Posts Tagged ‘embroider’

Manipulating Designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro

Even if you don’t digitize, you can most certainly manipulate designs to get the look you need. All you need are building blocks. What are building blocks? Building blocks are designs – designs that are stashed in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Let’s take a look at a design from the Monogram catalog. 2

Click on the Monogram catalog icon and select Mon10683.3

Select and Ungroup the design (right mouse click or use the Ungroup icon on the tool bar). Select the branch on the right. 4

Copy and paste the branch. Move it to the upper right, connecting the bottom scroll to the original branch. 5

Let’s close the space at the top between the original branch and the new one. Zoom in to get a magnified view. Select the Shape Tool and move the last two black dots to expose the blue squares underneath (the points). 6

Select and pull the blue squares down to the original branch. 7

Position the black dots back on top of the blue squares, this sets the direction of the satin stitches. 8

Hit Enter on the keyboard to extend the satin stitches. 9

Select the new branch, copy, paste and mirror image the section. Move it to the opposite side. 10

Voila! A perfectly shaped design for a child’s neckline.11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embroidering on Children’s Shirts

We received a message from Melinda on our Facebook page asking for some tips for embroidering on children’s shirts. Here are my top 10 tips for embellishing children’s shirts with machine embroidery.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

1. Keep it light. Kids hate stiff, itchy embroidery so select embroidery designs that have a low-stitch count.

2. Use applique to add impact. Fun colors and funky fabrics infuse a lot of spunk into plain t-shirts without adding the dreaded bullet-proof embroidered shield!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

3. Look for applique designs that are on the small size – under 3” x 3”. Jumbo designs overwhelm a small figure.

4. Get the placement right. Depend on the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit to help with locating the correct position for designs on children’s garments, size infant to youth large.Eileen's Children's Perfect Placement Kit

5. Ask the child (if old enough) for input on favorite colors, shapes, characters and designs. If they help design it, they’ll love wearing it.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

6. Rely on fusible polymesh stabilizer to eliminate the stretch in knits. It’s a strong cut-away and very comfortable.

7. Don’t be afraid to slit a side seam to make hooping easier. Knits don’t ravel so you won’t have to worry about frayed edges if you don’t have a serger.

8. After all embroidery is complete, add a fusible lightweight, tricot knit interfacing to the wrong side of the embroidery. This delicate, sheer cover-up will camouflage the bobbin threads and eliminate the ‘itch’ factor.

9. Lighten up your expectations. Kids are not only finicky but they grow so fast! Save the heirloom techniques for really memorable occasions when the effort will be worth it.

10. Look for ways to extend an active child’s wardrobe by adding embroidered borders to lengthen hemlines and cover stains. You’ll be glad you did if the child gets another season out of a garment.

Here’s your assignment this week:

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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The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Here’s your assignment this week:
What vintage goodies from your grandmother, great-grandmother or other special family member do you have tucked away? It’s time to pull the linens out and use them as inspiration! For those feeling especially social, take a photo and post to our Facebook page! (No worries, everyone who just posts a comment on the blog has a chance to win!)One comment will be randomly selected and will win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

Designs in Machine Embroidery Shopping Spree

And the winner is…Shumidog “Even though most of my aunts at one time worked at the Coats and Clark factory in Central Falls, RI which made cotton embroidery thread none embroidered. Knitting and crochet were their forte and I have a number of items including doilies and bureau scarves.”

Its Sew Easy!

There’s a new sewing show!  Yeah – if you’re like me, you can’t get enough of educational/inspirational sewing shows!  I was thrilled to be a part of the inaugural season of It’s Sew Easy.  Well, thrilled until I landed in Cleveland, OH on March 10, the day before my scheduled taping. Oh, how I prepared!  I had three segments to tape and since I have a bit of taping experience, I knew just how many step-outs (you know, the magic cake a chef pulls out of the oven during the cooking shows) three segments would require.  I was ready – really ready.  I packed, repacked, checked supplies, hoops, fabrics, stabilizers, and rechecked every detail.  Even the weather.

But when I landed at 5:00 PM, it was snowing (no mention of that in the morning forecast from warm, sunny Dallas).  And the car rental agent informed me that the Cleveland area was getting 8” of snow that night. Really?  How could that be?  I checked the weather and packed a coat but no boots, no hat, no scarf.  I had – oh absolutely a southern rookie mistake here – clogs!  Clogs?  For heavens sake, I could hear my mother now, “You might as well be barefoot!”

Smart girl that I am, I trudged to the nearest mall and bought boots.  Now I really felt prepared for the morning.  Ha! What I should have done was head to Home Depot and got a shovel. Have you ever stayed at a hotel with a rental car in a snowstorm?  And absolutely had to be somewhere at 7:30 in the morning? Pretty darn hard to dig your car out with a credit card and a measly rental car-supplied brush that actually resembles a chop stick. That would have been a priceless photograph. But I had more important things to do – like dig out the car.  And I did and arrived at the studio on time after skidding, trudging, climbing over drifts and icy roads.  You know how great that wheeled luggage is in airports? Totally useless in 8” snow, completely useless. In fact, they’re a detriment because they act like a squiggie allowing you to make zero progress.

But I made it inside and it was time to get to work.  First, I unpacked in the staging area and put everything in order as it would be shown.

Then it was time to watch Bobbi Bullard do her segment.  Here she is prepping her materials and looking quite fabulous with fresh makeup!

Wow – what a fun day.  I relished spending the day with June Mellinger – a good friend for many years.

And meeting celeb stitcher, Suede from Project Runway.

We had great pizza, oh, and donuts, and these tiny little saltines (still can’t find them in Texas), learned some new sewing tips from other guests like Tricia Waddell, Katrina Loving and Londa Rohlfing and finally – taped my three segments! I taught monogramming on towels and napkins (program #105), reworking a t-shirt (program #109) and working with prints – large and small (series 2).

Here I’m getting comfortable on the set and taking instructions via a small earphone (hidden oh so inconspicuously).

Hmm?  What camera should I be looking at?

Its Sew Easy is available to all Public Television stations on June 30th, 1800-1830 via NETA (The National Educational Telecommunications Association) the program will air for 13 consecutive weeks and then repeat.  Stations can take the show off the satellite and choose when and if to air the show for up to 3 years!

All Public Television stations can air the program.  Go to http://www.itsseweasytv.com to locate the station finder – just type in your zip code and it will tell you if it is airing locally and at what time.  It also links to your local station to request the show. The data on show times populates the form starting June 25th – but it becomes more robust as more stations pick up the show.

You need a whole lot of talented people to create a 13-show series. Guests that appeared are:  Linda Augsburg, Bobbi Bullard, Rebecca Cornell, Pam Damour, Colbey Decker, Shannon Dennis, Gretchen Hirsch, Christy Howden, Stephanie Kimura, Cindy Losekamp, Katrina Loving, Valerie Mayen Gina Moorhead, Nancy Odom, Janet Pray, Trish Preston, Eileen Roche, Londa Rohlfing, Peggy Sagers, Sheree Schattenmann, Suede, Tricia Waddell, and Angela Wolf.   The show is underwritten by Brother International Corporation plus Havel’s Sewing, BurdaStyle, Horn of America, Rowenta, Vogue Fabrics, Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, The Warm Company, Coats and Clark, and Blumenthal Lansing.  

The way to help get the program on the air in your market is to contact your local station and become a member – and then request the show!  If you have a store or a retailer friend they can also contact the underwriting department of the station to ask about costs to be a local underwriter.  Though stations love to hear from viewers – It’s Sew Easy doesn’t want to start any kind of “campaign”  it just wants people who are genuinely interested in the show to  start looking for it and requesting it.

This week we want to know what’s in your hoop?  What projects are you working on?  Has anybody started stitching for the holidays yet?  Leave a comment to be entered to win Perfect Alignment Software.

Last week we asked you what your go to purchase was.  The winner of Posh Pincushions is…Aimee Berger:

“I must confess…. you live in T-shirts, I live in sweat shirts. Temperature seems to not matter. I can wear them at 80 degrees or 2 degrees. My favorite? Gildan Havy blend hoodie. Yep, I own a few. And as an embroiderer, and a printer of sublimation (and I can to shirt vinyl too), I have come up with some very cool, all be it edgy, stuff that I love.”
Congratulations, Aimee!

Make an Impact with Value

Last week we talked about the power of color and what an impact certain combinations make on a finished project. I’ve learned that value is just as important. The value of a color is the amount of white or black that’s been added to its true color. Value is what separates one fabric from another and moves the eye across the quilted surface. The value of one fabric is dependent on the values of the other fabrics in the quilt. A medium blue will appear dark when placed on a pale blue. Conversely, a medium blue will appear very light when placed on a midnight blue. It is the difference in value that makes appliqués pop from their surroundings. Applique fabrics that separate from the base fabric give the most impact. Consider using a value finder – a red or green piece of acrylic that eliminates the color in a fabric. You’ll see only its value.

Remember the popularity of watercolor quilts a few years back? (Okay, so it’s been a decade!) The success of a portraying an image in those types of quilts was dependent on the value of the fabrics. Definition of shapes was attained by the grouping (or separating) of 1” squares of fabric with similar value.

I use that same concept when selecting applique fabrics. In embroidery, I almost always want the applique to separate from the base fabric. I audition applique fabrics on the base fabric and critique the combination. Then I move on to the technical details of some applique fabrics. For instance, dark base fabrics might bleed through lighter applique fabrics. I can still use this combination but I would fuse an interfacing to the wrong side of the applique fabric.

When working with black and white fabrics, such as in New York Beauty, I used value to make contrast. I separated the fabrics into lights and darks and those selected a fabric from each pile to create a typical New York Beauty block. Light fabric goes on one corner and dark on the opposite corner. Working with black and white fabrics really gave me a good understanding of value.

If you take another look at the Lady Liberty quilt block, you’ll notice how not only the color pops, but so does the value. In corners A and C, the points are much darker than the base fabrics. In corners B and D, the converse is true. All of the quarter circles are a much lighter value than the points they are stitched next to. Once I had one block designed (there are actually four blocks in the image), it was fairly easy to follow those rules and select the base and applique fabrics.

You’ve probably noticed that machine embroidery design companies are masters at this technique – getting the applique to really pop off the base fabric. No wonder, they really want you to SEE the applique. Just check out what our friends at Five Star Fonts have been up to.  They select bright and cheery applique fabrics that really let the embroidery be the star.

Do you want to win a gift certificate from Five Star Fonts?  Simply leave a comment telling us if you are on Facebook or not.  All comments will be entered into a drawing for a $100.00 shopping spree at Five Star Fonts!

Last week we asked you what your favorite color combinations were.  The winner of Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique is…Kate Rayburn!

“I like the boldness of complementary color selection so I tend to use that the most often. If I’m trying to go for something more subtle I tend to go with a more monochromatic scheme.”

Congratulations, Kate!

Machine Embroidered Applique – Choosing Fabric Colors

Take a look at the new images at the header of this page – they’re all from my new book, Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique. I had a blast creating this book! I think my favorite part was picking the fabrics. And boy, did I learn a few things along the way that I’d like to share with you.

The success of a machine embroidered applique project is dependent on the visibility of the applique. The techniques shown in the book give the appearance of tediously-applied appliqué or intricate piecing when in fact, they are raw-edge machine embroidered appliqués. If you remember the appliqué fabrics are the star of each quilted block or panel, you’ll have little trouble selecting fabrics.

Contrast in color or value is what will make the appliqués pop. Use the color wheel to help select fabrics.

Complementary

 

Complementary colors (opposite on the color wheel) are a tried and true combo. Love the base fabric? Place it on a color wheel and move your eye across the wheel. There’s your applique fabric. This method works beautifully and guarantees eye-catching results.

Analogous

Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel. They blend beautifully together and help move from one color family to the next.

Monochromatic

You can even make a monochromatic color scheme work in this technique. Monochromatic fabrics are fabrics derived from the same color family. The cream, tan and brown colors of My Favorite Bag display a successful monochromatic color scheme.

Next week, we’ll explore how value (the amount of white or black added to a color) comes into play in a machine embroidered quilt. I’ve always had a fairly good eye for color but I really had to focus on value to get the results I wanted. It’s not hard to do, it’s just another element to take into consideration when selecting fabrics.

Do you opt for complementary, analogous or monochromatic combinations? Tell me about your preferences, what color scheme is your favorite and we’ll pick a winner from all the comments. The winner will receive a copy of Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique signed by Nancy Zieman and me! Why Nancy? The book is a part of the Create with Nancy series by Krause Publications and includes a how-to DVD!

Last week we asked about your experience with embroidery for children.  The winner of the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit and Machine Embroidery for Babies and Tots is…Tonia Jeffery!

“I haven’t done anything yet for my two daughters, but I’m thinking about adding lullaby lyrics to the bottoms of their night gowns.”

Congratulations, Tonia!

Embroidering on Children’s T-shirts

We received a message from Melinda on our Facebook page asking for some tips for embroidering on children’s shirts. Here are my top 10 tips for embellishing children’s shirts with machine embroidery.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

1. Keep it light. Kids hate stiff, itchy embroidery so select embroidery designs that have a low-stitch count.

2. Use applique to add impact. Fun colors and funky fabrics infuse a lot of spunk into plain t-shirts without adding the dreaded bullet-proof embroidered shield!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

3. Look for applique designs that are on the small size – under 3” x 3”. Jumbo designs overwhelm a small figure.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

4. Get the placement right. Depend on the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit to help with locating the correct position for designs on children’s garments, size infant to youth large.

5. Ask the child (if old enough) for input on favorite colors, shapes, characters and designs. If they help design it, they’ll love wearing it.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

6. Rely on fusible polymesh stabilizer to eliminate the stretch in knits. It’s a strong cut-away and very comfortable.

7. Don’t be afraid to slit a side seam to make hooping easier. Knits don’t ravel so you won’t have to worry about frayed edges if you don’t have a serger.

8. After all embroidery is complete, add a fusible lightweight, tricot knit interfacing to the wrong side of the embroidery. This delicate, sheer cover-up will camouflage the bobbin threads and eliminate the ‘itch’ factor.

9. Lighten up your expectations. Kids are not only finicky but they grow so fast! Save the heirloom techniques for really memorable occasions when the effort will be worth it.

10. Look for ways to extend an active child’s wardrobe by adding embroidered borders to lengthen hemlines and cover stains. You’ll be glad you did if the child gets another season out of a garment.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog This week we’re giving away a great bundle!  One lucky winner will get the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit and Machine Embroidery for Babies and Tots written by Marie Zinno!  We’re going to ask you to do two things this week to be entered into the drawing.

1.  Subscribe to the blog by entering your email address and following the instructions to subscribe.  You’ll find the subscribe to box on the top right corner of the blog.

2.  Leave a comment here telling us your experience with embroidery for children.  Did you get a funny reaction from the recipient of an embroidered item?  What are some of the items you’ve embroidered for children?  Maybe you have a technical question about embroidering for kids.  We’d love to discuss!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Last week we wanted to know what embroidery machine you own.  The winner of the Perfect Alignment Software is…Mitzi!

“I have a Bernina 730E, and a Snap Hoop and a Magna-Hoop, but still lack confidence in putting it all together on the kind of larger projects I dream about. Would love to win the perfect alignment software to take the mystery out of making things line up right.”

Congratulations, Mitzi!

Continuous machine embroidery using alignment marks

Now that you’re all excited about stitching continuous designs on your embroidery machines, here’s a few of my favorite methods that we’ve discussed in the past: Continuous Applique with Stipple Seashells.

And: Continuous Embroidery – Simple Steps for all Embroiderers

Or my latest easy method is to add Alignment Marks in our new software program, Perfect Alignment. I just open my design, click on the Alignment Mark icon and add the marks where I need them. I save the edited design and send it to the embroidery machine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Then when I’m at the embroidery machine, I just stitch the first design. Then move the fabric to the next area and position the needle at the top corner of the design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If the needle is not exactly lined up with the Alignment Mark on the fabric, then I just move the design in the machine or move the fabric (so easy to do when using Snap-Hoop).

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I find that alignments give me the confidence to stitch multiple designs and know that they will connect. Since they are stitched on the fabric, I don’t have to worry about them getting dislodged (like adhesive target stickers) during the rehooping process. And I can walk away from the project and come to it at anytime and know exactly where to stitch the next design.

I used this technique in my latest book, Machine Embroidered Quilting & Applique.  I found that adding the alignment marks to the designs that are included in the accompanying CD really helped simplify the process of continuous borders and quilt designs. I’m really excited about this new book – it’s been over a year in the making! The big reveal will be next week at Quality Sewing in Puyallup, WA where my Stitching Sister and I are tackling our largest event ever! We’re so excited to meet, connect and share with over 150 embroiderers in this two-day hands-on event. Attendees will see many gorgeous samples from the pages of Designs and my new book!

Our friends at Quality Sewing are pretty excited about this event too – in fact, they’ve been digging around for some trivia information about Marie & I. Click here to see what they’ve uncovered! http://www.shopqualitysewing.com/blog/

(Stitching Sisters Image Gallery – see past events)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Want to win a copy of Perfect Alignment software? Just leave a comment telling me what embroidery machine you own and you’ll be entered to win this week’s contest.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Achieve perfect sizing & placement with Perfect Alignment Software: Using your favorite embroidery hoops—like Magna-Hoop, Quick-Snap and Snap-Hoop just got easier!

•Auto fit embroidery designs to fit most hoops with just a click of a button.
•Now you can size, place and align embroidery designs for custom embroidery layouts quickly and easily.

View the video demo for Perfect Alignment.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Last week we asked you what your favorite home decor blank was to stitch on.  The winner of the $100 shopping spree to Urban Threads is…Rachel Phillips who said:

“I love to embroider on towels (my sons bathroom is done in all sorts of rubber duckies from urban threads). I also embroidered on his sheets, curtains and framed a couple of designs for his pirate bedroom. His friends all love it and I get ‘orders’ from the all the time to embroider stuff for them!”

Happy Stitching!

Royal Monograms

I’m not really a news junkie but you’d have to be living in a cave to miss the hype on the Royal Wedding of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton. In case you don’t know, the nuptials will occur on April 29th. So it seems the perfect time to address monograms – royal monograms.

I did a bit of research and learned that royal tradition puts the groom’s first name initial, first, followed by the bride’s first name initial which, in this case, would be WC, the abbreviation for Water Closet. Because of that unseemly reference, the young couple has bucked tradition and is using CW for horizontal monograms and a stacked monogram (C above the W) on vertical monograms.

Of course where there is hype, you will usually find commemorative items. The Royal Palace is no different. The Royal Collection has launched an official range of china to mark the forthcoming wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton. The English fine bone china set displays a delicate C centered vertically between a W and a crown.

I’ve also spotted some ‘unofficial’ souvenirs such as this gorgeous decorative plate.

And a pill box by Wedgewood which is sticking with tradition and ignoring any unintentional reference.

Since monogramming is a subject dear to embroiderers’ hearts, I decided to go to our industry’s leader in historic lettering, Richards Jarden, owner of EmbroideryArts, for his view on the couple’s monogram. EmbroideryArts’ website states, “The Gold standard for monograms in the embroidery industry.” If you need a machine embroidery font that stitches brilliantly, they are your go-to source.

I was interested in Richards’ approach to the royal monogram because of his expertise in lettering and his personal style. He is a contemplative person and approaches tasks with curiosity. And he usually knows where to go for the answers. In this case, he had an email exchange with Helen Faulkner – wife of David Beevers, the Keeper of the Royal Pavillion, Brighton and learned that there has been no official announcement on the bucking of tradition for the couple’s monogram.

Richards stated, “The intertwined monogram on the Royal Wedding commemorative items for sale is fine – stately, traditional, serious.

No one asked me to design one for them, but if I did it would be interesting to try to incorporate some aspects of the couple themselves:

* She: a regular person, college graduate, has worked as an accessories buyer in the clothing industry. Fashion conscious, fashion icon. 5’10” tall.

* He: a member of the British Royal Family, Kings and Queens for the past 1140 years.
College graduate. President of the Football Association, the governing body of English professional soccer. 6’3″ tall.

Overall, a vertical monogram seems appropriate. The initial C comes from our Arabesque Monogram Set 7 – symmetrical, graceful, with a stylish but not too feminine quality.  The W comes from our Diamond Monogram Set 6 – balanced, traditional with a modern, tall stature.  The crown is from another source.”

As embroiderers we are often asked to create monograms for engaged couples. It is our duty to help the couple select their style and critique any improper message the newly-combined initials may portray. Every couple’s monogram is important and will be reflective of their style for many years to come, so take some time to create a beautiful stamp.

For instance, a young conservative English couple, Kevin and Olivia, may need some guidance when selecting their machine embroidery monogram. As OK is probably not a combo they want to see splashed on every towel, plate and glass in their home. A little creative machine embroidery layout is required here to come up with an appropriate monogram for them. Here’s a few suggestions:

I always take into consideration the 6 F’s of monogramming: Fabric, Fit, Feel, Format, Font and Finish. Not every font will work on every fabric, fit in every space, portray the right mood and send the right message. Take your time and use exceptional lettering – it’s worth it!

Have you had to create challenging machine embroidery monogram? Share your dilemma with us.

Last week we asked why you needed a vacation.  The winner of the tote bag full of spa essential items from Discount Embroidery Blanks is…Margaret Grice!

“I NEED a vacation beacuse I am a fifth grade teacher and anyone who has had a fifth grader knows the trial and troubles of the end of the fifth grade year. Hormones are running rampant and they are ready for the end of the year. Only good thing is I get end of year too and I will have more time to sew and embroidery. Help!”

Congratulations, Margaret!

Everyone needs a vacation

Yikes! Gloria from http://www.cruise-consultants.com sent me a frantic email yesterday telling me the ship is going to sell out for the July 10, 2011 sailing. She said if you know anyone who wants to sail with us, they need to book soon. It’s been a long, hard winter for most of the US and I’ll bet most of you are ready for some fun.

My Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno and I can’t wait to hit the high seas and stitch with an ocean view. I know Marie really needs a vacation because her commercial embroidery business, Sew Creative, has been swamped with Spring sports orders. Last week, she stitched 90 hats on Monday, 133 team shirts on Tuesday, 60 umpire shirts on Wednesday, then had her usual orders of baby and wedding shower gifts, followed by 34 coaches’ left chest and sleeve embroidery. And her son is the second baseman for their high school team and her daughter plays lacrosse – both teams in full swing right now. She is in desperate need of a vacation. Does this sound like you?

I, on the other hand, just love the ocean. I love moving across the surface of the ocean whether that movement is powered by arms, legs, jets skis, water skis, an Evenrude outboard, a canvas sail or a large ship. I want to smell the salt air. I want to feel the ocean breeze. I want to enjoy the sun.

Oh wait, I don’t do the suntan thing anymore (so bad for you). So my next favorite thing to do besides play in the water is play in the sewing room! I couldn’t think of a better way to combine my two loves (water and sewing) without any danger.

And since we are only allowing a small number of students into the workshop, it will be a week of stitching heaven. Very personalized attention, we have over seven projects planned for the cruise. Attendees will use top-of-line Baby Lock machines – one student per machine. Students will be pampered with personal attention from our first mate, Gilligan (ok, he has a real name – Scott Goodman – but we’re going to make him wear that white hat and blue-white rugby shirt), a Baby Lock educator and Marie and I.

We’ll machine embroider on pashminas, terry cloth, waffle weave cotton, make a quilted purse, master continuous embroidery, stitch a lace t-shirt, create a charming pin cushion (bet you can’t just make one!) and more. So if you’ve been hankering for a vacation, join us! It will be delightful. Click here for more information or call Gloria at 888-719-7698. You can reach Gilligan, er, Scott at 866-429-3432.

If you want to join us and plan on bringing an embroidered terry cloth cover-up, here’s a few tips on stitching on that troublesome fabric.

Magnetic Hoops

Luscious towels are often impossible to hoop in standard tools with tear-away stabilizer. I opt for Magna-Hoop Jumbo. The industrial-strength magnets hold any towel with a strong grip – perfect for robes, hand or bath towels. Just hoop the towel with tear-away and machine embroider.

Standard Hoops

Perfect towels are achieved by using a trio of stabilizers when hooping in a standard hoop. The combination of an adhesive tear-away; a low-tack, iron-on tear-away and a water soluble film-type stabilizer tames the bulky nature of terry cloth and protects the easily damaged fibers.

Stabilizer

Use the adhesive to avoid hooping the bulky towel and the low-tack, iron-on tear-away to protect the terry cloth’s loops from touching the sticky adhesive. The terry’s loops are often distorted when pulled away from the adhesive stabilizer so iron the low-tack stabilizer onto the back of the design area and finger press that to the sticky surface. Lastly, film-type water soluble stabilizer helps keep the embroidery thread from sinking into the lush fibers of the terry cloth.

Fonts

Properly digitized machine embroidery fonts are critical to embroidering the perfect towel. You need a font that has been designed to hold down the nap of the terry cloth throughout the life of the towel to ensure luxurious results after repeated washings.

Water soluble toppers disappear when laundered leaving the terry’s loops to work their way through the embroidery. Double underlay on embroidery designs will permanently solve that problem. If you’re working with a design that you can not manipulate in digitizing software, use bridal tulle as a topper. Matching the tulle to the towel ensures the tulle to fade into the background but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how cleanly tulle rips away from satin stitches.

The combination of the right hoop, stabilizers and digitized fonts are the tools you need for successfully machine embroidery on terry cloth every time.

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Discount Embroidery Blanks.  They are generously giving away a tote bag full of spa essential items just begging for your personal touch!  Leave a comment telling us why you need a vacation and you’ll be entered to win!

Last week we asked you about your favorite planning tips for machine embroidery.  The winner of the Magna Hoop is…Karin!  She said…

“I always lay out my item or garment, then audition the colors by laying the spools of thread out on top of the item in the order they’re called for. That way, I get to see if the colors all play nicely together and stand out or fade into the item.”

Congratulations, Karin!

Top 10 Tips for Machine Embroidery Fashions

1. Find a focal point. Examine the garment to determine if there’s a design detail that could serve as the starting or focal point for the embroidery. On this plain sheath, the slit is the only detail. I can choose to accent it or ignore it.

2. Sketch a few possibilities. You don’t have to be an artist. You can trace a similar garment from a pattern or catalog. You only need the basic shape and some dots, squiggles and lines to simulate the embroidery.

3. Print templates of the embroidery design(s). Never take a stitch without seeing the design in actual size on paper. Any embroidery software is capable of producing a template. Just go to File, Print. Consider using transparencies or vellum for translucent templates. Otherwise, cut the templates out paper-doll style. The template must have a center crosshair with an arrow designating the top of the embroidery design. If your templates do not have those markings, add them by drawing a crosshair with a ruler and marker. Place one arrow head at the vertical line pointing towards the top of the design.

4. Audition the templates on the garment. Tape the templates on the garment while wearing the garment or using a dress form. It’s very important to ‘see’ the embroidery on the figure. Garments laid on flat surface appear to be much larger than the actually are. Machine embroidery placement is often skewed when decided on flat garments. Take the time to plan the layout correctly.

5. Experiement with the layout by making subtle changes in placement. Take caution when placing templates around the bust line and hips. These are danger areas and can draw unwanted attention (or add girth) to the figure. Sometimes, all that is needed is a small adjustment, such as moving a flower 2” above the bust point. Use a digital camera to record your progress, review the images to decide which placement is best.

If some designs stitch on top of others, write numbers on each template to indicate the stitching sequence.

6. Play with scale. Machine embroidery designs in a variety of sizes create a more interesting layout than repeating the same size design.

7. Add contrast with color, sparkle and shine. If you match the embroidery thread to the base fabric, what’s the point of stitching all of those designs? Separate the embroidery from the fabric by selecting threads that are a different value or color from the base. Incorporate a little splash with metallic threads or crystals. Sparkle gets the eye in a subtle way, remember less is more here.

8. Don’t overlook the power of appliqué. Machine embroidery applique comes in many forms, you can always find one method that works on your fabric. It can pack a powerful punch when dealing with delicate fabrics like lightweight knits, and sheers. It’s a great alternative to high stitch count designs.

9. Include decorative stitching. Want to make your embroidery look like you had an embroidery machine with a 3 ft. sewing field? Just connect the embroidery designs with decorative stitching or satin stitching. In this cover garment, flowers were sprinkled on the bodice then down the sleeve. I satin-stitched the stems to fill the area. Simple to do and very pleasing to the eye.

10. Plan the Process. Once you’ve gone through the first 9 steps, you’ll know what to stitch first, second and third. This embroidery layout plan or schematic will guide you through the whole project. If you get interrupted before completing the project, you’ll know just what to do when you return.

Do you have any favorite tips for planning your embroidery projects? Tell us what works for you when planning a machine embroidery project and you’ll be entered to win a Magna-Hoop!

Last we asked you to tell us about your shopping experiences.  The winner of last weeks bundle which includes Boatload of Bags and Contemporary Machine Embroidered Accessories is…Bridget Cheatham!

“I LOVE purses…currently I probably have about twenty in my closet! I have all styles and colors (as I like to have something appropriate for different outfits) but only when I started designing and sewing my own bags did I get something that felt truly “me”. I use my bought handbags as inpiration and combine my favorite details from each to make something unique and useful.”

Congrats, Bridget!

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