We are one week into 2023. How are you doing with your resolutions? Have you made any plans for change this year? Do you have a new focus? Maybe you are ready for a change but not sure where to start? I have a simple one for you that will make all the difference in your sewing and embroidery world at least.
Your sewing needle is one of the easiest things to change. They are inexpensive but can make or break your stitching. My last blog was all about bobbin cases and when to change them. I would say that 90 percent of my problems with tension in my embroidery machine are usually related to my bobbin. The other 10 percent can be attributed to my hooping, stabilizer, fabric choice and needle. Now I don't know if you realize this but a brand new needle out of the package can have flaws. I recently tried a new brand from a local big box store and every machine needle in the pack was off center. By that I mean the flat part of the needle back and the eye were not struck the same. When sewing, my thread kept shredding if it picked up at all. Have you seen a lowering of quality in your sewing needles lately? Maybe other notions you usually purchase are not up to the norm? Buying your supplies from the cheapest outlet will sometimes lead to disappointment. I know I won't buy that brand anymore.
Here is another sign that the needle needs to be changed. You are sewing along and you start to see the bobbin thread. Normally on my flatbed machine, I don't need to adjust the bobbin tension at all. On my multi needle, I usually check the tension at each bobbin change. When my flatbed single needle starts acting up like the picture above it is usually an indication that the needle has become dull. Instead of piercing the fabric and moving in between the thread fibers, it will pound the top thread down. It may look like white space or poorly digitized fill shapes at the join areas. You may even hear a distinct sound change in your machine as this happens.
Here is a second stitch out after a needle change. Look how much smoother the fill is with no separation of thread at the junctions. Everything is the same except the needle. I used the same design, kept the original hooping, original stabilizer, bobbin and thread. When you change one thing at a time, you can isolate the problem more easily.
This was the needle I changed to. I have a local sewing machine dealership and the owner has been repairing sewing machines for longer than most people in my age group have been alive. He has seen it all. On a recent trip to his store and in speaking to him about my needle woes he recommended I keep these in my studio. They did the trick on my flatbed machine. Like a knife through hot butter. Just a plug for your local dealership or quilt shop. They have so much knowledge and training. It is worth it to drop by and talk to them. They love helping you with sewing and embroidery.
So here is that stitch out comparison again. What a difference a new needle can make. What does all of this have to do with resolutions? If you need a New Year change and aren't sure where to start, here it is. Change your needle. You can do this one. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Your bobbin case gets a lot of use in your embroidery machine. Think of it like your car. You maintain it by keeping gas in the tank, changing the oil and washing it on a regular basis. For bigger problems, you have a mechanic look at it and if needed you replace parts.
Your bobbin case and bobbin area on your machine needs to be maintained by cleaning and applying oil on a regular basis. Through use, the bobbin case that holds your thread can become damaged if you have dropped it or you might not be able to adjust the tension to your normal setting. So the case might need to be replaced with a new one. I have had bobbins work one day and the next day when I turn on my machine, they are extremely loose on the tension. After cleaning and trying to adjust them with no success, I will usually put them through my Bobbin Tension Gauge to see if the thread pulls off smoothly. If I see any jumping or uneven movement of the bobbin in the case, it is an indication the case may be warped or "Out Of Round".
A good clean bobbin with tension adjustments appropriate for your machine, thread, fabric etc will usually produce even separation of color. This example shows the upper thread on the outside blue color and the inner white bobbin thread.
A dirty bobbin can cause the middle or bobbin thread to look very jagged. When I see this in my stitches, especially satin, I will normally pull the bobbin thread out of the case and clean underneath the tension area with a business card. Sometimes that is all it takes along with using your tension gauge and adjusting the small screw on the side. If all of this fails, you may have a bobbin case that is out of round from wear or being dropped. It doesn't take much as the small metal flanges on the side are thin. You will feel a wobble when you pull the thread off the bobbin.
It is a good idea to keep extra bobbin cases with your machine spare parts. They aren't expensive and you can find the part number through your manufacturer or dealer. Another place to look is your owner's manual. I have a video below you can watch that shows how to clean the tension area and what the bobbin will look like with a wobble. This one was replaced and my machine is back to smooth stitching. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Christmas is almost here and our area is experiencing one of the coldest weather spells we have had in years. I thought a mug rug would be perfect to enjoy some hot cocoa with. It has been a while since I released a fringe design so my Fringe Christmas Tree Mug Rug is in my store today.
This embroidery design has a lot of different skills for such a quick project. You will have quilting. I love the Christmas tree motif that fills in the background.
There is raw edge applique on the trunk and the tree. This reduces the stitch count and makes it easier to work with the next step which is the fringe.
Fringe on your embroidery machine is a lot of fun. You will need to do some creative cutting on the bobbin threads once everything has completed. Don't worry, there are color instructions included.
A blunt object or your fingernail will pull those loops to the front. It is very satisfying to complete this step.
A little hand sewing and pressing then VOILA, you have a mug rug. I can see you now sipping something hot while you watch Christmas movies or the kids opening gifts. If you would like to see the entire project come together, watch the instruction 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.
This information is helpful and I think it would be a fun way for you to play with your machine even if you don't have a Baby Lock or Brother. Sometimes we need to move through all of the menu items and just look. Also, that quick read you did on the owner's manual when you opened your machine the first time has probably been forgotten. You may have some of these options available in your embroidery machine but you won't know unless you get brave and search.
A patch is usually a series of steps and all you have to do is let each one stitch out, then perform a task. If you have a run stitch and a satin stitch shape in your machine that are roughly the same size, you should be able to create a patch. My Baby Lock also has an Applique button so it will turn a run stitch shape into an applique with a satin outline.
In between those two steps there will usually be a tack down stitch that will sew and then stop allowing you to remove the hoop and carefully trim away the excess fabric. You don't have to have a satin outline on your patch. You could do raw edge applique, frayed edges on your fabric, decorative stitching, blanket stitching etc... In addition to the Applique button, you can manually add each step into the machine. You might prefer that method as it is a great way to become familiar with how patches will run on the machine.
If you have purchased a blank patch embroidery design like these, you can add your own fonts or text from the machine catalog. In the Baby Lock you press the add button and it will take you to the design area. So many fonts are available and you can resize them to fit inside the patch.
Your patch can be embroidered onto a clothing item or if you use Wash away cutaway stabilizer, you could have a patch with clean satin edges ready to adhere with stitches, glue or adhesive to an item like a beanie or shirt.
I made this quick patch using the manual process in my Baby Lock and I filmed a video to show you the applique and manual processes. Don't forget, I have digitized several blank patch designs in my store also. Just in case you don't have time to play and you need something right now. Are you ready to design a patch without software? Click on the video below and I know it will make you curious about your machine for sure. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Christmas usually signals cute gifts or promotional products. Machine embroidery on toilet paper can be a great inexpensive item that you can gift to so many different people or organizations. It is not hard to accomplish but you do need embroidery designs specifically digitized for toilet paper.
I have six new embroidery designs ready to help you with those gift exchanges, secret Santa games or possible promotion if you have an embroidery business.
Click on the link and you will be taken to the store page.
Some people will only use really thick toilet paper, but I have used both thick and cheaper brands. To accommodate the thin paper, just fold the end of the roll over itself several times. I hoop cutaway stabilizer and use a little spray adhesive to hold it in place while it sews.
In fact I buy the cases at my local Sam's Club and as of this blog post they are about .54 cents each. I also use the Great Value brand twist tie bags to wrap the completed rolls in. They are currently .03 cents each and you get 100 in a box. So with my time , stabilizer and the material cost I can make a promotional item or gift for very little money. I know you have a list of people like teachers, doctors, dentists, veterinarian etc that you might need a small gift for. Here are a few pictures of the Toilet Paper Embroidery designs available in my store.
Are you ready to try your hand at Embroidery on Toilet paper or do you just want to see how it is done? I have a video you can watch below that will show a complete design being sewn. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Do you need a cute Santa Hat to wear to work or a party this holiday season? I have a brand new Bah Humbug Santa Hat Embroidery Design being released today. It is digitized for two layers of fabric and cute text. You can customize it so may different ways and I know you will get the most comments from friends and family. Here is a little bit about the design.
Look at those two fabrics I used. An animal print and a polka dot! Who would have thought they would look so cute together? Then I topped it off with Lime green thread for the text.
Santa hats come in lots of colors and sizes. This one is an adult large and I used T Pins to secure it to the stabilizer while it sewed out. It really is a versatile design because you can change Bah Humbug Santa Hat Embroidery Design to any fabric and thread color that matches your Santa Hat
Look at that grumpy bear. This would be so perfect as a gift to that person who walks around saying Bah Humbug! If you want to see how easy it stitches out, watch the instruction 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.
Free standing lace embroidery designs are fun to make especially when you add mylar. Christmas is a perfect time to go over the top with sparkle. Mylar gift wrap is very inexpensive and comes in alot of colors so you can create an infinity of different looks. I am releasing a brand new set of FSL Mylar Christmas Embroidery designs.
The most important thing to remember about free standing lace is to use a matching bobbin. You will see both sides of the finished project and since this is designed to hang on a Christmas tree or wreath, you want both sides to be pretty.
Another great tip is to use two pieces of wash away stabilizer. This gives extra structure while the design sews out. I like to use silver Mylar because it is a great neutral to let your thread colors really show.
A FSL embroidery design will have loose fills to capture and tack the Mylar. It should also stitch around the perimeter enough to perforate the Mylar so you can tear it away.
Once you have removed the Mylar, a satin outline will clean everything up.
A short dip into some warm water will melt the stabilizer away. Not too long though. If you leave a little of that stabilizer in the design, it will dry just a bit stiffer. Here are the six designs included in the FSL Mylar Christmas Ornament Set
A Christmas Bird With Heart Wing
A Sparkly Christmas Tree With Red Trim
A Christmas Present
A Christmas Ornament that can be changed to so many different colors.
A Christmas Star
A Christmas Poinsettia. Stitch this is White or Red
Each design has less than 7000 stitches and they sew up within 15 minutes. You can either embroider them individually in a 4x4 hoop or gang them up in a larger one to save stabilizer. I have an instruction video below you can watch that will show how fun and easy these are created. I bet your kids or grandkids would love making these! How about slipping these ornaments into your Christmas Cards this year? These would also be great stocking stuffers for teachers, your doctor, dentist, postal carrier or any other person you want to give a small item to. 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 time is here to get those Christmas cards in the mail if you want them to arrive in time. I am releasing a brand new design today that will stitch a card using your embroidery machine. The Holy Night Card design is easy to complete. All you need is blank greeting cards designed to do embroidery on. OR... Heavy duty card stock. At least 80 pound similar to business cards. You can cut your cards to the size indicated in the pattern download and get to stitching.
I picked up these greeting cards from the OESD booth at the Houston quilt show and wanted to design a card for the Christmas Holidays. They do make it really easy since the envelopes come in the package also. Your local quilt shops probably have these in stock right now so they would be a great place to check.
You will use tearaway stabilizer in your hoop and once the placement line sews, adhesive spray. This keeps the card in place while stitching. Use the embroidery thread of your choice also.
Within about 15 minutes, you will have a completed card. Pretty paper and glue can be used to cover up the inside where all of the bobbin threads will show. Want to see how this Holy Night Card sews up? Watch the instruction 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 design is an In The Hoop Koozie. Even better, there are four different designs in the set. These are perfect for those family and friends who are crafters. If you are looking for stocking stuffers or inexpensive gifts, these are a really great option.
Each design stitches out in an 8x12 hoop. You will use a piece of fleece so it is a good stash buster for those smaller leftover pieces. Three of the designs will sew these cute sewing machines all over and have a place to add your own monogram like the one above.
They also have cute little sayings on the bottom of the koozie. This one is for embroidery lovers.
There is one for sewing lovers
I couldn't leave out those quilting lovers
The fourth design has sewing machines all over it and the bottom is plain. So you can make bunches of these up in advance and pass them out at your next quilt guild or hand out to friends and family who love to craft.
The design stitches out in about 25 minutes and is so simple. You will do some creative cutting in the hoop and then flipping of fabric. It really is a fun project to complete.
The koozies aren't insulated, but fleece feels so good and I am a person that loves tactile things. Holding a can or bottle of water with one of these elevates it in my opinion. Not to mention you can keep up with whose is whose in a group setting. So are you interested to see how these In The Hoop Koozies stitch up? There is an instruction 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.
It is that time of year and I have been seeing my Original Faux Leather Beanie Patch Design being a very popular download recently. One of my YouTube viewers asked if I could make more patches but larger for longer names. So that is just what I did. The original design completes a patch that is roughly 1.5 inches high x 3.3 inches wide. Here are the new sizes available in my store.
There is a 1.5 x 4 inch Beanie Patch Design that will require at least a 5x7 hoop. The original design was sampled in a 5x5 Mighty hoop, but this one will exceed that sewing space. You can use regular hoops or sticky stabilizer and fast frames.
A 1.5 x 5 inch Beanie Patch Design will give extra stitching room. It requires at least a 5x7 hoop as well. If you are curious, you can read my older post here also.
The largest is a 1.5 x 6 inch Beanie Patch Design. This will give you maximum stitching room to fill up the front of a beanie. It will also stitch in a 5x7 hoop and you may need to rotate your beanie when sewing out or the hoop position in your machine.
Here is a view of them side by side so you can see what they look like. There is also a Plain Beanie Embroidered Patch Set available in my store now. So if you want to have all four sizes available, you can.
There is a video you can watch below to see how my original design stitched out on a beanie. These new longer designs will embroider similarly. 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 Embroidery designs are being released today for Fake Fur. I know you might not want to think about it, but Christmas is really close. For those in the decorating world, our season is already underway. Stockings and Santa Hats are a big part of this time of year and fake fur will surely be at least one item you might be asked to embroider.
The Fake Fur Underlay design pack includes six different sizes you can place on your fake fur item and then add additional embroidery right over it. This will keep the fur pile laying down so your embroidery doesn't get swallowed up. Another name you may have heard this called is a "Knockdown Stitch" I like to call it a global underlay because that is a great way to think about it. It is essentially a light density fill underlay that covers the "global size of the design" Stabilizer is a matter of choice when using these designs. If your fake fur is very stable and you have a Mighty Hoop, you may not even need stabilizer. It is best to make samples before you try the designs on Client items. Fake fur differs between manufacturers. If you feel a stabilizer is needed or you are floating the items, tearaway can be used or sticky stabilizer for hard to hoop items.
Each design in the Fake Fur Underlay pack is going to have a height slightly larger than 2 inches. In researching Christmas Stockings and Santa Hats, the 2- 3 inch cuff is pretty common, so each design should fit well within that standard height. The widths will vary from 3 to 8.25 inches. So you should be able to find a global underlay design in this pack that will work for you as long as it will fit your hoop and the item to be embroidered on. Don't forget you can take seams out of items, do the embroidery and then re sew the seams. This is a common practice on things that are too tight to get in your hoop or over the arm of your embroidery machine.
As a bonus, the Christmas Text Design above is included in the download also. So are you ready to get started on your seasonal embroidery? I have a video below you can watch that shows how the designs will stitch out. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
If you have been doing embroidery for any length of time, you have probably received a request for patches. They are very popular to wear on clothing or add to accessories. Different groups are also known for them like law enforcement, fire departments and motorcycle riders to name a few. I have a brand new Blank Patch Embroidery design that is perfect to practice your patch making skills with. It finishes to 3.25 x 2.5 inches and can be made in a 4x4 hoop.
Since it is a plain patch design, you can add your own embroidery elements to it and customize. If you are not certain how to make the patches, I have a brand new video you can watch that shows the material I use as well as different tips for success.
I have found this Poly Patch Twill from DIME and it is one of my new favorite tools in my embroidery studio. There are many colors to choose from and it already has been stabilized. This makes for easier prep work.
I use my Silhouette Cameo to cut the twill and have good success with getting nice clean edges.
Here is an example of a test cut using the Silhouette. A cutting machine isn't the only way to prepare your patch fabric. You can also trace the paper pattern included in the download and use scissors or a rotary blade. If you do have an electronic cutter, an SVG file is included in the Patch design download for your use.
Once the patches are sewn there is final clean up work that needs to be done. This is just a teaser for you as the video has so much information , I know you will enjoy watching it. So drop below and click on the link. Don't forget to look for my new Blank Patch design. 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 the changing seasons mean more inside crafting to come; but, maybe you are in a dry creative place. It's totally ok to say that and I would encourage you. This summer has been a busy one for me as I decided to go deep into quilting. In fact, I created three smaller quilts, one queen size and one king size in the span of a few months. I immersed myself in so many detailed techniques, that I have run my tank a little low. So how do you get some of that tank filled up? You go easy on yourself and instead of hard projects, you do simple.
How's this for a pretty fall embroidery design? When I digitized it, the colors were plain, but the stich out gets a WOW factor from variegated thread. I took my time while digitizing this brand new Love Fall Most Of All embroidery design. I didn't think about anything in particular and just played. Once I was done, I did feel that tank slowly filling. Using the variegated thread added a little pizazz. So instead of needing too much extra energy to make a complicated design, thread makes it pop. Sometimes you just need
I sewed a cute little mug rug out of the stitch out and that made me feel even better because I realized my creative MOJO isn't gone, it just needs to get on a different track for a while. Do you sometimes feel that way? Maybe you need to pivot and do something different for a while. Changing weather and seasons are exciting for some people. Others have a harder time. You do you. Your sewing and crafting will be there waiting for you when you are ready.
Here are some other ideas for this Love Fall Most Of All embroidery design. You can click on the link to see it in my store. I also have a video below that shows the actual stitch out and finished mug rug. Maybe it will inspire you to do a small project and get past that creative block.
Welcome Fall and our future crafting endeavors! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work
Monograms on backpacks and lunch kits are very popular but you never really know what you are going to deal with until you start working on the actual item. Backpacks usually have larger front pockets but they can also have additional zippers, flaps or hardware that make them difficult to hoop for the actual embroidery. Lunchboxes will most always have some kind of fabric designed to maintain temperature. I have another blog post about doing patches on hard to hoop items. You can read it here. From that older blog post, I showed that the backpack had a lot of pockets and some of them were made of the ice cooler material. So I didn't want to undermine the quality of the fabrics. I made a patch and had to hand sew it to the pocket. If you have been doing machine embroidery for a while, you might think that hand sewing anything is not ideal, but don't feel that way. It is a tried and true way to adhere patches and before fancy sewing or embroidery machines were made, most patches of any kind were hand sewn to items.
In a perfect world, decorators love items that are designed to be embellished. When the stars align, this is how I hoop back packs that will fit into my hoops. I like to use my multi needle machine and Mighty Hoops. The 5x5 Mighty hoop is perfectly sized for an average monogram or name. The bonus is I usually don't use stabilizer because the magnetic hoop and layers of backpack fabric are sturdy enough to carry the tension of the thread as it sews. Final products are commonly flat and without puckers.
This particular brand backpack is Viv and Lou. The entire line is designed with embellishment in mind. If you are looking for an excellent product to purchase and either embroider yourself or have done, keep this one at the top of your list. Most of the backpacks are sewn with large pocket openings. The lunch bags have an additional flap on the outside that you can sew through and the inner hot cold area is separate.
Here you can see from underneath my machine how wide the opening is on the backpack pocket and that there is no stabilizer in the hoop.
Viv and Lou is also known for their colorful prints and on trend styles. Each season they release new items. As you can see from the picture above, the print is bold but the monogram gets lost in it. Once my client saw this, they asked if we could do anything to make the name stand out more. So I brought images of the back pack into my digitizing software and tried other thread colors.
I superimposed the monogram above the actual sewn one on the backpack and tried white then green thread to match the colors in the print.
Then I tried a light pink and a navy. All of the colors disappeared into the busy print. Any addition of colors to match the print would simply not show very well. So I thought about using a patch instead.
Now the name could be seen from any distance. So once I confirmed with the client that this was a good plan moving forward, I created the patch in my software. I didn't rip the original monogram out of the backpack and lunch bag. I knew that all you would be seeing once it was complete was an additional stitch line around the patch. The original monogram would have already shown with bobbin thread on the reverse side. So essentially it would look the same and my biggest concern was to line everything up correctly to have a neat interior pocket.
I made sure the patch fit over the original monogram name in my software first.
Then I embroidered the patch using this Poly Patch twill from DIME.
Instead of trying to embroider the finished patch over the original design, I wanted to be more cautious, so I used my sewing machine. A few pins held everything in place exactly positioned while I sewed. I was glad that both of the bags were designed to be embellished because I was able to manipulate them much easier around the foot of my sewing machine. Had they been another brand, hand sewing might have been the only option.
The final result speaks for itself. A beautiful patch monogram that really stands out. If you are interested in seeing my sewing process, I have a video below you can watch. Machine embroidery isn't perfect and each item is usually like a brand new day even if you have worked with that brand before. The key is to stay open minded and to work with your client in the best way you can so they have a product they are happy with. It also feels pretty good to come up with an alternate fix to a difficult design choice. 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 recent creative works have been all about quilting. This project is a long time coming as I started it in March. I finally gave it to my brother as a surprise gift so I can show my process. There is a Video Log you can watch at the bottom of this post also.
My brother loves motorcycles and I wanted to make a quilt he could use on his bed. The finished size is a queen and I also made two pillows with leftover fabric. If you haven't done a quilt this size it is quite a project to get planned and completed. There are so many decisions that have to be made. I knew the design would include logos from his favorite motorcycle manufacturer. The color scheme would naturally need to be dark red and white or cream.
I had a pattern book with a lot of traditional blocks and I chose the King's Crown because it has a blank center that would be perfect for embroidery.
This is the pattern book and it does have plastic templates you can use to cut out your fabric pieces. I knew I would have to use a large piece of fabric to do all of the embroidery blocks first and once I read the pattern, I thought I might be able to find an easier way to piece each block. I found a great quilting site online that includes video instruction. It is called www.teresadownunder.com
Teresa has very clear instructions that were slightly different from the Patchwork book. I am finding just like sewing, that piecing and quilting can be done in many different ways.
Muslin was my fabric of choice for the embroidery. I used a lightweight interfacing on the back of the entire piece. Once I digitized the embroidery designs, I did test stitch outs to make sure they looked good. This process takes some time to mark out on that large piece of fabric. I made sure there was an extra 1/2 inch in between each design placement area so I could have some fudge room when cutting out.
When figuring out how everything would look, I used Microsoft Publisher. It is easy to make shapes and fill them with color or logos. You can add borders also. This is a fun way to visualize your quilt before you do any kind of cutting or sewing. It isn't helpful with your measuring and fabric purchase needs. So the Patchwork pattern book helped me figure out how much fabric for the desired size.
Plastic templates helped me mark all over the large piece of muslin. The embroidery was a very large part of this quilt and it took some time to complete.
Each logo had to be sewn in a new hooping. The lighter fabric was something I had to be very careful with also. I was worried about staining it while it was being embroidered and pieced.
Cutting out all of the block pieces for a quilt this size takes some time also if you aren't following a pattern exactly. I am still learning about strip cutting and making the most out of my time while cutting. So getting to this point was such a milestone.
This particular block was a new adventure for me with the points. I know better now for my next quilt that pressing matters as does matching the points. This was the first time I pieced a quilt with all of these type join areas. You can see in the cream blocks my seams don't match. I have since done another quilt and I did much better on it. You have to start somewhere though and I wanted to show you that it is not perfect. How else do we learn except to try and see what can be improved upon?
The quilting was a big endeavor because I used a new tool. The Handi Quilter Amara with a 12 foot table is my newest addition to my craft. I have wanted a computerized quilting machine for many years. I did a blog post on my Grace Cutie Frame as well as a video showing all of the ways I added things to make it more productive. You can read that here. I still use that frame with my sewing machine and I like it for the mobility. This Handi Quilter Amara with frame is stationary and my plan is to use it for those large quilts that are heavier to handle. The older I get, I am realizing that physically, my will to do something far exceeds my ability. Expanding my digitizing to quilting is also a natural fit so I hope to learn how to create some computerized designs in the future.
My imperfect piecing coupled with the embroidery made an edge to edge design impractical on this quilt. I learned really quickly how to do multi point placement with the Pro-Stitcher. So each block was custom quilted and I was pleasantly surprised how well the quilting nested together. Here is the back of the quilt.
The design I chose came in the Pro-Stitcher software and it worked really well. I learned that when the machine passed over those points that weren't exactly pieced it did catch underneath because of the thickness. So I chose a computerized design that would not sew over those areas. Instead I looked for something that would concentrate on the open places and away from the points and embroidery. My blocks did have skewed areas and the Pro-Stitcher was awesome to put each design exactly where it worked best.
The binding was done on my sewing machine. I have a feeling I am going to get a lot of practice doing this.
The extra fabric left over from the quilt was used to make throw pillows. I just increased the size of the embroidery designs to the largest hoop I have and stitched out like the block fabric.
So it all turned out better than I hoped. My brother loved his birthday present and I learned so much. I think the biggest lesson is patience. I have steered away from piecing harder blocks in the past and I feel like I am entering a new phase of learning. So much to learn and not enough time is how I am feeling right now. On to the next project. Remember to check out the video for this quilt 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.
Journals and small books are one of my favorite things to carry with me. I like to have a place to write notes and lists or make plans for projects. If I don't have a list, I will forget something or purchase the wrong size item. I usually bring a journal with me to sewing classes and retreats. Then I have a place to write contact information of the instructor or friends I make. The fabric store is where one of these little books becomes most helpful. I can write measurements and calculations so I don't become confused when getting material cut.
Now let me tell you what is so special about this In The Hoop Fleece Journal Cover. You will notice most of the fabric on the outside is Fleece. This is a magical material for people that have sensory issues or need something soft to calm them. I am not a shopper and spending money isn't a pleasurable experience to me. One thing I do enjoy is "Petting" fabric. In fact when I had an office job and was under a lot of stress, I would make a lunchtime trip to my local store and just run my fingers along all of the bolts of colorful soft materials. I would always feel calmer once I returned to my desk.
If you are irritated or tired, try visiting the fabric section and I bet you will feel better after you "Pet" some fabric. No need to buy, just window shop. I thought this In The Hoop Fleece Journal Cover would be a perfect merging of two things I love. It comes at a great time of year also, because even though I don't have little ones going back to school, I remember my kids having a rough few first days getting back into a routine. I imagine the teachers although excited to begin a new year feel the same way. This embroidery design would be perfect for students or teachers!
You will need at least an 8x12 embroidery hoop for this project because it will fit a 5x7 journal. I see homework assignments being written down or maybe to do lists. In the middle of a busy day when it all seems like it is too much, soft cuddly fabric brings you back home to your center. It always works for me. Instead of a lovey or stuffed animal, this journal cover will be easier to manage for people in their backpack or bags as well. I love that there is a small clear pocket on the back so identification can be added. It doesn't have to be a name. It can be a hand drawn picture.
A fat quarter of fabric is big enough with some extra left over so use your imagination with seasonal covers. How about all of those life plans? Weddings, Births, Graduations, Retirement? You could use this In The Hoop Fleece Journal Cover Embroidery design over and over with different fleece remnants.
Do You Have Big Plans? Write them down. If you would like to see how this project comes together, check out the instruction 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 Embroidery design comes out of necessity. I have been doing a lot of quilting and using pins. Instead of trying to manage with my usual magnetic pin holder, I decided to create something I can wear on my wrist.
Here is my In The Hoop Wrist Pin Cushion. It is a perfect project to use small remnants of fabric and batting. Are you starting to think about stocking stuffers for Christmas? I know it is months away, but this would be a welcome gift for that seamstress or quilter in your life. I will probably make a second one to pack in my retreat tools. You can never have too many places to store pins and grab quickly.
I love vintage sewing machines, so I decided to digitize one in a motif and add quilting all over the pin cushion. This design also creates lots of small areas that help lock those pins in. The nature of the stitching adds structure to the pin cushion also.
Here is the back of the In The Hoop Wrist Pin Cushion. The elastic used is a little different than what you might be used to. It is called Fold Over Elastic and I really like it for this project. The width is one inch which is generous and the texture is buttery soft. That central line running through it is normally used as an easy fold area for the edges of projects. If you can find it, definitely try it.
I like that it comes in so many different colors so you can create many variations of projects with it.
Comfort is a biggie for me. I don't like anything binding or constricting so when measuring for the elastic, I made sure to put one to two fingers in between the tape and my wrist. This extra length will be taken up inside the pin cushion while sewing and the stuffing height will decrease the length.
This design can be done in a 4x4 hoop. I used my mighty hoop and completed the project in one hooping. So it goes quickly once you have everything cut and laid out. The embroidery design comes with full color instructions and I also have a video you can watch below that takes you through an entire pin cushion.
Stuffing it with fiber fill and hand sewing the turning opening are the last steps. This would be fun to do with kids. They would love to see the transformation with the fluffy fill and then maybe let them help add the pins.
There is a lot of real estate on this In The Hoop Wrist Pin Cushion. I love the size of it because sometimes I work fast and having this rectangle shape will make it easier to find. The wide flat elastic is just tight enough and doesn't feel uncomfortable. Using that trick of adding finger widths will help you get that perfect fit.
Are you inspired to create an In The Hoop Wrist Pin Cushion? Remember you can watch the instruction video below. I know you will enjoy seeing this project come together. Maybe you will make one for yourself, a friend or loved one. This is one of those projects that any seamstress would welcome with a smile. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Has this happened to you while doing machine embroidery? If you are maintaining your multi needle embroidery machine on it's regular schedule, you have probably seen a spot of oil seep into an embroidery design within the first few stitches. As the oil flows down, it can make contact with the fabric. I sometimes see this when I do my "Big" maintenance oiling where the machine head is moved to a position allowing for a deeper lubrication. I usually let the embroidery machine sit overnight. On most occasions, the first item that stitches out after my maintenance doesn't have this problem. In the event it does, I have a great tool in my stash to fix it.
This product from AlbaChem is an aerosol that will dry to a powder. You spray it directly on the oil stain and wait for it to turn completely white and dry.
Here you can compare the picture above showing it just being sprayed and what it looks like dry.
Next you take a soft brush and dust it away. I like to use a toothbrush and then a towel to remove any residual powder.
If it doesn't come out with the first application, you can start over and reapply. Here you can see it removed all of the oil stain.
That was a fresh oil spot. It also works well with stains that have been on clothes for a while. I had great success removing cooking oil spots from these shorts. I use a name brand strong detergent when I launder my clothes and it did not cut through the oil.
Here is the AlbaChem product sprayed and dry on the spots.
Here is the final result with one application. You may want to get some for your laundry room. This would be perfect for family members that fry foods or work in the garage.
Here is one more picture of the product. I keep it in my tool stash and it gives me confidence in maintaining my machine on a regular basis because I am not afraid of staining articles I am doing embroidery on.
Here is the before and after. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Recently I was commissioned to sew a dice bag. There were a few requests for the finished product. The dice were currently being carried in a Ziploc bag because the previous bag had failed. Pink was the desired color and woodland creatures needed to be incorporated into embroidery. Finally strength was very important due to the weight and type of metal dice in the collection. My client plays tabletop games and carries the dice to gaming locations. Other than those requests, I had free reign which I love. It really opens up my creativity.
My first task was measuring a large ziploc bag so I could make sure the finished size was large enough. I also asked my client if the bag needed to be flat or have a round flat bottom which they stated was preferable. So I knew having the round bottom would add girth to the bag.
I went into my stash and found these cloth napkins. When I am shopping I always look in clearance sections and these were marked down when seasons were changing. The Ric Rac on the seam edges was something I wanted to incorporate also.
The first thing I did was digitize a woodland scene with cute creatures. I used my Winter Tree Design to build the embroidery. I love to use designs merged together to make something brand new and this tree design is perfect for that.
I digitized the animals in my software and layered them throughout the Winter Tree design. I also changed the outer square straight stich to a motif. Embroidery software is a lot of fun to play in. Once I had everything to my liking, I stitched it on a cloth napkin.
This dice bag uses casings on the outside instead of the top of the edge. So when I cut the front and back bag pieces, I also used remnants from those cuts for the casings. I thought keeping the Ric Rac would be a nice detail. The edges with the trim are already finished so I would only need to turn a hem on one long edge.
Not wanting to waste anything, I used the Ric Rac trim to frame the embroidery. I love to look at framed artwork that has been matted. You can make a simple picture look more expensive by using multiple layers of matting. I think sewing can accomplish the same thing.
The weight and volume of my client's dice was a concern for the life of the bag. I used a fusible fleece on the lining fabric and quilted a dense grid pattern. This gives great structure. You can see the fabric before and after here. I used the width of my sewing foot to quilt.
I did have to cut circles of outer fabric and lining fabric. Quilting the lining and adding interfacing to the outer fabric added more structure.
I used my Circle template to help me figure out the size circle I would need to cut out. If you would like to see how to figure out circles for your sewing projects, I have a blog post and video. Visit the link here.
Gingham fabric although beautiful does have a tendency to ravel. Throughout the project once I was finished with straight seams, I went back and did a zigzag seam everywhere. Here I am using it on the trim around the embroidery design. The zig zag helps add more strength to those straight seams.
The casings on the outer fabric are an easy way to add drawstrings to a bag. Some casings are created by folding down the top of the fabric like an elastic waist band. These are formed by folding under the ends of the casing along with the top and bottom and topstitching directly to the fabric. The only concern is keeping the ends well away from the side seams allowances. You can see here my side seams are narrow but I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance and made sure those casings were not sewn shut.
Once the side seams were sewn I added the circle bottom. Clips held everything in place during the stitching. Sewing the side seams and the bottom were the same for the lining fabric with the exception of leaving an opening in the side for turning later.
Here is the lining side seams showing that opening. It only has to be large enough to pull all of the fabric through later to turn everything right side out.
Sewing the bottom circle to the lining is accomplished the same as the outer fabric. So you are basically sewing two of the same bags. One for the outside and one for the inside. Then you are ready to put it together.
This is the tricky part. You want your lining to be WRONG Side Out. Your Outer bag to be RIGHT Side Out. Then you slip your outer bag INTO the Lining.
Make sure the right sides are facing. Match the side seams. Clip and sew around the top.
Remember the open side seam on the lining? That is where you will turn the entire bag right side out. Sew that opening shut with either your machine or by hand.
Then the lining can be pushed down into the bag and you can press well and secure it with a topstitch around the top edge.
Your dice bag should stand up by itself pretty well with that quilted inner lining. You are ready to add your cord.
I usually measure 4 times the bag width and add about 12 inches. This should give you more than enough to cut the cord in half and have two. I like a cord on both sides with cord locks to pull everything tight. You thread the first cord from one side all the way around and come back to the starting point.
Then go to the other side with your second cord and do the same thing. You can see the previous cord underneath the pin here. Go all the way around and come back to your starting point.
Masking tape will help thread the cord through the locks. If you don't have cord locks you can tie knots.
Once installed you can trim off any extra cord length and seal the ends with a lighter so they don't fray.
This bag will be perfect for dice, but I can think of other ways to use it. How about for cosmetics, or kid's toys on a road trip? How would you use it?
So how did I do? This is a one of a kind custom dice bag. There is only one in the world like it. Much better than a Ziploc bag don't you think? I accomplished all of the tasks. A good size, pink fabric, woodland creatures and strong enough for the metal dice.
Such a cute finished project that started as discounted cloth napkins. When you are browsing your local stores, keep an eye out for gems like these. You never know when inspiration will strike to upcycle.
This blog post is meant to inspire you and I know you might be interested in having some measurements to sew your own bag. That is why 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.
Flip flops mean it is time for that spring pedicure. I am definitely ready to show off mine with my latest In The Hoop Flip Flop Tag Bee embroidery design. I was browsing my local Dollar Tree enjoying all of the bright spring items. I found so many cute flip flops and these had to come home with me. I like to have something to slip on when I am moving between inside and outside chores. Usually I forget what I have on my feet if I jump in the car to run to town but it won't matter if I see anyone I know with these cute little sandals on my feet. That might sound odd to you but when I was growing up, you dressed to go to town. Kind of reminds you of all those things mama said like wearing your best underwear or something like that? Did your mama tell you that too?
Cute just as they are.
Cuter with an added embroidered vinyl tag don't you think? This is definitely one of those quick projects that you can do in about 30 minutes. The best part is the tags can be moved to another pair of flip flips if they wear out.
You will need a 5x7 hoop with wash away cutaway stabilizer and a few pieces of vinyl. I used my mighty hoop which I love. I had some glitter vinyl in my stash and it added some sparkle. There are multiple layers of vinyl where the flowers are installed so you will need to use snaps with longer posts. You can see the two snaps in the picture above and although it doesn't look like much, the white snap has a wider, longer post that will give extra bite to hold all of those layers.
I love doing embroidery with vinyl because you can take something that stitches out in rectangular shapes and a little bit of cutting exposes cuteness.
Look for my other Flip Flop Plain Heart Tag here. Add your own monograms or text! Weddings and shower gifts might be in your future. These would be so cute with the wedding date, the bride's monogram or how about "I Do". My art work is not perfect below but giving you some inspiration. You could add pretty ribbon underneath the snaps and wrap them around the calf with a bow. I think this would be perfect for those destination beach weddings.
Are you interested in seeing how fast and easy these In The Hoop Flip Flop Tag Bee designs stitch out? I have an instruction video you can watch below. Mother's Day is just a few days away. Mom would love to decorate her flip flops with these cute little bee tags. 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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