2011 archive

A Machine Embroiderer’s Poem

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

As I make the final stitches on projects for 2011 and excitedly plan next year’s lineup of editorial themes I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my readers! Without your loyalty and active participation on this blog, on Facebook and through the print magazine, Designs wouldn’t be the company it is today! Thank you for inspiring and motivating me. I wouldn’t be here without you!

It seems you have also inspired Denise Holguin, Managing Editor of Designs! She’s penned this clever poem – a perfect start for the New Year.  – Eileen Roche

A Machine Embroiderer’s Poem

By Denise Holguin

I know I should be sweeping the floor
But I can’t help but skip right out the door.
Today the mail carrier has delivered bills and something more.

My Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine has arrived.
It gives me inspiration—it makes me feel alive!
Oh the pleasure and inspiration I will derive!

There’s a project by Eileen Roche and Nancy Zieman…what a delight.
I wonder if my husband would give me a look of fright

If I told him I was escaping to my favorite sewing room chair
And gaze happily through the magazine pages without worry or a care.

“Oh I will make that blanket,” I exclaim with delight!
And look there’s a quick in-the-hoop gift I can stitch by next Friday night!

There’s something pretty and lacy I can stitch for Aunt Stacy
There’s even a stylish men’s shirt that’s not over-the-top crazy!

For now I must return to my husband and children
But I’ll make it my goal, it’ll be my 2012 mission

To etch a little more ‘me’ time to embroider and sew
It’ll be my opportunity to learn and grow!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We have a backup plan if Santa does not deliver the goods.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Don’t leave it up to Santa to deliver the goods you want this year!  Take advantage of your last chance to win some some unbelievable prizes!  All it takes are four simple steps to enter the Everybody Smiles with Designs contest. All you have to do is ‘like us’ on Facebook (http://www.dzgns.com/facebook). Post a photo on the Designs in Machine Embroidery Facebook page showing your winning smile while holding any copy of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. You can have a lot of fun with this – shoot it in your sewing room, in front of your favorite embroidery project, at your local dealer or buried in your favorite stash!Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
Tag Designs in Machine Embroidery in your photos, add a caption to your photo and consider yourself entered to win over $6000 worth of prizes – including the grand prize a Koala studio. You’ll find a ton of prizes from Klasse, Sulky, Creative Options, Clover, Madeira, Embroidery Library, Urban Threads, Oliso and Baby Lock.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog You have 19 chances to win. The top prize is a Koala Studio and you get to choose the style and color you want. Next, there’s a Madeira Thread Chest (fully stocked with 194 spools and Amazing Designs embroidery collections) followed by the Incredible Threadable Embroidery Box, a nifty double-duty thread storage system full of 80 spools plus bobbin thread.
Baby Lock has so generously contributed a machine trolley and trolley tote for hitting the road with your machine. Have you had your eye on that too-hot-to handle Oliso Smart Iron Pro? You might just win it if you enter the Everybody Smiles with Designs contest. If you do take home the Smart Iron you’ll find it’s not too hot to handle, in fact it’s quite cool. It’s a high tech iron that activates with the touch of your hand.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog If you’re a Sulky fan, you’ll be glad to know you might win Sulky’s Embroidery Starter Collection with 27 of the most used 40 wt. rayon colors stashed in a Slimline Storage Box.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Two lucky winners will enjoy $100 shopping spree coupons from two of our favorite design companies: Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Of course, what’s a sewing contest without some much-needed tools? Our friends at Floriani have donated Floriani’s Favorite Embroidery Tools Kit which includes EZ Snips, angled tweezers, 4 ½” large ring micro tip scissors, appliqué scissors and 5” straight trimmers.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Hoping to win an heirloom to pass on to the next generation? The Nantucket Sewing Basket from Sudberry House could be yours. You’ll treasure the American dark walnut and maple dowel inlay on the lid and basket base.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog We all need something to stitch on and many of us turn to The Sewphisticated Stitcher for fun and funky blanks. They have contributed a Dream Bundle of Blanks that includes a sport bottle, damask apron, damask print canvas bag, zebra print mouse pad and a laptop sleeve – all tucked into the collapsible (and embroiderable!) Market Basket.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogTo round out the prizes you’ll find Designs’ bundle of Stipple! Collections, Designer Necklines and two one-year subscriptions; Clover’s Mini-Iron and Stack ‘n Stitch Thread Tower; Creative Options Craftician Bag and Klasse’s Embroidery Needle Value pack. Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Hurry!  The contest ends December 31, 2011.  To show our gratitude for your entry, we’ve posted a free design for you to download. Just click here for the rules, prizes and design.

Need inspiration?  Check out the latest entry we received from Beth Rowan below. Don’t miss out on your chance to win!  Click here to enter now! Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog“Look Ma, I’m stippling!! It may be winter, but the butterflies are still around and we’re having fun!” – Beth Rowan

Your assignment last week:  Tell me what Nancy Zieman uses to press the seams on her Designer Handbag and you could win a copy of Designer Handbags. Does she use a clapper, a seam roll, a wooden dowel or a pressing ham? Leave your comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Designer Handbags.Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog And the winner is… Lorie! “Nancy uses a wooden dowel.Nancy’s videos are so helpful! I always learn something new.” – Lorie Congratulations!

No need to limit yourself to cotton!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Part two of the Designer Handbags series on Sewing with Nancy is on the http://www.nancyzieman.com website. Watch how easy it is to finish the bag after the embroidery is complete.

www.nancyzieman.com

As you watch, you’ll notice we used cotton quilting fabrics for the bags. But you’re not limited to those fabrics. In fact, almost any fabric will work since it’s the interfacing that gives the bag body.

Recently I raided the home décor aisle in my local fabric store and scored two awesome fabrics. I selected an animal print canvas along with a brick-patterned polyester. The results are two totally different looks. The animal print is great for everyday use; I used headliner fabric for the interfacing and really enjoy the soft feel of this bag. I didn’t bother making a tab closure but opted to add a ribbon-embellished zipper. You’ll see the how-to steps for this bag in the January/February 2012 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery (shipping now).

The more formal brick-patterned polyester fabric called for a more serious approach. So I used Peltex craft interfacing and ultra-suede scraps for the tab, corner trims and strap connectors. The result? A proper bag appropriate for business meetings and ventures into the city. I’ve been stopped twice by strangers asking where I bought this bag. Wow! What a compliment!

I am having so much fun making handbags. I love the professional finish of each one and yet they are all so different. I love how just a bit of fabric is needed for each project and I get to use scraps for some of the elements. I love how the bags can be any size I need and any style that I envision. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with these ideas.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell me what Nancy Zieman uses to press the seams on her Designer Handbag and you could win a copy of Designer Handbags. Does she use a clapper, a seam roll, a wooden dowel or a pressing ham? Leave your comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Designer Handbags.

Designer Handbags by Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

If you’ve been browsing the pages of Designs Nov/Dec. 2011 issue, you’re probably wondering what happened to Platinum Embroidery’s ad on page 81. It wasn’t a typo, Platinum Embroidery wanted their ad displayed in that manner. Tell me what was different about their ad and you could win a $35.00 gift certificate to Designs’ website. Hope you win!

And the winner is… Rachel D.  

“The ad is upside down. It’s an awesome way to grab your attention!” – Rachel D.

Congratulations Rachel!

More than 12 days of Christmas Savings!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’ve been scouring the pages of Designs for you looking for deals. I found tons of savings in this issue. So many advertisers generously offer discounts and rebates at this time of year. So take advantage of these special savings.

 

Embroider This!

Let’s start with http://www.EmbroiderThis.com Just type in coupon code DZ71 when you checkout and you’ll received 10% off your entire order. How cool is that? You can stock up on blanks for the next few months and stretch your savings over the winter.

Embroitique

Coupon code winter11 will put 10% back in your pocket when you checkout at Embroitique.com. Enjoy their trendy offering of appliqué designs, in-the-hoop projects and more.

Thread Art

Looking to stock up on embroidery and crafting supplies, then stop by http://www.threadart.com and save 10% off your online order when using coupon DME1010.

 

Katelyn's Kreative Stitches

The stakes get a little higher over at http://www.KatelynsKreativeStitches.com You’ll enjoy 15% off when you enter code dzgns15. Look for sweet, simple designs that stitch up in a flash.

 

Sudberry House

Grab an adorable and timeless free cross stitch design at http://www.machineCrossStitch.com when you join the Yahoo Group at Sudberry House.

 

Sealed With A Stitch

Act now so you can enjoy 20% savings at http://www.SealedWithAStitch.com The coupon code DIME20OFFND expires December 20, 2011.

 

Fun Stitch

If you’re charmed by the elf hat alphabet over at http://www.FunStitch.com then act now and use coupon code DIME20 to receive 20% off your order. Of course, you don’t have to settle on the alphabet, there are tons of designs to browse – and purchase!

 

DigiStitches

No reason to wait any longer to make your first purchase at http://www.digistitches.com. Act now and deduct 20% off your first purchase; coupon code: DIME20.

 

Five Star Fonts

A huge selection of fonts awaits you at http://www.FiveStarFonts.com. First-time buyers get a 20% discount off their purchase – see website for details.

 

Pickle Pie Designs

Newbies at http://www.PicklePieDesigns.com also will receive 20% off their first order with coupon code DIME20.

 

Needleheads

Check out Monogram Wizard’s new online alphabet store at http://www.needleheads.com.  Enter coupon code: DesignsFall on your first order and you’ll save 20%!

 

GG Designs Embroidery

GG Designs Embroidery is extending a big welcome to first time shoppers. Just enter coupon code: DIME and enjoy 25% off when shopping at http://www.ggDesignsEmbroidery.com

 

Embroidery Arts

Best bargain on the web this month goes to http://www.EmbroideryArts.com. The industry’s go-to-source for elegant, historical and hip fonts is sharing the wealth with you this month.   Slash 30% off your entire purchase at the checkout!  You can buy one letter, two letters, entire fonts or tons of fonts but you’ll enjoy 30% off the whole month.

Designs in Machine Embroidery is even jumping into the holiday savings spirit with a $5.00 coupon off any Designs product. Just enter mistletoe when you check out. http://www.dzgns.com

Let’s not just focus on web savings – there are tons of deals in your local sewing machine dealer.  Many have holiday discounts but here’s some serious savings from machine manufacturers.

 

Baby Lock

You (or Santa) can save up to $500 instantly on a new Baby Lock machine. Visit http://www.babylock.com for more details.

 

Brother

Brother has extended their Black Friday rebate offer until December 11th so hurry into your local Brother dealer to take advantage of this special offer, right now.

 

Pfaff

Have you had your eye on the Pfaff quilt expression™ 4.0?  There’s a $200.00 mail-in rebate that expires soon – December 15th.  Log on to http://www.pfaffusa.com and click on the Holiday Gift Guide. You’ll find sales announcements plus Pfaff has something new for you every day until Christmas Eve – from valuable sewing tips to downloadable gifts.  How cool is that?

 

Husqvarna Viking

Our friends at http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/us have new monthly specials every month but right now through December 15, you can enjoy a $500 manufacturer rebate plus a two-piece luggage set.  Hurry, the deal changes monthly!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

If you’ve been browsing the pages of Designs Nov/Dec. 2011 issue, you’re probably wondering what happened to Platinum Embroidery’s ad on page 81. It wasn’t a typo, Platinum Embroidery wanted their ad displayed in that manner. Tell me what was different about their ad and you could win a $35.00 gift certificate to Designs’ website. Hope you win!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We have lots of winners to announce this week!  4 Winners will receive $25 Gift Certificates to spend on SWAKembroidery.com and 1 luck winner will receive Designer Handbags!

The FOUR winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question: Christmas decorations and ornaments can evoke warm memories of childhood. What’s your favorite motif? Is it a star, reindeer, Santa, snowflakes or a menorah? Do you have a central theme running through your holiday decorations? Share your thoughts and you could be one of four lucky winners this week. What’s the prize? FOUR lucky winners will receive a $25.00 gift certificate from SWAKembroidery.com!

And the FOUR lucky winners are….
Winner 1:  Donna G. “Most of our decorations are those that have been handed down through the family, or are handmade. It makes for eclectic decor, but great holiday traditions and memories!”

Winner 2.  Beth R. “I love snowflakes, especially free-standing lace ornaments.  But then again, I love any ornament – the only theme that my decorations follow is ‘most anything (within reason) goes!”

Winner 3.  Tammy: “I am addicted to SWAK embroidery!!!  I have been coveting that mitten!   I LOVE Angels of any shape or size!!!  They are my favorite Christmas motif — Santas come in a close 2nd!!!!!”

Winner 4.  Doree Shandera: “My favorite ornaments are nativity scene ones. We have collected several over the years. Next favs are all the ornaments our 4 kids have made over the years.  We put them all on and have many fond memories.”

Congratulations to everyone!

Last Friday we posted a blog on Designer Handbags and asked the following question:
Want to win a copy of Designer Handbags? Just post a comment to tell me which of the fabric choices, Group A, B, C or D, shown above, did Nancy select for the taping and you could be the winner. The winner will be announced December 7, 2011

And the winner is…. Carol Morrow.   She correctly guessed Group C.  Congratulations Carol!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Don’t forget to watch the Nancy’s television episode featuring Designer Handbags online by visiting http://www.nancyzieman.com.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog - Designer Handbags

Designer Handbags by Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche

Designer Handbags with Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche

If your sewing skills are holding you back from tackling complex projects, you might be interested in seeing how an embroidery machine can simplify complicated sewing tasks. How? The tough/challenging/persnickety steps are handled by digital files completely eliminating the need for top-notch sewing skills. You’ll be amazed to see how easy it is to duplicate four corner accents; how the embroidery machine ensures both straps are attached at the same location and how two fabric rectangles are all you need to make a great-looking handbag.

Did I get your attention? Nancy Zieman and I are happy to share the steps with you. In fact, you can watch on your computer by clicking here, http://www.nancyzieman.com. Click on the EMBROIDERY link. On Dec. 4, 2011 you’ll see the latest episode of Sewing with Nancy, featuring this hot new technique. Nancy and I joined forces to simplify one of our favorite sewing projects – making handbags. Next week, on Dec. 11, 2011, you can watch the second episode of the two-part series. Of course, feel free to check your local PBS channel listing for the airing of Sewing with Nancy.

Ever wonder how these television shows happen? Well, usually it starts with a phone call from Nancy, followed by an enthusiastic YES! by me. Then after the glow fades, it’s time to get to work, to define the tasks, buy the fabrics, make the samples, dissect the steps, make more samples, throw out some samples, make more samples and regret you threw anything out! Of course, all of this happens with 1100 miles separating us.

We depend on email, telephone calls and some unsophisticated photography to relay visions back and forth. Here’s an early shot of the results of one of my early fabric buying trips.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Then it’s time for me to head to Beaver Dam, WI, home of the sewing world’s top television star, Nancy Zieman. What do I do when I arrive? Basically, I implode in the conference room.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

After careful screening and organizing, Nancy gets me back on track. It’s quite clear why she’s been so successful all these years. Organization is her forte!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We pack for the next day’s taping.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

And before you know it – it’s over! And I can’t wait to do it again!

Eileen Roche and Nancy Zieman, on the set for Designer Handbags

Here’s your assignment this week:

Want to win a copy of Designer Handbags? Just post a comment to tell me which of the fabric choices, Group A, B, C or D, shown above, did Nancy select for the taping and you could be the winner. The winner will be announced December 7, 2011

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s a limited time special offer for Eileen’s blog readers:


Order Designer Handbags between Dec 2-15, 2011
& enjoy $10 dollars off the regular price!
Regular price: $49.99.
Exclusive Special on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog: $39.99
Order Now

Advent Calendars

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’ve always been charmed by advent calendars. When I saw this Winter Mitten Gift Card Holder from our friends at SWAKembroidery.com, I couldn’t resist transforming the in-the-hoop ornaments into 25 mittens to countdown the days until Christmas. The mitten is featured in the current issue of Designs and is a bargain-buy at $8.00 because you get five different designs in three sizes.

I opted to use cotton quilting fabric instead of traditional red felt. Either works just fine but felt is more economical. If you choose felt, use one layer for the front of the mitten and one layer for the back. Cotton fabric needs a bit more stability so fuse two layers of fabric with fusible web together for the front of the mitten. A single layer of fabric works fine for the back. You’ll need enough for 25 stockings or five hoopings in a 200×300 hoop.

In embroidery editing software, open Mitten4x4 Christmas Tree. Remove the Christmas tree. Copy and paste the design four times. Position the mittens in the hoop leaving ½” between each design. If the fabric doesn’t have a directional print (such as a stripe), rotate the fifth one to fit in the hoop. Select three of the mittens and mirror image them.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Color sort the design. Select the lettering function and type in number 1. Place the digit in the first mitten (thumb facing to the right) and size the letter to a height of 1.46”. Repeat for numbers 2 through 5.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Move the numbers to the first color of the design. Save it as Mitten1_5.

Remove the numbers and replace them with numbers 6 through 10. Save it as Mitten6_10. Repeat this process until you have 25 mittens with the numbers 1 through 25, five hoopings.

If you don’t have embroidery editing software, you can do this at the machine but you’ll have to ‘embroider responsibly’. Open the embroidery design in the machine’s editing feature. Merge as many mittens into the largest hoop as will fit. Add a number to each mitten, centering the number over the Christmas tree.

Attach the hoop to the machine. Stitch the numbers by advancing through the design. Stitch the placement guide for the trim. Add the trim. Skip the colors of the Christmas tree and advance to the mitten outline. Place a second piece of fabric under the hoop and stitch the final outline. When stitching the final outline, it’s wise to cover the fur on the side opposite the thumb. Use a skewer or pencil to hold a scrap of water soluble stabilizer over the fur as the needle advances to the fur.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Remove from the hoop.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Trim about ¼” from the outline.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Create your advent wreath by attaching to a decorative ribbon, clothesline, or wire. Adorn a mantel, staircase or tree with the mittens. The kids will have so much fun checking for a small treat each day.

Want to use multiple fabrics for a charming, quilty look? Don’t assign the numbers to the mittens in chronological order, change fabrics with every hooping and consider doing some of the numbers in single hoopings.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Christmas decorations and ornaments can evoke warm memories of childhood. What’s your favorite motif? Is it a star, reindeer, Santa, snowflakes or a menorah? Do you have a central theme running through your holiday decorations? Share your thoughts and you could be one of four lucky winners this week. What’s the prize? FOUR lucky winners will receive a $25.00 gift certificate from SWAKembroidery.com!
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

I’d love to know what digitizing program you use – and maybe you don’t! Tell me that too. Just leave a comment and let me know if you do or don’t digitize and if you do, what program you use. You could win one of my favorite embroidery editing programs, Perfect Alignment Software.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The lucky winner is…  (drum roll please!)
“I use Embroidery Magic 2 and Fancyworks.  They take some effort to learn but the results are well worth the effort.” – Becky

Congratulations Becky!

Embossing

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’ll be the first to admit my digitizing skills are quite limited but the more I try, the easier it gets. Lately, I’ve been playing with digitizing software on how to make embossed monograms for lofty fabrics. Follow along as I show you how to do it in Floriani software.

Click on the Text icon. Type the monogram in the text box. Select Arial Run under the Font drop down menu. Click Apply.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Artwork tool and draw a rectangle encasing the monogram.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the rectangle and right click on it. Scroll down the menu to Convert To Run.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the rectangle again, copy and paste a second version. Change the color to Color 3.

Select the first rectangle. Right click and convert it to Complex Fill.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the complex fill rectangle and change the density to 2.00 under Fill in the Properties menu.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Shape tool and select the black dot at the top of the rectangle. This dot represents the direction of the stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Slide it over to the left, creating an angle.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the rectangle. Copy, paste and mirror image the rectangle horizontally.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Your design should look like this.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the monogram. Right click and select Remove Overlaps.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now your monogram is visible but the R needs a little work.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Run tool

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Use the Run tool to trace the inside of the R. Select the traced line and convert it to Complex Fill, density 2.0.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Shape tool and change the direction of the stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Copy, paste and mirror image the complex fill.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now select the rectangle (color 3) and convert it to Steil.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

There you have it! Wow – how fun was that? Test it on your fabric before stitching on the final project. I match my thread to the fabric when stitching the complex fill areas but I do select a thread that contrasts a bit with the base fabric when stitching the frame and actual monogram. This gives some added lift to the design.

Here’s your assignment this week:

I’d love to know what digitizing program you use – and maybe you don’t! Tell me that too. Just leave a comment and let me know if you do or don’t digitize and if you do, what program you use. You could win one of my favorite embroidery editing programs, Perfect Alignment Software.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

It seems as embroiderers, we’re always focused on making gifts for others, so I’m wondering how many of you have treated yourself to monogrammed/embroidered napkins. Tell me what you stitched for your table this holiday season and you could win a Perfect Placement Kit which will make your next set of napkins a breeze!

This week’s winner is… Mary Heil!

“I’m working on holiday napkins and table runners for my family members.  First I added embroidery to the napkins I had on hand for next month.  Then I purchased a couple of large tablecloths (on sale) that I will cut up and embroider as needed for each person to match their taste and home decor.” – Mary Heil

Congratulations Mary!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

It’s Turkey Time!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

You still have time to celebrate Thanksgiving with a few quick, stitched embroidery projects. I visited our advertisers’ websites to see what they were cooking up for Turkey Day and boy, what an amazing assortment of designs. Here’s what I found by entering Thanksgiving into the search box on each site.

DigiStitches
 

DigiStitchesPlay food – got some little ones coming for dinner? Stitch up this play cookie dough ahead of time and you’ll keep the little ones busy making their own batch of cookies.

 

 

Anita Goodesign Anita GoodesignIf you’ve been sorting your fabric scraps by color, then you’re halfway done to making this turkey crazy quilt block! Anita Goodesign’s mini collection, Turkey Crazy Quilt, will dress your table in style.
OESD   

OESDStart an heirloom collection of cherished table lines with this classic embroidery design, Tom Turkey #WP355_48 from our friends at OESD.

Applique for Kids   

Applique For KidsSo often little boys are forgotten when it comes time to holiday projects.  Not this time – here’s something for the little guys, a turkey truck.

SewAZ Embroidery Designs  SewAZ Embroidery Designs

 

Add a little sparkle to your holiday with Sew AZ Embroidery Designs wall dangler. It’s stitched in variegated thread with Mylar accents on the turkey and pumpkins.

Bunnycup Embroidery Bunnycup Embroidery
 

Bunnycup EmbroideryBunnycup embroidery designs welcomes both friends and family. So charming, these designs fit in a 4” x 4” hoop.

Zippy DesignZZippy DesignZ  ZippyDesignZ

 

Bring the best pie – one that’s calorie-free and lasts a lifetime!  Pie pincushions are so simple to make – all in the hoop!  They’re like potato chips – you can’t just make one!

Pickle Pie Designs
 

Pickle Pie DesignsTom Turkey Hair Pretties will top off any little angel’s holiday outfit.  Won’t she just love dressing in the spirit of the holiday?

Five Star Fonts   

Five Star FontsI’m Stuffed!  Don this fun shirt after the dishes are done!

Oma's Place   

Oma’s PlaceHow about stitching this heartfelt expression on each napkin?

Katelyn's Kreative Stitches   

Katelyn’s Kreative StitchesA sweet appliqué, the fabric is the star for this turkey.

GG Designs Embroidery  GG Designs Embroidery

 

Make a whimsical Percy Pumpkin toy softie in the hoop.

Embroitique   

EmbroitiquePerfect for a table runner or table cloth, set the tone of the holiday with this heartwarming message.

Amazing Designs  Amazing Designs

 

Turkey Troubles at Amazing Designs takes a fun approach to the day – that is if you’re not a turkey!  Here’s one of my favorites:  the jogging (ok, running for his life) turkey.

Embroidery Library
 

Embroidery LibraryGot 20 minutes? Then dress for the occasion and decorate your apron with one of Embroidery Library’s lovely season border designs.

Urban Threads Urban ThreadsWhat’s a holiday without a gift?  Our friends at Urban Threads are posting this free design for all.  Click here and jump over to their site to download your design.

Here’s your assignment this week:

It seems as embroiderers, we’re always focused on making gifts for others, so I’m wondering how many of you have treated yourself to monogrammed/embroidered napkins. Tell me what you stitched for your table this holiday season and you could win a Perfect Placement Kit which will make your next set of napkins a breeze!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Did you know that the fonts on the Perfect Towel Kit are not only ideal for stitching on terry cloth but fabulous for faux fur? Want to win Perfect Towel Kit – just in time for the holidays? You love the coverage you get when you use fonts with double underlay when embroidering on those holiday fibers. Just tell me what size is your biggest hoop. Is it a 4” x 4”, 5” x 7”, 7” x 12” or other size? Leave your comment and you could win the Perfect Towel Kit.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

And the winner is… Sharon!  “My largest hoop is 8″ x 12″”

Congratulations Sharon!  We wish you many happy days stitching perfectly aligned towels!

 

Spanx® for Machine Embroidery Designs

What is Spanx for embroidery designs? It’s underlay – the seamless foundation for beautiful embroidery. Without it, you’re going to see a whole lot of puckers, wrinkles and divets. Things that are very undesirable in embroidery and fashion.

But how do you know if you need it? Well, in fashion, a mirror will tell you if Spanx is a requirement for a certain outfit. In embroidery, a stitch out of the design will reveal the ugly or blissful truth.

Professionally digitized designs start with underlay since the underlay stitches are the foundation for the visible artistic stitches. Underlay, like Spanx, should be invisible with its presence known only to the stitcher/fashionista.

The amount of underlay that is in an embroidery design was decided by the digitizer at the time of creation. The digitizer takes into consideration the end use of the design and applies the appropriate type of underlay before laying down the beautiful stitches. For instance, when Designs in Machine Embroidery created the fonts for the Perfect Towel Kit, the end use of stitching on terry cloth was taken into consideration. The result, a double layer of lattice underlay, permanently holds down the nap of the terry cloth through the life of the towel not just until it is laundered. A double layer of lattice is two columns of fairly tight zigzag stitches that support the heavy satin stitches in the final design.

Formal H from the Perfect Towel Kit

Single layer of lattice underlay

Actual underlay of the Formal H design

Romanesque 2 is a beautiful collection of monograms in a delicate frame available from Embroidery Arts. If you take a close look at this lettering, you’ll know that the digitizer created this collection for medium weight fabrics such as bedding, table cloths and napkins.

The letter E from Romanesque 2, Embroidery Arts.

The underlay on the tall, vertical column includes three straight lines of stitching spaced across the width of the column providing a frame for the satin stitches. On the short horizontal line of the E, you’ll find a triple line of underlay stitched close together, creating a bed for the satin stitches. The two approaches reflect the push and pull of the fabric as there is greater stress on the wider vertical column than the short horizontal column. This underlay reflects the work of an experienced and knowledgeable digitizer.

The underlay stitches have been changed to black thread.

Our friends at OESD have a lovely collection of open and airy designs, Radiant Blossoms. The designs are intended to be used on delicate fabrics, nothing heavier than linen and often something as delicate as satin and chiffon.

Very little underlay is included in the designs. More often than not, you’ll find an edge travel; a line of run stitches that lays down at the perimeter of the design segment and provides an anchor for the satin stitches.

Always stitch a test of an embroidery design before you begin the actual project. But don’t just critique the final outcome; watch the process so you can see what underlay was included in the design. This will provide clues for what type of fabric the design was digitized for, saving you guesswork. You may discover that more (or less) underlay is needed for your particular fabric. In your digitizing software, go to Properties, Underlay to add or subtract underlay.

Admit it, fashionista, don’t you wish you could do that to the image in the mirror? I know I do!

Here’s your assignment this week:

Did you know that the fonts on the Perfect Towel Kit are not only ideal for stitching on terry cloth but fabulous for faux fur?  Want to win Perfect Towel Kit – just in time for the holidays?  You love the coverage you get when you use fonts with double underlay when embroidering on those holiday fibers. Just tell me what size is your biggest hoop.  Is it a 4″ x 4”; 5” x 7”, 7” x 12” or other size? Leave your comment and you could win the Perfect Towel Kit.

 

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

I can’t wait to see what you do with Designer Handbags and I’m hoping you’ll share photos on Facebook in a few weeks but for now, tell me what size bag you prefer. Do you tote a jumbo bag, a mid-size or petite purse? Tell us what you’re carrying now and you could win Designer Handbags.

And the lucky winner is…. Terri Vanden Bosch!

“I use different bags for the seasons–or which ever one I have just made is my favorite at the moment. I would say it is a mid-size–but that could change with the next one I make:):) ”   – Terri

Just a Couple of Bag Ladies

I’m afraid to count. I feel like Imelda Marcos but instead of shoes, it’s bags. Handbags. In the past five months, I’ve made over 20 handbags. Wow – it would be embarrassing if it wasn’t necessary. Every time I made a bag, I learned something very valuable that I applied to the next bag. Eventually, I got the hang of it.

But I wasn’t the only one. My good friend, Nancy Zieman, also made bags (I’ll bet she’s up to 20+ too!) just for this project, Designer Handbags. We decided to tackle this subject together because she has a line of handbag templates with Clover and I developed a ‘functional embroidery’ technique that not only looks good but works too. It sounded like the perfect marriage. And it was – we had a blast and hope you will too.

In Designer Handbags, you’ll find a 30-minute video illustrating all of the steps – embroidery, stabilizer, foundation, hardware, pressing – everything you need to make your own Designer Handbag.

There are some very clever – or smart – techniques that simplify complicated sewing tasks with an embroidery machine. What pleases me the most is every corner, strap connector and tab are exact duplicates of each other. There is no ‘bad side’ to your Designer Handbag because the digital files do all the work. You will be so impressed with your professional results when you create your own handbag with Designer Handbags.

Of course, Nancy brings her years of sewing expertise to making bags. I learned so much from her! And you will too. Nancy enjoyed using her purse templates as a starting point for Designer Handbags while I just started with rectangles of fabric. So if you have a favorite purse pattern that you’d like to add smart embroidered accents to – you can. Truly, the choice is yours.

I have made cutesy bags, quilty bags, sophisticated bags, go-to bags, gadget bags, and travel bags (with a zipper sleeve!). But I’m probably not stopping because each one is sooooo different from the one before it. I’ve been feeling like a hoarder because I haven’t been able to share the handbags until the product is out. And now it’s out! Last weekend, Nancy and I showed a few of our bags with quilt shop owners at Quilt Market in Houston. Here we are – caught in the act of hauling our precious cargo.

Finally, I get to show them off this weekend in Orlando at the Stitching Sisters event at Sewing Studio. Click here if you want to join us.

Here’s your assignment this week:

I can’t wait to see what you do with Designer Handbags and I’m hoping you’ll share photos on Facebook in a few weeks but for now, tell me what size bag you prefer. Do you tote a jumbo bag, a mid-size or petite purse? Tell us what you’re carrying now and you could win Designer Handbags.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

I would really like to know how many of you prefer books or ebooks when it comes to embroidery/sewing/quilting titles. So tell me your preference and you’ll be in the drawing for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from All About Blanks.

And the winner is…. (drum roll please!)
Greta!
“Your quilt is quite beautiful and I am sure your niece loves it!  I prefer books b/c I like to riffle through the pages which is hard to do on an e-book…just a little old fashioned, lol”

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