Archive of ‘Home Decor’ category

Multi-Needle Monday: My Go-To Gift

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Last week, I showed how to stitch multiple napkins in on a single-needle machine. Today, let’s look at how to do it on a multi-needle machine.

The set-up is the same: Mark the location of the corner monogram on each of the six napkins. I use the Napkin On-Point template from the Perfect Placement Kit – no math, no measuring. Just place the template on the napkin aligning the guides with the stitched hem and then insert a target sticker into the hole with the arrow pointing towards the body of the napkin. Repeat for all six napkins – you’ll finish this task in under two minutes.

Select the largest hoop available and hoop tear-away stabilizer. I selected the 8” x 12” standard hoop but Multi-Needle Monster would also work very well. Use one of three options for holding the napkin on the stabilizer: spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive, hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer or use painter’s tape. I used adhesive tear-away stabilizer.

Position the first napkin in the bottom left corner of the hoop. Center the needle over the target sticker, remove the sticker and embroider the design. If your machine has a baste feature, use it! Move the design to the top left corner of the hoop. Fold the napkin out of the new sewing field and lay the second napkin in place. Smooth the napkin onto the adhesive stabilizer. Stitch the design. Nap1

Fold up both napkin tips and tape them down. Nap2

Place the third napkin below the second napkin. Smooth in place making sure the design area is not overlapped with the second napkin. Position the needle over the target sticker. Nap3

If your machine has a trace feature, use it to verify the needle will not stitch on the first napkin. Once you’re confident the first napkin is out of the sewing field, remove the sticker and embroider the design. Nap4

Fold and tape the side of the napkin and move the design just below the third napkin. Nap5

Stitch the napkin. Nap6

Tape the corners of napkins three and four. Nap7

Repeat the process for napkin five. Nap8

And napkin six. Nap9

Remove the stabilizer from the hoop and clip the basting stitches before tearing away the stabilizer. Nap10

Wow –six napkins in a flash!


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A Tribute to Daisy

by: Denise Holguin

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Several of my friends have had to say goodbye to their pets due to old age and diminishing health. Dealing with death—even when it involves the 4-legged type or feathered-type isn’t easy. Pets become part of our lives—they become family—and serve as faithful companions. Saying goodbye and dealing with their absence is very difficult.

As a friend, I often wonder what to do? What do I say? How can I offer consolation? That’s when I decided I’d put the embroidery machine to work.

I did a simple search online to find a quote. I typed: “quotations + deceased pets” and several options came up. I found this quote that seemed fitting: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”-Roger Caras.

Using the Calligraphy Project Designer, I typed the quote and selected the Arial Central Run font. I selected the Path option.

Next, I selected “Edit the Baseline.”

This is where you create the path for the text to follow. I created a freehand heart shape by moving the end points and adding some additional points. I’m not going for perfection—just a simple heart!

After creating the heart shaped path, the text automatically rearranged itself.

The text didn’t wrap all the way around the heart. So I used one of the editing buttons to extend the text all the way around the heart shaped path. Very fun!

Additional edits can be made at this point. You can move or rotate individual letters and you can also slide large portions of text.

The center of the heart looked empty – I decided to add the dog’s name. I rotated the font to make it more playful, as I would imagine Daisy would be. I also enlarged the individual letter, “D”.

I sent the design to the embroidery machine and began stitching. When I reached the “Daisy” portion of the design, I decided I’d get a little ‘adventurous’ and stitch each letter a different color. (Since this decision was made at the last minute, I stopped the machine after each letter and switched the thread colors. Sometimes you just have to improvise!)

Once finished, I removed the fabric from the hoop. I printed a template of the design to use as a pattern to trace the heart shape on the fabric. I added about an inch all the way around the heart to ensure there was enough fabric for a seam allowance.

Next, I carefully sewed the heart and stuffed with batting. Before sewing the pillow closed, I realized the pillow needed something extra. I went to my local Michael’s and picked up some dog themed charms to add to the pillow. I sewed the charms and stitched the pillow closed.

I’ll present to my friend the next time I see him. It’s not so much that he needs a heart shaped pillow. But it’s the sentiment behind it.

The next time you are at a loss for words to express to a friend in need—let the stitches do the work. It’s a loving gesture and an opportunity to use your embroidery machine to make someone happy.

Is there a project you have stitched for a family member or friend to help them cope with loss? Share your story.

 


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Bernina Part 2

Day 2 of the BERNINA Ambassador Reunion found me in BERNINA educator Debbi Lashbrook’s class. Debbi’s talent extends far beyond the teaching podium. Her eye for design is unique and yet not so far out of the box; her style appeals to everyone. She stretches the imagination and backs it up with solid stitching techniques while making everything look simple. And under her guidance, it is. In her class, we decorated three fabric strips with decorative stitches and played with those fabulous BERNINA feet on the B 580! We used the leather roller foot (#55), pintuck and decorative stitch foot with clear sole (#46C), edgestitch foot (#10C), 3-groove cording foot (#30) and more.

By this time, our group was quite comfortable with each other and laughter was heard throughout the morning. Debbi gave us the freedom to embellish as we desired. She had great samples for inspiration and we really enjoyed playing with the feet and decorative stitches.

As an embroiderer, I obviously love to add thread to fabric but I usually let the machine do all the work. Guiding the fabric as the machine stitched meandering lines of thread is something I haven’t done in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the result. I love the organic look of the long vertical panel.

Next, we played with the circular sewing attachment. I forgot how cool it is to sew in a circle! A variety of stitches brought texture and dimension to the circles. Stitching off the edge of the fabric added an asymmetrical touch to the large panel.

Since I’m gadget girl, I really enjoyed making the corded pintucks. The pintuck and decorative stitch foot with clear sole (#46C) creates flawless corded pintucks.

Really, there is no thinking involved, just stitch! The cord slips under the thread and fills the fabric channel. Then move the fabric keeping the freshly-corded pintuck in one of the foot’s grooves to stitch another parallel line.

Some members of the group are known for over -the-top embellishing so the jokes began to fly around the room. It was an atmosphere I don’t normally sew in so I quite enjoyed the banter. Here’s part our group: Angie Steveson, me, Kaye England and Vicki Tracy.

We all started with the same materials and wound up with different pillows. I wish I had the foresight to take photos of everyone’s pillows but in the scramble to get the job done, I forgot to snap more photos. Lesson learned – you can never have enough photos!

Once the embellishing was complete, we pieced the strips and finished the pillow. After heart-warming goodbyes we went our separate ways for our journey home. I’m sure I speak for many when I say it ended too soon!

Give yourself the gift of time this week and sneak off to your sewing room. A few hours to yourself at your machine may just be the best gift of all.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us how you ‘de-stressed’ during the hustle and bustle of the season. Did you sew, watch a movie, sit in front of a Christmas tree or maybe hold a sleeping child in your lap? We’d love to know how you unwind. A lucky winner will win a $30 gift certificate to spend at the DIME store!

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Leave a comment below about what sewing tool you hope Santa puts under your tree. Six comments will be chosen to receive a one month membership to the Silver Threads Golden Needle Club courtesy of OregonPatchWorks. Good luck!

And the lucky winners are: Judith D, Tammy W, Madeline L, Gail B, Denise F, and Jill H. Congratulations to you all!


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Holiday Linen Update 2

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It sounds like the blog favorite font of last week’s picks is font C. I agree it’s a beautiful font – very fluid, traditional and yet, warm and inviting. Let me show what I’ve done with it. The font, Cursive is a built-in font in Floriani Total Control Pro digitizing software. If you don’t have this software, I’m sure you can accomplish the same results in your lettering or digitizing program.

Click on the Text tool and type Merry into the dialog box. Select the Cursive font from the pull down menu. Place 1.00 in the Height box. Click on Apply.

Font8A

The word appears on the screen.

 

Pull on the green circle at the center top.

 

Then push on the green circle at the center bottom.

 

Merry will now be arched. I know there is a way to do this automatically in the software but I feel like I have more control over the finished effect doing it in this 2-step method.

Reduce the spacing between the letters by selecting the blue diamond (just left of the letter) on the portion of the word you want to move. Notice how all of the letters to the right of the e are selected and moving to the left.

 

You can move individual letters by selecting the black diamond in the center of the letter.

Now, let’s dress it up a bit. Go to File, Merge and select a holiday design from your design library. I’m using the bell design from Stipple! Jingle Bells. If you’re using the bell design, delete the first color, the stipple stitches.

 

Now, add Christmas by selecting the Text tool and typing Christmas in the dialog box. This time, pull down the green circle at the bottom center and pull the green circle at the center top to arc the word.

 

Let’s add a little sparkle with embroidered stars. These small designs – or symbols as Floriani calls them – are like sprinkles. Drop a four or five around the bell to fill the space. Change the thread color of the text to red to preview your design in actual colors.

 

Hoop a linen or cotton towel with tear-away stabilizer and stitch the design adding applique fabrics if your design calls for it. Make two, three or a dozen – they are great gifts and take just 15 minutes to stitch.

XmasTowel-2

Here’s your assignment this week:

Thanks for the help with my holiday linen update! Leave a question below that you’d like me to answer. I’ll answer one random question and award an open flat stocking you can personalize this holiday season. Good luck!

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Leave a comment below about which font is your favorite from above, choose A, B, C, or D and if you have a favorite color scheme. One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 coupon code to use at Hoop Sisters!

Rachel-for-Blog

The winner is Rory D, with the suggestion”Boy, they’re all great but my favorite is “C”. It’s cheery and would look great in country colors of dark green and a deep red or burgundy..”


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Holiday Linen Update

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I’m working on some new holiday kitchen towels. After all these years of using the same holiday linens, I think it’s time for an update. Here’s a look at some of the lettering I’ve been working on in software. This week, I plan to gather my materials, test the designs and then finish by Monday. But I’d love to have a little assistance from you.

I want to know what font pictured below is your favorite (Chose A, B, C or D) and what color scheme do you prefer? Traditional red and green? Gold and silver? Refashioned vintage aqua and red? Blue and silver? If you have another favorite combo, please share!

Christmas-a


Joy-b


Merry-c


Peace-d

I’m planning on making a set similar to the vintage elegant towels I did a year ago for my niece. This time around, I’m using holiday designs, fabrics and threads.

Vintage-1

But if you know me, my favorite part is gathering the ribbons and fabrics. Here’s a look at materials I used for the days of the week towels.

Ribbons-1

Ruffles-1

It’s fun to weed through my stash and find long lost holiday novelty fabric. I don’t buy those types of fabrics too often but when I do, I hold onto them. They always come in handy at this time of year.  I’ll be looking for colorful prints with small to medium size motifs. Since the ruffles are only 4” wide, you won’t see a lot of the print.  Same goes with the ribbons.

So let me know what direction to take! I can’t wait to get stitching.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Leave a comment below about which font is your favorite from above, choose A, B, C, or D and if you have a favorite color scheme. One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 coupon code to use at Hoop Sisters!

Rachel-for-Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment:

It’s time to take a look at your design collection!  Tell us what embroidery design theme you seem to collect the most. Do you favor flowers, birds, quilt blocks, redwork, fruits, vegetables, dogs, cats, monograms, lettering, fish, Christmas, lace, borders, frames, etc.  Post your comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner is Nancy, with her comment:  “I have a lot of heirloom type designs. I love embroidering dainty designs on baby items. Next I have many tiny designs to embroider on my granddaughter’s socks, they are so cute. I also like to embroider the freestanding ornaments to tie to napkin holders during the holidays.”


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Polka-dots, Stipple Blocks and Creativity, Oh my! Part 2

If you missed Part 1, click here.

I was making excellent progress this afternoon—stitching block after block.  I have quite an assembly line going!  Then I heard the dreaded Low Bobbin Warning beep with the accompanying sad face on the machine.  I always appreciate that the machine feels my pain.  Maybe it’s also a signal it’s time for chocolate.

Denise’s Must-Haves

Pre-wound Bobbins are the greatest invention since sliced bread!  They are the no-muss, no-fuss way of making sure you keep stitching!  When you hear that dreaded Low Bobbin Warning—you don’t have to worry about stopping to wind a new bobbin.  Just be sure you purchase the right type for your machine.  Consult your favorite local dealer for advice or open up the manual that came with your machine!

Or you can take the Always-Prepared-For-Every-Emergency-Approach and before you begin stitching wind a bunch of bobbins so you’re ready.  Either way works—you’ll be glad you have them handy.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this blog—I like to focus on one or two blocks and make as many variations as possible changing fabric, thread colors, etc.  I decided to use 5 Flower 5_small for my quilt.  I hooped a quilt sandwich using Snap-Hoop Monster and stitched a series of blocks.  Like snowflakes, I decided no two blocks would be alike.

To add variety I layered the applique fabrics in a different order and sometimes I got daring and skipped some applique steps and just stitched the outlines.  I kept my assembly-line process—and continued to stitch block after block without trimming away the applique.  This was a good idea and also a learning experience.  The finished blocks wouldn’t be unveiled until I trimmed them—talk about a fabricated surprise!

Using Snap-Hoop Monster makes it easy to lift the frame and slide the fabric to make room for the next block.  Love that!

I ignored that voice in my head that cautioned against layering light colored fabrics on top of black fabric.  I ignored that voice in my head that warned against using light colored thread on light fabrics.  After all, my goal was to be a free-spirit and create however I wanted.  I stand by that goal of creating and experimenting to see firsthand if something works… or not.  Who’s to say it does or doesn’t work but you, the designer?  Besides, it’s a valuable learning experience….

Denise’s Tip #1

Go ahead and experiment with colors, layering different applique fabric, working with busy prints, etc.  Make a note of what works and what doesn’t so that you can improve next time.

Learning Experience Block 1

I admit it was laziness that inspired me to not change thread colors.  I started out with white thread and figured I could stitch the entire block with white thread.  But if I had changed the thread to black when stitching the polka dot and the white fabric, the block would have been more attractive because the detailed stitching would have ‘popped’ more rather than blend in.  Sometimes, you do want everything to blend in… so there’s no hard fast rule.

Learning Experience Block 2

Light colored fabrics can be placed on dark fabrics.  You just have to place a second layer of light fabric underneath.  Notice how the black fabric affects the vibrancy of the orange polka dot fabric in Block 1 above.  For Block 2 below I used two layers of white fabric on top of the black.

More Experimentation!

After stitching a set of blocks using white and black solid fabric as a background I decided to experiment by using the orange polka dot fabric as the background.

Denise’s Tip #2

Remember to hoop the base fabric straight when working with printed fabrics.  If this is a challenge—then you’re not using Snap-Hoop Monster!  Snap-Hoop products have a flat top and bottom frame making it simple to adjust the fabric by giving it a tug.

Time to Play

I enjoy Stipple collections not only because they produce results quickly and flawlessly but I get to play!  I love stacking my quilt blocks then arranging them—and rearranging them and …  you get the idea.  There are countless ways to lay out the quilt blocks—go ahead and set aside some time to play!

It’s also a fun to get others involved in the creative process.  I asked Editor, Eileen Roche to rearrange the blocks.  I like what she’s come up with!

Looks like I’ll have a tough choice deciding layout.  Plus I’ll need to come up with some extra blocks to fill in!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Vote now! It’s time to choose a color for sashing and I thought it would be fun if you helped me select a color. What color or colors would you choose? Do tell! I’ll choose my favorite suggestion and will use that color(s). I’ll give you a shout-out as my special “Color Adviser” in the next blog. Don’t worry, if more than one of you think brilliantly alike I’ll mention each of you as my “Color Advisers”!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Last week we read some great ideas on hoop storage.  This week we’d like to know how you store your stabilizers.  Leave a comment and a random person will be chosen to win a $25 shopping spree to the new Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

And the winner is…Carol K. – “My husband and son built my cutting table and sewing storage. I have dowels on one end for anything on tubes and a designated slide out shelf for others. The stabilizers are just below the hoop drawer. I have to admit, that sometimes there are several kinds on top where I am hooping — I am not the most diligent when it comes to clean up when I move to something out of the sewing room.”


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Doodles!

Have you checked out the free design in the August Designs Plus Newsletter?  Our sponsor, EmbroideryOnline donated a design from one of their newest collections, the Doodle Line Quilting collection.  The Doodle Flowers Centerpiece is yours free to download and enjoy from the Designs Plus Newsletter!  (Read on to find out details!)

We were excited to try the design so here’s a peek at what we’ve been up to.  The design is a breeze to stitch—so we stitched a set in 4 different thread colors.

Then we were inspired by the name of the collection and thought it would be fun to stitch the design on white fabric with black thread—then we colored in the doodles using Copic markers.

Click here to check out the latest Designs Plus Newsletter and to download the free design courtesy of EmbroideryOnline.com

Did you know we have a new sponsor every month that gives away a free design in the Designs Plus Newsletter?  Join our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out!  Click here to join.

Have you stitched the free design featured in the August Designs Plus Newsletter yet?  Post your creations on our Facebook page!


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Monograms for Today’s Marriages

Often, the best ideas come in the MIDDLE of an embroidery project!  Don’t you hate that? I don’t mind that occurrence during a quilting or sewing project because changing direction midstream is often manageable on those types of projects.  Just release a seam or two and you’ve got a whole new look. But embroidery? That’s a different story. Once it’s stitched, it’s pretty time-consuming to remove it.

Last week, I was stitching twelve napkins in preparation for an upcoming videotaping.  I decided to make them for my home (that would be a first – I have plenty of blanks but barely any pretty embroidered linens in my house!).  But what to put on them? A monogram of course. Whose monogram?  Well, that’s where it got complicated.

Traditionally, a bride takes her husband’s surname. Today, tradition is often broken for a variety of reasons.  I’m guilty of breaking tradition. My sweet (of just 15 months) husband’s last name is Kutsopias.  At the time of our wedding, my last name was Roche – the surname of my first husband and my children.

I opted to keep my surname as is. It was a decision that I didn’t make quickly. After all, I’m a fairly traditional person (or we wouldn’t have married in the first place!) but I felt it was the right decision for me. So what to do about a monogram?  I shelved the decision yet again and started the project with gorgeous embroidery designs from Great Notions, Home Décor Scroll Embroidery Pack (112439).

I had to get these napkins done so I stitched six with Pete’s initial, K.

And then as I was trimming and removing stabilizer, I thought about setting the table with these napkins, all with the letter K. Hmm. I could just see my kids’ faces when they picked up the napkin at their place setting.  I know, I’m ridiculous, for heaven’s sake, they’re adults! But…I went back to my software and experimented with a few options.  But there’s too many letters to incorporate and many solutions imply that he’s taking my surname as a middle name. Ugh. So I threw tradition to the wind and mirror- imaged my initial. I know it’s not completely original but I think it might work for us.

I tweaked the designs in editing software by omitting some segments. Next, I copied the R into the K file and mirrored the R.  It was a quick way around digitizing a custom monogram.

It’s a fresh approach and endearing because the letters – R and K are fairly symmetrical.  I’m not planning on adding first initials, I think the two linked letters will suffice. It’s modern and elegant and now I have a monogram that’s a true reflection of our new lifestyle, standing as one. What do you think?  I’m open to suggestions since I anticipate this to be an ongoing journey – just like a marriage!

I also experimented with color combinations for this set. Bold, I know!  Since so much of my embroidery has to be seen on camera, I go for high contrast. Once I’m really thrilled with the set monogram, I’ll use softer colors to stitch a set of linen napkins but these will suffice for now.

Here’s your assignment this week:

The designers at the Sulky Embroidery Club want you to win a FREE Gold Membership. Just leave a comment below about why you’d like a membership in the Sulky Embroidery Club. To find out more about the Club and this $150 retail value, just click the ad. If you win, we’ll create an account for you, already loaded with 500 points, so you can begin shopping immediately. There are hundreds of extraordinarily high-quality designs and projects to choose from, including fill, appliqué, outline, and 3-dimensional. New designs are added each month, so good luck!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

In the spirit of makeovers – one reader comment will be chosen to receive Designer Necklines One Step T-Shirt Makeovers. Just leave us a comment below about why you want to win, it’s that easy!

And the winner is… Frances L. – “Nancy an Eileen inspire and motivate one to try interesting new projects which broaden and deepen one’s skills and interest.
I’d like to win the Designer Necklines Tee Makeovers to expand my array of donations to non-profit fund-raising efforts. I’m always on the lookout for quick, easy, appealing, and practical projects to donate.”


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Upscale Bed Linens

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here are some tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets.

Tips for Success

• Take the time to prepare the design and the sheets. It’s well worth the effort.

• Purchase an extra pillowcase to test the design before stitching on the sheets.

• Open the band before embroidering to hide the wrong side of the embroidery.

• My stabilizer of choice for sheets is fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer with a layer of tear-away floating under the hoop. Fine linens are a tight weave and benefit from a strong foundation for the embroidery.

• Insert a new, sharp needle.

• Consider adding a single-letter monogram to the center of the band. Then stitch from the center to the edge on each side.

• Allow some space at each end of the border for some breathing room (aka – room for error).

Here’s a case for prewashing the sheets. Normally, I don’t prewash blanks but sheets really benefit from this prep step. It eliminates the unwanted puckers that often appear after laundering embroidered linens.

Measure the band – from folded edge to stitch line and from selvedge to selvedge. If the band measures 4” (a common size), select a design that is 3” in height so that there will be ½” open space on each side of the design. Once you select a machine embroidery design that is 3” tall, make a note of its length. My design is 3” x 5” and my queen top sheet measures 90” from selvedge to selvedge. I’ll divide 90” by 5”. I’ll need 18 repeats to fill the band.

Hmm…90” is perfectly divided by 5 into 18 repeats. Frankly, that scares me because I’ll have to be absolutely perfect on placement for each of the 18 designs. So I’ll take a little artistic license here and set myself up for success by planning on stitching only 17 repeats. Not only will this relieve some stress, it will probably look more pleasing because the center of a design will be dead center on the band and not the join of two designs. Definitely more desirable in my opinion.

Not that I know how many repeats I’ll need, I will take a seam ripper to the band and release the hem. I know, reverse sewing but it’s so worth it. Next, it’s time to carefully press the band but I will leave the crease of the fold in place because it’s a built-in guideline for squaring the band (sheet) in the hoop.

Cut the fusible polymesh stabilizer into 4” strips and press it to the wrong side of the band.

Fold the sheet in half, selvedge to selvedge to find the center and place a target sticker to mark the center.

Print two templates of the design. Place one template on the target sticker. Make sure the template’s crosshair is aligned with the target sticker’s crosshair. Use a ruler to verify the design is flanked by ½” on each side (from fold crease to hemline).

Select a hoop that will accommodate the design – one or two repeats. Hoop the band with tear-away stabilizer. Center the needle over the target sticker and embroider the design. Place the template on the band, connecting the image to the stitched design. Move the needle to the template’s crosshair. Remove the template and embroider the design.

When it’s time to rehoop, use the template and folded crease to square the sheet in the hoop and continue to fill the band with embroidery.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Can you find the hidden hearts in this image? Tell us how many hidden hearts you see and one lucky winner will be chosen randomly to receive $25 off at the DIME website. Happy heart hunting!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Take a look around at the new website and let us know what you think. Leave your comments below and one random comment will be selected to receive a $25 gift certficate to spend on the new DIME website!

And the winner is…Carolyn H. “Very nice! It looks quite modern.”


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Machine Embroidered Buttonholes

Click here to download this article as a PDF for future reference.

Many of you wrote that buttonholes are a struggle when it comes to sewing. I agree! One of the worst parts about adding a buttonhole is it’s just about the last thing you do when making a garment. I begin to sweat thinking about marking the buttonholes, spacing them evenly, stitching them perfectly straight, even and parallel. How many times has the foot jammed against the seam allowance resulting in a shorter than planned buttonhole?

Hmm… I don’t think it’s the machine. In fact, most machines have the ability to make a very professional buttonhole. The problem is the operator, me. My sewing/tailoring skills do not equal my embroidery skills. It might have something to do with my attention span but that’s material for another blog! If you’re like me, you might consider using your embroidery machine to create buttonholes.

Why machine embroider your buttonholes? The number one reason for me is control. Machine embroidered buttonholes give me total control over the length of the buttonhole and the placement because I’m starting with a digital file that will stitch perfect duplicates since I don’t have to guide the fabric under the foot.

So let’s take a look at how to embroider buttonholes.

First, select the buttons. Measure the buttons and add a small amount (such as .10 of an inch) to the diameter. That measurement will be the length of the buttonhole. Click here for four buttonholes for you to download. You’ll find two 1” buttonholes (square and round) and two 2” buttonholes (square and round). Resize the length only of the designs to accommodate your button.

Naturally, you must make a test buttonhole on the same fabric as the final garment. The sample must include the sample interfacing, facing or lining. You can’t cheat here – it’s the only way to guarantee positive results and this is when you’ll tweak the length.

Crisp or lightweight tear-away stabilizer works beautifully on buttonholes because it tears cleanly. Once hooped, draw a straight line down the length of the hoop to use as an alignment mark.

Insert the metal frame of Magna-Hoop Jumbo. It’s not mandatory to use Magna-Hoop Jumbo but it sure does simplify the task.

Place the garment edge next to the drawn line and place Magna-Hoop Jumbo’s acrylic frame on top. Slide magnets into the slots to hold the garment firmly in the hoop.

Attach the hoop to the machine and select the tested (and tweaked) buttonhole design. Rotate the design so it runs perpendicular to the garment edge for horizontal buttonholes. Also, advance to the first stitch to see what end of the buttonhole will stitch first. You want to stitch the end closest to the edge first and sew away from the edge. The fabric will not bulge next to the seam if you do this (a frequent occurrence in manual buttonholes). Rotate or mirror image the design if necessary.

Measure the distance from the garment edge to the end of the buttonhole. For pleasing proportions, it’s best to leave a space between the end of the buttonhole and the garment edge that is half the diameter of the button. For the 2” buttonhole, move the end of the design 1” from the garment edge.

Stitch the buttonhole.

Reposition the design to the next marked position. You won’t have to measure the distance unless you’re changing button sizes. Here I’m stitching the 1” buttonhole.

Continue adding the buttonholes until you’ve finished the required quantity.

Remove from the hoop and tear away the stabilizer. Use a seam ripper or a chisel and wood block to open the buttonhole. If using the seam ripper method, insert a pin at one end of the stitch to avoid slicing beyond the buttonhole.

Or place the buttonhole over a wood block, and insert the chisel into the space between the satin stitching. Press down to cut the fabric.

Design Tips: Buttonhole Placement

It can be challenging to determine evenly-spaced buttonhole placement. For garments, mark the widest point of the bust and the top of the garment. Fold the garment, meeting the top mark to the bust mark. Place a third mark at the fold. You now have the positions for the top three buttons. Measure the distance between two buttons. Use that measurement to mark the remainder of the buttons below the bust point.

Fuzzy Fibers

Place a piece of fusible web (protective paper removed) over the buttonhole area. Stitch the buttonhole. Tear away the excess fusible web. Press the buttonhole with a hot steam iron to melt the fusible web into the satin stitches. Once cooled, cut open the buttonhole. The fusible web will tame the fuzzy fibers.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Leave us a comment about your favorite In the Hoop Project from the SewAZ Embroidery Designs website. Four readers will each receive a $25 gift certificate courtesty of SewAZ Embroidery Designs to the sewazdesigns.com website.

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Download our FREE digital edition of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. Give it a read and enjoy all of the interactivity, photo zooming abilities, videos and beautiful photography captured for each stunning project. Then, come back and leave us a comment on what you think about it – good or bad, we can take it. One lucky reader will win a gift certificate to Designs in Machine Embroidery for $25!

You can use that $25 to buy anything on our website including a 1 year subscription to our print magazine offered at the special price of $24.97 for a limited time only.

And the winner is…“I like the magazine in print form, and I was pleased to receive this digital copy. I love the navigation features and the ability to enlarge and reduce print and pictures to my needs. Thank you for providing this information-packed resource that embroiderers of all skill levels can utilize! Now I can carry the information with me in my jump drive wherever I go…woo hoo!.” – Sandy S.

Congratulations Sandy!


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