Archive of ‘Planning Embroidery’ category

Need an embroidery miracle? Then you need friends in high places!

Where do you turn when you need a solution to an embroidery dilemma? It started innocently enough with “Honey, can you embroider my name and phone number on this strap?” I naively responded, “Oh sure, I’ll bet it’ll be an easy thing to do.” Then he hands over the ‘harmless’ strap. From afar, it looked like camo canvas maybe camo neoprene. But once in my hand, my knees began to tremble when I gripped the…RUBBER backing! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Rubber? Really? Are you kidding me? Dang, I wish I hadn’t shared that joke about the lady who informed her husband that no, she won’t stitch a logo on his golf shirt because her machine can’t do menswear. I still chuckle at that line. But my sweet husband knows the truth behind that – it’s a joke he’s heard me tell in Stitching Sister events. He knows all of my machines ‘can do menswear.’

So off I trotted to the office with the noose, I mean strap, over my shoulder. I figured I’d start my research there – pour through all our technical journals, embroidery books and commercial magazines to look for a solution. My search led to nothing, not a clue on how to hoop or stabilize rubber-backed neoprene. So I did what I normally do when approached with a stumbling block. I climb around it. Avoid it. Make a path around it – like the elephant in the room. And mull it over for a few days. But not this time because in walked the most knowledgeable person in the embroidery industry. Deborah Jones.

She was here on official business – really big important stuff like what would we have for lunch. At the end of our visit, I remembered the noose – strap (gee, I keep staying that!) and asked for her advice. Without a trace of confusion or a moment of hesitation, she said, “Oh hoop it with wax paper. You’ll need something to lubricate the needle and thread as it exits the rubber.”

I looked at her like she handed me the Hope diamond. She looked at me like she sometimes does, “Oh you silly Yankee.” (Doesn’t matter how long you live in Texas, you’re always a Yankee if you imported yourself.) Then she left. I was perplexed, okay scared, so I worried for a few more days. And then I bought wax paper. I haven’t purchased wax paper in years and didn’t spot it the new fancy grocery near the office. I asked a salesperson where I would find it and she wasn’t quite sure what it was! After a minute she muttered something about packed lunches at grandma’s house when she was a little girl and then sent me to aisle 23. Anyway, I bought it.

The noose, I mean strap, is thick so holding it in a hoop was not an option. Sticking it down on hooped wax paper in a standard hoop would likely result in the noose, strap, popping off the wax paper. So I hooped tear-away stabilizer and two layers of wax paper (Why two? I don’t know, I bought a whole roll, so I figured I’d get my money’s worth) in Snap Hoop on a 10-needle machine. Snap Hoop is flat and will help keep the strap on the wax paper. I sprayed the back of the strap with temporary adhesive and pressed it onto the wax paper. Then taped it for extra security.

As you remember Deborah told me to ‘use wax paper.’ She didn’t tell me anything about hooping, adding stabilizer or adhesive. I was on my own there, I just tried to apply common sense (something most Yankees are not known for in Texas) and tame the challenge and well, git her done as they say here.

It worked! An embroidery miracle, thanks to Deborah Jones.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Sometimes you just have to pamper yourself. All for Me – Delightfully Feminine Projects Made in the Hoop by Shelly Smola has 6 beautiful projects just for you! Inside you’ll find:

  • Tea Party Luggage Tags
  • Glamour Girl Makeup Case
  • Petite Purse
  • Vintage Apron
  • Time for Tea Pillow
  • Time for Tea Quilt

Leave us a comment below about the last thing you made for you and only you. One random comment will be selected to win their very own copy of All for Me – Delightfully Feminine Projects Made in the Hoop by Shelly Smola! Thanks for reading and good luck.

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

The designers at the Sulky Embroidery Club want you to win a FREE Gold Membership. Just leave a comment below about why you’d like a membership in the Sulky Embroidery Club. To find out more about the Club and this $150 retail value, just click the ad. If you win, we’ll create an account for you, already loaded with 500 points, so you can begin shopping immediately. There are hundreds of extraordinarily high-quality designs and projects to choose from, including fill, appliqué, outline, and 3-dimensional. New designs are added each month, so good luck!

And the winner is… Shelly – “I checked out the site and was excited to see the projects and designs that are there! I would love to win and be a part of all the things offered there. I love to learn from the experienced people and find so much joy and purpose in creating things for my family and friends. My embroidery work is my best friend now at this time in my life and I love to share it with all I know.”

Upscale Bed Linens

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here are some tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets.

Tips for Success

• Take the time to prepare the design and the sheets. It’s well worth the effort.

• Purchase an extra pillowcase to test the design before stitching on the sheets.

• Open the band before embroidering to hide the wrong side of the embroidery.

• My stabilizer of choice for sheets is fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer with a layer of tear-away floating under the hoop. Fine linens are a tight weave and benefit from a strong foundation for the embroidery.

• Insert a new, sharp needle.

• Consider adding a single-letter monogram to the center of the band. Then stitch from the center to the edge on each side.

• Allow some space at each end of the border for some breathing room (aka – room for error).

Here’s a case for prewashing the sheets. Normally, I don’t prewash blanks but sheets really benefit from this prep step. It eliminates the unwanted puckers that often appear after laundering embroidered linens.

Measure the band – from folded edge to stitch line and from selvedge to selvedge. If the band measures 4” (a common size), select a design that is 3” in height so that there will be ½” open space on each side of the design. Once you select a machine embroidery design that is 3” tall, make a note of its length. My design is 3” x 5” and my queen top sheet measures 90” from selvedge to selvedge. I’ll divide 90” by 5”. I’ll need 18 repeats to fill the band.

Hmm…90” is perfectly divided by 5 into 18 repeats. Frankly, that scares me because I’ll have to be absolutely perfect on placement for each of the 18 designs. So I’ll take a little artistic license here and set myself up for success by planning on stitching only 17 repeats. Not only will this relieve some stress, it will probably look more pleasing because the center of a design will be dead center on the band and not the join of two designs. Definitely more desirable in my opinion.

Not that I know how many repeats I’ll need, I will take a seam ripper to the band and release the hem. I know, reverse sewing but it’s so worth it. Next, it’s time to carefully press the band but I will leave the crease of the fold in place because it’s a built-in guideline for squaring the band (sheet) in the hoop.

Cut the fusible polymesh stabilizer into 4” strips and press it to the wrong side of the band.

Fold the sheet in half, selvedge to selvedge to find the center and place a target sticker to mark the center.

Print two templates of the design. Place one template on the target sticker. Make sure the template’s crosshair is aligned with the target sticker’s crosshair. Use a ruler to verify the design is flanked by ½” on each side (from fold crease to hemline).

Select a hoop that will accommodate the design – one or two repeats. Hoop the band with tear-away stabilizer. Center the needle over the target sticker and embroider the design. Place the template on the band, connecting the image to the stitched design. Move the needle to the template’s crosshair. Remove the template and embroider the design.

When it’s time to rehoop, use the template and folded crease to square the sheet in the hoop and continue to fill the band with embroidery.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Can you find the hidden hearts in this image? Tell us how many hidden hearts you see and one lucky winner will be chosen randomly to receive $25 off at the DIME website. Happy heart hunting!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Take a look around at the new website and let us know what you think. Leave your comments below and one random comment will be selected to receive a $25 gift certficate to spend on the new DIME website!

And the winner is…Carolyn H. “Very nice! It looks quite modern.”

Designs in Machine Embroidery Hoop Comparison

Last week, I wrote about fishing, I mean teaching, in Bend, OR and while I was there, I introduced my students to the new Snap-Hoop Monster. Almost all of my students asked the same questions about the magnetic hoops so I thought I’d discuss it here.

What’s the difference between Snap-hoop Monster and Snap-Hoop? Strength! Monster is four times the strength of Snap-Hoop and is easily distinguished by its elegant teal color.

Do I have to purchase a whole new hoop if I already own Snap-Hoop? No! You don’t, you only need the new top in the same size as your original Snap-hoop. The bottoms are interchangeable and since your machine can only hold one hoop, you only need one bottom.

Do I need both? Yes, Monster is great for heavy, textured fabrics while Snap-Hoop handles lighter cottons and knits.

Will the magnets hurt my machine? No. If you were told not to put a magnetic pin cushion on your machine bed back in the late 1990s, you were given proper information. You were also carrying a cellphone that was a tote bag – literally! Think how much technology has changed over the years. Our machines today are highly sophisticated – just like our cell phones. The microchips in the machines are highly insulated and the magnetic field of Snap Hoop or Snap Hoop Monster cannot penetrate the layers. The hoops were tested extensively on all makes and models with no harm to any machine.

Here’s a handy chart to demystify the difference in all of our hoops.

 

Snap-Hoop Monster

 

 

Snap-Hoop

 

 

Magna-Hoop

 

 

Magna-Hoop Jumbo

 

Best for: Terrycloth, bulky fleece, quilt sandwiches, faux fur, heavy textiles Quilt blocks, continuous embroidery, light to medium weight knits Small items Towels, ribbons, belts and continuous embroidery
Handles delicate embroidery projects
Holds a quilt sandwich with no additional stabilizer
Hoops small items (coasters, belts, straps, etc)
Use with lightweight fabrics including knits and sheers
Can tug on fabric and not distort fibers
Minute fabric adjustments are easy to make
Stabilizer is required to hold frames in hoop
Eliminates hoop burn
Fits in a standard hoop
Diminishes the size of the sewing field
Is recognized by the machine N/A (fits inside standard hoop) N/A (fits inside standard hoop)
Stitch all the way to the edge of the fabric
Ideal for allover embroidery

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Sealed With a Stitch specializes in embroidery collections, but we want to know which one is your favorite. Come check them out and let us know which one tops your list. Six lucky winners will get a $25 gift certificate code to use at Sealed With A Stitch!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Look closely! Tell us what you think you see in the Stitching Sisters image at the top of this post. One comment will win a mystery prize! Oh the suspense…

And the winner is…“a hot pink, beautiful, fly fishing lure” – Greta K.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Congratuations Greta. You have won a $25 gift certificate to the new and improved Designs website. Check it out here!

 

 

7 Steps to Improve Your Embroidery

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

1. Print a template(s) of your embroidery design so you can plan the embroidery layout. Place it on the item (garment, home décor, craft or quilt) and critique its placement and size.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

2. Build a test stash. Keep a test polo shirt, stretchy t-shirt, terrycloth towel and common items that you embroider on all the time in your test stash. Use this resource when testing a design for a final project. Fill every available inch with test designs then toss it when there’s no more room for additional tests.If you’re stitching on plain fabric, always buy more than you’ll need so you have material to use for a test stitch-out. So many problems can be avoided by stitching a test of the design with the fabric, stabilizer and thread combo that you’ll be using for the final project.

3. Press the fabric – use starch and steam to get the fabric to behave. Press the stabilizer if it’s wrinkled so it will lay flat behind the fabric.

4. Hoop on a flat, sturdy surface, not your lap. Ironing boards work in a pinch but best results are achieved when hooping on a solid surface, such as a cutting table and mat. Use the lines on the mat to square the fabric in the hoop.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

5. Select the right hoop for the job. The best hold is achieved with the smallest hoop for the design. For instance, a 4” x 4” hoop is the best choice for a 2 ½” x 3” design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

6. Insert a fresh needle when starting a new embroidery project.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 7. Learn how to use simple embroidery editing software. You probably don’t need a full-blown digitizing system but a simple sizing and editing program can do 75% of daily embroidery tasks. Rotating, merging, mirror imaging and sizing designs are the top four chores I do to almost every design I stitch.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Summer is almost here! Leave us a comment about your plans for summer vacation and tell us if they involve embroidery. One comment will be chosen to receive a copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons written by Eileen Roche! Eileen demystifies embroidery machines and tools, designs, placement, hooping, stitching and finishing in easy to understand segments. It’s a great book for beginners or seasoned embroiderers alike. Good luck and thank you for reading!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Leave us your ideas for items that would be perfect to put in totes for women in chemotherapy treatment. Two readers will receive this beautiful butterfly pin created on behalf of the Brookharts family in memory of their wife and mother, Joanne. If you’d like to pick up one for yourself or a friend you can do so here.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your thoughtful suggestions and touching stories. This week our two lucky readers are:

Mary Ann – “Maybe a box of note paper and stamps. For one who likes to write, a journal can be therapeutic. Also, light weight gloves for cold hands. Thanks for all the great ideas!”

Nell S. – “My mom has to take dialysis three times a week and she likes word puzzle books, a light weight lap blanket and ear plugs!”

It’s Cold in Those Chemo Centers

Bag of Hope

When you have a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer, it leaves many of us feeling helpless – what can you do to support them? Nancy Zieman and I decided to each create a bag stuffed with helpful items that we’d give to someone in treatment for cancer. The bags are a perfect way to show you care and can be used to to carry everything someone might need during their treatments which can sometimes last for hours. For our bags we used embroidery from the Embroider-a-Cure collection where all proceeds go toward the Be The Difference Foundation, an ovarian cancer research foundation founded by our friend Helen Gardner.

I decided to work with blanks and wrap a little hope and warmth around someone undergoing chemotherapy treatments with an embroidered sweatshirt, pashmina and tote bag.

I selected the Bald is Beautiful design because many patients see no need to cover their hair loss so why not make a statement and put everyone looking at you at ease? This versatile design looks great on both a sweatshirt and a pashmina.

Let’s start with the sweatshirt. Find the center front of the shirt and mark it with a pin. Print a template of the Bald is Beautiful design and place it on the center chest. It’s a large design so standard industry placement templates don’t work for a design of this size.  No worries – just place the center of the design on the shirt’s center. Leave enough room at the top of the design to hoop the shirt – about 3” below the bottom of the ribbing will do it. Make sure the template is straight and place a target sticker under the template.  Remove the template.

Bald is Beautiful in the hoop

Fuse polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the design area.  Place the hoop’s outer ring on the pointy end of an ironing board and ‘dress’ the ironing board until the target sticker is centered in the hoop.  Insert the inner ring.

Bald is Beautiful in the hoop

Attach the hoop to the machine. Retrieve the design and center the needle over the target sticker.  Add film-type water soluble stabilizer over the design area. Stitch the design.  Once complete, tear off as much of the soluble stabilizer as possible and spritz away the rest.  Trim the polymesh on the wrong side – ready to make a statement!

Bald is Beautiful in the hoop

Since the design is already loaded on the machine, let’s move on to the pashmina.  Fold the pashmina in half, lengthwise and measure 8” above the fringe on one end. Place a target sticker in that location.

Pashmina with Target Sticker

Place a piece of cloth-type water soluble stabilizer over the hoop’s outer ring; place the pashmina over the ring, centering the target sticker.  Insert the inner ring; tighten the screw since the pashmina is lighter than the sweatshirt – the previous hooping. No need to over tighten, just hand tight, is fine.

Target Sticker on pashmina

Flip the hoop over and make sure the water soluble stabilizer extends beyond the hoop in all directions. If it doesn’t, rehoop. Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the design. Trim as much of the WSS as possible and spritz away the remainder.

Bald is Beautiful in the hoop

For the tote bag I chose the bold Survivor design in a vibrant teal color. It looks great against the black background of the tote and teal is the color of support for ovarian cancer. The bag was stitched in a jiffy on a 10-needle machine. I used Quick-Snap to hold the tote and was done in about 15 minutes! If you’re using a single-needle machine, it would take just a bit longer because it’s necessary to open the side seam to get the bag front to lay flat in the hoop. Once embroidered, just sew the seam and you’re done!

Survivor Design

 

To see more on the Sew a Bag For Hope created by Nancy Zieman please visit her blog here. And, for more information on ovarian cancer and the Be The Difference Foundation please visit their website here or join them on Facebook.

Nancy Zieman Sew a Bag of Hope

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Leave us your ideas for items that would be perfect to put in totes for women in chemotherapy treatment. Two readers will receive this beautiful butterfly pin created on behalf of the Brookharts family in memory of their wife and mother, Joanne. If you’d like to pick up one for yourself or a friend you can do so here.

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Leave us a comment about your favorite In the Hoop Project from the SewAZ Embroidery Designs website. Four readers will each receive a $25 gift certificate courtesty of SewAZ Embroidery Designs to the sewazdesigns.com website.

And the lucky winner are…Patty, Colleen, Paule-Marie and Dana. Congratulations to you all!!

The Secret is Out!

Ever wonder how Nancy Zieman and I get our embroidery designs to land exactly where we want them? We use a simple – I mean, really simple – software program that outlines the garment so we know exactly where to place the embroidery.

Perfect Placement Software includes 30 outlines or garment sections plus over 70 beautiful embroidery designs. Since I work in this program all the time, I’ve printed templates of all the outlines and I keep them stored in a folder.

Template1

I go to the folder first whenever I’m embarking on a wearable project. I flip through the templates and find the one that is closest in shape and size to my garment. Then I audition the garment section on the template.

Template2

If it doesn’t fit perfectly, I move to the computer and open the program. In the program, I select the outline then tweak its shape and size to mimic my garment. Once that’s done, the fun begins.

I select a design, drop it in the outline and play with proportion, size, rotation, etc. I can add as many designs as I want and actually ‘see’ the layout before I take a stitch.

Collar2B
Nancy Zieman uses the same technique and wrote a terrific tute on how she embellished a collar. Click here to see how she did it.

But before you head over to Nancy’s blog, tell me what design you like best. A, B or C.  We’ll pick a random comment and the lucky winner will receive a copy of Perfect Placement Software – Nancy and my secret to perfect placement!

Design A

Design B

Design C

Here’s your assignment this week:

Pick your favorite design from above, A, B or C. One lucky winner will win their very copy of Perfect Placement Software. Thank you and good luck!

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Mary Mulari’s travel designs are fun and fast to stitch and just right for jazzing up some travel accessories. Of the six designs shown at the top of the page, tell us which one is your favorite and you could win a copy of Mary’s book and embroidery collection. We’ll pick a random winner on Wednesday.

So don’t forget to post your comment – let us know what your favorite design is and you could be a winner!

And the winner is…“While shampoo girl is cute, the kitty in the suitcase reminds me of our cat BooBoo who always knew something was up when we put suitcases on the bed and started packing! Of course he would jump in whenever you turned your back to get more clothes. I love Mary’s work and enjoy her on Sewing with Nancy as well as classes I have taken from her at SewExpo.” – Ruth P.

Blog Tour Finale

Wow – what a fun two weeks! We’ve given away a dozen books over the past two weeks and have received tons of comments and questions. My hat is off to all of our blog tour participants. Here’s a look at the stops:

1

Hoop Sisters http://hoopsisters.blogspot.com/

4

Think Crafts http://thinkcrafts.com/

5

Indygo Junction http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/

6

Hope Yoder http://hopeyoder.blogspot.com/

7

Embroitique http://blog.embroitique.com/

8

Riley Blake http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/

11

Machine Embroidery
& Digitizing
http://www.machineembroideryanddigitizing.com/

12

Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/

13

Sealed With A Stitch http://susanovery.blogspot.com/

I hope you make these blogs part of your weekly web visits. I know I’m always on the lookout for inspiring ideas and fun techniques and I’m sure you’ll find them on these great bloggers.

I loved learning what embroidery tasks you find the most challenging. It seems placement and stabilizers top the list of troublesome duties. And I’ve struggled in those areas too. In fact, that’s why we invented the Perfect Placement Kit because 10 years ago, I didn’t have a clue on where to place an embroidery design on a garment! Under the guidance of Deborah Jones, we selected 15 items that embroiderers commonly decorate – shirts, linens and home accessories.

Perfect Placement Kit

Then we made templates of the items – a clear plastic template of a napkin corner for instance. The napkin corner template is universal and will work on ANY napkin! I just place the template on the napkin according to the guidelines printed on the template, then insert a Target Sticker into the hole. To be honest, it still amazes me how perfect every set of napkins comes out because I remember it like yesterday when my ‘yuck’ pile was higher than my good-to-go pile!

Perfect Placement Template

As far as stabilizer, there are so many products and brands available, it is confusing! I still get confused and I wish you could buy stabilizer like you can buy fabric using the touch and feel test. I shared this with one of Hope Yoder’s blog readers:

Always approach an embroidery project with common sense. Knit fabrics are unstable – they stretch! So control them with a cut-away which is a sturdy, strong and permanent material. Woven fabrics are more stable and tear-away stabilizer is sufficient. Tear-away comes in different weights and some rip cleanly while others leave a ‘fibery’ edge.

Sheer fabrics require stabilizer that can be permanently removed by water or heat, fiber content will tell you what direction to take.

Big, bulky impossible to hoop items need a stabilizer that will hold them under the needle – think adhesives here. You can turn any stabilizer into an adhesive by using temporary spray adhesive. Don’t be overwhelmed, use common sense and know that there are no stabilizer police. If it worked for you, then it’s fine.

I’ll share more information on placement and stabilizers in upcoming posts but for now – I have a mountain of sewing to tackle! Tell me what was your favorite project in 2012 that you created and you could win the final giveaway of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Steps.

I have a Valentine’s Day gift from my friends at Craftsy. Click here to receive special pricing on all Craftsy classes.

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/EileenRoche_holiday

Here is your assignment for this week:

Tell me what was your favorite project you created in 2012 and you could win an autographed copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Steps and the Sew with Nancy DVD.

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us what Valentine’s Day projects you have in the works. One lucky winner will win a $25.00 shopping spree to DZGNS.com!

And the winner is… “I’ve been making ITH Valentine heart coin bags for my grandchildren.” – Merron Kay S.

Congratulations Merron Kay. I’m sure they will love them!

6 Easy Steps Blog Tour

Welcome to the first day of my Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Steps Blog Tour! During the next two weeks, 6 Easy Steps will travel around the internet and make 11 stops, visiting some popular blogs. It’s a great opportunity for you to explore new blogs and win some giveaways on each stop. Each blogger is free to review the book, use the tools, inspire others with the information and make readers happy with giveaways!  So stop by these blogs and see what the bloggers have to say!

Today and on the final day, I’ll give away an autographed copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Steps plus the Sewing with Nancy DVD of my appearance with Nancy. You’ll have all you need to master machine embroidery! 

One of my favorite chapters in 6 Easy Steps is Chapter 3, Placement.  Placement is what separates shoddy work from professional results. It’s all in the planning; after all, these wonderful machines do the hard part – the stitching.  I never take a stitch without seeing the stitches first. The easiest way to do it is to print a template of the design in embroidery software.

 

Don’t have embroidery software?  Then stitch a template on sheer fabric or cut-away stabilizer.

Either way, you’ll have an image in actual size that you can use to place on a garment, home décor item or fashion accessory.  Now you’ll know where to hoop the fabric! 

You’ll find a target ruler in the back of 6 Easy Steps which really helps when centering a single design on a finished item, such as a napkin, quilt block, placket or cuff.  Target rulers are handy tools for every embroidery studio.  Position your template on the item; drop a target ruler over the template aligning both cross hairs. Then slip the template out of the way.  Drop a target sticker (also found in the back of 6 Easy Steps), in the opening of the target ruler and you’re ready to hoop.

Templates are priceless when planning continuous embroidery projects and you’ll learn how on page 30. If you’ve ever had fabric pop out of the hoop midway through a design, then you might already know how helpful templates can be to get you back on track.

Visit these fellow bloggers on the dates below but tell me what embroidery task you find most challenging to win an autographed copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Steps and the Sew with Nancy DVD.

31 Eileen Roche http://dzgns.com/blog/
1 Hoop Sisters http://hoopsisters.blogspot.com/
4 Think Crafts http://thinkcrafts.com/
5 Indygo Junction http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/
6 Hope Yoder http://hopeyoder.blogspot.com/
7 Embroitique http://blog.embroitique.com/
8 Riley Blake http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/
11 Machine Embroidery
& Digitizing
http://www.machineembroideryanddigitizing.com/
12 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/
13 Sealed With A Stitch http://susanovery.blogspot.com/
14 Eileen Roche http://dzgns.com/blog/

Here is your assignment for this week:

Tell me what embroidery task you find most challenging to win an autographed copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Steps and the Sew with Nancy DVD.

 
 

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Share with us a fashion disaster that happened in your sewing room and you could win a copy of Perfect Placement Software. Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered into the drawing.

And the winner is… “When I got my first embroidery machine I was, of course, putting embroidery on anything that didn’t move. Well, I embroidered a beautiful tiger on my son’s black sweatshirt. The stitching was great but no one would really know that since it ended up just under his arm. Haha…I’ve learned a lot since then, but the Perfect Placement software sounds like a wonderful tool and I can’t wait to try it out.” – Becky

Congratulations Becky!

We’ve Been Busy!

Placing embroidery on a shirt has got to be the most challenging task an embroiderer can face. Oh, there are many solutions to the fairly easy job of left chest placement but when you want to really decorate a neckline, cuff or yoke, things can get tricky.  Nancy Zieman and I first addressed this problem in our Designer Necklines DVD. Designer Necklines has been a continuous best seller and what we’ve learned from customers is they love the technique but wish it was more flexible.  So Nancy and I have taken their concerns to heart and developed a very handy software program that has all the flexibility they need and more.  It’s called Perfect Placement. We included 30 placement guides (collars, necklines, pockets, cuffs and …) and 72 scalable fashion embroidery designs.  The software is so simple to use:

 

Select a placement guide.

 

Merge the design(s), resize and position until you’re satisfied then send it to the machine.

 

Stitch the first color, the placement guide onto hooped adhesive stabilizer.

 

Place the garment edge on the placement guide and smooth the garment onto the sticky stabilizer.  Stitch the embroidery designs.

 

Everything stitches exactly as planned!

Of course Perfect Placement Software is also a powerful editing program. You can size (it recalculates the stitches), copy, paste, mirror, delete sections, recolor, group and ungroup, select a grid and/or hoop and print templates. It’s everything you need to edit embroidery designs without learning how to digitize.

I’ve been having a blast using the designs in Perfect Placement Software – in fact, I’ve stitched more garments in the last three months than I have in a year. Here are just a few examples featuring Perfect Placement Software.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a few embroidery ‘fashion disasters’ in the past. You know what I mean. You plan the embroidery as best you can, hoop the garment, stitch the designs and then slip the garment over your head. Yikes! When you look in the mirror you’re greeted with embroidery sitting in the underarm area or right at the bust point or just off center enough to be annoying.  I’ve had this happen too many times – so now I rely on Perfect Placement Software to help me, well, prefect my placement!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Share with us a fashion disaster that happened in your sewing room and you could win a copy of Perfect Placement Software. Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered into the drawing.

 

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

John Deer’s Adorable Ideas is giving away FIVE $20 Design Points! To win simply leave us a comment below and tell us what you’re working on and how these Designs Points could help you. Good Luck!

And the winners are… Vicky I., Shannon C., Donna G., Barbara, and JoAnne F. Thank you to everyone that shared your projects with us. Keep reading for more giveaways and great tips and insight from Eileen.

Six Easy Steps

When planning a two-part series for the Sewing with Nancy television show, Nancy Zieman realized we hadn’t addressed embroidery basics in ages.  Since the hobby has welcomed so many new embroiderers, she felt it was time to address that subject. I wholeheartedly agreed. After carefully studying the embroidery process (hard to do when you stitch all the time and take many steps for granted), I realized it all boiled down to six easy steps.  You can watch the two-part series on Sewing with Nancy online or on your local PBS station.

I thought if I really wanted to get embroiderers off on the right path, they should be armed with the correct information and a few handy tools to get the job done right. So I packed some helpful tools, a 12” centering ruler, 6” target ruler, a sheet of target stickers and the patented Angle Finder, into Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons, a 64-page full color book. It’s everything an embroiderer needs to stitch beautiful embroidery.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Step 1. The Embroidery Machine. Learn why seven key features, (sewing field, design transfer, trace, rotation, mirror image, baste and stitch advance) are all you need.

Step 2. Embroidery Designs. Identify underlay, run, fill and satin stitches in lettering, stock designs, quilting designs, lace and appliqué and you’ll understand what makes one design stitch better than others.

Step 3. Placement. What’s the point of beautiful embroidery if it’s placed incorrectly? Discover the industry standards along with helpful positioning aids and tools to achieve perfect placement.

Step 4. Hooping. Standard embroidery hoops will handle 75% of your embroidery projects. Tackle the other 25% with specialty stabilizers, novelty hoops and ingenuous technique. After some practice, you’ll be able to hoop almost anything.

Step 5. Stitching. Reward yourself with beautiful embroidery by embracing professional habits for every design you stitch. Fine tune placement, add insurance to the hooping method, verify the design and orientation before pressing start!

Step 6. Finishing.  Time for the big reveal. Critique the design, remove the basting file and press it like a pro!

Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons is a helpful primer for all embroiderers. Seasoned embroiderers will pick up helpful tips on continuous embroidery, hooping stations, hoop comparisons, pre-cutting appliqué pieces, the embroiderer’s 12-point checklist plus my favorite 10 time-saving habits. Beginners will get a jump start on mastering this fun hobby in no time!

Here’s your assignment this week:

Get back to basics! Check out the special featuring Eileen and Nancy and let us know how the 6 step process has helped you – or what extra step do you add in your process? One lucky winner will receive a copy of Eileen’s new book Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons.

 
 

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Do you doodle? Do you dream? Tell us how you get your inspiration from your head to a finished product and you could win a copy of Bobbi Bullard’s new book, Artful Machine Embroidery. Good luck!

And the winner is… “I dream up my projects while I am doing areobic tapes every morning in my sewing room. While I’m marching, kicking, and lifting weights, I hang a piece of fabric or picture on my design wall and concentrate on how I want it to look. It makes the excercise go faster and I usually come up with a new idea or two!”- Paula

Congratulations Paula! Wow, way to multi-task. Enjoy your book and thank for sharing. :-)

 

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