Archive of ‘Applique’ category

Memories, the threads of time

Isn’t it fun to capture a happy memory in needle and thread? It’s not always easy to achieve but when memories and creative inspiration collide, it’s a heartfelt moment.  That’s the story behind my latest Stipple! Collection, Life’s a Beach.

stipplelifesabeach

You see, when I was ten years old, my father, an avid pilot, restored a World War II open cockpit bi-plane and flew it for thirty years in our tiny seaside resort in New Jersey. He loved that plane and so did all of his daughters. Although it never towed a banner as it is in this quilt, it spiraled through the air crisscrossing the sky over the sparkling blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. He would buzz our house and we would head to the airport to get a ride. If we were on the beach when he flew over, we would wave and jump around on the white sand so he could see us.  A tip of his wing meant he was heading home for dinner.

There are so many stories about that plane– thankfully all with happy landings – I just had to include this memory of my youth spent on the Jersey shore.  Oh what I wouldn’t do to stand on that sand and hear him fly overhead.

eileensdadsplane

Those happy memories include many days spent at the beach and with five sisters, there were always bathing suits drying in the sun on the backyard clothesline.  In fact, I remember coming home from my morning waitress job at a local coffee shop and checking the clothesline to see what suits were left – several of us wore the same size.  My mother used to say, “First one out, best one dressed!”

swimsuits

And then off to the beach it was. With a good book, suntan lotion (OMG probably baby oil, how times have changed!), chair and towel, everything revolved around the beach. Everyone (except my mother) was on the beach: neighbors, tourists (same families, same street every year) and family.  The more the merrier; the bigger the circle of chairs, the better.

The scene depicted in the bottom row on Life’s a Beach shows the end of the day at the beach…one chair, one umbrella, a peaceful quiet time in the shade.

endofdaybeach

I stitched the three panels independently and they hang together with ribbons of raffia looped over wood buttons. Since each row stitches quickly, I finished a row in an afternoon, binding included! Once I had one done, I was motivated to start the next one. If you’d like, piece the three rows together to make one wall quilt.  I had so much fun designing this project and focusing on the simple days of my youth, I hope you enjoy making it as much as I enjoyed designing it.

Stipple_Lifes_a_Beach-CREATIVES_Quilt

Question of the week:  What are your favorite summertime childhood memories?


Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website for a limited time special offer on Stipple Life’s a Beach.  Enjoy free US shipping.  Use coupon code:  beach

 

Pretty in Pink

4_2_16_9I finally found some time to stitch a sample of the applique flower that we’ve been discussing over the past few Software Saturday posts.  I selected a pink hand-dyed fabric for the flower and a subtle green batik print for the leaves. The center really needed a snappy yellow but I found my stash is totally lacking in yellows. So I cut a yellow section from a wild print fabric. It’s okay for the sample but I think I’ll look for a yellow with a bit more…zing!

The flower center looked so boring in the software I made one more digitizing change to the design before I actually stitched the sample.  Here’s how to do it in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro digitizing software:

Select the flower center, right click and select Break Up Path from the drop down menu.  4_2_16_1

The design will be split into Run (your placement guide), Run (your tackdown) and Applique. 4_2_16_2Select the Applique, right click and Convert to Steil. 4_2_16_3

Select the Steil and in the Property Box, change the Jagged Type to Both.  4_2_16_4

Change the Value to 4.0 and click Apply. 4_2_16_5

Now the flower center has much character than its original settings.4_2_16_6

My next task is to select the final fabrics for this quilt and I could use some help. What color backgrounds do you like? White, black, blue, cream or gray?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!4_2_16_8

Room for Improvement

Last week, I showed you how to how to draw a simple flower design in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro and turn it into a large applique quilt block. I ended the lesson with this comment: “I’ll stitch a sample before creating the whole block.”  Testing an applique design is the sure-fire way to beautiful quilt blocks.  But you can take some initial steps before stitching a sample in software. Start by critiquing parts of the design by asking yourself some basic questions about the design. Blk1

  1. Can the area where the right and left leaves meet be improved?
  2. Are the leaves elegant? By elegant, I mean do they flow naturally along a curve? I see an awkward spot (the stop/start point) on the bottom of the right leaves.
  3. The leaf ends (corners) look blunt.

These are easy steps to fix before stitching.

First, let’s change the stop/start point from the middle of the right leaf to the center (where the arrow is pointing).QB2Notes3

Now, select the leaf and change the Corner Type to Extended in the Properties Box.QB2

Finally, let’s reshape the curve to remove any unnatural bends. Select the Shape tool and adjust the points on the leaf.Blk2

 

The result is a much more pleasing to the eye. Now it’s time to head to the machine to stitch a sample. Next week, we take a close look at the stitched sample.Blk2A

Quilt Block: Easy Steps to Big Blocks

Oversized applique quilts make a big impact and you don’t need a giant sewing field to get the look. Create one quarter of the block and then duplicate it to fill a large 15″ canvas. Her’s how. In Perfect Embroidery Pro, draw a flower. Here’s a little secret, flowers look more realistic if they’re NOT perfect so don’t sweat drawing like Picasso.  Now, draw two leaves joined in the middle.  Copy and paste the leaves. Enlarge the copy.  Position the leaves under the flower as shown.Blk1BL

At this point, it’s a good idea to see what the flowers will look like in a block setting. Group the elements (select, right click and Group). Rotate the flower 90 degrees to the left. Click on the drop down arrow next to the Circle Template and select the Reflection template. Type 30mm in the Horizontal and Vertical distance fields.

Check the spacing between the flowers, paying close attention to the leaves.  I want to leave some room for quilting between the elements. Click Cancel.Bk2BL

Select the flower, right click and select Convert to Applique.Blk3BL

Repeat for the leaves.  For the stem, you want a combination of straight stitches and steil. The steil will be visible between the leaves and the runs will be under the leaf appliques.  Draw five lines (in a straight path): 1: from the flower to the top of the first leaf; 2: behind the first leaf; 3: from the bottom of the first leaf to the top of the second leaf; 4: behind the second leaf and 5: 1” length from the bottom of the second leaf. Select the run segments that are connecting the elements, right click and select Convert to Steil from the dropdown menu.  In the color sequence window, move the stem elements to color 1.Blk4BL

Draw a circle in the flower center and convert it to Applique. Use the Reflection Template again to view the finished block.Blk5BL

Consider what applique fabrics you’ll use. I’m planning on using small, busy prints (polka dots, plaids and geometrics) so I won’t add any stitch details to the flowers or leaves at this time. Of course, I’ll stitch a sample before creating the whole block and I might just my mind. That’s the beauty of Inspirations software you can always change your mind and improve your work!

Multi-Needle Monday: Month by Month Baby Onsies (Part 3 of 3)

The final step in our Month by Month onesie gift set is to attach the circle appliqué embroidery to each onesie. Although my instructions are for the multi-needle embroidery machine, it can be executed with a single needle embroidery machine as well. The multi-needle embroidery machine’s tubular ability makes hooping so much easier.

Step 1: Position the template (labeled Center Chest and correct month size) which is included in the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit, on each onesie and insert a target sticker in the hole.onsie11BL

Use the templates to mark the remaining eleven onesies with target stickers.

Step 2: Cut the fusible cut-away polymesh stabilizer into twelve 7″ squares.  Iron the stabilizer to the wrong side of each onesie. For proper stability, use a 4″ x 4″ standard hoop.  Turn the onesie right side out.onsiestabilizerBL

Step 3: Slide the outer hoop into the onsie and place the inner hoop on top of the onesie. Align the target sticker’s cross hair with the hoop’s center marks. Do not over stretch the fabric. Push the inner ring into the outer ring. Attach the hoop to the machine with the neckline facing the inside of the machine.onsie12BL Run your hand inside the hooped fabric to make sure excess fabric is not caught between the bobbin plate and hooped fabric. I do this step for every t-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket and blanket that I embroider. Then remove the target sticker when perfectly centered.

Step 4: Select the circle appliqué design and choose the thread colors; add stops to the second and third colors for appliqué positioning and trimming.onsie13BL  To keep the appliques and garments in proper order (the higher numbers sizes go with the larger onesies); work in numerical order.

Stitch the first color and add the circle appliqué, I like to use clear tape to hold each circle in place until the tack down color attaches the fabric.The clear tape is easily removed after the embroidery is complete.onsie15BL

Remove the hoop from the machine and trim any excess fabric if it is needed. Reattach the hoop to the machine stitch the final satin outline. Remove the onesie from the embroidery hoop and press the fusible stabilizer to release the adhesive. Trim around the design leaving ½” of stabilizer around the perimeter.onsie16BL

Follow the same steps for stitching the rest of the onesies. Enjoy giving the new parents a gift they will treasure and will always remember who the special gift giver was! monthbymonthpinksBL

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” and enjoy coupon for $20. Click the link the below.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_H

 

Puffy Foam!

This post is a continuation from the September 2015 Designs Plus Newsletter.  If you missed it, stop by for a visit by clicking here.

In today’s lesson you’ll learn how to:

  • Work with an embroidery design that is specifically digitized for Puffy Foam.
  • Discover how the stitch sequence has similarities to applique – yet is surprisingly new and different!  (And addicting!)
  • How to use the Circle Template.  (A tool you’ll also find addicting!)

Open Word Art in Stitches.

Click on the Add puffy Text icon in the top toolbar.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Arial Puffy font.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Type the letter “I”.  Click Apply.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click on File / Save As.  Save the design in C2S format.  Exit Word Art in Stitches.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Open Perfect Embroidery Pro Software.  Then go to File / Open.  Select the “I” embroidery design.  Once the design is displayed on the screen, press Ctrl + A, to select the design.  Click on the Circle Template Icon on the top toolbar.

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A new window appears as shown in the image below.  Change the Width and Height to 100.  Change the number of Repeats to 5.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click Apply to view the layout.  When satisfied with the layout, press Ok.

Click on File / Merge.  Select the Sweet Nothing Spool Design, #09201005.  (This design is available for free courtesy of Sulky and is featured in the September 2015 Designs Plus Newsletter.  If you don’t have the design, click here.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Place the design in the center of your Puffy border.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Save the design and send to your embroidery machine.


At the Embroidery Machine

Be sure to read the instructions that are included with the Sulky® Puffy Foam™ for tips and techniques.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I used a Snap Hoop Monster to hoop a sturdy canvas fabric.  I love the color blue – so it was clear I’d use a blue Puffy Foam and blue thread for my design.  You’ll want to match the Puffy Foam with the embroidery thread color.

Stitch the first color, which is a satin stitch outline.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Place the Puffy Foam on top of the satin stitch outline.  Stitch the second color—this second color stitches on top of the Puffy Foam.  If you’ve done applique these steps seem counter-intuitive – but that’s what makes this process so intriguing and exciting!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Once complete, you’ll notice the excess Puffy Foam perforates away from the project.  How delightful!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Repeat the steps for each of the Puffy Foam designs.  Then finish by stitching the center design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s a close-up view of the 3D-effect created with Sulky’s Puffy Foam.  Looks like Henry found a nice place to contemplate his next embroidery project!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Want to learn more about Sulky’s Puffy Foam?  Visit their website by clicking here.

Be sure to visit the September 2015 Designs Plus Newsletter for more free designs courtesy of Sulky.

Here’s your assignment this week:

As the fall equinox arrives today it also ends the season of summer. Its funny how the days grow shorter and the embroidery project list grows longer in in the fall. What exciting fall projects do you have in store?

Leave a comment below for a hance to win a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery giftcard!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

Schmetz needles are available at retailers nationwide. Whenever I’m in my local sewing machine dealer, I make sure I pick up a new pack of needles.  I’m building my stash so that I’m prepared for future projects. How about you? Do you have trouble planning properly? Do you jump right in and then regret it later? Or do you approach projects with caution and prepare accordingly?

The winner is:  

Barb: “I do some of each. If I find something I really am excited to try–I jump right in. Other times I may have a pattern that I am “scared” of and I try to plan it out the best I can so hopefully I won’t have too much trouble.”

Multi-Needle Monday: Month by Month Onsie Gift Set (Part 2 of 3)

 

Last Monday I shared the first portion of planning the process for the “Month by Month Onsie” gift set and now we continue with the embroidery steps.

  1. Position the labeled squares of fabric on your work surface near the embroidery machine. Place crisp tear away in your largest hoop, make sure it is taut like a drum.onsie4BL Crisp tear away will tear clean when removed from an appliqué design.
  1. This design was created in my embroidery software in the appliqué drop down menu. The size measures 3 inch in diameter. Insert the text “Months” into the circle design. The font used was “freehand” from my Perfect Embroidery Pro software. Adjust the text to fit inside the circle in the bottom area. Each month number will be added into the circle at the machine using the lettering at my embroidery screen. designscreenshotBL Send or save the embroidery appliqué design to your machine.
  2. Do not stitch the satin stitches while creating the appliqué circle designs. Stitch color 1-placement, color 2- tack down and last color -text. The satin stitch will be embroidered when all appliqué designs are attached to the onsies.
  3. Adjust the circle appliqué design to fit as many designs in one hoop as possible (you will need twelve total). For the first month onsie the text should read “1 Month” not “Months”. This project does take some time and I suggest working on the appliqués first, remove from hoop and trim excess fabric and then attaching the circle appliqué designs to each onsie.onsie5BLonsie6BL
  4. Notice how I only trimmed the fabric from the circle design that will built up to for the remaining designs? If you have a digital cutting machine (Brother Scan and Cut or Silhouette) you could easily cut the circle designs ahead of time.onsie8BLonsie10BL

 

Next week I will share the remaining steps!

 

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” Click the link below and save $10.

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Multi-Needle Monday: On the Edge Embroidery with the Scanner

High tech inventions make precise embroidery placement so easy. I like to use the scanning feature that is included on my 10 needle embroidery machine to place text on baby items and other accessories.

Step 1

Use soft tear away stabilizer in a 4×4 or 5×7 hoop. Place the item (in this blog a baby lovie is used) with the lower edge of lovie taut in the hoop. Use blue painters tape to hold down the bottom section of the satin edge. Place another piece of painters tape along the top portion of satin to highlight the stitched seam. When the fabric is scanned it can be difficult to view the plush blanket fabric from the satin if they are the same color.lovie1bl

Step 2

Measure the height of the satin edge and use text to fit inside. Scan the hooped lovie.lovie2bl

Step 3

Use the jog keys to position the text exactly where it is planned. Rotate and resize the text if necessary.

Step 4

Select the correct color thread and embroider the text.lovie5bllovie6bllovie9bl

Use this special coupon to join me in my Craftsty Class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

 

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidering Appliqué Patterns

Combine traditional appliqué with embroidery to create unique designs. This technique is ideal for creating appliqués and applying them to fabrics that cannot be embroidered on easily.  You can create design badges or your own unique appliqués. This method of applying an appliqué design creates fewer stitches on the shirt which means less puckering after you have washed the shirt many times.

Supplies: Enterprise Multi-Needle Embroidery Machine by Baby Lock® ,Built-in design

At the Embroidery Machine:

  1. Select an embroidery pattern. Note: some patterns cannot be used and a message will appear on the screen. If the pattern is reduced in size it may work. In this sample, the design was not resized. The design that is used is design number 14, found under the Exclusive Novelty category.dkron1bledit
  1. Re-assign colors if desired using the Change Thread Color Key. In the sample, the first color was changed to light pink. Touch Edit End.
  2. On page 2 of the Machine Settings screen, adjust the distance from the design to the appliqué outline. The default setting is 3mm. Press close.dkron2bledit
  1. In the Embroidery Settings screen touch the Appliqué key. An outline stitch will appear around the design. Three additional steps have been added to the sewing order:
    1. Sewing a cutting line.
    2. Sewing a positioning line on the background fabric.
    3. Satin stitch.dkron3bledit

 

  1. Touch the Edit key again (as shown above in the illustration) and return to the Pattern Editing Screen. Touch the Change Thread Color key. Using the Minus Thread spool move backward through the colors sequence to the three appliqué color stops. Move to the next stop to sew a position line on the background fabric. Press Close and engage the Pause key to add a machine stop just before the second to last color stop. It is recommended that the thread used for the “sewing a cutting line”, should match the color of the base fabric. It is also recommend that you use stabilized felt or denim for the appliquéd piece.dkron4bledit

 

  1. Hoop the stabilizer and place a piece of felt that will fit in the hoop. If the felt section is too small to hoop, hoop the stabilizer and spray with the temporary spray adhesive and place the felt section over the top of the hoop while finger pressing  to hold in place.
  2. Sew out the first four color stops on the design. When the machine stops after the fourth color, remove the hoop from the frame and carefully trim around the design on the cutting outline stitch with a sharp pair of scissors.dkron5bldkron6bl
  1. Hoop the Mesh Cut-Away stabilizer and spray with the temporary spray adhesive.
  2. Place a Positioning Sticker on the shirt front or on the desired section of the shirt.dkron7bl
  3. Place the shirt over the stabilized hoop and finger press in place.
  4. Place the hoop on the hoop bracket.
  5. To reposition the design for perfect placement, take the design back to the first color stop on the design by clicking on the “0” key as shown below and Close.dkron8bledit
  1. Click on the Return key, and when the message “OK to cancel embroidery” appears, select OK. This will take you to the screen that is shown below.dkron9bledit
  1. Select the Positioning icon as shown above. The machine will scan the hoop area looking for the positioning sticker. Once it finds the sticker it will position the design in the correct position for embroidery. It will ask you to “Remove the embroidery positioning mark”. Remove the sticker.
  2. Advance to the second to last color stop. Stitch this thread color.
  3. Position the stitched design over the stitched outline. I like to fuse a fusible appliqué stabilizer to the back side of the design.  This helps hold the design in place during embroidery.
  4. To finish embroidery proceed to the last color to stitch the satin stitch.shirt

Created by: Diane Kron, Software and Embroidery Projects Manager for Designer’s Gallery

Monogram of the Month – Part 2 of 2

I didn’t have what I needed today.  So I used what I found. 

What I wanted was a black painted wooden frame.   I had one somewhere – finding it was another matter and there was no time to delay the Monogram of the Month project for the May/June issue.

I found a wooden frame but it was stained brown.  It didn’t have glass—(I didn’t need glass anyway).  But it also didn’t have a cardboard back for me to use as a template for the project.

I needed cardboard or cardstock to make a template and also use to wrap my embroidered fabric around for framing.

Folders looked too flimsy.  I eyed book covers (gasp!) but I couldn’t bring myself to destroy a book cover for my art piece.  I rummaged through my office and found an old spiral notebook.  The cover was made of a light-weight plastic.  It was perfect!

I measured the inside of the frame and used those dimensions to cut the plastic notebook cover.

Monogram of the Month – Volume 92

Since the plastic was translucent it made it super easy to use it to center my embroidery underneath—then I trimmed away the excess fabric from my stitch out – leaving enough to fold around the plastic.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I taped the fabric wrapping it tautly around the plastic.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The embroidered art piece fit perfectly inside the frame.  An extra detail I find important is finishing the back.  Although no one will see the back of the frame, finishing it is an important detail I don’t like to overlook.  Besides, it’s a chance to add that unexpected flair.  I happened to have a hot pink piece of scrapbook paper tucked away in my office supplies.  (What a lucky find!).  I trimmed it away and secured to the back of the frame.

Now the frame is complete!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Be sure to read Part 1 of Monogram of the Month for May/June 2015 Volume 92 issue for steps on how I created the appliqued heart using the bernette Embroidery Software Customizer.

 

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