Archive of ‘Wildcard Wednesday’ category

Flamingo Navidad

Flocking around the flamingo tree on this happy holiday!

The Volume 113 Nov/Dec issue features instructions for making the Beaded Flamingo card.  The instructions on the blog will cover how to make the Feather & Sequined Flamingo and the Felt Wing Flamingo.

All cards use the Fabulous Flamingo collection.  Perfect Embroidery Pro was used for making modifications to the design.


Feather & Sequined Flamingo

The embroidery design technique is the same as the Beaded Flamingo.  If you missed the steps in the magazine, follow along here.  Otherwise, scroll down to the Embellishing section within this blog.

Overview:  The goal is to replace the fill stitches for the main part of the flamingo body with an outline stitch.  The original design does not have an outline but we will create one in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

At the Computer
Open Birds of a Feather-17 in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Delete the text:  “Birds of a feather flock together”.

Select the second thread color in the sequence, Bashful Pink.  This is the main part of the flamingo body.

With the second thread color still selected, right click.  Select Utility.  Create Outline.

A new window appears.

Change the default from .08 to .00.  Click Apply.  There’s now an artwork outline around the flamingo body.  Note, this is artwork, not stitches.  I changed the color to a dark purple so you can see the outline a little better in the screenshot.

Delete the original color 2.  Then rearrange the color sequence so the outline of the flamingo body is now the second thread color in the sequence.

Change the Color to Bashful Pink.

With the artwork selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Run.  Click Apply.

In the Properties box, select Bean and click Apply.

Save the design in the appropriate machine format and send to the embroidery machine.

Hoop a piece of felt in a 5” x 7” hoop.  Stitch the design.  Trim the flamingo leaving 1/8” of felt all around the flamingo.

Embellishing

For this flamingo, I opted for the Pink Glitter Glue.  Based on my earlier testing, the glue does secure sequins.  But it does take longer for the glue to dry.  No problem!

I applied the glitter glue to the entire flamingo.  The photo shows a conservative amount but I did add more.  I wasn’t concerned about applying glue to the entire flamingo at once.  The glue takes awhile to dry.

Apply the sequins, one by one.  The packaging I purchased included three different sizes of sequins.  I used all three sizes for variety.  While it might strike you as tedious to attach each sequin, not everything is created in an instant.  Some things do take time.

Once I filled the flamingo with sequins, I did a spot check to see if there were any open spaces.  I added more sequins.  I even layered them because you really can’t have too many sequins.

Next, I decided a feather would be the perfect finishing touch but when I auditioned it, I discovered the pink was not the right shade.

Fabric spray paint is the solution!  This is the tricky part.  Don’t get overly excited when spraying the feather.  You will drench it and make a mess.

Instead, be judicious.  Gently apply the spray paint to the feather.  Take your time.  The flamingo that wins the race is not always the fastest. I sprayed two feathers to give me options.

Let the feathers dry.  Then attach the most appropriate feather using FabricTac glue or for faster results, attach with a hot glue gun.

Use some rhinestones to create a necklace (and hide the area where you attached the feather.

Finishing the Card

Select a fun card stock to create your card.  The words “Flamingo Navidad” were created in Adobe Photoshop Elements with font, AR BONNIE.  The font is also found in Microsoft Word.  Use your favorite font style and program to create your own text.  Place additional embellishments as desired.

Use a hot glue gun to secure the flamingo embroidery to the card.

 

Fabulous Flamingo cards are sure to make everyone smile!  Give them to family, friends and coworkers.  Make a stack and deliver them to shut-ins and nursing home residents.  You’ll have as much fun making them as you’ll have seeing everyone’s reactions when they receive them.

Purchase the design collection here.

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 10 Tulip Time – Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month : Block 10 Tulip Time
Sewing Instructions

Block 10, Tulip Time, is a four-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. As you know, My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the four units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance. In the software instructions for Block 10, we merged the four separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides for each of the four units into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Block 10 Tulip Time design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for all four units.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1.Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patches 1, 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown.

Place patch 1 fabric of Unit 2, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 7, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of Unit 2, right side down, over patch 1. Stitch color 8, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and stitch color 9, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 10, the seam of patches 1, 2 and 3.

Flip patch 3 open and stitch color 11, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2. Stitch color 12, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 13, the tackdown.

Place patch 5 fabric, right side up, over patch 4. Stitch color 14, the seam of patches 4 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 15, the tackdown.

Place patch 6 fabric of Unit 2, right side down, over patch 4, 1 and 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 16, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 17, the tackdown.

Place patch 7 fabric of unit 2, right side down over patch 6. Stitch color 18, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 19, the tackdown.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 3, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric of unit 3, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 21, the seam of patches 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 22, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric of unit 3, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 23, the seam of patches 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 24, the tackdown.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 25, the seam. Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 26, the tackdown.

Place patch 5, right side down, over patch 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 27, the seam.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color28, the tackdown. Unit 3 is complete.

Place patch 1 fabric of unit 4, right side up over patch 1. Stitch color 29, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 30, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 31, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 32, the seam of patches 1, 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 33, the tackdown.

Remove the block from the hoop. Trim the units on the outer stitched line. Sew the units together at the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

Stitching Pumpkins

The Dallas Arboretum has transitioned from their summer floral display to an eye-catching display of pumpkins and gourds.  All the stores are stocked with pumpkin decorations.  The coffee shops even have fall colors in their window displays.  With all the pumpkins popping up everywhere, I thought it would be gourd to join in! 😉


Our newest quilting collection, Pumpkin Parade, makes it easy to join in the festivities by making fall décor.  But before I started, I decided to set up a few rules.

Rule 1.  Stay focused.  (ha!)  By that I mean I decided to start and finish one project at a time.  I usually like to start multiple projects and I get so overwhelmed that I don’t finish them!  This also motivated me to get the current project finished so I could swiftly move on to my next great experiment.

Rule 2.  Minimize the number of variables.  One of my favorite activities is to take one design and see how many variations I can make with it.  Sometimes the variations are created in software. Other times, I have fun with fabric and thread color selection.  For this project, I decided the primary variable would be fabric and thread color.  (Though I did use two different pumpkin designs).

Rule 3.  Keep the project manageable in size.  Sure, I could stitch an entire quilt—or two—or three but I do need to sleep and I wanted to be sure I could finish them in a day or two.  The advantage of the small centerpieces:  I can give them as gifts to friends, family and coworkers.  The way I like to experiment, I may have enough for an entire neighborhood by the end of the week!

Rule 4.  Have fun and don’t be overly critical!  I read a comment recently on a social media platform from someone who was seeking advice on where and how to start a project.  Her desire for perfection seemed to be holding her back before she could even begin a project.  It can be especially disheartening when social media and photo editing makes it possible to present the best, most pristine and flawless representation of ourselves and our work.  But there’s also reality.  And in my reality, my binding is not impeccable on my quilts.  I try really hard.  But I’m still learning!  And that’s the point.  We have to stay focused on improving our skills and not be so critical of our work that we become immobile.

Denise carefully attaches binding. She’s hopeful. She’s confident. She’s determined to get the job done!

Enough about the rules, let’s take a look at my gourd-ous shenanigans I completed in 2 days.  😊


Centerpiece 1:  Youthful!

I rummaged through my fabric and found the orange print.  The downside, I only had scraps.  I decided to make the best of my supplies by making a 4-patch block.  I added a coordinating green fabric to make the centerpiece larger.

Once the top was complete, I made a quilt sandwich and hooped the project using Snap Hoop Monster.  Then it occurred to me I needed to center the design within the block.  No problem!  I used the handy Centering Ruler from the Embroidery Tool Kit to find the center of the block.  I placed a target sticker in the hole.  Then I made sure the needle hit the center of the target sticker.  Moments like these make having the right tools indispensable.

I chose an orange thread color for the pumpkin quilting design and used the stitch-in-the-ditch method for the busy prints.  My coworker, Sam, commented that he likes the difference in the busy prints.  One print is large scale while the other is a smaller scale.  Until he mentioned it, I hadn’t noticed.  Sometimes I can get so focused I miss certain elements!

Centerpiece 2:  Fall Harvest with a Touch of Blue!

I continued rummaging through my fabric and found small scraps of the beautiful blue print fabric.

It’s so delicious, I had to use it.  It’s also not what we might expect for a fall harvest but that’s why I love it!   I chose a brown thread color for the quilt designs. The brown thread coordinates well with the print.

Centerpiece 3:  Royalty!

I used a delicious batik fabric and a rich purple.

The tan thread color was influenced by the batik fabric.  This sample received a lot of attention when I paraded it around the office.  I suppose we all identify with royalty!  😉

I had an absolute blast making these centerpieces and am sad to see this blog post end.

Which version do you like best?  What other color scheme would you want to see?

 


Given my affinity for this collection, now’s a good time to mention we are offering free shipping on US orders.  I’ve extended the offer to October 5th.  Or give us a call during business hours:  888-739-0555 (8 am – 5 pm CDT).

 

 

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 6 Diamond Delight
Sewing Instructions

Block 6, Diamond Delight, is a two-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. As you know, My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece both units in one hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance. In the software instructions for Block 6, we merged the two separate units into one embroidery design and combined the placement guides into the first color of the merged design.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Retrieve the merged Diamond design on the machine. Stitch color 1, the placement guides for both units.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1.Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam of patch 1 and 2.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam of patches 2 and 3.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown.

Place patch 4, right side down over patch 3, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam of patches 3 and 4.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 8, the tackdown.

Place patch 5, right side down over patch 4, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam of patches 4 and 5.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tackdown.

Place patch 6, right side down over patch 5, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color11, the seam of patches 5 and 6.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 12, the tackdown.

Place patch 7, right side down over patch 6, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 13, the seam of patches 6 and 7.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 14, the tackdown.

Place patch 8, right side down over patch 7, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color15, the seam of patches 7 and 8.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 16, the tackdown.

Place patch 9, right side down over patch 8, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 17, the seam of patches 8 and 9.

Flip the patch open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 18, the tackdown.

Place patch 10, right side down over patch 9, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color19, the seam of patches 9 and 10.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 20, the tackdown.

Place patch 11, right side down over patch 10, aligning the raw edges. Stitch color 21, the seam of patches 10 and 11.

Flip the patch open and stitch color 22, the tackdown.

Follow the same steps for the second unit.

Remove the block from the hoop. Cut the units on the outer stitch lines and piece the units together on the sewing machine.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 5 Friendship Chain Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 5 Friendship Chain
Sewing Instructions

Block 5 is our first three-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the three units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance.

Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Load the first unit, Friendship Chain A into the hoop and move it the lower left corner. Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, in patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam.

Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown of patch 3.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam.

Flip patch 4 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tackdown of patch 4. Unit 1 is now complete.

Move the design to the top right corner of the hoop leaving space for Friendship Chain B. Stitch the first color, placement guide.

Stitch color 5, the placement guide of Unit 2.

Repeat all of the steps above. Retrieve Friendship Chain B and center it between the previously stitched units. Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam. Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tack down.

Remove the block from the machine and hoop. Trim the units on the outside stitch line.

Piece the units right sides together and stitch with ¼” seam allowance. If making the larger quilt, make three more blocks and set them aside. It’s fun to play with different layouts but it might be wise to wait until all blocks are made to finalize the layouts.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

My Block Piecer Block of the Month: Block 4: T Block Sewing Instructions

My Block Piecer
Block of the Month: Block 4: T Block
Sewing Instructions

Block 4 is a two-unit block in the My Block Piecer Sampler Block of the Month. My Block Piecer splits some blocks into smaller units when a patch shares seam allowances with more than one patch. We’ll piece each of the units in the hoop. Then the units will be removed from the hoop and sewn together on the sewing machine with ¼” seam allowance.

T Block A
Hoop tear-away stabilizer in a large hoop. Load the first unit, T Block A into the hoop and move it towards the top to make room for T Block B (or a second repeat of T Block A if you are doing multiples). Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

 

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, in patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam.

Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tackdown of patch 3.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 3, align the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam

Flip patch 4 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tackdown of patch 4.

Place patch 5 fabric, right side down, over patches 1 and 3, align the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam.

Flip patch 5 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tackdown of patch 5.

Place patch 6 fabric, right side down, over patches 4, align the raw edges. Stitch color 11, the seam.

Flip patch 6 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 12, the tackdown of patch 6. T Block a is complete.

If making multiples of Block 4 for the large quilt, stitch three more repeats of T Block A.

 

T Block B

Retrieve T Block B. Stitch color 1, the placement guide of T Block B, on hooped stabilizer.

Place patch 1 fabric, right side up, over patch 1. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Place patch 2 fabric, right side down, over patch 1, align the raw edges. Stitch color 3, the seam.

Flip patch 2 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 4, the tackdown of patch 2.

Place patch 3 fabric, right side down, over patch 2, align the raw edges. Stitch color 5, the seam.

Flip patch 3 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 6, the tack down.

Place patch 4 fabric, right side down, over patch 3, align the raw edges. Stitch color 7, the seam.

Flip patch 4 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 8, the tack down.

Place patch 5 fabric, right side down, over patch 4, align the raw edges. Stitch color 9, the seam.

Flip patch 5 open and finger press the seam. Stitch color 10, the tack down.

If making the large quilt, stitch four repeats of T Block B (three fit in an 8” x 8” hoop).

Remove the units from the machine trim the units on the outside stitch line. If making the larger quilt, make a total of four blocks and set them aside. It’s fun to play with different layouts but it might be wise to wait until all blocks are made to finalize the layouts.

Created by Nancy Stansbury

 

Finish Those Quilts in 2018!

If your New Year’s resolution is turn those quilt tops into finished quilts, then you might be interested in learning how to do that on your embroidery machine. About an year ago, Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons was published.  It is my best-selling book and no wonder – quilting with an embroidery machine is so doable!  And many of us have quilt tops that need to be quilted.  This book has been the culmination of over 20 years of quilting with an embroidery machine. I’ve done everything from embroidered quilt tops to quilt as you as go to quilting king size quilts on an embroidery machine.  I’ve learned an awful lot on this journey and you can still watch the Sewing with Nancy episodes online at http://wpt.org/SewingWithNancy/.

This book teaches you several different methods for quilting with an embroidery machine: quilting and appliqueing in one step; custom quilting and allover quilting.  Quilting and appliqueing in one step is a patented process that I designed in 2008.  Since then, I’ve created 16 Stipple Collections, and in this book you’ll find two projects that incorporate that revolutionary technique.

Custom quilting is no doubt the type of quilting that makes your jaw drop at quilt show competitions.  The quilting is designed to specifically enhance and fill a shape (block), applique or area. To be honest, custom quilting is probably best achieved through expert free motion quilting. When custom quilting is done on an embroidery machine, you do not have the ‘freedom’ to move the needle as you do in free motion quilting so the results are not as ‘customized.’  However, custom quilting is how many of us want to finish our tops. I show you how to do it in the Patriotic Pillow and Diamond table runner.

Allover quilting is often the result you get when you ‘quilt by check’. Quilt by check mean you pay someone else to quilt your quilt. When you send your quilt to a longarmer, they select an allover pattern that complements your quilt top unless you have specifically requested (and agreed to pay for) custom quilting.  There are two types of allover quilting: nesting and linking. You’ll learn the difference between the methods with two projects.

You’ll discover three different ways to handle the quilt during the stitching process: furniture you have on hand, the shortE and the Weightless Quilter.  My goal for this book is to help you expand your embroidery skills into the world of quilting and get more out of your machine.  I hope you find quilting with an embroidery machine as rewarding as I do. 

Want to win a copy of Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons?  Just leave a comment and tell me if have any quilt tops that need to be quilted.  Do you have one, two, three or more?  One lucky winner will be selected to win the book and the accompanying collection of 20 embroidery designs.  I hope you get all of your quilt tops finished in 2018!

 

Your Opinion Matters

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching at Wisconsin Quilt Expo. My topic was Turn Your Embroidery Machine into a Longarm.  The one-hour lecture covered everything from selecting designs to placement of designs to handling the bulk/weight of the quilt.  I had a blast! I love that topic and my students were really interested in mastering the technique. I shared everything I know about the topic that I could fit into 55 minutes. You know, I’m originally from New Jersey so I can talk really fast! 

That experience made me wonder what you look for when you want to learn new embroidery techniques.  What motivates you to attend a teaching event? What’s your preferred learning environment: at your local dealer in small groups, large group, hands-on, short lectures, online, TV or in print?  If you prefer a mix of environments, I’d love to hear our thoughts. Would you take a moment to share your thoughts on classes/events?

Behind the Scenes: Volume 106 Sept/Oct

A Piece of Pie!

The latest issue is shipping to stores and mailboxes across the globe and it’s packed with inspiration that we hope you’ll enjoy.  I’m a crazy detail person— it’s the small details that add up to something great in the bigger picture.  Literally speaking it’s why we selected Katherine Artines’ sunflower for the cover – all those chunky stitches, tiny beads and tufts of tulle are a winning combination.

For today’s blog, I thought I’d share some of the wacky details you might not otherwise notice or think about.  It also gives you a glimpse of the day in the life of the Designs magazine team and contributing writers.  We are grateful for everyone who makes the magazine possible.


High-Tech Meets Handcrafted by Nancy Zieman

Take a look at that beautiful photo put together by our photography team.  Is that pumpkin pie real?  It’s too perfect to be real.  Maybe the whipped cream is shaving cream?  It surely isn’t homemade….

It is, in fact, real!  Editor, Eileen Roche made the pie the night before just for this photo!  Of course, once the photo shoot was complete, we each enjoyed a slice of that delicious pie.  We definitely need to do more food related projects.

Connection Perfection and a Dress Fit for a Princess! By Joanne Banko

Like all of Joanne’s clothing projects, it’s difficult to part with them.  The garments she makes usually fit me and what fun it is to twirl around in this dress!  But it is customary to return all projects to the designers.  (some exceptions do happen!)

If you haven’t visited Joanne’s blog, you need to visit.  She has tip sheets and additional information related to the project, in this case, the dress.  I’m always so impressed with her endless energy and willingness to share her skills with readers.  Be sure to check out her other blog posts with expanded coverage of her projects.

Stylish + Organized by Reen Wilcoxson

If you haven’t seen the article, it’s a must read.  Reen has solved an age-old problem we all have:  getting tangled in cords.  And she’s solved it with such style, creativity and even with cork!  I love our contributing writers – they go above and beyond for our readers and they have fun doing it.  Reen also generously donated the free Cord Wrap designs.  You’ll find them on her website.  The samples below show just how much fun you can have personalizing them.  Glittery vinyl, bright happy colors, monograms and motifs make them unique.  My favorite is the cork set that just happens to have my name on it. 😉

Headrest Covers by Colleen Bell

Join me in wishing a warm welcome to one of our newest contributing writers!  Although I’ve never met Colleen in person, she’s one of the most thoughtful people I’ve had the opportunity to interact with.  Not only that, she’s very talented.  You’ll see what I mean with the headrest covers in the latest issue.

Here’s the behind the scenes look at setting up the shots for the headrest covers.  Creative Director, Samuel Solomon is seen holding a test card for color balancing.

We had a great selection of photos to choose from for all three headrest samples (Texas longhorn, monogram and a mermaid).

What theme would you stitch on your headrest covers?  Choose favorite sports team colors, school colors or go with a new one for every season.


This is just a small preview of the creativity in the latest issue that is shipping now.  If you have a subscription you can access the digital version online.

 

 

 

 

A trip to the museum

As machine embroiderers, I think it’s important to step out of our comfort zones to see new interpretations of the everyday.  That’s why I took a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art recently.  A fashion exhibit featuring the work of Iris van Herpen was on display and it was well worth the trip!

If you’re unfamiliar, she’s a fashion designer that boldly and unapologetically mixes media to make her collections.  Ever imagine using 3-D printing to make garments?  She has and she’s done it.  She mixes everything from tulle (we’d expect that) to resins, chain and magnets.

My friend and I commented on whether or not a model could sit in any of the garments.  We concluded most were not meant for sitting!  But they certainly were fascinating and inspiring.

Take a look.


This dress, called Refinery Smoke, is at the entrance to the exhibit.  I think it’s among my favorites in the collection.  The description of the dress, as featured at the museum, follows.

What a unique gift to see beauty where most of us don’t.

The next dress is my top favorite.  It has a vintage look about it – which I love.

Here’s a closer view of the detail.  Would you have ever imagined to use ball chain on a garment?  Somehow it works!  As a machine embroiderer, I can imagine a touch of Urban Threads’ embroidery designs embellished somewhere on the dress.  You’ll make a splash when you enter the room in this garment!

You might be thinking delicate feathers.  No.  Laser cut 3-D polyester film lace and micro fiber.

At a loss for words? Me too.  Among the components are silicone laser-cut feathers, gull skulls and pearls.  Of course!

Close-up view of the garment.

Can you guess the metal components in the dress below?  Umbrella tines!


While you and I may not aspire to create over-the-top pieces like these – we do have permission to be inspired.  Push yourself to see fabric and embroidery designs with a new perspective.  Iris van Herpen certainly “broke” all sorts of “rules” when it comes to creating garments – and you can too – whether it’s embroidered garments, quilts or home decor.

Look for ideas in the upcoming Volume 106 Sept/Oct issue with Katherine Artines and Volume 107 Nov/Dec featuring a variety of 3-D ornaments.

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