My friend Tore works in a corporate environment—picture a quiet, organized, office setting. The exact opposite of my space where there’s an explosion of stitched samples, fabrics, trim, buttons… and somewhere there’s a desk.
He recently told me he volunteered to supply the office decorations for the common area at his workplace. I immediately smelled an opportunity to introduce embroidery into a new environment. I quietly agreed to help him buy some standard St. Patrick’s Day decorations but we both knew the odds were good I’d surprise him and his office with some of my embroidered handiwork!
But where to start?
I started on social media.
I noticed our friends at Sulky shared a St Patrick’s Day TBT blog post featuring a free downloadable shamrock design. Perfect! Want the design? Visit here!
Next I used the Scalloped Letter Squares from Joann Connolly’s book, Sweet Stitches. You might recognize the design… or you might not! Here’s the original design below.
I combined the two designs in embroidery software. You can do this in any embroidery editing software you own. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Test, test, test. I feel like I’ve said this before!
- Just like in arithmetic, you need to remember order of operations. You are combining two different applique designs. The Scalloped Letter Squares Design has a piece of fabric that covers the back to create a clean finish. But you also need to stitch the Shamrock design before you stitch the back. You will need to rearrange the sequence of stitches so the two designs stitch in the proper order. You’ll have to test and experiment—but that’s part of the learning process.
Here’s what happened during my “experimental” process. You’re looking at the back of the project that should not have the shamrock outline exposed. Oops. But flip it over to the front and no one will know the difference!
Here’s a look at the final outcome. For added fun, I added a shamrock ribbon as a hook and sewed a button to each piece. Then I glued some buttons onto some pushpins to make it easy to hang the shamrocks on their bulletin board.
I sure am lucky to have the opportunity to spread the love of machine embroidery everywhere! You can do the same!
Takeaways from this blog:
1. It’s ok to mix, match and have fun. Look for ways to repurpose designs. Combine, remove stitch elements—change the color sequences to fit your new invention. This is what makes the creative process fun.
2. Opportunity often knocks quietly and sometimes it might require some effort. But the results are worth it. You can create and design your happiness and growth as a person and in that process you might brighten someone else’s day.
Your assignment for this week:
Spread happiness. Take the time to thank a person. Be specific with your reason for thanking them. Spend some time listening to someone that needs to talk. Listen more and speak less! Smile at the barista the next time you are at the coffee shop. Instead of “liking” a post on Facebook, Instagram, etc, engage with the person by commenting a positive thought. Hug your husband, your grandchild or your best friend.
The winner of last week’s blog post answered the following question:
What type of projects would you like to see more of? Quilts, crafts, adult clothing, children’s clothing or home decor? One lucky winner will receive a 1 year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery.
The winner is:
Stella: “I would love home decor or useful items to use at home. There have already been a lot of towels and pillows, so new ideas would be fun to learn.”
Thank you, everyone for taking the time to comment. The information you shared is very helpful as we continue to come up with fresh content you’ll enjoy!