Archive of ‘Marie Zinno’ category

My 5 Embroidery Pet Peeves

Machine embroidery is supposed to be beautiful.  And the process of making beautiful embroidery should be fun and enjoyable.  But all of that can be for naught when the experience is dampened by poor results, painful tasks and laborious placement. Enough already!  Let’s get the fun back into embroidery.

I have five pet peeves that annoy the daylights out of me when I’m embroidering.  And since I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, I’ve come up with solutions.  My pet peeves are hoop burn, hand strain, fabric distortion, laborious placement and tedious rehooping. What’s my solution? I ditched the standard hoop about 10 years ago and haven’t looked back.* Let me elaborate.

When knits, textured and napped fabrics are squeezed between two standard embroidery rings, the hoop often leaves a noticeable impression around the embroidery.  Those lofty and delicate fibers are now flattened – and possibly permanently flattened. Yikes!  The flat frames of Snap Hoop Monster leave no hoop burn – they firmly grip the fabrics and hold them in place without permanently damaging the fibers.

Twenty years of embroidery can wreak havoc on your hands, fingers and wrists.  Pushing an inner ring into an outer ring and tightening a screw 5, 10, 20 or maybe 30 times a day is grueling punishment.  No more.  I just snap that magnetic top frame over the bottom and I’m done!

Fabric distortion is a thing of the past because I pull and tug on the hooped fabric while it’s hooped in Snap Hoop Monster.  It’s the inner and outer rings that squeeze and distort fabric – doesn’t happen when fabric is sandwiched between two flat objects – a magnetic top and metal bottom.

I’ve invented all kinds of placement tools but sometimes I want to move the fabric just a smidgen under the needle.  With Snap Hoop Monster, I lift the top frame, slide the fabric, drop the frame back in place and press start!  No hooping and unhooping to move the fabric a millimeter or two.  I like the freedom Snap Hoop Monster gives me right at the machine.

Speaking of the machine, when I use Snap Hoop Monster, I can remove the top frame and advance the fabric to the next hooping without taking the bottom frame off the machine!  Oh my, what a time saver!  If you’re not sure why I love that benefit so much, take a look at this video.  It’s long – about 12 minutes – but you’ll see how I quilt entire quilt (62” x 80”) in one day!  Oh baby – I love those Monster hoops!

If you’ve been following along, this month is Hoopapalooza at DIME and in honor of that celebration, The Hoop It Up book is on sale.  My Stitching Sister Marie Zinno and I co-wrote this handy hooping tutorial.  You’ll find 99 hooping tips in there!  You can check it out here: https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/hoop-it-up

*’Ditched the standard hoop over 10 years’ is an exaggeration.  I still use a standard hoop on occasion as you’ll see in the Hoop It Up book!

Top 10 Hooping Tips with the Stitching Sisters!

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.

Watch below!

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 😎

The Biggest Misconceptions About Magnetic Hoops

Happy Hoopapalooza! This month will be all about hoops, starting with magnetic hoops. When the first home embroidery machines were released in 1990, consumers were advised not to use a magnetic pincushion near the machine.  The computer console in those machines probably resembled our 1990 cell phones –  large and clunky, and looked like this:

And our computers (if you even had one) were something like this dinosaur:

Today, all that computing power is in our cell phones and it fits in your pocket.

Imagine the technical advances that have been made in our embroidery machines.  Its computer console is no longer ‘large and clunky’ and it is highly insulated.  Snap Hoop Monster magnetic hoops are safe for your machine.  For instance, the magnetic hoop attaches to the machine far away from the machine’s computer module and the metal bottom frame insulates the magnetic shield.  In this video, you’ll see how a pair of scissors are firmly attached to the magnetic frame but when the metal bottom frame is connected to the magnetic top, the scissors fall away. 

Some people think their machine will not recognize a Snap Hoop Monster or the sewing field will be diminished. If your embroidery machine recognizes what size standard embroidery hoop is attached, then it will recognize the Snap Hoop Monster. The sewing field is the same size as the corresponding standard hoop. Take a look below, you’ll see the attachments are the same.

Another popular misconception is magnetic hoops will erase your embroidery designs.  Not true – your digital designs are safe with Snap Hoop Monster.

I use Snap Hoop Monster everyday – and I don’t think I would still love machine embroidery if I had to squeeze every piece of fabric I stitch between the inner and outer rings of a standard embroidery hoop.  My hands would have given out long ago!

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/

 

So Much Talent!

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.

MarieZinno.com

 

And an out of the box transformation by Cathy Sundermann of Stitch Fork Designs. That’s an impressive front door!

Cathy Sundermann of Stitch Fork Designs

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.

Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman Productions

Milinda Stephenson opted to wrap her panel around a pillow. This was a fast and easy finish and her dog, Iris, loved it!

Milinda Stephenson

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.

Michele Umlauf – Sewing Machine Artistry

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.

Carla Reale of the Baby Lock Palette Community

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 Parker of Thread Head & Company.

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.

Karen Parker of Thread Head & Company

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!

Debbie Henry of Secrets of Embroidery

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!

Colleen Bell, The Embroiderist

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.

Sara Gallegos

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.

Debbie Cleek of Designer’s Gallery

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.

Sharing the Craft   

What’s the best part of sewing? Inspiring others to learn the craft. Sometimes the ‘inspiration’ is subtle, not deliberate. You don’t have to sit someone at a machine and show them how to operate it. No, inspiration can happen by osmosis. Just exposing someone – specifically family members at a young age – to sewing. Leaving the sewing room door open, welcoming them into your creative space and answering questions.

Mothers and daughters can lock heads when it comes time to teach sewing. In fact, in many households, the love of sewing skips a generation.  But not always.  My niece, Lindsey Zinno (daughter of my infamous stitching sister, Marie Zinno), is the proud maker and owner of The Northern Market. Lindsey created NM to provide multi-functional fiber art for the modern home and lifestyle.  Her work is sold online and in boutiques across America and Europe.  And she started this company at the ripe old age of 17 – yes, SEVENTEEN!

Marie has always left her sewing room door open to Lindsey encouraging her to find her way and explore different mediums.  Lindsey witnessed Marie succeed in her commercial embroidery business and joined the Stitching Sisters on the road.  I think she couldn’t help being inspired by her surroundings.  

Today, she’s featured on Nancy Zieman’s blog as she was a guest on Sewing with Nancy. How did that come about? Well, I happened to be taping with Nancy in November 2016 when Marie sent me a link to a local newspaper story about Lindsey and The Northern Market. I showed Nancy and she was intrigued with Lindsey craftsmanship and minimalist style.  She wondered if Lindsey would like to be guest on Sewing with Nancy.  Not many people turn down that offer.

Lindsey’s success is due to her creative, open spirit. As a youngster, she was forever dabbling in art – drawing, painting, sculpting and music. She was like a sponge, drawing inspiration from everything and everyone around her. It was no surprise that she took to making rope baskets under the tutelage of another one of my sisters, Mary Pat Palombo (the oldest of my five sisters and the first stitcher).  While visiting Mary Pat, Lindsey watched her wrap clothesline with fabric and then sew the wrapped cord into baskets. Lindsey jumped into action and quickly made the technique her own.

Like many of today’s makers, she started selling her work on Etsy. As she poured her heart and soul into every stitch, The Northern Market’s popularity grew. She will graduate from the University of Cincinnati this spring and then, heaven knows what’s next for her.

You can watch Lindsey and Nancy as they share these techniques with you on, Rope Sewing Reinvented on Sewing with Nancy.  Click here to watch online now.

Thanks for letting me toot my horn – I’m so proud of Lindsey!

What Can You Learn in 60 Minutes?

In 60 minutes, you can learn everything you need to know about quilting with your embroidery machine. When can you do that? Tomorrow’s the big day!  if you’ve been wanting to learn how to quilt with your machine, register for my webcast with Sulky on Thursday evening (March 23, 2017) at 9:00 PM EDT, 8:00 PM CDT and 7:00 PM PDT.

You’ll learn everything from raw edge applique to custom quilting to overall quilting. I’ll give you three options for handling the quilt bulk while achieving perfect placement on every hooping.  Plus, you’ll learn what type of designs work on blocks and large negative spaces.

Included in this hour of education, is a downloadable continuous line design for 6” x 10” hoops*, a downloadable guide to my secrets of continuous line quilting on an embroidery machine plus a question and answer period at the end of the webcast.

Michelle Umlauf, Sulky National Educator, will be our webcast coordinator (which means she’s been keeping me on track for several weeks). She’s a stitch wizard herself as you can see if you visit her blog at http://www.SewingMachineArtistry.com.  She’ll be joined by Sulky veterans Patti Lee, Ellen Osten  and Kelly Negal (like I can teach them anything!).

I conned, I mean asked, my Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, to help with questions during the webcast. So if you’re on the webcast and know Marie, give her a shout out. And while you’re at it, ask her a trick question – like how many inches of thread are on a Sulky 820 meter spool!  Oh boy, am I going to pay for that!

Today, we had a run through to make sure your experience is educational, comfortable and informative. It went very well with a ‘mock’ audience of 5 or 6 attendees. Intentionally, mock questions were sent and fielded by Patti, Kelly, Marie and Michelle. At one point, I had a vision of the infamous Lucy & Ethel episode at the chocolate factory.  You remember the one, the chocolates fly down the conveyor belt so fast, Lucy and Ethel can’t keep up with it. That was my vision today and hopefully, it won’t be like that tomorrow night.

Sounds like a funny moment, right? Well, the spirit at Sulky is one of fun and lightheartedness. I guess they were just trying to ease everyone’s jitters (technical difficulties can really rattle the nerves) because the first question that appeared on the screen was, “Who let the dogs out?”

I howled (no pun intended!). That moment put everyone at ease, now we’re ready and excited!  Sulky has some great product specials that they will announce towards the end of the webcast.  Two coupons (of the many specials they are featuring) will expire at Midnight EDT, Sept. 23, 2017. To take advantage of the specials, register for the webcast now, watch the webcast then make your purchases before Midnight EDT.

We are packing a ton of information into this webcast but don’t worry, after the webcast, you’ll be able to review it whenever you’d like.  Join us for this live webcast and later you can watch at your own pace.  Sign up now because seats are limited!  Just click here: http://www.sulky.com/   You’ll learn a lot in 60 minutes!

*Formats included are C2S, DST, EXP, HQV, HUS, JEF, PCS, PES, QLI, VIP AND VP3.

 

Monogram Mishap

It’s that busy time of the year for everyone; and especially true if you own a commercial embroidery business. We stitch and sell the items that most people put under the tree, not to mention stitching, cooking and shopping for our own families. I am grateful for my flexible schedule and choice of profession, but during the holidays I do second guess myself. As long as the orders are completed by the due date and look professionally done I am ready to move ahead with the next item.

Once in a while I move ahead too quickly and misspell a name or the order of the letters on a monogram. I have to admit that my eyesight has definitely declined recently, and the “readers” are all over the studio. I know I am not alone in this situation.readersblThis photo was taken at an office while I was getting my car registration.

A customer ordered 3 appliquéd monogrammed bath towels for her daughters. The appliqué fabric was a colorful Lilly Pulitzer brand. I mistakenly read my order form and stitched SBR when it should have been SBT in a script font. Luckily, the embroidery was on the fabric and was very easy to remove.

When removing the embroidered stitches, always work from the back of the fabric when possible. Purchase the Peggy Stitch Eraser! This tool has been invaluable to my business. Do not purchase am electric shaver, it is not the same. The tool works best if the stabilizer is still intact, use it gently and at an angle. I suggest testing it on a sample before an original.lily-towel1bllily-towel2bl The tool will remove the majority of bobbin stitches and you will still need a traditional seam ripper along with sharp tweezers, good lighting and your “readers”. Gently hold the Peggy Stitch eraser and start to cut the bobbin stitches from the back of fabric. Flip the fabric over and use the seam ripper as needed. I like to use the tweezers to pull out the loose threads.lily-towel3bl

Rehoop the towel along with the tear away stabilizer in the appropriate size hoop. The bigger the hoop, the easier it is to position the new letter for the monogram.lilytowel4bl The new initial “T” is going to be stitched on the appliqué fabric next to the “S”. The scanning function will be used to precisely place the letter.lilytowel5bllilytowel6bl The “T” is shown in black because it is much easier to see on the screen when adjusting the location. The zoom feature helps you to clearly see if the letter or design is in the proper place.lily-towel8bl

To change the thread color view ,touch the edit screen and use the jog keys.lily-towel9bllilytowel10bl Now you have a realistic view of exactly how the new monogram will look.

The final fix! The corrected monogram is a success.

Use the link below to save 50% on my Craftsy class; “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”

 

https://www.craftsy.com/embroidery/classes/how-to-start-a-machine-embroidery-business/37060?cr_maid=100326&cr_linkid=MarieZinno_37060_H&cr_source=Instructor&cr_medium=MarieZinno&couponCode=721e0b68-d6fc-4535-8620-961ac5bf892c

 

Multi-needle Monday: Personalized Christmas Stocking

It’s that time of the year again….time to handle the tricky task of stitching a Christmas stocking. Every year I am approached by customers who need their family Christmas stockings personalized. There are endless styles, sizes, and fabrics of stockings and I have embroidered them all. I will share my quick and painless technique for stitching the cuff area of a Christmas stocking. I always use a Target Ruler and target stickers.

Products used: Tear away stabilizer, Target Ruler contained in Hoop it Up book, target sticker, Snap Monster Hoop for Quick Snap (4X4, 5X7 combo with attachment).

Step 1: Find the exact center of the cuff by using our Target Ruler, insert a target sticker into the center hole (make sure the arrow on cross hair is facing in the proper orientation for the name to be stitched). Remove the ruler and keep the target sticker in place.stocking1BLstocking2BL

Step 2: Turn the stocking inside out with the target sticker still in place. stocking3BLstocking4BLMake sure the stocking cuff will slide over the Monster Snap Hoop frame. Remove the arms of the embroidery machine and attach the metal attachment of the Monster Snap Hoop.stocking5BLstocking6BL

Step 3: Measure the opening of the metal frame to make sure the text will fit inside the hoop.stocking7BLAlways use the “trace” feature before adding the garment or stocking onto the hoop . The embroidery machine does not “read” this hoop so you have to be certain the embroidery design or text will fit inside and adjust it if needed.

Step 4: Add a piece of tear away stabilizer to the top of the metal frame and hold in place with tape under the frame; slide the cuff onto the frame.stocking8BLRotate the text to stitch in the right direction.stocking9BLRemove the target sticker when the needle is aligned with the cross hair on target sticker.stocking10BLstocking11BLstocking12BL

Step 5: Embroider the text or name and remove the stocking from the hoop. Turn right side out.

*Sometimes you only have one hoop size that will fit over the stocking cuff. Therefore, adjust the text size to make the job easier to embroider. Always use the trace feature to double check that the embroidery will fit inside the hoop selected before stitching.

Click the link below for special pricing on my Craftsy class: “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” with Marie Zinno.

http://craftsy.us7.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=a92f158a7021a67edea420266&id=6ca449a3a0&e=00e788984b

 

Multi-Needle Monday: Camper Pillow

Do you just love stitching something special and unique? I know I do, especially when I have the chance to create a specific design from a photograph. The majority of finished embroidered items that I sell are usually personalized with monograms, text, and business logos so this request was really fun to recreate.

A close friend of mine wanted to give a simple pillow to a family member as a thank you gift. The pillow was going to have a design of their newly remodeled camper along with text.  My friend had a photograph of the camper and texted it to me to see if I had anything in my design collection that would be similar to the photograph. I realize with my Perfect Embroidery Pro software I could digitize the design if a stock design was not found. Unfortunately the deadline was just a few days away and many jobs to work on in addition to the pillow. Through my search for the exact camper I did find a few designs that could work. Generally I like to send 3 choices to a customer. I might have 10 or more designs to choose from but that is far too many items for the average person to consider. Here are the choices I emailed to her:camper1blcamper3blcamper4bl The perfect embroidery design was located at http://www.EmbLibrary.com

My friend decided on the design I thought she would.camper4blThe sample colors were almost the same as the final photograph. The design was very dense so I selected cotton duck fabric for the pillow which was stable enough to support the 20,000 stitches. I also used a poly mesh cut away stabilizer along with a soft tear away stabilizer.

My friend was very pleased with the final finished product and I am sure the pillow will be used on many road trips to come.camper2blcamperpillowbl

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. Click the link below to save with a coupon.

https://www.craftsy.com/embroidery/classes/how-to-start-a-machine-embroidery-business/37060?cr_maid=100326&cr_linkid=MarieZinno_37060_D&cr_source=Marie%20Zinno&cr_medium=Instructor&cr_couponcode=2e8b8364-4720-46d4-a2f2-4e6fca469871

Cruise 2017

My stitching Sister and I are heading back to sea and hoping you’ll consider joining us for a relaxing – and educational – cruise on the Harmony of the Seas on May 7, 2017.  Last year, we sailed with 70 embroiderers on the beautiful Royal Caribbean Allure. We all had a blast – so much fun that we didn’t want to leave the ship as evidenced in this photo: cruise1bl

Many came with friends or spouses and left with a slew of new friends.  Some of our guests from last year have already signed up for the May 2017 cruise but there are still spots available.  It will be a terrific way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. Think about it: top of the line Baby Lock machines, sewing room open every day, delicious food, interesting ports of call, beautiful ship and nothing to worry about except what color of thread to use next!cruise2bl

Many of our guests were students we’ve met around the country over the past ten years.  Marie and I were delighted to see each of them again. Of course, we hope to meet many more this year and make new friends!cruise4bl

What can you expect from a Stitching Sisters cruise? Marie and I take care of the details – along with our skipper, Harold Havard of Flash Sew and Quilt in Naples, FL. Harold has at least a dozen stitching cruises under his belt you can be assured each one goes off without a hitch.   Marie and I will guide you through three days of designing, digitizing, stitching and quilting with an embroidery machine.  But we’re not heading to sea by ourselves, oh no, we’ll also be joined by two of DIME’s Inspiration Consultants. You’ll be in good hands for three days of embroidery fun and exploration.

Of course the Allure has lots of fun night time activities like shows, music, contests and more.cruise5bl

Or you can sneak back into the sewing studio and stitch some more.cruise6bl

This cruise will be our second on the Allure and fourth with the Royal Caribbean cruiseline. Click here to see why we think this ship is the best on the water. http://www.flashsewandquilt.com/dimecruise.html

Marie and I have already booked our rooms and we’re working on the class materials now.  Since we want all of the projects to be fresh and new for this special occasion, we are making sure all of the latest techniques, ideas and trends are included in the three days of embroidery fun. So details on the stitching portion of the cruise will be available at a later date. But it’s a good idea to grab your cabin now!  Please call Lenore Deck Travel at 352-270-8658 or email to cruiselady@tampabay.rr.com.  There is limited space in the embroidery studio so get on the list today. Hope you’ll join us on the Allure!

You can learn more about the cruise and select your cabin at the special rate by visiting http://www.flashsewandquilt.com/dimecruise.html

We hope you’ll join us for a relaxing and educational vacation!  Just pack a bag, wear comfortable shoes and show up. We’ll handle the rest!

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