Category Archives: Machine Embroidery

Who says aprons can’t be for little girls?

Well I didn’t but I couldn’t think of a title, looks at the time on her watch.

Little girls love to be like mommies, so why can’t they have an apron. After all when mommy is preparing dinner or baking, who always wants to help. Little ones. So why not give your little girl her very own apron for those days you have a special mother daughter day. But it can also be used at play or when crafting.

I have some “special” aprons I want to create but I’ve been pulling myself in all different directions to get “other” items done for my booth. As I looked at my to do pile, I was like okay lets do these little girl aprons because those “other” ones I have to create myself and will be more time consuming. Last week was dedicated to embroidery, I can’t sew and embroider at the same time, I get frazzled if I do both at the same time. I like to “focus”.

A surprise. I pulled out a pile of aprons earlier that week. All of the little girl aprons were rolled up nicely, indicating that I had washed them for possible shrinkage. I had a design set up in my machine and just finished the thread colors, now to unroll them. As I start to unroll them and lay them on the sewing table when I got to the 3rd apron and as I opened it up, I see a cupcake design. No this can’t be so. I open the next one, ballet shoes. What, I remember embroidering those and I remember there were more. I remember there was just one that I gave as a Christmas gift, now how many more of these are done. I start to quickly open the rest of them. In total I have 5 aprons done and 5 blanks to do.

Yeah I knew I had stitched them up but forgot where I stashed them. You know we all do that. You buy something to make, you put it away and it completely slips your mind where it is and you end up buying it again and a day later you find the original one but used the one you just bought. I’ve been finding all these little surprise a lot lately. Just like the little totes I made for small children and embroidered, sorry no pictures and they are in my booth, but, whispers, I have more of those little totes. I just wanted to see how they looked stitched up. You know there is a method to our madness. You see I had plans long ago and had started to sew up an inventory, but things happened and ….. the rest is history.

I felt good knowing I only had 5 to do and most of my day was spent running errands so this helped in finishing them. The end results are great and I have more little girl aprons in my big storage organizer so I can put other designs on them.

I have a little joke to share. Well its not a joke but, my son works in the electrical field and one year he told his dad that they had these big metal boxes from the job he just finished and they don’t know what they were going to do with them. These boxes stored all the tools and other items needed to do all the work on the building and they had like 5 of them. His dad said cool that would be great if you could get a couple of them. We could put them in our yard and I could store all our jeep parts in them. They would be safe and the weather wouldn’t ruin any of the pieces. When I heard the conversation, I said hey get me one for all my fabric and stuff, lol. Gawd I wish he got them cause it would have been perfect to store all my stuff, however it would have been a pain to “find” something. You’ve heard how women have used sheds and storage units to have their stash, I’d have my metal box! Okay pictures!

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Coffee Anyone?

Whats your favorite Java? To tell you the truth I don’t drink coffee, but there are times that I do grab one, just because the smell overcomes me. I am more of a flavor hot chocolate lover and tea lover. I am starting to try new teas, but I limit myself with how much I drink a day. Too much caffeine is not good for me. I also refrain from drinking too much sodas.

Last week I took a day making aprons and a day for huck towels. I am getting ready to set these up in a few weeks at Nickorbob’s Home Decor, where I have a booth. I’ve been trying to think of a form of staging. I actually found a old coffee or tea pot and shined it up really nice. Now I was looking for old tins of coffee but I think I won’t succeed. I’ve decided just to grab a couple different flavors of coffee with a coffee cup. Put them in a nice box and nicely place one of my towels by the box. A card saying, “A perfect pick me up or special treat for that coffee lover”. I mean how many friends do you have that LOVE coffee and is always carrying a cup from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or one of the many other coffee houses out there.

These designs on the aprons and towels are major thread count. Rule of thumb, when a design is stitch intense, the end result, item will be more expensive. No wonder it took me a day for the aprons and 2 for the towels. However, I will admit, it was worth the time to stitch these out. They are beautiful. I know I would “hate” to wear one of the aprons and worry about getting a stain on it, cause after washing them you definitely have to iron. And the towels, to good to use, better for show. I know there are lots of ladies out there that when they decorate their kitchens, there are towels for using daily and then there are those towels that “are not” to be TOUCHED. These are definitely display. I will add this side note, these coffee cups can be customized to your personal taste, to match your decor of your kitchen.

On both the aprons and towels the stabilizer I used was tear away, iron on. Just as a reminder, I used the iron on tear away mostly because it holds the fabric in place and is perfect for all types of projects. I know I’ve been out of the loop with embroidery stuff, such as new products, so I’m going to have to check out some of my past suppliers to see whats new in the embroidery world.

Take a peak at the aprons and towels. Most of my designs are purchased from EmbLibrary, unless I mention, the Roosters and Frogs were not from there, just a fyi if you ever go looking. At EmbLibrary any design I purchase I can embroider and sell my wares.

Herbs & Spices

Last week I spent the day making some kitchen huck towels. LOL I almost said hunk. What am I thinking! I ran out of huck towels a few weeks ago and had to put in a order to get more and once they were received, up in the sewing room stitchin’.

On these particular towels, the designs are toile and you have to use the right stabilizer. You don’t want to use a stabilizer that you cut around the design because it will show on the backside of the towel. You don’t want to use a tear away, because the stitches might pull through when removing the paper backing. So with these towels I used the type that washes away. I use vilene.

Vilene is a water soluble stabilizer that allows your stitches from not sinking into a high pile fabric, such as bathroom towels. I also use vilene when I do free standing lace designs. I have used other water soluble stabilizers but my choice is the vilene. Since I bought it years ago I bought it by the roll and egads I have a big roll of the stuff. I find it was more cost efficient that getting sheets. Its 59 inches wide and if you are a embroiderer and use the stuff a lot, I googled vilene sold by the yard. You can purchase it Pointe to Pointe, 3 yard minimum at 6.50 a yard, http://www.pointetopointe.com/site/525331/product/QO102

I hooped my towels then placed a single layer of vilene on top then stitched my designs. I cut away the excess when done and I washed the towels to remove the remaining stabilizer. Now if time was not essential… I would have air dried the towels, but I put them in the dryer.

Did you know…
– Your dryer machine will toss the clothes around causing wear, which is not the case with air drying. Air drying is a lot easier on your clothing.
– Air drying REDUCES WRINKLES. If your clothes are properly hanged for air drying, they will dry wrinkle-free in the right shape.
– Air drying also eliminates static cling. Air-dried clothes might feel stiff at first, but by adding a liquid fabric softener, your clothes will receive great softness and gentle smell.

Here is the results of my herbs/spice designs

 

Greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions!

Embroidered Aprons

I started embroidering a bunch of aprons awhile back, as well as other items and I was just not feeling it. Still dwelling and getting over my mom’s passing from years ago. I just couldn’t get myself to continue. But with this new venture I had too. I know my mom was always watching me in the sewing room and I know she is looking down, smiling and happy that I am doing something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. She was around when I was at the Coomers Craft Mall and she was happy for me selling my wares. So now mom this is for you, me continuing and being creative.

I had purchased gobs of designs from this one designer when I attended a quilting show years ago. Two years later I attended another show and told the digitizer that I had put some of her designs on aprons. I indicated to her if I could sell them and she said why of course, however no large quantities. I said to her heck I don’t believe in doing large quantities I want my customers to have unique items. Ones not sold in stores and I would rather have a customer having their own design to themselves. She likes that.

Once I got my craft booth I was like OMG start stitching! So I went through all my items I already made and chose what additional aprons I’d make. I still have ideas floating in my head for apron designs, however I just needed some to get me started. I love these aprons and if ever interested in something you can always contact me for a sale. You can even contact me for a special request. I can see if I have a design your looking for or even check the place I buy most of my designs from.

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These roosters are great. Putting two different roosters on the aprons makes the appearance that they are cackling back and forth to each other. Using different shades of color in the feathers make it more interesting as well. I believe there are a total of 9 different roosters in the set, so I could really mix them up and coming up with a great combo.

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These frogs are they not to die for. OMG I mean look at their expressions and positions. Just like frogs near a pond, jumping and playing around just like on these aprons. Using a different selection of thread choices on each apron for the group of frogs works as well. I mean there are all different color frogs around.

I made a bunch of white huck towels that have different designs of one rooster and frog, so they can compliment the aprons.

I also whipped up some fast designs, including ones for Valentine’s Day. Made a few aprons with red and pink XO’s, Kiss the cook with a cook’s hat and did a few aprons that say Live, Love, Laugh. OH! My DIVA aprons…. dang I didn’t take any pictures, but they are great. Not only is the word embroidered, but I put bling on them with those rhinestones you glue on. They are great!

Hope you like my aprons and I love feedback of other ideas from readers!

Metro Thread Going on Strong

Back in February 2009 I first posted about Metro Thread (if you look under blogs you will see my post). I must say Metro has really grown and to see how many people like them is unbelievable. Its great to see how many people that love Metro Threads products.

Metro has really done great with their website and I noticed that most of the people that commented on my blog about shipping rates – well now Metro indicates that the cost is up to 9.98 and if your order is $250 its free shipping. I believe that the shipping costs are very comparable considering the cost of these spool of threads.  Today I was going to order some white thread from a competitor, however their prices where not as low as Metro. And well if I get my order in today the 17th of June, since they are on vacation, if I order $50 or more I’ll get 12% off the order.

Metro Thread can be used on any embroidery machine as far as I can see. I know people are particular on what they use, but heck I gave them a whirl and well I have 7 or 8 boxes of their big king spools. What more can I say about Metro that many haven’t already said, great thread, wonderful sheen and great service, besides the COST!

If you haven’t already checked out Metro Thread’s website, I think you should take a look and join them on your Facebook if you have an account. Also sign up for their newsletters. I have. You will be notified about special sales. Its worth it! Love how they have were you can post a comment right on the web-site or using your Facebook account. Thumbs up on that!

Max and all the members of Metro – great job!!!

Special Items for Special Lil Girls

I always like making special lil items for special lil girls. A few years ago I made a towel set for the little girl down the street. I saw her and her grandmother last week. As I talked to the grandmother she told me that Angelica still uses that towel set I made. I told the grandmother it was time for a new set.

Besides making a towel set for Angelica, I would be making a set for our nieces and another special friend. The designs I used are from Retroboulvard, the digitilizer is Ytmar. She has done some real nice work in the past. For the youngest niece I went for a design of a child toweling herself off after a bath. The other 3 girls I would do ballerinas. On the hand towels I either put their names on it or a pair of ballet shoes, which the design was received from a free website years ago.

Before I do towels I always make sure that I pre-wash the items not only for shrinkage, but also to get the extra fluff out of the towel. Once washed I am ready to stitch. I used the all in one hoop, with the exception of the large towel. I don’t like to have the burn mark in the nap of the towel. Once the items were hooped I then placed the wash away stabilizer, WunderStitch on top of the towel. WunderStitch is a water soluble stabilizer that washes out of fabrics when completed. WunderSttitch was great with these towels because the towel was thick and heavy. SewforLess carries this item and is always on sale.It is always important to use a water soluble on top of the towel so that when the design is stitching the thread stays on top of the towel, not sinking into the towel.

Another quick and painless day to stitch, here are the towels… washed a second time and they are still stunning.

Candles with a cherry Christmas feel

Thought I would do some simple and not so simple projects for the candles around the house to get a festal feeling. The downfall, the one design chosen, to the majority of the simple projects… didn’t want to co-operate! Ho Hum!

The first simple project was to simply stitch out the design on water soluble stabilizer, dissolve the stabilizer and then simply place the design on a candle. Simple, very, but like I said if the design would have stitched appropriately it would have looked even more elegant once the design was placed on the candle. Even though the design is already sticky from the stabilizer I would still put glue on the design to make sure that it adheres. The other nice thing about doing this, you can easily take the item and put on a new candle. The outline of the design screwed up and well we are not all perfect.

The next simple project was to make a candle sleeve for the candles that my hubby loves to burn. Yeah I like to cause some trouble cause he would complain about it some how. Basically you take some tulle and water soluble stabilizer and hoop, then stitch out the design. Once done you simply cut the tulle to the size of your candle glass, height and width, sew a seam and ta da, slip it on the glass. You can even embellish the sleeve by putting decorative trim on the bottom or top or both. Another item that you can use over and over again. If I forgot to mention, you need to wash out the stabilizer.

Now for the more complex project, grrrrr! I don’t even know what to call it, so I will just call it the candle cover.

I saw this idea last year at sewing class and I really did like it. Couldn’t find my instructions so I was on my own. This project is to take 4 5 x 7 picture frames, screw small hinges on each side of the frame on the top and bottom. You will have problems with the last side because you have a square but if you leave the glass out of the last frame until you get the hinges screwed in place it’ll work. Was I successful with the hinges, remember this was a idea for my blog, I used packing tape to put em together, so I cheated. You will see at the end what I am going to use mine for.

Please be advised that each frame will need two pieces of glass. Go to your nearest hardware store and purchase additional clear glass, they will cut it to the size you need. You might even want to see if you can purchase thin plexiglass to use instead. Glass is not very expensive, where the plexiglas will be much more.

Since this was a sample for my blog I only did 3 designs in different fabrics. Well I will not do this on sheer silk again. Very hard to work with. Working with the tulle was great and I got the effect that I wanted. You can even check your fabric store for sheer fabrics with winterland scenes on it. You don’t want to just stitch on the fabric, you want to bunch it up to get a layered look, so make sure you use more than enough fabric when hooping. Take some water soluble place it on the hoop, bunch up the fabric and place it on top of the stablizer, once you feel you are happy with how the fabric looks, hoop it. Prior to stitching you will place another piece of water soluble on top of the fabric. The reason you are putting stabilizer on the top and bottom is to keep the fabric lying properly when you start stitching

Once all stitching is completed you take an ear cleaner and wet to remove the stabilizer around the edges. If you get it all wet, then you will have to wait for it to dry.After cleaning the clear pieces of glass, place the fabric and center the design. Prior to putting the other piece of glass on top, play with the fabric to get a neat effect, overlap the fabric, swirl it around, once you think you have the effect that you want, then put the other piece of glass on top. With the tulle I was able to bunch it up to keep a effect that would look good once the candle would glow through the glass. On the two designs that I used the sheer silk with, I had to take something thinner than a popsicle stick to push the fabric between the two pieces of glass. I don’t care for the effect of the material on the green fabric, however the red, I love it! But then I had to figure how to play with the fabric. You will cut all the excess fabric around the pieces of glass. Place into frame and secure. Now you have your candle cover. You can use all the same fabric and use different designs for each frame.

If you like this idea, you can easily just do one picture frame, placing the candle behind the frame. You would have to get a piece of cork and cut it to the appropriate size and then take small nails and nail the cork into the frame’s bottom.

This project would make a great gift idea. Now what I am going to do with my 3 different frames. They will be used for gifts that can either be hung on the wall or placed in a window. Look look very attractive sitting in the window of my kitchen for the photos below. You can look at the layering effect on each one, again the tulle, I didn’t have to play so much as I did with the green and red. I really do like the swirls in the red.