Tag Archives: 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.

Nickorbobs Home Decor Craft Mall

I’ve been antiquing for quite a few years and during one of my weekend travels ran into a place called Nickorbobs Home Decor Craft Mall http://nickorbobs.com/index.html . Its a great place and has lots to offer. There are lots of vendors and booths of all sorts. I did notice that there are many crafters in this place. When I first discovered Nickorbobs I felt my wares were not worthy.

As my work became more worthy, I finally thought, what the heck, give it a try, see if I can get a booth. I did a craft mall back in the early 2000. It was a nearby shop in my hometown of Downers Grove. I did pretty good at sales, however the traffic was low and the cost was rather high. Coomers Craft Mall eventually closed down in February 2005.

So last year I said to my husband I wanted to take a trip down towards South Springfield. He didn’t know what I was up to. He thought we were antiquing. There is a antique shop just across the way from Nickorbob’s. I indicated to him when we got there I wanted to see if it was possible to get a booth. I don’t think he was ready for this, but he was willing to let me give it a try.

Went inside and spoke to Cyndi one of the managers. I indicated to her that I do machine embroidery and sew. She indicated that they did not have anyone that does machine embroidery and asked what types of sewing I did. I said that I can do all sorts of sewing but my specialty is making fabric purses. She indicated to me that they have a 85 yr old lady that makes quilted purses and I would not be able to sell. Well shucks. She said she could put me on the waiting list. I said great and that I would send pictures. Well the pictures never happened, but another trip a few months later would take place.

My next trip down to Divernon, Illinois took place in early fall. This time when I went I took a bunch of stuff to show. And I took a purse! So I again spoke to Cyndi and showed her some of my embroidery items, aprons, towels and what not. I indicated to her I could do baby oneies items, however I was turned down on that as they have a vendor who specializes in baby items, but not embroidery, but appliqué . Oh well, I’m okay with that because there is so much more I can do. Cyndi and another crafter really liked my items. Then she saw my fabric purse. When Cyndi saw my purse she said to me, “oh you can definitely sell these here, they are totally different than the ones the 85 yr old makes”. YAY! So she checked the waiting list and it hadn’t changed, I still had 3 people in front of me. I can wait. And as I wait I can continue to be creative.

Sometime before Christmas there was a call on the answering machine. It was Cyndi indicating that there would be about 6 booths opening up in January and if I would be interested. Of course I would be and called her instantly. She remembered the items I brought and indicated to me that someone was checking out a booth on the 2nd of January. I told her I would be more interested in checking out booths that were available around the 15th. See I was suppose to make items the first week of December, but that never happened, so I had to increase my inventory before the 15th.

The weekend of the 2nd I was off of work, drove down to the craft mall and spoke with Jak. Another manager of the mall. I asked her if it was possible to see what booths would be opening up and if I could pick it and hold it. Sure enough I was able to do so. So I put a hold on the spot. Two weeks later I was back in Divernon, Illinois setting up my booth. I had enough time to make aprons and towels. I already had done a load of baby blankets and purses, so I didn’t have to rush. I also made and had some embroidered wall hangings that would also go in the booth. The biggest mad rush was pricing and labeling everything. What a task.

I’m still awaiting for the first sale and I was down there a couple of weeks ago, as Jak and Cyndi indicated that they have customers coming in looking for a particular item and they don’t have anyone that made them. Well between the two week, I had some of these items made. This will be another blog shortly. But here is my booth. I’m already ready to update the booth because I need different ways to showcase items.

 

Februray EmbLibrary Free Designs

Embroidery friends don’t forget to get your freebie designs from EmbLibrary. You have until February 29th to claim your designs. Remember you have to be a member to purchase. http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/Free.aspx

Here are the designs

The strawberries design comes in 5 sizes, the flamingo 2 sizes.

Enjoy. Tomorrow I believe a new sale starts, I’ll let you know.

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.


Small Spool Wood Storage Cabinet from MetroEmbroidery

Figured I would stop by Metro Embroidery Threads to see if they have a sale going on. Much to my surprise they have this “awesome” wood storage cabinet for their small spools of embroidery thread.

The neat thing about this cabinet is that it keeps the embroidery thread clean and dry , as well as the other elements that can weaken embroidery threads, sun and heat. This item is on sale for 69.00 until supplies last, if you order the finished wood, cost is 10.00 more. 6 drawers, you can easily color coordinate your threads and everything will be organized at the tip of your fingers!

What makes this cabinet so awesome is the size, 12 1/2 width, depth and the height is 14 inches. You have an option of either having it unfinished, thus you can paint it to match or decor OR you can order it for an extra charge for the natural wood finish. The cabinet only weighs 23 pounds, yes that is without the thread. You can even order the cabinet with thread!

This cabinet holds 125 small spool threads, thats 25 spools in each drawer! Now how many of us have that amount of thread? I know I have more than that! The cabinet was specially designed to hold only Metro Embroidery thread, so if you have ordered previously from then, this is the item that should be on your Christmas list, heck Christmas, any occasion! However, each compartment size for each spool of thread is, 2W x 2D x 2 1/2 H, so you just might be able to use this item for other embroidery spools. So before you order make sure your non Metro Embroider Threads will fit in each cubby.

This item usually retails at 129.00! You can’t go wrong with the sale price of 69.00 (natural color wood add 10.00). I wish they had something like this for the big spools. I like the snug compartments, you can see each color clearly. You can either put a piece of paper on the bottom of the drawer with the color number or on the back of each compartment so that if you have spools all over, you will know where to put the ones you’ve used. This cabinet is handmade in the USA.

I see that Metro Embroidery now has two types of stabilizer as well. Tearaway and cutaway (soft) in 6 x 6 sheets. They are in the process of obtaining and selling 8 x 8 sheets. Check out the prices on their site.   Currently they are on sale, half off, can’t go wrong there. Now you just need to get it on your list to Santa.

Metro threads are currently priced at 2.25 for the big spools and .75 for the mini spools. Check out the package deals they have. And check out the varigated threads that are .99 each spool. They also have bobbin thread.

Before you put in your order make sure you check out their coupon area. You can get a 10% savings on an order 99.00 or more, HOWEVER, make sure you see the small print on the two items that it does not apply too!

Oh and by the way, if you click on the BLOG on their main page, yup you got it you come directly to “Clicketyclak”, so check them out and check me out as well. Add your name to being a FAN in the upper right hand corner.