Customer Appreciation Sale
Every order through our website will have an additional 20 % taken off at checkout NOVEMBER 25 - 30, 2022. The only thing you have to do is
In The Hoop Crafter Koozie Set
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.
Easy Quilt Using A Focus Fabric
Have you ever walked around your fabric department and a fabric spoke to you? That is what happened to me with this quilt project. I wanted to make a quilt for my mom but my inspiration mojo was at a low point. I wanted something feminine for a ladies bedroom but I didn't feel like a whole lot of piecing. So I let the fabric "speak to me". As soon as I saw the bee print, my plan began formulating.
Isn't this so pretty? It just looks inviting. I could imagine my mom snuggled underneath. I went in search of other fabric that would be a good match.
Now quilt math and calculating fabric are a another story for me. I freely admit that I am no expert and if a math problem has more than two parts, I am at a loss. Quilt math reminds me of word problems. Yuck. There is light at the end of the tunnel though in the form of a wonderful website. Quilters Paradise. They have several FREE calculators that will take away the math pressure and allow you to just be creative.
I decided to treat the bee fabric as a panel and then sew increasing borders around it. The border calculator allows you to enter the measurements of the center part of your quilt top and then add up to five borders. It will tell you how much yardage to purchase.
They have a batting and backing calculator and a binding calculator also. I like to use these before I make my shopping trip so I am prepared to purchase. Really the fabric is enough stimulation in the store. I don't need to add math in the mix. Check out the Quilter Paradise story and their retail store. They have such an interesting background.
I wanted to incorporate some embroidery on the quilt top so I digitized the bee logo from the fabric and added quilting as an applique.
Here is that central focus fabric with the embroidery and two of the three borders. On my shopping trip I also looked for a special trim that I could use to break up the center panel.
I pinned it across and then used a zig zag seam to attach. Something this small can make a big impact. Up to this point, I really haven't done much piecing either. So this top came together really quickly. I think I had it ready to go on the longarm frame in three days from initial cutting.
Here it is loaded up on my frame ready to quilt. Since there are multiple borders, I decided to do different quilting patterns on each. Now I did work vertically down the quilt and once I got all of the borders done across, I took the whole quilt off the frame and rotated it. Then loaded it back on the frame and quilted the two side borders. That way I didn't have to chunk any borders or figure any math as I was advancing the quilt in my frame.
Look how pretty all of those feathers are on the back. That center oval is where the embroidery was and I had plans for it. I put the quilt label inside.
Here is a view of the label without my heartfelt quote. Some things are between a mom and a daughter..... You can see that I added another cute bee and I did hand sew with turned edge applique.
I had extra fabric and trim so I made a small throw pillow that she can decorate with.
The best part of making a quilt as a gift is seeing it in the space it will be used. I think it matches my mom's bed perfectly. She loved it and I even got to talk to her the day after she slept under it for the first time. That is a memory that will stay with me. Maybe you have been inspired to sew a simple quilt using a focus fabric you love. I filmed a video you can watch below showing more of my process and even the quilting in case you want to see how that came together on the longarm. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Veteran Quilt From A Panel
Veterans Day is this week and this is a time to thank those who have served. Our little community always has special events for the local veterans and it makes me proud to see. My dad served in the Navy during the Vietnam war and did two tours. Then he enlisted in the Army National Guard. I grew up with Army green supplies and Meals Ready To Eat in the house. We loved the Chiclet gum in those meal kits. I have fond memories of my dad and his sense of duty and honor to country. So I am always proud to make something for a Veteran and one of my recent quilts was specially made to donate.
I started with a panel from Northcott Fabrics. This jumped out at me when I was shopping my local fabric store. I thought it would be a perfect throw size quilt. Now this pattern is not my original idea. I have seen many people online cutting a panel and adding strips. It just seemed like an easy project to get done as I had recently finished a harder quilt. Sometimes you have to give your craft brain a rest and this did just that.
I used the panel and a yard of gray fabric. I cut about 12 inches off the yardage and sewed it to the bottom of the panel and then to the top so it was a loop of fabric. Then I cut six even strips lengthwise and cut the looped fold so I had 6 inches of yardage on top and bottom of the panel. The strips of gray fabric were cut 2 inches wide and pieced so they were as long as the panel strips. A 1/4 inch seam allowance was used to sew them all together. This is easy straight seams but I would advise using pins to keep the strips from stretching as you sew.
Here is the panel and strips sewn together. Even though the print is separated, your brain "sees" it together. Kind of cool and it levels up the print so it is a bit fancy. Pressing as you go really helps this process also. You could stop right here but I decided to add some borders.
Red white and blue border strips were cut 2 1/2 inches wide and then sewn round robin style. Again pressing each one keeps it flat. I also made sure that all of the loose threads were trimmed before I quilted it. My white, blue and red fabrics were side by side and I didn't want any loose threads showings through the white.
Here is the quilt after I pulled it off my Handi Quilter longarm machine. An edge to edge star pattern was used.
I trimmed the quilt and sewed the binding strips by machine so it would be nice and sturdy.
Now that is a beautiful simple quilt and I delivered it to my brother when I travelled to Houston for the quilt show. He is a member of a Veterans Riding group and I can't wait to see what they decide to do with this quilt. I filmed a video showing a more in depth look at how I sewed and quilted this project. You can watch it below. Has this inspired you to make a quilt for a veteran or organization? 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 Houston International quilt festival has been on my bucket list for many years and I finally got to check it off. I have heard that it is the convention where you will see new items, techniques and get inspired. It was definitely all that.
Now I live about 12 hours from Houston so we decided to break the trip up by staying in Natchitoches Louisiana the first night. The length of the drive is doable in a day for me but I have a soft place in my heart for this little historic town. My husband and I both spent time at Northwestern State University and we have many fond memories of the Christmas Festival of Lights, Cane River, Front Street, Restaurants, Bed and Breakfasts, Pecans from Little Eva Plantation and so many other things. So it is always a place we will try to get a visit into.
This bread pudding from Fontenot's Restaurant is some of the best I have ever had.
Even though we haven't reached Thanksgiving, the town was already setting up for the Christmas Festival of Lights. Here is an iconic light fixture on Cane River
I have to give some love to Lasyonne's Meat Pie Restaurant. This was our breakfast Thursday morning before we pulled out of town.
We had an obligatory stop at Toledo Town which is right before you cross the Toledo Bend Reservoir bridge into Texas. This is a spot my husband loves because of the fishing tackle.
We made sure to drive slow enough to Hit Lufkin Texas right about lunchtime so we could eat at another old haunt of ours. Cafe Del Rio has some of our favorite Mexican food. Order the green sauce and you will know why. Cool creamy and addictive with their hot crispy tortilla chips. Can you tell we judge our trips by the food? If you travel with us, you are gonna eat well.
We pulled into Houston on Thursday afternoon and Friday Morning bright and early an Uber picked us up at my brother's house. This was a first time for me and I am now hooked on the Uber app. I think the worry of driving and finding a parking place in a downtown area or garage is one of the worst parts of travel. No more because I now understand why so many people say they just "grab an Uber"
I met the Gourmet Quilter. I couldn't believe she travelled all the way from New Zealand and I was worried about finding a parking spot. This lovely lady got me through Covid quarantine. She had so many videos to watch I was constantly learning something new.
I saw Emily who is the Collage Quilter. She was plenty busy so I didn't get to talk to her. I love her quilting designs. If you haven't seen her work, check it out.
Here is a lineup of guests at the All Brands Booth. SO many talented people.
I got to visit with Becky from Power Tools With Thread. We had a nice chat and she was super popular. I saw a lot of people coming up for photos with her.
Adam from Adam Sew Fun is one of my favorites. If you have never seen his videos, look him up on YouTube. I have learned so much from him and he is always being brave and trying new things with his Long Arm machine. He is also a hot Handi Quilter Ambassador traveling all over the country teaching.
Kaffe Fassett was on one of the main stages. He was very popular as you can see. I was at the back of the standing room only crowd. Did I mention there were quilts there? LOTS of beautiful quilts to get you inspired and make you drool.
I also brought several quilts to my family that I had been working on. My car was stacked with them. It felt really good to pass on those beautiful quilts that they will enjoy using.
When we got home, I was welcomed by this beautiful mum in my yard. I had to share this because it came from a very small piece that broke off another one last year. I nursed it all last winter and look how beautiful! What wonderful memories I have from this trip. I feel so lucky to have been able to go and that we can congregate once again with others that enjoy our crafting journey. I have a video you can watch below with more footage from my travel. 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.
Machine Embroidery Designs For Fake Fur
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.
October is breast cancer awareness month and I love to dedicate some time to sewing and donating. I recently finished a large T Shirt quilt and I have an entire plastic tote filled with leftover material. Throwing it away is not an option for me because I can't let all of that soft worn in material go to waste. So I thought why not create a project that recycles and goes to a great cause. The Free Beanie Pattern is here to download in my store.
Cancer patients get cold. That is just a fact. The first time I donated to my local treatment center, they actually let me tour the area where the patients receive their medication. That was an eye opening day for me. It was a large room with chairs and IV equipment. Several nurses were present and the people waited in the lobby until everything was set up for them to enter. A small area was set aside for donations. You would not believe how many crafts, magazine snacks, blankets and other wonderful things were stacked neatly and with care. So if you are unsure about your donated items being used, forget your fears! It will be loved and is most welcome. That is where this beanie comes in.
The T Shirt material is perfect for beanies because it is usually a good weight is buttery soft and has some stretch retention. This a great item to have readily available for patients to grab. The tag on the front is made using 100% polyester Grosgrain ribbon 1 1/2 inches wide. There is a graphic in the download ready to print and sublimate then heat press. Set your press to 380 degrees F for 60 seconds. The graphic is part of the Creative Commons images from Microsoft Publisher. I thought it was most appropriate for the project and month of October.
Maybe you don't want to use the graphic or you don't have a heat press and sublimation printer? No worries, Just find some cute pre printed ribbon like these above and you will have a captive audience for sure.
You will also receive a full sheet of these in the download for gift cards. Just print on card stock and attach with a small safety pin. This would be an excellent service project for your quilt guild.
How cute is this? Simple easy sewing even though it is knit. Just use a ballpoint needle and some zig zag or stretch stitching. You can also use a serger for the construction. I used my regular sewing machine and had no problems.
So use up that pile of leftover T Shirt material for a great cause. My month of October will be dedicated to this project in between other crafting. I have an instruction video below you can watch to see how easy everything comes together. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
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.
September is National Sewing Month!
Did you know that Sewing has it's own month set aside by official proclamation? Officially named by President Ronald Reagan. If you are interested in the history, check out this link to read all about it!
I truly believe that sewing has many benefits for the crafter and receiver of finished projects. If you have read my blog articles, you will find out that I have an ongoing sewing journey and my knowledge continues to grow each year. There seems to be no end to the different ways you can use and incorporate sewing. It is the one thing in my life that I have never gotten bored with. If I get a little low, I can always count on feeling better once a new project is begun. Gifting my completed items to someone in my family or my community makes me feel better also.
Are you ready to lift someone up with your sewing or embroidery skills? Read through my past blogs and you will find so many ideas for sewing, embroidery, and quilting projects. Visit my page with FREE project downloads to get started. My link page has a button at the bottom of the page that takes you to all of my free project downloads. As always.......I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
It is National Sewing Month!! What are you sewing?? I am currently working on a T-Shirt quilt and if our cooler mornings are any indication, we will need some warm quilts pretty soon. I think prep work may be one of the things that keeps people from sewing. By the time you get to the sewing stage, you might lose your creative steam.
This is my pile of T-shirts waiting to be disassembled and interfaced. Quite a pile of them as I will be making a king size quilt. If the thought of using an iron on all of this intimidates you, think about using your heat press instead.
The interfacing I am using for this quilt is Pellon 906F. It is a sheer weight and I like the hand of the knit fabric after it has been applied. Some of these shirts have very dense screen print logos on them. So I don't want to add more weight or stiffness. The instructions should always be followed per the manufacturer and I do that with a couple of minor changes.
A wool heat setting is recommended. That is around 300 degrees F. I set my press to 280 degrees. The time to press on the instructions is between 10 and 12 seconds with lifting and overlapping your iron . I set my heat press timer to 8 second increments. This will allow for moving or repositioning in case any spots are missed. Modifying the time and temperature slightly should keep the t-shirts from overheating and melting the screen print logos. You are pressing from the back but it would be so sad to discover an applied logo couldn't stand any heat. You don't know what kind of materials were used when the shirts were made so caution needs to be observed.. The pressure is set to a medium on the heat press.
A damp press cloth is supposed to be used on top of the interfacing. I use a piece of 100 percent cotton fabric and a spray bottle filled with clean water. The water can be misted on the press cloth and it will create a steam press environment.
So you can go from this pile of messy shirts to a stack of flat t shirt logos ready to insert into your quilt.
I really do think the heat press allows for an assembly line workflow. I was able to knock out 30 t-shirts in a few hours.
The Pelon instructions do state that a final steam press can be done from the front. I don't press from the front. Instead, I will press the interfacing from the back and take it back to my cutting station. There I trim away any excess fabric and square the block up. Then I take it back to the heat press to make sure I haven't missed any edges. This is done from the back again just like the initial pressing.
If there are any small logos on the pockets or sleeve of the shirts that look interesting, I will interface them and sew with a zig zag stitch to the t shirt block. Usually on the edge so they don't obscure the logo.
Now I just need to decide where all of these different blocks will be placed in my quilt and sew everything together. There is a quick video tutorial you can watch below to see my heat press in action. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Motorcycle Quilt Inspiration
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.
I had a lot of fabric yardage to press for a new quilt I am currently working on. Instead of cutting all of my pieces right off the bolt, I washed my fabric and after folding, this is what it looked like. I have several pressing areas in my studio but I thought why not create a larger one that would hopefully make it easier to wrangle all of this.
So here is my new pressing real estate. It looks like a runway doesn't it? My table top is a full sheet of plywood and I love having all of that area to work on. My new pad on the opposite end came together pretty quickly. I had everything I needed and after using it I think it is going to become a well loved tool. Now I can keep the fabric on this end and pull it toward the other end.
Here is a close up view. I worried that the quilted channels would be a problem but they compressed after using the pad. This photo was taken right after I finished installing it so after several passes with my iron and pressure, they flattened nicely.
I used a 24 x 48 piece of thin finished wood that was already sanded. This can be found in the finishing woodwork section of your hardware store. It is similar to wood used in cabinetry. In my stash, I had a yard of printed canvas fabric. I did have to do some cutting and seaming of the yard so it added length to one end. Elastic and batting were the final items I used. The batting is polyester and I did use a double layer just to help with the heat. I wanted to make sure it would not travel through the fabric and wood to my table top.
I layered the canvas, batting and a plain backing fabric and quilted lines one inch apart.
Then I trimmed around the edges of the perimeter and used my Serger with a four thread overlock to finish everything.
I did a dry fit on the piece of wood with the elastic and pinned everything to the tightness I wanted and sewed five pieces evenly spaced.
Here you can see that it just folds underneath and the ends extend. So it is very basic in the construction.
Once ready to install you just need to slip the elastic over the wood and pull into place. The whole thing is very light and you could put it behind a door in your studio.
I put mine behind my Serger on the table top and it isn't in the way at all. It also gives my studio some bright color to look at and a new place to pin things I am working on.
Here is my inspiration block for my next quilt project. I was able to get through all of the pressing and cutting my pieces.
Here is everything laid out and ready to piece. Doesn't that feel better when you get to this point?
I usually use an ironing board for my larger yardage and this is a great solution to lay out the fabric flat. I actually enjoyed pressing over an afternoon. Has this inspired you to make a larger pressing surface for your yardage? I am so glad I made mine. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what your create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
In The Hoop Fleece Journal Cover
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.
In The Hoop Wrist Pin Cushion
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.
Tips From A New Grace Cutie Frame Owner
My love for sewing is a constant in my life. I never get bored and I am certain it is because of my evolution. When I look back at my early blogs and YouTube videos, I am amazed at how far I have come. I try not to compare myself to others who will always be farther ahead and you shouldn't either. We are always exactly where we are supposed to be and we move forward when it is time. Now I will say that I have had to put effort into my sewing craft by taking classes, going to conventions and purchasing upgraded tools as I have become more proficient. My latest tool is a Grace Cutie Frame.
The Grace Company has many different solutions if you are interested in quilting. Most people I have spoken to at quilt shows love the idea of having a Long Arm Quilting machine but there are always hurdles to overcome. Usually size of your sewing space and the price tag will hold most people back. If you have followed my blog or watched my videos, you will know that my space is not very large. I am set up in our dining room and I have several different machines and a large cutting table that I don't want to give up. So this Grace Cutie Frame helped me move forward with my quilting journey while fitting into my space. The price tag was much more comfortable as well. My plan was to use my Babylock Destiny 2 that has the largest throat space in my machine collection.
Setting up the Cutie frame took a couple of hours. It was not difficult as everything was very well labeled. It's amazing how many things fit into that box.
When I researched the Cutie Frame, I wasn't sure if my machine would fit on the carriage because of the large screen on the right side. You can see in the picture that it does fit and is able to lock down securely. It has 11 inches of throat space. That means there is 11 inches between the needle and the right side of the machine. That sewing area will be reduced by several inches once on the frame. So keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing a frame. My vertical sewing space winds up being 7 1/2 inches. That doesn't bother me because I am used to doing machine embroidery and being defined by hoop size. The horizontal or side to side sewing space is roughly 30 inches with my machine on the frame. So it is like sewing with a large embroidery hoop that is 7 1/2 x 30 inches. Compared to a 4x4, 5x7 or even a 6x10, it is quite a different feeling.
I have seen many longarm machines and frames at quilt shows, but I was not familiar with the mechanics. Working with this smaller frame, I now have a better understanding of how they work and where all of the wires need to go. I was concerned that my cords would get caught once the carriage started moving. There are plenty of places to tuck everything close to the machine so it stays safe.
The way I set up my frame and my electrical outlet situation caused some head scratching. I did move my battery back up so I could plug in my machine. You can see my cord draped across my table here. I also purchased an extra extension cable for my sewing pedal. There are several in the Cutie Box but you can see my table doesn't have legs so my cable machine placement for the pedal was challenging.
My plug for the sewing pedal has a standard audio cord end so I was able to visit my local Best Buy and purchase an extension cord about 6 feet long. My pedal had plenty of extra reach room to move around on the floor but I did improve on that a little more once I began my quilting.
This diagram shows how you accomplish your quilting with a standard sewing pedal. As you sew, you are standing on one foot working your pedal. Your hands guide the sewing machine back and forth, side to side with the carriage. You are looking at your quilt, trying to follow whatever quilting design and as you move balanced on one foot, you get tired. My best fix was to move from right to left foot with my pedal. I also found that I was rushing to get areas quilted because I was not comfortable. Needless to say, my stitches were not even at all. Now this isn't the frame's fault. It worked great, but with my machine set up, I knew I could improve on my situation.
My machine came with a large pedal and I looked up replacement options. I found I already had a smaller pedal from a Brother sewing machine that was perfect to use. I measured it and went shopping.
My local Wal Mart has a nice bike section and they carry this cell phone bike mount that worked perfectly.
It is spring loaded on the sides so the sewing pedal fits securely and then I could attach it to the handle bars. Since it has 360 degrees of motion, I can move it any direction I need to. Now I can use my hands to squeeze the pedal as I quilt. It has been much easier to control my stitches and keep them more regulated. This could be put on the left side also if you are left handed. It gets all of the cords off the floor so they don't get tangled. I was afraid I would accidentally step on my pedal while advancing my quilt and cause some damage to the machine or quilt. As long as I have strength in my hands I can use this option. I have also read that a lighter spring can be installed in pedals to make them easier to press. I would get a technician to help with that if possible. Another upgrade would be to install some kind of small block to the pedal so it stops at a certain point like a governor on an engine. Then you could fully depress the pedal to a certain stopping point while moving the carriage. I find that if I place my machine speed at the highest setting, my hand operation goes very quickly and evenly. In the beginning I was moving slowly and my stitching was not consistent. Again, lack of comfort played a big role in that.
This might look like a mess, but it has really helped me to install two tape measures across the frame top. I have a hard time judging space and once I got started quilting, I would get excited. Before you knew it, I was out of sewing area and wasn't in great spots to advance my quilt. These two tape measures keep me focused so I can look ahead and judge how much space I have left or go back to areas I have missed. They are installed with magnets so nothing is permanent. I used L brackets from Lowe's and put ceramic magnets between the frame and the brackets. Harbor Freight also had magnetic tool bars. That is the black metal bar you see running across the brackets. Then the small clips holding the tape are magnetic also. Bungee cords keep everything secure so it doesn't move around. I also added a small paper bag with a spring loaded clamp for my thread clippings. You can see it hanging from the table edge.
The tape measures really define my sewing area. It reminds me so much of doing embroidery and helps my expectations. Since I know my sewing area size, I can do some simple math and calculate how many times I will be able to move my quilt side to side and advance forward. This helps me figure out time to complete. This and moving that sewing pedal up were game changers. Once I had the pedal upright, I was able to move forward standing on both feet while completely balanced. The tape measures can be loosened when advancing the quilt or moving it side to side.
Another view of my small thread bag. Harbor Freight has so many options for magnets and clamps. I love browsing there.
Now this tip is something I realized once I started quilting. I installed a large 90/14 needle in my machine and broke two of them. Once that happened, I used one of these Top Stitch 110/16 needles and was able to finish my quilt. There is a lot of needle deflection as you move the material in doing free motion quilting. You may even see your needle bend. This is probably my fault because I did get excited once everything started working better and my movements were fast. So try to keep your movements in time with your sewing pedal and smooth. A larger needle may help you avoid breaking but it will put larger needles holes in your quilt so keep that in mind. As you practice it will get easier and your technique will improve. I just wanted to quilt so I had to keep reminding myself that I needed to hold back a bit.
My first quilt was a panel. I did free motion quilting all over it. My hope is that I will keep learning new ways to quilt including some ruler work. I did buy a ruler foot and some Westalee rulers. My advice to you is to keep your first quilt simple. I tried doing straight lines and following shapes before I did this quilt and I got frustrated. Not at the Cutie quilt frame but at myself because it is a new task. So don't put that perfectly pieced quilt on your frame for your first try. Pick plain easy things that you can use for practice. Get your Cutie Frame set up as best you can for comfort. It was hard work doing the quilting, watching my movements and advancing the quilt. I got a great upper and lower body workout and slept like a log that night; with a smile on my face I might add.
My finished quilt is roughly 45 x 45 inches so just about right for a lap throw. It took me an afternoon to finish the quilting and I did the binding the next day. I do have a video you can watch below that shows all of my set up ideas and where I purchased everything. So far I have had fun using my Grace Cutie Frame and I am glad I made the decision to purchase. I have several new quilts in mind and a special one ready to quilt as soon as I am comfortable in my skill level. Remember you can visit my You tube channel by clicking on the 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.
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.
Upcycle Cloth Napkins Into A Dice Bag
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.
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
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies