Archive of ‘Embroidery Techniques’ category

Lofty Monograms!

Gift #2 on my top 10 gifts to make for the 2019 Holiday season was a personalized throw. There’s such a wide selection of throws available at every price point and in many different fabrics. In Thursday’s Facebook Live session, Deborah Jones and I reviewed four different throws: a fleece buffalo plaid, a nubby and stretchy chenille, a poly/wool blend tweed and a faux suede with a Sherpa back.  The trickiest one to embroider was definitely the stretchy chenille because of its thick yarns and open weave.  But I am thrilled with the finished results.  Let me walk you through the process so you can duplicate this at home.

Open a new file in Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Select the Text tool and type in your monogram.  Select the Fan_Scr font and click Apply in the Properties Box.

With the Text tool selected, click on the monogram and the kerning tools will appear.  Drag the blue diamond between the letters to change the spacing.

Click on the Select tool, right click and select Utility, Nap Blocker from the dropdown menu.

Leave the default setting at 4.0 mm and click OK.

The Nap Blocker, or low density fill, will now be the first color of the embroidery design.

Its function is to hold down the fabric’s nap and create a delicate, yet solid base for the beautiful monogram.  Without it, the monogram would slip between the chenille’s yarns. The end result would be less than professional!

Change the color of the Nap Blocker to match the fabric and select the color of your choice for the monogram.

Click on the Auto Baste tool to add a basting outline around the design.  It will stitch in the first color.  Send the design to the machine.

Hoop the throw with Piece & Stitch Tear Away Wash Away stabilizer.  Place water soluble topper over the design area to allow the embroidery foot to glide over the surface.  Without it, the foot would caught in the loops.  (Hmm…wonder how i figured that out!)  Stitch color 1, the basting outline.  Stitch color 2, the Nap Blocker.

Finally, stitch the monogram.

Remove the throw from the hoop. Snip the basting stitches and remove.  Tear the excess Piece & Stitch stabilizer from the wrong side of the throw. Tear the water soluble topper away from the monogram.

If you hate those pesky bits of water soluble stabilizer that are trapped in the small openings, then you’ll love Deborah Jones’ tip for getting rid of every last speck. Watch the Facebook Live session from Thursday, Dec. 5.  You can watch here on YouTube or over on our Facebook page.

I love this throw and think it will definitely put a smile on someone’s face at Christmas!

Holiday Gift Countdown: #7

Hey Embroidery Friends!

Who’s ready to add a little sparkle and shine to their holiday projects this year? Well we revealed number seven on our Holiday Gift countdown that will do just that and more: Kingstar Metallic Thread!

Watch our live video below with special guest Deborah Jones to see some of the wonderful projects you can create with this high quality thread.

Use code SHIPMT6PK for FREE shipping up to $10 on all U.S. orders when you take advantage of our special metallic thread sale HERE.

Also be sure to tune into Facebook LIVE this Saturday October 26th at 2pm CST to watch Eileen share another exciting Vendor Walk at Quilt Market. Hope to see you there!

Quilting Big Quilts on an Embroidery Machine

There are several ways to handle the bulk of a large quilt. How large is large?  In my book, large is any dimension beyond a crib size quilt (36″ x 52″).  Once a quilt is wider than four hoopings, it’s time to pay attention to the weight of the quilt.

A few weeks ago, I discussed handling a large quilt in my Facebook Live session on the Weightless Quilter. You can watch that broadcast here.

Tomorrow at 1:00 CST, I’ll demonstrate the shortE – the Embroidery Short Arm with a Long Reach.  Since it’s quilting month here at DIME, I figured it was a good time to have a live Q&A on the topic.  The shortE is set up in the studio so you’ll get a good look at it and you can watch the quilting process.  I’ll discuss how to prepare a quilt when using the shortE, how to ‘work the quilt’ and what’s the difference between quilting on the shortE vs. the Weightless Quilter.

 

 

Quilting Small Projects with Big Impact

Join me tomorrow on Facebook Live at 1:00 CST for a tutorial on quilting small projects.  Even though we’re talking small – table runner or smaller, the details make a difference.  We’ll start with the base and look at tone-on-tone, large scale and micro prints.  Then we’ll discuss the quilting designs – what to look for, how to multiply your stash, and how to achieve different moods with a variety of threads.

After we finalize those details, we’ll get to the nitty gritty of fabric prep, hooping and stitching.  I hope you’ll watch and participate!  That’s the beauty of Facebook Live! You can ask questions and get answers during the broadcast!  What a world we’re living in today!  See you tomorrow at 1:00 PM CST.  Just log onto https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

 

Stabilizers with Deborah Jones LIVE

Happy Thursday Embroidery Friends!

Eileen and Deborah had a wonderful time getting down to the “nitty gritty” of stabilizers in their Facebook Live today. If you missed it, watch the rebroadcast below! We are currently looking for suggestions on what to call our Facebook Lives so be sure to let us know in the comments your ideas!

Get an early advantage on our Friday special and free shipping up to $10 when you use code SHIPMYCOMPASS here https://www.shop.dzgns.com/products/embroiderers-compass

Apollo 11 Embroidered Patches

Patches on the moon?  Not only did they go to the moon on Apollo 11 but they were made in Dallas, Texas!  Not only made in Dallas, Texas but made in the factory owned by the father (Marvin Gardner) of my business partner (of 21 years) Gary Gardner. We have the patches to prove it along with a personally signed letter from President Richard Nixon. How cool is that?

Don’t believe me?  Click on the video below to hear the whole story, see the history of making patches and learn just how many men have walked on the moon.

Since we showcase a special product in every Facebook Live, our brand new Hoop Mat is the week’s star. Click here to learn more about the mats.   They’re on sale Now! 

If you were alive in 1969, leave a comment telling us about your experience watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Hard to believe it was 50 years ago!

My 5 Embroidery Pet Peeves

Machine embroidery is supposed to be beautiful.  And the process of making beautiful embroidery should be fun and enjoyable.  But all of that can be for naught when the experience is dampened by poor results, painful tasks and laborious placement. Enough already!  Let’s get the fun back into embroidery.

I have five pet peeves that annoy the daylights out of me when I’m embroidering.  And since I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, I’ve come up with solutions.  My pet peeves are hoop burn, hand strain, fabric distortion, laborious placement and tedious rehooping. What’s my solution? I ditched the standard hoop about 10 years ago and haven’t looked back.* Let me elaborate.

When knits, textured and napped fabrics are squeezed between two standard embroidery rings, the hoop often leaves a noticeable impression around the embroidery.  Those lofty and delicate fibers are now flattened – and possibly permanently flattened. Yikes!  The flat frames of Snap Hoop Monster leave no hoop burn – they firmly grip the fabrics and hold them in place without permanently damaging the fibers.

Twenty years of embroidery can wreak havoc on your hands, fingers and wrists.  Pushing an inner ring into an outer ring and tightening a screw 5, 10, 20 or maybe 30 times a day is grueling punishment.  No more.  I just snap that magnetic top frame over the bottom and I’m done!

Fabric distortion is a thing of the past because I pull and tug on the hooped fabric while it’s hooped in Snap Hoop Monster.  It’s the inner and outer rings that squeeze and distort fabric – doesn’t happen when fabric is sandwiched between two flat objects – a magnetic top and metal bottom.

I’ve invented all kinds of placement tools but sometimes I want to move the fabric just a smidgen under the needle.  With Snap Hoop Monster, I lift the top frame, slide the fabric, drop the frame back in place and press start!  No hooping and unhooping to move the fabric a millimeter or two.  I like the freedom Snap Hoop Monster gives me right at the machine.

Speaking of the machine, when I use Snap Hoop Monster, I can remove the top frame and advance the fabric to the next hooping without taking the bottom frame off the machine!  Oh my, what a time saver!  If you’re not sure why I love that benefit so much, take a look at this video.  It’s long – about 12 minutes – but you’ll see how I quilt entire quilt (62” x 80”) in one day!  Oh baby – I love those Monster hoops!

If you’ve been following along, this month is Hoopapalooza at DIME and in honor of that celebration, The Hoop It Up book is on sale.  My Stitching Sister Marie Zinno and I co-wrote this handy hooping tutorial.  You’ll find 99 hooping tips in there!  You can check it out here: https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/hoop-it-up

*’Ditched the standard hoop over 10 years’ is an exaggeration.  I still use a standard hoop on occasion as you’ll see in the Hoop It Up book!

Top 5 Tips for Continuous Borders

Join me on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live.  You’ll learn my five top tips for continuous borders.  It doesn’t matter how big your hoop is, the technique is the same for 4″ x 4″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 12″ and larger!

Just log onto facebook and go to the Designs in Machine Embroidery page at 1:00 PM CST.  It’s more fun with a crowd so mark your calendar!  Here’s the link to our page: https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/

Hope to see you there!

Behind the Seams: Creating The Flower Box Quilt

An Interview with Eileen Roche by Denise Holguin

DH: Eileen, you are a very busy individual! You manage the production of a magazine, write weekly blogs, do appearances at events, invent new products… AND you had time to design and create a new quilt for the Flower Box Quilt book. Wow! What is your secret to finding time to create this new quilt project?

ER: I leave and breathe embroidery! And I have a passion for embroidered quilts. I just love using my embroidery machine to decorate quilt blocks and quilt the entire quilt.

DH: When you started designing the Flower Box Quilt, did you have a clear path of what you wanted or did the project evolve over time?

ER: I had a basic layout in mind as I was inspired by Amy Gibson’s The Quilt Block Cookbook. Of course, along the way, a project guides me in a new direction.

Flower Box Quilt_Designs in Machine Embroidery

Amy Gibson’s The Quilt Block Cookbook via instagram @karenlewistextiles

DH: You used e-stitches on at least one of the blocks in the Flower Box Quilt. To those unfamiliar with an e-stitch, will you tell us more?

ER: E-stitch, also known as the blanket stitch – is a common hand (or sewing machine) applique technique. Often, the stitching is shown in a contrasting color. In the Flower Box Quilt, I matched the thread to the applique fabric to let the fabric shine – I didn’t want to introduce a wide line of stitches (think satin column) – just a gentle, almost indiscernible line of stitching. I like it.

DH: Your projects always look impeccable! Do you ever make mistakes? How do you overcome them?

ER: Thank you!
I make mistakes ALL the TIME! Frankly, if I wasn’t for the mistakes I’ve made, I wouldn’t be the embroiderer I am today. When I do make a mistake (which I do with every project), I rarely throw out the project. I figure out how to rectify the situation and move on. One of my biggest shortcomings is, I’m always excited to finish the project – to figure out if the design and techniques that I created will work as planned. I think if I worked at a slower pace, I would eliminate some mistakes. But I also know, that a slow pace does not meet deadlines! It’s a catch-22.

DH: What is the one take-away you want readers to learn from the Flower Box Quilt book?

ER: You don’t have to make a large quilt to learn all the techniques. Start with a manageable size, like a table runner or lap size quilt and you’ll master the techniques upon completion.

DH: Do you have a favorite quilt block in this collection?
ER: Hmm…that’s a tough one. Probably Block 1 – I just love those flowers!

Flower Box Quilt_Designs in Machine Embroidery


For more information about Eileen’s Flower Box Quilt and its companion product, The Quilting Stabilizer Kit, visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website at https://www.shop.dzgns.com.

Join Eileen on March 20 at 1:00 CST on Facebook Live.  She’ll be sharing her Top 6 Tips for Machine Embroidered Applique!  See you there!

Flower Box Quilt_Designs With Machine Embroidery

Selecting Thread Colors

Select Color with Confidence

The easiest way to select thread color is to start with a print that you love, select a coordinating solid and then select the thread. For instance, I spotted this floral blouse in a retail store.

I fell in love with the flowers and immediately thought of pairing it with a denim jacket.  Here’s how to select the thread to go with it.  Audition spools right on the blouse and grab your phone to document the process as you switch out some spools. 

Thread Option 1
Thread Option 2
Thread Option 3

Next, review the photos to see what composition is the most pleasing. Once you’re satisfied with the combination, move the spools to the denim jacket.

Auditioning on the actual fabric

Denim is one of the trickiest fabrics to select thread for because it’s a mixture of light, medium and dark threads. Often what you think will contrast with denim, blends too well and leaves the embroidery looking lackluster.  The colors may be beautiful, but the value (the lightness and darkness of the color) may be too close to the denim’s value making the embroidery almost invisible from a 6 ft. distance.  

To avoid that result, use a value finder.  A value finder is a piece of translucent red plastic or glass. When you peer through the colored plastic, all color is removed from the object. What remains is the value of the fabric and threads.  Look through the red panel to view threads right on the fabric. Your phone camera may have filter available. Check your camera settings.

Use a value finder

If they are the same value as the fabric, you’ll know you must find a lighter or darker thread if you want the embroidery to pop off (or separate from) the fabric. 

I trust the value finder more than I trust my own eye.  Because I tend to fall in love with a color, I try to force it on the fabric. Every time I override the value finder, I’m disappointed with the result.

The final winner of the Farmhouse Sentiments Kit is Linda Alford! Congratulations, Linda. We will email you privately for your mailing address. Enjoy!

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