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


Friday, February 21, 2014

Teaching Machine Embroidery

Dear Friends,
I'm just beyond thrilled because I am going to begin teaching machine embroidery at our local sewing shop Lakeshore Sewing.  Teaching is a true passion of mine so to teach machine embroidery has me over-the-moon with joy.  My first project will be this personalized casserole carrier.  What a fun way to bring a dish to your next pot luck.  The carrier also serves as an identifier so everyone knows who brought the yummy dish and operates as a hot pad while the food is being served.  The carrier is perfect for a 9 x 12 casserole dish or cake pan.
Focus will be on design placement and using our machine specialty fonts and stitches to personalize.  And if you forgot how to make buttonholes - never fear, we will get some practice with those as well.
The design I used here is from Julia's Needle Designs and is in the freebie section. 

The wooden spoon cleverly holds the carrier together.  This idea was inspired by Janay.

As a bonus, we will personalize our wooden spoon handles.  Wouldn't it be a sweet gift for someone by baking them a cake, then personalizing the carrier and spoon for them as complete package.
For those of you in the Grand Rapids area...or if you would like to travel....Class is March 25th at Lakeshore Sewing at the Knapps Corner location.  Just click on the link to contact them and register.  We will have so much fun and I would be thrilled to see you! 
Embroidery Blessings,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Great Thread Tip for Machine Embroiderers

Dear Friends,
I have learned a thread tip that I'm implementing right away and here it is...

Limit your thread selection.

What you see in the photo above is my thread collection.  Actually that isn't even all of it, I have about another 40 spools that aren't on the pegboard.  I guess I have a thread addiction and it needs to stop.  You can easily see in the photo that I have quite a few pinks and reds.  Why, oh why, do I need every shade.  I don't.

I'm using up my thread and then I'm limiting the colors I purchase from here on out.  I'm limiting them to 50 colors - tops.  Four shades of one color is sufficient.  I don't need 50 shades of gray!  I have my favorite colors I often reach for and many times, the other colors just sit and collect dust {not good for our sewing machines.}

There are several benefits to cutting back on all the color choices.  By limiting thread colors, this will save me time on thread selection.  I will easily know which colors I need to re-order.  When someone visits and wants something special done for them, fewer selections will make the selection process easier for them as well.  It will save $$$ by not buying willy-nilly and then just having the colors sit unused.

Have you ever considered limiting your thread selection?  I've heard of several people doing this with good results and I can really see the benefits of doing so.  Definitely something I am doing.

Embroidery Blessings,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Machine Embroidered Towels

Happy Valentine's Day Friends,

As a Valentine's day gift for Mike I embroidered these towels.  Our old towels were at the point you could almost see through them.  Mike mentioned how we should get some new ones and he wanted some that were oversized.  I found these at Sam's Club or Costco.  I'm sorry I don't remember which as I bought them a month ago.  The towels are really large and called a bath sheet.  Oh they are so soft.  I couldn't give them to him without a bit of machine embroidery bling!  :-)

The designs come from Anita Goodesign and the CD is titled Vintage Elegance.  The birds and parts of the flowers are applique and I chose some pretty scraps of fabric that remind me of spring.  The picture below was taken in our backyard yesterday.  I haven't been complaining about the snow but this is getting a bit ridiculous.

For those of you who have been affected by the severe storms throughout the country, please know our family is praying for your safety and that you may have heat and electricity.

So, Mike was quite happy with his Valentine's day gift.  I moved the dining table over in front of the fireplace and made him an extra yummy, romantic surf and turf supper and He gave me a box of chocolates and a card.  Sweet man.  He even helped me with the dishes.  I'll keep him.  :-)  I hope you all were able to share Valentine's day with the one you love.

With love and blessings to you all,
Won't you please be my Valentine?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Be Mine Snowflake

Dear Friends,
I've been busy playing and learning my Generations digitizing software and making these fun word flowers and snowflakes.  Look closely at the picture above.  Can you read what word has been used to create the image?
In the coaster here I thought "Be Mine" was appropriate for Valentine's Day.  I stitched both of these on felt and for the bottom one, I've attached some white rick-rack to the edge for a sweet look.

Embroidery Blessings!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Machine Embroidery Applique LOVE Towel

This was a fun applique towel to make.  Fabric is from JoAnn's.  Design is from GG Designs Embroidery and it is one of her free designs.  What I like so much about it is that the applique is not done with just a plain satin stitch.  I like the decorative stitching around the fabric.
Perfect for Valentine's Day!
Embroidery Blessings,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Machine Embroidery Valentine Card

I belong to a group in which there are new digitizers {like myself}.  Sometimes people in the group will offer their designs for free.  It is a great way for digitizers to learn and test and get feedback.  You can see in this design that the filled part of the red heart does not match up with the outline around the heart.  It is a learning process and this girl or guy who designed it is off to a great start but it just needs a bit of tweaking.  I'm learning there are a lot of things to consider when creating a design and it all takes practice.  Even though this isn't a perfect design, I'm still in awe because I'm not at that level yet.  I'm learning though and I'm thankful to all who share because each time I learn something new.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm doing the digitizing challenges over at You Can Digitize and this month the challenge is on doing redwork.  Here are a couple of practice teapots that I digitized!  Yes, I'm doing the happy dance because I did these teapots from scratch.  I'm going to work on them some more today.  The above were stitched on some junk scraps of stabilizer. 
Here is my finished teapot stitched out on white cotton.  I'm ready to submit it for the challenge.  I added a bit of steam and I changed the flowers just a bit in the center to me more to my liking.   BTW...everyone in the challenge did this teapot.
Every day I learn more and more about my Generations software and practice makes perfect or at least close to perfect.
Happy Embroidering,

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Generations Digitizing Challenges

Hi Friends,
Just a note to let you know that Holly and Larry over at You Can Digitize are hosting  a challenge a month starting now in Feb. and continuing through the end of the year to help us improve our digitizing skills.  The contests are open to anyone with Generations software.  I also belong to their digitizing membership group to have access to their webinars, videos and forum.  Generations software certainly has a learning curve to it, but it is one of my goals to master, well at least work on, this year.

I've been working diligently on my digitizing skills and am excited to be participating in the challenges.  It's getting me using my software and learning all the nuances about it.

Let me know if you are joining in on the challenge so I can say "Hi" and we can help support one another.  Barb at Stitch n Mouse has joined me.  She is a sweet lady and already knows and uses other digitizing software and is now learning Generations.  Golly, I'll be happy to learn just one software well.

Embroidery Blessings,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Machine Embroidery Valentine's Day Cards

Dear Friends,
Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I've been having a ball stitching up these Valentine cards for the loved ones in my life.  I can't get over how  well the small heart fit perfectly on the flap of the envelope!  Just makes me smile.  I know I would love to receive a card like this in the mail.

These designs are from  Michelle at Needle Little Embroidery.  I'm so pleased with how they turned out.

To get the heart centered on the flap, on this particular design, the outline of the heart stitches first.  (That is one of the nice things about Michelle's designs.  This helps prevent puckering if you are stitching on fabric by doing the outline first.)  So I hooped my stabilizer and stitched the heart on just the stabilizer.  Then I held the stabilizer up to the window and placed the envelope flap right where I wanted it.  I used the light shining through the window to guide my placement.  Then I used just a small bit of masking tape to tape the envelope in place to the stabilizer.  I backed up my stitching and stitched the outline again along with the rest of the design on the envelope.
The design above is stitched on cardstock but honestly I wouldn't recommend it.  I was just lucky here.  The satin stitches were beginning to tear and I put everything carefully in place for the picture.  Just too many needle punches through paper to do satin stitches.

Much love to all of you and I want to thank each of you who leave comments or send me an e-mail.  So glad to have you reading.  Sending you a {{{hug}}}

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