Posts Tagged ‘Eileen Roche’

Celebrating 100 Issues!

What does it take?

They say if you choose a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.  But if you take a closer look, even your favorite hobby can become frustrating.  There are the days the needle breaks, bird’s nests inexplicably happen and you make bad thread color choices on the very last remnant of fabric you had for a special project.  Dwelling on those frustrations doesn’t do any good—except to learn from them.

There are also the momentous days when you complete a project and it looks fantastic.  Or those days when you learn and master a new technique on your embroidery machine or you learn a shortcut in your embroidery software.

The tiring days along with the triumphant days of accomplishment; get woven together to create a wonderful and unique story about our lives.  That is what has happened at Designs in Machine Embroidery.

The Team

Group Photo

(Left to Right)  Stephanie Sanders, Eileen Roche, Gary Gardner, Sandy Griggs, Denise Holguin, Samuel Solomon celebrated their 100th issue by taking a cooking lesson at Sur La Table

A wonderful story of hard work, big dreams and even a little bit of crazy made it possible for Designs in Machine Embroidery to start with Volume 1 and progress to Volume 100.

The magazine would not happen without a dedicated team.  The team is led by Editor and Founder, Eileen Roche and her business partner, Gary Gardner.

Samuel Solomon, the Creative Director, has been with the magazine since Volume 6.

Volume 6

Celebrating 100 Issues!

Aside from being the magazine historian (we often go to him and ask, ‘do you remember what issue the embroidered project was in?’) he is responsible for laying out each page from cover to cover.  He’s also responsible for the cover.  Plus Sam is our go-to for last minute ideas and special details.  “Hey!  Let’s add decorative flags to our celebratory cupcakes for our 100th issue.  Sam!  Will you make them…now?”

Celebrating 100 issues

For this photo shoot, we stacked all 100 issues in the scene with our special decorated cupcakes

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Details take more time but they make the difference! You’ll find this “Simply Charm-ing” project by Katherine Artines on page 40 of Volume 100.

Sam, Eileen and Managing Editor, Denise Holguin, spend a good portion of their time planning the cover.  The beauty is in the details—from selecting the cover project, to determining how the project should be photographed and what text and colors should go on the cover. If you’re not a detail person, you might say, “it’s just a quilt”, or “it’s just a garment” but it’s more than a quilt or a garment.  It’s a project we have selected because it represents what our magazine is about and also our hope for what will inspire you.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If you have Volume 100 handy, take a look at the front cover.  It has a beautiful silver sheen to commemorate our 100th issue.  This is also the very first issue we’ve published without a project or model on the front cover.

Celebrating 100 Issues!

Once you open the cover, you’ll see the contributions of Eileen, Denise and a talented team of writers who stitch original projects to inspire and educate our readers.

In Eileen’s spare time, she contributes to every issue with a project or article.  You might ask, with such a busy schedule, why not outsource all the projects?  Why should Eileen spend her time stitching?  The answer is simple:  It’s fun!  She loves to create, design and develop new embroidery techniques she can share with you.  She remains as passionate about machine embroidery as she began with Volume 1.

Celebrating 100 Issues!

Volume 1 of Designs in Machine Embroidery. Yes, Eileen made that beautiful butterfly quilt!

Celebrating 100 Issues!

Eileen used vintage linens to make this project – it’s one of our favorite creations she’s made over the years.

Celebrating 100 Issues!

Left: Eileen purchased this hoodie and added the “LOVE” applique. It’s #cute and #cool enough for even the toughest of critics! Right: Eileen understands her readers love t-shirts but want to look fashionable while wearing them. This t-shirt remake meets that goal.

This love has also spread to Managing Editor, Denise Holguin who has launched her first-time project series, “Subtle Tees.”

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the photo shoot for Subtle Tees.  If you had seen Denise at the shoot, she was ready to spontaneously combust with the excitement of having her garments photographed.  We’ll feature more t-shirt behind the scenes in an upcoming blog.

100th Issue Celebration

You remember this blog began with doing what you love.  Denise is an avid photographer and is generally seen carrying two cameras around her neck.  Choosing the first theme for her Subtle Tees series was an obvious choice.  She found a way to incorporate her love for photography with embroidery.

Stephanie Sanders began working for Designs in Machine Embroidery when she was still Stephanie Stubbs.  She started her career in our Circulation Department (with Volume 12), answering the phone, entering subscription orders and handling the day-to-day duties of magazine circulation.  Now she handles our accounting department and countless other duties too numerous to mention!  So many large and small tasks magically get complete because of Stephanie’s efforts.  She recently got married and now has a baby girl we hope to recruit for the magazine someday!

Celebrating 100 issues

Advertisers

As ubiquitous as we think machine embroidery has become, it’s still a niche market. Learning about the latest embroidery products and innovations from reputable sources is made much easier by flipping through the pages of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  Sandy Griggs, our Advertising and Sales Manager, has been responsible for building relationships with our advertisers.

Celebrating 100 issues

The magazine could not be printed without the support of our advertisers.  Every advertiser featured has contributed to the magazine’s success.  We have the privilege of informing you of new embroidery products and innovations that will fuel your creativity.

We also love the new innovations because it fuels our passion to create new projects.  From improved hardware and software to a broader selection of stabilizers and threads and a wonderful array of embroidery designs that span every conceivable theme or interest you can imagine.

Speaking of designs, the clever innovation of in-the-hoop embroidery designs is a relatively new development.  Who would have imagined taping fabric to the underside of the hoop as you stitch?  In the early days we were too busy stitching teddy bears on our garments.

100th Issue Anniversary

One of our favorite in-the-hoop designs that is functional and can also be displayed as art! The project was made by Tari Intardonato for Embroidery Online and was featured in Volume 99.

We’d like to hug all the innovators in the industry for helping the market grow.

Readers
What good is producing content if no one is willing to purchase a magazine? We are grateful to our readers who have supported us through the years.  Many of our readers have been faithfully supporting the magazine since Volume 1.  Whether you have been with us since Volume 1, started halfway or just picked up a copy recently, we are grateful.

This has been our small but mighty team’s livelihood for 17+ years.  During those years, our kids have become adults, we’ve been blessed with marriages and even babies.  We’re all a little older and wiser but one thing remains the same.  Machine embroidery is our shared passion and we can’t wait to bring you another 100 issues!

With gratitude,

Eileen Roche, Samuel Solomon, Denise Holguin, Stephanie Sanders, Sandy Griggs

 

As a special token of our gratitude, please enjoy this free applique heart embroidery design.

AppliqueHeart

Celebrating 100 issues

 

 

Underlay Options

In my last post, I discussed underlay in general terms.  Today, I’d like to show how to control underlay with just a couple mouse clicks in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Let’s take a look at a butterfly from Inspirations’ Butterfly Majesty Collection, design #98723718. If you don’t have this collection, open a design with fill, satin and run stitches.Buttbl

Select the first color, the upper wing area.Butt1bl

Click on the Underlay icon in the Properties Box.Butt2bl

The digitizer has assigned Contour and Perpendicular underlay to the first color (a fill area) of the design.  The Contour underlay is the red box and the perpendicular is the dark blue stitching.  The grayed lines are the actual stitching lines of the designs.Butt3bl

If you notice gaps between the fill and the outline after testing this design, you can add more underlay.  Click on each box to view the options.  Parallel runs underlay stitches in the same direction as the final stitches.BUtt4bl

Zigzag runs at angle from top to bottom and back again.Butt5abl

Lattice runs at forty-five degree angle.Butt6bl

Full lattice runs the lattice in both directions.Butt7bl

You can customize the density, stitch length, run stitch length, inset and zigzag inset of the underlay.  All of the options let you find the settings that work for any fabric and any design. Experiment with these tools as you advance your digitizing or design editing skills.  Make a note of the changes you make and you’ll know when to apply these settings to your next project.  Don’t be afraid to experiment – experimenting makes you a better embroiderer!

Look What I Found in My Mailbox

A catalog for embroidery designs!  It’s been ages since I’ve had the pleasure of receiving a catalog (all 40 pages) of luscious embroidery designs.LionBL

At first glance, I thought it was Nancy’s Notions late summer catalog. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and saw page after page of embroidery designs.HalloBL

You might think my reaction is funny but I’ve been at the helm of Designs in Machine Embroidery for over 16 years and have seen so many industry changes.  Embroidery catalogs were a regular occurrence in my mailbox ten years ago. In fact, I took them for granted.  Postcards announcing the arrival of a new collection were commonplace. Today, promotions are sent digitally and often ignored with the old ‘been there done that’ mind set.

But for someone like me and maybe you – it’s delightful to browse through page after page of beautiful embroidery. It’s a printed version of today’s digital ‘look book.’  But you know, I’m old school – I still love to hold pages in my hand whether it’s a book, magazine or catalog.  I enjoy that uninterrupted experience – it’s my time on my terms – and I get lost in the pages.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m attached to a computer most of my waking hours and I hang out on Instagram and Pinterest. But in today’s image consumption environment, we tend to forget just how much effort goes into those images we flip by or ignore. Some are WORTHY of print. For instance, look at this spread on page 10-11.GardenBL

There are three towels and four potholders showcasing the designs. A lot of effort went into that! I love seeing someone’s interpretation of how to use a design. I know a catalog is selling designs but for me, it’s eye candy. Those images are springboards for more ideas.

How about you, do you enjoy print or digital?  And why?

Quilting Your Row by Row – Part 2

Part Two

Last week, Rebecca Robinson, owner of Sew Suite Studio, a DIME Authorized Dealer in Lexington, SC, showed you how to quilt your Row By Row quilt strips. She used Inspiration’s My Quilt Embellisher to create the stippling.blog1

 

This week, Rebecca kicks it up a notch by changing the quilting to a star-shaped echo. Open My Quilt Embellisher and load the quilt row image as a backdrop. Select the stipple design and click on the Shape Echo tool. Choose #17, the five-point star. Click OK. Change the Density to 35mm in the Properties box.blog2

 

Customize the star a bit further by re-positioning the center point of the star. Click the Shape tool and drag the pink circle to a new location on the striped fabric section; click Apply.blog3

 

These auditions certainly assist in the design process. If you have a large enough hoop, you can save the design in the format for your machine. Or if you like to free-motion quilt, you can print a template of the design and use it as a pattern.  Either way, My Quilt Embellisher makes quilting fun!

 

Stitching in Ombre – A New Approach in Monochromatic Embroidery

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Embroiderers love threads – it’s a well-known fact. We love the sheen or the matte, the brights and the dark. Truth be told, many embroiderers are hesitant to select their colors, they’re afraid they’ll make a ‘mistake.’  Many stick to one-color embroidery designs. Monochromatic doesn’t have to be boring rather, it can be quite dramatic.  Stitching in Ombre is great way to learn about thread value and its appearance on fabric.

You’ll find a fantastic example of ombre stitching in the latest issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery Vol. 99 July/August 2016.MagBL

Nancy Zieman’s Ombre: Black to White illustrates how to achieve an ombre look by repeating one or two designs in gradated thread values.

She advises stitching your threads in a satin column on the selected fabric. Study your sample and work on the arrangement of colors to help move the eye across the embroidery canvas.SampleBL

It’s also a great idea to print templates of the designs so you can ‘see’ the layout before you stitch. Make notes to remind yourself what thread spool to use and when to use it.  You’ll be glad you did if your stitching get interrupted.

I fell in love with this look. It has everything that appeals to me about embroidery – the dark on dark at the bottom of the vest is a textural feast for the eyes, then as the eye moves up the garment, the thread gets lighter and lighter. At the top of the vest, the last horizontal row is stitched in white bringing attention to the face.  The sparkly zipper is just plain fun and adds a wonderful finishing touch.

Next time I’m out shopping for thread, I’m going to make sure I buy not only the color on my shopping list but all of its companions up and down the value scale.

Tell me, would you wear this vest? Do you like the technique?  What color would you experiment with for your own wardrobe?

Totally Over the Top

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I just have to share this article I saw online last weekend on both Yahoo and Huffington Post.  This gown made my heart swoon.  Bride Kresha Bajaj Zaveri always dreamed of designing her own wedding garments. When the time arrived, she rose to the task.  Mrs. Zaveri stitched a love story, chronicling her and husband’s matrimonial journey in metallic thread. The stitches tell how they met, dates they enjoyed and the marriage proposal.

Imagine the hours that went into this gown – the design phase, the digitizing process and finally the stitching.  The article doesn’t say if the gown is hand or machine embroidered but I’m guessing it’s a combination of both.   Imagine trying to artistically portray a story into seven panels that complement each other yet blend across the skirt.  From a distance, it looks delicate and intricate. It’s only upon close inspection that the stories behind the panels begin to unfold.

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Imagine finalizing the designs and then…stitching them in metallic thread! Gold and white are traditional Indian wedding colors but wow – there are miles of metallic thread on that skirt. Obviously, it’s not Kresha’s first design attempt, she’s a fashion designer by trade, https://www.instagram.com/koecsh/,  so I’m sure she knows the secrets to stitching success.

She intends on framing the gown as artwork to display in their home. Thank heavens it’s not going to wind up in a box in a closet!

Please click on the links below to read the whole story and see the dress in detail.

Yahoo: https://www.yahoo.com/style/bride-embroiders-her-love-story-000000110.html

More details on Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-talented-bride-embroidered-her-love-story-onto-her-wedding-lehenga_us_577161a8e4b0f168323a54e7?1rdp4ibmlhvie8kt9

Last week’s assignment was:  Achieving a goal is often easier to complete if you write it down. Who is the next person you are going to embroider a project for?  What will you make? Post your comments and 4 random people will receive a $25 gift certificate for use at Baby Kay’s Appliques!

Here are the winners from last week’s assignment ….

Virginia: A sunhat to protect my bald little granddaughter’s head.

PatO: A fun summer t-shirt for my brother and his boys.

Karen W:  What a lovely thought to help a grieving family.

 Fay Williams: Will be doing things for my 6,4,and 2 year olds grandkids and for the new one due in August. Love my embroidery machine.

Common Threads

I just returned from a Baby Lock retreat with quilters, sewists, embroiderers and fashionistas. Mix in some industry executives and you’ve got quite an interesting group. Common Threads is an invitation-only event with the intention of spreading the love of Baby Lock to its brand ambassadors and creating a community. It’s a time to share new ideas, charitable thoughts and product knowledge.  It’s a ‘coming home’ of a sort as it was the third gathering for many or the attendees.

At the end of the action-packed three day event, everyone shares their thoughts of what the three days meant to them.  Everyone shared their gratitude to Baby Lock for making the event happen. Some were grateful for the opportunity to ‘play’ without an agenda (translate – deadline). Many found new friends while others cemented long-established friendships.  Others were amazed at the willingness of many to share information and welcome newcomers. A few were even moved to tears. As shocking as that might sound in a business environment, I completely understood. The one thing all of us have in common is that much of our work is done in solitude without reassurance or encouragement. We push ourselves believing in our work and hope it flies.  The most refreshing comment of the wrap-up was, “There are no mean girls here.”

How true because for three days, we played!  It started on the top-of-the-line Destiny.DestinyBL

Evy Hawkins led us in a fun in-the-hoop purse with her signature applique.EvyBagBL

Lindsay Wilkes, http://www.thecottagemama.com walked us through Little Dresses for Africa after a rousing presentation from founder Rachel O’Neil, http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/ Look how charming these dresses are. We made 50 sweet dresses, ready to ship across the ocean.DressBL

Of course, you can’t get to know Baby Lock very well unless you take a spin on one of their sergers.  Sara Gallegos taught how to quilt, insert a zipper and piece a zipper pouch on the Baby Lock Ovation!  What fun!SergerBL

More to come on June 24!

Tow Your Own Banner

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Our newest Stipple Collection, Life’s a Beach, can easily portray a message that’s dear to your heart, not mine.  Instead of the Life’s a Beach message, use Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro or Word Art in Stitches to write Happy Birthday, It’s a Lake Life, Summer Fun or any short phrase.  Here’s how.

Open TopRow_Hoop3_BannerLeft and Merge TopRowHoop4_BannerRight (C2S format) into the hoop.  Align the designs as they were intended. Save the design as TopDouble.Beach1BL

Ungroup if they are grouped.  Select and delete Life’s a Beach. Select the Text tool and type Happy in the text field of the Property Box. Select the Hobo font.  Size Happy to fit the vertical space of the banner.Beach2BL

With the Text tool selected, right click, and select Path, right click again and select Edit Baseline.  Use the handles of the nodes to curve the baseline aligning the bottom of the text with the banner.Beach4BL

Type Birthday into the text field in the Properties Box, click Apply.Beach5BL

Repeat the steps above to set Birthday into the banner.  Change the color of Birthday to separate it from Happy.Beach6BL

Change the color sequence order so that it stitches properly. The first color should be the stipple of the left design, the tow line, the placement guide of the banner applique fabric, the tackdown of the applique fabric and the Happy text. Select all five colors, copy and paste into a new file. Save as TopRowHappy.

Go back to the TopDouble file and save it as TopRowBirthday.  Send both designs to your machine in the appropriate format and you’ve got a customized mini-quilt!  Isn’t software fun?

Free-standing Lace – Fun or Frustrating?

Stitching free-standing lace can be fun and frustrating. Fun? Definitely because the results can be outstanding. Frustrating because the results are not always what you had hoped!  The challenge lies in getting the outlines to align with the edges of the lace. Most likely, the lace will include a satin border that gives a clean finish to the lace. But after all those stitches are laid down, there is often a gap between the border and the lace. So frustrating!

Like I often do, I read the instructions which were’ hoop with water soluble stabilizer.’ I know from past experience that mesh-type water soluble would be a smarter choice than film-type. I also know that a standard hoop would probably grip the mesh-type water soluble firmly.

This image clearly shows where the lace has pulled in during the embroidery process. The satin border marches down the perimeter of the design but doesn’t meet the lace.Lace3BL

The problem is not in the digitizing because the digitizer took the proper steps in creating a base for both the lace and the satin edge.  I watched the design stitch – it walked around the perimeter, moved on to the open fill, the decorated lace and finally the satin edge. But still the lace/stabilizer pulled in at the horizontal and vertical centers of the design. That’s a bummer, right? It took 70 minutes to stitch this panel and it was a lot of thread!

Was it worth it? Yes, it ignited my ‘discovery mode’. I was off to find a solution. My next attempt included adding a layer of tulle and another layer of mesh-type water soluble stabilizer in a standard hoop.  I was certain that would fix it. Nope, didn’t make much difference, same problem.Lace4BL

I figured it was in the hooping. So I ‘McGyvered’ a solution. I hooped a rubberized mat in Snap Hoop Monster and placed it on a cutting mat. Then I cut open the sewing field with a rotary cutter.  Since the cutter couldn’t get all the way to the edge of the hoop, I removed the hoop and trimmed the mat with scissors. Then I placed one layer of mesh-type water soluble stabilizer over the magnetic frame, then the rubberized mat and finally the metal frame.Lace6BL

Perfect! It stitched beautifully with no tulle and one layer of stabilizer.Lace7BL

I’m keeping the rubberized mat with the opening handy, I know I’ll be using it again in the future.

I was using a multi-needle machine but the same technique would work on a traditional machine. Place the water soluble stabilizer over the metal frame, the rubberized mat and then the magnetic top.

Top 3 Tips for Free-standing Lace

Slow the machine down.

Use mesh-type water soluble stabilizer.

Insert a layer of rubberized matting.

 

What’s your favorite ‘MacGyver’ trick?

Stitch Soup

Christina, the founder of Stitch Soup began embroidering over 12 years ago.  After she embellished almost all of her wardrobe, she saw her first in-the-hoop project, a tissue holder, and had an ah-ha moment.  She realized there can be so much more to an embroidery machine than just cuffs and collars!  Since then she has focused on digitizing in-the-hoop projects for the home, birthday or Christmas gifts, for new babies, and for mom.  She blends artistic talent with an engineer’s approach to function and the results are an offering of unique embroidery designs – something for everyone.

Over the past year, the DIME staff has been enamored with her collections.  Denise Holguin, managing editor, swooned when she made her first fairy house.  She couldn’t stop at one; in fact she made several dozen and has enjoyed photographing them in charming settings.SSoup4BL

Her little fairy houses even jumped into her Caribbean-bound suitcase on a recent vacation.  Clearly these fairy houses spread a whimsical spell over the stitcher’s creative talents. Because she dreamed up a resident – a silk flower skirted clothespin doll!SSoup8BL

Denise had a ton of fun with the thatched hut.SSoup2BL

She played with color and buttons on the roof.SSoup3BL

The shell trim under the roof line was added in the hoop!  She’s a brave lass, she is.SSoup9BL

As fun as fairy houses are, some of us prefer a bit more function.  Stitch Soup’s tea-light collections were born from necessity. You see, Christina, lives in a fairly remote part of Canada, and is often left in the dark due to power outages.  Those ‘dark moments’ inspired her to keep tea lights close out at hand yet of reach of her canine companions (she has four!).  Hanging tea lights were the answer. Marie Zinno shared the how-to in our July/August 2015 issue.SSoup6BL

One of my favorite Stitch Soup designs was published in our May/June 2015 issue.  What fun to use embroidery, fasteners, small ribbon and trim!SSoup7BL

Visit Stitch Soup today – they’re having a sale!

Tell us about your favorite Stitch Soup design and you’ll be entered to win one of four $25.00 gift certificates to Stitch Soup. 

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