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


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Machine Embroidery - St. Patrick's Day Applique Shamrock and More!

Hi Friends,
I'm having a little St. Patrick's Day fun in doing this machine embroidery applique shamrock.  All designs from Needle Little Embroidery.  I did this on a tote bag from the Dollar Tree!  The applique fabric is glitter fabric from Hobby Lobby.  It comes in cuts 8 1/2" x 11 1/2" and is found by the cut felt.  $1.47 for the piece minus my 40% coupon.  It is a cotton fabric that has glitter bonded to the surface of it and it embroiders quite nicely.  I think it would be perfect material for an applique Christmas tree or tags on Christmas presents.  With its shine it would make some great Christmas ornaments, or how about Easter tree ornaments made with pastel glittered sheets.  I'm really thinking I will go back and pick up some more of this fun fabric in other colors!

Next it was onto making two St. Patrick's day coasters.  You will never guess what these are stitched on......

Here it is!  Grip Prints rubberized shelf liner from Contact.  I got this at Target.  It stitched beautifully on it.
The final simple secret...Adhesive backed cork board, found in the scrapbook section of your craft store.  This makes a perfect coaster.  Note:  I stitched the blanket stitch around the designs when they were finished.

Happy Embroidering,
disclaimer: I received these designs for free. The opinions of the designs and Needle Little Embroidery are my own.

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Very First Digitized Embroidery Design

Dear Friends,
I did it!  I created my very first manually digitized embroidery design!  I'm doing the happy dance here.  Never mind the fact that it is  a simple design, and I did have issues that I now know how to resolve, I still did it!  I finally jumped into the water.
I used my Generations software to create this "Hope" card.  One thing I really must mention is that I've been watching Holly and Larry Pike's videos over at You Can Digitize and they have really supplemented the training videos that I received from Generations with my software.  If you are looking for digitizing lessons with Generations, Holly is an excellent teacher.  Another thing is her voice is easy to listen to.  Even though I don't know her, she and her husband Larry seem like genuinely nice people who I someday hope to meet.

I stitched the design out as an applique onto gold felt.  Then I layered yellow felt on top and then stitched the lettering.  It is all sitting on a gold glitter piece of cardstock and this will be used as a card.  The recipient could use it as a bookmark.  Around the outside of the design, rather than doing a typical applique satin stitch, I used a cross stitch.  I waited until the design was completed and then just trimmed the felt close to the stitching.  With felt, there is no need to worry about fabric raveling.

Other than first fixing my digitizing mistakes, the next item on my agenda is to figure out how to place the design here as a free download for all of you.  I'm open to suggestions if you would like to contact me. 

With hugs and blessings,
ps.  I'm recovering well from my hernia surgery that I had last Friday.  I'm up and around more today.  Going through surgery of course is no fun, but it literally forced me to stay off my feet for a few days.  I had my laptop right next to me and got to go through the You Can Digitize videos while recuperating.  What a fun way to spend my days in bed.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Machine Embroidery - An Irish Blessing Embroidered Card

Hello Sweet Friends,
I hope you are all staying warm and healthy wherever you are.  It has been very cold here in New Mexico, in the 20's with lots of wind making it even colder.  Brrrrr!!  Not much snow where I am, but lots of snow on the mountain.
That means I stay INSIDE and I get to sit at my embroidery machine as I get a chance.

The Irish Blessing is a design from Michelle at Needle Little Embroidery.  I stitched it onto glittered felt.  I brought the felt in an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  I don't remember which.  After stitching it out, I cut the felt to about 1/8 inch of the design and then used fabri-tac to glue it onto a piece of folded cardstock. 

When embroidering on the glittered felt, I hooped a piece of medium weight cut-away stabilizer and floated the felt on top.

I also added a piece of sheer ribbon.  There are 2 small 1/8" holes punched in the cardstock at the top of the card.  The ribbon just gets looped through those two little holes and then cut at an angle.  It lays flatter this way rather than tying into a bow.

I'm not Irish, I've got English and German blood in me, but I still wish you all this beautiful Irish blessing. 
"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow
and may trouble avoid you wherever you go."
With warm blessings,
ps.  I hope you will add me to your prayer list as tomorrow I am having much needed and long overdue hernia surgery.  Thank you.

disclaimer: I received this design for free. The opinions of the designs and Needle Little Embroidery are my own.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Machine Embroidery Floriani Event

My local sewing store has a yearly Floriani event.  This is the second year I've attended and it is not only a good time but a great learning experience.

The instructor covers use of all forms of stabilizers and ways to help make our machine embroidery the best it can be.  Also covered is the Floriani digitizing software.  Even though I have chosen Generations as my digitizing software, listening to instructions and gaining ideas with other software is inspiring.
Here you can see all the goodies we each received; a thread color chart, 5 cd's of embroidery designs, 10 spools of Floriani thread and two packets of all the different stabilizers that Floriani sells, one to fit the 4 x 4 hoop and another packet to fit the 5 x 7 hoop. 

Yes, it was a good day and even better is I attended with a dear friend and fellow machine embroiderer.

Have a fun day stitching!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Trapunto Machine Embroidery on Fleece

Dear Friends,
Fleece is such a fun fabric to sew on and it makes a perfect surface for doing trapunto style machine embroidery.  Trapunto is an Italian word which means "to embroider".  In Latin it means "to prick with a needle".  Quilters will occasionally use this technique to puff up part of their quilts.
My local sewing machine dealer, Ryan's Sewing and Vacuum holds an embroidery club which I belong to.  In class we made this pocket scarf and did the trapunto machine embroidery on it.

See how with trapunto, part of the design remains raised due to the fleece.  Like I said, I really enjoy fleece.  It cooperates and doesn't slip and is just super soft and warm for the winter months. 

The embroidery design is from Stitch Delight.

Now, would you like to see the most exquisite example of trapunto?  I'm sure this was done with a long arm commercial quilting machine.
Take a look!

Oh how I would love to have this on my bed!  It is from Biltmore, For Your Home Trapunto Quilt Collection.  I can dream right!  Did you see the chandelier in the bedroom? 

Happy Embroidering,
Nancy This post links to: 125

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Machine Embroidery Be Mine Valentine's Day Cup Cozy

Dear Friends,
Happy Valentine's Day! I made a sweet cup cozy to help keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. I stitched the design on pre-quilted red fabric and added the heart print binding.

Fabric came from JoAnns Fabrics. The sweet Be Mine design comes from Michelle at Needle Little Embroidery.

This is so pretty on the table and makes me smile as I drink from my special cup.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone,
disclaimer: I received this design for free. The opinions of the designs and Needle Little Embroidery are my own.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Season of Lent

Dear Friends,
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is an important day on the Christian calendar as it is the beginning of Lent. It is a time of preparation for Easter the highest of Holy Days. It is a time of repentance and prayer. Many people use this season to give up something as a sacrifice and to offer that sacrifice up to God. I teach religion, this year to first graders, and I speak to them about Lent and having a Lenten resolution. Those children can come up with some thoughtful answers. "I'm going to share my toys every day." "I'm going to help my mother every day with chores." "I'm going to pray every day." Some I'm sure have heard their parents speak about what they are doing for lent and will say, "I'm not going to watch TV," "I'm not going to eat candy," and so on. I really stress to them, and to my own children that this is a time not just of sacrifice, but a time to keep Christ first and foremost in our thoughts and in our actions. It is a time to work on becoming closer to Christ and becoming a better person.

I've given quite a bit of thought this past week as to what my Lenten resolution would be this year. For myself I've decided to truly be obedient to my husband and to put him first above myself. It is easy to say, "sure Honey I'll get to that," and it gets pushed to the bottom of the pile or is the task completed at the end of the day. I have decided that when he asks me to do something I will put it first, if at all possible, and do it right away or at least at my first opportunity. I will also do it with a glad attitude and happy heart. So when he asks me to help him with the taxes, ugh that's going to be the tough one for me, I'll smile and say "sure". It will be hard to have a happy heart for that task.

One thing I must confess is so far this year he hasn't asked me what my Lenten resolution will be and I haven't volunteered it either ;-) Not that he'd take advantage of my kind gestures, but I can see the potential where he might think he could have some fun with this. As long as none of you blab to him about my resolution I'll be in good shape. He doesn't read my blog unless I have something specific to show him so no worries about writing it here. Now if he asks me what I'm doing for Lent I will tell him, but otherwise I'm keeping my lip zipped.

My desire through this resolution this year is that I want to become a more Godly woman and I want my God light to shine.  And you remember SHINE is my word of the year.

Have you made a Lenten resolution? I'd love to hear what you chose this year.

with Love and God's Blessings,

ps.  One of my favorite authors Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience has a beautiful Christian article about Why Doing Lent this Year is What You Really Need.  Along with that she has a free Lent and Easter devotional.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Machine Embroidery Valentine's Day T-Shirts

Good Morning Friends!
The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day but it it is COLD!  I hope the weather is decent where you are.
Valentine's Day is approaching quickly.  I chose this design to stitch for my girls on t-shirts to give to them along with a little chocolate.


The design is from Designs By Sick.  I used mylar behind the hearts for that extra Valentine sparkle.  The t-shirts were only $3.96 from Walmart.  They are full length t-shirts.  I just have them folded up in the picture.  I want my sweet girls to know that I will ALWAYS love them 4 ever!

Hugs and Blessings to you dear readers.  Just you being here and reading is a Valentine's day gift from you to me.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Machine Embriodery - Pull Compensation

Dear Friends,
I have finished Lesson One of Generations Digitizing Machine Embroidery Workshop.  Let me tell you, Wow do I ever have a lot to learn!  I went through the workshop 3 times!  From time to time, I'd like to share bits and pieces with you of what I learned.  I hope you find this as interesting as I do.

The star sugar cookie you see here is the homework project for this lesson.  It was a less than perfect design to begin with.  Is there such a thing as a perfect design?  Anyway, we were given specific instructions on how to make improvement to the design and it covered quite a number of topics but what I want to speak specifically about is pull compensation.
As a design is stitched, and as the needle pierces the fabric thousands of times, that piercing of fabric causes a stretching or pulling of the fabric.  This is particularly the case with filled designs such as this one.  Take note in the above two pictures.  On the computer screen, the design looked perfect.  It looked as though the dark tan and light tan in the cookie would perfectly meet up with one another.  Not so when the design is stitched out.  I have paid good money for designs in which the pull compensation was not adjusted for and it had gaps such as this. Those were frustrating experiences.
Now, I don't have experience with other brands of digitizing software and my experience with Generations software is minimal at best, but I am guessing that all forms of software have an ability to adjust for the pull compensation.

Take a look at the picture above where I have made the adjustment and restitched out the design.  It meets up perfectly.  Thankfully I had instructions to help me with this.  I think though that adjusting for the pull compensation is something that comes with good ol' practice.
See here in this photo just how nicely the dark and light tans meet up.  That is the way it is supposed to look.

Did you understand pull compensation before you learned to digitize?  It was certainly new to me.

Happy stitching,

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