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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Machine Embroidery on Hoodies and Happy New Year's Eve


Dear Friends,
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and are now gearing up for the brand new year.  A time for fresh beginnings awaits us.

I received some wonderful machine embroidery items for Christmas (will share with you in an upcoming post) but my most favorite gift of all was having my family all together.

You see, I was not expecting Katie to be able to come for a visit as she is in the Air Force.  Mike and Katie had other secret plans as Katie had a couple of days off.  It was two days before Christmas and we were all sitting in the living room.  Mike says he has an early Christmas present for us and we are to close our eyes.

I jokingly said, "Is it a puppy?"  I knew good and well it wasn't a puppy.  We all closed our eyes and our beagle, Cindy, starts yipping excitedly.  I laughed and said, "It IS a puppy!" 

Mike says to open our eyes and sitting before us was KATIE!  He flew her in for a couple of days!  What joy!

I was still in need of getting a few groceries for our Christmas meal.  I rushed to our Meijer  which is a one stop grocery/department store.  It was a cold and snowy day.

Along with the groceries, I grabbed a few things to wrap for Katie so she would have SOMETHING under the tree.  First, I got us all matching jammies.  Then I also got her a warm hoodie and a robe.  (I had mailed her Christmas gifts earlier)

Upon opening the hoodie, Katie asked for a bit of personalization on her hoodie which I happily agreed to.  Katie loves horses.  The font and swirl designs are built into my machine, Brother 1250D.
 
It was sad for us to say goodbye to Katie.  She deploys early March to Kuwait.  Please keep her and all our service men and women in your prayers.
 
I hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas.  Having all our family around the table and going to church made it simply perfect for me.
 
With loving New Year's wishes to you all,
Nancy

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Machine Embroidery on Cards

Dear Friends,
The beautiful Christmas season always brings it's own form of busy to our lives.  That means I have time for only the quickest of projects right now.  I'm sure you understand.  :-)

I've made sets of these snowflake cards to give as gifts.  In the previous cards, I rubberstamped Christmas wishes.  This time, I've left the inside of the cards blank so that the recipient can use these cards for any occasion.

The snowflake design comes from Needle Little Embroidery Yahoo group
The step-by-step directions on how to make these little cuties can be found HERE. 
 
Have the very Merriest Christmas Ever.
Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

End of the Year SHINE Update



Dear Friends,

If you remember at the beginning of the year I had selected the word SHINE to focus on during 2013.  It was a word I had felt placed on my heart and I felt I was being called to shine in my words and actions.  That post can be found HERE.

Over the course of this past year, that word has helped me keep me pointed north, meaning that it has guided my way through situations I've encountered.  2013 has been a very difficult year, plus it has been an extremely busy year.  It truly has been a year for me to serve others (which isn't a bad thing and what we are called to do).  A year of service and a year of busy creates a weary Nancy and I have felt like life was out of balance.  It has been through those times I would repeat in my head, "just shine Nancy, just shine."
 
God used this word in me in ways I didn't imagine when I first selected it.  I didn't realize I'd be called upon and called to serve like I had this year.  I've said many times in my life, "We do not know what tomorrow will bring," and that has rang true over and over this year.

Despite the difficulties of 2013, this year has shown me many blessings.  I can also say that the struggles of this year have brought to light blessings, things I'd taken for granted.  I feel more in tune in that I notice God's beauty showing itself the many things around us.
God is great.  He truly is.  I have full confidence that 2014 is going to be an amazing year, especially considering the words that have been placed upon my heart to focus on.  I can't wait to share them with you and will do so January 1st. 
 
But for now, Emily is home from college.  It has been the first time she has seen our new home, first time for her to be in Michigan, and it doesn't quite feel like home to her yet, but it will.  There is a lot of beauty out there in that snow today.  God's love is good and everlasting.  I am thankful for my blessings, and I am thankful to all of you who are out there reading this blog.
 
With love and God's blessings, may you be enjoying the beautiful Christmas season.
Nancy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How To Do Machine Embroidery On Cardstock - Sweet Christmas Cards


Dear Friends,
Last night I had a little fun doing some embroidery on cardstock to make these sweet snowflake cards.  Have you ever tried embroidering on card stock?  It really is a lot of fun and I've made up a whole box of cards that I have ready to send.  Paper crafting is something else I enjoy so it is a great way to use up those extra scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies.

First choose your design.  This beautiful design comes from Needle Little Embroidery.  It is a free design that was just posted on the Needle Little Embroidery Yahoo group which is open to anyone.  The design you choose should be pretty light.  Most red work designs work well for stitching on paper.  If you use a dense design, chances are your paper will tear due to the many needle penetrations.  If you have a design that you are concerned will tear the paper, Iron on a piece of light weight tear-away stabilizer to the back of the cardstock and this will help prevent tearing.  I did not do that on these cards because the design is pretty airy.

As for the needle I use, I personally choose a 75/11 needle size as that is a smaller needle thus making smaller holes in the cardstock.  Here's a TIP:  You know those needles you have that are only partially used?  By that I mean, when you start a new project, especially a large project, you should always start out with a new needle.  So you replace your old needle thinking that the old needle still has a bit of life left to it.  Save those old needles and get one out now for making cards and doing paper embroidery.  They work perfect for this!

Hoop a piece of light weight tear away stabilizer.  I personally use pattern weight stabilizer that I get at JoAnn's.  It is inexpensive and just right for a project like this. 

Float the cardstock on top of the stabilizer.  (Don't hoop the cardstock)  Stitch your design.  NOTE:  Now, even though your stabilizer is tear away, CUT it away.  Do NOT tear the stabilizer away.  Tearing away the stabilizer can easily tear your cardstock and you don't want that.  Two side notes here.  The red card is stitched with silver metallic thread.  The metallic thread stitches easily and looks stunning on the paper.  Also, I slow my machine down to stitch at a slower speed again to help prevent paper tearing.

Next, glue your design to a piece of folded cardstock and embellish as desired.  Gluing it to the folded card hides the back side of your stitching and the stabilizer.  On the red card, I paper punched the top edge.  I've also rubber stamped a Christmas saying inside the cards so they are ready for me to add a quick note and send. 

Everyone I've given stitched cards to loves them and I get lots of ohhh's and ahhh's and 'how did you make that?'  Keep several on hand with birthday designs and for thank you cards. 

These cards stitch up super quick and make great gifts and are also perfect for selling at craft shows.

Stay warm everyone.  We got 4" of snow yesterday and got to try out our snow blower for the first time.  Brrrrrr....

Blessings to you all,
Nancy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Freestanding Lace Bookmark

Dear Friends,
Time stands still for no man and it certainly isn't standing still for me.  In fact, I think God has put time on double speed for me as 2013 has certainly flown by.  It has been a busy year, rough in many ways and blessings in others.  The fact that it has passed by so quickly, I don't think I really got to appreciate all the blessings I've received.  I must say I am praying for a slower 2014.  We never know what the future holds for us, but I have been making plans and those plans include things that are good and beautiful and just in line with God's design.  It includes slowing down so that I can take time to smell the roses or as with Thanksgiving, smell the turkey and pumpkin pie!  That said though, He, may have other plans for me and if that is the case, I will accept what He brings my way and count my blessings.  I just hope His plans include plenty of machine embroidery because mine certainly do.  :-)

I L-O-V-E Thanksgiving.  I think as I've gotten older it has become my favorite holiday.  I like Christmas a lot too, but what I love about Thanksgiving is that it is a time for family to get together and just be.  Just be ourselves, just be together.  Yes there is a whole lot of cooking going on, but there is not the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, wrapping, decorating, parties and on and on and on.  It is about just family, gratitude and just being.

Have you read the book 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp?  I've read it a couple of times now.


She blogs over at A Holy Experience and I've been reading her blog for several years.  You can read her story in her book, but a quick synopsis, in the book and on her blog, she challenges us to see the gifts, the beauty God gives us each and every day in all the little things in our lives.

I have so many things to be thankful for and Thanksgiving is a very special day in my year to celebrate my blessings.  I am thankful for you, my readers, that you take the time to read my blog and say Hi to me.  Thank you.

May each and every one of you have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.  We will be spending it at my brother's home and it will be full of family.  I have missed my girls so much, I can't wait to see them in a few days.  My dad and mom, with her new knee will be there.  My sister-in-law will be doing much of the cooking and I will jump in the kitchen and help out any way I can.  As a thank you, I made Shawna this bookmark so she can keep track of her recipes.  The bookmark is from Anita Goodesign and it is from the Lace Bookmarks cd.  You all know I'm fond of FSL projects.

So a very Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.
Love and blessings,
Nancy

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'll be back late October or early November


Dear Friends,
As you read this, (I've prewritten this post) instead of being at the extended stay hotel, I am in Kansas helping my parents for a week as my mother just received a new knee.  I have a week before we get into our new home so I feel my time is best spent doing all I can to help mom get up and around.  My mother is 83 and my dad 85 and they have been married 58 years! Mom is a breast cancer survivor and dad has been dealing with prostate cancer for 18 years now.  They mean the world to me.

The above picture was taken two years ago at Thanksgiving.  You can see all my kiddos here with my parents.  It is a picture I love.  I come back on Thursday and we get to move into our new home on Friday.  Hallelujah!

On Saturday my in-laws arrive and are bringing us our beagle, Cindy.  How I have missed my sweet four legged companion who follows me everywhere!  Mike's parents plan to stay about two weeks to help us get unpacked and settled.  Oh my goodness I know I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

So with that, I hope you all are enjoying the cooler months.  In Michigan the leaves are turning and the views are stunning. 

With love and blessings,
Nancy

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Grand Rapids Art Prize 2013

We are moving to Michigan at the right time to enjoy a big event here in Grand Rapids.  It is Art Prize, an art show that brings artists from around the world together competing for a grand prize of.....wait for it....$200,000.  Yes you read that right, $200,000.  Total prizes given are $360,000!

There are over 1,500 pieces of art located in different venues covering 3 square miles in the downtown area.  We've been downtown twice to see as much as we could as this competition has continued for three exciting weeks.  The weather has been great and I've got to tell you how nice it has been to see a community come together.  One of the exciting parts of Art Prize is that the community votes on their favorite pieces.  That means Mike, Tim and I all got to cast our votes for our favorites.  It's not hooty tooty art critics voting, it is the people visiting and voting for pieces that speak to them.  We've seen all kinds of crazy art from a fire breathing dragon made out of metal to sculptures created out of every medium you can think of.  Of course there were many paintings and drawings as well.  During the first round, you can vote for as many pieces of art you like.  All four pieces I mention below were ones I voted for.

There was no machine embroidery in the competition, at least none that I'm aware of, but there were two quilts.  Three, if I count the quilt carved out of wood and painted that looked so real you had to get up close and have the artist knock on it to know it wasn't fabric.  Truly, in the picture below, you are looking at a trompe l'oeil wood carving and not a fabric quilt.  This art entry made it into the top 10.  It is about five feet across and was done by Fraser Smith of St. Pete's Beach, Florida.  I got to speak with Fraser and he titled this wood carving "Finding Beauty in Bad Things."  It was based off a plant he found that produced berries of different beautiful colors.  He soon discovered that this vine was invasive and choked out many desired plants so hence the work of art got its name.
 
Another entry that made it into the top 10 is this one, titled Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.  This entry is an art quilt made from batiks and hand dyed fabrics.  It is a true work of art created by Ann Loveless who is a textile artist from northern Michigan.  She created this quilt, done in four panels, by looking at a photograph and it is 20 feet in length.  Ann used batiks and hand dyed fabrics to create this.  She started with a basic sketch from a photograph and then just cut her fabric on the fly to piece it together.
 
The final quilt entry into Art Prize is called The Loading Dock by Mary Buvia.  This quilt is made out of over 100 different colors of fabrics in different gradients of value and is so fun and whimsical.  I also got a nice amount of time to speak with Mary and her sister who was helping there helping.  It took Mary over 10 months to create this quilt and it was designed while she was with her husband as he received chemo treatments.  Sadly, Mary's husband passed away in 2010.  She has put her pattern for this quilt into a pattern book produced by the American Quilter's Society should any of you want to make one.  As much as I like this quilt, it looks quite daunting to make.  That said, I did get the book and Mary autographed it for me which was a highlight. 
 
Finally, last night the winners were announced in a 2 hour television special.  Mike and Tim both had a favorite piece.  It is this one titled Myth-or-Logic  It is a griffin made out of hanging pieces of bamboo that sway with the slightest breeze.  It was amazing.
The griffin above came in 7th place and the artist received $5,000.
The wooden quilt, Finding Beauty in Bad Things came in 8th place and also received $5,000.
The Santa quilt, The Loading Dock, I don't believe made it into the top 50.
Now you want to know the grand prize winner of the $200,000 don't you? 
 
Yes!  My favorite in the top ten, Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore won!!!!  It was absolutely stunning and an amazing piece of work.  Congratulations to Ann Loveless!
 
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Free Machine Embroidery Designs and Projects

Dear Friends,
I just love opening my e-mail and seeing I've got access to free beautiful and quality embroidery designs and projects.  Puts a smile on my face for sure!  Designs in Machine Embroidery has put out another free digital issue for everyone!

By going to their website, you can download a special digital issue of the magazine with no strings attached.  There is something for everyone, from the beginner to the advanced.  I get their e-mail newsletters sent to me so I'm in-the-loop when something fun like this comes out.

The issue contains projects and embroidery designs for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter.  Their are projects from quilts to home d├ęcor and from toys to tote bags.  Fun, fun, fun!!  I'm personally quite interested in the quilt project, the baby Christmas stocking and doing the snowman hand towel show in the picture above.  His little feet sticking out below the towel are simply sweet.

Visit Designs in Machine Embroidery.  Just click on the photo at the top of their web page and it will lead you right to the download link.  Also, if you want to stay in-the-loop like I am, while you are there, just sign up for their newsletter.  It will keep you up-to-date with all they have to offer.

I hope you all enjoy this digital issue as much as I have.

Embroidery Blessings to each of you,
Nancy

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Halloween Machine Embroidery Inspiration

Dear Friends,
As you know, I'm sitting quietly in our hotel room here at the extended stay hotel.  T-Minus 14 days and counting now!  I also want to say a thank you to those of you who have e-mailed me with words of encouragement that this time will pass quickly.  I do know you are right and to have you send such sweet words means the world to me.  Thank you!!!

As I wait patiently, I thought I'd share some fun Halloween Machine Embroidery Inspiration that I found while surfing around Etsy.  Now please note, I know some of you don't celebrate Halloween so in no way am I wanting to offend anyone.  That is never my intent.  Just take a look at the finished work and through it you might receive some creative inspiration while you are in the thick of your fall stitching and getting ready for those fall craft shows.  Please note some of these are for the finished items you see in the pictures and some of these are for the embroidery designs only.  Sources for these are located below each photo.
I just think this is such an elegant fall coaster set.  It is completely done in-the-hoop.  The monogram letters are not included so be sure to note that.  I'm thinking a set of these would be great for a housewarming gift or for someone who picks up your mail when you go on vacation.

Another fun embroidery design.  Again note as with the one above, this too does not contain the alphabet.  I like the gathered ribbon used to create this pumpkin and think this would look great on a pillow.  It is done in the 5 x 7 hoop.
 

Doesn't every mommy think their child is the cutest pumpkin in the patch?  :-)   This is for the finished shirt.

This is another fun in-the-hoop embroidery design.  Sew Cha Cha has several other designs to hold candy as well.  Here it looks like she topped the candy with clear vinyl but I also think sheer orange organza or tulle would look great too.  Love the bow made out of black netting!


This is for the finished basket.  How fun to use to hold Halloween candy or how about setting it by your chair to hold your current sewing project.  She has a number of other beautiful totes for sale as well.

Cute candy corn bag.  Make several of these and place in a bowl or how about hanging them on a tree branch with fall leaves and a black crow!  Children will love this.

I think this outfit is adorable!  I just love the little cheer leading style skirt with all the matching fabric insets.  This is for the finished outfit and be sure to take note of the orange rick-rack at the bottom of the skirt.  Super cute!

Another design I absolutely love.  Once again, take note that the lettering is not included.  Other examples are shown of putting a name in the split design.  Personally, I'm quite fond of "Happy Fall Y'all" and I'd hang this hand towel in my kitchen just like it is.
 
So what fall and Halloween projects are you all working on these days?  Shoot me a picture and a link of your project and if there is enough interest, I'll compile the pictures into another post and send my readers your direction.
 
Embroidery Blessings,
Nancy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Embroidery Machine Blues

Dear Friends,
I'm sitting here in our extended stay hotel with not much more than my computer and I'm having some serious sewing and embroidery withdrawal.  I really am!

Everything with the move is seemingly flowing smoothly.  The bank loan has come through and we are set to close in a couple of weeks.  We're set to take possession of the house October 11th and our furniture is scheduled to arrive that day and that means my sewing/embroidery machine will be there too!

As you can imagine though, it will take some time to unpack and get settled.  I can't wait!!!

Here is a little sneak peek of the future headquarters of Embroidery It.  These pics were taken while house hunting so it's not my furniture you see here.  It is a small guest room in the basement with a closet and the room includes a nice pretty window.  Those blank walls will be filled with shelves and cabinets and I'll place my desk with sewing machine in front of the window so I can look out.


Now back to hotel living.  Unless I just really need a vehicle, Tim drives himself to school and Mike drives to work which means most days I'm car-less.  While here, in order to pass the time, I have been doing lots of reading.  Also, Michael's craft store is a 5 minute walk and JoAnn's Fabrics is a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  I go to one or the other several times a week just to get out and about.  One day I even went to JoAnn's twice in one day.  I bet I can find things and know those two stores better than some of the employees. :-)  Yes, it is potentially dangerous for me to live so close to craft stores!

I have bought various crafting magazines as well as I bought a small amount of felt, fabric, beads and embroidery thread and I'm trying to make some Christmas ornaments by hand.  (It just makes me miss my sewing machine even more)

The other thing is that I've been giving a lot of consideration is to where I want to take Embroidery It.  I've been writing down goals and thoughts and if you are not too bored already, here is a bit of what I have been dreaming of.  Basically come 2014, I am ready to move it just beyond the hobby stage yet still have plenty of time for my family.

Fall 2013 - October, November and December
   1.  Get moved and settled into our new home.
   2.  Become familiar with the local art/craft shows and venues.
   3.  Prepare our own home and activities for the fall and winter holidays.

Winter 2014 - January, February and March
   1.  Start embroidery production to prepare for craft shows.
   2.  Open Etsy Shop and begin selling here on this site.
   3.  Focus on learning my Generations digitizing software

Spring 2014 - April, May and June
   1.  Continue with embroidery production, Etsy shop and digitizing.
   2.  Have digitizing for sale.  I've got to figure out how that whole instant download thing works.
   3.  Do one or two spring craft shows.  This will enable me to get my booth figured out before fall as well as packaging and taking orders down pat.  It will help me get all the kinks out before the fall craft season begins.

Summer 2014 - July, August and September
   1.  Focus of family summer fun.
   2.  Continue embroidery production and Etsy shop.
   3.  Continue digitizing.

Fall 2014 - October, November and December
   1.  Continue embroidery production and Etsy shop.
   2.  Focus on craft shows and boutiques.
   3.  Focus on family activities during fall and winter holidays.

The one thing about the Midwest is that there certainly a lot of craft fairs and events which means plenty of venues to sell finished work.  I'm not sure if I want to focus more on completed projects or do custom orders.  I'll figure that out during the first year.  I'm also wondering if I will want to do more sewing or embroidery or a combination of the two.  I'm guessing things may go in waves where some times I feel more like sewing and other times more like embroidering.  Now I'm just rambling so I'm going to bring this to a close.

Sending each of you Love and Embroidery Blessings,
Nancy

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Attention All Friends, Especially Michigan Friends


Dear Friends,
Yes, as you read in the last post, we are moving from New Mexico to Michigan.  This is a huge move for us.  We're currently at an extended stay hotel for about 6 weeks now while we wait to close on our new home scheduled for October 11th.  I can't begin to tell you how excited I am.  Being born and raised in Kansas, moving to the mid-west is wonderful. 

Since I don't have my embroidery machine in the hotel with me, I will be pretty quiet on this blog for a while.  I also know it will take time for me to get settled in our new home and then come the holidays.  I'll post here when I move in and get my machine.  I'm already getting the itch to stitch!!!

And for those of you living in Michigan, I'd love to hear about the fun things to see and do in this part of the country.  I'm really looking forward to going to the craft shows and fall festivals that I'm sure are just around the corner as well as any sewing or embroidery events and classes that I could attend.

With hugs and blessings,
Nancy

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Home for the Holidays

Dear Friends,

I'm taking a bit of a break from embroidery to bring you this special announcement of a new online course being offered called Home for the Holidays from the blog LifeInGrace.  I'm also taking a break from embroidery to bring you some very special news that we will be moving!  I will be filling you in on all the details very soon.

So in having a new home and new surroundings, it will be a very busy time for me and oh how I want to make it beautiful for the holidays and not just visually, but by experiencing beauty through the moments I will be sharing with others.  With the hustle and bustle that will come with the move and with the holidays, I want to keep Christ, and what is important at the forefront of my thoughts, words and actions.  Slowing down, and appreciating the holidays as well as authenticity of our actions is a portion of what this course will be offering yet it helps summarize the essence of the course.  There will also be recipes and lots of creativity offered each week that will help satisfy my need for artful expression.  Home for the Holidays begins October 1st.

Yes friends, this will be a big move for me to another part of the country which means so much to learn, new places to explore and new friendships to make.  Please keep my family in your prayers as we experience the many changes and challenges that moving presents us with.

Thank you and God Bless,
Nancy
(disclaimer:  I received this course for free by writing this blog post about it.)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Machine Embroidery a Mug Rug

 
Good Morning My Sweet Embroidery Friends!
My how I'd love to have you stop in for a cup of coffee with me so we could catch up on all the latest and then spend a peaceful morning stitching away.  Fun, fun, fun!!!
I'm sure you have heard of these little placemats called "mug rugs".  If you haven't, just do a Google search for them and you will find many.  They are a miniature placemat meant to be used with just a drink and a snack, or in the instance of breakfast, coffee and a pastry.  They wash up easily in the laundry and are good to go the next day again.  I've made several and what I particularly enjoy is taking them outside and sitting on the patio to enjoy the start of my day.  Coffee, prayer, listening to the birds, there is nothing better!
In the above picture is my mug rug that I put together with jelly roll scraps.  This is a great scrap buster project.  My sewing machine has some built in lettering which I used to stitch the wording.  Then I pieced it all together with a scrap of quilt batting.  The pink border is the backing.  I cut the backing 1" larger all around and brought the backing to the front and tucked the raw edge in.  Then either whip stitch it by hand or use the machine and stitch closely to the edge.

This little cutie is a coaster from Oma's Place.  It is made in the 4 x 4 hoop.  I feel like it is a little too small to be a coaster plus I'm afraid it will get lost on its own, but take a look below....
It was the PERFECT embellishment for my mug rug!  Love it!!  One more little secret...It is one of her freebies!  Can't beat that. 

Just a few stitches to hold it in place and good to go.  :-)  A clever way to make a machine embroidered mug rug.

 
 
Finally, our youngest, Timothy, turned 16.  And yes, he's learning to drive.  Yikes!  His birthday was the day was the day he and Mike returned from the Boy Scout jamboree.  They didn't get home until about 10:45 at night so we only had a short time to celebrate.  Tim has a sweet tooth so Emily and I made up a candy buffet which he thought was fun.


 
Embroidery blessings to all of you!
Nancy
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Machine Embroidery Mylar Butterfly on a Handtowel

Hi Friends,
Yellow is my favorite color!  Second favorite color is green.  They just make me smile.  In fact, most of my house I've painted in a soft butter yellow and our bedroom in a soothing spa green.  Actually, I love all pastel colors.  You all wanted to know that right?  :-) 


At our local sewing center, I took this class in which we took a hand towel and stitched two rows of fabric casing.  One row was at the top of the towel and the next was four inches down from the first.  Then   grosgrain ribbon was strung through the casing, the casing was gathered and then the ribbon stitched in place.  There is a final matching decorative strip sewn three inches up from the bottom.

You can see here how the hand towel attaches to the oven door by tying the ribbons on each side in a bow. 

Finally, rather than stitching directly on the terry cloth towel, the design was stitched onto cotton and then the white cotton stitched onto the towel.  There is also mylar under the butterfly wings.  This towel has been washed numerous times and the mylar still shines.

The digitized image was given to me by our instructor who informed us she had received permission to pass this image onto the class, but honestly, I don't know who to give credit to for it.  If any of you have seen this image, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail and I'll be happy to give a shout out to the designer.

I hope you are all staying cool this summer and finding a little time to sit down at your embroidery machine.

Summer blessings to you,
Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Machine Embroidered Desk Organizer

Dear Friends,
Where is summer going?  I even feel like spring flew through here and I missed it!  Never have I felt time pass so quickly.
 
First there was Katie and Eric's wedding, and now lots of boy scout activities.
Mike and two additional leaders took 24 boys to West Virginia to the National Jamboree for boy scouts.  Our boy scout council didn't get their patches in until the day before so here I am with 3 others at the boy scout office stitching away to help get our men, young and old, ready to go.

My sweet Tim.
 
Today I want to show off a desk organizer I made in a sewing class at Ryan's Sewing and Vac in Albuquerque. 
A few years ago there was an "as seen on TV" commercial for a fold and go desk organizer.  I don't know if it is still on the air as I haven't seen it in some time.  Our instructor designed one of her own and taught us.  I, of course, took advantage of a blank spot above the top center pocket to do a bit of embroidery work.  When it is folded closed, it is held together by an elastic pony tail band and a button.  Clever!  The pockets are made using Pet Mesh.  This is a pet screen you can get at Lowe's or Home Depot where they sell window screen.  It is a fibrous screen with a plastic coating on it.  I've actually seen some beach bags made with it and it stitches easily with the sewing machine.
My decorative butterfly embellishment.  The design is from Embroidery Library.  What I have stored in it are stabilizer scraps.  The pockets hold different types of stabilizer, wash away, cut away, tear away, etc.  When I have a scrap of stabilizer that I know will fit in my smallest hoop, I save it here.
My garden is getting into full swing now.  I'm picking tomatoes, pole beans, peas, spinach, radishes, carrots, kale and herbs.  Take a look at this yellow beauty that decided to come up as a volunteer!  A bird must have dropped a couple seeds as I have two plants.  I'm going to cover them with mesh and hopefully harvest the seeds soon.  There are also some cucumber and zucchini making an appearance but too soon to pick.
For now though along with the vegetables, the plum tree and grape vines have been providing us, and the birds, with some yummy goodness.

Blessings everyone,
Nancy
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