QR Codes have been around for several years. I believe they were originally created to help keep up with inventory controls but businesses have adapted them to do a lot more now. A QR code is usually a square with pixels inside. You can add other fancy graphics. Although you and I can't read it, there are bits of information encoded in the way the pixels are placed. This allows electronic devices equipped with scanners to interpret the codes and do something with the information. QR Codes can be made using Apps and software. I made this one with Corel Draw and used my website address for the encoded information. .
So all I do is open my phone camera just like I'm taking a picture and point it at the code. This is what you see. The camera recognizes the QR code by surrounding it with the yellow brackets. At the top of the screen my phone browser gives me the option to visit the website. Pretty neat right? So what am I doing with this code? I installed it on a purse that I will take with me to a sewing convention. Driving people to websites is always going to be a challenge until you develop a name or grab part of your market. Then once you have that traffic, you will still want to advertise to keep your regular base of visitors and gain new fans. A convention where the people are already engaged in the type of business you have will increase your chances of introducing people to your brand.
I used a purse from Walmart that has a sleeve on the back of it meant to go over a handle on a piece of luggage. Dark fabric transfer paper allowed me to print off the advertisement so it was really bright. I ironed it onto 100% cotton fabric, sewed a hem around the edges and then used Cam Snaps on the purse sleeve to make it removable. In the future I can create different advertisements for other events or customize for specials and coupons. When I want to use this as a purse, I can just remove the advertisement! The QR codes are very user friendly and have a fault percentage programmed into them. This means that scanners can pick them up even if they are backwards or farther away. My hope with this purse is that people will be able to snap a scan as I am going to classes and shopping the convention. They can do this without speaking to me if they are shy and just want to check out my site or if they want to interact, I will have business cards to hand out also. This should definitely be a conversation starter. So, if you are visiting my site because you snapped the QR code, thanks for taking the time. There is a You tube video below that takes you through the entire process of making the label. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
St. Patricks' Day is quickly approaching and I have some designs that will help you celebrate. Check out the Rainbow Clouds Design above. This will cheer you up even if you are still in the midst of winter. This would also be precious on any of your spring time projects!
My Eat Drink and Be Irish design will tell everyone to be awesome like you! Those Irish people do love to eat and drink and you will never go home hungry if you have enjoyed one of their parties!
Ah the Luck of the Irish. May it follow you throughout your journeys. Stitch this Lucky Embroidery design and bring some of that Irish Luck your way! Use green thread and avoid those pesky pinchers!
Invite a little love your way with the Kiss Me I'm Irish Embroidery design. I bet you will have more fun than anyone else if you wear this to your Irish gathering!
My Rainbow Fringe design includes an applique cloud and fluffy loops of rainbow colors. Available in a 4x4 and 5x7 size. Check out the slideshow below to see how it comes to life!
Grab these designs and stitch up some St. Patrick's Day projects! 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 done any machine embroidery, I bet you wish your bobbin could be as big as the spool of embroidery thread. Right? Until that day comes, you will eventually have the issue of an empty bobbin in the middle of a design. Instead of always starting with a full bobbin, I do use partial ones. This way I don't waste thread. Once you get used to changing out your bobbin in the middle of a design, you will see that with a few simple steps, you can continue sewing. Watch the short video below to see how I change mine and finish stitching a design. I hope these tips help with your embroidery projects, you share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
We love a good crawfish boil in my household. It really is one of the best ways to feed a crowd of hungry people. If you have never been to a crawfish boil, you might want to give it a try. We don't always boil just crawfish. We will throw shrimp and crabs in the pot also. Corn, Potatoes and mushrooms are added and they become infused with the seasonings added to the water. The pots are usually very tall and they get plenty hot. So in honor of the many crawfish boils I hope to be attending in my future, I am releasing my latest design. It is an In The Hoop Hot Stuff Crawfish Pad. The interior has Insul Bright which will help insulate from the cooking heat.
The design requires at least a 6x10 hoop and will finish to a 6x6 size. There are so many techniques in this design. You will do quilting, applique and chenille! If you are not sure what chenille is, take a look at the top right corner. The fluffy parts are actually layers of cotton fabric sewn in the hoop, trimmed and then roughed up so it gets softer and softer every time you launder it. I used all of the colors that are familiar to Louisiana fans also. This hot pad would be a welcome hostess gift if you are attending any party or gathering.
Check out the Hot Stuff Crawfish Pad in my store here. I also have a You Tube video that will show you all of the sew out steps below. Get yourself a cool drink and enjoy the show. 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 you on a brief tour of my studio today. For some reason, I love systems and seeing how work flows are designed. In my studio and my home, I frequently like to move furniture and tools around and see if I can create better solutions for living and working. I am that weird person that likes to move everything out, clean really good, cull, separate and then put everything back in. It is kind of like a puzzle to me. How many ways can I change something and get better results each time? I think that is why I love digitizing embroidery designs, because they are just like puzzle solving. You can add pieces differently each round and still get to the same end result. My work space is a challenge. It is actually supposed to be a dining room. There are windows that minimize wall space and a large cased opening that I had to creatively work around.
I like to have a very large cutting and working table and this is certainly all that. I have a 4x8 sheet of plywood on top of two shelving units. It sits in the middle of my room and everything has to revolve around it. My husband has offered to "cut it down" several times, but I love it so much. The storage containers underneath are so great for holding all of my extra fabric also. I think of all of the things I have in my studio, this is my absolute favorite. My family likes it also. It has proven to be a great work surface for everyone.
Having small rolling carts makes it easy to move my notions around as I want to. I also label the drawers so I know exactly where all of those small pieces are. A sewing studio is always going to be hard to keep clean but small drawers really help.
I have talked about this stacking case in a previous blog and I still use it for extra pins, needles, marking tools etc. The best part is I can grab it for travel and retreats.
My heat press is situated on it's own stand. All of the transfers, t squares and items I use with the heat press stay in this area so I don't have to look for them.
My Silhouette is on my desk close to my computer. I mounted a set of drawer pulls on the shelf so it can slide in and out. This ensures my vinyl can feed all the way through the silhouette without getting tangled.
Fabric storage is always a challenge to keep neat. I use the small collapsible fabric boxes to keep mine in order. I separate each fabric type and try to group them by color also.
Here is another one showing how I roll the fabric tightly. This way I can see everything I have in stock.
Large glass jars help me keep my thread protected from the air and dust. It is also a pretty way to showcase all of the colors I have.
There is a designated pressing area always set up and ready. Storage underneath holds different tools and materials.
A cabinet above the pressing station holds all of my starch and pressing tools.
A small rotating tray helps keep the smaller tools in place so I can find them easily. I also have several Ott Light lamps for task lighting.
My husband built risers to put underneath my desk. This made it a custom area that is the perfect working height just for me.
The cabinet that holds my Happy embroidery machine also houses all items I need to use along with it. I also keep my stabilizer to the right of the cabinet.
So here I am with my furry buddies. They are usually in my studio also or very close by keeping me company. My work area has taken many years to create. I started my blog in 2015 and over these last 5 years, it has morphed several times as I have learned new skills and added tools. I have a more detailed You tube video you can watch below that shows all of my storage ideas. Many of them are cost effective and they don't always match. I like the purpose of something much more than the look of it. My desk for example cost about $20.00. It is beat up but very substantial and works great for my work flow. So check out the video. It is quite extensive and might give you the urge to create a space where you can "BE YOU" Everyone deserves that. 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 Mardi Gras Season is upon us. I am sure most people have heard of this fun time of year. If you have never visited any of the hosting cities that participate, I encourage you to try it at least one time in your life. When I talk to people who have never been to a parade, they usually state they would be too afraid. I think there is an idea of what happens but let me put it in perspective for you.
This is what a parade route looks like in the smaller towns and cities. The parades usually go on for a couple of weeks over many different days and nights. The streets are closed off and families gather together. We park our pickup trucks, haul in grills and cooking pots. Everyone brings lawn chairs and we spend the whole day together. You will smell great cooking, eat some wonderful food and visit. If you walk over to strangers, I bet they will offer you something to eat and drink. You will also see your kids playing in the street. How long has it been since you saw that? Footballs are thrown across the roads between people and everyone gets involved. After all of that happens, the floats come and you catch more goodies than you can haul out. I guarantee everyone will sleep great after all of that activity!
So let me tell you what happens in the background while all of the parades are going on. A lot of planning has to be in place to make those parades "Roll". There are many people who pay to join Krewes. These people actually buy all of the items or "throws" that you catch from the floats. There are special rules that they have to follow, costumes that must be worn including masks and they get to attend many different parties. You can see in the pictures that the ladies wear beautiful dresses and the members have to wear their costumes. There is also a Grand Court and young ladies that are announced to society. Another custom is the day of the Tableau or grand ball, the Krewe members ride around town in open top school buses, stop at various gatherings in parking lots, listen to music and have a great time. If you are wondering "Shaggy" is my son's nickname. That is another custom in the Krewes. Everyone has a nickname. He is the one line dancing in the parking lot. Not a shy bone in his body!
This is the logo for our Krewe. We have been participating many seasons and if you come to the parades my husband and many of my relatives will "Throw You Something Mister!" So in honor of the Mardi Gras Season, I have several designs that you can stitch out.
Mardi Gras is also known as Carnival Time. This design would be great to decorate pillows or try it on garments!
If you attend any parade, you will see that everyone gets into the spirit so join them by sewing this Happy Mardi Gras design on your sweatshirts! Here I used variegated thread but you can use Purple Green and gold which are the official Mardi Gras Colors!
Stitch this My First Mardi Gras design to let people know you are brand new to the Mardi Gras celebration! Perfect for children and babies also!
New Orleans and Bourbon street are what everyone thinks about when you mention Mardi Gras. This Bourbon Street Lamppost design would be great on pillows and kitchen towels.
This Fat Tuesday Logos Design is everything you need to say about Mardi Gras all wrapped up in one design! Maybe this has inspired you to attend a parade? If you can't visit, the local news stations will always record them. Look for videos online and have a celebration at home. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work! PS. I'll enjoy some gumbo and a piece of King Cake for you!
It is National Embroidery Month! I love all things embroidery and because it's the month of Love I thought a cute Heart Applique design would be just right. You can stitch this directly onto your project or create a cute patch just by changing your stabilizer! A 4x4 hoop and a little fabric is all you need!
This little design is really fun and I know you will love stitching it out. The Needle only has "eyes" for the sewing machine. Check out the slideshow below to see how easy it is.
Look for it in my store here and celebrate National Embroidery Month along with me! I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Mylar is a fun addition to Machine Embroidery. It is a foil like tissue paper that can be found at your local craft and hobby stores in the gift wrap section. You do need to use a design that has been digitized for Mylar use. I am releasing this new design today in my store. Check it out here.
Designs for Mylar are very similar to Applique. They need to have a placement stitch that tells you where to place the Mylar. If you like sparkle and shine when you do Machine Embroidery, you will love working with Mylar! Here you see my design is ready to be tacked down.
An easy way to keep it from sliding around in the hoop is to use Painter's tape. Just a little bit will do the trick. Then sew the next step which should tack it in place and an open fill will cover the entire Mylar area.
There will be an outline stitch that goes around and ensures all of the product will stay put.
Once it completes, you just gently pull the excess away. You can use tweezers and small scissors to get any small pieces. Then sew out remaining parts of your design. Mylar is a synthetic product so you will need to use a little extra care when laundering. Just wash it on gentle and dry on low or hang to dry. Keep your irons away from it also.
One of the neatest things when using Mylar is the versatility. You can keep one color in your stash. I used silver on all three stitch outs above. The thread is reflected in the product and each look is custom. Try variegated thread for extra special projects!
I decided to use my variegated thread and stitched out the design on my sweatshirt. It takes a plain garment that is inexpensive and turns it into a custom work of art.
Check out all of the different things you can do with this single design! I also have a You Tube video you can watch below that shows how easy it is to use Mylar. 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 sitting here typing my review of the Butterick Pattern 6838 wearing my version C nightgown. So you already know this was a successful project. This pattern has been on my to do list for some time. Once I decided I was ready, it worked out to be a relatively easy stitch out and I have sewn one for myself and another as a gift for my mom. There will be more versions in my future.
Pretty nightgowns are one of my favorite things but sometimes they can get expensive. I am not talking about the T shirt gowns or even flannel ones you can buy at big box retailers. Think about the heirloom bridal or boutique nightgowns you may see in the fine department stores. Yards of 100% cotton fabric that is light and airy when you spin around. Beautiful cotton lace trims and silk ribbons. I have seen these type nightgowns upwards of $80 - $90 dollars and they are worth it. Why you may ask? Comfort. If you have never slept in 100 % cotton, you need to give it a try. No polyester blend, just cotton. Think of how wonderful it feels to sleep under a quilt. It is warm in the winter but we use ours in the summer also. A cotton nightgown is perfect for ladies in their ever changing seasons of life. Add a sleeve and it will keep your arms warm. Add some length and your legs will stay warm. Go sleeveless and be breezy. Give it a try and I promise you will feel so comfortable you won't want to get dressed in the morning.
My version C which has length and a short sleeve takes 4 1/8 yards of fabric, some fusible interfacing, and a couple of trims. I used the Pellon 906F Sheer weight fusible because I wanted this to have a little stability but be very breathable. The layout of the pattern pieces is easy because the main part of the gown is cut on the fold for the front and back. This takes up most of your fabric. Once you have those taken care of, you will have the yoke and the sleeves. So not a lot of pattern pieces are involved.
The yoke is where you will interface. Pay attention to the instructions here and make sure you only interface one front yoke and one back one. I suppose if you used a lightweight interfacing and wanted a little more structure, you could interface both sides but I would make sure you were not using a heavier weight product. The yoke does have a fair amount of hand stitching after you have put the the front and back together because of the facing. It is not difficult, but the hand stitching is necessary and done from the inside to conceal the seams. You will also do a good amount of gathering on the front and back gown pieces.
The sleeves take a few steps as they use two pieces of fabric each and they are set in so some ease stitching is required.. Trim or lace can be sewn or if you like a plain gown, you could leave this off. I would also advise to baste where the pattern says to. Basting is always a step that people avoid because it looks like it wastes time but it will help you avoid having to unpick your project.
I would advise also to make sure you transfer all of your markings and use the arrows on the pattern to make sure you line everything up. The gathering when connecting the yoke to the front and back gown pieces is specific and more prominent in the center of the gown rather than all the way across. When you line up the raw edges and use those markings you will see what I am talking about. I will say the only thing I was not sure about was the neckline. It is a little more generous than what I imagined when looking at the pattern cover photos. So if you have very narrow shoulders, you may want to go down a size so the gown doesn't fall off your shoulders. I would measure yourself and the pattern pieces before you decide. Look at the back yoke when you do this to make sure you have enough fabric to ensure you will be comfortable while sleeping and not feel like the gown is too tight across the shoulders. Also, pre-wash your fabric because cotton will shrink. Even if it is pre-washed you may see a little more shrinkage after it is sewn. It will also get softer and more lovely as you wash it each time.
So here is my nightgown all finished. I was pleasantly surprised with this pattern because as soon as I slipped my gown over my head, I knew it would be a favorite. I have become accustomed to being disappointed with my garment sewing projects over the years. I am sure you have also because you never know what you are going to get. After spending the money on the fabric, notions, pattern and then going through the process, it is disheartening when the fit doesn't work out. I think you may like trying a nightgown project because it is forgiving and even if not perfect, no one will see it except you. As far as skill level, I would say that because of the facings and set in sleeves, I would not say an absolute beginner would want to tackle this. A beginner with a few sewing projects under their belt who is comfortable with gathering and pattern layout can tackle it though. I was able to sew my second gown without using the instructions until I got to the sleeves. I had to refer to them and then I pushed through the rest of the project without needing any instruction help.
Maybe you have been inspired to try your own nightgown 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!
I have released several new Springtime designs in my store including a new FREE Embroidery Design! This is my Buzzing Bee Design and it is really sweet. There are only 3,065 stitches in it so you can get a quick project out in no time! Just some information about my Free Embroidery designs. Some websites have their free designs available as a clickable download right on their blog page. I list all of my free designs in my store because it ensures you get a safe file. You just add them to your cart, put in a little information and then a link is emailed to you. I don't sell your email information and I won't bother you with advertisements. I may drop you a line and ask if you liked the design you picked out. That helps me ensure everything got downloaded and it is working. If you are like me, you love getting something for free, but you wonder what's the catch? On my website, I am hoping you will try my free designs and then maybe you'll come back and buy other designs in the future. If not, that's OK. Just grab the free ones. Maybe you will tell a friend about me and they will visit my site. I love machine embroidery and sewing, how it has helped me grow and get through hard times of my life and I want you to get inspired.
So with my latest free design here are some ideas. Maybe you have a blank pillow that needs something added to it? Here is an example of what it might look like.
How about stitching it on a tea towel? Add a simple phrase like "Welcome Spring" or "Busy Bee" and hang it on your oven door.
You may already be working on your Easter dresses? Wouldn't it be so cute on a little sweet sundress like this one? This is an exciting time of year to me because each day is a little longer and I know that soon I will be working in my yard and watching all of the little bees doing their hard work to help my flowers bloom. Come back and visit my site because I am adding new embroidery designs and creative content all the time. I love to hear from you also. Add a comment here or send me a comment on my contact page and let me know what you are working on. I hope this has been inspiring, that you share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Welcome to a New Year and New Decade. My son said to me this morning that he had 2020 vision. It took me a while to get the joke. Gotta love those quick young minds! I am excited to be moving into this new year. I have a lot of great creative ideas starting with several new designs released today and other oldies on sale. The Love Hearts pictured above looks like simple text until you notice the small hearts in each letter. Stitch this out in one color or use variegated thread to see those hearts really stand out!
My Script Love Heart Design stitches beautifully and I know you will really enjoy watching it as it comes to life on your project.
My Mug Love embroidery design is simple and homey. I can picture this decorating so many kitchen projects.
Heart Sing is another simple design in one color. Sew this one for that special someone that just makes your heart really sing!
Heart line is perfect by itself or add your own text. If you want to sew out something that will take a few minutes for a quick gift, this one is just the ticket!
I also have several Heart Quilt blocks available in different sizes. These use the flip and fold method. If you are not very precise with your piecing skills, an embroidery machine can really ensure you will have a beautiful block once complete. Full color instructions come in the download. Check out the 4x4, 5x5, 6x6, 8x8 or the entire set.
My Fringe Heart can help you show your patriotic love. See it in a 4x4 and 5x7 size. Instructions included in the download.
My Heart Apple design would be perfect for a Teacher Valentine. See it here.
Love is in the air! Check out my SALESALESALE page for all of these designs and get them now because Valentine's Day will be here before you know it! I hope you are looking forward to your New Year, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
As I move into preparing for the New Year, I have really been using my In The Hoop Calendar Topper. After searching for my chalk marker and ink pen a couple of times, I realized I needed a special place to keep them close to my refrigerator to make it easier to write my notes and reminders. So I created my newest design which is a magnetic pen holder.
Here are both designs on my fridge. The calendar topper has chalkboard fabric which I have been writing on with my chalk marker. I also like to write on the calendar so an ink pen is necessary. This design has a front pocket that will hold two pens. It is a 5x7 design, stitches out really quick and in one hooping.
It has nice quilting to give it some stability and here you can see the front pocket divider.
This shows the back pocket that can hold magnets to attach it wherever you need to be able to find your writing tools quickly. My family has even started using them because it is so handy! It is amazing how something so simple can become part of your routine.
The design is available in my store here. There is also a You tube video below showing how to create the entire project. I hope you have been inspired by this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
This year is winding down and if you are like me you have some organizing to do. One of the best ways I accomplish this is by having a calendar. I like to keep up with appointments that are coming up, write my shopping lists and also make small goals for the upcoming year. At the end of each year, I like to look back and remember what I accomplished.
You don't have to spend a lot of money on a calendar. In fact I found this one at Dollar Tree and thought I would digitize a topper for it so I can hang it on my refrigerator. The project is easy to finish and you can use your 5x7 hoop. There is no hand sewing involved but you will need to use three different designs to complete the calendar topper. When you download the design you will get full color instructions that show all measurements and process.
This particular calendar works well because it is very lightweight and comes with a small wire hanger. The project wraps up with a ribbon and snaps to hang the topper from the calendar. There are also pockets on the back where you can insert magnets so it will stick to your surface.
The chalkboard fabric is appliqued onto the topper and gives you a great place to add notes and lists. I love how it looks on my fridge. Just having a place to begin my organization really inspires me to work on it. I have a You Tube video below that shows the entire project from start to finish. Maybe it will inspire you to do some organizing yourself! You can see the design in my store here. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
One of the tools I have in my studio is a Sawgrass SG400 printer. I have had it for a couple of years and it is really fun to use when making special fabrics. I had a Christmas gift in mind for a family member that loves to ride Indian Motorcycles.
I used McCall's pattern M7139 version C which is a device stand. I have seen these online and thought it would be just about the right size to be able to print my own small piece of fabric. The printer can handle a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of printing paper. It is specialty paper though and is a little different than the transfer paper from an inkjet printer.
If you are thinking of breaking into Sublimination, you will also need a Heat Press. The paper reacts with the printed image and as the heat works on it, a gas is created. That process pushes the image permanently into the fabric or whatever substrate you are printing on. Each item you are subliminating to will need to be treated to accept the pressing also. So Cotton shirts might not be the best thing to work with unless they have been treated. 100% Polyester shirts will work but I have noticed if I purchase shirts off the rack, they sometimes don't have the vibrant colors when pressed. Shirts that are purchased specifically for sublimination do much better. Lighter colors seem to show up better with the paper I keep in stock. I use Texprint R.
For this project I had several yards of 100% Polyester knit fabric in my stash. If you look at Wal-Mart, some locations are now carrying pre-cut fabrics in larger quantities. You can see this yardage was very reasonable and it allowed me to kind of experiment. If you ever purchase something like this, you may notice when the fabric is unfolded, there are stains or even debris in them. I think they must be off cuts from the factory or ends that are not really loved. For my purposes, a small stain won't matter because I am going to cover it up. Just make sure you launder the fabric before you use it.
I designed my fabric in Corel Draw and sent it to my printer.
Here is the printed page and my fabric ready to press. Notice it is printed in reverse.
The fabric is first pressed briefly for about 5 seconds to take out the moisture. Then the image is placed, a paper topping goes on top to help protect your platen and it is imprinted.
These are the settings I used for this particular project.
Here is the fabric once printed. Pretty cool to be able to make that since I could not find any ready made fabric with these logos.
Here is the pattern piece placed on the fabric so I used most of the images.
Here is the device stand all finished.
I made another one in denim. I will advise you to put something in the bottom to weigh it down just a bit. You could use small stones, marbles beans etc. I had some small ceramic tile samples left over from another project, so I used that and it worked really well to maintain a flat bottom.
These are very useful. I have since made a couple more and during the day, I use mine to keep my phone standing upright. I can see emails and texts coming in. I also use it with my I pad turned on it's side. Very helpful while you stream videos. If you are looking for a quick sewing project, this one is hard to beat as most people have some kind of electronic device.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
The New Year is closely approaching and I have digitized a great design to help you create a hostess gift or a gift for yourself. I like to bring something when I am invited to a party. It just feels right to do it. A bottle of champagne or wine can add to the party or be saved for another time.
I wanted to have something that could be used for future events so I didn't put the year in the design. All of the fun elements just look like a New Year's Eve Party!
Flour sack towels were my material of choice because they are relatively cheap and easy to work with. Here you see my champagne bottle ready also. The design uses a 4x4 embroidery hoop and doesn't take very long to stitch out. Within about 20 minutes, you can have this sewn and be walking out the door.
So here it is all jazzed up. I filmed a You Tube video showing two ways you can present the gift to your hostess. One way is a very creative bag you fold the towel into. The other one shows you how to wrap the towel around the bottle so you can impress everyone at the party! Check out the video below. The design can be found in my store here. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what your create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I purchased the Echidna Hooping Station in two sizes several months ago and I wanted to do a review after using it for a little while. I have been a fan of John Deer who is an Embroidery legend and have had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago at a sewing convention in Atlanta. I actually purchased my embroidery software from him and attended his digitizing training. He also has a You tube channel that is very informational and is one of the people I credit much of my embroidery knowledge to. I so appreciate how he freely shares his techniques. The Echidna Hooping Station is a product he endorses so I was intrigued when I began my research into adding it to my studio. Click the hyperlink above to be directed to his page to see embroidery knowledge and purchase the hooping station. I am not affiliated with him or his site but I want to rightfully acknowledge him.
The order arrived very quickly and it came in flat boxes so there was some assembly. The pieces are minimal and one Phillips head screwdriver is all that is required.
I was pleasantly surprised that they did send extra screws/parts in the order. That was an extra bonus. Don't you hate putting something together and not having all of the pieces?
The stations did take up some of my working table so I had to make room for them. I have really enjoyed using them and now they are just a part of my working process. Here is just one of the ways I use them.
If I am going to embroidery a polo shirt, I first mark my embroidery location with my chalk marker and placement ruler.
I put my hoop on the board and secure stabilizer with the magnets that will come with the station.
I slide the shirt over the station and use a small ruler to ensure it is centered in the hoop.
Then the top hoop is carefully placed and the item is ready to embroider. Overall, I think if you are considering purchasing the Echidna Hooping Station, you will be pleased. It has become an integral part of my studio. I do have a You tube video that goes into a little more detail of my Pros and Cons. You can watch it below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I love to look at patterns and if they are on sale, I tend to pick them up for future projects. The Simplicity Pattern 2300 has several different bags that can be hung on a personal walker. I decided I wanted to try version C that you see in the bottom picture.
I work better on projects if I have a special person in mind that will be the receiver. This one is really meaningful for me because I hope it will help the person it is intended for. She is very independent and although she has a debilitating illness, still takes care of herself and lives alone. She also uses public transportation to do all of her shopping and make hair and doctor appointments. Currently she is using a self fashioned bag that is functioning, but I hope this will make it easier to secure her personal items safely.
I liked this particular bag because it calls for double sided pre-quilted fabric. That means it does not need to be interfaced to add stability. The amount of fabric required is 7/8 of a yard. This is perfect for me because I tend to purchase remnants and once I went through my stash, I found a beautiful piece of fabric seen above. I did need to quilt it before I could cut out the pattern.
I chose a deep brown color for the back of the fabric as the darker color should help hide any stains. Here you see the natural cotton batting I used.
I laid out a 2 inch grid with my large ruler and Frixion pen then used safety pins to hold all of the layers together. My machine has a walking foot and this made the quilting go very well with minimal shifting. The printed fabric I worked with was almost too small and I had to plan economically to use every part as the fabric is directional.
I also used two different color threads for the quilting so they would match the top and bottom fabric.
Here is the fabric all quilted and trimmed so I could see exactly where I could place my pattern pieces. This would have made a beautiful lap blanket also. Creating your own custom quilted fabric is very rewarding.
The frixion pen is easily removed with a hot iron.
So after all of my careful planning, I was able to get my pieces cut out and this was the amount of fabric left over. The pattern has only six pieces and they are easy to cut out. Other items I needed were a package of double folded bias tape, 3/4 yard hook and loop tape and 3/8 yard 1/4" elastic.
Here is the organizer after I had sewn the pockets and front and back together. Some of the things I would advise anyone sewing this particular pattern are: Read the instructions carefully before you begin. The cutting layout does have a couple of interesting things to note. The front and back as well as the tabs that hang the bag are laid right sides together when you cut them and the pattern piece is placed right side up on the WRONG side of the fabric. Sound confusing? It did to me too and I had to make sure I read that several times so really look at the Cutting layouts notes section. Another thing that may confuse you is some of the sewing directions are not listed under the part of the instructions as you work through the pattern. It will state "Apply binding" instead of showing pictures in the instructions. You have to refer to the Sewing instructions section and look up "Apply Binding" to get details. I assume this was done to save double printing the instructions for the other bags in the pattern.
Another thing I would advise is to make sure you really pay attention to the markings on the pattern pieces and transfer them to the fabric. I used my frixion pen to mark the pocket, velcro and tab placements. The outside phone and water bottle pockets are sewn on first. The middle pocket is sewn on top of these and hides unfinished areas of those outside pockets. There is a small amount of hand sewing required also. Here you see the red clips at the top of the organizer. The front and back are sewn around and then turned with an opening to be closed with needle and thread.
The tabs are the last two things that are attached to the organizer and because of the pockets on the front, they have to be hand sewn. The instructions are a little vague as they just say hand sew. I decided to use a ladder stitch and go around the three sides connected to the bag.
Then I sewed the top of the bag to the back side of the tab using the same ladder stitch.
There were of course some things that I had to figure out because I had never seen them before. One in particular is the binding. The instructions call for you to open the double fold binding and trim along the fold. There are some pictures and they do help. I tend to use the finished pictures to help me complete projects, but the cover photo does not show binding in a different color so this was one thing I had to trust I was doing correctly. The trimming of the binding reduced bulk but left the second fold so you could wrap it around.
The binding is used to create a casing for the elastic on the water bottle pocket. I think I assumed the casing would be part of the quilted material when I first began the project, but the binding is a better way to make a lighter casing and once I figured it out, I now have a new technique in my sewing arsenal. Isn't that usually how it goes? Those things that are hardest or confusing usually wind up being some of our go to things.
The velcro went on easy because I used those markings from the pattern so again, make sure you take the time to transfer everything over. The pockets did have some first time elements also for me. They are actually formed first and have some darts in them to help give volume. When you sew the outer ones on, one side that will remain visible is turned under and attached while the other is left raw because it will be covered by this middle pocket. The instructions state to baste the raw edges and I would not skip that. I know a lot of people want to move through a project quickly but that quilted material is thick and will shift. So make sure you do baste when it states to.
The last thing I would advise you to do is make sure you are using larger needles. One layer of quilted fabric is thick but there are areas when you are sewing the front and back together that you will have three to four layers of material. I started with a denim needle and did have one break. I wound up using a heavy duty 110/18 needle to finish the organizer. So maybe buy a new pack of needles and take it slow when you are sewing. I also lengthened my stitch from a 2.5 to a 3.0 and just moved patiently through the project so my machine could do it's work. My iron and pressing station were used throughout also to make sure that quilted material did not shift and was as neat as possible.
So here is the finished organizer ready to ship to my special friend. It took me two sewing sessions to complete it. If I had started with ready made quilted material, I believe I could have finished this project in one day or roughly eight hours of layout, cutting and sewing. I would not say this is a beginner project because of the type material. It does get thick and you do have to manipulate it. A beginner might not know to use all of the markings and the pockets with the darts are a little fiddly to attach to the bag. I would say a couple of easy bag projects with flat pockets might be good to practice on before mastering this pattern. It did turn out beautifully, I learned some new techniques and look forward to trying the other bags available in the pattern. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
It's that time of year and I have been working really hard on original Christmas Embroidery Designs for you. Some are sentimental. Some are cute and some are just plain funny. They are all on sale now through the end of December on my SALE SALE SALE page. I know you will love thinking about the creative projects you can make. Let's take a look at them.
The Whimsy Tree stitches out in one color with no trims. It would be beautiful on crisp white linens or tablecloths.
Seasons Greetings will make that chef in your family smile. Perfect for kitchen items!
This little Chicken doesn't "Deck the Halls". She "Pecks The Halls!" If you have a farmer in your life, they would love this design stitched on a pillow or kitchen towel.
Do you have a traveler in your family? Roam for the Holidays would decorate their mobile home quite nicely!
A Jolly Snowman just makes you feel like singing doesn't it?
Mistletoad is puckering up for a kiss. This design comes with a FRINGE element in his scarf. Instructions included with the download!
Merry Fishmas would be perfect for that fisherman in your life or for that Aquarium lover!
Know someone celebrating Christmas on the coast? Santa Claws is a cute beachy design.
Are you in Puppy Love? My Merry Kissmas Design will help you share it with that special someone.
Fleece Navidad looks so festive and will bring a smile to your Christmas gathering.
Mooey Christmas is perfect for that person who can't get enough of decorating with Cows.
Bark the Herald Angels will make even the Grinch smile at Christmas!
Sheeps Until Christmas comes with two designs in the download. One is the little sheep that you can use to countdown until Christmas with Chalkboard fabric. The second one reminds that Santa is watching Ewe! Check out the sewing project we used these two design with here.
My Manger Silhouette design would be perfect to add to a couch pillow, towel or table runner.
My In the Hoop Sock Monkey Ornament would look so cute on your Christmas tree!
Those Old Pickup Trucks are very popular right now. Stitch out this Old Winter Truck and decorate your home past the Christmas season!
As a Merry Christmas to all of my customers, I have also added the Dog Paw and Cat Paw Humbug designs. Check them out on our Free Designs page
I hope this year has been a good one for you and your families and that your Christmas Season brings you much Peace. That is my special Christmas wish for you. Joyeaux Noel and remember to share what you learn, and be generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My family just shake their heads at me when I wash out plastic containers. They don't even ask any more if I want to save unique packaging. Sometimes I don't have a problem discarding them but when we finished off a container of Cheeseballs recently, the tub was so big and sturdy, I had to come up with something I could re-purpose it for. So it sat on my studio table for a couple of days while I pondered. The hardest part was singling out where I could most use it. Right now as the seasons have changed, my yard is getting bare and I always feed the birds. That was my light bulb moment.
If you are interested in the brand cheeseballs, the picture above might look familiar. I could have just used the container to store my bird seed as is. If you have one in your pantry, don't throw it out. These have a wide opening perfect to reach into. I think you could come up with a multitude of uses in your house.
I digitized a really simple embroidery design for the project and used an old pair of blue jeans that I cut apart. So my project was Upcycled and Recycled! The design can be found here in my store. Cutting the jeans apart meant I did have to piece all of the fabric together and there were seams. I don't mind that but you might want to use a large piece of fabric instead. I think a canvas drop cloth would be excellent also.
I wanted my cover to fit snugly around the container, have a handle, a pocket and an open bottom. Since it would be made of fabric, I didn't want it to get too dirty as I carried it around my yard refilling my bird feeders. In the picture above, I sewed the cover so it comes just above the bottom edge. That way it still sits on plastic. I am not worried about the cover slipping off because I made sure the elastic is good and tight. Using the denim also helps stabilize the fabric and it is really sturdy. You could of course add a bottom very easily or sew a few strips of belting to enclose the cover.
The pocket is very spacious and covers most of the front. My thought was I might need to carry some tools to clean out old birdseed or maybe a funnel. I added tucks on the bottom and elastic to it can hold larger items very easily. This is where I embroidered the cute design also.
When I cut the jeans apart, I kept all of the seams and used them for the handle. I just braided them together and sewed them flat to either side of the cover. Then I trimmed them straight across so they would look neat.
The top and bottom include a casing so elastic could be pulled through. This makes the cover stay snug against the cover. It is very forgiving also since the cover has a lot of different dips and valleys. I will tell you that depending on the type fabric you use, this may differ. My denim was very thick and I did use a large needle for sewing leather. I had some areas that also required some hand stitches just to secure. This was usually where I double folded the casings and seams met together.
So now I have an excellent "upcycled tool" that will be useful to carry around my yard while I refill my feeders. I can also be assured when I store any leftover seed, the critters that might be looking for the buffet won't have such an easy time. If I store seed in the bag it usually comes in, I will more than likely find evidence that my shed has had "visitors"
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work
I love to re purpose something. If you have read my blog posts, you will see that I do have a hard time throwing anything away. I keep a stash of items stored in my craft room and it does tend to grow out of hand so I am continuously working on projects. My newest project has upcycling, sewing, quilting and embroidery all wrapped up. I purchased some flannel sheets last year from Wal*Mart in the buffalo check pattern. When you buy those sheets they will usually come enclosed in a boxy fabric zippered bag. Don't throw these out! You can use them for so many projects.
Here you see the outside bag with an added handle, cute embroidery and a pocket. The sheep is an applique design with chalkboard fabric. You can officially write in how many "Sheeps" until Christmas Morning on his body. The Text also lets you know that Santa Claus is watching "EWE" I took the original bag apart and drafted a pattern from it so I could make a lining. The lining was quilted so once I installed it , the structure of the bag would be more stable and stand up. I also used cutaway stabilizer in the pocket so it would help the bag stand up better.
When I was planning the project, my thought for a final use would be a pajama bag for kids. Holiday pajamas are really popular and instead of them winding up on the floor, a bag like this would be a great place for them to be stored. It could sit on the bed and also allow for interaction with counting those precious days away. The pocket can hold chalk and erasers. This would make such a cute bag to carry to grandma's house. The set of sheets that I purchased was a Queen size. I do have a generic drawing of the pattern with measurements I drafted so you can try this also. Just know that each set of sheets may come with a different size bag so measure your project accordingly. Look for the pattern download below.
Both Embroidery patterns are available in my store here. They come bundled together so you can embellish any project you want for the holidays!
I also did a You tube video showing my process. It is the complete bag from start to finish so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy watching 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!
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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