Creative Personalization and Unique Gifts all with a Needle and Thread.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Machine Embroidery On Soap? Oh Yes You Can!

This is soap!  It really is!  What a fun, novel gift to give someone. 
But how did you do that Nancy?  I'm so glad you asked.  Look closely at the picture below for the secret ingredient.

Tulle!  This fine mesh netting is the perfect medium to stitch the design on.  You can see, it is almost clear!

Start by hooping water soluble stabilizer and tulle together.  Choose a design created with a running stitch.  The butterfly above is from Anita Goodesign.  I used variegated thread.  When the design finishes stitching out, cut closely to the design to cut away most of the tulle and water-soluble stabilizer.  Then rinse out the stabilizer and the design remains on the tulle.  A solid filled design or a design with satin stitching will not work well for this as it will get lost in the holes of the tulle.

Carefully lay the design on the soap.  Wet a washcloth or paper towel and lay on the design.  This will soften the soap.  Lightly press the design into the soap.  Note:  Choose a soap that doesn't have an embedded print on it.  Many national brand soaps such as Ivory have their name stamped into the soap.  You want a flat soap surface.  This one happens to be a bar of Jergens.  It does have Jergens stamped on the other side of the soap.  I'm using the back side of it to place the embroidery.

 Another note:  The soap is for decorative purposes only.  It is not meant to be used or, of course, the stitching will wash off.
This design comes from Anita Goodesign's cd A Quilt for All Seasons - Spring
Embroidery blessings to you all,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In the Hoop Machine Embroidery Decorative Clothespins

Hi Friends,
I am so ready for spring.  I mean, I'm seriously ready for green grass, flowers and warmer weather.  I had a lot of fun making these in-the-hoop machine embroidery decorative clothespin cozies from Embroidery Library.

The directions are simple to follow. I hooped heavy weight stabilizer and floated felt on top. At the final stitch out, the hoop is removed from the embroidery machine (but don't unhoop the stabilizer) and a second piece of felt is placed on the bottom side of the hoop. How do you get the felt to stay on the bottom side of the hoop you ask?

I have an ingenious product at my embroidery machine.  It is called blue painters tape!  Just put a little piece of tape on each corner of the felt, out of the way of the stitching, and it holds it in place perfectly.

Finally, insert a clothespin and glue a magnet to the clothespin and it is good to go.
Keeps my recipes handy on the side of my refrigerator.  Makes me smile as I think of spring.  BTW...Tulips are my all time favorite flower.

Blessings and happy embroidering,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Machine Embroidery on Jeans

Hi Friends,
Today I have another one of Michelle's designs from Needle Little Embroidery.  I had been wanting to put some bling on my jeans so this design seemed just right. 
I can't believe I posted a picture of my backside! 
For this design I used silver metallic thread.  Now when stitching on jeans you can stitch directly as I did, or you could remove the pocket and stitch the design on the pocket and re-sew the pocket back to the jeans.  I didn't mind not having a back pocket so I just stitched it through the pocket and jeans together.
My next question was what type of needle should I use?  A heavy jeans needle, a metallic thread needle, or a heavier embroidery needle?  I knew there were going to be places where the needle would have to penetrate through three layers of denim as well as the stabilizer.  I decided that the heavy fabric trumps thread and stitching so I went with the jeans needle.  I set my machine on the slowest embroidery speed and I used a medium to heavy weight cut-away stabilizer.
I turned my $12 pair of jeans into a $60 pair of jeans!
Be sure to stop over at Needle Little Embroidery http://www.needlelittleembroidery.com/ and this specific design is "Heart of Elegance".
Blessings and Happy Embroidering!

ADDED:  Please note this blog has been moved to my website.  www.embroideryit.com  Where you will find ideas and inspiration for machine embroidery.
disclaimer: I received this design for free. The opinions of the designs and Needle Little Embroidery are my own.
This post links to: 125

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Generations Software has Arrived

Dear Friends,
I've been like a child waiting for Christmas for my software to arrive.  I was fortunate to get the end of the year bundle from Generations.  So in addition to my software, I received a thread spool stand, thread rack, 30 spools of Robinson Anton thread, additional cd's with classes, a ton of stabilizer and some stabilizer wraps which are the yellow things you see in the picture.  The wraps are like those snap bracelets and they say things like "Tear Away" to go around the tear away stabilizer.  The instruction manual is the three ring binder you see and it is huge.  I've been diving right into it.

One thing I discovered before purchasing is that Generations software is sold through a number of distributors.  Each of those distributors had added to the software package with their own special bundle.  Be sure to shop around to get the best deal from the distributor you are most comfortable with.

Tomorrow I am getting a one-on-one orientation class about the software.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be jumping in with both feet and learning how to do this.

Happy Embroidering,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Shine Update

Dear Friends,
If you remember my focus this year is to SHINE.  You can read more about that HERE

One of the things in my life that has been lacking is to "shine" upon myself and to really care for myself.  I need to lose some weight and get my blood pressure in check.  I've made a focus in working to get in 10,000 steps each day and to really change my eating habits to real or natural foods.

Let me begin by saying that since December 29th I've lost 8.5 pounds.  I want to lose a total of 25.

With Emily, our middle child who is 17, having dealt with Lyme's disease as well as Hashimoto's disease, she has made radical changes to her diet.  She is quite disciplined as she knows how much better it really makes her feel to eat foods in their natural state.  I've always felt nutrition is important, but it has been a weakness of mine to reach for the sweets (after every meal) and I love bread.  Emily has been a huge source of inspiration to me.

I've done my best to cut out as many processed foods as I can.  My next step is to make more of my own salad dressings.  I've cut out most all simple sugars (candy etc.) and have cut way back on the complex sugars (rice, oatmeal, bread).  In fact, I'm limiting the complex sugars to one meal a day.  Finally I've basically eliminated anything fried as well.  I've given myself a one meal a week as a freebie or a treat meal in which I can have a dessert.  Side note here:  I used to work as a nurse at a weight loss center.  I know what to do, it is just the mind set of DOING it that is difficult.

For the last couple of months I've been wearing my pedometer.  It is surprisingly difficult to get 10,000 steps in each day.  If it is a quiet day, I'll normally get 4,500 to 5,000 steps.  If it is a clean the house day I get in about 6,000 steps.  If it is a shopping day I get in about 7,000 to 8,000 steps.  This means I have to do some intentional walking/exercise each and every single day. 

I'm doing it.  I'm working hard to care for myself.  I'm worth it.  I'm shining.

God Bless,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Generations Machine Embroidery Software

Dear Friends,
I have been doing a lot of research on embroidery software.  When I say a lot, I mean I've been looking at the different brands and attending an occasional class for just over a year as I decided which was the best brand for me.  I've made the plunge!  I decided on the Generations Embroidery Software.
Let me back up a bit here.  I've fallen in love with machine embroidery.  It is the best thing since sliced bread I tell ya.  As I have continued with it, more and more I have toyed around with the idea of creating my own designs.  I hesitated though for so long.  One reason I hesitated was the cost.  Another was the learning curve and besides there are so many great designs out there already.  Yet, I strongly desire to create my own designs.  I have ideas floating around in my head I just want to stitch out.
I found a very limited free program that at least gave me the ability to add lettering to my projects and it gave me a taste of designing.  All that did was whet my appetite for learning more.
I knew though, that whatever software I decided on I would need to have support.  The classes I took at my local sewing shop had brought in an outside instructor from their software company.  I wouldn't find support at my local shop.  I needed to look online.  I asked in my various sewing/embroidery groups that I belong.  Everyone had an opinion and everyone seemed to be happy with what they had chosen.  How was I to ever decide?
A number of software manufactures have tutorials up on YouTube.  I started watching those to see if I would find one that would speak to me as being relatively easy to learn and something that I could produce high quality designs with.  I'm sorry to say, but some embroidery designs leave a lot to be desired and I would have hated having wasted good money on them.  (that is another blog post)  If I'm going to design something, I want to be proud of it.
I discovered Generations software and people were raving that it was very user-friendly.  Intuitive is another word often used.  There is plenty of support out there for Generations software both from the company and from other online classes. 
After much decision making, I have decided to take the plunge.  Are you ready to jump in with me and follow my journey here?  My software is being shipped and I'm excited to receive it.  I'll give you an update about it as soon as I can.

Oh and one more reason I'm doing this...I'm facing the empty nest syndrome.  I know I will be needing something for "ME" soon.  Actually I need it now!  Our oldest, Katie, left last May and entered into the Air Force.  Emily leaves next year for college.  Finally our youngest, Timothy, is currently a sophomore in high school.  They are not my "little" babies any longer.  I know I need something to really keep my mind focused on and learning something new and challenging myself is it.  Even with still having two at home, being that they are teenagers, they honestly aren't at home very much with work and school.  I've got to tell you, I LOVE it when their friends are all here and the house is full of kids who I can cook for and love on. 
Blessings and happy embroidering!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Creative Machine Embroidery - Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

Dear Friends,
I was so happy when Michelle from Needle Little Embroidery contacted me about stitching some of her designs into finished projects!  I've been wanting to stitch designs from more designers as I'm wanting to learn the art of digitizing myself.  She started out by sending me these two lovely embroidery designs for Valentine's day.

Heart of Love is shown above.  It is done in all white thread stitched on a polyester organza.  I've been using one of my favorite items, mylar, to add a little more shine to it. 

Above you can see the Heart of Love stitched in three colors of pink.

Here the Amore' Heart is stitched in three colors of peach with the silver mylar.  The mylar was floated on top.  When the heart finished stitching out I stopped the machine and tore away the excess mylar from both the outside as well as the inside of the heart.  Then I finished stitching the design.

And Amore' Heart in all white, no mylar.

Of the four I did, the Heart of Love stitched in all white with the silver mylar is my favorite.  Our daughter Katie is getting married this summer and we plan to use these sweet bags in her wedding or reception.  They are beautiful.

I have to say just a couple more things.  Michelle at Needle Little Embroidery http://needlelittleembroidery.com/ is the nicest lady to work with.  Also, I am thrilled that she has included a basting stitch for these designs.  I can't tell you how many times I've wished for that on other designs.  It just holds everything perfectly in place with no shifting.  If you don't want the basting stitch, just advance to the next thread color and bypass it.

Blessings to you all,

disclaimer:  I received these designs for free.  The opinions of the designs and Needle Little Embroidery are my own.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 6, 2013


On September 30th of this past year I had one of those "God Moments" in which I feel the Holy Spirit's presence in my soul and feel he is truly speaking to me.  What came upon me was SHINE.  YOU ARE TO SHINE NANCY.

The word shine has filled my thoughts since that date.  How do you want me to shine God, I ask.

I've come to discover that I am to Shine in all I do, shine in my thoughts, my words and my actions.  God's love is light and his love shines to keep us from darkness.  I am to shine with God's love.

You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house.  Let your light so SHINE before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16.
And so I pray, "Dear God, May my light always shine with your love.  First God, may it illuminate the narrow and difficult path that leads me to you and may I stay on that path without stumbling or straying.  Should I stray on the wrong path, I pray I don't go far and realize my mistake so I may turn immediately around.  Then Lord, may my light shine more for others to see.  May it start in my home and with my family.  Finally, may my light reach far and deep to help bring others out of the darkness and onto the path of righteousness that leads to you.  Dear God, I ask to be blessed with wisdom to know what to do and say and that my light always always be illuminated and shining brightly. ~Amen.

SHINE is my word of the year.  I know many of you pick a word or phrase of the year to focus on.  SHINE is mine.  One year I had the word "simplify" and another year I had the phrase "keep ahead of the game."  This year, "shine".  At least I will keep it as my word until I feel God is placing something else on my heart.  I can't wait to see all the ways I can shine this year. 

With love and God's Blessings,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Machine Embroidery with Mylar and Free Standing Lace

Dear Friends,
Remember the snowflakes I was making for the children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT?  Well, today I want to share with you what I did to create them.

First I started off with a great free standing lace machine embroidery file from Lindee G. Embroidery.
These designs are all done with ONE color thread.  I used a slight off white.  The secret to the color and bling  is this!  Mylar tissue wrap.
Now you know my secret.  And an even better secret I'm going to share with you is this...
I got it at the Dollar Tree.  There are three sheets of mylar tissue in each package and each package is only $1.  Can't beat that!

As the design stitches out, on water soluble stabilizer, it starts in the center which is where I placed the mylar.  Just keep an eye on your machine and stop it as it gets ready to stitch the outer row of hearts.  Cut the thread and remove the hoop from the machine, but don't unhoop the stabilizer.  Gently tear the mylar to remove the excess.  I also removed the mylar from the center star area.  It tears easily but still, you don't want to pull your stitches. 
Then just put the hoop back on the machine and continue stitching the remainder of the design.
HERE is a link back to the post that gives the address where you can send your snowflakes.
My prayers continue to be with the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic event.  My heart breaks as I think of you and your struggles.  I hope you somehow know I care.
With love and blessings to my sweet embroidery family readers,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Go Through the Bible in One Year as a New Year's Resolution

Happy Happy New Year to You!!!

Dear Friends,
I hope today, wherever in the world you are that it is a BEAUTIFUL day!  Happy New Year!

I'm talking today about the Daily Audio Bible as this is my third year to go through the Bible in audio form.  It NEVER gets old.  Since I was a little girl, I've had Christ in my life, but going through the Bible has changed my life forever and I'm truly blessed. 

Brian Hardin reads a passage in the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs each day.  Then he applies it to our lives today and finally callers who have called in with prayer requests or praise reports previously on a recorded line have their requests and praises played.  It is a privilege to get to pray for them, who I consider my Daily Audio Bible family, and they have prayed for me too.  What a blessing to know that hundreds of thousands of people are praying and joining together.

If you've thought you would like to go through the Bible in a year as a New Year's resolution, consider listening to it.  Brian's voice is comforting and he is so knowledgeable.  On occasion his family is on the air as well.  His wife Jill helps him and two of his children record Daily Audio Bible Kids.  It is precious.

So Friends, during 2013 and beyond:

May the Good Lord bless you and keep you,
May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May He lift up his countenance on you and give you peace,
May the strength of God go with you,
May the wisdom of God instruct you,
May the hand of God protect you,
May the word of God direct you,
May you be sealed in Christ this day and forever more.
With Love,
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...