It’s funny how our preferences change over time. Fifteen years ago, DIME featured fashions with tens of thousands of stitches. As the editor of Designs, I was determined to show and wear anything other than ‘plop and drop’. If you’re not familiar with the term, plop and drop is single design placement (usually on a garment). Think left chest embroidery – the standard in commercial embroidery.
I wanted our pages to reflect a more passionate approach to embroidery because I knew my readers loved spending time at their machine mixing and blending designs into large layouts.
I used to joke that I thought in terms of stitches per month, not stitches per minute. Today, machines have larger sewing fields, gigantic hoops and faster technology. You would think I would be wearing more stitch heavy projects. But as I look at my current wardrobe, the reverse is true.
Now less is more. Today, I like to accent a garment not embroider the entire canvas. I love a swanky collar.
And you can never go wrong with a pretty neckline.
But sometimes a single outstanding embroidery design stitch front and center on a garment is enough. So what makes a single design outstanding? In my opinion, the original artwork and the use of color (or value) is what makes it pop. I like to start with a gorgeous design – delicately drawn lines, intricate details and open space that allows the thread to shine. I’m not a fan of heavy, dense designs.
Recently, I found a design (in fact, there are several in the collection) that fits the bill. I was scrolling through Kreations by Kara’s design library and spotted the Butterfly Bounty collection. At first glance, it was the scrollwork that pulled me in, and then, under closer scrutiny, it appeared the butterfly was moving. When I would glance away, I swear the wings fluttered. Hmmm…how did Kara pull that off?
I purchased the collection and opened Shadowed in embroidery software to get a closer look. Since I don’t like to wear heavy designs, I took a look at the stitch count and length. They seemed perfect. Then I examined the color sequence. Normally, I ignore the digitizer’s color suggestions but this time, I had a strong feeling the colors were what gave movement to the butterfly. Kara layered the thread – darker value stitched first in the background, followed by a medium thread and topped with the lightest.
I noticed how she used a black backdrop on her website so I took the easy route and stitched the butterfly on the center front of a black t-shirt. It looks exactly like it does on her website. I get compliments every time I wear it. Now that’s what I call an outstanding design. You can visit her website here: https://kreationsbykara.com/
Here’s your assignment this week:
This week tell me what you think makes a design outstanding and you could win a subscription to Designs. Post your comments and ONE random winner will be selected to win $25 gift cards to use on the Desings in Machine Embroidery website!
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:
What’s one thing you learned from your dad that you use all the time? Post your comments and FOUR random winners will be selected to win $25 gift cards to use on the Kreations by Kara website!
The winners are:
Mary: “Besides having a sense of humor and wearing a big smile my dad taught me how to pump my own gas, check my oil, and change my own tire. Dad passed when I was 16 and now at 61 I am still able to do all the above.”
Carolyn: “My Dad said “Never get mad at someone, only get ‘annoyed.’ It’s easier to get over being annoyed. Getting mad wastes too much energy for too long.” It was a hard lesson to follow, but it’s been rewarding in so many ways.”
Jenny Druding: “My father died when I was 10. My grandmother gave me the most preciouse advice. She told me to think of my father every day so I would not forget him. That was 39 years ago and I still think of him every day.”
Jan: “MY dad – is simply the best – he is 79, loves his train trips, his holidays abroad, anything in nature and birdwatching in particular. He is an avid reader and his daily crossword and just loves life. Took him to see Les Miserables 2 weeks ago and since then he is forerver texting me with opening words – Bring him home! Love him to bits and if there’s one lesson he did teach me – always be true to yourself!”