorial video you can watch below that will take you through the entire process.
I hope you are well in your corner of the world, have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
When you start doing machine embroidery, you find that there is an infinite supply of alternate stitches and materials to try. I have written about Mylar projects in the past,( You can see another blog post here. ) and I wanted to revisit it because I have really been having fun this week in my studio. My first design Pot of Gold is a nod to St. Patrick's day which is right around the corner.
In this design I wanted to see if I could incorporate regular stitching details as well as the fill for Mylar. I thought it would add more dimension and I was pleased with the results. The handles for the Pot sew first with a satin stitch and an outline for the pot itself. This tells you where the Mylar will be placed
Then a piece of Mylar is placed over the entire hoop surface. I used a small amount of adhesive spray to hold it down but you could also use masking tape. If you are not familiar with Mylar, look for it in the gift wrap section of your store. It comes in several different colors and will usually reflect the thread color used. So you can keep one color in your studio and depending on the project thread, you will still have versatility.
All of the Mylar details stich out and then the hoop is removed from the machine. At this time the Mylar should be easy to tear away because the needle perforates along the edges. I find that the best way to tear it is toward the design. This puts pressure on those edges. Any small pieces can be removed with tweezers.
Then you replace the hoop back in your machine so the last details can sew. The gold in this case is a really cute motif stitch that resembles coins.
That sparkle on the entire design is so satisfying and this picture doesn't do it justice. In person under the light or even in sunlight it is beautiful. I am always trying new materials and as of yet, metallic thread hasn't won me over. I am determined to find a brand that I like but each time I do some experimentation, I inevitably have to disassemble my machine because the thread flakes off in my check springs. This causes the sensor to stop my machine from sewing so I have not had great luck in the past with any brand of metallic thread. I will keep trying and when I find one, I will surely pass it on. If you have had similar problems with metallic thread, you may want to try Mylar because you will get that sparkle you love without metallic thread issues.
This Pot O Gold embroidery design would be perfect for St. Patrick's day stitched on a towel, pillow or added to a T Shirt
My next new design is really sparkly. You wouldn't think a design so simple could look dressy but this one definitely does.
I think it is the thread color combination that makes this look like tiny diamonds all over. I am in love with this Mylar Elephant.
Again, this design will show you exactly where to place the Mylar first.
Once the fill has completed you will remove the hoop from your machine. You can see I just used plain silver Mylar for this design. See how the thread color determines the finished result on this one versus the previous Pot O Gold Design.
Then the Mylar is torn away and instant sparkle. Replace the hoop in your machine.
Then all of the final details stitch out. Don't you love that check fabric?
Just a couple of cute project ideas for this design.
I did put the Mylar Elephant design on baby bib to see how it would look and I think it would be absolutely precious but let's talk about care of your garments with Mylar designs. A baby bib does get washed frequently and you can launder your Mylar projects with care. I would advise using a delicate cycle on your machine or hand washing. Maybe even use a laundry sack for undergarments. Then hang to dry or machine fluff/dry on low. If you need to press out a few wrinkles I would always use a press cloth on the reverse side of the Mylar so it doesn't come into direct contact. Remember, it is a synthetic material so it will need to be treated like you would any other delicate textile.
So are you inspired to try Mylar with your embroidery? I think you will really have fun watching the sparkle come to life. 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 recently was commissioned to do machine embroidery on several masks. When I begin any project, but especially embroidery on multiple items, there is a mental checklist that helps me work through any issues before I start. Of course the first thing I think about is the embroidery design and if it will be possible to place it on the item. If I need to do any digitizing to alter the stitch count or size that is usually what I do immediately and then stitch samples. The size matters and on this project I chose to use a 2 inch x 2 inch format which is a great size for adult masks. The next thing I think about is what fabric type I will be stitching on and stabilizer choices. Once I have these things determined, I start looking at logistics and how much time it will take to complete the individual items.
I am very fond of using templates to help assist with embroidery placement. I have written other articles and there is a very detailed one along with a video you might like to see here. For this particular mask, I created a template that could be used over and over. Templates help shorten the preparation time and assist with accurate design placement. I make these templates from chopping mats seen below.
When I am in my local Dollar Tree I tend to pick up several because I know eventually I will use them. They are easy to draw on with permanent markers and plain scissors can be used to cut them out.
I specifically wanted to reduce the number of times I would need to hoop a piece of stabilizer for these masks. Normally I use the smallest hoop possible for embroidery but in the case of masks the hoop can be just about any size as long as it is bigger than your design.. Since the masks are not an easy shape to place inside a hoop I knew they would require floating on top of the stabilizer with spray adhesive and masking tape. You could also use sticky back stabilizer but I had plans to use my magnetic hoop. I like to use the Dollar Tree brand of tape because it has a low adhesive quality and I have had good luck removing it without damaging fabric or stabilizer between sewing designs.
I used my 10x10 inch Mighty Hoop and with a Frixion pen, I drew a grid that would help me place each mask in a specific area. Any time you embroider something in a hoop, you will have an area around the perimeter that is a "No Sew" zone. Your machine can either read this with built in sensors or you may need to choose or program hoops in your machine and then tell it which one you are using. The machine can read the programmed Hoop Map which includes the measurements that are safe and leave room away from the edge of the hoop for your sewing foot. By creating a grid before I began stitching, I could see how many designs I could safely sew in each hooping. I used my cutting mat grid to help measure everything. Since I knew the design size, I could determine the number of times my machine could be re positioned safely. This might seem like a lot of work but a little planning in the beginning actually made my process go very smoothly.
I like to use a six inch Omnigrid ruler to draw my lines. First I make a square around the hoop. Then I make center marks vertically and horizontally. Small X's tell me exactly where to place the middle of each mask.
I use my template and mark the design placement with a chalk marker on the mask. The grid on the stabilizer helps line everything up so you know it will be straight. Small items like this are hard to judge especially with the curves and shapes of the masks. The temporary adhesive spray and masking tape are used to hold the mask in place. I also used a couple of straight pins on the left side so there would be even tension all around.
By starting in the top right side of the hoop, you can complete that design and then use tape to hold the mask out of the way for your next design. Move to the bottom right and complete that one. Then move to the left top and then left bottom. Each time, you can position the extra fabric out of the way with masking tape. Having the small X's marked on the stabilizer helps with placement each time and knowing that you will have room to sew the design. Remember to check that the mask is right side up or being sewn in the correct area. Your X's marked on the stabilizer will help keep that part simple as the longer you sew similar items, you might tend to get tired. It is easy to lose track or feel a monotonous relaxing of your senses while you watch each design so always double check your placement on the mask. These had a small tag on the right side so that helped me know each mask was correctly oriented before sewing.
Positioning your foot on the center where the design will start sewing will also ensure you are on the right spot. Here you see my foot ready to go and I am pointing to the straight pins holding the outer edge of the mask. I also stay close to my machine when I float items in a hoop. No walking away. I keep my mind on the machine and if I need to do trimming on other masks or preparation, I station myself near it.
Here are all four mask designs completed. The back shows that placement on the center and the front shows each mask held in place with masking tape.
Once done, you just need to trim away the stabilizer. These masks were 100% cotton but they had stretch and a lining. I used cutaway stabilizer to make sure they had good structure for the designs. They will be washed and dried a lot and the cutaway stabilizer will help keep the design for the life of each mask. It is also firm enough to withstand the pressure of multiple designs. I would not try this with tearaway stabilizer as the needle perforations might loosen the tension and registration would suffer.
I always like to use a lint roller after trimming away loose thread tails. These masks were provided by my client so I took extra care with his packaging and reused all of it.
Here they are boxed up and ready to go. I filmed a video that you can watch below. It shows my entire process and goes into a little more detail. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Embroidery Placement is one of those subjects that most people have questions about. I recently had a comment on one of my You tube videos that pointed to that subject. So I decided to look at some of the various tools I currently use or have in the past.
I think this might be the most important thing to learn when you are machine embroidering and I really struggled with it in the beginning. Knowing your machine capabilities with the hoop sizes available to you is the first step. If your machine came with one hoop, say a 4x4, you will be able to stitch embroidery designs no larger than 3.93 x3.93 inches. That 4x4 hoop is also known as a 100mm x 100mm hoop in metric conversion. Sometimes you may purchase designs that are denoted in inches but many will also have those metric numbers. I like to keep this chart handy near my machine so I can quickly glance at it before I begin any project. The size of your design will be constrained by not only your hoop size but the area you want to place it on your project. I have found exceptions to this chart with some designs. My Mighty Hoops have a "suggested" maximum that can vary between two measurements. Depending on the design shape, the rounded corners of the hoop will sometimes cause issues where I need to reduce the size. So always do a trace of your design on your machine before you begin to make sure it will fit inside the hoop and not strike the sides.
Templates are one of my favorite tools when doing machine embroidery. This picture shows a 4x4 hoop and the template that came with it. If you will look closely, you will see the template has a small purple square with a grid. This is the actual sewing field available in the hoop. Most of the time, these will be roughly 1/2 inches inside the hoop edge. That is a default determined by the machine manufacturer to make sure you will not damage anything. On my commercial machine, there are ways to extend this a little in the settings, but I would not suggest doing so without the assistance of your technical support. This template is helpful for placement because it has a cross hair in the center that lines up with the four markings on the hoop itself. The small circle in the top of the template allows you to remove it once you have your item hooped.
Although I like to use the templates that came with my hoops, I do have some that did not have any when I purchased them. So I make my own using these chopping mats purchased from Dollar Tree.
Here is one I made for my 5x5 Mighty Hoop. I used a permanent marker, hole punch and scissors to customize it exactly how I wanted.
You may not realize it, but you probably have a template in most of your embroidery designs that is easy to use. This is a printout of one of my free designs and as you can see there is a cross hair in the center. I like to use these to mark placement and also see how a design will look on my projects. I usually will cut the center cross and use a chalk marker to show me where I need to place my hoop.
Here is a closeup of my chalk marker. These can be purchased at most sewing and quilting stores. You can buy replacement cartridges or loose chalk to fill it. The chalk comes out when the small rolling teeth go across the fabric surface. I like chalk because in most cases it brushes off fabrics and won't leave any marks. Now I will warn you that if you mix that chalk with another marking pen like a disappearing one and then iron or place heat on it, you may set the color. So always test the fabric before you make your marks.
I also like to keep many different rulers and tape measures close by when I am placing my embroidery. Working with fabric can be tricky because it moves and distorts. This small six inch ruler is great to work in smaller areas.
Placement rulers can be a helpful way to get a measurement for apparel. I have a couple of different ones and I will say that they sometimes differ in their suggestions. Most commercial placement rulers have a disclaimer that the final area is determined by the person doing the embroidery. So just be aware that these are meant to assist but they are not always the final or perfect tool. If I am doing many shirts or garments, I will usually make my own templates so placement can be done quickly without guesswork.
Here you can see one that I use for shirts. This was made using one of the chopping mats. I usually make one for each size that I will be working with. I make notes on the template telling me where the design should go. I will draw buttons, collars, seams or any defining placement areas so I can lay it on top of the garment quickly. Then I have a cross hair cut out that I can mark with my chalk marker. This one has two cross hairs because depending on the design shape or customer preference, I may need to move it 1/2 inch on this particular shirt. There is not a perfect location. Each project may need to be tweaked a bit.
I do like to use my Echidna hooping station to assist in lining up the hoop. The magnets hold the stabilizer in place so it does not slide around. Then I can confidently place the garment or fabric and quickly secure the top hoop.
Before I purchased my hooping station, I did primarily use temporary adhesive spray. This holds your stabilizer in place until you can hoop the fabric. I have in the past had some shirts Pill when the stabilizer is removed after stitching so always do a test with a garment that I don't mind damaging. I try to have extras for this purpose. It saves some stress in the event you have a machine malfunction or if it's "Just One Of Those Days"
I find that the hardest part of hooping any project is knowing where the bottom hoop is located. You can't see it once you put your fabric on top. That is where the templates come in handy. Here you see I have a towel on top of my hoop and I am using my template to "feel" the bottom hoop location. If I have marked my placement with my chalk marker, I can also Line up that chalk inside of the cross hair of the template.
Then I can place the top hoop on and decide if that placement will be good. I will tell you that this doesn't always go as planned. No worries, just take it out and try again. Some fabrics are harder than others. The location of the embroidery can be tricky also if you are embellishing a ready made product. Don't get frustrated and sew it because you are tired. Take a break and come back to it later.
So templates are a great way to line up projects. They are also an inexpensive tool that you can print off or make yourself. I found that once I started getting the hang of using them, I enjoyed creating my own as it helped me understand the hooping process more. This blog post is just the tip of embroidery placement. I have more detailed information in my video below. I show you how I use all of these tools. If you are interested, scroll down and watch it. I bet you will pick up some new tricks of your own.
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 approaching and once again I have steered myself back into my studio. This project won't take too much time and it would make a wonderful gift for someone in your life.
I had this drying mat in my stash and I thought it would be perfect to upcycle into a wine bag. If you have a Dollar Tree in your town, they usually have a good selection of colors and for One Dollar you can create a personalized item. Maybe you aren't going to attend your normal New Year's Eve party but you still want to celebrate with family, friends or neighbors? How about delivering a bottle of wine to them as a surprise? Leave it on their front porch or hang the bag on their doorknob?
This project really is just a few seams. The padded material of the drying mat is great to protect the glass bottle. Maybe customize yours with embroidery. I used my latest New Year Balloons design that you can find here. Some pretty satin ribbon is an easy handle.
I used a 4x4 hoop with tear away stabilizer and floated my drying mat in the embroidery hoop with temporary adhesive spray.
After doing the embroidery, I placed right sides together with clips and sewed along the bottom and side of the mat. Make sure you lengthen your stitch and use a larger needle.
I created boxed corners with zig zag stitching on the bottom. This makes it flat once you turn it inside out. You can trim these away but I left mine as they give a little more structure to the bag.
The satin ribbon is folded under on each end and stitched to the outer sides. The box and cross stitching will give extra security to the wine bottle in the bag.
Now you are ready to add the wine or any other libation of your choosing. I filmed a short You tube video that you can watch below that will take you through the entire process. I hope you are well in your part of the world and that you have enjoyed this along with my other posts, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My latest embroidery designs are close to my heart because they were requested by a family member. When the pandemic started, I set to work on drafting a face mask design that you can find here. Then I went to work sewing many masks and mailing them to my family in South Louisiana. I put them in individual polybags and asked that they distribute as they saw fit to anyone in need. At that time when everything was new, supplies were short so everyone was looking for any kind of face covering. I sewed a mask for my uncle that is a Navy veteran and the fabric had ships and compasses all over it. Last week he was filling up at a gas station and a man came across the parking lot to talk to him. He saw the fabric, commented on the mask and said he wished someone could make him one that had his Shrimping profession on it. That is all it took for me to get to work on sewing a new batch of masks and getting them mailed to my family again. So Mr. Reuben or "T-Reub" this is for you. I hope you love your custom mask.
The Trawler Embroidery design is perfect alone or you can add custom text like a personal or business name above or below. The boat design is less than 2 inches square so it will work great on masks, caps or hats. See the inspiration pictures below for some gift ideas.
The Compass Embroidery Design is also less than two inches square so it will work on masks, caps or hats. You know any person that fishes as a profession or hobby uses compasses and maps to navigate the waters. This design looks great by itself but the addition of a name will make it really special. Campers, hikers or scouts would love this also. See the inspiration pictures below.
The Shrimp Embroidery Design is one of my new favorites. I love how simple and clean it looks stitched in the white thread against the navy fabric. If you have a shrimper or chef in your life they will love this stitched on their favorite items, like masks, hats, towels and shirts. Add their name and they might cook up a nice meal for you. See the inspiration photos below.
This picture shows the piece of fabric in my hoop after it has been embroidered. If you are making custom masks, just draw the outline of the mask pattern with chalk and you can place the design right where you need it before you sew up the masks.
Here are just a few of the custom masks ready to send out. I did sew a special one for my uncle with the Navy veteran logo embroidered on it. Sadly I don't offer this embroidery design, because the Navy logo is trademarked by the Naval Department, so without their permission, I would only sew this for family members as gifts. I think my uncle will love it though.
I do have one more embroidery design that was just released a few days ago and it ties in with my South Louisiana Heritage. This Sportsman Paradise design has a Pelican sitting on a log which is something that you will see if you are ever visiting along the Gulf Of Mexico. It is perfect for those outdoorsman or anyone that loves Louisiana culture. Check out some Inspiring photos below.
So that brief meeting at a gas station started all of this. Mr. Reuben did you know when you walked across that parking lot and spoke to my uncle that you would inspire these embroidery designs? I loved creating all of them and making masks which I hope the receivers will enjoy wearing. Maybe the embroidery will spark conversations like the one you had with my uncle and give a moment of normalcy to this time in our lives. We from South Louisiana love to talk and visit after all. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Life's celebrations are one of the things we can count on. No matter what happens, we will always have loved ones, friends or co-workers that will be celebrating milestones. In honor of that I have digitized several new designs that are releasing today. Of course, we all have birthdays in our lives. This Happy Birthday Embroidery design stitches in a 4x4 hoop and within just a few minutes you will have a hip customized project. Also, this design is part of my Celebrations design pack that includes three other celebratory designs! See them below.
Do you know someone who is celebrating and needs a little congratulating? My Congratulations Embroidery Design is part of the Celebration Design Pack also. This 4x4 design can be customized with any color under the sun and would be perfect for so many occasions!
Help someone acknowledge that special date with my Happy Anniversary Embroidery Design. This would be beautiful in any thread color but Golds and Silvers would be very luxurious. This 4x4 design is part of the Celebrations Design pack also.
My Good Luck Embroidery design will help you send that special person off with a very meaningful wish. This 4x4 design is also part of my Celebrations Design pack. The best part about these four embroidery designs is they are all ready for you to pick your favorite thread color and within just a short time, you can have a very special customized project.
So I bet you know what is next? Birthdays for those little ones in your life. We all like to celebrate those special days that only come once in a lifetime. I have several birthday embroidery designs that you can stitch up in your 4x4 hoop. Let me show them to you with a few inspirational projects. This is My First Birthday Embroidery Design. These all include text and an Applique Number.
How about stitching this on a cute and soft bib?
This is My Second Birthday Embroidery Design and remember that you can always customize the colors on these so they will be perfect for many little ones.
I know a lot of two year old children that love to cuddle underneath a cover. They will know which blanket is theirs with this stitched on the corner.
When you get to My Third Birthday you can start working on those older projects for your special little people. Or have you thought about using any of these designs for your pets? They love birthday gifts too!
All kids love a Shirt just for them and they can tell everyone how old they are. I see birthday cake on the front of this one already!
My Fourth Birthday embroidery design lets those little buddies know they are still special and that you are taking time to create memorable gifts for them.
So how about a cute apron that they can wear while doing their crafts or helping you in the kitchen?
We have made it to My Fifth Birthday Embroidery design and they aren't babies anymore but I bet they still let you hug and kiss them. Let them be little as long as they can and make that homemade gift they will love to show off.
Now they are big enough to carry their own bag. A cute backpack for pajamas and overnight stays would be an awesome project for this design!
We have so many celebrations to look forward to and my wish is that these designs get you inspired to be creative. Remember how good it feels to give. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
It is that time of year when the turkey becomes part of our holiday season. Today I am releasing this new In The Hoop Turkey Ornament as my ode to that tradition. This project is fun because two hoopings are required. The first hooping uses a 4x4 embroidery hoop which creates the face and details of the turkey.
If you look closely at the picture, you can see that the face/body is attached with a U shaped stitch just around the widest part of the body. This creates a small pocket that is perfect to hide small surprises. What kind of surprises? Keep reading.
The second hooping is done in a 5x7 hoop and I love this one because you can go through your seasonal fabric. If you look at the picture above you will see all of the fluffy fabric edges or Chenille. This makes the fabric look like the turkey's feathers. If you have Fall inspired charm packs, they would be so cute in different turkey ornaments. If you have never done chenille techniques, it is really easy using a small chenille or wire brush. The design comes with a full set of color instructions. Also, I have created a video you can watch below to make sure you can work through the process. So be sure to check that out.
So what can you do with this ornament? Here I have used it as a napkin ring. These would be precious at each of your place settings. Remember that pocket created by the turkey face? Slide a small dinner mint or hand written note in the pocket for a sweet take home gift for your guests.
Another unique idea would be to add a few drops of scented oils to a small piece of felt. Slide the felt into the turkey pocket and make your own seasonal air freshener. Hang this in your kitchen, bathroom or car. Bringing a bottle of wine to a gathering? Hang it on the bottle for a cute hostess gift.
If you don't want to hang it as an ornament, you can always use the turkey as a cute mug rug to dress up your work space.
I bet you have other creative ways to use an In The Hoop Turkey Ornament. Fall is a season of many blessings and my wish is that yours is very full. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
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!
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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