Archive of ‘Just for Fun’ category

Will the person with the initials SFN please step forward?

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogWill the person with the initials SFN please step forward?  We have a free towel to give you!

Here’s an unusual problem you have probably never encountered:   we end up with some unusual embroidered samples in our offices!  No, we didn’t randomly pick SFN.  This towel has an exciting history.  It was used on the set of Sewing with Nancy!

I was tapped to demonstrate one of my favorite sewing tips in a brief 5-minute segment on Sewing with Nancy. I selected the initials because well, frankly, they’re beautiful! After all, how many ERs and NZs can one embroider? The filming went off without a hitch and now the towel sits in my sample room begging for a more elegant resting spot. And now that it’s served its purpose, we’d love to see it go to a better home.  So if your name is:

  • Sarah Francesca Norris
  • Sally Florence Nicholas
  • Samuel Filipe Nunez
  • Steven Frank Nelson

Or any other wonderful name with the initials SFN, we want to hear from you!  We will ship anywhere in the continental US.  One random person with the correct initials will be selected as the lucky recipient of the towel.  Now you might be asking, how will we verify if you have the right initials?  This will be the honor system.  Besides, how many of us want a towel with someone else’s initials hanging from our towel rack?  Looks a bit suspicious to me! Although it’s not uncommon to collect and display vintage linens adorned with a variety of initials.

If it has been awhile since you’ve reviewed monogramming etiquette and you’re wondering about the proper order for initials—here’s a quick review.

If the embroidered initials are the same size, arrange them:  first name initial, middle name initial, last name initial.

If the middle initial is larger, then it is the last name and should be placed in the center.  first name initial, last name initial, middle name initial.

While these are the standard recommendations, you are welcome to exercise creative license!  Just always be sure to make sure the initials don’t spell something unexpected that won’t be appreciated.

Here are some additional blog posts on Monograms:

Monograms for Men

Lowercase Monograms

Monograms for Today’s Marriages

 

When my time in Sewing Utopia took a downward spiral…

I was in Sewing Utopia the other evening.  You are probably familiar with that magical place where everything runs smoothly.

The Loop-de-Loop designs from Embroidery Online were stitching like a dream.  The digitizing quality is superb.  And to make things even more dreamy, I was at the height of efficiency, running not one, but two embroidery machines in my EmbroideryLand, USA.  I’m so blessed to have access to plenty of resources at the office.  At this rate, I’ll finish sooner than later!

I finished the letters and took my stitch-outs to the store to audition frames.


Shopping Tips
Plan ahead!  Go ahead and use those coupons that come in week after week from the craft stores!  It’s an obvious tip but oftentimes when you’re in the middle of a project, like I was, you don’t have time to shop around for the most affordable frames available.  Your favorite craft retailer with those nifty 40% or 50% off coupons are great for stocking up on frames.  Pick a size and style that you’ll know you can use easily—white, black or even wood grain.  Go with a standard stock so you’ll be confident they will be available time and again.  Every time you get a coupon in the mail, your inbox or through an app, pick up a frame.  Before you know it you’ll have collected enough frames to complete a project.

It was at the store that my Utopian world vanished.  (Insert dramatic sound effects here!)

Do as I say, not as I do! (the ongoing series!)
Excited with my stitched letters, I got to work by adding the rick rack and buttons on a sample before heading to the store.  It was a masterpiece!  My friend Dianna will love this!  But when I went shopping for the frames, I realized to my great disappointment that I trimmed the fabric too short.  Gasp!  I flipped through each of my embroidered samples at the store.  By my estimation, two samples were cut too short.

I returned to my not-so-sewing-utopia armed with more fabric.  This time I cut the fabric to fit the frames.  I won’t make the same mistake three times.

I’m reminded of that saying:  measure twice, cut once!

I think I’d change it to:  measure twice—then cut and stitch once!

While I didn’t have anything to measure when I first began the project, it’s important to plan ahead.  Allocate enough fabric around the embroidery so you have options.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

After stitching all the white rick rack, on my yellow samples, I reached for the green rick rack to stitch on the orange samples.  It was at that point I made the unfortunate discovery that the rick rack widths were not the same.  I didn’t have enough of a single color to use for all the samples (not that I wanted to rip out my newly stitched rick rack).  Nor did I want to make a trip to the store for rick rack.  Downtrodden, I took my samples to my trusty adviser – who also happens to be the Creative Director for the magazine – Sam Solomon.  He said the difference in widths is too minuscule for it to matter.  Besides, we can call it creative license!  (I will admit that when I photographed this shot below, the difference really is minuscule!  It’s funny how monumental it felt at the time.)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Concluding Thoughts
When you start getting weary from making a project, remind yourself the gift is always about the recipient.  Think about the person and what they mean to you when you are making the project.  I certainly did when I was re-stitching the two letters.  I consoled myself thinking—Dianna has had some long nights and weekends working.  This project will be worth it!  I surprised her by placing the frames in her office while she was in a meeting.  I’m not sure who was happier—we were both smiling from the experience!

Also hiccups along the way, like my “rick rack” width disaster – can seem monumental when you’re in the middle of the project.  But step back to look at the matter from a different perspective.  If possible, get feedback from others – and exercise your right to be a whimsical, creative designer.  Improvise, problem solve and have fun!

Whether you have a friend, family member, coworker or someone else you want to thank—do so in an action-oriented manner.  Taking the time to make something specific for that person shows you appreciate them enough to sacrifice your time for them.


 

 

Click here if you missed Part 1 of this blog post.  Part 1 goes through the software steps for adding the decorative stitching.

 

 

 

Gratitude in Action!

I was trying to figure out how to thank a friend who has been very helpful the last couple months.  She’s been working hard and really getting a lot accomplished.  But what to do for her?

She recently moved in to a new office and mentioned she wants to decorate her new space.  That’s when a spark of creativity ignited in my mind….

I decided to visit one of my favorite embroidery design sites—Embroidery Online to find something fun to stitch for my friend’s office.

Not having any idea what I wanted, I decided to visit the New Releases section on their homepage.

That’s when the Loop-de-Loop designs caught my attention.  They look like something I would doodle and color if I had the talent!

I had a vague idea what I wanted—stark contrasting colors and maybe even decorative stitching thrown in for even more effect.  And I’d like to decorate with some rick rack!

I used Perfect Embroidery Pro but most digitizing software programs have the same function.


Open one of the letters from the collection.  Select the entire design.  (Press Ctrl + A).  Right click on the design and select Group.

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Next click on the Artwork tool.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Then click on Rectangle from the dropdown menu.

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Draw a rectangle around the design as shown.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Right click on an empty thread color box at the bottom of your workspace.  Click Add Color.  Another color is added to your workspace.  You can click on the color and change it to any color you wish.  I chose a bright red to make it easier on my eyes to see.  Next click on the rectangle image you drew.  Then right click on color 7 to assign the new color to the rectangle.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Select the Letter.  Right click and select Create Outline.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

A new window appears.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Click OK to keep the default settings.

Your design should look similar to the one shown below.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If you look very closely in the image above, you’ll notice the outline around the design is a light blue.  I added an arrow to help.  As a matter of preference, I like my artwork to match, (and I like to be able to see it!)  With the outline selected, right click on the color 7 to change the color to red.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Notice both artwork designs are red as shown in the color sequence in the image below.

Click on the red color sequence to select the artwork.  Now click on the Combine icon in the top toolbar.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

With the artwork still selected, click on Texture icon.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

A window appears with a variety of textures.  I chose number 148.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The texture is added to the artwork.  Notice the stitching goes around the letter—it doesn’t stitch on top – which wouldn’t be a very pretty sight!  The reason it works:  we drew the rectangle shape, created an outline around the letter and combined the two elements. By doing these steps you get the decorative stitching in just the right areas.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

For fun, (don’t do these steps, I’m just showing you for illustrative purposes) I clicked undo all the way to the step where I combined the two artwork elements.  Then I added the texture.   Now you see what happens when you don’t combine!  Yikes!  The decorative stitching covers the top of my beautiful letter D. Now, hopefully you see the importance of adding outlines and combining.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Save the (proper) design with a unique name and send to the embroidery machine.

Repeat the steps for each letter.

 


I stitched the design in fun, bright colors – the colors seemed to fit my friend’s personality.  Next, I sewed rick rack along the edge of the embroidery.  The final touch were the buttons at every corner of the design.

Here’s your assignment this week:

As I was sewing the buttons on the embroidery, the recipient walked in to my office and with a look of interest asked what I was up to.  I quickly changed the subject – hoping to distract her with ANYTHING.  The project is a surprise for her, after all!  I felt pretty confident I had changed the subject.. then she started to collect and arrange a couple of the letters.  “What do the letters spell?” she asked.  I got really nervous at that point!

Now I submit the question to you!  What do the letters spell?  A A N D N I

Post your answer and one lucky recipient (with the right answer) will be selected to win a $25 gift card to use on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

Whether you add the extra stitching or not – I think you’ll agree these Loop-de-Loop designs from Embroidery Online have endless creative uses!  Need more inspiration?  Be sure to stop by the Designs Plus Newsletter for the Top 5 Things You Can Make by Visiting Embroidery Online.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

This week tell me what color do you think I should wear? Let’s take a vote. Tell me if you think deep blue, coral or taupe is the way to go. Post your comments and ONE random winner will be selected to win the Designer Handbags DVD

The winners is:  

Carolyn W: “I think the blue would enhance your coloring. It is such a cool color.”

Upcoming Fun!
Be sure to look for the upcoming behind the scenes blog featuring these letters.  I’ll share my tips and of course my signature foibles I always seem to make!

Volume 92 May/June 2015: Word Search!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

[crossword]

Word List: 
Look for the following 6 words in the puzzle: AcuDesign, Blendables, Cruise, DIME20OFF, PE540D, Pocket Journals.

(Puzzle designed to work on desktop/laptop computers.)

Fun information about the words you are searching for:

1.  AcuDesign:  The AcuDesign Embroidrey App lets you import, edit and export designs all from your iOS mobile device.  Works with any embroidery machine!

2.  Blendables:  Sulky has introduced 16 more Blendables® Colors to their line of thread.  It’s also more convenient than ever to purchase from their new website!

3.  Cruise:  Adventure awaits you!  Sign up for the 7 day embroidery cruise with the Stitching Sisters and Flash Sew & Quilt.

4.  DIME20OFF:  Embroidery Online has an exclusive offer to DIME readers – enjoy 20% off your next order.  But hurry, it’s for a limited time.  (7/1/2015)

5.  PE540D:  Brother has introduced the PE540D Embroidery Machine for just $399!

6.  Pocket Journals:  Stitch Soup is your source for in-the-hoop Pocket Journals.

Notes:

  • If you click on the Solutions button you will NOT be taken to the Prize page! Be sure to locate all the words on your own in order to redeem your prizes.
  • If you accidentally select the wrong letters, trace over them again to deselect.
  • The puzzle has been tested to work in Firefox and Chrome on a desktop or laptop computer.
  • 5/28/2015 Update:  We gave this Puzzle program the ‘old college try’. Looks like there are too many quirks that are preventing it from working on different browsers and computers.  If the Puzzle works for you, great!  If not, and you want to play, you can download a Puzzle.  Given the challenges, we decided  Everyone is a winner for showing up!  Help yourself to the Prize Page.

Pick up the current issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery at your favorite local sewing retailer or buy direct by clicking here.

 


Here’s your assignment this week:

We loved last week’s responses so much we decided to continue with the theme.  What was your favorite childhood game?  Post your comments and one lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card good for the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Technology has brought about so many improvements to our quality of life.  What is your favorite modern invention?  Post your comment and two random individuals will win $50 gift certificates to use on the Buzz Tools website!

The winners are:  Julie Colbey:  “I love my Janome 15000 sewing machine, its so easy, shows just what technology should be.”

Laurie:  “My favorite has to be my 1st computerized sewing machine. Which then lead me into my present 6 needle embroidery machine!”

Behind the Scenes: Volume 92 May/June 2015

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Our team of writers submitted beautiful, creative and unique projects—it definitely makes us excited to present them to you!

So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy today’s Behind the Scenes at a Photo Shoot feature!

Katherine Artines, wowed us with her quilted tote that features channel quilting with fabric confetti sprinkled in for added color and whimsy.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Sometimes a breeze is needed to gently tousle the model’s hair.  That’s when a fan comes in handy.  The model is wearing Nancy Zieman’s “Quilting for Texture” project.  The garment features flawless allover embroidery.  Be sure to check it out in the current issue.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Creative Director, Sam Solomon, stays focused to make sure we have the right shot for the magazine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Stylist, Andrea Huffman prepares the cheese and fruit platter for the next shot….the Oui, Oui! Quilt by Diane Kron.  We are all anxious to snack on these goodies after the shoot!

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Oops!  We caught Eileen playing around!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Managing Editor, Denise Holguin, looks like a tourist in Paris.  Oui, oui!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Hmmm… one of these things does not belong…  I can also assure you the cheese and grapes disappeared fast!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We love how the embroidery designs coordinate so well in Joanne Banko’s, “Color Play Pillow Set.”  Read her article to learn her tips.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Although we are hundreds of miles away from a beach, the photography studio is able to bring the beach to us!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Andrea prepares the scene.

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Denise managed to incorporate a miniature campsite.

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Andrea found the perfect backdrop for the Pocket Journals from Stitch Soup.

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The Pocket Journals are enchanting.  Denise made it her goal to show you every possible angle so you can fully appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity… and the “oh my gosh, how cool!” factor.

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A close-up look at the spines of these embroidered books.
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Denise enlisted the help of her tiny crew to showcase the details on these beautiful journals.

Looks like George found the key to the journal!

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Mildred prepares for a trip abroad.  She will be able to document her travels quite easily.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Hans and Charles are busy closing the books for the day.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogDietrich makes an important announcement he wants all to hear:

“Ladies and gentlemen, when you make your own version of the Pocket Journals, please post them to our Facebook page.  We can’t wait to see your approach!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

All this and more can be discovered in the latest issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery! Pick up the Volume 92 May/June 2015 issue from your favorite local retailer or order online!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Here’s your assignment this week:

Fun trivia!  The May/June issue is the first time we’ve featured a cover of the magazine on the cover!  Identify which Volume of Designs in Machine Embroidery is tucked away in Marie’s beach tote featured on the cover.  Post your answer in the comments section and one lucky person will win a Stipple Sea Life collection.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the
following question:

Inspiration can be found everywhere and in everything. For today’s blog, Denise’s inspiration came from a restaurant’s graffiti wall. What has been your most peculiar source for embroidery inspiration?Post a comment below and one very lucky winner is going to score BIG by winning a one-year subscription to Design in Machine Embroidery magazine!

And the winner is: Cathy K. – “My most peculiar design is my husband’s airplane! I am going to make it into an embroidery design and put it in on his shirt as a surprise. I am a real newbie, so I hope I can do it!”

 

Easter Egg Hunt!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

You are invited to participate in an Easter Egg Hunt!  We have hidden 5 Easter Egg graphics in Eileen’s blog posts.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If you find all the Easter Eggs, you’ll receive 3 free embroidery designs!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

How to play:
Use the clues below to locate the blog post where each Easter egg is hidden. When you find the Easter egg, click on the image so you can get credit for finding it!

Once you find all 5 Easter eggs, you’ll be taken to a page to download your free designs!  Have fun!

 

Clues:

  1. Eileen discusses an unexpected use for a toilet brush.
  2. Once you read Eileen’s tutorial you may find yourself zipping over to your favorite sewing store to pick up some of these. She even gives you two free designs – one in a 7” length and one in a 9” length.
  3. You might have to avoid this carbohydrate in your diet but who doesn’t love fries, mashed potatoes, potato chips, bread and pasta?
  4. Eileen is willing to wager most of us wear this type of fabric four out of seven days.
  5. Hans brings Jan to safety with the use of Madeira thread.

 

Tips:
Use the search box on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery blog for key words or phrases.

Here’s your assignment this week:

What holiday inspires you most to embroider, sew and craft?  This week everyone is a winner when they go hunting for Easter Eggs!
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:I’m fortunate to have friends and coworkers that challenge me to try new things – like crazy quilting.  Who in your life pushes you to be your best and try new things?  What activities have they encouraged you to try that you discovered you loved?  Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.The winner is: Terri – “I have a sewing buddy, Ellen and we meet weekly. We both challenge each other to try new things. Last fall, we were working with wool in our projects…currently we are working with crazy quilting by hand. Now, I’ll have a new challenge to throw at her– crazy quilting using our sewing machines and more specifically using the embroidery function of our machines!”

 

You are invited to go crazy quilting!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Sam Solomon, our Creative Director at Designs in Machine Embroidery has been telling me to experiment with crazy quilting.  I’ve admired Eileen’s projects in her book, Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine but I didn’t think I had the skill level to understand what fabric to fold, where and when.  I remember taking a test in the 6th grade on spatial skills and paper folding and I struggled.  So clearly, crazy quilting isn’t for me.  But Sam assured me I could do it.  I intended to prove him wrong.
I decided to experiment with the 5 inch version of Quilt Block 1 from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I kept it simple by creating an unadorned quilt block using the embroidery techniques highlighted in the book.  I was shocked by how easy it was to do the flip and stitch method described in the book.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
Since the block was plain (and boring) I decided it was the ideal canvas for ribbons and other embellishments.  I never thought I’d get to use the spades and clubs embellishments on a project.  Victory!

 

Next I made the same block but added embroidery designs from the book.  Blissful success!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
It was important to me I set some rules during this entire crazy quilt block making process.  I only wanted to use 3 thread colors.  I embraced the concept of white and pink birds and am quite pleased with the results.  I added a decorative zig-zag stitch to attach the gray ribbon.

 

Two successes in one afternoon proved a confidence builder. Why stop now?  I decided to incorporate embroidery designs from Perfect Embroidery Pro. I used the mini fonts and the circle path for text. More success!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
The bicycle is a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the word “Create” around the wheel.  What a simple, yet fun way to display text!

The hot air balloon is also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  I arched the text, “up, up and away we go!”  It wasn’t until the machine started stitching did I realize I had trapped myself.  What color do I stitch the word “go”?  I had to get creative on the fly—so I stopped the machine and stitched the “o” in white.  Not ideal but it’s a crazy quilt!

The footprints are also a built-in design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  You can add as few or as many footprints as you want.  Just remember to mirror image them!

 

Next I used the bee, flower border and hearts from Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  I like crazy quilting as a style because it’s like doodling on a textbook book cover or an acceptable way to add graffiti. It seemed fitting to add text, “Denise was here!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to add “Bee-utiful” and arched it around the bee.

 

Start thinking of favorite phrases, important dates like birthdays or anniversaries— and add them to your crazy quilt blocks.  Since I was stitching these blocks in March, I figured why not add the date.  It’s a momentous month, the month I tried my hand at crazy quilting with an embroidery machine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
The eye is a built-in design from Perfect Embroidery Pro.  It was quirky and fun—the ideal addition to my crazy quilt blocks.  The large flower button covers a mistake.  No one but me… and you know!  That’s the joy of crazy quilting.  You can easily cover up mistakes.  Tiny baby buttons adorn the polka dot pink fabric.

 

Next, I did a Google search on crazy quilting and noticed a recurring theme:  spiders and spider webs.  It turns out they are considered a sign of good luck.  I don’t believe in luck but I do like spiders and spider webs.  Finally, I get to incorporate a creepy crawly spider into my embroidery!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the block:
I used Perfect Embroidery Pro to draw one strand of the spider web, then I copied, pasted and enlarged the strand as the arch got wider and wider.  Next I converted the artwork to a running stitch with a 2.5 mm stitch length.  I hand stitched my Halloween spider.  (I tried my faithful hot glue gun, but the rubber spider wouldn’t stay.)  I think this block makes a statement!

The other embroidery designs on this block are free design downloads courtesy of our friends from Embroidery Online.  You can find these designs (and more!) by visiting the Designs Plus Newsletter. All embroidery designs are archived for your convenience and creative whim!

My lessons to you:

  1. If you want to improve your embroidery skills you need to practice. A great way to practice is by stitching a crazy quilt block!  Look at each block as a canvas to decorate.  Use it as your own small and manageable art piece.  Once you experience success, who knows how many blocks you might stitch!
  2. I only used Block 1 to keep my variation to a minimum—but imagine the possibilities! They are endless.  Use the embroidery designs included in the book to embellish the blocks.  But don’t stop there.  Get creative and resourceful.  Use your embroidery software.  Use the free embroidery designs we offer on our website.  Use built-in embroidery designs on your machine.  Get scrappy.  Get creative.  Go crazy!

Now’s a great time to purchase Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine.  Not just because it’s wildly fun and a great skill-building experience – it’s on special!  For a limited time, enjoy free shipping on U.S. orders.  Plus, Eileen will autograph the book, which is always such a nice personal touch.  Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website to redeem the offer.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

I’m fortunate to have friends and coworkers that challenge me to try new things – like crazy quilting.  Who in your life pushes you to be your best and try new things?  What activities have they encouraged you to try that you discovered you loved?  Post your comments and one random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.
The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:When you get a new embroidery design how do you test it? Change Fabrics? Change Threads? Or both? 4 random names will be drawn and will each receive a $25 gift certificate to BFC Creations! The winners are: Kim – “Test it on the same fabric if possible.”, Carol M. – ” To test designs I use felt, scrap denim or scraps of solid fabric I keep beside my embroidery machine. Most of the time I just say a prayer and do the design on my project. I do test thread colors with my software before I do the design to see which color I like best.”, Belinda G – “I rarely test a design, I haven’t had a problem yet! Just lucky, I guess! but I usually choose other colors than what is in the design.”, and Barbara M. – “I do most of my color testing in my software. Then I can fine-tune it on a stitch-out. Sometimes I just trust the software…”BFC Creations

 

Friday Night Live @ Sew Expo

fnl_stitchsisters

It’s your chance for an evening of fun and luck! Luck? If you come to Friday Night Live at Sew Expo, Puyallup, WA on February 27th you’ll have a chance to win not one, not two, but FIVE machines!  Baby Lock is giving away over $6,000 worth of machines. All you have to do is buy a ticket to Friday Night Live and come and enjoy the show. Of course you have to be present to win. And why wouldn’t you? Because not only do you have a chance to win a machine but you’ll also enjoy a night of education and hilarity!

My stitching Sister and I have been working on our presentation – it’s has a Tonight Show theme and although I can’t promise you an appearance from Jimmy Fallon or Justin Timberlake – I can tell you we will have as much fun in Puyallup as they have in Times Square.  What can you expect?  The traditional Tonight Show Friday night format kicks off with Thank You notes. These thank you notes won’t have anything to do with New York tourists. Oh no, our thank you notes are focused on our industry.  We’ll share our tongue-in-cheek gratitude to Singer, Viking, Pfaff, Brother, Bernina and Baby Lock.

A few weeks ago, I hinted to the possibility of a lip sync battle performed by our special guests.  And our special guests have agreed!  Right now, they are working on their routines and perfecting their form.  I have to say they are not only great sports but they’re bringing their ‘game’ – full of enthusiasm for this unique opportunity to showcase their previously hidden talents. Who are they?  None other than the President of Baby Lock, Steve Jeffrey and local favorite, Eddie Schultz of Issaquah Sewing & Vacuum!  So who do you think they should impersonate? Jennifer Hudson, The Bee Gees, Elvis, Rod Stewart, Barry White, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash? Oh my, the possibilities are endless!

But we know you want more than fun – you want to learn and win some prizes. We have the fun handled, the education is a given (Marie and I are unveiling our top 30 embroidery tips) and we’ll hand out tons of prizes!  Over $6200 worth of prizes!  Five machines – complements of Baby Lock plus books and notions from Designs in Machine Embroidery.

Rachel

Rachel: MSRP $800.00

Imagine: MSRP $3,000.00

Imagine: MSRP $3,000.00

Tempo: MSRP $1,400.00

Tempo: MSRP $1,400.00

Molly: MSRP $500.00

Molly: MSRP $500.00

Anna: MSRP $400.00

Anna: MSRP $400.00

Hope you’ll join us for a night of edutainment!  Reserve your seats now! 

 

 

Here’s your assignment this week:
I think we’ve all been guilty of playing a little air guitar or having a jam session in the car every once in awhile 😉 Tell us your absolute favorite song that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs. We will pick 4 random comments and they each will receive a $25 gift certificate to Zippy DesignZ! Good luck and happy stitching.ZippyDesignZ_2015BlogBanner
The winner of last week’s assignment:
Tell us how long you can hold on to a box of chocolates.  One random comment will be chosen to win… a box of chocolates!  Mmmm!  Yummy!And the winner is:  Ellen M.
“As long as I don’t take a bite I can keep it for a month. But once I break down and have a bite, they are gone within the week. I have no self control with chocolate.”

 

 

Behind the Scenes – Volume 90 Jan/Feb 2015

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Until you’ve been to a photo shoot you might not realize much of it is make-believe!  That’s one of my favorite parts of our photo shoots—having the chance to watch a space transform with the clever use of lights, props and the expertise of a photographer and team.

Sure, it looks like a cozy bed with a pretty pillow made by Sherry McCary.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

But here’s what it took to put the scene together….

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Stylist Andrea Huffman fluffs up the ruffles before the final photo is taken.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Next, we chose a neutral colored chair and pretty blue background for Eileen’s cover project.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Andrea carefully arranges the fringe on the pillow while Steve Woods focuses on some close-up shots.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The team examines the photos to make sure we have a cover shot.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

You’re going to want to read Eileen’s article, Jumbo Monograms to learn how to stitch the pillow.  She managed to stitch an embroidery design larger than her hoop.  No, that’s not a typo!  Read her article to find out how she accomplished this seemingly impossible task.

Plus, as an extra incentive, our friends at Embroidery Arts are offering a special coupon offer for the Arabesque 9 XL embroidery design used on the pillow.  Details are in the magazine.

Diane Kron made these Springtime Place Mats.  They are a great way to welcome the arrival of Spring!  As thirst-quenching as the tea looks, I wouldn’t recommend it.  Remember, props are often make-believe!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Katherine Artine’s projects are always eye-candy!  This wall hanging project features software techniques, tips for working with organza and steps to create free standing heart appliques.  What fun!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s a table runner made by Sue Ann Obremski featuring mitered borders.  It’s a very educational article you won’t want to miss.  In fact, it looks like one of our little friends, Peter, is reading up on the software techniques!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Ever feel like the embroidery hoops are getting bigger and bigger… and as much as you love the idea of a larger sewing field, you can’t afford a new machine?  JoAnn Connolly’s column, 4” x 4” & Fabulous addresses this challenge by offering projects that fit within a 4” x 4” sewing field.

We were enamored with these Pretty Petit Fours JoAnn submitted.  It’s easy to imagine handing them out to special friends and family.  After the candy is long gone (by the way, Denise ate all the candy after the photo shoot), the boxes can be repurposed to hold other small treasures.

Stylist Andrea Huffman unwraps the project and props.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The candy and boxes are carefully arranged.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The scene looks complete and ready to be photographed!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now’s the perfect time for Denise to add her special touch!

Peter enjoys the view from Petit Fours Central Park.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Francis is a strong supporter of machine embroidery.  He has dedicated his life to spreading awareness of the craft.

Behind the Scenes - Volume 90 Jan/Feb 2015

 

Of course, it’s not all fun and games at the photo shoot.  Well, maybe it is sometimes.  There’s something about white beadboard that excites Denise.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Meanwhile, Creative Director, Sam Solomon stays productive at the photo shoot!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Do you own a pair of boots?  If you don’t you’ll want to pick up a pair after seeing these monogrammed boot socks by Marie Zinno.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Steve Woods and the model prepare for the next item—a button down shirt with symmetrical embroidery by Christy Burcham.  Christy’s steps to achieve success have been proven!  She recently mentioned she loved the shirt so much she whipped up a second sample for herself.

You might also notice the model is wearing slippers!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

While much of the photo shoot looks make-believe, as you have witnessed, a lot of heart, planning and attention to detail goes in to each issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine.  From the team of writers, to the team responsible for editing and laying out the pages and of course the team responsible for all the beautiful photography— every issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery represents months of work!

But wait, there’s more to see inside the issue!  Be sure to pick up your copy of the January/February 2015 issue at your local dealer, JoAnn’s Fabrics or direct from Designs in Machine Embroidery.

Here’s your assignment this week:
It’s a puzzle! How many squares are in the picture below? Leave a comment below with your answer. One random correct answer will be chosen and will receive a $25 gift certificate to the DIME website. Good Luck!1-msGlp
The winner of last week’s assignment:
Tell us your favorite stitch you use when crazy quilting. Once random comment will be chosen to get their very own autographed copy of Today’s Crazy Quilting with Your Embroidery Machine by Eileen Roche! Thanks for reading and good luck!CrazyQuilting
And the winner is…Jeanne R. “My favorite stitch is the serpentine with opposing leaves. Very cute. Thanks for your pillow inspiration! I knew I was saving those dupioni remnants for something!”

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Cutting-Edge Serger Techniques

We recently took a trip to Austin, Texas where we dropped in on our friend, Barbara Goldkorn who was teaching a 3-hour hands-on class.  What a fun event!

Students made their own version of the Woven Table Runner featured in Barbara’s new book, Cutting-Edge Serger Techniques.  Students made the table runner entirely with their own Baby Lock sergers—this way they’d be comfortable applying the techniques they learned in class on their own at home.

I’ll be the first to admit, I had no idea a serger was packed with so many innovative and creative features!  What a great way to spend a day!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

As the students discovered, making the table runner was the chance to learn new techniques and apply more familiar techniques in unexpected ways.  The end result is not just a table runner—but new skills that can be used on countless other projects.   What a great opportunity to expand the use of a serger!  And if you don’t own a serger, you may be inspired to purchase one now!

When you think of binding, more than likely you imagine binding the edge of a quilt.  But Barbara uses the technique in a more creative manner.  Students attached a single fold binder to their Baby Lock sergers.  Then they serged the binding fabric to the fabric strips.

The end result – strips of fabric with a beautifully finished edge.  These strips will be used for weaving as shown below.

Behind the Scenes:  Cutting-Edge Serger Techniques

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

One of the really fun aspects of taking a class is the opportunity to see the different color schemes people select for their projects.

I love these traditional Christmas colors.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

On the other end of the spectrum are pretty pastels!  What a great way to welcome Spring any time of the year!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here are some elegant snowflakes.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Festive reds!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Holiday prints with red and gold.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Students also learned how to shrink fabric.  Yes, shrink fabric!  There wasn’t a magic wand involved but I hear it was a seemingly magical product known as Texture Magic.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s a look at the assembly process.  There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to create a table runner of my own.  The hardest part—deciding what colors to use!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If you missed out on this fun class – don’t fret!  Barbara’s book, Cutting-Edge Serger Techniques gives easy-to-follow step by step instructions with photos to ensure success.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:One of these things is not like the other. Spot what’s different in the photo above? Two random comments will be chosen to receive $50 gift certificates at Stunning Stitches! Good luck. SS_DME-Banner-Certificate
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question…Leave a comment and tell us if you think the chandelier or stipple designs will look best on the Sun Kissed quilt. One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $25 gift card to use on the DIME website. Good Luck!The winner is… Ellen P.  “Chandelier it would look great and different. Love it.”

 

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