Archive of ‘Alignment and Placement’ category

A Closer Look… How to become more centered

Norman felt hopelessly lost as he hiked across the expanse of fabric. He had no point of reference. No guidance or direction.

One day, he discovered a beacon of hope. It was a great beam of light shining forth across the fabric giving him direction—and guidance.

He felt very… centered.

What is the source of this great beam of light? It’s PAL 2! The Perfect Alignment Laser 2!

PAL 2 uses:

  • Quickly locate the center of quilt blocks, pockets, plackets, bags and more
  • Connect continuous embroidery designs
  • Verify design placement on large items such as jacket backs, banners, pants and more

Features:

  • Adjustable lamp head
  • Lock-in permanent position
  • Swivel tip allows for proper aiming of the laser crosshair
  • Bright, crisp Non-Gaussian lines show uniform brightness across entire length of beam
  • Reflective 6″ wide and 3″ tall shade protects laser beam
  • Adjustable clamp fits table surfaces up to 2 ¼” thick
  • 28″ arm with flexible elbow joint
  • Adjustable height
  • Weighted base post firmly slips into the adjustable clamp

Once you use PAL 2, you’ll soon discover it makes centering and continuous embroidery so easy to achieve you’ll want to dance!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:Sewing Spoolie invites you to win a Slimline box of fabulous thread along with the pre-digitized designs to make all seven of the Spoolies in Sulky’s Collection #1. These popular sewing-themed designs, from the imagination of Joyce Drexler, are as fun as they are creative. And if you’ve ever tried to keep your stabilizers organized, you’re going to love Sue Hausmann’s bonus project included with the package. The whole package is a retail value of nearly $150 including 22 – 250 yd. spools of Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread, a 475 yd. spool of Bobbin Thread, and a CD with the seven Spoolie designs and bonus project. If you win, it’s all yours from Sulky. Now, go Express Yourself! Leave a comment below on where you would embroider a Spoolie to be entered!blog ad
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:Tell us where would you hang these adorable bird houses? One comment will be chosen to receive a one year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine! Click the link below to take advantage of our BEST OFFER EVER – only $19.97* per year for a one year subscription. Good luck and happy stitching!Nancy-Blog-Banner-1997

And the winner is… Kathy – “I would hang these birdhouses in my laundry room. They are so cute!”

 

 

Multi-Needle Monday: Fast & Easy Applique

Aprons are the perfect accessory – whether you’re cooking in the kitchen, tending a garden or stitching in your sewing room.  I recently purchased these oh-so-cute aprons and knew they’d be the perfect accessory to wear at our Stitching Sisters events.  As I’ll show you – you don’t need to shy away from large print fabrics.  Applique is the key!

First, find the center of the apron bib by folding the apron in half or use a target ruler. Place a target sticker on the apron to mark the center.

Apron1

Prepare the applique fabric by fusing fusible webbing to the wrong side of the applique fabric. Let the fabric cool and remove the protective paper.

Apron2

Hoop the bib with tear-away stabilizer in a 5” x 7” hoop. I used Multi-Needle Snap Hoop Monster since the flat top makes trimming applique very easy.

Apron3

Retrieve the embroidery design. On the editing screen, touch the multi-spool icon. Travel through the design and place a stop (touch the hand) at color 2 and 3. Assign the proper colors if necessary. Touch close.

If you have a camera on the multi-needle machine, use it to center the needle over the target sticker.

Apron4

Touch the camera icon again to close the camera and touch Sewing. Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

Apron5

Lay the prepared applique fabric over the outline. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Apron6

Touch the hoop icon at the bottom of the screen to move the hoop out for access to the applique.

Apron20

Trim the excess applique fabric close to the stitched outline. Apron7

Stitch color 3, the satin outline, color 4, the inner satin accent, the bean stitch outline and the text.

Apron8

Here’s my Stitching Sister and me at our recent event in Sacramento with Meissner’s Sewing & Vacuum. What a great event! I wonder if it was the aprons!

Apron9

Discreet is the Word – Monogramming for Men

header-revision

It’s not too late to show your dad how much you care about him. And nothing says it better than stitches. Just remember to keep the embroidery subtle. Here’s a few timely tips on stitching for men.

Materials

If there’s one word to describe monogramming on menswear, it’s discreet; discreet in size and contrast. Now don’t go by my samples – my samples are done for photography – highly contrasting so you can see them well on camera. But when stitched for someone to actually wear, a discreet monogram is the one most gentlemen will be comfortable wearing.

You have several choices when it comes to placing the monogram. Some very popular choices are on the pocket, above the pocket, or on the pocket flap if there is one, on the left cuff, inside the placket between the second and third button or on the placket at the bottom, just below the last button on the top placket and just for identification purposes: inside the collar.

ill

There are countless ways to arrange the letters but I’ve focused on three versions of the three-letter monogram. The traditional diamond shape: first name initial, last name initial and middle name initial. The two outer letters are proportionally smaller than the middle letter. Diamond

The standard order: first, middle and last initial – all the same size. Standard

On the pocket flap, go for a contemporary approach with the first initial stacked over the middle initial. This ‘tower’ of letters is equal in size to the last initial. Take this approach when the garment is a casual shirt like flannel, worn every day. Contemp

Let’s take a look at how you do it.

Pocket Flap

Find the vertical center of the flap. Place a target sticker just right of the edge of the flap. Hoop sticky stabilizer and place the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Turn on the laser and center the hoop under the laser. Position the flap on the sticky stabilizer. Smooth the flap on the stabilizer making sure the shirt is not caught under the flap.

Flap1

Support the weight of the shirt while transporting the hoop to the machine. Attach the hoop on the machine and verify the needle is centered over the target sticker. Remove the sticker and embroider the monogram.

Cuff

Button the left cuff and place it on a flat surface. Cuff2

Place the Perfect Placement Kit Cuff template on the cuff, aligning the fold with the template fold line and the topstitching line with the topstitching. Slide a target sticker under the template – use A for sizes small and medium and B for Large and extra-large.

Cuff

Unbutton the sleeve and pull the sleeve inside out. Hoop adhesive stabilizer and center the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Slide the cuff under the beam, aligning the crosshairs. Attach the hoop to the machine and embroider the monogram.

These small precise monograms take under three minutes to stitch – you could do a whole closetful in an afternoon!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your most appreciated mens embroidery project? Was it the golf club covers you made for your son-in-law, the personalized seat covers for your husband? Tell us the project that wowed and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!

Gift-Card

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

If you owned the Scrollwork Alphabet from EmbroideryOnline, where would you stitch the designs? What thread colors would you use? One comment will be randomly selected and will win a copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons.

And the winners is..Susan M. “Greetings Eileen. I think the showcased monogram would look stunning on a accent pillow for any room in the house.. one or multiple initials. Thanks for sharing.”

Love that Zoom Tool

I’ve met many Baby Lock and Brother machine owners (both multi-needle or single-needle machines) who didn’t know how to get a close-up look at an embroidery design before actually stitching. The tool is accessed at the top of the editing screen on my multi-needle machine (and single-needle machine). Once I’ve aligned my designs, I like to double-check the positions of each of the elements and the best way to do that is with the hoop view.

Zoom Tool

Now the view transforms to the hoop view. Hoop Tool

But here’s my favorite tool – the magnifying glass. Magnifying Glass Tool

Once selected, the designs fill the screen. Now I can verify the position of each element before taking a stitch.Zoomed in design

What’s your favorite tool?

Multi-Needle Monday: My Go-To Gift

Nap11

Last week, I showed how to stitch multiple napkins in on a single-needle machine. Today, let’s look at how to do it on a multi-needle machine.

The set-up is the same: Mark the location of the corner monogram on each of the six napkins. I use the Napkin On-Point template from the Perfect Placement Kit – no math, no measuring. Just place the template on the napkin aligning the guides with the stitched hem and then insert a target sticker into the hole with the arrow pointing towards the body of the napkin. Repeat for all six napkins – you’ll finish this task in under two minutes.

Select the largest hoop available and hoop tear-away stabilizer. I selected the 8” x 12” standard hoop but Multi-Needle Monster would also work very well. Use one of three options for holding the napkin on the stabilizer: spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive, hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer or use painter’s tape. I used adhesive tear-away stabilizer.

Position the first napkin in the bottom left corner of the hoop. Center the needle over the target sticker, remove the sticker and embroider the design. If your machine has a baste feature, use it! Move the design to the top left corner of the hoop. Fold the napkin out of the new sewing field and lay the second napkin in place. Smooth the napkin onto the adhesive stabilizer. Stitch the design. Nap1

Fold up both napkin tips and tape them down. Nap2

Place the third napkin below the second napkin. Smooth in place making sure the design area is not overlapped with the second napkin. Position the needle over the target sticker. Nap3

If your machine has a trace feature, use it to verify the needle will not stitch on the first napkin. Once you’re confident the first napkin is out of the sewing field, remove the sticker and embroider the design. Nap4

Fold and tape the side of the napkin and move the design just below the third napkin. Nap5

Stitch the napkin. Nap6

Tape the corners of napkins three and four. Nap7

Repeat the process for napkin five. Nap8

And napkin six. Nap9

Remove the stabilizer from the hoop and clip the basting stitches before tearing away the stabilizer. Nap10

Wow –six napkins in a flash!

My Go-To Gift

NapS1-1

If you think you don’t have time to stitch a last minute gift, think again! Let me show you how to stitch six napkins in no time.

Mark the location of the corner monogram on each of the six napkins. I use the Napkin On-Point template from the Perfect Placement Kit – no math, no measuring. Just place the template on the napkin aligning the guides with the stitched hem and then insert a target sticker into the hole with the arrow pointing towards the body of the napkin. Repeat for all six napkins – you’ll finish this task in under two minutes. Naps2-1

Select the largest hoop available and hoop tear-away stabilizer. Since I was limited to a 5” x 7” hoop for this project, I selected a small design so I could fit three napkins in one hooping. Use one of three options for holding the napkin on the stabilizer: spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive, hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer or use painter’s tape.

To get the most of a 5” x 7” sewing field for this technique, consider placing the first design (napkin) at the far left back of the hoop, the second design in the middle on the right and the third design at the bottom of the hoop on the left. You could audition the positions in software or on the editing screen of your machine. Here’s an example. Naps7-1

Position the first napkin at the back of the hoop. Center the needle over the target sticker, remove the sticker and embroider the design. If your machine has a baste feature, use it! Naps3-1

Lift the corner of the napkin back over the body of the napkin and tape it out of harm’s way. Naps4-1

Position the second napkin below the first napkin, making sure the first napkin is not caught under the second napkin. Smooth in place. Naps5-1

Position the needle over the target sticker. If your machine has a trace feature, use it to verify the needle will not stitch on the first napkin. Once you’re confident the first napkin is out of the sewing field, remove the sticker and embroider the design. Naps6-1

Lift the corner, tape it down to keep it out of the sewing field. Naps8-1

Position the third napkin and repeat the process. Naps9-1

Bam -three napkins done in no time! Now repeat for a second hooping of three more napkins and your set of six is complete.

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your favorite go-to gift? One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thanks for reading and good luck!

Gift-Card

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us what your favorite children’s theme is for the Summertime goodies you are crafting. FOUR lucky comments will be chosen to receive $25 to spend at the Applique for Kids website. Thanks and good luck!

May Blog Banner

And the winners are..Donna N. Clarice, Barb & Berenice

Multi-Needle Monday | Applique and Onesies – Oh, My!

Applique and stitching on onesies have always challenged my multi-needle machine skills. First, trimming applique in those deep standard hoops is tricky on a small item. I can’t seem to get my scissors to trim close enough to the stitch line in those hoops without nipping the base fabric. And of course, hooping a onesie when the design requires a larger than 4” x 4” hoop is almost impossible. Multi-Needle Monster Hoop solves both of those problems. Let me show you how.

Iron fusible polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the onesie shirt front extending the stabilizer above the neckline if your design has to stitch close to the ribbing.

Tape the embroidery design template onto the onesie. I use PAL to make sure the template is square on the garment before I tape it down. One1-1

Slide the magnetic frame (magnets side up) inside the shirt.   Place the metal Monster Hoop frame on top, aligning the frames. One2

Lift the frame and pull the back of the onesie over the frame. The metal arms of the frame will hold the onesie in place. One3

Check the back of the hoop to make sure nothing is caught under the hoop. Attach the hoop to the machine, center the design on the template’s crosshair and begin to stitch the applique. One4

After tacking down the applique fabric, remove the hoop and place it on a flat surface while trimming. Hold the hoop by the metal arms, not the frames, while transporting the hoop. One5

Reattach the hoop to the machine and slide your hand under the design area to make sure nothing is caught under the hoop. One6

There you have it! Never been easier. One7

How to Stitch a Onesie with Hoop Guard

Don’t you hate it when you’re working on a large (or small project) and as soon as you turn your back on the machine, a portion of the fabric (that’s not in the hoop) falls into the sewing field? It never seems to fail that the more time and materials I have invested in a project, the more trouble happens down the road.  Last summer, I was quilting several large quilts – bed size quilts – on my embroidery machine.  I spent many hours, repositioning the quilt to quilt a new area and several times, the quilt roll would fall into the sewing field.  Luckily, I was nearby, so I was able to avoid disaster. But it got me thinking, couldn’t there be a device that creates a barrier between the roll and the sewing field?

After a trip to the hardware store and a bit of experimentation, I met with our engineer. Several prototypes later, Hoop Guard was born.  I’m so excited about this new product!  I’ve used it on quilts and bulky terrycloth towels but I recently discovered how handy it is for small items too.  Let me show you how it works for an onesie.

Fuse polymesh cut-away stabilizer to the wrong side of the front of the suit. Mark the location of the design and turn the snap suit inside out.

Since a baby’s snap suit is small, select a small Monster Snap Hoop (4” x 4”).  Separate the metal frame from the top magnetic frame. Bottom frame embroidery hoop

Place the onesie over the metal frame, with the suit’s front (design area) laying on the frame. Position the neck at the bottom (closest to you) of the frame. Onesie on hoop

Attach the Hoop Guard to the bottom of the magnetic frame (the part closest to you when attached to the machine). Hoop Guard snaps onto the bottom of the magnetic frame with the barrier on the outside of the frame. Hoop Guard onto frame

Insert the magnetic frame with the Hoop Guard into the suit from the leg opening.  Thread Hoop Guard through the neck.  Hoop Guard Onesie

Pull the bulk of the suit over the Hoop Guard, exposing the design area.  Easy onesie

Attach the hoop to the machine. Verify the top and bottom frames are aligned with your hands. Trace the design to verify the needle will only stitch on the design area.  HG6 HG7 hg8

Add water soluble stabilizer over the design area and stitch the design. HG9

Voila!  HG10

I love Hoop Guard – it’s so handy for many embroidery tasks.   If you’d like to learn more about it, you can watch a video here.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us what project you would stitch first with a Hoop Guard. One lucky comment below will be chosen to receive their very own Hoop Guard!

 

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Do you have a favorite accent that you like to add to a monogram? Maybe a pineapple, pine cone, seashell or something along those lines? One comment will be chosen to receive a gift certificate to the DIME store for $25!

Gift-Card

The winner is… Lisha  “I like to use a tiny honeybee or fleur de lis for myself” – Congratulations Lisha!

Multi-Needle Monday | Sneakers

Table Top 9572Monogramming is sweeping the Southern region of the USA. My Stitching Sister Marie Zinno and recently taught in Augusta, GA and we’ll saw monogrammed cell phones, shirts, handbags, hats, shoes, boots and even automobiles.

One of our students, Bonnie Blinson, was sporting these to-die-for boots.  Boot1

She did an awesome job on those boots. She told me she just slid the boot shaft over the Quick Snap metal frame, snapped the magnets in place, held her breath and touched Start. She was delighted when it turned out perfectly, not once, but twice!

Since I didn’t have a pair of boots on hand to demo the technique, I thought I’d share a how-to on the same approach for sneakers.

Here’s what you’ll need: Quick-Snap Hooping system, tear-away stabilizer and one pair of tennis sneakers.

If there’s a label on the tongue, remove it. Measure the design area at the top of the tongue. Use this measurement to create your lettering.  The monogram on the sample, LZ, is 1.40” x 1.75” while the tongue measures 3 ¼” wide. Once you’ve selected your monogram, make sure it will fit on the tongue with open space around the monogram.

Create the monogram in software, print a template of it and audition it on the tongue.  Tape it in place or slide a Target Sticker under the template aligning the crosshairs. Make any necessary adjustments and send the design to the machine.

Remove the arms on the multi-needle machine. MMSneak1

Place the Quick Snap attachment on the machine.  MMSneak2

Tighten the gray screws as tight as they will go. MMSneak3

Select the 2” x 4” metal frame and three magnets. Place a piece of tear-away stabilizer behind the tongue and lay the tongue over the frame with the shoe at the end of the frame. Snap the magnets on the frame to hold both the stabilizer and tongue. MonoSneak4

Use the camera to locate the target sticker. Center the machine’s crosshair (on the screen) over the target sticker’s crosshair. Trace the design making sure the needle will not hit the frame or magnets.  If you have a flat surface under your machine, rest the shoe on it. MonoSneak5

Remove the target sticker.  Stay with the machine during the embroidery process.  You may have to support the weight of the shoe during the stitching. Stitch the monogram. Repeat for the second shoe.  How easy was that?

What is the most unique item you’ve monogrammed?

Multi-Needle Monday | Who’s on First?

Who's on First?

You are!  Sure to be a hit with all baseball fans, here’s a little baseball stitching to get you into the mood for the season.  Celebrate Opening Day 2014, whether you’re a major league baseball fan or tee-ball devotee, by wearing this design. It doesn’t have to be on the back pocket of a pair of white jeans, it could adorn any pocket on a tote bag or polo shirt. Whatever your preference, show your baseball pride!  Here’s how to do it on a pair of jeans.  You’ll find the free downloadable baseball stitching design at the end of the article.

Open the design in software and print two templates – one as is and one in mirror image. Set them aside.

Baseball template

Decide if you can lose the use of the pocket – talk yourself into it because it makes adding the embroidery a whole lot easier. If you agree, separate a scrap of fusible web from its paper backing and insert it into the pocket.

Stabilizer

Press the pocket to fuse it shut. This will transform the jeans into one layer instead of a shifting layer (the pocket) on top of a base fabric (the jeans).

If you really want to use the pocket, then separate the pocket from the jeans. Leave the bartack stitches in place (at the pocket’s top corners) and pin the pocket to hooped cut-away stabilizer.

Separate pocket

Place the templates on the pocket. I opted to place and hoop each of the designs separately.  When merged to fit on my pocket, the designs measured 120mm x 124mm. Since I wanted to use a 130mm x 180mm hoop on a multi-needle machine, the merged design left little ‘wiggle room’ for placement. And since this design was landing well, you know where – I wanted make sure each segment of it was placed properly.

Template on pocket

Slide a target sticker under each template, aligning the crosshairs.

Target Sticker

On the mutli-needle machine, slide the pants over the metal frame of Quick Snap and place the magnetic frame on top.

Multi-needle machine

If you have it, use the machine’s camera to align the needle with the target sticker. Wow – I love that camera.

Machine Camera

But don’t fear, you don’t need a multi-needle machine to stitch this project because I stitched the second pocket on a single needle machine with a slightly different method.  For a single needle machine, hoop polymesh stabilizer in a 130mm x 180mm hoop.  After turning the pants inside out, place the pocket on the hoop, with the legs extending over the attachment (away from the head of the machine). Place the templates back on the target stickers so you can see the design.

In the hoop

Then, pin the pants onto the stabilizer, keeping the pins out of the design area. Use binder clips to hold the bulk of the pants out of the hoop.

Holding in hoop

Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the first design.  Move the needle to the center of the second target sticker, mirror image the design and stitch.  Repeat for both pockets.

Wear with pride and I’ll look for you at the ballpark!

Baseball Stitched Pocket
Download your design here, you’ll find two sizes: 4” x 4” and 5” x 7”. I used the 5” x 7” designs on my jeans.

1 2 3 4 5 8