What do you get when you give 11 talented embroiderers a fairly simple fabric panel and a few embroidery designs? Eleven uniquely-embroidered works of art. It absolutely amazes me to see how people put their own stamp of creativity into an embroidery project.
The past month has been an eye-opener – we’ve seen subtle touches such as Marie Zinno’s soft blue filagree designs that are built-in the Baby Lock Valiant.
And an out of the box transformation by Cathy Sundermann of Stitch Fork Designs. That’s an impressive front door!
Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman Productions sashed the wood grain panel with Nancy Zieman’s red Riley Blake shiplap fabric to spice it up. Deanna ditched the wrapped canvas idea and added a pretty floral border for a traditional wall-hanging.
Milinda Stephenson opted to wrap her panel around a pillow. This was a fast and easy finish and her dog, Iris, loved it!
Michelle Umlauf used the IQ Designer in her Baby Lock Solaris machine to enhance the lettering. Talk about perfect placement! That’s a show stopper technique and wonderful way to show how to incorporate prints with embroidery. It’s all about value – making sure the embroidery is visible on a busy print.
Carla Reale used Baby Lock’s Palette software program to add her own message in the applique heart of the Grateful panel. Join the Baby Lock Palette group on Facebook to watch her video.
Karen Parker made two samples! Her Grateful panel shows offset floral sprays at the top and bottom. I love that layout and never think of using it! Of course she pulled her thread colors from her fun, striped border.
Karen’s English Pub theme set the tone for her border fabrics and faux leather trim – complete with nail heads! Her satin circles mimic a dinner plate and the embroidered knife and fork really seal the deal. Finished with two glasses of cold beer, this panel will look great in any proper drinking establishment.
Debbie Henry extended the wood grain quilting beyond the panel edge onto a wide border. Love her delicate blue floral spray in the center of the heart!
The Embroiderist, Colleen Bell, used a dark thread to quilt her Gathering panel – love how visible the wood grain is. She paired her panel with an embroidered chalkboard fabric. As a mother of nine, she knows a thing or two about prepping meals!
Sara Gallegos of Sew Positively Sara added family names to the applique heart on the Grateful panel on her Baby Lock Solaris. Of course, she nailed the placement of the quilting designs with the help of a quick camera scan on the Solaris. Nothing like seeing before you stitch!
Check out her blog at SewPositivelySara to see how she pieced the heart blocks on her pillow.
Our last participant, Debbie Cleek, added trapunto to her floral sprays on the Gathering panel. She used Designer’s Gallery to add the traditional technique of trapunto but with today’s technology.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of the participants. If you followed along, I’m sure you’re were as impressed as I was with their creativity. And so many techniques were shared! Please leave a comment and tell me what’s your biggest embroidery challenge. We’ll pick a random winner to send one Farmhouse Sentiments kit.
We hope you enjoyed our second Facebook live this week but due to technical difficulties we decided to re-shoot a video just for the blog! Take a look below to learn more about magnetic hoops and why you shouldn’t be afraid of the Snap Hoop Monster.
It’s National Embroidery Month! And oh boy are we celebrating here at Designs in Machine Embroidery. I’m kicking off the month-long celebration with my first (yikes!) Facebook Live event at 1:00 CST on February 1. Gee, did I really agree to do a live event? I mean, I’m comfortable in front of a camera as I’ve done dozens of PBS-TV shows and in-house videos but LIVE? That’s a different story!
image via giphy.com
I understand it’s better if you have an audience, they tell me, “the more the merrier”. Of course, ‘they’ are not in front of the camera! But hey, if it’s anything like speaking to a group of enthusiastic machine embroiderers at an event, then I think it would be merrier with more people!
To prepare, we straightened out the sewing studio to make it pretty.
And then we posted a sign on the door to discourage anyone from moving anything! Let’s hope that holds true.
So what am I going to talk about? Our Stitch Along with Baby Lock. You’ll find 13 social media posts in February teaching you how to quilt with your embroidery machine, precisely place embroidery designs on fabric and add a personal touch to a custom-designed printed fabric panel.
On Facebook Live, I’ll outline what you can expect throughout February and give you a chance to win a Farmhouse Sentiments kit!
At 1:00 PM, CST, Log onto Facebook and head over to our page @designsinmachineembroidery. Let me know you’re watching by leaving a comment.
Join dime, Baby Lock, and the following talented individuals as we celebrate National Embroidery Month in February with a Stitch Along Blog Tour! There will be prizes given away on each participant’s blog as well as beautiful inspiration on how to use my newest collection, The Farmhouse Collection – Sentiments.
Take a look at the schedule and be sure to mark your calendars!
Friday, February 1, 2019 Eileen Roche
You’re reading my blog so you probably are already familiar with me. Just in case you’re new here, I’ll fill you in on why I’m here. I’ve been immersed in machine embroidery for over 20 years. I love overcoming challenges by inventing new techniques and products to make machine embroidery more enjoyable for everyone. Most of all, I want you to be proud of what you create on your machine and if I can help you do that, well, that makes my day!
Monday, February 4, 2019 Team Nancy Zieman Productions
In 2007, Nancy Zieman and Deanna Springer started Nancy
Zieman Productions, LLC. (NZP). Deanna worked along side Nancy as marketing
coordinator, business manager, co-director of video production, and in product
development and project design. Over 10 exciting years, NZP launched a new BLOG,
social media channels, 40+ sewing and quilting products including tools,
patterns and books. The NZP Team continued to produce 10 more seasons of Sewing With Nancy, with Wisconsin Public
Television, until Nancy’s passing in November 2017.
Today, Deanna and the NZP Team are honored to carry on
Nancy’s legacy and love of sewing through sharing Nancy’s time-saving sewing
techniques via the BLOG, by creating patterns and developing new products,
gathering the stitching community at Quilt Expo, and continuing reruns of Sewing With Nancy on Public Television
for many years to come.
Deanna is VP of Marketing at Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC,
where she continues to enjoy her role as business manager, blog editor, manager
of product development and project design, and co-events manager of Quilt Expo.
On any given day, you’ll find Deanna developing sewing notions for Clover
Needlecraft, Inc., fashion garment patterns for The McCall Pattern Company,
fabric collections for Penny Rose Fabrics—a division of Riley Blake Designs, creating
quilt patterns for QuiltWoman, managing Quilt Expo quilt contests, challenges,
exhibits, lectures, workshops and stage presentations, and sewing projects for
the BLOG on Baby Lock sewing machines.
Deanna has a certificate in Applied Marketing from the
University of Wisconsin School of Business. Deanna enjoys all things nature—and
all four seasons—with her husband, Dennis, in their beautiful home state of
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Carla Reale Baby Lock Palette Community
After a traumatic wrap skirt experience at the hands of a vindictive Home Economics teacher in junior high school, Carla hung up her sewing shears, choosing to pursue a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling which she used to pursue a career working with children with disabilities and their families. She left that job to become a stay-at-home mom, but soon realized she needed a hobby. Her fascination with embroidery machines coupled with her inability to leave anything left unexplained, lead to her teaching digitizing software both by writing digital workbooks and by teaching classes at the local Baby Lock retailer’s store. Her innate selling skills, and overt bossiness combined with the counseling skills she acquired in college (no it did NOT go to waste, Dad) enabled her to manage a very successful store for the next thirteen years. During that time, she became a certified machine technician and developed a series of videos to teach her customers how to use their machines. As a National Training Specialist for Baby Lock, Carla enjoys training retailers how to both sell and use Baby Lock machines and software, and is involved with the SewlutionExpert Certification programs.
Friday, February 8, 2019 Karen Parker Thread Head and Company
Threadhead & Co. was born when 2 fiber loving friends, Karen and Beth, joined forces to provide education in various areas of fiber arts. Threadhead & Co offers an array of patterns in quilting, embroidery, accessories, and home decor to name just a few. Now they would like to share them with you!
Monday, February 11, 2019 Cathy Sundermann Stitchfork Designs
I am a rule follower.
Don’t run with scissors; never eat more than you can lift;
if your sleeve rips, put on a sweater; and so on.
At Stitchfork, I am a rule follower who loves to break the rules when designing monograms. It’s just embroidery, have fun with it!
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Michelle Umlauf Sewing Machine Artistry
Michelle Umlauf has made a career for herself in the sewing industry working as an independent educator. Eleven years ago she knew she wanted to share her passion with others by teaching. She began taking teacher certification courses with the Martha Pullen Company and Sulky of America. Today she is a Certified Ambassador of Education for Baby Lock, a National Educator representing Sulky of America, a Certified Educator for the Decorating Diva and a Demonstrator for Clover Needlecraft, Inc. She helped found and hosted the Sewing Online with Sulky webinar. Michelle enjoys traveling across the country working and teaching at expos, sewing shops, Baby Lock retailers and at local quilt guilds. When she is home, she enjoys spending time with her family at their home in the mountains of Maryland. Her German Shepherds and rescue kitty enjoy taking mom on nice long walks in the woods!
Friday, February 15, 2019 Milinda Stephenson Milinda Sews
Hi, I’m Milinda Stephenson, and I’m an Education Ambassador for Baby Lock. I am a third generation sewing fanatic, and I owe this to my wonderful mother and grandmother. Sewing has been a passion of mine for years. Through this hobby, I have learned many tips and tricks for an abundance of designs, and now I would like to share all of those tips with YOU!
My blog offers sewing patterns every week (most of my
projects include embroidery and serging), sewing advice/tips, and information
on new Baby Lock sewing/embroidery/serging machines. I created this blog to
share my knowledge of sewing with anyone who is eager to learn a new trait. My
goal is to inspire others, just like sewing inspired me!
Let’s get sewing.
Monday, February 18, 2019 Marie Zinno Marie Zinno Blog
She has published 40 Multi-needle machine blogs, which reached over 40,000 readers each week on the DIME website. Her column “Multi-needle Know How” is a popular article in each issue in Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. Marie has appeared on numerous PBS sewing TV shows, such as Sewing with Nancy and It’s Sew Easy. She has authored and co-authored 4 books on machine embroidery. Marie has a class on Craftsy/BluePrint titled, How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business.
During Marie’s 6 years as a Stitching Sister with Eileen Roche, she has taught thousands of embroiderers across the nation. And oh yes, Eileen and Marie really are sisters – the middle sisters of 6 daughters.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Colleen Bell The Embroiderist
Embroidery has been around since the beginning of civilization. While Colleen Bell cannot claim to have been around that long, she has had a long history of embroidering – first as a young teen in the 60’s with hip bell bottoms embellished with hand embroidery to the innovation of the embroidery machine which has become her passion. Join her adventures at http://www.The-Embroiderist.com
Friday, February 22, 2019 Sara Gallegos Baby Lock / Sew Positively Sara
Hi, I’m Sara Gallegos of Sewpositivelysara.com and Decorative Stitch, in Shelby Twp, MI! Decorative Stitch
is an oasis for sewers and quilters of all ages, styles, and proficiencies!
Located in Shelby Township, MI, our store features a bright, colorful interior
bursting with creative inspiration and over 4000 bolts of designer fabrics. In
addition to our super friendly certified staff members, you will also find a
wide variety of sewing notions and accessories, along with Baby Lock sewing
machines and Koala sewing furniture. Feeling creative? It is time to sew…with
Monday, February 25, 2019 Debbie Henry Secrets of Embroidery
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 Debbie Cleek Designer’s Gallery Get Together by Baby Lock
Thursday, February 28, 2019 Eileen Roche
It’s going to be fun month – you’ll learn lots of machine embroidery tips and techniques from our talented contributors. And you’ll have a chance to win a Farmhouse Sentiment kit on each day of the tour. I’ll kick it off on Feb. 1 in a Facebook Live event at 1:00 PM CST. This will be my first Facebook Live event and I would love to have you join me. Although I’ve done tons of television, LIVE is well, LIVE – who knows what will happen. I think I’ll need all the support I can get. Hope to you see there!
We must thank Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper fame for the trending farm house décor embraced by America. Restaurants, hotels, furniture stores, department stores, home stores, craft stores and more. Painted signs touting sentimental messages, acclamations of faith or humorous sayings are adorning walls everywhere.
While I love the look, I don’t want to buy/collect or make wood signs for my walls. First, I’m not a painter or vinyl user. I don’t want to age/paint/assemble wood pieces that are part of a fad. And I love fabric more than wood. I just can’t change the fiber of my being (sorry, couldn’t help that pun!) – it’s cotton all the way for me! So what’s a fabric lover to do?
How about wrapping that fad in beautiful cotton? Let me explain. Last summer, I looked at the
trend and thought, “Why can’t we get the same look with fabric?”
So that’s what I did. I created a line of Farmhouse Panels just for us – embroiderers and lovers of fabric – and digitized designs to embellish them. The panels are designed to wrap around pre-framed canvas. By finishing the panels as wall art, they fall right into the popular farm house décor trend. Of course, the kits come with the quilting and embroidery designs plus full instructions for making one for your home.
I’m so excited about it that I reached out to Baby Lock and asked them to join DIME on a Stitch Along for National Embroidery Month (February) featuring Farmhouse Sentiments.
During the stitch Along, you’ll find 13 blog/social media posts showcasing the Farmhouse Panel. You’ll learn different ways to embellish them and you’ll have 13 chances to win a Farmhouse Kit. Just look for the Stitch-Along badge and you’ll know you’re in the right place. Make sure you join us!
I’ll kick it off next week, February 1, with a Facebook Live at 1:00 PM CST. I’ll reveal the list of Baby Lock/DIME influencers who are participating and share a quick how-to of what’s needed to stitch one of the kits. I can’t wait to see how the influencers will finish their panels.
During the month, you’ll find me on Facebook Live three more times: Feb. 6, 20 and 28 so that’s a great opportunity for you to join in and ask questions about quilting with your embroidery machine. Before we get started, tell me what panel you would stitch first if you win Farmhouse Kit, the Grateful Panel or the Gathering Panel. Both panels come in the Farmhouse Sentiments Kit.
I’m sew excited – look what’s in the house, the new Baby Lock Solaris! Today, I documented how it was packed as I unpacked it.
I find photographing the boxing and unboxing is very helpful when I have to pack it up again. Sure hope that’s not anytime soon! I know there’s a popular trend to video (and publish) the unboxing but I just couldn’t wait to get the whole team together to accomplish that so still photos will have to do.
I don’t know who Jeff is but I think I love him already. That personal touch makes me feel special – Jeff took the time to test numerous stitches and buttonholes – very reassuring.
Tomorrow, I’ll start exploring all its features. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Solaris at many of our Stitch Lab events this fall but there’s nothing quite like having one in the office.
And if it’s in the office, you’ll know I’ll be working on new Snap Hoop Monsters – like the 9.5″ x 9.5″ and the GIGANTIC 10.5″ x 16.5″. Look for them in early 2019!
If you had a magnetic hoop with big sewing field, what would you stitch in it? Quilts? Fashions? Home decor items?
One recent Saturday, I invited my friend, Tore Bellis, to my studio to learn how to machine embroider. Tore is a software engineer and he’s always interested in learning new things. It made sense to me that he should learn.
I considered what he might like to stitch and decided for his first experience, he should do more than embroider a piece of fabric. He needs to make and complete a project in one day.
That sounds like an ambitious task but it’s not with the Snazzy Snap Covers. The collection is fun for all skill levels. And given Tore’s analytical mind, I knew he’d enjoy seeing how the project comes together. The pockets would really captivate him!
The collection features 6 different styles of notebooks in two sizes. He chose to stitch the shark design for the small notebook cover.
I offered all my fabrics for Tore to choose from including a new pack of Carnival Batiks I received from the Baby Lock Common Threads event. Tore was a little hesitant to use my special new batiks but there is no better time than the present. I was pretty surprised how much he deliberated over the fabric selections. (This is a sign he’s an embroiderer at heart and perhaps even a quilter!).
He cut the vinyl fabric for the notebook cover, the batiks for the inside pockets and the blue ‘denim’ for the inside cover.
He also made a preliminary selection of thread colors. I assured him he could change his mind as the project came together.
He hooped the stabilizer and attached the hoop to the machine.
I showed him how to thread the Baby Lock Spirit by following all the numbers and arrows on the machine. He also learned how to use the automatic needle threader. The automatic needle threader was his favorite part.
I took photos throughout the process and we decided to capture his very first stitches on video. He practiced the steps before I shot the video. I explained if something goes wrong we can always stage it again and re-shoot. I quickly learned however, he really wanted the video to catch his first stitches— no exceptions. So we practiced the motions a few times until he was ready.
As he stitched, I explained the concept of placement stitches and tackdown stitches.
He stitched his first appliqué and learned about appliqué scissors.
I demonstrated how to use the scissors and suggested he compare them to using regular scissors. But without trying them he could already see the advantage of appliqué scissors. He carefully trimmed the excess appliqué fabric and carefully returned the hoop to the machine.
Tore stitched the next applique fabric – the top portion of the shark.
Then he carefully trimmed away the excess fabric.
The design quickly takes shape!
He continued stitching and we reached a point when difficult decisions would have to be made. What thread color for the fish designs? Tore auditioned several options.
He contemplated the shades of blue.
Tore decided to experiment with a tan color that would pop off the blue vinyl. He’s becoming a professional at threading the machine at this stage of the process.
At this point Tore was ready for the particularly clever part of the construction process: the inside of the notebook cover.
Tore aligned the “denim” fabric with the notches on the back of the design. We used a spray adhesive to hold the fabric in place. Then he stitched the fabric down.
Next, the fancy batik pockets (my favorite part of the design). Tore aligned the pockets with the notches on the design.
He secured the pockets with Painter’s Tape.
He was ready for the final thread color that would secure the pockets and define the shape of his notebook cover. This was the last critical thread color decision to make and he was not hasty. I suggested red since it’s a shark notebook to hint at the idea of blood. I pulled out all my threads (not just red) so he could browse options.
Then I found him at the machine, contemplating which shade of red.
He said, “This one is more ‘blood’ while this is more vivid. Do I want blood or do I want vivid?”
These were important questions only he could answer, of course. He made his decision and finished stitching the design.
He heard the celebratory chime on the Baby Lock that proclaims the design is finished. I pointed out the smiley face on the touch screen of the machine that also indicates the design is complete. (Even though I’ve been embroidering for a few years, I never tire of those features!).
Tore unhooped his masterpiece.
Then he trimmed the notebook to its final shape.
The last step: installing snaps! Among Tore’s many hobbies and talents, he’s installed snaps with his leatherwork projects. But we still practiced our snap skills on a piece of fabric.
And just like that, my friend who has never machine embroidered made his first in-the-hoop project!
Tore went home that night and ordered a six-pack of mini notebooks from Amazon. Now he’s planning his next set of notebooks.
The take-away from this piece:
Machine embroidery is for everyone! Share your hobbies with friends and family members. Don’t forget to consider kids or grand-kids. Depending on the child’s age, you can do some of the more involved parts of the task. It’s not only a time to bond but there’s a delightful element of discovery you can enjoy through a novice’s eyes.
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