Monthly Archives: March 2009

EmbLibrary 17 cent and Free Designs – April 2009

Hi everyone. Busy evening for me. I started sewing my pin cushions. They are adorable. I’m not completely done with the first set but you will really like them. I need to find out how I attach a PDF file so if I provide the pattern you can get it. More learning.

I visited EmbLibrary a few minutes ago and they have their new 17 cent and free designs for the month. I like the 17 cent designs, so I will have to find something to buy. You have a matter of hours to get the previous months free designs.

Here are this months items:

d4698rd4700rThese are the free designs. And they come in two different sizes.

Baseball Bear comes in 4.83 x 5.56 and 3.34 x 3.86.

Tulip Trio comes in these two sizes; 5.58 x 4.84 and 3.87 x 3.52.

Remember you can grab all four sizes just by being a member and putting the items in your shopping cart.

d4702rI really, really like this design of potted flowers. It is one of the six 17 cent designs.

It comes in two sizes, 8.98 x 5.85 and 6.86 x 4.47.

The other 5 designs that they are offering this month are individual designs of each flower pictured here. Each individual potted flower comes in two different sizes. 

d4696rHere is the tweet design for the week. I think its darling.

It would really look nice on an apron that you wear while gardening.

The tweet designs are for a dollar only during the week that they are appearing.

And as with all EmbLibrary designs, it comes in two different sizes; 5.86 x 8.89 or 4.48 x 6.80.

Grab ’em while you can and you will have to visit for the remaining month of April for the other weekly tweets, as I don’t post them weekly.

This week’s designs are called “simply spring”. There are some very nice designs, but you will have to hop on over there to see what they have to offer. 

While you are there check out their sale for the week. You might be interested in something.

Well time to sign off and crawl into bed. It was a very busy day.


Towel Swap – photos at Flickr

Well I have to figure out how to link my Flickr Towel Swap to my side bar. If anyone can assist, please do.

Terri, Lauranie and Allie were very pleased with their new kitchen towels for spring and summer use. Read Lauranie and Allie’s blogs that I’ve linked. Allie just started her blog. Both ladies blogs are on my sidebar, so if you want to know what they are up to, just click and read up on what they are doing. To my knowledge Terri doesn’t have a blog, but she posted a comment in the original post. Lauranie, I neglected to provide you with Terri’s address, I will send it to you privately.

The little donations that each one received for participating in the swap where truly done by me. However, I do have to indicate that the items they received where originally for doing on the embroidery machine, BUT it took too much time and I decided I could make the checkbook covers and post-it-note holders faster with my Sapphire sewing machine.

Those items are called “all in the hoop” projects. Once you see how the all in the hoop items are put together on the embroidery machine, you can figure out how to do it on a regular machine. See my post on Quickie Check book Cover Instructions

Thank you ladies for getting this off the ground. Hope we get more interested parties in the swap.

The next person can get a sneak peek of Allie’s towel at my flickr account.

Go GREEN – Pajama Clutch Purse

 dscf28911Thought I would be productive today and sew something quick and easy.

Here is a clutch purse that I made, no pattern, just grabbed something and started to creative.

Thing is, this material used belonged to a pair of pajamas that I bought on clearance several years ago. Didn’t wear ’em much, just liked the material, a silky 100% polyester.

Took the bottom shorts, ironed all the creases out. Figured on a size then ironed fusible stabilizer to the cut up shorts. Fabric wasn’t squared so remeasured and cut again. Then sewed up the bottom of the purse. Opened the seam and sewed the seam down 1/4 inch from the center of the seam.

Stitched up the side seams leaving 1/2 inch at the top for the front panel flap and for when adding the lining. Did a boxed bottom measuring only 1/2 inch from the point. Finished with the exterior of the clutch purse. Wanted the front panel to be different than others, so taking a piece of fusible stabilizer, laid it across the clutch. Took ruler and measured out the front panel. Dah, I had the purse inside out so when I measured the stabilizer I had the pattern backwards, rut ro.

Taking the top of the pajamas shirt, ironed out the creases. Placed fusible stabilizer and ironed. Took the top and folded at the end of the flap where the magnetic snap would be placed.  Laid material nicely and proceeded to cut around the stabilizer adding 1/4 inch to allow for seam to be right on the line of stabilizer. Sew up the front panel, turn it right side, iron, top stitch around the flap, complete by adding magnetic snap (oh yes I left the top of the flap open because that will be sewn shut when I put it to the body of the clutch). 

Attach the flap from seam to seam on back of exterior of clutch purse. Sewn 1/4 inch to hold in place. Stitched another line a few tacks away from the 1/4 line. Grabbed some plain ‘ol black cotton fabric for the lining. Cut to size, sew seams, ready to add to the purse. Placed clutch inside lining, right sides together. I am forever doing this backwards and usually consult with my daughter, but she was at work. Sew around top, making sure my flap was laying flat inside. Left about 5 inches in the front allowing to turn purse inside out. Add magnetic snap on the exterior of the purse. Fold and press 5 inch opening nicely, ready to finish it off. Top stitched all around the top of the purse all the way around.

dscf2895End product, a very nice polka dot clutch purse ready for the evening out. Interesting what you can do with fabric from a piece of clothing that you once liked, just like my purse that I made from the pink sweater. Left over fabric from this project, can make another style purse or make a wallet to match! Wallet did I say wallet… Ran back to the sewing room and since pockets were not made for this purse, here is a wallet to stuff money, ID or anything else small.

Deliciously Crafty Bunny from Urban Threads

bunny1_lgAs always I am hopping all over the place looking for new and egg-citing things.

I stumbled upon this free Deliciously Crafty Bunny last night and starting checking out the site (read about Niamh and how she got started) Urban Threads.

I really do like Urban Threads because the designs are very unique, different and reasonable. Please note I didn’t say “cute” but they are in a quirky way! I’ve already put some items in my FAV folder. I love the “Jester” design, especially done in “Tone on Tone”. 

Niamh really knows her stuff and presents it well. I don’t know if there are any other sites out there like hers, but she brings in a different perspective on design with her artwork.

Thing is Urban Threads is not just machine embroidery. The designs come in hand embroidery AND digitilized stock art. So like if your into scrapbooking, you can browse and purchase.

Now back to the free Deliciously Crafty Bunny. Crafty Bunny will be available until Easter, April 12th. In order to claim this cute little fella you have to register as a member. When you register you will receive a newsletter every Friday showing off the new items that will hit the site.

Don’t forget to check out the projects page. You sew have to check out the baby bib project, then look at the design “the cow jumped over the moon” ALMOST! LOVE IT!!

 Sew get hopping over to Urban Threads.

Would have had this up last night but was having internet issues!

Machine Embroidery Hooping Techniques – Another Tuitoral

Last fall I did an apron and the design shifted, thus the outline was not meeting up with the design. I apparently did not hoop properly. No matter if you are a beginner or advanced machine embroiderer, you will run into hooping problems. It is necessary that your garment has the proper amount of tension. You should be able to tap the back of the hooped item and get a drum like thump. With the apron, I could not hoop the whole garment because of my placement and it was a large design, that was even reduced. As a reader suggested, I was using the wrong stabilizer, when in actuality it was a hooping error. There are many ways of hooping and hopefully I will be able to assist in explaining different techniques.

Hooping is the most important technique when machine embroidering. The garment needs to be smooth and tight, not too tight and should not be over stretched. If you over stretch your garment in the hoop, sew out the design and then take it out of the hoop, the design can be distorted, causing a puckering effect.

Find out where you want to place the design on your garment. Take the grid from the hoop and mark all points from the grid to garment. One product that is highly recommend is Dritz Washaway Wonder Tape. There are other wonder tape products on the market, so use your preference. Wonder Tape is a double sided tape that adheres to the backside of the top hoop on all four sides. Remove the plastic backing, then place the grid in the hoop, match all the markings from the garment to the grid. Then put pressure from the hoop to the garment. Garment is now secure. Now to clamp the bottom hoop. I always make sure that my screw on the bottom hoop is loose. The hoop edge that is nearest to the tightening screw, put that corner in last. It makes it easier to get the top hoop in place and easier to loosen. It is best to position the corner or edge with the screw off the edge of a table or ironing board, so if adjustment is needed the screw is easier to manipulate without raising the hoop from the work surface.

Now I didn’t mention about stabilizer in the above. What I usually do instead of hooping both the stabilizer and garment together is I take a piece of my iron on tear away stabilizer that is about 1 to 2 inches larger than the design and iron it on prior to hooping and marking. This way you aren’t adding additional bulk to the garment nor the hooping process. BUT sometimes you will have to hoop both items together due to size and density of the design. And if I am using a cut away with the iron on tear away, I will cut it the same size as the iron on tear away, but will scotch tape it to the backside or  use a spray adhesive to the cut away and put to the other stabilizer. This method of cutting the stabilizers larger than the design, I am not throwing away stabilizer and money out the door.

On my apron that I made, I should have used a different method of hooping. This method is using sticky and tear away stabilizer. The design was at the top of the apron and hooping around the neck strap was difficult and didn’t make the hoop tight. Cut both stabilizers larger than the hoop. Hoop both stabilizers. Make sure there aren’t any bubbles, puckers and it is tight and flat. Do a little thump to hear that little noise. Lightly score the wax paper stuff. Tear around the inside of the hoop to expose the sticky backing. Mark all placement markings from the hoop grid to the sticky stabilizer. Make all markings on the backside of the garment and then match all the markings and press the garment to the sticky stabilizer. There are times that you just need to use an adhesive product.

One machine embroider manufacture suggest hooping the stabilizer and then baste the garment to the stabilizer. Hooping the garment and then basting the stabilizer is another way and only using a piece just a tad larger than the design, reduce waste. Basting around the design can be done using one of the programed frame designs. If the design is too large, hand stitching is quick and fast.

If you have a machine that uses the fast frames, that’s completely another subject to be covered another day. I have them and still experimenting, but much success.

If you have other tips or suggestions, feel free to share.

Free Purse Patterns

Yesterday I bought a magazine from my neighborhood JoAnn’s Fabric store. I was good and walked out without purchasing any fabric, yet I had a few bolts in hand. If you don’t find it at your local fabric store, Hobby Lobby, check out your neighborhood grocery store.

l_100423852My purchase was the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection magazine. Across the front of the magazine it says in big bold letters “Bags, Pillows and Pincushions”. It has lots of quick and easy projects. They have Amy Butlers favorite clutch in this issue, the pattern is not in the magazine, but if you are a member to Better Homes and Gardens newsletter, you can download the pdf file of the pattern. I really do like this pattern and you will too especially because its Amy Butler.

mosaic8214471As I blogged yesterday, I ran into this cute little purse that was designed by Rae. You can go to Rae’s blog, Made by Rae and download the pdf files for her Buttercup purse. I was surprised when I saw that it only takes a fat quarter to make the exterior of this purse. It appears to be a very simple and easy purse to make. 

If you haven’t noticed, I really like purses and tonight I was looking at fabric purse books at Barnes and Noble. I might be requesting several books and then reviewing them when they have been received at the store. Later I will show you which ones I purchased. When I was a moderator on a yahoo group we did a purse, bag, tote swap. The beautiful purses that where made by the women on that board was unbelievable. Even though I did not participate, but put it all together, one of the participants made me a special bag with my initials machine embroidered on it. I use that bag when ever I go away, whether it be a week-end trip or a vacation. 

Please be advised that both these patterns are copyrighted and can only be sewn for your purse-nal use or for gifts. You cannot make the items and sell for a profit. 

In the future I will be posting more free purse patterns that I run across. If you have found a nice pattern and would like to share, feel free to comment on this post with the url if you know it.

Quickie Check Book Cover Instructions

Today I made checkbook covers. Thought I would share how quick and fast they are to make. I’ve made a bunch of them for gifts and to sell. I have to post them on my ETSY site one of these days.

Materials needed – 3 pieces 3 1/2 x 7 1/2 and 1 7 1/2 x 7 1/2; 1 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in contrasting fabric. Pellon iron on interfacing medium weight. 


The first thing after I cut up the material to size, I take the 3 pieces that are going to be the pockets and fold over the edge. It can be any where from 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Take the interfacing and measure the 3 pockets heights. Cut under the size as you are going to fuse the interfacing right under the fold to the bottom, thus no sewing.



dscf2659Here I am using my steam press to fuse the interfacing to the 3 pockets. Its hard to tell but there is about 1/4 inch from the top of the pocket to the fusible interfacing. You will be taking the larger and smaller pockets on one side of the cover. The other will go by itself. That will be the side where the checks will go. I’m tired so I hope I am making sense. You will be using interfacing on the 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 piece.



dscf2662I did not use iron on interfacing on this particular checkbook cover. Lay the interfacing next to the checkbook cover fabric and lay the pockets face to face as shown to the left. On the top of the photo you can see that the pockets are not flush with the checkbook cover top edge. That is because of the excess fabric from the shorter pocket. Now ready to sew the  top and bottom of the checkbook cover. Sew 1/4 inch from the edge. To reinforce the seam, I usually stitch the seam twice.


dscf2666In this photo we have the checkbook cover open showing with the pockets attached. Press and on to the next step. This is were I always screw up and I did on this one. I had to rip out all my stitching. The next step is sewing the inside lining of the checkbook cover. I should have turned my example that I was using all the way, thus I would not have had to rip out three sides of stitching. Lay the checkbook cover as in photo 3. Place the lining or contrasting fabric face to face.

dscf2669Now for the final sew out. Stitching three side of the checkbook cover leaving one end open. This will allow for turning purposes. Again, I do a double stitching to the side seams at 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch on one of the pocket sides, pivot at the corners. After all seams are done trim as close to the stitching but being careful not to cut any seams. On the corners clip across so avoid any excess bunching.



dscf26701Press the checkbook open and then press it closed. And here we have a bunch of checkbook covers in lots of different fabrics. Just think of all the checkbook covers you can make with all the fat quarters that you have accumulated in the years. And again, you can make them quilted or even with a small machine embroidered design on them. This project takes no more than 1 1/2 hours to do, but in my case I had again rip out what I did wrong.

Shortly I will show you how to make a fabric wallet with a snap closure and a post it not fabric holder.