Posts Tagged ‘Eileen Roche’

Who has the Most Quilt Tops?

I really hit a nerve last week when I asked if you had any quilt tops that need to be quilted.  Most readers admitted having more than three tops ready to be quilted from over 200 (and counting) responses. Not that it was a competition, but wow, we all seem to have quilt tops that need to be finished!

Blog reader Eileen Gorzelic summed it up when she wrote, Wow! Seems like a lot of us are in the same boat. Honestly I am not sure how many I have to quilt. I really enjoy the piecing part and when I get to the quilting part I become paralyzed and anxious. For some reason I have a problem with making small pieces and end up with twins, queens, and kings and the cost of having someone quilt it has become so expensive that I end up dragging my feet and end up start a new project…….Thanks for giving us an avenue to completion!

On January 31, Nataly Poire shared, “I have 3 boxes of tops that need to be quilt because I don’t like the quilting part…have to try your method.”

I know exactly how Nataly feels. I’ll share a little of my quilting journey (it’s taken 20 years so I won’t bore you with all of the details). When I first started quilting, I didn’t know a thing about precise piecing skills so instead of focusing on learning how to be precise and consistent, I took another path. I just came up with my own ways, like wider seam allowances, raw edge applique, fabrics that hid mistakes and more.  Then in 2014, I invented the shortE, the embroidery short arm with a long reach. It’s a frame that holds a quilt above the machine bed so you can quilt with an embroidery machine.

At first, I used cheater panels and whole cloth quilts to learn the ‘machining’ part.  The ‘machining’ part is the actual quilting of the quilt.

After a while, I got good at the ‘machining’ part and I fell in love with the end result – quilts that I wanted to wrap myself (or a loved one) in.  They were not only soft and supple; they were also interesting to look at. The stitching was beautiful and the texture was what I had always longed for. They were finally like the samples in the quilt shops that you just want to pull off the wall and lie under. They were, well, real quilts! 

The end result made me want to create beautiful tops so I finally paid attention to the piecing.  Believe me, I’m years away from entering a top notch quilt show but I’ve found I enjoy the quilt top making process so much more because I know the ‘machining’ part is doable  – the machining is not going to ‘ruin’ all of my piecing efforts. And isn’t that what we’re all afraid of? Ruining our beautiful quilt tops with the quilting (machining) process?  Well, fear no more – help is here! 

Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons breaks all of the ‘machining’ down into manageable steps.  I feel like I’ve made (and overcome!) every challenge that you could encounter in quilting with an embroidery machine.  I’ve learned an awful lot on this journey and I’m happy to share it with you in Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons.  Remember, you can watch it on Sewing with Nancy at http://wpt.org/SewingWithNancy/ or check your local TV listings to watch on PBS.

Last week’s lucky winner is Joanna Cook!

Want to be winner this week? Just tell me the size of your largest hoop (and machine model) and you could win a pack of Print & Stick Target Template paper – that’s a $19.99 value

Advanced Tutorial for Perfect Embroidery Pro

My good friend, Katherine Artines, recently posted a new video tutorial on the Inspired by Dime YouTube channel.  Katherine’s topic, Push/Pull: Distortion and Compensation, is an advanced discussion of this often misunderstood embroidery feature. If you’ve wondered why what you see on screen does not match your stitched sample, then you’ll really enjoy Katherine’s breakdown of Push/Pull.

She starts with a clear explanation of exactly what push/pull is.

She then goes on to explain the difference between stitch direction and sewing direction and how they affect the end result.  The stitch direction is the angle of stitches while sewing direction is where the needle starts, the direction it travels in and where it finishes.

We learn how size actually does matter on how a design will stitch. Of course, she doesn’t just point out the problems, she gives you solutions.  Each issue is clearly illustrated so you can follow along.

And she critiques stitched designs to show you the problem and gives you the solution.

She brings this same methodical approach to lettering.  Many of us are perplexed about the baseline of text.  Listen to her explanation and you know why the screen shows one thing and the stitch out another.

Don’t you hate when you digitize a complex fill area and spot a row of missing stitches? Ugh!  Katherine explains why this happens (yep, push and pull) and how to fix it.

I encourage you to spend an hour (or break it up into shorter segments) watching Katherine’s video. Your digitizing skills will improve!  I hope you’re already a subscriber to our YouTube channel, if not, sign up today and you’ll never miss a new opportunity to learn more about embroidery.

Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons

I’m excited to announce (and give away a copy to one lucky reader) my new book: Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons.  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 I’m happy to share it with you on Sewing with Nancy.  You can watch it online at http://wpt.org/SewingWithNancy/ or check your local TV listings to watch on PBS.

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.

 

Want to order your copy now?  This week you’ll find free shipping on all autographed copies of Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons.  Click here to order.

Monogrammed Journal with It’s Sew Easy TV

Fashion and technology combine to create today’s greatest looks.  See how to create them yourself on It’s Sew Easy episode 1113. It airs on the It’s Sew Easy website starting at noon on Friday, December 16, 2016 http://www.itsseweasytv.com/

 

Design options explode using today’s technology.  With the most current sewing and embroidery software and machines, embroidery designer Eileen Roche adds flair to a traditional skirt. In the style tip, she’ll show how to place embroideries in a flattering way. Then, fabric artist Kim Montagnese combines computer technology with traditional sewing techniques to capture vacation memories in a pillow.

You can catch Eileen Roche’s embroidery artistry from episode 1113 on the It’s Sew Easy YouTube Channel, too.

And see how fashions from the past influence today’s hottest looks on It’s Sew Easy series 900. A new episode from the 900 series airs on Create TV at 6 a.m. and noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of December.

Tacky Christmas Sweaters

The other day I received an email with the subject line: Deck the Halls with Ugly Sweaters.  It was from one of my employees and it was an invitation to my company’s holiday luncheon.

Tis the season for Ugly Sweaters!

Join us for an

Ugly Sweater Christmas Lunch

Wednesday December 21st

~Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater~

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As one of the company owners, I was consulted about the date, location and menu but not the theme. Now I know tacky holiday sweaters are all the rage.  So popular that Madame Tussauds’ most recent exhibit includes the Royal Family in holiday sweaters.  I especially love the double sweater for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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Madame Tussauds/Instagram

But it wasn’t too long ago that we TAUGHT embroiderers how to stitch holiday sweaters. I think those very same sweaters (that we labored hours and hours on) inspired the tacky trend. Should we be insulted? Should we laugh?  What’s the appropriate response?

Here’s my take – don’t be insulted. Pat yourself on the back for inspiring an entire generation of bland-attire owners.  They only had to look to us to know how to really celebrate the festive season.

Should we laugh? Definitely. Because as hard as they try, they’ll never understand the difference between wool felt snowmen and craft felt snowmen.

What’s the appropriate response? By all means attend the party in your holiday finery. Your not-so-tacky holiday sweater will be more comfortable, more cherished and possibly worthy of a trophy. (Apparently, there are awards involved – kind of like a costume party).

Now, if they attend the party in a sweater that you made for them, make sure you take a picture; I mean a “selfie”, with them so you can remember to take them OFF your gift-making list.

So tell me, what are your thoughts about the tacky sweaters?

Last week’s winner was Melinda, congrats Melinda! Your prize will be arriving shortly!

Stitch Insurance

I enjoy virtually creating quilt blocks using my fabrics, threads, embroidery designs and quilting stitches before making that first cut into my fabrics. Call it stitch insurance. My favorite method is to use Inspirations’ My Quilt Embellisher (MQE) for this task.

 

My first step is to load fabric images into each segment of the block and then lock the images in place so that I can debut various stitches.

 

Follow these easy steps for your own insurance. Open the Block Library and choose a block. In this example we used the Diamond from the Connector Blocks folder.

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First, we need to virtually fill the block with fabrics.  Using the Select Tool, select a patch in the block to fill with fabric. Click on the second icon in the Tool Bar, the Fabric tool. Once the dialog box opens, choose your fabric. Select Ok. (It’s easy to update your fabric swatches, just follow the steps in this blog post: http://dzgns.com/blog/?s=add+fabric )

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Your highlighted pieces should now reflect the chosen fabric.

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Repeat this process until your block is completely filled with fabric. Notice that in the Sequence Viewer each piece is still artwork. Left click on All Items to select the entire block then in the top Tool Bar, select Copy, Paste.

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In the Sequence Viewer, left click on the small padlock icon next to the top two items.

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Now we can add stitches and embroidery designs to our quilt block and still see the fabrics. Using the Selection Tool, either left click directly on a piece of your block or select an unlocked patch in the Sequence Viewer to add stitches. Here we selected a Stipple Stitch.

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Continue adding stitches or embroidery designs until you’re pleased with the results.

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You can learn more about My Quilt Embellisher here. Enjoy!

 

http://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-software/my-quilt-embellisher/

Necklines to Hemlines, T-shirt Remakes

Doesn’t it make you so proud when you finish an embroidery project and are amazed at the results? That’s how I feel every time I remake a t-shirt with the designs Nancy Zieman and I have created for any our neckline collections.  I’ve made dozens of these shirts over the years – and taught hundreds of embroiderers how to do it. So many Designs in Machine Embroidery customers, blog readers and Sewing with Nancy viewers have asked for more neckline fashions that allow them to transform their wardrobe the way they want. So Nancy and I listened! We just released another collection, Necklines to Hemlines, T-shirt Remakes.neckhembl

This collection is a bit different than the previous ones because we’ve included designs for hemlines and the center back neck. With the popularity of free-flowing tunics in ready-wear, we felt the time was right to offer designs to decorate the whole garment – not just the neckline.  Necklines to Hemlines features larger designs split into two 5” x 7” hoopings or one hooping in a 6” x 10” hoop. The larger designs are scaled for women of all sizes.lilyfoldedbl

Two of the groupings, the Rita and Lilly have eyelets while the Zoe is just a slit opening at the neckline.  You’ll still find sleeve (for right and left placement) and side seam designs..

The Rita

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The Lilly

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The Zoe

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Of course, the designs come with complete instructions – 18 pages of instructions on how to stabilize, hoop, stitch and finish the garment. You’ll find everything you need to be successful with remaking a simple tunic or t-shirt. ritamodelbl

Here’s a question for you: If you won a copy of Necklines to Hemlines what shirt would you stitch first, the Rita, Zoe or Lilly? Leave a comment and we’ll pick a random winner to recive Necklines to Hemlines free of charge.  You never know, it could be your lucky day!

Embroidering on Velvet

A few weeks ago, many of you responded to my request for future blog topics. I’ve found your suggestions helpful and sometimes I’m at a loss for what to blog about.  I’ll be working through your requests as time permits. Kathy E. asked about embroidering on velvet and since velvet is a holiday favorite, I thought I’d tackle that first.

Kathy E. “A few years ago, I bought an expensive piece of plush black velvet. I had hopes (and still do) to embroider a large, fancy “E” on it, and then make it into a pillow. I’ve never taken on the project because I don’t know what stabilizer and needle to use. I’m thinking it would be best to use a topper too. If you could give me any tips, I’d be so thankful, then I could get this project going!”

Velvet shimmers when viewed from one angle, and becomes a deep, matte surface when tilted away from a light source. It’s an alluring textile and not one that we use very often.  Let’s discuss its challenges for an embroiderer.

  1. Velvet’s nap crushes when pressure is applied. A standard embroidery hoop will damage velvet’s delicate surface so don’t hoop it! Instead, hoop cut-away stabilizer and spray the cut-away with temporary adhesive. Finger press the velvet to the sticky surface centering the design area in the hoop.
  2. Embroidery design. Designs with complete filled areas work best on velvet. Running stitches and narrow satin columns will sink into the velvet’s pile.  Keep in mind velvet is a delicate fabric with a luxurious drape so avoid heavy dense designs.
  3. 75/11 sharp needle will do the job.
  4. It’s tempting to use a topper but you should proceed with caution here because removable is crucial. Options for toppers are no topper (most pile is very short), a lightweight water soluble film-type (think Sulky’s Solvy regular weight) or tulle.  You will not actually apply water to the velvet to remove the Solvy but you’ll tear it away since regular weight Solvy perforates at the stitch line very easily.  Tulle also tears easily and if you select a tulle that matches the velvet, any remaining bits will not be visible as they’ll blend in with the background.
  5. Once the design is complete, carefully remove the hoop from the machine and release the stabilizer from the hoop. Pink the edges of the stabilizer around the design – leaving at least ¼” of stabilizer.

Use these tips for your holiday stitching and you’ll be pleased with the results. Always remember to approach each embroidery project with common sense. Think about the care instructions for a fabric and use them as a guideline for selecting stabilizers (water, heat, etc). You can handle this!

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Cruise 2017

My stitching Sister and I are heading back to sea and hoping you’ll consider joining us for a relaxing – and educational – cruise on the Harmony of the Seas on May 7, 2017.  Last year, we sailed with 70 embroiderers on the beautiful Royal Caribbean Allure. We all had a blast – so much fun that we didn’t want to leave the ship as evidenced in this photo: cruise1bl

Many came with friends or spouses and left with a slew of new friends.  Some of our guests from last year have already signed up for the May 2017 cruise but there are still spots available.  It will be a terrific way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. Think about it: top of the line Baby Lock machines, sewing room open every day, delicious food, interesting ports of call, beautiful ship and nothing to worry about except what color of thread to use next!cruise2bl

Many of our guests were students we’ve met around the country over the past ten years.  Marie and I were delighted to see each of them again. Of course, we hope to meet many more this year and make new friends!cruise4bl

What can you expect from a Stitching Sisters cruise? Marie and I take care of the details – along with our skipper, Harold Havard of Flash Sew and Quilt in Naples, FL. Harold has at least a dozen stitching cruises under his belt you can be assured each one goes off without a hitch.   Marie and I will guide you through three days of designing, digitizing, stitching and quilting with an embroidery machine.  But we’re not heading to sea by ourselves, oh no, we’ll also be joined by two of DIME’s Inspiration Consultants. You’ll be in good hands for three days of embroidery fun and exploration.

Of course the Allure has lots of fun night time activities like shows, music, contests and more.cruise5bl

Or you can sneak back into the sewing studio and stitch some more.cruise6bl

This cruise will be our second on the Allure and fourth with the Royal Caribbean cruiseline. Click here to see why we think this ship is the best on the water. http://www.flashsewandquilt.com/dimecruise.html

Marie and I have already booked our rooms and we’re working on the class materials now.  Since we want all of the projects to be fresh and new for this special occasion, we are making sure all of the latest techniques, ideas and trends are included in the three days of embroidery fun. So details on the stitching portion of the cruise will be available at a later date. But it’s a good idea to grab your cabin now!  Please call Lenore Deck Travel at 352-270-8658 or email to cruiselady@tampabay.rr.com.  There is limited space in the embroidery studio so get on the list today. Hope you’ll join us on the Allure!

You can learn more about the cruise and select your cabin at the special rate by visiting http://www.flashsewandquilt.com/dimecruise.html

We hope you’ll join us for a relaxing and educational vacation!  Just pack a bag, wear comfortable shoes and show up. We’ll handle the rest!

November Updates Pt. 2

Here’s a peek at more of the features in the November 2016 updates for Perfect Embroidery Pro (and all other Inspirations’ software programs).  The updates will go live on November 7, 2016. There are many exciting updates to make your digitizing experience more efficient.  When you open your software on Nov. 7, you’ll be notified of the new update.  Follow the prompts to bring your software up to date.

An exciting new feature on the popular Magic Wand is a tolerance adjustment slider. You’ll find it in the Backdrop Properties window.  To view the Magic wand tolerance adjustment bar, left mouse click on the  Backdrop tool icon on the left tool bar, placing a selection box around the backdrop image and activating the Properties- Backdrop box.nov2abl

If you like to view your design in ‘3D’ view, you’ll find that familiar view is now named  “Realistic’. This clarifies the difference between viewing designs in a realistic format and morphing designs into a 3D affect that makes the embroidery appear to pop off the screen/fabric.

Guidelines.  You can now set custom degrees. Imagine how helpful that will be when drawing 60 degree diamonds!nov2cbl

New ‘Search’ feature has been added to the Library.  You can add Keywords to designs in Properties-Design; click Apply.novdbl

Right click on the word ‘Designs’ in the Library, select ‘Find’ or press Ctrl+F.  You can search for keywords, notes and more.nov2ebl

You can include non-native designs to your search (.jef, .pes, etc.).  The initializing is a bit slower the first time and the fields Keywords and Notes are only available for the C2S format.

Tip:  Saved ‘Notes and Keywords’ are displayed in the Properties box when the design is dragged and released above the Library box.  ‘Notes and Keywords’ are not displayed when the design is dragged directly onto an active design page.nov2fbl

 

You’ll find a few more updates that will make your embroidery digitizing experience more enjoyable and efficient.  Enjoy

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