Archive of ‘Just for Fun’ category

Volume 92 May/June 2015: Word Search!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

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

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Andrea prepares the scene.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

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.

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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.”

 

The Day the Elves Returned to Santa’s Workshop

I knew this day would come—but I was certain it was in the very distant future.  With Thanksgiving this week, the inevitable couldn’t be avoided any longer.

Elfis and Elfira are needed at Santa’s Workshop!

But before I prepared them for their trip back via UPS, I decided to take the elves out for a field trip.

I secured the elves in my car, turned on some elf-friendly music (“Lollipop” by The Chordettes) and off we went on an adventure!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Just where we were going—they didn’t know.  But imagine their surprise when we arrived at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores!  Kind of a strange place to take elves, you might think.  We walked to the magazine stand…. and there it was!  Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine was prominently displayed on the shelf!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The smiles on their little faces said it all.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Afterwards I promised the elves a treat at my favorite Starbucks.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’m going to miss these little dolls!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogBe sure to pick up a copy of the latest issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery with Elfis and Elfira on the cover!  Click here to order online.

Elfis and Elfira are embroidered doll patterns available from Embroitique.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:Is there something special you made for someone and loved it so much wanted to keep it for yourself? Tell us what it was and one random comment will be chosen to win a $25 gift certificate to use on the DIME website. Good Luck!
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question… If you won a $25 gift card to purchase anything from the Embroidery Library website, which designs would you purchase?  Post your comments and FOUR, that’s right, FOUR random names will be drawn and each will win a $25 shopping spree to redeem at Embroidery Library!  Oh my goodness – so many beautiful and creative designs to choose from!Embroidery LibraryThe random drawing winners are… Patty F, Ruth, Melody, and Judi C

How a trip to the gym inspired today’s embroidery lesson!

I was at the gym this week and decided to increase the weight on the Rotary Calf machine.

I added 5 pounds to what I thought was already pretty hefty.  I completed the exercise with ease.  Armed with a little more confidence I added another 5 pounds.

I braced myself for what would likely be impossible.  The machine will certainly be immovable.  My legs cannot move that much weight.  There’s no way!

And once again, I surprised myself with success.

I wore a big grin on my face as I used the weight machine.  I can now handle 265 pounds on the Rotary Calf Machine!

Incredulous with this accomplishment I photographed the machine— particularly the weight.  It’s not that no one would believe my accomplishment.  They would.  It’s me that sometimes needs convincing of what I’m capable of doing!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I pushed myself and realized I can do more than I thought and I have proof!

This confidence spilled out when I approached this week’s blog.  I decided to take one embroidery design and in 10 minutes see how many variations I could make using just one design.

This is the original design…

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s what I came up with…

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

But this lesson isn’t about me— it’s about you!  When was the last time you sat and played with your embroidery software?  Maybe you don’t have the latest and greatest software and feel limited. Maybe you don’t have time.  Perhaps you aren’t inspired.  There are dozens of reasons not to try.  There are dozens of reasons to give up before trying.  But why not give it a try?  Spend a few minutes – even just 10 minutes using the embroidery machine and tools you already own.  Skip stitches at your embroidery machine if you don’t have software.  Experiment with thread colors.  Push yourself to see what you can do with your resources and skills.  You have what it takes to succeed.

Now give it a try!

Click here to download the design and see how many variations you can make.  There’s no right or wrong answer.  The prize is the time you invested in yourself to expand your embroidery skills.

Speaking of embroidery designs… stop by one of my favorite embroidery design resources – Embroidery Library!  Whatever embroidery design theme you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your taste!  The prices are very reasonable, their quality is spot on — and you can shop day or night for instant downloads!  And best of all… you have a chance to win a shopping spree!  Read on for more info!

Here’s your assignment this week:If you won a $25 gift card to purchase anything from the Embroidery Library website, which designs would you purchase?  Post your comments and FOUR, that’s right, FOUR random names will be drawn and each will win a $25 shopping spree to redeem at Embroidery Library!  Oh my goodness – so many beautiful and creative designs to choose from!Embroidery Library 
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question… What Holiday goodies are you creating this season? Tell us what you’ve got stitching and one random comment will be selected to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.The random drawing winner is… Lynette“I am making fabric boxes for the ladies in my sewing group, a fabric book for my great grandchildren, hanging towels for the grandchildren.  Hopefully I will get some time to do some baking too.”

 

 

Words of Wisdom!

As machine embroiderers we have opportunities to use our machines to create and embellish everything from clothing to quilts to home décor and more. Sometimes my motivation to begin a project gets stunted by the fear of failure. That’s right… failure before I’ve even taken the first stitch… or even selected the fabric for the project-to-be.

But one recent afternoon I decided to play with the Calligraphy Project Designer. I like it because it’s simple to use and feeds my need for creativity.

I decided to do an online search for a fun quote. You can easily search key terms like “popular quotations,” “famous quotations,” or even “quotations about <life>,” (you can replace the word “life” with any word you want.)

In my search I came upon a fun quotation from Albert Einstein: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

What an inspiring quotation!

Before beginning the project, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Select the hoop size. This will give you boundaries to work within.
  2. If you are working with a long phrase, break it into several individual designs. It makes it easier to manipulate and rearrange.
  3. The <Enter> key is useful. Instead of having one long continuous line of text, break it up by using the <Enter> key.
  4. Consider the alignment. I chose to center all my text.
  5. You may decide to edit as you go or wait until you have all the text on the screen. I chose to make the more creative edits (enlarging and changing the angle of the letters) at the very end. Decide what works for you.

The point is – you need to experiment with the layout. That is part of the creative process!

Here are the steps I used to put the layout together in software.

  1. Open the Calligraphy Project Designer Software.
  2. I chose the largest hoop size my machine could handle.
  3. Click on the Text tool to add text.Design 1: “A person <Enter key> “who never”I centered the design and chose Old English for the text style.Design 2: “made a”I centered the design and chose Old English for the text style.Design 3: “mistake”I centered the design and chose Jester Pro for the text style.

    Design 4: “never tried”

    I centered the design and chose Old English.

    Design 5: “anything”

    I centered the design and chose Old English.

    Design 5: “new”

    I centered the design and chose the Diana-Vs text style.

    Design 6: “Albert Einstein”

    I centered the design and chose Old English. I placed the text further down on the page as I wanted to add a design later.

  4. Rearrange the text into a pleasing format.
  5. Click the Ink Spots button and select the Ink Blotch design. Arrange the design in a pleasing format. Enlarge the design if necessary, by selecting it then dragging one of the corners to expand the size.
  6. I decided to enlarge the first letter “A”. Click on the text icon. Click on Design 1 to select it.
  7. Click on the center of the letter “A”. The letter will now be surrounded by a yellow box.Grab one of the white corner boxes to enlarge the design. Once enlarged, click on the center of the letter and rearrange as needed.
  8. I wanted to have fun with the word “mistake.” I decided to rotate the letter “t”.
    Click on the Text button. Click on the word “mistake” to select it. Click on the center of the letter “t” to select it. Click the arrow to rotate.Click on the sizing box to enlarge the letter.

Final Tips:

  • Rearrange the designs as necessary and experiment with font styles and thread colors.
  • Stitch efficiently! Go to Edit. Click on Resequence by Color.
  • Save the design as an MHF file. (This format is the native format in the software. It will enable you to make edits in the future.). Then save the design in the format your embroidery machine reads and send to your embroidery machine.

Here’s your assignment this week:

We love words of wisdom!  They can inspire, make us smile and motivate!  Share your favorite quote — whether it’s from someone famous, a family member or some pearl of wisdom you tell your children or grandchildren.  We want to know!  One random comment will be selected to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

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

Everyone wants to know what Elfis said to Elfira to make her giggle for the cover shot.  Post a comment with your best guess.  One random comment will be selected to win a one year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The random drawing winner is… Shauna Kaminsky!  “That silly shelf elf wishes he looked this good!”

Thank you everyone for the laughs!  We enjoyed reading the comments!

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