Patches on the moon? Not only did they go to the moon on Apollo 11 but they were made in Dallas, Texas! Not only made in Dallas, Texas but made in the factory owned by the father (Marvin Gardner) of my business partner (of 21 years) Gary Gardner. We have the patches to prove it along with a personally signed letter from President Richard Nixon. How cool is that?
Don’t believe me? Click on the video below to hear the whole story, see the history of making patches and learn just how many men have walked on the moon.
Since we showcase a special product in every Facebook Live, our brand new Hoop Mat is the week’s star. Click here to learn more about the mats. They’re on sale Now!
If you were alive in 1969, leave a comment telling us about your experience watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Hard to believe it was 50 years ago!
Wouldn’t you agree the planning process is the most time-consuming and challenging part of machine embroidery? Well, you’re not alone. One of our team members thought previewing a design on fabric would streamline the planning process and after several months of development, we now have a way to do that. Check out this cool new tool.
The Maximum View Projector, or MVP, is your solution for intricate design placement. The MVP comes with MVP software that converts any embroidery design into an image – sized perfectly – to audition on your fabric.
It’s so easy to use. Let’s take a look at the process. Download and install the software. Attach the projector to a work surface with the included clamp. Measure the projector’s image area which will be up to 14″. Enter the measurements into the software.
Load the embroidery design (any format). Then save the design in Color, Silhouette Positive or Silhouette Negative.
Save the image(s) to a USB stick and insert it into the projector. Use the remote (included) to view the images. Slide your fabric under the image, moving the hooped fabric until you are satisfied with the placement of the embroidery.
The leaves and stem are printed features of the fabric while the flower is the image of the design. Notice the 3-d embroidered flower in the finished block above.
Align a Target Sticker (included) with the image’s crosshair. Attach the hoop to the machine and center your needle over the Target Sticker. It’s just like using a template without the hassle of a printer. You can watch a video demonstration here.
I’m sure this will be a hot topic during our Wednesday, June 26 Facebook Live session at 1:00 CST. Not only will I take questions on the MVP but I have a very special guest joining me – Christine Conner of Amelie Scott Designs and author of Edge to Edge Quilting. Christine is helping me wrap up Hoopapalooza month as she’ll be sharing tips for edge to edge plus custom quilting. I can’t wait to hear what she has in store!
Happy HOOPAPALOOZA! My Stitching Sister and co-author of Hoop It Up, Marie Zinno and I just did our first Facebook LIVE as the Stitching Sisters! We shared our Top 10 Hooping Tips and some special news on our hoops this month.
Receive a FREE gift ( our e-book Quilting Continuous Line Designs plus TWO designs) and FREE shipping when you purchase our Snap Hoop Monster🤩
Use Code: SHIPHOOPFREE 😎
Did you know there’s a speedy auto sizing feature in all Inspirations software programs? It’s practically hidden but once you know how to find it, you’ll make it a habit to use all the time.
Open a design in any Inspirations software program such as Perfect Embroidery Pro, My Quilt Embellisher, My Block Piecer, Word Art in Stitches and more. Click on the Hoop icon (on the left tool bar).
Click on the hoop you want to use from the drop down menu. Use the scroll bar on the right to see all the hoop options.
The design appears centered in the hoop but it’s much larger than the hoop I intend to use.
Click on the arrow under the Hoop icon and select Auto Fit.
Instantly, the design is resized to fit in that hoop! Of course, the stitches have been recalculated so there’s no worry about the design being too dense due to resizing.
Auto Fit is such a time saver! The feature evens provides a little wiggle room so you don’t have to struggle during the hooping process.
Speaking of hooping, it’s HOOPAPALOOZA at DIME this week! If you’ve had a Snap Hoop Monster on your wish list, this is the time to take advantage of our low price, free shipping and gift with purchase. You can learn more here.
Join me on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM CST on Facebook Live. Marie Zinno, my Stitching Sister and co-author of Hoop It Up will be joining me in the studio. We’ll share our Top Ten Tips for Hooping. Follow us on Facebook to get a reminder here https://www.facebook.com/DesignsInMachineEmbroidery/
You are! Sure to be a hit with all baseball fans, here’s a little baseball stitching to get you into the mood for the season. Celebrate Opening Day 2019, whether you’re a major league baseball fan or tee-ball devotee, by wearing this design. It doesn’t have to be on the back pocket of a pair of white jeans, it could adorn any pocket on a tote bag or polo shirt. Whatever your preference, show your baseball pride! Here’s how to do it on a pair of jeans. You’ll find the free downloadable baseball stitching design at the end of the article.
Open the design in software and print two templates – one as is and one in mirror image. Set them aside.
Decide if you can lose the use of the pocket – talk yourself into it because it makes adding the embroidery a whole lot easier. If you agree, separate a scrap of fusible web from its paper backing and insert it into the pocket.
Press the pocket to fuse it shut. This will transform the jeans into one layer instead of a shifting layer (the pocket) on top of a base fabric (the jeans).
If you really want to use the pocket, then separate the pocket from the jeans. Leave the bartack stitches in place (at the pocket’s top corners) and pin the pocket to hooped cut-away stabilizer.
Place the templates on the pocket. I opted to place and hoop each of the designs separately. When merged to fit on my pocket, the designs measured 120mm x 124mm. Since I wanted to use a 130mm x 180mm hoop on a multi-needle machine, the merged design left little ‘wiggle room’ for placement. And since this design was landing well, you know where – I wanted make sure each segment of it was placed properly.
On the mutli-needle machine, slide the pants over the metal frame of Quick Snap and place the magnetic frame on top.
If you have it, use the machine’s camera to align the needle with the target sticker. Wow – I love that camera.
But don’t fear, you don’t have to have a fancy machine to stitch this project because I stitched the second pocket on a single needle machine with a slightly different method. For a single needle machine, hoop polymesh stabilizer in a 130mm x 180mm hoop. After turning the pants inside out, place the pocket on the hoop, with the legs extending over the attachment (away from the head of the machine). Place the templates back on the target stickers so you can see the design.
Then, pin the pants onto the stabilizer, keeping the pins out of the design area. Use binder clips to hold the bulk of the pants out of the hoop.
Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the first design. Move the needle to the center of the second target sticker, mirror image the design and stitch. Repeat for both pockets.
Wear with pride and I’ll look for you at the ballpark!
Eileen Roche’s 68 page full-color book, The Flower Box Quilt, is an invaluable educational resource for machine embroiderers. The book guides readers through the steps to create a 72” x 80” quilt and a 12 ½” x 40” table runner.
Be on the lookout for Eileen’s next Facebook LIVE on April 3rd at 1:00pm CST. She will discuss quilting and the 5 Biggest Mistakes Quilters Make!
What do you get when you give 11 talented embroiderers a fairly simple fabric panel and a few embroidery designs? Eleven uniquely-embroidered works of art. It absolutely amazes me to see how people put their own stamp of creativity into an embroidery project.
The past month has been an eye-opener – we’ve seen subtle touches such as Marie Zinno’s soft blue filagree designs that are built-in the Baby Lock Valiant.
And an out of the box transformation by Cathy Sundermann of Stitch Fork Designs. That’s an impressive front door!
Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman Productions sashed the wood grain panel with Nancy Zieman’s red Riley Blake shiplap fabric to spice it up. Deanna ditched the wrapped canvas idea and added a pretty floral border for a traditional wall-hanging.
Milinda Stephenson opted to wrap her panel around a pillow. This was a fast and easy finish and her dog, Iris, loved it!
Michelle Umlauf used the IQ Designer in her Baby Lock Solaris machine to enhance the lettering. Talk about perfect placement! That’s a show stopper technique and wonderful way to show how to incorporate prints with embroidery. It’s all about value – making sure the embroidery is visible on a busy print.
Carla Reale used Baby Lock’s Palette software program to add her own message in the applique heart of the Grateful panel. Join the Baby Lock Palette group on Facebook to watch her video.
Karen Parker made two samples! Her Grateful panel shows offset floral sprays at the top and bottom. I love that layout and never think of using it! Of course she pulled her thread colors from her fun, striped border.
Karen’s English Pub theme set the tone for her border fabrics and faux leather trim – complete with nail heads! Her satin circles mimic a dinner plate and the embroidered knife and fork really seal the deal. Finished with two glasses of cold beer, this panel will look great in any proper drinking establishment.
Debbie Henry extended the wood grain quilting beyond the panel edge onto a wide border. Love her delicate blue floral spray in the center of the heart!
The Embroiderist, Colleen Bell, used a dark thread to quilt her Gathering panel – love how visible the wood grain is. She paired her panel with an embroidered chalkboard fabric. As a mother of nine, she knows a thing or two about prepping meals!
Sara Gallegos of Sew Positively Sara added family names to the applique heart on the Grateful panel on her Baby Lock Solaris. Of course, she nailed the placement of the quilting designs with the help of a quick camera scan on the Solaris. Nothing like seeing before you stitch!
Check out her blog at SewPositivelySara to see how she pieced the heart blocks on her pillow.
Our last participant, Debbie Cleek, added trapunto to her floral sprays on the Gathering panel. She used Designer’s Gallery to add the traditional technique of trapunto but with today’s technology.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of the participants. If you followed along, I’m sure you’re were as impressed as I was with their creativity. And so many techniques were shared! Please leave a comment and tell me what’s your biggest embroidery challenge. We’ll pick a random winner to send one Farmhouse Sentiments kit.
We hope you enjoyed our second Facebook live this week but due to technical difficulties we decided to re-shoot a video just for the blog! Take a look below to learn more about magnetic hoops and why you shouldn’t be afraid of the Snap Hoop Monster.
A song popped in to my mind the first time I used the Monster Block Maker. The block was “floating” at the machine and I found myself singing quietly to myself: “It floats through the air with the greatest of ease…”
While it’s certainly novel, you might be wondering, why would you want to float a quilt block? The answer: You’ll save fabric and batting!
The Monster Block Maker is designed to work with the 8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster. It is available for single needle and multi-needle machines. The kit includes:
4 reusable plastic templates for 5″, 6″, 7″ and 8″ blocks
The photo shows the 5” template attached to the bottom frame of the 8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster frame. I’ve been using the template for multiple uses (hence the fibers on the double stick tape). The tape has enough adhesive to still adhere a few more blocks. Of course, when the tape has lost it’s stickiness, I can peel it away and apply new strips of tape.
The bottom fabric of my quilt sandwich is adhered to the back (underside) of the Monster Block Maker template as shown.
Next, a piece of batting is adhered to the top of the Monster Block Maker template.
Last, the top fabric for the quilt sandwich is placed on top of the batting.
Note, the magnetic frame from the 8” x 8” Snap Hoop Monster is not used with this product.
Now it’s time for the embroidery machine! The first stitch sequence secures the fabric.
Now the machine stitches the decorative elements.
The block is complete. The hoop has been removed from the embroidery machine.
Now just peel away the block from the Monster Block Maker template.
Trim any excess fabric around the block with a ruler and rotary cutter.
Update/Correction: The video the batting is cut to the same size as the front and back fabric – the batting should be smaller and fit within the hole in the block maker, only the front and back fabric should get stuck to the tape!
I take magnetic hoops for granted. I invented them so long ago, I’d have to check the patent to verify the year. I use them everyday for many embroidery tasks. So it surprises me when I attend events and meet embroiderers who are not familiar with magnetic hoops.
They’ll ask if they work. And the answer is, “Absolutely!”
They ask if they’ll harm their machine. And the answer is, “No!”
They’ll ask what size should they buy. And the answer is, “Every size available for your machine!”
So let’s dig a little deeper. Magnetic hoops work like a dream because they do not cause fiber distortion. They have a flat metal bottom frame and a flat magnetic top. The magnets are quite strong and firmly grip a quilt sandwich, a terry towel, a knit shirt and many other fabrics. They do not replace a standard embroidery hoop, they complement it!
Magnetic hoops do not harm your machine as the magnetic force is shielded by the metal frame. The magnetic force grips the fabric – not the machine. The hoops have been thoroughly tested on all machines during the prototype stage. There has never been an issue with a magnetic hoop interfering with the machine’s operating system. Many years ago, we were told not to use magnetic pin cushions. At that time, the computer in the machine was encased in a light plastic housing and magnets could interfere with the operating system. In you owned a cell phone in that era, it was housed in a tote bag with long coiled wire!
Today, the machine’s computer, although very powerful, is tiny. It’s highly insulated and the magnetic force can reach it. Think about the power of your cellphone, the advancements in embroidery technology are very similar.
So what size should an embroiderer buy? I always ask, ” What size hoop do you stitch the majority of your embroidery projects in?”
Whatever the answer is, that’s the first magnetic hoop size they should purchase.
Now if someone is starting to quilt with their embroidery machine, then the answer is, the largest hoop that’s available for your machine!
I just arrived in Beaver Dam, WI for Nancy’s Sewing Weekend. It’s always a fun time – full of great classes, inspiring samples and wonderful people. Of course, this year will be a little different without Nancy but we’re all committed to carrying on this great tradition. If you’re in Wisconsin or Ilinois or Iowa or Minnesota or…well, you get the idea, head to Beaver Dam. I’m reposting Saturday’s blog from Zieman Productions here. Read on to see what’s happening at Nancy’s Notions this weekend, May 3-5, 2018.
What started as a grand opening in 1985 has grown into one of Wisconsin’s largest annual sewing events. This year’s events start Thursday, May 3rd, and run through Saturday, May 5th. FREE Admission and FREE Parking!
Join in on 24 seminars featuring top educators and designers
Hands-on classes are running throughout the weekend. While many are sold out, tickets for select days and times are available onsite at Nancy’s Notions Sewing Weekend.
Free Demonstrations by the Experts
Company representatives from some of the top brands in the sewing industry are available at Sewing Weekend to answer questions and demonstrate products.
NEW! This Year: Food Trucks
Food Trucks—7 food trucks/vendors will be part of the Sewing Weekend festivities this year. You won’t need to leave the event to travel to an off-site food location, unless you choose to do so. A seating area and tent will be near the food trucks. It’s a great way to enjoy a variety of choices plus support other Wisconsin-based businesses. Trucks and vendors participating include:
Lisa’s Pizza (serving an array of pizzas and pasta)
Join us in celebrating the 34th annual Sewing Weekend, May 3–5, 2018—at Nancy’s Notions in Beaver Dam, WI. What started as a grand opening in 1985, Sewing Weekend has grown into one of Wisconsin’s largest annual sewing events.
Remember the first Sewing Weekend?
Check out these photos from the 1985 Grand Opening of Nancy’s Notions:
Thank you to Nancy, for her vision in creating an annual event for us to gather and celebrate sewing. This year, we celebrate Nancy and her many contributions to the sewing world, her elegant style and gracious living.