Posts Tagged ‘Marie Zinno’

Hacked Fan Wear for the World Series


Yeah! It’s October which means World Series time. As you might recall I live in Ohio. If you follow baseball, you should know which two teams are in the World Series: Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. Both cities are extremely passionate and thoroughly excited to be in the World Series to say the least. As you can imagine getting to the World Series is a huge accomplishment and the process is very stressful for the fans as well.

Our Cleveland Indians had to beat the Boston Red Sox in order to win the American League Pennant, which they proceeded to do last week. Just before they clinched the title we had a family birthday celebration in Florida to attend. My brother in law is an avid, passionate Red Sox fan and life- long Bostonian. The entire family was going to be together in Florida for the party and watching one of the baseball playoff games. I had a fabulous idea of altering a purchased Red Sox hat with the following symbol over top of the famous Boston Red Sox “B”.redsox1bl

I know…brilliant! Before I left for Florida, I decided to “hack” the Boston hat to aggravate my brother in law.

I purchased two Boston Red Sox hats and used my software to create the “no symbol” design. I used my hat frame attachment on my 10 needle embroidery machine and actually stitched the symbol directly on top of the “B” in red thread.


Simple steps to follow:

  1. Measure the exiting logo on the purchased hat. The hat hoop has height limitations and you will need to be sure the “no -symbol “will fit.
  2. Create the no –symbol in software. Select a circle and insert a straight line on a diagonal. Save the new design as symbol1.
  3. Hoop the hat in your hat hoop frame and center the symbol design. Use the trace feature or live camera to properly position the symbol design on top of the existing logo.

*Remember this design was used for personal use and will not be sold in anyway. Licensed merchandise is trademarked and cannot be reproduced for sale.

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Multi-Needle Monday: Changing the Background Display

If you are a lucky multi-needle embroidery machine owner, you probably took your time reading the manual about how to change the needles and setting the thread color display among other instructions. As you gained confidence the manual has been pushed aside to make room for projects, hoops and stabilizers. Occasionally I like to experiment with the background grid options on my display screen. I also have started to change the background color display to help me visualize the way my final project will look. The Babylock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur machines are shipped from the factory with the default setting of a gray background color for the display screen. You can easily follow the steps in your manual for changing the background color but I will show you with my step by step photos how quick and easy it is. Check your manual if you are using a different model of embroidery machine for display screen options.

For example: My current project is a black tote bag with a tennis ball design and a handful of accent colors stitched on the pocket. I appreciate the ability to change thread colors at the machine if I change my mind (which is more often than not). Using the background color display quickly shows how the color changes will look on the finished product.

At the bottom left corner on the home screen, touch the paper icon.  display1BL

You will notice 7 pages of setting options.


Look at the bottom of page 1 and touch select “Background Color”.


Scroll through the color display area (there are 66 color display options). For my tote bag I changed my background color to black. Touch the desired color and touch “Close”.


Your background screen display will now always remain the color you selected, and can easily be altered as needed for different embroidery jobs.


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Multi-needle Monday: Using the Positioning Sticker


The needle camera and positioning stickers are one of the most efficient tools included in many Brother and Baby Lock embroidery machines. The higher end sewing/embroidery and multi-needle embroidery machines contain this fascinating technology. The live needle camera actually displays exactly what is placed under the needle such as: hooped fabric or even your hand (not while in operation please!)

The positioning stickers are included with the machine when purchased and are to be used in combination with the live camera. Baby Lock refers to the stickers as “positioning stickers” and Brother refers to them as “Snowman stickers”.To properly place an embroidery design, print a template on tracing paper or velum from embroidery software.sticker1BL Place the template on the garment. Locate the exact location for the embroidery design to be stitched. Slide the positioning sticker under the template cross hair mark and remove the template.sticker2BLsticker3BLsticker4BLsticker5BL

Hoop your item in the correct size hoop to fit your garment; in this case a 4×4 hoop is the correct hoop to use for a baby onsie.sticker6BL Select the embroidery design and always take notice of the actual size on the screen; the size 3.09×3.23inches. The design will fit in the hoop.sticker7BL Touch the positioning sticker or Snowman icon on the screen.sticker8BL The screen will most likely tell you the “the design extends out the pattern area”. Your first thought is to re-hoop the onsie in a larger hoop. But go back to the edit screen and decrease the size a bit.sticker9BLsticker10BLsticker11BLsticker12BL Now touch the positioning icon once more and it will fit as needed. You might have to re-adjust the size a few times at the screen, but it is easier than re-hooping a baby onsie. The reason for this message appears because the machine wants the ability to completely rotate the embroidery design within the hoop. If the positioning sticker is not completely centered in the hoop (especially if using a small hoop) it will want you to re-hoop the item.

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Multi-needle Monday: On the Edge Baby Blanket Embroidery

I would like to share with you one of my favorite gift items to embroider; on the edge baby blanket embroidery. The purchased minky dot baby blanket is personalized on the top and bottom satin trim borders with the baby’s name and birth date. The quick, easy and practical way to embroider the edges is to hoop the blanket in a large hoop along with soft tear away stabilizer. The hoop is scanned and the text is stitched right on the satin. I do not rip out the seam to “hide” the thread. The blanket may have stretch to it, but the satin trim does not, therefore a soft tear away stabilizer is used. The stabilizer will easily tear away from the back of the embroidery without pulling on delicate text.

Using the scanning feature is a fool proof way to precisely place the text. Before I purchased the multi-needle machine with the scanner, I had the use the “trace” feature. The trace technique worked well enough but this so much faster.

Find the exact center of the top of the satin trim border by folding the blanket in half and place a target sticker on the fold. edge blankie1BLedge blankie2BLHoop the top edge as shown in the hoop with the stabilizer. Place a piece of blue painter’s tape along the stitched seam of the satin and fleece.edge blankie3BL Attach the hoop to the machine and open the text for the blanket “scan” the blanket. edge blankie4BLedge blankie5BLedge blankie6BL The blue tape gives you a straight reference line to precisely place the text. Remove the tape when pleased with the layout.

Stitch the text and remove the blanket from the hoop.edge blankie7BLedge blankie8BLedge blankie9BL Follow the same steps for the bottom of blanket and make sure the text is in the proper orientation.

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Multi-needle Monday: Create Professional Looking Embroidery

As I have mentioned before, it is so important to plan your embroidery. As a business owner, I really stress over the execution of my embroidery. The moment I accept a job, the planning begins. If you are a machine embroidery hobbyist, I am sure the same situation comes into play. Although I try to avoid embroidering on customer supplied items, there are exceptions.

The most challenging jobs I have handled are always the property of interior designers. The semi-finished item (usually a pillow sham, chair back fabric etc) are sent to me with a specified thread color, monogram size and a short deadline. I like to tackle the difficult jobs early in the morning and use the proper tools to precisely place my embroidery.

For example, silk pennant style window treatments arrived a few days ago. There are four pennants which will have an “S” in the Sydney font, embroidered in black thread. The pennants were sewn in a tubular style. Right away, I planned my hooping technique. The size of the initial is 3 inches tall, therefore my 5×7 Monster Snap Hoop will have to be used.

Measure the pennant front with the large Target Ruler, place the target sticker inside the hole on the target ruler.pennant 1BLpennant 2BLpennant 3BL The placement of the initial was discussed with the designer ahead of time. Follow the same steps for the remaining pennants. The silk fabric can have a bit of stretch to it so I selected to use poly mesh cut away stabilizer inside the pennant.pennant 4BLpennant 5BL The teal frame of Monster Snap Hoop is inserted into the pennant with the magnets facing up(New MSH have covered magnets). Place the metal frame on top and align with the target sticker’s crosshair.pennant 6BLpennant 7BL

Carefully place the hoop on to the embroidery machine with the silk fabric fitting over the bobbin throat. For this particular job a multi-needle embroidery machine must be used.pennant 8BLpennant 9BL Always check the orientation of the embroidery design at the touch screen along with the thread color before removing the target sticker.pennant 10BL

Repeat the same steps for remaining pennants; turn the fabric wrong side out to trim the excess stabilizer.

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Multi-needle Monday: It’s Never too Late to Try Something New!

In my year of turning 50, I am trying to do at least 50 new things. My list consists of a few mundane things such as trying new foods (yes I like octopus now), running a 2 mile race on July 4th(not very exciting but glad I did it with my daughter and husband), and something centered around embroidery. Yes, I finally pieced and machine embroidered a jelly roll quilt. Drum roll please!

A few weeks ago the DIME staff hosted a workshop for their educators and we had the opportunity to have a Jelly Roll Race.(I think I won because I was the only person to actually complete the entire quilt). Eileen showered us with the pre-cut jelly roll fabrics and of course we had the top of the line embroidery/sewing machines at our disposal. The workshop was held at a tremendous quilting retreat in the Texas countryside. We enjoyed 4 days of sewing /embroidering/ quilting and meeting new friends.

Although Eileen and I have taken a hiatus from our Stitching Sister events we continue to work and laugh alongside each other and this retreat was no exception. She likes to tease me about my lack of knowledge in some things such as: quilting. She loves to create new quilts and I generally do not. This time however, was an exception. The pre-cut jelly roll fabrics are so fun to work with and you are so surprised at the outcome when all the strips are sewn together.jelly roll 1BLjell roll2BL

The endless sewing of fabric strips finally takes a productive turn when the rows are assembled (the actual directions are found on Youtube) and actually starts to look like a quilt top. After the top was complete I had to “quilt” it with my embroidery machine. jelly roll4BLjelly roll 5BLjelly roll 6BL

I layered the batting and backing and used the ShortE and the Monster Snap Hoop. Eileen would talk endlessly about the shortE while we were traveling the past 2 years. I know my eyes would start to glaze over during these conversations, now that I see how efficient it is for the home embroidery enthusiast, I really get it.jelly roll 7BLjelly roll 8BLjelly roll 9BL The secret is to use the magnetic hoops which eliminate the difficult task of hooping a quilt. The frame sits underneath the embroidery machine and holds the bulk of the fabric to evenly distribute the weight. The embroidery design selected for my quilt is a simple full size stipple; I printed a template and placed it on the pieced quilt top. The easy to use camera function and laser light on our machine assists you in placing each design. We had many “experts” attend the workshop and sometimes it is very difficult to learn in this atmosphere. I was humbled and enjoyed learning about the pieced binding, mitered corners and everything in between. I am proud to share my first “machine embroidered” quilt. (I even have an embroidered badge).jelly roll11BL

The quilt is a gift for my daughter who will be moving into her first apartment at the University of Cincinnati this week and she was very pleased with the result.jelly roll 10BL

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Multi-needle Monday: Pocket Top Embroidery Placement

I would like to share one of my favorite techniques for embroidery above the pocket on a dress shirt. Through my business I work on a variety of different garments and accessories. A popular request is always the top of pocket placement for a corporate logo. My customer is the president of a business and likes to dress professionally in quality dress shirts; he also knows how important it is to promote your business when in public. He wears a company logo on many items especially when he attends tradeshows.

Before I owned my multi-needle embroidery machine, this technique was challenging. I would print a template, tape it on the shirt and use a target sticker to mark my center. Then I would use the trace feature and align the needle with the crosshair on the target sticker. (This technique is still very practical if you do not have a scanner). Now of course, technology has improved immensely in the last few years and the tools at our finger tips are invaluable. My days of “tracing” and actually printing template for small jobs are over.

Here are a few important tips to remember when planning the embroidery above the pocket on a dress shirt:

The logo or text should not exceed 4 inches in width as a rule; this is because most pockets are less than 4 inches wide. Button all of the front placket buttons and place the shirt on a clean flat surface. Use the small Target Ruler (Embroidery Tool Kit) and target stickers.

Press wrinkles from the pocket area. Use the smallest hoop that will fit the embroidery design(4×4 hoop), along with poly mesh cut away stabilizer. Use two pieces of stabilizer if the design is a bit dense, but usually medium weight poly mesh cut away will work fine.

Test your logo on fabric that is similar in weight to the final product. I like to keep an old performance fabric polo or a cotton woven shirt to test my corporate logos before I stitch them on the provided shirt.pocket top1BLpocket top2BLpocket top3BL

Lay the small target ruler above the top edge of the pocket, precisely lining up the center and side edges. The logo should be at least ½ inch above the top edge of pocket. Hoop the upper portion of the pocket in the lower section of the hoop as shown.pocket top4BLpocket top5BL  Place a small piece of blue Painter’s Tape along the top edge of the pocket. The painters tape will give a clear visual guide for you to see in the scanned image. Use the “scan” feature if available on your embroidery machine (looks like a camera icon). Adjust the design if needed as viewed on the screen.pocket top6BLpocket top7BL Unbutton the upper buttons on the shirt and place the hoop on the embroidery machine as shown above. Let the fabric hang down under the machine so it is not caught under the hoop.

Embroider the design and remove the hoop. Trim the thread tails (as you can see in the photo) and carefully trim the excess stabilizer from the back of the shirt. Always leave at least a ¼ of an inch of stabilizer around the embroidery design.

* Have the customer sign a Customer Supplied Garment Waiver to cover yourself in the case of a mishap (they only happen on expensive and sentimental items) Haha.

pocket top8BL

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Multi-needle Monday: Sport Theme Can Cooler


Machine embroiderers have more choices every year when it comes to purchased blanks. If you have a multi-needle machine and machine embroidery business, you have discovered that purchasing blanks is the most profitable way to make money. Maybe you embroider just for gifts and charity and profitability is not important. In either case, quality purchased blanks are a must-have staple in your embroidery studio.

For example: the can cooler or can koozie. I have stocked the plain blank koozies for years for my customers and thought I have seen or stitched all the styles available. Last week while searching the website of ,I found the sport theme can cooler/koozie. It is exactly what I had in mind for my tennis team giftsSportThemeKooziesBL.

The sport theme can koozies are available for tennis, golf, basketball, football, car racing, softball and baseball. The can cooler will arrive flat, embroider the name, logo or initial on the neoprene fabric and proceed to sew the two side seams after the embroidery is complete. Here are a few tips to remember when planning the embroidery process:

1. Measure the front area of the can cooler (small target ruler from the Embroidery Tool Kit works great) that will be embroidered and place a target sticker in the center location. Only one side of the koozie is generally embroidered.

2. Remember the can koozie will need to be able to stretch to enable the can to slide inside.

3.Double check the orientation of the design on the touch screen before you stitch.

4.Reinforce the side seams because they will take some wear and tear.

5. Use sticky back tear away stabilizer.

The can coolers make perfect gifts for coaches, team mates and anyone who appreciates the sport and enjoys a cold drink on a hot day.

In the book, Hoop It Up we show you how to hoop multiple koozies in one hoop by positioning the koozies side by side and embroidering one side of the koozie only.

Use the small Target Ruler to precisely find the center and slide a target sticker underneath the crosshair.koozie1BLkoozie2BL Remove the ruler and insert a piece of sticky back stabilizer in your hoop. Keep the protective paper intact. Take a pin and score the protective paper with an X, carefully remove the 4 sections of the protective paper. The reason for this step is to keep your hoop clean and free of adhesive residue.koozie3BLkoozie4BLkoozie5BLkoozie6BLkoozie7BL

Place the koozie on the sticky tear away stabilizer and double check the orientation of the embroidery design. Align the needle bar with the target sticker’s crosshair and remove the target sticker when ready. Embroider the name or text and remove the stabilizer from the hoop. Carefully remove the sticky stabilizer from the back of the koozie. Fold right sides together and pin in place. Sew the two side seams together turn right side out.koozie8BL

final canBL

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Multi-needle Monday: Applique Sea Life Designs

Yay! It’s finally summer! If you are like me, you are probably searching for quick and festive items to sell to your customers. Even if you use your multi-needle embroidery machine for gift giving, quick to stitch designs are always welcome. Some of my favorite designs are appliqué. Applique designs add a lot of punch with the high stitch count. It’s easy to change the look of a design by switching fabrics. Did you know most quilt designs can easily be transformed into an appliqué? I love using my edited quilt designs on t-shirts, tote bags, baby onsies and athletic wear.

sea life cover1BLsea life pillowsBL

I selected the sea turtle block design included in the Stipple! Sea Life Collection, to be stitched on a child’s t-shirt. The original design has beautiful stippling that surrounds the sea turtle. In my embroidery software I deleted the stippling portion of the design and saved it as a new design. I also printed a paper template so I could easily position the design on a child’s t-shirt. turtle finalBLOne great feature of the Stipple! Collection is that all trimming is done after the embroidery is complete.stippleimage1BLstippleimage2BL

My go to stabilizer for t-shirts is a poly mesh or no-show mesh fusible cut away stabilizer. Cut the stabilizer bigger than the hoop you plan to use. To position your embroidery properly on a child’s t-shirt, use the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit. Included in the kit are 16 clear plastic templates labeled for a number of baby and children’s accessories and clothing. Use the center front template for a child’s t-shirt. Remember ark the center with a target sticker and remove the template. turtle tshirt1BLBecause the design features a bean stitch instead of the usual satin stitch to finish the edges, I use wonder under to the wrong side of the appliqué fabric. Remember to trim the excess fabric and fuse the appliqué design after embroidery.

I love to simplify the task of hooping t-shirts, I find using the Monster Snap hoop for multi-needle embroidery machines the quickest and most efficient way. After the target sticker has been positioned with the template, slide the bottom teal frame of the Monster Snap Hoop (5×7 was used for this project) inside the t-shirt body. Attach the top metal frame and smooth the fabric as needed. Always flip the hoop over and make sure the stabilizer is positioned within the frame top and bottom.MSH BL

Carefully attach the hoop to the machine through the neck of the t-shirt. Feel underneath the hoop for any excess fabric that could possibly be caught between the bobbin plate and hoop. Line up the needle bar with the target sticker and remove the sticker before embroidering. Stitch the design, adding fabric as instructed and trim after embroidery is complete. Turn the t-shirt wrong side out, iron the stabilizer to release the adhesive stabilizer. Trim the excess stabilizer around the embroidery design.

Enjoy your long sunny summer days and happy stitching!

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Multi-needle Monday: Custom Sandals in Capri

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to Italy with my husband to join one of my oldest friends on the Isle of Capri. My girl friend of 35 years planned a birthday extravaganza for her 50th birthday and invited 15 others to join her. She planned some of the outings and dinners to the last detail, each location more spectacular than the next. Dinner under the lemon trees, another location was a sunset view of Mount Vesuvius and of course a boat cruise around the famous island and the Blue Grottos. The group was an eclectic blend of old friends and fairly new but all wonderful people that shared an amazing few days together with our mutual friend.  Walking along the streets of Capri is a sensory overload! All of your senses are in tune and you enjoy every little experience. It is a magical place. capri1BL

We toured the cobblestone streets all lined with beautiful shops and small restaurants each store front utilizes every inch of space to grow flowers or fruit. In Capri there are a few “must have” souvenirs; perfume (you can create your own specific sent), limoncello (a liquor created from the fresh and abundant lemons growing everywhere on the island) and custom sandals (one of my favorite). The women in our group decided to take advantage of the custom sandal option as the men went taste-testing the limoncello. Yes this is a lemon I am holding! lemon1BL

As exciting as it sounds to design your own sandals, it is kind of overwhelming. So many choices! sandal1BLsandal2BL The tiny shop is full of leather strapping, tassels, braided trim and fancy jewels to embellish your sandals. Did I mention the sandals are completed all on site and available in a few hours?  You have the option of choosing the style, color and trims and they construct the sandal. The expert cobblers are so sweet and talented as they work in a space as big as my closet at home. As shown in the photo I selected a basic navy blue sandal (I know it’s kind of boring) but I am not into jewels and I wanted something timeless.

My husband and I went to pick up my sandals the next day and he was shocked at the choices and the quality. I tried the sandals on for a final fit and the clerk asked me in Italian(I eventually figured out what he was asking) if I wanted to have a monogram. sandal6BLsandal7BLMe a monogram??  Of course. I was the only one in my group who was offered the monogram apparently. He stamped the leather sole with my two initials.sandal8BLsandal9BL

Pictured below are the tools and work space in the sandal shop.sandal3BLsandal4BL

I hope you enjoyed my blog although we are a bit off subject. Enjoy the link to my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.

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