Archive of ‘Monograms’ category

Multi-Needle Monday: Custom Monogrammed Dining Room Chairs

My latest order from an interior decorator consisted of 6 large monograms embroidered on expensive damask fabric for dining room chairs. The monogram is created by the designer and is sent to me to be digitized into an embroidery file.chair monoBL

We usually correspond back and forth a few times so I can gather the following information: fabric content, end use of fabric to be stitched and size desired.  These three key factors are crucial when planning the embroidery process.  As I mentioned in a past blog, I always embroider a sample stitch out (which the decorator will pay for) to be certain that the monogram size and thread color are exactly as planned and envisioned.

The fabric is cut by the designer large enough for me to hoop easily and shipped to me along with the work order form. Most people have no idea how we actually embroider fabric, so you need to be specific and mention the measurements needed to fit the fabric in certain hoops etc. They always mark the fabric for me, as the “face” of the fabric can be confusing sometimes (subject for another blog one day). The thread color has been determined and I purchase at least 4 spools so I can have both machines running simultaneously. Therefore I can quickly move ahead to the embroidery when the fabric arrives. The following photos will show you how I prepared for multiple embroidered monograms.

The intertwined “D” monogram measures 9 inches wide x 6 inches tall, the stitch count is 31,000 stitches and takes approximately 48 minutes to complete. Since I have 2 multi-needle embroidery machines I can easily accomplish this order in under 3 hours if all things go as planned. (bobbin change, thread breaks, and possible other interruptions always expected).

Measure and locate the exact center of the cut fabric sections, fold and iron the fabric in half vertically and horizontally. Place the large target ruler on top of the fabric and slide a target sticker in the center hole. The monogram has to be embroidered in the “exact” area of damask pattern for all 6 chair backs (more pressure).chairmon1BLchairmono2BL

I selected to use a medium weight cut away stabilizer because the fabric will be stretched and stapled (upholstered) on to the chair backs at the designer’s work room and also because of the high stitch count of the embroidery design. The fabric can be easily hooped in my 300 x 200mm size large embroidery hoop.chairmono3BL I always double check under the hoop before it is placed on the machine for excess fabric that could be caught in the bottom frame. Notice how my 2 machines are happily working side by side when I took this photo? sewingroom1BL

Before stitching a special job like this I change the needles that will be used and start with a fresh bobbin in both machines so they will end at the same time. Make sure to leave space around the embroidery machine especially when using the large size hoops.

Next week I will show the finished photos of the embroidered monograms. I am happy to share that they turned out great!

Click the following link for a special coupon to use on my Craftsy class : How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_H

Multi-Needle Monday: Popular Christmas Gift

If you have a machine embroidery business, I am surprised you even have time to read my current blog this week. The Christmas season is the busiest time of the year for custom gifts, and for the people who make it happen. I would like to share one of my popular, super quick to stitch embroidered gifts: the personalized Christmas ornament design. It is perfect for t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby onsies, aprons and even terry cloth towels. Last year my go-to embroidery design was the snowman face from http://www.embroiderygarden.com and this current embroidery design; Christmas ornament, is just as versatile and can be found at http://www.planetapplique.com . Of course, you do not have to own an embroidery business you can still stitch a simple design like I suggested on a t-shirt, towel or other item. The trick is to test the design, use proper placement and add interesting fabric for the appliqué.

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Many of my customers request a simple embroidery design to be stitched on long sleeve t-shirts or sweatshirts for the children in their family. The t-shirts look great in photographs and are so festive at a family gathering. Use the last name initial if possible, in the center of the ornament, to make sizing a bit easier for all of the siblings or family members.

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We would love to hear about one of your go-to embroidery projects that you sell or make for gifts during the Christmas season.

Happy stitching!

Enjoy a $20 coupon to use for my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” by Marie Zinno

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_H

 

Diary of a Novice Embroiderer: A Harrowing Tale

Preface:  My friend Gus asked me to embroider a pillowcase as a birthday gift for his wife, Sophia.  I agreed and expected him to purchase a pillowcase.  Instead, he purchased fabric, sewed the pillowcase and presented it to me to embroider.  It was flawless—and I was so touched that a husband would do that for his wife.  Not only that—he had a special sentiment he wanted embroidered for his dear wife.

For reasons that defy logic, I chose the day before Sophia’s birthday party to start stitching the gift.  The timeline below showcases my thought process while completing the project.  I share my tale in hope that you can relate and find solace in knowing the creative process is indeed a process—full of ups and downs but this is how we grow and gain experience.


6:00 pm.  I guess I should start stitching the pillowcase.  I am relieved Eileen improved the layout of my design.  My original versions weren’t as artistic as I wanted.  My biggest concern is hooping the pillowcase.  It’s probably wise for me to stitch a test sample.   I am glad Gus bought tons of extra fabric—hopefully I won’t need it to make a new pillowcase.

6:30 pm.  Everyone at the office left for the weekend.  Eileen gave me advice on hooping and assured me I could call if I needed help.  Now it’s just me, the pillowcase and dozens of tools.  I felt like Sheldon from the Big Bang theory.  This pillowcase HAS to be perfect.  I better unhoop it and try again.

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This is an important engineering feat.  Wait… no, it’s just a pillowcase.  But it really does need to be precision placed.  Yes, I should unhoop and try using a different method…IMG_8042BL

I decided to start over using a different hooping method…Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogEileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

7:38 pm.  I sent a frustrated text to my friend:  “the opposite of fun is right now!  I will never ever agree to stitch something special for someone else.  It’s so difficult!  No, it’s impossible!  However… I did learn how to use the camera function on THE Dream Machine… so that’s a positive.”

7:45 pm.  I guess it’s time to hit the Start button to take my first stitch.  I wondered if I would look back at that moment with regret.  I looked at the design on-screen—it indicated it will take 31 minutes to stitch.  After that time, I will know if the design is crooked or not.  But by that time it’s too late.  This is highly stressful.

7:51 pm.  Wow!  This is working!  It’s absolutely working!  The rich purple thread I chose is perfect!

7:53 pm.  I kept a watchful eye on the machine as it stitched.  Because the pillowcase is cylindrical (and a tight fit) in the hoop, I had to make sure the excess fabric didn’t get caught during stitching.  I should have listened to Eileen and used one of our Hoop Guards.  That would have helped.

There was a brief moment I took my eyes and hands away from the excess fabric.  Sure enough, the fabric got eaten by the machine. I remained calm.  This is why I’m at the machine, watching and waiting.  I can fix this.

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I carefully clipped away the few stitches that were eating the fabric.  Then I used the machine’s stitch advance/reverse feature to back up and redo the stitches.

8:00 pm.  Look at me!  I’ve got skills.

8:15 pm.  I sent a photo to my friend showing the progress.  My friend’s reply, “Because stitching text wasn’t challenging enough, you had to add the butterfly!  You really challenged yourself!”

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8:34 pm.  My ears perked up to the familiar, comforting chime of the embroidery machine, indicating the design is finished stitching.  The friendly smiley face appeared on the machine, as if sharing in my joy of accomplishment.

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I examined the pillowcase, still hooped in the machine and proclaimed, “look at me, I stitched my first pillowcase!”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

About the design:
Butterfly from Kreations by Kara.  http://www.kreationsbykara.com  Search:  BB Shadowed
Lettering from Perfect Embroidery Pro software.  The path tool was used to create a unique curved effect.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

We are going to turn the table and ask you to post an embroidery related question for us in the comments below this week! Denise and Eileen will do their very best to get you an expert anwser and one lucky commenter will be chosen to win Eileen and Marie Zinno’s new, yet to be released Hoop It Up book!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

Thank you all for allowing me to share this occasion with you. I hope you’ve learned some tips and maybe even thought of using an idea or two for a special bride in the future. What tip or idea from this wedding do you think you are most likely to use?

The winner is:  

Beth Daniels: “I would use the ribbon idea on even some clothes that I would make with the pattern number and name of clothing.”

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

 

Multi-Needle Monday: New Product Introduction

This week on our continuing series for the Multi-Needle Monday blog we will focus on the last but not least step in our new product introduction: promotion.

Again, our focus is on the small embroidery business owner who is now ready to market a new product. How will you get the word out to your current customers? Will you take the photographs yourself or hire a professional photographer?

There are so many quick and free ways to market a new product today that you really cannot go wrong unless you do nothing. For instance Facebook is the perfect platform to launch your business and “test” new items. Use it to tease your customers to see what colors, lettering styles, embroidery designs or accessories they prefer. When you have narrowed down your choices, add these products to your main website or Esty store. It’s a good idea to feature or “post” a new photo weekly on your Facebook page to keep your customers tuned and interested.

Take great photographs and make great samples! Stitch colorful samples with coordinating and crisp embroidery designs or lettering. Position the embroidery as the main focal point. Use a larger scale design, monogram or appliqué to pop in the photograph.  Remember, time is money and high stitch count designs are not necessary. Trim the thread tails, press the hoop marks out of the sample item and make sure all water soluble stabilizer is completely removed.  The majority of cameras have a high pixel number and the resolution is very clear- water soluble fragments can easily show up in a photograph.

I have learned to use a tri-pod for my camera (tri-pods are available for cell phones too) and foam board from a craft store to easily reposition as a table when desired. Take photographs outside if you have a nice backdrop such as potted flowers or tall grass. Always try to take a handful of photographs, not just one or two. Learn out to use the photography software that is included in most operating systems; such as crop, brightness and resize.

The photos of the back to school accessories for college were taken around a beautiful pool at dusk; which is a perfect time for photography.

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I recently read about a few business owners who “barter” for different tasks of trade in their town. Do you have a close friend or acquaintance who is a photographer and in need of some embroidered polo shirts? Is there a “techy” neighborhood college student who can help you set up your Facebook or Etsy shop business page? The student might appreciate a few personalized items in exchange for their expertise. I will tell you that the marketing chore never ends when you own a business but it has to be done. Try to learn as much as you can and take control of the obstacles ahead.

Here are a few marketing platforms to use: Instagram,  Pinterest, Blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I think all of the platforms are helpful and virtually free but you need to decide where your customers are and what the most popular outlet for your demographic is.

*Remember not to list an item that is out of stock or on back order. You should have checked the inventory before you selected the new product to introduce.

 

Join me in my Craftsy class titled”How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” save $10 with this coupon link.

https://http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Monogram of the Month – Part 2 of 2

I didn’t have what I needed today.  So I used what I found. 

What I wanted was a black painted wooden frame.   I had one somewhere – finding it was another matter and there was no time to delay the Monogram of the Month project for the May/June issue.

I found a wooden frame but it was stained brown.  It didn’t have glass—(I didn’t need glass anyway).  But it also didn’t have a cardboard back for me to use as a template for the project.

I needed cardboard or cardstock to make a template and also use to wrap my embroidered fabric around for framing.

Folders looked too flimsy.  I eyed book covers (gasp!) but I couldn’t bring myself to destroy a book cover for my art piece.  I rummaged through my office and found an old spiral notebook.  The cover was made of a light-weight plastic.  It was perfect!

I measured the inside of the frame and used those dimensions to cut the plastic notebook cover.

Monogram of the Month – Volume 92

Since the plastic was translucent it made it super easy to use it to center my embroidery underneath—then I trimmed away the excess fabric from my stitch out – leaving enough to fold around the plastic.

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I taped the fabric wrapping it tautly around the plastic.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The embroidered art piece fit perfectly inside the frame.  An extra detail I find important is finishing the back.  Although no one will see the back of the frame, finishing it is an important detail I don’t like to overlook.  Besides, it’s a chance to add that unexpected flair.  I happened to have a hot pink piece of scrapbook paper tucked away in my office supplies.  (What a lucky find!).  I trimmed it away and secured to the back of the frame.

Now the frame is complete!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Be sure to read Part 1 of Monogram of the Month for May/June 2015 Volume 92 issue for steps on how I created the appliqued heart using the bernette Embroidery Software Customizer.

 

Monogram of the Month Part 1 of 2

Inspiration is everywhere! 

We have a restaurant in the area that has taken recycling to a new level.  It has an entire wall covered in wooden pallets.  Now if that’s not crazy enough—the pallets have graffiti all over them.

I read the pallets as I was enjoying my hamburger.  There were various messages, “Susie was here.”  “12/5/2015:  We bought a house!”  And of course, the most common sort of graffiti—a heart with two people’s initials.

When it came time to stitch the Monogram of the Month, I used what I had seen at the restaurant as my inspiration.  I want to stitch an appliqued heart with the letters SS + BH.

I opened the bernette Embroidery Software Customizer.  The software includes a variety of embroidery design files and applique designs that can be used with the CutWork tool.  I chose an embroidery design that has a coordinating applique file.

I opened design FB521_48.

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Next I clicked on Settings / Options / Hoop.

Click on the Manual setting option and click OK.  This will give you the freedom to move embroidery designs later.

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Next I RIGHT clicked on the Lettering icon.

What I appreciated in this software was the ability to scroll through the selection of fonts – while previewing the text I have typed.  This makes it easier to decide which font style to select.  I chose the Futura Md BT font.  Another great feature about the software—it uses true type fonts.   You can continually add fonts to your collection.

I typed the initials:  “SS”

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I pressed OK and added the text.

I repeated this step for the “+” and the “BH”

Once all the text was placed on the heart, I rotated each text element 30 degrees.

Last, I selected all the text and changed the color to black.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I saved this design onto a memory stick.

Next I opened the coordinating applique heart file and sent to the memory stick.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Using the BERNINA 830 with the CutWork tool I “stitched” the applique file, FB521_48_CWA.  The end result was a perfectly cut applique heart.

Then I hooped a new piece of fabric and stitched the heart embroidery design.

While reminiscent of the graffiti from the restaurant, my version uses fabric and thread as the medium!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

You may not always realize inspiration is around you – but challenge yourself to see embroidery possibilities in unexpected ways.

Check back in on Friday for the second installment of Monogram on the Month!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

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!

 

Multi-Needle Monday: Text Tools at Your Fingertips

 

One of my favorite features about my multi-needle machine (Enterprise or Entrepreneur) is the touch screen text tools. As an embroidery business owner I wear a lot of hats; marketing, finance, designer, and operator so if I can save a little time to stitch a name on a hat back or the sleeve of a coaches shirt I am elated. Using the programmed fonts and editing tools to accomplish this task makes professional looking lettering at your fingertips.

Convert horizontal text into vertical text.

There are a handful of occasions when a vertical name is needed such as: bat bags, locker bags and a length of a sleeve. This is how I create the vertical text on my 10 needle embroidery machine.

 

Step1. Select the lettering icon on the main screen and type in the word “Coach”. Generally the vertical name or word would be all caps.

Select the Array icon and diagonal choice.

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Step2.Select and hold the lower bottom bold diagonal line. The letters will move from a diagonal into a perfect vertical line. Touch close and embroider the text. Size and spacing can still be adjusted as needed.

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Array Text

Select the horizontal line icon and the arch icon. There are many different ways to position the text with the array keys. The arch feature is the perfect tool to use if you add a name to the back of a baseball hat. You can easily squeeze the letters to fit around the opening.

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Slice Tool

This feature separates each letter in a line of text.

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Type in the name or text needed and select “Spacing” icon. Touch the picture of a knife and you will notice the knife moving between each letter in the word.

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Use the “select” key to highlight a letter to be re-sized or moved if needed. Touch edit end and embroider the text.

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Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Multi-Needle Monday: Automatic Appliqué on the Brother Entrepreneur and Baby Lock Enterprise

As owners of the Baby Lock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur, we are so fortunate to have the latest and greatest technology at their finger tips. We have the scanner and live camera along with automatic basting file (shown in an earlier blog for embroidering t-shirts) and another helpful, quick technique the automatic appliqué feature. The automatic appliqué can create any shape, text or embroidery design into an appliqué without using embroidery software. There is an icon on the screen to convert each design into an appliqué.

I created a simple three-letter monogram inside a diamond shape design right at the embroidery screen; no embroidery software needed. The steps below will guide you how to create your own appliqué once a design, text or shape is shown on the screen.

Step 1. Select the shapes icon under Exclusives and choose the diamond shape.

diamond mono1diamond mono2

Resize the diamond shape to approximately 4″ wide or the size you wish to embroider and select Edit End. diamond mono3

Step 2. Click the blue shield icon; this will add the automatic appliqué around the diamond shape.

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Step 3.Use the select key and highlight the black diamond shape as shown in photo (the original shape) and delete it.

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Go to “Add”. Choose the monogram icon.

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Step 4. Select the letters for the monogram; left, middle and right letters to fit properly inside the shape.

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Resize the letters to fit inside the satin stitches.

Step 5. Hoop the fabric and stitch the placement color (1st color). Add the fabric on top of placement color. diamond mono13diamond mono14diamond mono15 Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from around diamond shape.

Step 6. Replace the hoop on the machine and stitch the satin stitch and monogram. diamond mono16

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Instant applique! Right at your fingertips!

 

Learn more helpful machine embroidery business information by taking my Craftsy class : How to Start an Embroidery Business by Marie Zinno.

Click the link to save $10 on this class.

https://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarieZinno_4963_D

Monogram of the Month – A tribute to a friend

How do you cope with the end of life of a dear friend?  It’s never easy – especially when life seems to have been cut way too short.  Whether you’re an embroiderer, sewer, crafter or other form of artist you have an opportunity to use your skills to create something special to honor the deceased’s memory.  This month I decided to create a special monogram with a friend in mind.  She passed away at the young age of 30 from ovarian cancer.

I enjoy the challenge of learning new software—so I chose to work with Art and Stitch 3.0 software.  I was delighted with the built-in designs and features—plus the program is very intuitive.

Open the program, then select File / New.  In the dropdown menu I chose Embroidery for the type of design and chose PES format.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I clicked on the Monogram Tools button and discovered a library of monogram styles to choose from.  Keeping my friend in mind, I chose the Pioneer Monogram.  The ribbon and flowers reminded me of her.  I typed my friend’s initials in the letters box.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Although it’s Monogram of the Month—I didn’t want to stop with a monogram.  I want more text and the opportunity to use more features in the software.  Art and Stitch has a fun feature—adding text on a circle path.  I typed “Loving daughter” in the upper portion of the circle then added “and friend” in the lower portion of the circle.  While I could probably write pages of text, I figured those two phrases would cover most everything not only for her family but for people lucky enough to have known her.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I saved the design and sent it to the embroidery machine.

Depending on your work habits you could have chosen the thread colors in the software then saved the design.  I usually don’t know what colors I want to use until I have ALL the “crayons” in front of me.  Once in my sewing studio I selected thread colors that I thought would not only coordinate well but would celebrate Alana’s life.  This is also when the creative process really did turn into a process!

First I grabbed some blue fabric.  I liked the “almost” denim look and thought it would be perfect to stitch the monogram.  But when it came time to select thread colors I realized the challenge of making sure the embroidery popped against the now not-so-nice blue fabric.  The thread colors don’t merely need to be bright—they need to be attractive and coordinate.  Not to mention they need to be colors my friend would have liked.  That is a daunting task!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The blue sample above just didn’t work.  What was I thinking when I stitched teal ribbons next to the green leaves?  The colors don’t work well together.  On the bright side, I did like the red thread.

Undaunted, I tried again.  This time I switched to white fabric.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now, before you scoff at this sample, let me explain my logic at the time.  The leaves needed to be green.  The red worked in the previous sample—so surely they’d work for the ribbons.  But as I stitched I realized the sample was turning into Christmas with the red and green.  So I thought I’d balance things out with the stark black thread for the initials – then a dash of teal for the lettering.  I almost didn’t finish stitching this sample.  It wasn’t my best color selection!

After the first two samples I decided to regroup.  I focused on my friend’s favorite color:  emerald green.  I selected a pretty emerald green thread—and let it lead the way as I chose the rest of the colors.  The rose and golden yellow coordinated well.  I really wanted to incorporate teal—the color for ovarian cancer awareness.  So I chose a darker version of the color than I had been using.  Confidently, I stitched the sample and well, I think the results speak for themselves!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

There is a lesson in this blog.  Maybe a couple lessons if we look hard enough!

  1. Select one color and build around it.
  2. Be open to experimenting with different thread color combinations.  If you don’t get it right the first time, it doesn’t mean you won’t get it on the next attempt!
  3. Every stitch-out is an opportunity to learn!

Now that it’s stitched it’s ready to be framed and given to Alana’s family.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:What thread color combinations would you have chosen for the monogram?  One random comment will win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:
I’m sure you’ve come across the empty bobbin message. What do you do to avoid this? Wind several bobbins? Purchase pre-wound? Throw away almost empty bobbins? Or just bear with it? A random comment will be selected to win a pack of Print & Stick Target Paper!The winner is: Karen M.  – “Empty bobbins are not fun! I try to always keep at least 6 bobbins ready to go simply because I dread the task!”  

 

 

 

 

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