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


Monday, January 27, 2014

Embroidery It on Pinterest

Visit Embroidery It by Nancy's profile on Pinterest.

I have had a love affair with Pinterest from the first day we met.  I've heard people say, "I just don't get the whole Pinterest thing." If that is you, let me describe how I view Pinterest.  Maybe you will see why I like it so much.

The way I look at Pinterest is that it is like my own personal magazine.  I buy a lot of magazines.  I love to read them, I love the inspiration I get from them.  I tear out articles, recipes and ideas from their pages and those torn out pages usually get moved from place to place in the house creating clutter.  Eventually they either get filed or thrown away.  Then it always happens, I can't find the article or recipe when I want to lay my hands on it.

With Pinterest, I'm able to collect those inspirational tidbits from the web all in one place and I can easily locate them when needed.  I just create a board for each subject that I'm interested in.  When I want to be inspired, I flip through my Pinterest boards and there is always something to spark my creativity.  By the way, I've got plenty of machine embroidery inspiration on my Pinterest boards.

Have you tried Pinterest yet?  It's free and it's fun!

Click on the Pinterest logo above or click HERE and it will link you to my Pinterest site, follow me if you like, and you can see what inspires me around the big wide web.  It just might inspire you too!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Machine Embroidery on a Long SleeveT-shirt for Me!

Dear Friends,
I was going to my quilt class and wanted to jazz up my plain outfit.  I thought a sewing machine was perfect considering what we were doing.  I'd had this design for some time but had not used it on anything.  Today was the day.  :-)  Embroidery design from Embroidery Library.  One more quilt class this week then I will show you the finished table runner.
Blessings and as always stay warm!  We've had another 6 inches of the white stuff here in Michigan.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Machine Embroidery on Thermal Shirts

Today is my sweetheart's birthday.  I found a couple of thermal shirts at our local Meijer, on clearance no less, and stitched an airplane on it.  The plane design was from Embroidery Library.  Then I added some words using my Generations software.  I used cut-away stabilizer underneath the design and a Solvy wash-away stabilizer on top.  Mike got his pilot's license last year and loves flying.  I've got the shirts wrapped up and will give them to him tonight at supper.  It's a good day.  "Happy Birthday my sweet Mike!"

The above shirt says "PILOT."
Stay warm friends!
Embroidery Blessings,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Machine Embroidery On a Pocket

Hi Friends,
Yesterday was a sad day as I put our Emily on a plane to head back to Albuquerque for school for another semester.  I have so enjoyed having her home for the past month.  She is such a blessing to this mama.  Keep her in your prayers as well as our daughter Katie who is getting ready to deploy to Kuwait in early March. 

Quick post here.  I embroidered several items for Emily.  Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of them all and these are just a couple of quick shots.  She got pajamas for Christmas and wanted her initial on the pocket.  The only way for me to get it on the pocket and still keep it as a usable pocket was to remove the stitching on one side and across the bottom.  This allowed the pocket to be placed flat on the embroidery hoop.  Once the "E" was stitched out I then re-sewed the pocket to the pajamas.  I was really pleased with how well the pocket looked as I don't think you could ever tell I took some of the stitching out.  The pajamas have some silver metallic thread stripes in the fabric so I stitched her initial in silver metallic.

The letter "E" was one that was built into my machine.  The pajamas had been through the wash and not pressed for this picture.  Sorry for the wrinkles but take my word it looks good.
My oldest baby Katie getting ready for deployment.  She is one tough cookie.
I'm so proud of my girls and love them so much.  I miss them terribly.  I know life isn't meant to stay the same but gosh I'm having such a hard time letting them go.  Life is not the same with such an empty house.  Sigh.
Many blessings,

Friday, January 17, 2014

Machine Embroidery Digitizing on an Existing Image

Dear Friends,
I did this towel as a special gift.  The heart with dog tags is from Lynnie Pinnie.  I purchased the blank heart with dog tags design and then I digitized the lettering and added it.  It reads, "Some Heroes Wear Capes, My Hero Wears Combat Boots."  Then I added the name to the dog tag. The inspiration for this design comes from Stitched By Janay.

With the move to Michigan and all the activity around here, I had set my Generations software aside.  It was so much fun to get it out and create.  You will probably soon be seeing more of my work having digitizing added to it.  :-)

Embroidery Blessings,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Embroidery Related Christmas Gifts

Good Morning Friends,
I just realized I hadn't shared with you some Christmas gifts I received from some of the sweetest gals on this planet.  A huge thank you for your kindness and generosity.  I was beyond thrilled at these gifts.  :-)

First from my dear Mother-In-Law Ann, I received these Anita Goodesign Holiday Packs!  It's a total of 9 collections in these two packs.  I'm so excited to stitch these out.  Actually I already started on one of them.

Next from one of my closest friends Vicki, I received an JoAnn's gift card.  I went a little crazy at JoAnn's getting their Christmas fabric while it was on clearance.  There are holiday placemats fabric panels, a stitched advent calendar panel and just some super cute fabric in here.  Remember that quilt class I signed up for?  I went to it the other night and started using some of the fabric you see here.  I can't wait to show you my finished quilt in a few weeks.

Finally, a dear friend, Martha Ann, who I met this past year through my blog here sent me some wonderful items to decorate my home.  I opened up the package to see a lovely stitched bag and inside the bag were these lace goodies.  They are Anita Goodesign - Love their stuff!  Martha blogs over at Just Another Thread so you can pop over and see what she is currently creating.  The internet is a wonderful thing to allow me to meet such wonderful women who enjoy machine embroidery and creativity.

Thank you again ladies for your kindness.  I love these gifts and I love you too!
My embroidery machine has been on overtime lately.  In fact, last night I thought I broke the tension on it.  The upper tension was not tightening at all even though the thread was seated well in the tension disks.  I just had it in for service. :-(  I took the cover off my machine and couldn't find anything to be causing me such grief.  Finally, the simple act of turning it off and on seemed to get the tension disks to start operating again.  I'm a little nervous to try it again this morning but I have to do my homework for my quilting class, so machine please don't fail me now!
Embroidery blessings everyone,
Much Love,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Machine Embroidery on Towels and a Great Tip

I am so happy to have had Emily home from college and I have her yet for one more week then she is off again for another semester.  Emily has asked me to do some embroidery for her and I'm thrilled to oblige.  One thing she asked for help with is in making a gift for her sorority twin.  Emily picked out the towel and we chose these Greek letters from Embroidery Library.  I'm so pleased with the results!

Here is a great tip for stitching on towels.  When stitching on towels you must use a topper or else your stitches will sink into the towel and be hidden.  Most times you hear of using water soluble stabilizer.  That is an acceptable option except that when washing it out, it can leave the area around the design somewhat stiff.  Instead of using water soluble stabilizer, try using tulle in a color that matches the towel or matches your stitches.  I used the white tulle you see here in the picture.  I cut two pieces to cover the design area.  I placed the pieces of tulle at an angle to one another and then stitched the design.  Once the design was finished stitching, I carefully tore most of the tulle away and cut away whatever remained.  The tulle, plus the fact that this was a solid design will insure that the loops of terry cloth will not poke through the design.  I purchased these rolls of tulle at Hobby Lobby.  Be sure to use that 40% coupon!  You only use enough to cover your design so you don't need much.

One more bonus with using the tulle:  If you leave just a very slight amount around the edge of your design, small meaning 1/16", that will help keep the terry cloth loops around the outside of the design from coming over the design on the outside and covering it.  Make sense?  It just helps keep a crisp outline to the design.  The tulle does not show and makes a great option when you just don't want to use a water soluble or other stabilizer to top with.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I hooped a Tear-Away Soft stabilizer made for terry cloth.  This was from Baby Lock.  I floated the towel and tulle on top of the stabilizer.

I hope you are all having a good weekend.  I am helping Mike install a garage door opener in our new home today, then I am going to pop in at our local sewing dealer as they are having an open house.  I'm going to sign up for a quilting class there.  Finally this evening I have church activities, so a full day is in store for me.  It is about 38 degrees and our snow is melting.

Happy embroidering,

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sewing and Embroidey Machine Maintenance Tips

How my embroidery thread is currently stored.
Dear Friends,

A couple of days ago I attended a class held by our local sewing machine dealer.  It was on sewing, serger and embroidery machine maintenance.  It ended up being a good review as I knew much of what was covered.  Oh well, to be reviewed on sewing machine maintenance is a good thing right?  I'm going to re-cap what was taught in 3 basic sentences.
  1. Do all you can to keep lint out of your machine.  Keep it covered, clean it regularly, and if you have your thread stored on the wall like I do, cover your thread with a sheet.  I used to have my thread in boxes according to colors but when I got my own sewing room I wanted it on the wall where I could pick my colors easily and quickly.  Covering it sounds like a good idea because some colors of thread sit for long periods of time collecting dust.
  2. Change your needles regularly.  We were told needles should be changed after every 6 hours of use.  Titanium needles last 4 times longer.  I guess I need to invest in those.  I use my old needles to stitch out my cards that you have seen HERE.
  3. Have your machine serviced regularly.  The instructor said light use is up to 6 hours of sewing time a month, have your machine serviced every 2 years.  Moderate use is up to 20 hours of sewing a month and have your machine serviced yearly.  Heavy use is over 20 hours of sewing a month and then have it serviced every 6 months.
A couple of additional tips is he likes to clean his machines with q-tips rather than the lint brushes as he feels q-tips remove lint better.  Do not push or pull your fabric through the machine or if you do be VERY careful as that can damage the needle bar and timing.  You may have heard never to blow into your machine to remove lint because the moisture from your breath can cause rust.  In all his years, he has never serviced a machine due to rust from blowing, the rust occurred from being in a humid basement for years.  Better to blow and get the lint out of the machine.  He encouraged vacuuming inside the machine with those little vacuum attachment tools.  Better to suck the lint out than blow it deeper into the machine.
My machine, Brother 1250D - Largest hoop size 5 x 7

On a dual machine like mine, sewing/embroidery, embroidery is much less hard on the machine than sewing and using built in decorative stitches.  With embroidery, the needle bar goes straight up and down consistently.  With zig-zag or other decorative stitches, the needle bar moves side to side in addition to up and down.  He also mentioned that using the walking foot over time can add to stress of the machine.  (I love the walking foot so I guess I'll have to accept additional wear and tear)

Also, when you look at my machine above, you can see that the spool holder is horizontal rather than vertical.  Lint or dust that has settled into the tray below the spool holder can be dragged into the machine as the thread unwinds, vertical is somewhat better.

So that's it friends, hope you enjoyed the review to keep your machine in tip-top shape.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Machine Embroidery on T-Shirts with a Special Tip

Dear Friends,

In moving to our new home, this is the first time I have ever had a craft space all to myself.  In previous places my crafting/sewing place was in the dining room, shared with Mike's office or shared with the guest room.  Now, I have my own creative space that is mine to do with as I wish.  I don't have to feel rushed about picking up after myself immediately.  Heavenly.  In fact, I've been stitching in my sewing room every day since the new year!  What a treat :-)

This morning I spent a bit of time in my space which I am officially naming as "Embroidery It Headquarters."  I stitched something just for me, a long sleeve T.  Our Meijer grocery store/big box store was selling these in various colors and I picked up several.  They are perfect layering under a sweater. 

The design is actually three designs that I placed and stitched individually.  They came from Embroidery Library.  I wanted something wintery but not Christmassy and this fit the bill. 

For the stabilizer I used fusible Polymesh.  Now a real secret:  shhhh....The stitching of embroidery can itch or irritate skin, particularly if you are stitching something for a baby or toddler or even yourself.  On the inside of the shirt, after the shirt was embroidered, I ironed on "Cloud Cover Stitch".  Just google those three words and you will find a number of places that sell this stuff.  It is a really neat product.  It is not a stabilizer and has a multi-directional stretch.  It irons on easily but is very light weight and does not add to the bulk of the shirt or affect its drape.  It is so soft.  I am sure to put it on all stitching that comes in contact with skin.

Fun to do stitching just for me.

Stay warm friends! Love,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Machine Embroidery on a Microfiber Napkin

Dear Friends,
Up here in Michigan for our first winter I can say we are literally up to our knees in snow.  It's over our little doggie's head and we have to shovel a path for her to get out.  Still, she seemingly enjoys the snow and sticks her head into it and prances around.  There was no school for Tim and just heard no school tomorrow either.  I am quite thankful that we have electricity, heat and a stocked refrigerator and pantry.  God is good.  Even with all the snow, you won't hear me complain.  I think it is simply beautiful.  Mike and I have lived a number of places and the change in scenery that we've experienced keeps us in awe.  From the desert to the tropics, from the mountains to the plains, God's beauty is everywhere.

I did a couple of last minute projects just before Christmas I've wanted to share with you.  Meijer, which is a grocery store chain had these microfiber napkins on clearance.  I guess the brown was considered a fall color.  A couple things to note about them, first is that iron on fusible stabilizer would not stick to the napkins and I was afraid to hold the iron in place too long.  Second, microfiber is slick!  It is extremely slippery in your hoop.   I highly recommend that you use a basting stitch and baste around your hoop before stitching the designs.  It is a smart plan to have several basting files uploaded onto your machine in different sizes for use at all times.  I've ran across free basting files online and when I run across them again, I'll be sure to post where you all can find them.  You want to do all you can to keep your fabric from slipping in the hoop.

I let my mother-in-law choose which one she wanted to keep.  She chose the top design.  My intent was for these to be used as liners in a bread basket.  It's certainly pretty on the table.

These designs are available from Monika at Oma's Place.

Please stay warm and healthy everyone.  I'm thinking warm thoughts for all of you.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Forward Strong Goals and Happy New Year from Embroidery It

Dear Friends,
I'm sending very Happy New Year wishes to each of you.  May 2014 be a year of health, peace, joy and prosperity for us all.  God is great and may he bestow an abundance of blessings on each of us.

I wrote in a previous post HERE that during 2013 my focus was on the word SHINE.  I mentioned that this has been a year of service for me.  I feel that 2014 is to be a year to care more for myself and I have felt the words FORWARD STRONG placed on my heart a few weeks ago.
Our son Timothy and beagle, Cindy moving forward strong.

I always write goals down each year in all areas of my life.  Some of these goals overlap into different areas so you will see some listed more than once.  These are not what I consider resolutions, but they are things for me to work on throughout the year.  I don't beat myself up if I fall short in attaining them, it just gives me something to focus on.  It helps me move Forward Strong to have goals and know what I am to move towards.  I also think that sharing them helps me be more accountable in accomplishing them so here goes:

Family Goals
  • Spend quality time with family when they are home.  Say 'yes' to family games and movies.
  • Visit Katie and Emily twice a year
Home Goals
  • Remove paper from the home and keep remaining paper organized (#1 goal and more on this below)
  • Tidy home daily
  • Clean home weekly
  • Grocery shop one time a week- instead of several times a week
  • Menu plan weekly
  • Go to bed with a clean kitchen
Spiritual Life Goals
  • Continue habits of Daily Audio Bible and weekly adoration in addition to Sunday church
  • Become actively involved in the women's group at church
  • Read St. Faustina's Diary
  • Attend a women's retreat like Captivating
  • Notice God's blessings daily
Finance Goals
  • Pay bills every Thursday
  • Pause before making purchases
  • Balance checkbook and reconcile credit card statements monthly
Friendship Goals
  • Become actively involved in the women's group at church
  • Join Crafters with a Cause
  • Maintain monthly contact with friends from New Mexico and other locations we've lived
  • Grow online friendships on this blog
Creativity Goals
  • Take one art class or attend a quilt guild meeting - monthly
  • Learn a new craft
  • Learn to digitize embroidery designs
Knowledge Goals
  • Learn a new craft
  • Learn to digitize embroidery designs
  • Learn to set up a true website
Business Goals
  • Follow written business plan and get my business up and running (stop talking and start doing here)
  • Create a true website
  • Learn to digitize embroidery designs
  • Blog 2  times a week
  • Listen to Entrepreneur on Fire
  • Develop a newsletter
  • Create a contact list
Personal Goals
  • Clean eating
  • 10,000 steps a day
  • Classical stretch daily
  • weekly creative time
Community and World goals
  • Choose a cause to support
  • Blog
  • YouTube videos
  • Women's group at church
My all time #1 focus goal this year is to get the paper out of the house.  I mean ALL paper.  If it doesn't get out of the house then there better jolly well be a place for it.  When I look at this house I see WAY too much paper and that includes books, magazines, cards, receipts, trash, mail you name it.  This is going to be hard because I enjoy paper crafting and I also enjoy journaling with paper and pen, but if I don't have a specific space for paper, then I'm going to do my best to get it out of here.  I have a real weakness for purchasing magazines when I go to the store.  It stops now.

This may seem like a lengthy list, but I think it is good for me to stretch myself.  If I would reach all my goals, then I don't feel I would be stretching myself enough.

It is a good feeling to look back at this list several times a year to see what has been accomplished.  Then I also need to see what goals need to be modified and what goals need to be scrapped.  It is a fluid list and subject to change and I'm quite ok with that.  Last year I hit about half of my goals.  This year with my focus being on FORWARD STRONG, I am focusing more on myself which means focusing more on my goals.

As I said before, God is Great and He wants great things for us.  God has given each of us gifts that He wants us to use for His good here on earth.  By moving Forward Strong, I plan to be using my gifts and talents for the betterment of my life and the lives of others.

Please know I am praying for greatness for each of you in 2014.
With much love and blessings,
Happy New Year,
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