Posts Tagged ‘embroidery’

Last Minute Men’s Wear for Your Man

Tattoo EmbroideryLooking for a last minute personalized gift for your man? Want to get your guy to wear embroidered duds? Think fast and subtle.  Embroidering on blanks is one the quickest tasks an embroiderer can do. The key to getting your guy to wear embellished clothing is stitching something classy and modern.  A plain, black button-down shirt can be elevated to a designer original just by adding a design to a trendy area.

 

When selecting embroidery designs for men, go for low stitch count designs – etched figures, sketchy motifs, and satin-stitched outlines.  Reserve the heavy fill stitch designs for jacket backs, camping and sporting gear and hats.  Plan on placing the embroidery over the side seam of the shirt.  Print a template of the design from embroidery software and place the template on the garment.  This will give you a heads up whether your design is going to work.  Keep an eye on the scale – too small and it looks like a postage stamp.  Too big and it’ll draw attention away from his masculine frame and great smile.  Think of tattoo embroidery as an accent, a complement to his frame.

 

Iron fusible cut-away polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the design area. Hoop the design area. Position the needle over the center of the template or target sticker and stitch the design.  Many masculine embroidery designs have few color changes if any, which makes your task easy! Just remember to select thread that separates slightly from the base fabric. Even though you’re going for subtle doesn’t mean the embroidery has to be invisible.

 

Once complete, remove the shirt from the hoop. Press the wrong side and release the excess stabilizer from the shirt.  Trim the stabilizer leaving about ¼” around all motifs.

Model - Tattoo Embroidery

See how easy it is to create this embroidery. Just click here to see me demonstrate the technique on It’s Sew Easy television show.  Season 300 is now up and ready – you’ll enjoy a new show every week.

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

The designers at the Sulky Embroidery Club want you to win a FREE Gold Membership. Just leave a comment below about why you’d like a membership in the Sulky Embroidery Club. To find out more about the Club and this $150 retail value, just click the ad. If you win, we’ll create an account for you, already loaded with 500 points, so you can begin shopping immediately. Choose from Joyce Drexler’s latest creations, called “Spoolies”, Carol Ingram’s new designs – just in time for the holidays, or the freshest embroidery designs from Team ES. There are hundreds of extraordinarily high-quality designs and projects to choose from, including fill, appliqué, outline, and 3-dimensional. New designs are added each month, so good luck!

Sulky Embroidery Club
 

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us the one machine embroidery item you’d like to have most this year for Christmas. One lucky winner will win a $25 gift certificate to spend on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

And the winner is… “Dear Santa, I would like a snap hoop, the Pal 2, More embroidery thread and stabilizers and one day without interruptions to finish my projects! Oh and of course peace on earth! Thanks” – Mercedes C.

Congratulations Mercedes! Thank you to everyone for sharing your wish lists with us.

Upscale Bed Linens – Tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here are some tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets.

Tips for Success

• Take the time to prepare the design and the sheets. It’s well worth the effort.

• Purchase an extra pillowcase to test the design before stitching on the sheets.

• Open the band before embroidering to hide the wrong side of the embroidery.

• My stabilizer of choice for sheets is fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer with a layer of tear-away floating under the hoop. Fine linens are a tight weave and benefit from a strong foundation for the embroidery.

• Insert a new, sharp needle.

• Consider adding a single-letter monogram to the center of the band. Then stitch from the center to the edge on each side.

• Allow some space at each end of the border for some breathing room (aka – room for error).

Here’s a case for prewashing the sheets. Normally, I don’t prewash blanks but sheets really benefit from this prep step. It eliminates the unwanted puckers that often appear after laundering embroidered linens.

Measure the band – from folded edge to stitch line and from selvedge to selvedge. If the band measures 4” (a common size), select a design that is 3” in height so that there will be ½” open space on each side of the design. Once you select a machine embroidery design that is 3” tall, make a note of its length. My design is 3” x 5” and my queen top sheet measures 90” from selvedge to selvedge. I’ll divide 90” by 5”. I’ll need 18 repeats to fill the band.

Hmm…90” is perfectly divided by 5 into 18 repeats. Frankly, that scares me because I’ll have to be absolutely perfect on placement for each of the 18 designs. So I’ll take a little artistic license here and set myself up for success by planning on stitching only 17 repeats. Not only will this relieve some stress, it will probably look more pleasing because the center of a design will be dead center on the band and not the join of two designs. Definitely more desirable in my opinion.

Not that I know how many repeats I’ll need, I will take a seam ripper to the band and release the hem. I know, reverse sewing but it’s so worth it. Next, it’s time to carefully press the band but I will leave the crease of the fold in place because it’s a built-in guideline for squaring the band (sheet) in the hoop.

Cut the fusible polymesh stabilizer into 4” strips and press it to the wrong side of the band.

Fold the sheet in half, selvedge to selvedge to find the center and place a target sticker to mark the center.

Print two templates of the design. Place one template on the target sticker. Make sure the template’s crosshair is aligned with the target sticker’s crosshair. Use a ruler to verify the design is flanked by ½” on each side (from fold crease to hemline).

Select a hoop that will accommodate the design – one or two repeats. Hoop the band with tear-away stabilizer. Center the needle over the target sticker and embroider the design. Place the template on the band, connecting the image to the stitched design. Move the needle to the template’s crosshair. Remove the template and embroider the design.

When it’s time to rehoop, use the template and folded crease to square the sheet in the hoop and continue to fill the band with embroidery.

Here’s your assignment this week:

With Christmas fast approaching travel plans are in full swing. One important aspect of travel planning is packing. If you forget one key thing it can send you in a tailspin! Leave a comment below about the most memorable item you’ve ever left behind and you could win an autographed copy of The Travel Gear Made Easy Bundle by Mary Mulari. In it you’ll learn how to create fifteen new clever and usable travel accessories for trips around the corner or the world. Using Mary’s easy-to-follow instructions and hand drawn illustrations you’ll make travel gear for yourself or family and friends.

Mary Mulari Travel Gear Bundle

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

At EmbroideryOnline.com, you can choose from more than 40,000 professionally digitized and downloadable stock/licensed designs, premium embroidery card/CD/USB Stick collections, embroidery software applications and hardware, a rainbow of thread, glitz and other embroidery supplies 24 hours a day.

Post your comment about your favorite OESD item and one lucky winner will be randomly selected to win a $100 gift certificate for downloadable designs at EmbroideryOnline.com.

OESD

The lucky winner is… (drum roll please!) “Love this tutorial, awesome for decor or gift. I love using the OESD stabilizers. I really like the Christmas designs best! anything for the holidays. ” – Sue

Congratulations Sue!

An Indispensable Tool

I can’t believe how indispensable this tool is. Recently, I was stitching 24 onesies, a daunting task even when it’s not crammed into a heavy travel, teaching schedule. I think the only thing that kept me sane during the process was thinking of the new parents of twins who would eventually receive the onesies.  I know they haven’t slept more than 2 hours at a time in over three weeks so my task paled in comparison.

 

Back to the embroidery – the placement for center chest embroidery on onesies was simplified with the Center Chest templates from the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

 

Instead of using a round target sticker, I used the rectangular version and placed it lengthwise on the target area.  This gave me a clear visual guide when hooping the tiny garments.

 

I hooped Floriani Wet ‘n Gone Tacky  water soluble adhesive stabilizer in a 5” x 7” hoop for my single needle machine. Then I scored the protective paper and remove it to expose the sticky surface.  I placed the hoop under PAL2, aligning the beam with the hoop’s centering marks.

 

I turned the onesie inside out and lifted the back of the shirt away from the front to expose the target sticker. Then I carefully placed the center of the target sticker under the beam.

 

Once aligned, I smoothed the shirt to the sticky stabilizer, working above the target and then below.

 

When it comes to quilting, PAL2 can multitask. I use it to find the center of a block.

 

And to make sure my seams are square.

 

I’ve been know to use it to trim blocks and cut fabric strips – all without using a ruler!  I just align the beam with a line on the cutting mat, place the fabric edge on another straight line and then slice on the beam of light. Makes large cutting jobs fly by!

Do you want to win a PAL2? Leave a comment over at SewMamaSew and you’ll be entered in their Handmade Holiday giveaway.

 

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Have you stopped by the Embroider This! website lately? They have a selection of linens, blanks and baby items that are ideal for machine embroidery! Stop by their website and tell us what item you like best.

Post your comment and one lucky winner will be randomly selected to win a $100 shopping spree on the Embroider This! website! Embroider This is the name you can trust for Unique Gifts, Fine Linens, and Blanks for Machine Embroidery! Over 200 Free Designs for immediate download!

Embroider This!

The winner is… Lori W.! “I love all the hankies and the boxes to give them in are a wonderful gift. All the new guest towels in all the colorful bands would make a great gift and also would be fun to keep! I seem to give most everything I make away!”

Congratulations Lori and keep something for yourself this time!

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!

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!

Upscale Bed Linens – Tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here are some tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets.

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Tips for Success

• Take the time to prepare the design and the sheets. It’s well worth the effort.

• Purchase an extra pillowcase to test the design before stitching on the sheets.

• Open the band before embroidering to hide the wrong side of the embroidery.

• My stabilizer of choice for sheets is fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer with a layer of tear-away floating under the hoop. Fine linens are a tight weave and benefit from a strong foundation for the embroidery.

• Insert a new, sharp needle.

• Consider adding a single-letter monogram to the center of the band. Then stitch from the center to the edge on each side.

• Allow some space at each end of the border for some breathing room (aka – room for error).

Here’s a case for prewashing the sheets. Normally, I don’t prewash blanks but sheets really benefit from this prep step. It eliminates the unwanted puckers that often appear after laundering embroidered linens.

Measure the band – from folded edge to stitch line and from selvedge to selvedge. If the band measures 4” (a common size), select a design that is 3” in height so that there will be ½” open space on each side of the design. Once you select a machine embroidery design that is 3” tall, make a note of its length. My design is 3” x 5” and my queen top sheet measures 90” from selvedge to selvedge. I’ll divide 90” by 5”. I’ll need 18 repeats to fill the band.

Hmm…90” is perfectly divided by 5 into 18 repeats. Frankly, that scares me because I’ll have to be absolutely perfect on placement for each of the 18 designs. So I’ll take a little artistic license here and set myself up for success by planning on stitching only 17 repeats. Not only will this relieve some stress, it will probably look more pleasing because the center of a design will be dead center on the band and not the join of two designs. Definitely more desirable in my opinion.

Not that I know how many repeats I’ll need, I will take a seam ripper to the band and release the hem. I know, reverse sewing but it’s so worth it. Next, it’s time to carefully press the band but I will leave the crease of the fold in place because it’s a built-in guideline for squaring the band (sheet) in the hoop.

Cut the fusible polymesh stabilizer into 4” strips and press it to the wrong side of the band.

Fold the sheet in half, selvedge to selvedge to find the center and place a target sticker to mark the center.

Print two templates of the design. Place one template on the target sticker. Make sure the template’s crosshair is aligned with the target sticker’s crosshair. Use a ruler to verify the design is flanked by ½” on each side (from fold crease to hemline).

Select a hoop that will accommodate the design – one or two repeats. Hoop the band with tear-away stabilizer. Center the needle over the target sticker and embroider the design. Place the template on the band, connecting the image to the stitched design. Move the needle to the template’s crosshair. Remove the template and embroider the design.

When it’s time to rehoop, use the template and folded crease to square the sheet in the hoop and continue to fill the band with embroidery.

Next week, we’ll look at some tips at the machine to ensure a beautiful continuous line of embroidery.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Urban Threads!  They are generously giving away a $100.00 gift certificate to urbanthreads.com!  What is your favorite home decor blank to stitch on?  Do you prefer towels, bed linens, table linens…?  Share with us your favorite by leaving a comment and you’ll be entered to win!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Last week we wanted to know what type of fabric you have a hard time stitching on.  The winner of Machine Embroidery on Difficult Materials is…Katrina H!  She said…

“I always have issues with different weights of cotton. Each one has a different hand. But I’ve had more success using an iron-on tearaway to help stabilize the stitches.”

Congrats, Katrina!

That Eileen! She gets me every time…

Guest post by Katherine Artines –

There I was on the first morning of International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall, excited about being there, ready to go on the floor the next day to gather up inspiration like someone spilled M&M’s in front of me, sitting in her schoolhouse daydreaming, when WHAM!

Eileen showed the group a wonderfully colorful quilt made from her newest Stipple! design pack—Stipple! All Seasons Borders.  Whereas everyone present “ooooooo’ed” and “ahhhhhhhhhhhh’ed” as the quilt so rightly deserved, in my mind’s eye, the quilt sprouted sleeves, trimmed itself to a V-neckline, and shaped into a striped jacket.

That Eileen! She gets me every time.

When I went looking for the base fabrics, I knew I wanted to wear the jacket in the warmer weather (June, for those of us who live in Erie, PA!), and I loved the bright look of Eileen’s color choices.  All the border designs were going to have lots of colors in all those appliqués, and I found just the thing to anchor them all together with the “tooty-fruity” irregular stripes and a white background with lime green metallic dots from my stash.

I was off and running…. Well, off and embroidering!

You can read about the construction of the jacket with the various stipple borders in the Volume 68 May/June issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery. If you’re an embroidery software geek like I am, you’ll want to check out the detailed article on how I created the triangle edge treatment with an in-the-hoop solution (http://www.dzgns.com/products/*/*/9065   Click on “Download the Software Technique” on the right column).

I love using embroidery software. When I have a “what if” moment, it is usually followed with a “how can I” moment. I wanted to make a border of triangles for the entire perimeter of the jacket, but, UGH! That’s a lot of triangles that have to be exactly the same size. Yes, there are a number of tools out there that quilters use to do half-square triangles; instead, I put my software and my hoops to work to do the repetitive, utility part of this job.

I’m not a quilter—don’t really want to spend my time making my points match—but I do love the patterns. That’s why I’m such a Stipple! fan. The blocks are easy to embroider and are a great size for wearables. If you’ve seen some of my previous articles in Designs, you know that I used them to make entire jackets or just a few to enhance a project.  

At a conference last August, Eileen gave me a “sneak peek” of her upcoming book featuring new Stipple! designs that were FAB –U-LOUS and set my mind whirling. I can’t wait to add to my wardrobe!

That Eileen! She gives me cool things to play with.

– Katherine A.

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!

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