Archive of ‘Quick Gifts’ category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!”  

 

 

 

 

Last minute thoughtful holiday gifts!

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In the middle of summer my friend and I went hiking at Lost Maples State Park.  We’ve hiked before but neither of us realized what we were getting into.  The walk was difficult from the start.  I tried to distract myself by admiring the rocks.  They were pretty white rocks!

We walked for several hours before reaching a stopping point.  My friend asked if I wanted to take the same trail back or continue toward new territory.

I detested the thought of walking back.  Moving forward seemed logical.

But then the terrain changed.  Steep inclines.  Vultures were circling us.  I wondered if they spotted dinner.  My friend rallied and encouraged me.  He kept telling me I’ve trained for this – it’s just like the stairmaster at the gym.

We made it up the incline.  But the trek down was worse.  I turned silent.  I began praying.  Not even in English— I pulled out Latin prayers from my memory.  I was afraid.  I wondered if I’d reach the point of despair.

The trek was cruel—with loose rocks covering the entire incline down.  I hung on to branches to prevent slipping and falling.

My friend helped me along by testing the steeper rocks and making sure I stepped on firm rocks.  I wondered if we’d end up in the news.

We reached what I thought was the end of the trail and I ravenously ate my rationed chocolate granola bar—not caring that chocolate was probably all over my face.  (I’m usually very fastidious).  But the trail wasn’t over yet.  We walked through a creek then reached some shade before finally reaching the car.  I lay on the parking lot pavement—grateful and exhausted.

Somewhere along that trek I coined a new name for the trail.  Quicksand Mountain.  The name doesn’t make sense but in my delirious, panicked condition, the name stuck.

That day on Quicksand Mountain is my reference point.  If I can survive that day I can do anything.  My friend and I made it through—learning valuable lessons and having a great story to share.

That’s why I decided to make this gift for him for Christmas.  It’s simple yet has a lot if meaning.

I encourage you to stitch a simple, yet thoughtful gift for a friend or family member.  No one but you and the recipient may understand its meaning— but that makes it all the more special and unique!

The block was made in My Quilt Embellisher—but your thoughtful creation can be made using any software.  Choose your own message and design to make it a personal gift.  Follow the steps below to get an understanding of your software then create your own version.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • How to convert artwork to embroidery stitches
  • How to incorporate lettering and quilting stitches using the Outline feature.

 

Instructions

Open My Quilt Embellisher.  Click on the Select Block icon on the top Tool bar.

Click on Basic Quilt Blocks.  Then select Peaky & Spike.  I chose the 8” x 8” block size but you can change to whatever size suits your needs.

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With the block selected, click the Transform tab and click Flip Vertical.  Note that the entire quilt block is just artwork right now.  The next steps will convert it to stitches.

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Click on the Red Triangle.  Click on the Convert to Run icon.

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Click the Text icon to add text.  I chose to do 4 individual lines of text because I wanted the most freedom. The first two lines of text are the Arial font.  The third line, “Quicksand” is the Mini Lancer Script.  I thought it captured the look and feel of quicksand well.  The 4th line, “Mountain” is the Arial font.  I chose to italicize it to enhance the ominous look and feel.

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Next I chose the Arial 4mm font to type additional messages for the ‘side’ of the mountain.  Then I rotated the text to align with the side of the triangle.  Message 1:  “Let’s go to Quicksand Mountain!”

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I repeated this step for the other ‘side’ of the mountain. Message 2:  “It’s just like the stairmaster!”

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I added the year to the ‘peak’ of the mountain, using the same Arial 4mm font.

The last step is to convert the rest of the artwork to stitches.  But you’ll want the stitches to work around the text.

Select both lines of text as shown in the diagram.  Right click and select Group.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Right click again.  Select Create Outline.

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A window will appear.  Keep the defaults and select Ok.

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An outline will appear around the text.  This outline is Artwork only—there are no embroidery stitches.

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Select all the Artwork images.

Click the Combine icon.

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With the Artwork still selected, click the Stipple icon to convert the area to stitches.

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Your embroidery design should look like the image below.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Finish the block by color sorting.  Then save the embroidery design and send to your machine.

Purchase a frame and trim the fabric to fit.

 

Not only do you have a one of a kind gift unavailable from any department store – but you’ve spent a moment learning your embroidery software!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:
What memories do you have that you could convert to stitches?  Post your comment and one lucky winner will win a copy of Calligraphy Project Designers! Good Luck!
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question…One of these things is not like the other. Spot what’s different in the photo above? Two random comments will be chosen to receive $50 gift certificates at Stunning Stitches! Good luck.SS_DME-Banner-CertificateAnd the answer we were looking for and the two winners: Sandy P and Joyce F – barefoot lady!

 

 

 

All for Me!

Improvise! Create! Have fun!

I wanted to create something fun and personalized for my friends. These luggage tags featured in Shelly Smola’s book, All for Me, fit my needs for creativity. They can be used as gift tags, luggage tags or even Christmas ornaments!

The luggage tags are designed with a handy pocket made of clear vinyl to slide a name tag with contact information. Unfortunately, I didn’t have vinyl and I didn’t want to drive all the way to the fabric store. (It’s a whole 5 minutes away from the office!)

I decided to improvise…

Improvise on Materials

First attempt: Clear plastic from a paper CD sleeve.
I wasn’t using the CD sleeve and the plastic seemed like it would work. However, the needle penetrations perforated the plastic making it easy to rip away.

Undaunted, I hunted the office for other clear plastic materials…

Second attempt: A Ziplock bag!

I thought I was pretty clever for trying this technique. Again, the needle penetrations perforated the plastic.

Suggestions from office mates: Use a clear shower curtain.

This idea has been used and tested in the building… but sadly there wasn’t a shower curtain in the office. And the nearest retailer is at least 20 minutes away….

Next attempt: Tulle.

I used two layers of tulle and placed water soluble stabilizer on top. This method worked! Plus tulle comes in countless colors to coordinate with my fabric selection for the dresses. The card insert I placed in the pocket is still legible through the tulle.

Next attempt: Sheer ribbon.

I used two layers and placed water soluble stabilizer on top. This method also worked. I prefer the ribbon because it’s easier to work with but that’s just a personal preference.

All for Me

Create!

Sample 1. Pretty Blue!

I selected blue satin fabric for the dress and soft thread colors to coordinate with the fabric. I accidentally stitched the leaves in pink. Surely there are pink leaves found in nature somewhere! I added hot fix pearls to the flowers for added embellishments.

Sample 2. Bridal Party

I selected the same blue satin fabric. This time I stitched everything in white. The blue is subtle enough that it could be used for a bridal shower gift tag. I added the hot fix pearls to the flowers and the buttons. Also consider making one as a Christening ornament for a baby.

Sample 3. Celebrate the Crinkles!

When discussing our serious fabric shortage in the building with Eileen, I came upon a delightful brown crinkle type fabric. I hesitated but had to ask anyway, “will this work or am I crazy?” Fortunately, Eileen encouraged me to try. In fact, she shared a tip to ensure success.

Eileen’s tips:

Add fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer to the back of the fabric. This will add stability and will also keep the wrinkles in place as you stitch the crinkle fabric. The particular concern was ensuring the stipple stitches would stitch properly on the fabric.

Another tip, the fusible polymesh comes in black. This is especially useful if you’re working with a dark colored fabric. I’ll keep that in mind next time!

I love the added texture this fabric brings to the dress. In fact, I’d wear this dress if it were full size!

Sample 4. Embrace Color!

Now with 3 dresses successfully stitched, I was feeling quite bold. I found a bright yellow satin fabric. I fused polymesh to the back of the fabric. I opted to embrace contrasting colors… and during the process I must admit I got some inspiration from the movie, 27 Dresses. I used two layers of pink tulle for the pocket and of course a bright pink for the stitches. While stitching the flowers I noticed the leaves look like hearts. I decided to skip the flower centers and add hot fix crystals as embellishments.

Have Fun!
The primary motivation when I create anything is to have fun. During this process I enjoyed focusing on variety and details. For this project I only made dresses and challenged myself to try and make each one slightly different. What details can I add? I experimented with fabrics, thread colors, skipping embroidery details, adding hot fix embellishments and more!

Looking at the dresses, I realized hangers would be a nice addition. Using wire and some pliers I fashioned a small hanger for the embroidered dress. I cut two pieces of wire—one for the hook and the other for the base. I wrapped the end of the hook to the base. Next I covered the wire with a decorative fiber.

The hanger was an afterthought for my pretty brown dress. Next time I would skip stitching the hole for the ribbon since the hanger serves the same purpose.

What a wonderful way to have fun with small scraps of fabric!

There are additional luggage tags included with the book as well as other fun projects.

A total of 6 projects are included:

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

All for Me

Did you know? All for Me is now available as a download! That’s right, now you can download the book and the designs from the comfort of your home. This is especially ideal for overseas customers!

Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website for more information.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Urban Threads is giving away four (4) $25 gift certificates to their website. Just leave a comment below about a design you re-purposed for something new, something different! Maybe you turned a kitchen towel project into some doll clothes or made a bracelet out of a sashing – whatever it is, we want to know.

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The winner of last week’s assignment is:

What is your most prized monogram project? Tell us your favorite and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!

Gift-Card

And the winners is..Shea  – “My favorite monogram is the stacked one that I put on one of three t-shirts I gave to my 30-year old son for his last birthday. I’ve seen him wear that shirt three times in the month since then – he LOVES it.”

It’s Sew Easy TV: Monograms for Men

ISE 703-2 PIC 1

On October 10, log onto http://www.ItsSewEasyTV.com and watch me show you how to make any men’s garment distinctive and personal by adding a monogram in episode 703.  The key work is discretion to assure great results. I’ll discuss the variety of types and shapes available for monograming, and show how to perfectly position the garment in the hoop before you start to embroider.  Then, I’ll create the monogram on the screen of the Quattro® 3 NV6750D by selecting the font from the built-in lettering and resizing and moving the letters.  Check out how to use the snowman sticker to assure the pocket flap is perfectly positioned.

Materials

If there’s one word to describe monogramming on menswear, it’s discreet; discreet in size and contrast. Now don’t go by my samples – my samples are done for photography – highly contrasting so you can see them well on camera. But when stitched for someone to actually wear, a discreet monogram is the one most gentlemen will be comfortable wearing. You have several choices when it comes to placing the monogram. Some very popular choices are on the pocket, above the pocket, or on the pocket flap if there is one, on the left cuff, inside the placket between the second and third button or on the placket at the bottom, just below the last button on the top placket and just for identification purposes: inside the collar. ill There are countless ways to arrange the letters but I’ve focused on three versions of the three-letter monogram. The traditional diamond shape: first name initial, last name initial and middle name initial. The two outer letters are proportionally smaller than the middle letter. Diamond The standard order: first, middle and last initial – all the same size. Standard On the pocket flap, go for a contemporary approach with the first initial stacked over the middle initial. This ‘tower’ of letters is equal in size to the last initial. Take this approach when the garment is a casual shirt like flannel, worn every day. Contemp Let’s take a look at how you do it.

Pocket Flap

Find the vertical center of the flap. Place a target sticker just right of the edge of the flap. Hoop sticky stabilizer and place the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Turn on the laser and center the hoop under the laser. Position the flap on the sticky stabilizer. Smooth the flap on the stabilizer making sure the shirt is not caught under the flap. Flap1 Support the weight of the shirt while transporting the hoop to the machine. Attach the hoop on the machine and verify the needle is centered over the target sticker. Remove the sticker and embroider the monogram.

Cuff

Button the left cuff and place it on a flat surface. Cuff2 Place the Perfect Placement Kit Cuff template on the cuff, aligning the fold with the template fold line and the topstitching line with the topstitching. Slide a target sticker under the template – use A for sizes small and medium and B for Large and extra-large. Cuff Unbutton the sleeve and pull the sleeve inside out. Hoop adhesive stabilizer and center the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Slide the cuff under the beam, aligning the crosshairs. Attach the hoop to the machine and embroider the monogram. These small precise monograms take under three minutes to stitch – you could do a whole closetful in an afternoon!

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your most prized monogram project? Tell us your favorite and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!

Gift-Card

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

What foot do you have that you wish you knew how to use?  Post a comment to let us know! One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

And the winners is..Barbara. “Gee, I wish I knew where to start! Between my sewing machine and serger, there are so many adventures afoot that I can’t begin to choose! How about the ones that came with the last update?”

Applique – It’s Not Just for Quilting

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Oh, dear readers!  If you had been guests in my office last Thursday you’d have seen chaos, pandemonium and some really fun projects being put together using the new Stipple Baby collection.  What you wouldn’t have seen was my desk. It disappeared during the ‘creative process.’

The Stipple Baby collection is a slight departure from our usual Stipple products. It includes the Stipple quilt block designs but it also includes the individual clothing designs so you can mix and match to create your own blocks.  Plus we’ve included the digital files (SVG and FCM) to use with your favorite digital cutters!

You can make quilts and pillows.  Embellish clothing or home décor.  You can also make banners, birth announcements, birthday cards and more!  Just remember, if you make the item for baby, make it safe!  Save the tiny embellishments (beads, buttons, rhinestones, ribbons, etc) to embellish a gift for the parents rather than baby.  The inspiration you see in this blog post is intended for adults.

I could ramble on about the collection but pictures are worth a thousand words.  And to get us started… here’s a behind the scenes look my office.  As I mentioned, the desk somehow disappeared.

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But the results are worth it!  Take a look!

Sample 1.  For the “Ralph Lauren” Baby!
I wanted an understated, sophisticated look for this little art project.

I used twill for the dress and added brown linen for the collar and sash.

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I starched the brown linen before using it.  It made a big difference working with it and almost makes me want to wear linen again next Spring!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Once the dress outline was stitched, realized I wanted to experiment.  While at the embroidery machine I selected the outline for the dress again.  I advanced the stitches until I reached the base of the dress.  Then I carefully placed the lace at the base of the dress and stitched the design. Admittedly, glue is also an option for securing the lace. No one would know the difference. Or you can take the design into editing software and program an extra stitch at the base.  The wonderful thing about machine embroidery – there’s more than one way to achieve a goal.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
Ribbon Inspiration!
The ribbon I selected was originally too wide. No problem!  I trimmed the ribbon and made it work for my needs.  Since this project is for a card, I wasn’t as concerned about raw edges.

Next time you ‘think’ something won’t work, try to look at it from a different perspective.  Ask yourself, “how can I make this work and perhaps make something even better than anticipated?”  That should be the goal every time you hit a roadblock in your creative process!

Once the dress was complete I cut it away from the stabilizer and trimmed excess fabric and ribbon.  I hand sewed two wooden buttons to the dress.  Then I layered burlap and scrapbook paper for texture and interest.  I used hot glue to attach all the pieces.

After cutting the burlap background I used the leftover scraps to make a small bow for the dress.  I also cut small hearts from the burlap and layered them on scrapbook paper.  Scrapbook brads were used for additional texture.

Embroidery & Scrapbooking

Around this time I had a few pieces of chocolate to help continue the creative process…

 

Sample 2.  For the Country Chic Baby!
Do you hoard fabric like I do?  The floral scraps of fabric used on the collar and sash are at least 10 years old.  It was time to dust it off and put it to good use.

Remember when working with print fabric that scale is important.  The flowers were just the right size to use with the dress.

I added the same ribbon embellishment to the base of the dress.

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At this point the dress looked boring to me.  It needed a splash of burgundy to coordinate with the floral print fabric.

I wove some decorative fiber through the ribbon – it was THE perfect accent!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Next I wove the same decorative fiber through a button.  Then I added the button to the sash (I cheated and glued the button.) Additional fun included using scrapbooking supplies to make a card for the dress.  I love the results!

To celebrate the launch of Stipple Baby, we’re offering FREE shipping and handling on US orders!  (For those of you in the US who ordered between September 18, 2014 – September 24, 2014 – have no fear.  We’ll be giving you a refund on the shipping and handling fees for those who ordered standard shipping.)  Visit the Designs in Machine Embroidery website to take advantage of this limited time offer.  Be sure to use the coupon code:  baby

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Leave a comment below about something you’d like to create with Stipple! Baby. One random comment will be chosen to get their very own copy of Stipple! Baby for free. 

The winner of last week assignment: Embroidered shoes are not your typical embroidered item. Leave a comment below about the most unusual thing you’ve embroidered. One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $100 gift certificate courtesy of Pickle Pie Designs for use at PicklePieDesigns.com – thanks for reading and good luck!

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And the winner is Patricia. – “The oddest thing I’ve ever embroidered is a bathroom set of a bar of soap, a candle, and a matching roll of toilet tissue. Makes a cute gift!”

Monogram of the Month: A Reason to Celebrate!

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I was very excited when Eileen gave me the opportunity to write this month’s Monogram of the Month feature.  I’ve had my eye on the banner designs from JoAnn Connolly’s book, Sweet Stitchesand decided instead of monograms today I’d do a fun banner.   I’m quite fond of quick and easy projects that require minimal effort but create lots of joy while I stitch.  And these designs fit my requirements to the letter!  (Pun intended!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I wanted to make something special for my friend, Jean, who will be celebrating her 95th birthday.  Friends and family are gathering this 4th of July weekend to celebrate her day.  I decided to make a festive banner to mark the occasion—plus it would make a great backdrop to take photos of her with her family.  Great memories everyone can cherish!

Fabric

Like most of our readers, I like fabric and I eagerly sign up for any excuse to buy more, more, more!  But this time, I decided I’d challenge myself—really test my nouveau designer skills and gasp… use what I already have!

I rummaged through my containers of fabric – I was certain I had nothing!  Nothing!  But wait… that polka dot fabric is kinda cute.  Actually, it’s very cute.  So cute, I haven’t used it because I wanted to use it for something special.  It was a small remnant I purchased over a decade ago from Hancock Fabrics.  It’s perfect.  Once I found the main fabric it was easy to add other coordinating fabrics.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Designs

My next challenge was figuring out what combination of letters to use.  “Happy Birthday” is an obvious choice.  But I decided to go with something more universal—and that can work all year long—“Celebrate”.  After all, life should be a celebration—especially when you have lived 95 years!

Sweet Stitches comes with an accompanying CD.  I transferred the letters to spell “Celebrate” to a USB stick for my embroidery machine.  Then I stitched the designs.

Denise Tips:

  • Be sure to keep the book handy!  The photos and step-by-step instructions will guide you along the way.  Initially I thought I didn’t need to read the steps—I like a challenge.  But after stitching a few samples I decided I’d go ahead and read the steps.  Surprise, surprise!  Following the steps made the process much simpler.
  • JoAnn has a reason for suggesting you use Temporary Spray Adhesive when working with applique fabrics.  If you don’t… you might end up with puckers!  Oops!A Reason to Celebrate!
  • Applique scissors are especially useful when trimming.
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
  • If you place white on top of a busy fabric, be aware of the possibility of fabric show-through.  My first ‘careless’ attempt to solve this problem was to place a second layer of white fabric.  But the fabric I was using was very heavy—so when it came time to trim the two layers of white fabric, it wasn’t an easy or flawless task.  Argh!
    Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
    My second attempt was much better.  I used a layer of stabilizer underneath the white fabric.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

  • Mix & Mingle… and have fun!  Don’t feel like every letter has to be the same color.  Mix and match.  That’s what makes the process fun.  Plus this gives you a chance to use small fabric scraps.

 

Here’s a look at the finished banner!  I look forward to decorating for Jean’s birthday and creating fun memories! Imagine the banners you can make for someone special!  Give it a try.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

 

Here’s your assignment this week:What decorations have you made over the years to celebrate someone’s special day?  Post a comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.Gift-Card
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

Do you have a versatile design you use over and over on different types of projects? Post your comment for a chance to win a copy of Calligraphy Project Designer.

 

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And the winner is… Alicia Key 
“I have several designs I enjoy but after a few kitchen towels of them I’m ready to try a new design. I’ve just recently joined your email list & I’m looking forward to more of your ideas for creativity! I like the Embroidery Library design that Colleen Bell mentioned above & while checking that out, I found some more that I like. I also like Andrea Henke’s suggestion of the glow-in-the-dark eyes on pillow cases! I’ll have to find some of that thread! I would LOVE a chance to win the Calligraphy files.”

Congratulations, Alicia.  Sounds like you’ll be very busy with all sorts of projects!

 

 

 

Thoughts to Ponder

Cal15-rev2Subtle text messages are a lovely way to add sentiments to gifts, home décor accessories or even wearables.   A romantic mood can be set with the right fabric, color selection, charms, ribbons and trims. I enjoyed making these small projects – the fun is in the creating and ok, the gathering of the goodies! Cal14-rev

Let me show you how easy it is to do. Open an embroidery lettering software program. I used Calligraphy Project Designer – designed for simple text creation with an Old World spin. Click on the Font icon to enter the text. Select a font and click Apply.

Cal1

Left mouse click on the blue triangles to pull the text closer together to mimic handwriting.

Cal3

Select the Ink Spots icon and left click on Heart 3 (highlighted in yellow in the image). Click OK.

Cal4

Size the heart to 2.94” x 2.90” by dragging a corner handle or typing the measurement into the Properties Box. Click Apply.

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Select and rotate the text. Cal6

Change the thread color to the actual thread you’ll use if desired. Click on the color chip on the right bar and select the appropriate color from the drop down menu. Click OK.

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My intention is for the heart to be the backdrop of the text so I’ll send that color to the first position. Select the heart, left mouse click and select Order/To Back from the drop down menu.

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Send the design to the machine in the appropriate format and hoop linen with cut-away stabilizer. Stitch the design. Remove the fabric from the hoop and trim the fabric leaving a 1” border. Cal9-rev

Trim the stabilizer close to the stitching. Cal10-rev

Sew around the square ½” from the fabric edge. Cal11-rev

Fray the linen on all four sides. Cal12-rev

Stitch the patch to a card stock tag. Add brads, charms and ribbon if desired.  Cal16-rev

What fun!

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tags are a great way to add flair and function to lots of different items. Luggage, lunch bags, laptop cases, gift bags and even tackle boxes are brightened by their warm welcoming appearance. Share with us an item you would like to create a tag for but haven’t quite been able to figure out how. We or one of our readers might just have your perfect solution and 5 comments will be chosen to receive a $20 gift certificate to spend at Five Star Fonts!

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The winner of last week’s assignment is:

What is your most appreciated mens embroidery project? Was it the golf club covers you made for your son-in-law, the personalized seat covers for your husband? Tell us the project that wowed and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!

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And the winners is..Sharon B. “My husband liked the golf towel with the club distances on it.”

Discreet is the Word – Monogramming for Men

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It’s not too late to show your dad how much you care about him. And nothing says it better than stitches. Just remember to keep the embroidery subtle. Here’s a few timely tips on stitching for men.

Materials

If there’s one word to describe monogramming on menswear, it’s discreet; discreet in size and contrast. Now don’t go by my samples – my samples are done for photography – highly contrasting so you can see them well on camera. But when stitched for someone to actually wear, a discreet monogram is the one most gentlemen will be comfortable wearing.

You have several choices when it comes to placing the monogram. Some very popular choices are on the pocket, above the pocket, or on the pocket flap if there is one, on the left cuff, inside the placket between the second and third button or on the placket at the bottom, just below the last button on the top placket and just for identification purposes: inside the collar.

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There are countless ways to arrange the letters but I’ve focused on three versions of the three-letter monogram. The traditional diamond shape: first name initial, last name initial and middle name initial. The two outer letters are proportionally smaller than the middle letter. Diamond

The standard order: first, middle and last initial – all the same size. Standard

On the pocket flap, go for a contemporary approach with the first initial stacked over the middle initial. This ‘tower’ of letters is equal in size to the last initial. Take this approach when the garment is a casual shirt like flannel, worn every day. Contemp

Let’s take a look at how you do it.

Pocket Flap

Find the vertical center of the flap. Place a target sticker just right of the edge of the flap. Hoop sticky stabilizer and place the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Turn on the laser and center the hoop under the laser. Position the flap on the sticky stabilizer. Smooth the flap on the stabilizer making sure the shirt is not caught under the flap.

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Support the weight of the shirt while transporting the hoop to the machine. Attach the hoop on the machine and verify the needle is centered over the target sticker. Remove the sticker and embroider the monogram.

Cuff

Button the left cuff and place it on a flat surface. Cuff2

Place the Perfect Placement Kit Cuff template on the cuff, aligning the fold with the template fold line and the topstitching line with the topstitching. Slide a target sticker under the template – use A for sizes small and medium and B for Large and extra-large.

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Unbutton the sleeve and pull the sleeve inside out. Hoop adhesive stabilizer and center the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Slide the cuff under the beam, aligning the crosshairs. Attach the hoop to the machine and embroider the monogram.

These small precise monograms take under three minutes to stitch – you could do a whole closetful in an afternoon!

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your most appreciated mens embroidery project? Was it the golf club covers you made for your son-in-law, the personalized seat covers for your husband? Tell us the project that wowed and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!

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The winner of last week’s assignment is:

If you owned the Scrollwork Alphabet from EmbroideryOnline, where would you stitch the designs? What thread colors would you use? One comment will be randomly selected and will win a copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons.

And the winners is..Susan M. “Greetings Eileen. I think the showcased monogram would look stunning on a accent pillow for any room in the house.. one or multiple initials. Thanks for sharing.”

Multi-Needle Monday: My Go-To Gift

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Last week, I showed how to stitch multiple napkins in on a single-needle machine. Today, let’s look at how to do it on a multi-needle machine.

The set-up is the same: Mark the location of the corner monogram on each of the six napkins. I use the Napkin On-Point template from the Perfect Placement Kit – no math, no measuring. Just place the template on the napkin aligning the guides with the stitched hem and then insert a target sticker into the hole with the arrow pointing towards the body of the napkin. Repeat for all six napkins – you’ll finish this task in under two minutes.

Select the largest hoop available and hoop tear-away stabilizer. I selected the 8” x 12” standard hoop but Multi-Needle Monster would also work very well. Use one of three options for holding the napkin on the stabilizer: spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive, hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer or use painter’s tape. I used adhesive tear-away stabilizer.

Position the first napkin in the bottom left corner of the hoop. Center the needle over the target sticker, remove the sticker and embroider the design. If your machine has a baste feature, use it! Move the design to the top left corner of the hoop. Fold the napkin out of the new sewing field and lay the second napkin in place. Smooth the napkin onto the adhesive stabilizer. Stitch the design. Nap1

Fold up both napkin tips and tape them down. Nap2

Place the third napkin below the second napkin. Smooth in place making sure the design area is not overlapped with the second napkin. Position the needle over the target sticker. Nap3

If your machine has a trace feature, use it to verify the needle will not stitch on the first napkin. Once you’re confident the first napkin is out of the sewing field, remove the sticker and embroider the design. Nap4

Fold and tape the side of the napkin and move the design just below the third napkin. Nap5

Stitch the napkin. Nap6

Tape the corners of napkins three and four. Nap7

Repeat the process for napkin five. Nap8

And napkin six. Nap9

Remove the stabilizer from the hoop and clip the basting stitches before tearing away the stabilizer. Nap10

Wow –six napkins in a flash!

My Go-To Gift

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If you think you don’t have time to stitch a last minute gift, think again! Let me show you how to stitch six napkins in no time.

Mark the location of the corner monogram on each of the six napkins. I use the Napkin On-Point template from the Perfect Placement Kit – no math, no measuring. Just place the template on the napkin aligning the guides with the stitched hem and then insert a target sticker into the hole with the arrow pointing towards the body of the napkin. Repeat for all six napkins – you’ll finish this task in under two minutes. Naps2-1

Select the largest hoop available and hoop tear-away stabilizer. Since I was limited to a 5” x 7” hoop for this project, I selected a small design so I could fit three napkins in one hooping. Use one of three options for holding the napkin on the stabilizer: spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive, hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer or use painter’s tape.

To get the most of a 5” x 7” sewing field for this technique, consider placing the first design (napkin) at the far left back of the hoop, the second design in the middle on the right and the third design at the bottom of the hoop on the left. You could audition the positions in software or on the editing screen of your machine. Here’s an example. Naps7-1

Position the first napkin at the back of the hoop. Center the needle over the target sticker, remove the sticker and embroider the design. If your machine has a baste feature, use it! Naps3-1

Lift the corner of the napkin back over the body of the napkin and tape it out of harm’s way. Naps4-1

Position the second napkin below the first napkin, making sure the first napkin is not caught under the second napkin. Smooth in place. Naps5-1

Position the needle over the target sticker. If your machine has a trace feature, use it to verify the needle will not stitch on the first napkin. Once you’re confident the first napkin is out of the sewing field, remove the sticker and embroider the design. Naps6-1

Lift the corner, tape it down to keep it out of the sewing field. Naps8-1

Position the third napkin and repeat the process. Naps9-1

Bam -three napkins done in no time! Now repeat for a second hooping of three more napkins and your set of six is complete.

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your favorite go-to gift? One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us what your favorite children’s theme is for the Summertime goodies you are crafting. FOUR lucky comments will be chosen to receive $25 to spend at the Applique for Kids website. Thanks and good luck!

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And the winners are..Donna N. Clarice, Barb & Berenice

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