Archive of ‘Embroidery Techniques’ category

Crucial Embroidery Placement with Success!

Often placement is crucial to embroidery success and little bit of planning will make your embroidery look professional. I recommend printing templates of your design so you can see it in actual size. Once the template is printed, audition it on the garment. In this case, it’s a small flower for a collar point.Collar2BL

Take your time with the placement and try different positions. It’s helpful to use a digital camera (or your phone!) to take a photograph of the placement. Every time you move the template take another photograph.Collar3BL

Do this a couple of times and then review the images on the camera. You’ll quickly know which one is the most pleasing.  Tape the template to the collar. Spray the wrong side of the collar with temporary adhesive.

Hoop stabilizer (tear-away, cut-away or wash away depending on your fabric and design).  To achieve perfect placement, use PAL, the Perfect Alignment Laser. Place the hoop on a flat surface and turn on PAL. Align the beams with the horizontal and vertical markings on the hoop.Collar5BL

Slip the collar over the stabilizer aligning the template’s crosshair with the beams.  Finger press the collar to the stabilizer. For added security, you can always add tape to the edges.Collar6BL

Carefully transport and attach the hoop to the machine, retrieve the design and verify the needle is perfectly aligned with the template’s crosshair.  Remove the template and embroider the design.

Using a template, camera and laser ensures a professional finish on your embroidery. What tools do you use when placement is crucial?

 

If You’re Serious about Machine Embroidery…

If you’re serious about your machine embroidery hobby, it’s time for you to elevate your skills by using embroidery software and upgrading your embroidery tools. A good place to learn about both is in an Inspirations’ Everything from A to Z event. What’s A to Z? Embroidery techniques from Applique to Zippers. You’ll learn the keys to making beautiful machine embroidery applique – inside and out – from basic satin edge to trendy motifs on flat to furry fabrics and everything in between.  2016-05-07_13-13-40

You’ll want to include lettering in all your machine embroidery projects after you see Inspirations’ smorgasbord of lettering techniques: monogramming, miniature, bubble, puffy and calligraphy. 2016-05-07_13-12-08

Want to stitch a hat on a single needle? Yes you can! Learn how to mark, stabilize and hoop a hat in no time.  Plus you’ll discover how easy it is to transform one dimensional embroidery into oh-so-cute and useful 3D projects.

Learn how to leave tricky zipper insertion and flawless buttonholes to your embroidery machine. Our Inspiration education consultants will lead you through the tips and tricks for successful embroidery plus you get to play with magnetic hoops, laser and placement tools. It’s a fun, relaxed class that will inspire you to go home and get stitching!  Treat yourself to a Mother’s Day present and sign up for a class today. There are almost 200 events scheduled across the country in the next months and more added every week. Click here http://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-socials/ to find an event near you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Stitch Soup

Christina, the founder of Stitch Soup began embroidering over 12 years ago.  After she embellished almost all of her wardrobe, she saw her first in-the-hoop project, a tissue holder, and had an ah-ha moment.  She realized there can be so much more to an embroidery machine than just cuffs and collars!  Since then she has focused on digitizing in-the-hoop projects for the home, birthday or Christmas gifts, for new babies, and for mom.  She blends artistic talent with an engineer’s approach to function and the results are an offering of unique embroidery designs – something for everyone.

Over the past year, the DIME staff has been enamored with her collections.  Denise Holguin, managing editor, swooned when she made her first fairy house.  She couldn’t stop at one; in fact she made several dozen and has enjoyed photographing them in charming settings.SSoup4BL

Her little fairy houses even jumped into her Caribbean-bound suitcase on a recent vacation.  Clearly these fairy houses spread a whimsical spell over the stitcher’s creative talents. Because she dreamed up a resident – a silk flower skirted clothespin doll!SSoup8BL

Denise had a ton of fun with the thatched hut.SSoup2BL

She played with color and buttons on the roof.SSoup3BL

The shell trim under the roof line was added in the hoop!  She’s a brave lass, she is.SSoup9BL

As fun as fairy houses are, some of us prefer a bit more function.  Stitch Soup’s tea-light collections were born from necessity. You see, Christina, lives in a fairly remote part of Canada, and is often left in the dark due to power outages.  Those ‘dark moments’ inspired her to keep tea lights close out at hand yet of reach of her canine companions (she has four!).  Hanging tea lights were the answer. Marie Zinno shared the how-to in our July/August 2015 issue.SSoup6BL

One of my favorite Stitch Soup designs was published in our May/June 2015 issue.  What fun to use embroidery, fasteners, small ribbon and trim!SSoup7BL

Visit Stitch Soup today – they’re having a sale!

Tell us about your favorite Stitch Soup design and you’ll be entered to win one of four $25.00 gift certificates to Stitch Soup. 

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

Need an Embroidery Miracle? Then You Need Friends in High Places!

Where do you turn when you need a solution to an embroidery dilemma? It started innocently enough with “Honey, can you embroider my name and phone number on this strap?” I naively responded, “Oh sure, I’ll bet it’ll be an easy thing to do.” Then he hands over the ‘harmless’ strap. From afar, it looked like camo canvas maybe camo neoprene. But once in my hand, my knees began to tremble when I gripped the…RUBBER backing! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Rubber? Really? Are you kidding me? Dang, I wish I hadn’t shared that joke about the lady who informed her husband that no, she won’t stitch a logo on his golf shirt because her machine can’t do menswear. I still chuckle at that line. But my sweet husband knows the truth behind that – it’s a joke he’s heard me tell in Stitching Sister events. He knows all of my machines ‘can do menswear.’

So off I trotted to the office with the noose, I mean strap, over my shoulder. I figured I’d start my research there – pour through all our technical journals, embroidery books and commercial magazines to look for a solution. My search led to nothing, not a clue on how to hoop or stabilize rubber-backed neoprene. So I did what I normally do when approached with a stumbling block. I climb around it. Avoid it. Make a path around it – like the elephant in the room. And mull it over for a few days. But not this time because in walked the most knowledgeable person in the embroidery industry. Deborah Jones.

She was here on official business – really big important stuff like what would we have for lunch. At the end of our visit, I remembered the noose – strap (gee, I keep staying that!) and asked for her advice. Without a trace of confusion or a moment of hesitation, she said, “Oh hoop it with wax paper. You’ll need something to lubricate the needle and thread as it exits the rubber.”

I looked at her like she handed me the Hope diamond. She looked at me like she sometimes does, “Oh you silly Yankee.” (Doesn’t matter how long you live in Texas, you’re always a Yankee if you imported yourself.) Then she left. I was perplexed, okay scared, so I worried for a few more days. And then I bought wax paper. I haven’t purchased wax paper in years and didn’t spot it the new fancy grocery near the office. I asked a salesperson where I would find it and she wasn’t quite sure what it was! After a minute she muttered something about packed lunches at grandma’s house when she was a little girl and then sent me to aisle 23. Anyway, I bought it.

The noose, I mean strap, is thick so holding it in a hoop was not an option. Sticking it down on hooped wax paper in a standard hoop would likely result in the noose, strap, popping off the wax paper. So I hooped tear-away stabilizer and two layers of wax paper (Why two? I don’t know, I bought a whole roll, so I figured I’d get my money’s worth) in Snap Hoop on a 10-needle machine. Snap Hoop is flat and will help keep the strap on the wax paper. I sprayed the back of the strap with temporary adhesive and pressed it onto the wax paper. Then taped it for extra security.

As you remember Deborah told me to ‘use wax paper.’ She didn’t tell me anything about hooping, adding stabilizer or adhesive. I was on my own there, I just tried to apply common sense (something most Yankees are not known for in Texas) and tame the challenge and well, git her done as they say here.

It worked! An embroidery miracle, thanks to Deborah Jones.

 

The winner of last week’s blog post answered the following question:
Have you used Kreations by Kara’s designs? If so, do you have a favorite?  Leave a comment and four random winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate! Yippee! A shopping spree is in order.

The winner is:

Josie D: “I hadn’t heard of her before but what you’ve shown is awesome.”

Sara R: “There are too many beautiful designs to pick a favorite but I love FSL and the FSL Christmas ornaments are definitely some of my favorites.”

Janet F: “I used Kara’s butterflies on the lining of a quilted jacket. I smile every time I put it on, the inside is as pretty as the outside.”

Sara: “I have purchased her designs for quite some time now, the best is she has for every thing & every body, so talented, her creations are exquisite! Sad to hear she passed, but the talent runs in the family with her daughter. We are so happy to have Kreations by Kara for the magnificent, creativity & versatility we get with her creations!”

 

Thank you, everyone for taking the time to comment.  The information you shared is very helpful as we continue to come up with fresh content you’ll enjoy!

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!

Versatility

It’s not often you find a designer who offers unique designs in multiple categories. Many design companies specialize and excel in specific categories like home décor, quilting and fashion. But Kreations by Kara’s is different, they seem to nail multiple categories like fashion, quilting and holiday.  Since they are this month’s blog sponsor, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of their work that we’ve published in Designs in Machine Embroidery over the years.

In Vol. 88, tattoo jeans were featured.  First, they stitched the design on a combination of water soluble stabilizer, tulle and stretch mesh. After removing the water soluble stabilizer, they cut a hole in the pant leg (painful for some of us, I know!) and pinned the design in place. Free motion stitching tacked the design in place and wow – it looks dynamite!TattooBL

One of my all-time favorite Kara designs is this floating butterfly. Her use of value is powerful, as it gives the illusion of flight.Shadowedbl

Next, we have a mix of fashion and holiday. What gray hoodie or white t-shirt wouldn’t benefit by the addition of this trendy holiday stamp design? As an Irishman, I’d be happy to wear this on March 17th.KreatByKaraBL

Back a few years, Kara’s Christmas Ornaments Throw graced the cover of Vol. 83, Nov/Dec 2013. What a stunner that was.Vol83BL

Coming full circle, you’ll find a quilted tablerunner stitched by Marie Zinno featuring Kara’s Quilt Floral Squares in our May/June issue.  I love these designs – they fill the block and swirl from edge to edge.KaraBlockBL

Your assignment for this week:
Have you used Kreations by Kara’s designs? If so, do you have a favorite?  Leave a comment and four random winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate! Yippee! A shopping spree is in order.

The winner of last week’s blog post answered the following question:
Since this issue is the first time we welcomed a cat into our studio I’m wondering if you prefer cats or dogs as pets in your home.  Leave a comment and we’ll select a random winner to receive our new Hoop Clip.

The winner is:
Arleen:  “We have 3 cats and a dog in our household. They all like to “sew” and “embroider” with me in my room.”

Thank you, everyone for taking the time to comment.  The information you shared is very helpful as we continue to come up with fresh content you’ll enjoy!

Instagram made me do it.

I started a new hobby this year:  Instagram.

You’re probably thinking, it doesn’t count as a hobby.  But let me explain.

It’s eye-opening to see how many talented people there are on Instagram.  There are so many varied interests and skills all in one place.  It used to be I would admire someone’s work – whether in magazines, on Facebook, Pinterest, or even museums or craft shows and think—gosh, what amazing talent.  I wish I had their talent.

But this is 2016.  Times have changed—or rather, I’m making a deliberate effort to change.  Now my reaction is:  Gosh, what amazing talent.  I feel inspired and now I will try my own version!  Instagram is inspiring me to do.  To try.  To push myself to new heights.  And it’s my hope that you’ll do the same!  You may discover you can do more than you realize.  

One of my first attempts to try something new was the result of admiring hair accessories on Instagram.  My goal was not to make the exact project I saw—just to make my own “Denise” interpretation – based on my skills and available resources.

To help execute my creative vision, I downloaded the FSL Flourish Flower from EmbroideryOnline.  When you see the price – it’s a no brainer.  You need this design because you can develop many skills from using it.  I hadn’t ever stitched lace embroidery but I felt confident I could do it.  If you have never tried lace, you are invited to try it now! It’s a small design and very little risk is involved and the benefits to you are many! EmbroideryOnline has such a large selection of high quality designs to support my many whims and I think you’ll feel the same way as you browse their website.

The other item I used is also from EmbroideryOnline – AquaMesh Wash Away Stabilizer. Keep this stabilizer in stock in your sewing room.  It comes in very handy for lace – not to mention, it’s fun to watch the cloth-like material vanish once placed in water!  (You can wow your friends with the amazing magic trick!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Project 1:  Lacy Blue Beauty!
Supplies:  
tulle, monofilament thread

I chose a couple blue shades of thread and off-white for my flowers.  I used matching bobbin thread for each flower.  After stitching, I trimmed the petals away from the stabilizer.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Then I soaked the flowers to remove the water soluble stabilizer.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I placed the lace on a towel to dry.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Look at the pretty lace just waiting to be turned into a finished project!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I am not an expert sewer in real life and I barely play one online – but I decided to try.  I knew the goal was to sew my pieces together.  I layered the petals on a piece of blue tulle. Then I used a zig-zag stitch and monofilament thread to secure the petals.

After I finished sewing I realized laying a piece of water soluble stabilizer on top might have made it easier to hold the petals down while sewing.  The water soluble stabilizer would be dissolved after stitching.  You are invited to use your favorite technique!  

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Once all the petals were attached I trimmed away the excess tulle.  The end result is a very soft and flexible piece of lace.  I decided not to attach a barrette or clip.  I like having the flexibility to adapt the piece to my hair style so I will attach this piece with bobby pins.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Project 2.  Lace Hair Clip
Supplies:  Hair clip, brads (or crystals, sequins), linen ribbon, hot glue gun

I didn’t have any sequins or crystals at my home studio but I did have tiny brass brads that were the perfect size.  I opted for subtlety but add as few or as many embellishments as you wish.  I covered the hair clip with linen ribbon then attached the flowers.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Simple, yet attractive!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Project 3.  Bold Color
Supplies:  
starch, balloon, hair clip or pin, scrap piece of felt

Next I expanded my lace making enterprise by stitching the flowers in bold colors—pink and orange.  I made sure the bobbin thread matched the top thread (when I remembered!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
I wanted the flowers to be layered and somewhat shaped on my final piece.  I dipped each flower into a bowl of starch.  Then I placed the flowers on a balloon to give a subtle concave effect.  I let my creation dry overnight and carefully removed the now hardened flowers from the balloon.  I placed a piece of felt on the underside along with a hair clip.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Just one lace design, some water soluble stabilizer and the decision to try!  Imagine what you can do and take action!


Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more photos of these lace hair accessories in action. Also be sure to follow our friends at EmbroideryOnline!  They have plenty of ideas to keep you inspired.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Your fun assignment for the week:  EmbroideryOnline is your source for embroidery designs as well as supplies!  Visit the EmbroideryOnline website and tell us which embroidery supplies you most need in your sewing studio.  From threads to stabilizers and accessories they’ve got what you need.  Tell us what you need…. and you might just receive it!  FIVE random people who comment will each receive a $25 shopping spree to the EmbroideryOnline website.  Take action!

 

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

 

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:
I’m sure Rita’s not the only who likes to scour auctions, resale shops and antique stores. Do you like to do that? If so, are you looking for anything in particular?  Leave a comment and a random winner will receive a $25 shopping spree coupon to the DIME website.

The winner is:
Michelle Hall:  “I have a couple of hand crochet coverlets and an appliqued quilt that my grandmother made.  I love to shop at garage sales and thrift stores to see what I can find and repurpose.”

Congratulations, Michelle!  Thank you for commenting!

 

 

Intertwining Letters

In the recent issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to intertwine letters in a monogram. Let’s review the steps with two built-in fonts in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Select the Monogram tool and type the letter A in the Properties box.  Select the Trad_Scr font.  Select the Monogram tool again and type the letter K. Change the font to Fan_Scr. Select the K, go to the Command tab in the Properties Box and type in 2 in the Color field.

Select the letter and right mouse click to view the dropdown menu. Select Break Up Text.OD2BL

Select the letter and click Ungroup. Select the lower portion of the K and click on the Slice tool.OD3BL

Left mouse click at one edge of the satin column where you want the split to occur.  Drag across the column and hit the Enter key.OD4BL

Repeat at the other side of the overlapping column.OD5BL

Select the column, right mouse click and select Break Apart from the drop down menu. OD6BL

Select the portion you want to remove and hit delete on the keyboard. OD7BL

The column is now split.OD8BL

Split the underlay stitches by selecting the Shape tool and clicking on the line.OD9BL

To remove the jump stitches between the satin stitches, select the satin colum. In the Properties Box, select Trim from the End Command window and click Apply. OD10BL

You can apply this to any area where the two letters overlap.  See how easy it is to create one-of-a-kind monograms in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro? I just love this software!

Multi-Needle Monday: Embroidered Sheer Ribbon

Happy Multi-needle Monday! I have to be honest but some weeks I struggle to find a new interesting technique to share with you for my blog. I really want the blog to be helpful and educational, so this week I will teach how to embroider on sheer wired ribbon.

Embroidered ribbon can be a beautiful accent to a monogrammed towel set, a bow on a wreath, tied around a present or even around the neck of a teddy bear. Through the many years of owning my embroidery business, embroidered ribbon is always popular and yet unexpected. Most customers have never seen a sheer ribbon stitched and used as an embellishment. Here is my technique and it works every time. I hope you have a chance to try it.

 

Step One: Measure the overall length of the bow desired. Before you cut the ribbon audition it on the package or stuffed animal or gift and note the length needed to tie a generous bow. Mark the length with masking tape and cut the ribbon. My go-to measurement for a bow around a large teddy bear is 36 inches.

Step Two: Place the water soluble stabilizer in your hoop along with the ribbon; position the ends of the ribbon parallel to each other. It is very important that the ribbon is taut in the hoop. Place a few pieces of masking tape on the ribbon edges for extra stability.sheer ribbon1BLsheer ribbon2BL

Step Three: Use the text at your embroidery machine to easily set up the size and spacing of letters as you progress. I only set up one line (or end) of ribbon at a time.sheer ribbon3BL Use the “trace” feature to assure the text will fit inside the width of the ribbon. If you have the scanning feature or live camera you can use these tools instead of “trace” function.sheer ribbon4BLsheer ribbon5BL

Step Four: Use the jog keys on the screen to position the text at one end of the ribbon. Embroider the one end with a name or message. Delete design after embroidery is complete and set up text for opposite ribbon end. Use trace feature to make sure the text will fit inside the ribbon and stitch.

Step Five: Remove the stabilizer and ribbon from hoop. Carefully peel away the stabilizer from the back of ribbon. Use tweezers in small loops. I do not like to wet the stabilizer because it leaves a residue in the text.sheer ribbon7BLsheer ribbon8BLsheer ribbon9BL

Step Six: If the gift is for a baby, remove the wire from the ribbon; take a pair of tweezers and pull on the wire from one end and pull. The wire will easily slip out of the ribbon. Repeat for opposite side of ribbon. After the stabilizer is removed tie the ribbon around the neck of a bear, manipulate the ribbon as needed for the text to be read properly.bear1BL

The same technique was used for towel basket ribbon.basket3BL

Materials Used

Wired sheer organza ribbon in a wide width (2 or 2.5 inches)

Light weight water soluble stabilizer (usually called topper), 10 inch wide roll

 

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” and learn more helpful techniques!

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

Click the above link to save $20.

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