Archive of ‘Holiday Stitching’ category

Christmas Village: Software Instructions

Eileen tasked me with the responsibility of turning the Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suite into an ornament.  At first glance, I thought I’d use Christmas colored fabric for the dog house.

But between the home renovation television programs I watch and my recent experimenting with building a railroad model… I knew I could do more.

I decided to renovate!  I converted the existing dog door to a window with shutters and installed a new front door.  I used built-in symbol designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro to make the house suitable for a Christmas Village.   With a little imagination and some robust software, there is no limit to what you can create.

Disclaimer:  I broke every rule in the book.  You have permission to do the same.


Embroidery Products
Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suites:  I used the Large Dog House 1 originally designed for the 6” x 10” hoop.  There is a 5” x 7” version of the design, but the finished house is smaller.  I wanted a larger house.

Free Candy Cane:  http://www.dzgns.com.  Go to the Free Designs page.

Free Candy Cane Frame:  http://www.dzgns.com.  Go to the Free Designs page and scroll through the archives.

Denise’s Notes:
Although the original design combines design components into as few 6” x 10” hoopings as possible, I don’t work that way.  As a personal preference, I like to work with the 5” x 7” hoop.  I took the design components apart from the 6” x 10” design and stitched them using a 5” x 7” hoop.  I also didn’t use all the components.  Do what works for you.  This is a creative process.

Renovations at a Glance:

  1. A new front door was digitized and placed on the side of the original dog house.
  2. The original dog door became a window with shutters – just by changing how the opening was cut away.
  3. Symbols: Star, Ribbon2, Present, Christmas Tree were added to embellish the house.  These are built-in designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro.
  4. Mini Christmas lights were attached to the underside of the roof.  These are available at craft stores.

At the Computer:

Open Doghouse1 6×10 in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Select and delete the Home Sign, 2 rows of grass and the lines of stitching separating the designs.

Since this is a winter scene, I decided to delete the floral elements on the house.  In the Sequence window, select and delete the grass and flowers on the house.

Your design should now look similar to the image shown.

We will use both portions of this house but I prefer working in a 5” x 7” hoop.  We will create two separate hoopings from this design.

First Hooping:  Wall with New Door

Select the top portion of the design as shown.

Cut and Paste the design into a new workspace.  (Press Ctrl + X to cut).  Click on File / New.  Press Ctrl + V to paste.  The remaining design will be revisited in the Second Hooping section of this article.

The newly pasted design should look like the image below.

For ease of working with the design, go to Properties – Transform.  Type 180 in the Rotate field.  Click Apply.

The design should look like the image below.  It will be easier to add the decorative elements when the wall is facing the correct direction.

Adding Symbols

Tree:
Go to the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.

Scroll through until you locate the Christmas Tree.  Click Ok.

In an empty space on the screen, left click the mouse button to create a tree.  Select the tree.  Go to Properties – Transform.  Change the width of the tree to:  1.25 and the height to 1.95.

The tree should now look like the sample shown.

Select the tree.  Reposition it on the wall as shown.

Star:
Go to the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.  Scroll through until you locate the Star.  Click Ok.

Click the left mouse button to create a star.  Select the star.  Go to the Properties – Transform tab.  Change the width to .52 and the height to .49.  Click Apply.  Reposition the star on top of the Tree.

New Front Door

Select the Rectangle from the Artwork icon on the top toolbar.

Hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle in an empty area on your work space.

With the rectangle still selected, go to the Properties – Transform box.  Uncheck the “Maintain aspect ratio” box.  Change the width to .77 inches and height to 1.14 inches.

Reposition the door so that it is centered on the side panel of the house as shown.

Denise’s Tip
Depending on the design, placement stitches may or may not be necessary.  For this small-scale project, I decided to include a placement stitch for the house.  This would prevent any doubt regarding the size of fabric needed for the door and where it should be placed.  If you’re comfortable without a placement stitch, skip the step!

Select the door artwork you created.  Right click.  Select Convert To / Run.

In an open space on the screen, create another rectangle shape using the Artwork tool.  Make the width .77 inches and height 1.14 inches.  Assign a new color to this shape that is different from the previous rectangle.  I chose green.  With the rectangle still selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Run.

In the Properties – Run box, select Bean for the stitch type.

Drag and drop the bean stitch door on top of the placement stitch door as shown.  Adjust the thread sequence so that the run stitch version of the door is stitched first followed by the bean stitch version of the door.

Using the Artwork tool, make the window for the door by drawing another shape.  This time, .46 inches wide by .43 inches tall.  I made this Artwork the same green color.  With the rectangle/square still selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Run.  Change this shape to a Bean stitch as you have done before.  Position this shape on the door as shown.  Make sure the window stitches after the bean stitch door.

Embellishments:  Candy Cane

Download the free Candy Cane design.  Once downloaded to your computer, go to File / Merge.  Select the Candy Cane Design.  Place the design on the left side of the door.

Rearrange the color sequence so the candy cane stitches before the door elements.  This will help prevent any mishaps if you don’t trim the door properly.

The design will be stitched in a 5″ x 7″ hoop.  Rotate the design 90 degrees to fit the hoop.  Save the design in C2S format and your machine’s format.


Second Hooping with Dog Door Converted to Window 

Return to the original design (Doghouse1 6×10) we cut and pasted from as shown in the image below.

Copy and paste this design into a new work space  (or work from this screen)

Go to the Symbols icon at the top toolbar.  Select the Ribbon2.

In an open space, click and drag the mouse button to create a ribbon.  Go to the Properties – Transform window.  Change the width to .93 inches and the height to .82 inches.

The ribbon should look similar to the image shown.

Reposition the ribbon above the window opening as shown.

Adding a Present

Go to the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.  Select the Present.

Drag the left mouse button to draw a present.  Resize the present to .92 inches square.  Reposition the present as shown.

The design will be stitched in a 5″ x 7″ hoop.  Rotate the design 90 degrees to fit the hoop.  Save the design in C2S format and your machine’s format.


Roof & Free Standing Trees

Open the Dog House Roof 1 6×10 design.

Delete all elements except the roof.  Rotate the roof so it fits in a 5” x 7” hoop.

Go to the top tool bar and select the Symbols icon.

Locate and select the Christmas Tree.

Click and drag the mouse to create a Christmas tree.  Go to Transform – Properties to change the size of the tree to 1.28” x 1.95”.

Copy and paste the tree for a total of 2 trees.

Save the file in C2S format and your machine’s format.


Decorative Signs

Open the Doghouse SignPost design.  Copy the Welcome sign and paste in to a new workspace.

Rotate the sign 270 degrees.

Select the first thread color in the Color Sequence.  This portion of the design is the outline of the sign.

Copy and paste the outline of the sign as shown.

Select the Text icon from the top toolbar.  Select the Goudy Small font.

Type “2017”.  Center the date within the sign as shown.

Copy and paste another outline of the sign.  Select this new copy.  Resize to 2.76 inches wide x .62 inches tall.  Flip horizontal.

With this new sign still selected, copy and paste another copy as shown.

Go to File / Merge to insert the letters to spell CANDY on one sign and LANE on the other.  (A complete alphabet is included with the Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suites collection).

Rearrange the color sequence so the sign outlines stitch first, from top to bottom followed by the text.

Return to the original Doghouse SignPost design you opened.

Copy and paste the SignPost into the workspace.

Rearrange all elements so they fit in a 5” x 7” hoop.  Save the design in C2S format and your machine’s format.

Candy Cane Frame as Base

Download the Candy Cane frame from http://www.dzgns.com.  No edits were made to the design.  Send the design to your embroidery machine in the appropriate format.

The Sewing Instructions are included in Part 2 of this blog series.

 


The Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suite is available through Inspirations Dealers.  Click the image below to find a dealer near you.

Give Thanks Video Tutorial Part 2

Check out Part 2 of Katherine Artines’ Give Thanks video tutorial on YouTube.  Finish the remaining two blocks of the fun Thanksgiving project begun in Give Thanks Part 1. You’ll create additional custom stippling and work with Text on Path and the Outline feature. Katherine illustrates how to access artwork from Word Art in Stitches and use it for other techniques. 

If you’ve been wanting to explore the Artwork and Shape tools, this video will help you understand the features of both helpful tools.  Learn how and when to use the Combine tool plus how to set colors in the proper order (sequencing).

Katherine shares the steps for completing the quilted wallhanging – the actual sewing part!  She’s so much more than a ‘virtual quilter’, I’m sure you’ll pick up several tips to use in your digitizing.  Enjoy!

A few dozen eggs

Project Highlights:

  • Put your stash of embroidery, crafting and sewing supplies to use.
  • Make gifts for family, friends or residents in nursing homes and senior centers.
  • Experiment with color!
  • Relax with this creative and productive outlet.

As a hoarder of scrapbook paper, I don’t actually make anything.  Instead, I flip through the stack of paper to admire the colors and patterns.  The papers are too pretty to waste on just anything.  Someday I’ll make something special.

That someday is now!

I volunteered to make Easter cards for a local senior center.

It was a bold and confident move to volunteer.  But then reality set in.  Exactly how will I make the cards?

The answer was easy:  with my embroidery machine!

Embroidery Designs
Floral Easter Eggs from Kreations by Kara.  (I used Egg 5.)

The inspiration came from two cards I received from a dear friend, and regular contributor to the magazine, Joanne Banko.  She used felt to embroider the cards.  The cards were so fun to receive and I love the technique.  I keep one on my desk at work and one on the refrigerator at home.

Materials

  • Assorted colors of embroidery thread
  • Card stock Paper
  • Felt:  I purchased 8 sheets of pre-cut felt from a big box store in several colors. I fit 2 Easter eggs per sheet.  Once I stitched 16 Easter egg designs, I realized I was committed to this task. I purchased yardage of felt (on sale at this time of year!). I was able to hoop the fabric to fit more designs.  I chose to use white felt because it gave me more freedom with thread colors.

Instructions
I cut the felt into long strips wide enough to fit a 5″ x 7″ standard hoop or Snap Hoop Monster.  I rotated the embroidery design 90 degrees to make the design horizontal.

Stitch the design on the entire strip of fabric.  Leave enough room for trimming around each design.  The design I used has multiple thread colors.  For variety I stitched some eggs in one color while others I stitched in multiple colors.  If you  have little ones that want to help, consider having them select the thread colors.  You can’t go wrong with this project.

I also considered the recipients and what colors they might like.  Some embroidered eggs are more masculine with navy blue, brown and emerald green.  Those turned out to be among my favorites.

As the embroidery machine was stitching, I cut card stock paper.  I used 12” x 12” sheets of card stock.  I cut the sheets in half to make two cards per sheet.  Then I scored the card to make the fold.  To conserve paper, you could just make a single sided card.

Once the Easter eggs were finished stitching, I trimmed close to the edges, leaving about a ¼ inch around the design.

I took the opportunity to pull out all my craft supplies, including ribbons, trim, buttons and brads.  I’ve also made it my challenge to use up nearly all my scrapbook paper—even the ‘special’ paper with extra sparkles.  It doesn’t do me any good hoarding the supplies and it is fun to find interesting ways to decorate each card.

I was bored with the solid colored card stock so to add texture I pulled out my little New Home sewing machine.  It doesn’t have as many features as I’m used to (where’s the automatic needle threader?) but it has decorative stitches ideal for my cards.

Once you’re happy with the added embellishments, use a hot glue gun to attach the design to the card stock.  Be sure to add a sentiment inside the card.

Can you tell which one is my favorite? 😉  I was excited to find a use for the hounds-tooth paper and the bow button.

At the time of this blog post, I’ve stitched 45 Easter egg designs.  My first goal is to reach 50—which will be done tonight.  Then the new goal will be 75… because that’s the Blue Hair Girl way!

 

 

 

 

 

Software Saturday: Applique to Instant Gift Tag

Make an impression with flawless, personalized gift tags this holiday season!  Once the gift is unwrapped, the gift tag can be used as a Christmas ornament for years to come!


In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro, open an applique frame from your stash or choose from any of the included applique shapes.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click on the Text tool and type the message in the Properties Box.  Select a micro font such as Bauhaus.  Click Apply.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Center the text in the frame and change the color of the text to another color.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the an Ellipse from the drop down menu on the Artwork tool Insert

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Drag the mouse to draw a small circle and center it above the text.  Select the circle and right click to access more options. Select Convert T, Steil.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If you’d like to review different applqiue fabrics, select the Applique, and click on the Command tabe in the Properties box. Click on the field next to Fabric.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select a fabric to review your work.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Stitch the applique on lightweight tear away stabilizer – one that tears clean. After removing from the hoop, use an awl or eyelet cutter to open the eyelet. Thread a pretty ribbon through the eyelet and you’re all set. Start making them now and the gifts under your tree will be beautiful!

 

 

December Update in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Beads, Crystals, Pearls and Rhinestones

Do you love to add crystals, beads and pearls to some of your embroidery designs? Then you’re going to love December’s free update in Perfect Embroidery Pro! Now you can audition gems on a design in Perfect Embroidery Pro before you ever take a stitch. Click on the video below to see how easy it is to add crystals to a lace neckline.

 

If less sometimes leaves you wanting more, then watch the video below to see how a demure neckline can be transformed with holiday sparkle.

Gems are not just for garments as they make lovely additions to home décor items. LuLu Christmas includes a lovely trio of Christmas ornaments – perfect for linen guest towels when sprinkled across the towel. But I don’t always have time to fill the width of fabric with edge to edge embroidery yet I still want a fluid design. The video below shows how crystals are a simple solution in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

When  you update, you’ll find 24 beads, 12 crystals, 16 pearls and 40 rhinestones – each customizable by size. And of course, you can add your own images to the library. Just set the position of each crystal by placing a node on the design or let the software automatically create a string of gems for you – all evenly spaced. Adjust the spacing by changing the instructions in the properties box or fine tune the placement by adjusting the individual nodes.

Stitch marks (you choose between a cross and a circle) are inserted into the design so that the placement can be easily achieved after the embroidery is complete. The size of the stitch marks is adjustable so that even the tiniest gems cover the small marks.

I hope you enjoy December’s free update – I know I’m going to have fun adding sparkle to my creations!

Monogram of the Month: A Reason to Celebrate!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I was very excited when Eileen gave me the opportunity to write this month’s Monogram of the Month feature.  I’ve had my eye on the banner designs from JoAnn Connolly’s book, Sweet Stitchesand decided instead of monograms today I’d do a fun banner.   I’m quite fond of quick and easy projects that require minimal effort but create lots of joy while I stitch.  And these designs fit my requirements to the letter!  (Pun intended!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I wanted to make something special for my friend, Jean, who will be celebrating her 95th birthday.  Friends and family are gathering this 4th of July weekend to celebrate her day.  I decided to make a festive banner to mark the occasion—plus it would make a great backdrop to take photos of her with her family.  Great memories everyone can cherish!

Fabric

Like most of our readers, I like fabric and I eagerly sign up for any excuse to buy more, more, more!  But this time, I decided I’d challenge myself—really test my nouveau designer skills and gasp… use what I already have!

I rummaged through my containers of fabric – I was certain I had nothing!  Nothing!  But wait… that polka dot fabric is kinda cute.  Actually, it’s very cute.  So cute, I haven’t used it because I wanted to use it for something special.  It was a small remnant I purchased over a decade ago from Hancock Fabrics.  It’s perfect.  Once I found the main fabric it was easy to add other coordinating fabrics.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Designs

My next challenge was figuring out what combination of letters to use.  “Happy Birthday” is an obvious choice.  But I decided to go with something more universal—and that can work all year long—“Celebrate”.  After all, life should be a celebration—especially when you have lived 95 years!

Sweet Stitches comes with an accompanying CD.  I transferred the letters to spell “Celebrate” to a USB stick for my embroidery machine.  Then I stitched the designs.

Denise Tips:

  • Be sure to keep the book handy!  The photos and step-by-step instructions will guide you along the way.  Initially I thought I didn’t need to read the steps—I like a challenge.  But after stitching a few samples I decided I’d go ahead and read the steps.  Surprise, surprise!  Following the steps made the process much simpler.
  • JoAnn has a reason for suggesting you use Temporary Spray Adhesive when working with applique fabrics.  If you don’t… you might end up with puckers!  Oops!A Reason to Celebrate!
  • Applique scissors are especially useful when trimming.
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  • If you place white on top of a busy fabric, be aware of the possibility of fabric show-through.  My first ‘careless’ attempt to solve this problem was to place a second layer of white fabric.  But the fabric I was using was very heavy—so when it came time to trim the two layers of white fabric, it wasn’t an easy or flawless task.  Argh!
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
    My second attempt was much better.  I used a layer of stabilizer underneath the white fabric.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

  • Mix & Mingle… and have fun!  Don’t feel like every letter has to be the same color.  Mix and match.  That’s what makes the process fun.  Plus this gives you a chance to use small fabric scraps.

 

Here’s a look at the finished banner!  I look forward to decorating for Jean’s birthday and creating fun memories! Imagine the banners you can make for someone special!  Give it a try.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

 

Here’s your assignment this week:What decorations have you made over the years to celebrate someone’s special day?  Post a comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.Gift-Card
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Do you have a versatile design you use over and over on different types of projects? Post your comment for a chance to win a copy of Calligraphy Project Designer.

 

CD00501_pkg_grande

 

And the winner is… Alicia Key 
“I have several designs I enjoy but after a few kitchen towels of them I’m ready to try a new design. I’ve just recently joined your email list & I’m looking forward to more of your ideas for creativity! I like the Embroidery Library design that Colleen Bell mentioned above & while checking that out, I found some more that I like. I also like Andrea Henke’s suggestion of the glow-in-the-dark eyes on pillow cases! I’ll have to find some of that thread! I would LOVE a chance to win the Calligraphy files.”

Congratulations, Alicia.  Sounds like you’ll be very busy with all sorts of projects!

 

 

 

March Monogram of the Month

Header

Now that I live in Texas, St. Patrick’s Day passes by without much fanfare but that’s not the case in other parts of the country. In Chicago, they dye the river green!  In New York City, they host the USA’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade and on Savannah, GA’s official St. Patrick’s Day parade website, they countdown the days, hours and minutes until their annual parade time. 

As an embroiderer you can celebrate the upcoming Celtic celebration in a subtle way by adding a  petite shamrock to your monogram.  Think of it as a nod to your heritage or just an expression of Spring cheer.  If you do, include a couple of shades of green to add emphasis to the Celtic accent. I made this monogram in Bernina Artista Software. Here’s how.

Open BERNINA Embroidery Software DesignerPlus. Select the Monogram icon and click on the Borders tab at the top of the menu.  B1

Select MB4. B1a

Click on Add to add another border. B2

Insert .25 (inches) in the Offset box.  Select Candlewicking from the Outline menu. Click Ok.  B3

Click on Lettering in the Monogramming box. Select a font and type the letters in each box. B4

Merge the Shamrock design into the monogram.  B5

Save the design and send it to your machine. Hoop tear-away stabilizer with linen in a 4” x 4” hoop and stitch the design.

I’d like to share a little Celtic cheer with you so feel free to download the shamrock.

Here’s your assignment this week:

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 of last week’s assignment is:

Baby Lock

If you could have any Baby Lock machine, which one would you want to own? Post your comments for a chance to win a very generous prize courtesy of Baby Lock! One random winner will be chosen to win The Embroidery Essentials Kit, a $385 value!

The winner is… Jeannie G.  “I would love to have a long arm quilter” – Congratulations Jeannie!

Stitching Lettering on Fur

Stockings-1I know thousands of embroidery machines will be humming right up until December 24th. So here’s how to handle tricky faux fur – a favorite last minute gift item.

Scroll lettering has a tendency to disappear when stitched on faux fur.  Here’s how I tackle that problem.

I used Floriani Total Control Pro to create the lettering but the steps will be same in any digitizing program. Right click on the text.  Select Create Outline from the drop down menu. Fur1

The default setting is .08” outside of the lettering. Click OK. Fur2

An outline appears around the word. Fur3

Select the outline and right click. Select Convert To Complex Fill.  Fur4

Change the Density to 2.0 and leave the stitch length at 4.0mm. Fur5

Select the Shape Tool.

Click on the fill. Move the direction of the stitches by selecting the black circle. Fur6

Drag it to the right. Fur7

Use the Select Tool to select, copy and paste the complex Fill. Fur8

Select only the second fill and change the direction of the stitches so they are at an opposing angle to the first set. In Properties, remove all underlay.  Fur9

Change the sequence of the colors so that the fill is the first color and the lettering is second. Hoop the fur and stitch color 1 in the same color as the fur since you want the fill stitches to blend into the fur. Fur10

You’re probably wondering what to do if you don’t have software.  Here’s a tip I learned from one of my smart students, Peggy Schroeder. Peggy uses it on terrycloth all of the time. Use tulle to mimic the fill stitches. Just place matching tulle (same color as the fur) over the fur. Stitch the lettering and then rip the tulle away from the text. This works pretty well as it holds the fur down under the lettering. Once the tulle is torn away though, some of the fur surrounding the text may creep over the text.  If that happens, just trim away the excess fibers around the lettering so it doesn’t obstruct the lettering.

Hope this information helps you tackle those tricky fibers!

Happy Holidays.

Thoughtful & Quick-to-Stitch Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Long before the holidays spring up I have great plans for stitching gifts for family and friends. But inevitably, the hustle and bustle of preparing a Thanksgiving meal, decorating the home and fighting the crowds everywhere I go and staying within budget leaves me overwhelmed. That’s why I think finding balance and coming up with a plan are so important.

This year I’ve decided to stitch Christmas stockings. Here are 5 reasons why I love this idea and think you will too:

  1. Out of the Ordinary!
    These are not your ordinary stockings from your local discount store. These stockings have a zipper from the cuff to the toe enabling you to hoop the stocking flat!

  2. No need to wrap the gift!The Stocking is the wrapping and also means you don’t have to buy something massive that will be difficult to transport or ship.
  3. A little applique goes a long way!Don’t have time to stitch? Use your favorite applique design. Appliques don’t have a lot of stitching—the applique fabric becomes the focal point.
  4. Themes!Here’s where you can have some fun. Write down a list of your gift recipients in one column. Now in the second column write down their interests and activities. This will also help you determine what to stuff the stocking with. Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a lot to fill your stocking. It’s not what you spend it’s the thought you put into personalizing it. Here’s a look at gift ideas with my friends as examples:
    Name Interests Gift Ideas
    Roger Likes to grill Cooking utensils (wooden spoons, spatulas, spoon rests, spices, recipe cards, gourmet sauces
    Casey Has a sweet tooth Chocolates, cookies, hot chocolate. Pick something unusual for them to try or go ‘old school’ and select only those candies that were from their childhood. People always enjoy reminiscing over their favorite candies as a child.
    Ashton Baby’s First Christmas Baby bibs, baby bottles, booties, onesies
    Janis Loves to sew Fat quarters of fabric, interesting buttons and notions, ribbons and trim
  5. Quality “me” time for… others!Having a hard time escaping? Everyone need a piece of your time? Let them know you’re designing their gift. Besides, the time spent stitching is minimal – and this time is your opportunity to rejuvenate your creative spirit so that you can enjoy the holidays more with others!

I think you’ll agree that coming up with a plan makes the gift-giving-gift-making task less of a ‘task’ and more of an opportunity to create and have fun. Read on for tips to embrace your inner ‘creative designer’.

A little time to design!
Take a look at your design stash to see what designs you’ve collected that fit the theme for your gift recipients. Here’s your chance to get creative AND actually use your random mix of embroidery designs! Or you can choose a holiday theme – snowflakes, Christmas trees, etc.

You can also use your built-in lettering on your embroidery machines or in your embroidery software. Come up with cute sayings or stitch the person’s name with the year.

Whatever you choose, remember it’s not what you spend it’s the thought you put into personalizing it. This sure beats anything you can pick up from your local drug store or retailer!

Pick up a stocking (or two!) from Designs in Machine Embroidery!  Click here to purchase.

Keep It Simple Snowman

HeaderMy Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, is so busy right now. Every time we talk (and that’s every morning), she’s got all three of her machines cranking out holiday orders.  Marie is a commercial embroiderer based in Canton, OH and one very pleasant person. She never grumbles even in the midst of holiday stitching chaos. And if you’ve ever dabbled in machine embroidery for business, then you know what holiday chaos is like. It all starts out innocent enough; you get just the right amount of orders to keep your machines humming about 6-8 hours a day.  Your delivery dates are manageable (because you finally got a handle on estimating how much time to allot for each order); your prices are set and your inventory landed when promised. It’s all up to you now to get the jobs completed as promised.

But Marie is the first to admit things don’t always go as planned. Oh she definitely has survived holiday emergencies in previous years of power outages, machines malfunctioning and family illnesses and she handled each with panache. But this year, it’s been a bit different. It seems when a customer arrives to pick up an order they see some of the items that she’s been making for other customers and promptly order four or six or 24!

So what’s so hot in Canton this year? Snowman towels, onesies and t-shirts. When Marie’s customers spot them on display they promptly order a set of towels for their own home. And then they remember their niece who had a new baby this spring and order a onesie for that angel. Then they remember the baby has an older sister or brother, and well you get the picture.  She charges between $15 and $20 for each item and because she has an inventory of blank items, it’s just a matter of hooping and stitching.

Snowmen-Onesies

As embroiderers we tend to overcomplicate things – take personalization to whole new levels. But really, many people are just as touched with a simple holiday design. Something that’s unique, something you don’t find in the local store.  So if you’re scrambling to finish your holiday stitching, maybe you should simplify. And think snowman!

Snowman-Towel

The snowman design is from Embroidery Garden.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

So how is your holiday stitching coming along? Are you stressed? Are you going to make your deadlines?  Let us know how it’s going and we’ll pick a random winner to receive a fold flat stocking, perfect for personalization.

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Tell me which of the bags above is your favorite; the red diamond, teal scallop pocket purse, green starburst or the small clutch. Two lucky winners will get an autographed copy of Designer Knockoffs, Handbags 2! Good luck.

And the lucky winners are: Desiree K. and Patty S. Congratulations!

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