Tag Archives: Home Decor

Embroidery Wall Art – Roosters

Sorry I didn’t post last night. Long day at work.

I don’t know how many people that read my blog go over the line on what they embroider on, but I have gone over the line and embroidered on paper, fabric and painting canvas. I have recently embroidered on a different fiber. It was almost like a weaved straw. It was actually a table runner, but I cut it down to size and put two different roosters on the fiber.

The roosters took forever to stitch, but that was because I had to reinvent the wheel with the thread colors. I also hate when I put colors in my machine that they are not true and it is hard to decipher what it will look like. Sometimes I’ve even made mistakes by putting the wrong thread color on the wrong spindle.

I will be creating more wall art as each day progresses, but for now here are my roosters and I think the frames I picked work well together.

Thanks for checking out my blog and hope to see you again soon. And if you have made items for wall hangings, feel free to share!

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!

JoAnn Fabrics – Be warned

Go to http://ecorporateoffices.com/JoAnnFabrics-1121 to read reviews on other JoAnn experiences or to post your complaint or approval. I am contacting my customer for window treatments to see if she might consider a different fabric.

I haven’t blogged in a long time, but need to get the word out. I not only go to JoAnns for my items, but my daughter is there almost weekly purchasing items for her art projects. I’ve since started taking her to Hobby Lobby as their costs are lower and fits her pocketbook (omg am I old or what) however I usually end up paying cause her college fees are very high and heck what are mothers, parents for? Continue reading…..

Order two special orders for a job that I was hired to do to make window treatments. Purchases were made at Joanns in Darien Illinois, the closest store for me. And I frequent this store a lot and well am considering to drive the extra mileage to the one in Lombard.

First special order – was told 2 rolls needed to be ordered, 8 yards on each roll, to complete my allotment of 11 yards of fabric for windows, unless I wanted to go to Orland Square or Countryside, nope I don’t want to drive! Told me fabric was in warehouse would be in about a week. Fine no problem and I was able to use the 50% off coupon. This order was around 420 bucks regular price, fabric was around 35 bucks a yard, with coupon saved 192 bucks. My customer was satisfied with the great savings!

Second order – new flyer, 50% off all home decor fabric PLUS a coupon for 25% entire order even sale items. Ordered 13 yards, 2 rolls needed. As I worked with the gal she said are you sure? She was trying to have me buy what they had in stock and I don’t think they had 13 yards and she scanned the bar code and only 10 yards. I mean I was just there a week ago. Placed my order, regular price was around 520 bucks, fabric was 40 bucks a yard. My total sale again with the additional 25% off was around 220. My customer was satisfied with the savings I made on this order as well. When I went to pay for my items, fabric, additional supplies and my own purchases, the manager asked me which order did I want to use the 25% coupon for. I told him that the 25% coupon was good for any and all purchases during a 3 day time frame, that I would be using it on all transactions (had to have 3 done – special orders rung up separately). I even read the fine print making sure special orders where allowed. Now him being the manager **HE** should know the sales flyer and coupons – right?!?

First special order came in the day after I placed my second order, went in the following Monday. Was hoping that they could cut the fabric in 2.5 yard panels as I don’t have a proper table to measure and cut fabric. The gal checked with the manager and he said “Corporate Policy” can only make one cut, in this case two rolls, two cuts. Okay fine so I end up cutting on the floor. When I was having the fabric measured, I indicated **several** times that the panels had to be 2.5 yards. When the girl and I were working on the measuring she indicated that the first roll had just under 10 yards however she said it could be 10 yards depending on the area in question. I told her no we will cut part of the order from one roll and the rest from the 2nd roll. Well I ended up having the fabric cut incorrectly because the gal was #1 not listening to my detail of what the length was needed for each panel and i repeated myself several times, #2 she seemed nervous as she had a twitch when working which in return made me nervous and #3 when she measured the fabric on the machine, she did not have it in straight and I was nervous that the fabric would be cut crooked. Oh and it ended up that after she cut the 8 yards I asked her how much was on the remaining roll because I would be interested in purchase to make another item, ends up there was 1 yard 32 inches – just think she continued to say 10 yards, I would have been shorted! Instead of having 7.5 yards on one roll and 3.5 on the other it was cut 8 and 3. I had ordered extra fabric because i had to order to the nearest yard and at the time of ordering i thought i needed 10 yards 8 inches but in fact i could get by with 10. Well I ended up taking the fault as I left the store and got to my car when I realize the error. I said chalk it up.

Just received a call from them today on my special order for 13 yards. They indicated that the fabric is on back order til after Thanksgiving. That is fine with me **HOWEVER** the flagship sunset fabric has a distinct pattern in it. I need exactly 5 panels for two windows. The bigger window will need three panels – one panel will have to be matched up to the other two which can be done, **HOWEVER** JoAnns needs to know that their “”CORPORATE POLICY”” will have to go to the wastebasket in order to provide proper customer service in me making these window treatments. I indicated to the gal who called me that I will have to match up 3 panels in order for the item to look professional, my mom, a seamstress taught me well – she said she understood my concern. I asked her to put on my order “customer needs to be there when fabric is cut as there is a distinct pattern and has to match”. She did not indicate that she would put it on the order just that she would talk to “RALPH”, manager (by the way who interviewed me for a job **TWICE** and I was not hired probably due to my availability when I spoke to the other manager and she said they needed people working the afternoon and I put on my app that I could work afternoon til evening). I indicated to the caller, I would contact the Corporate Headquarters regarding this issue of cutting fabric and indicated if there was an issue I would probably purchase additional fabric to make pillows.

I know this is lengthly but since I’ve been “HIRED” to make these window treatments, I want them to be just right to **MY** Customer’s Satisfaction NOT JoAnn’s. And to think the manager who interviewed me, afterwards checked me out twice after the interview DID NOT recognize me as a potential employee until the 3rd time he checked me out and yesterday stated gee you are here a lot. I responded to him yeah just think you could see me everyday if you hired me. And the kicker on the second interview (I applied twice in a one year time frame) a CUSTOMER came to me asking if I ever made fabric purses and what type of interfacing did I use. As I do make fabric purses, we went to the interfacing and we discussed the different types and I told her she would probably have to use the heavy weight for the product she was making. Do you think, do you think that the manager would put this in perspectives during the interview process as he saw me working with her? NO! And I even indicated to the manager I am always thinking outside the box when I am making items for home. I indicated to the manager that I made something special for my husband to protect his car he built and I had to **create** my own pattern for the project! Geez I would love to apply at a different JoAnn’s and throw it in his face. All the employees at this JoAnns seem to be helpful to a point but it appears that the employees seem “scared” or uncertain, is it the manager causing this uneasiness towards his employees? Maybe a good thing that I am not working there.

Machine Embroidery on paper

I’ve sewn on several different types of paper, but I’ve never embroidered on kiwi paper. I sorta don’t like the patterns of the kiwi paper and well the other thing is, everybody is embroidering on kiwi paper. Kiwi paper I feel is basically used for acrylic items, thus limitations.

Remember, I like to be different in my creativity. I believe in a previous post I indicated that I purchased my paper items from a art store in town. Unfortunately they don’t carry some of the neat stuff they used to. I have found a site on the internet that has some fabulous items, but at the time they were on vacation or redoing their website. 

I am really particular on my purchases. I would rather be able to see in person the product. The reason for this is when looking at the product, you can feel the texture of the paper. Feeling the texture allows you to visualize if it can be used for embroidery.

I always ask myself questions. Is the paper too flimsy, will it tear easily. If stabilizer or fabric is used underneath the paper will it add depth? Depending on the density of the design, what will it do to the paper.

I’ve not obtained any rice paper that I’ve liked, however I did see some that was beautiful, but when I went back to get it is was gone! It was white with oriental designs in it. I’ve purchased some paper that is thick because it is a form of pulp process and it has very small dried leaves on it. My plan is to use this paper to embroider plant life on it. Thought process forming, I wonder if Anita Goodesigns Fritillaria Wall Scenes would look good on this paper. I would definitely have to make sure I use a stabilizer on the back. Then I have to consider the piecing of it together. Never did a wall scene.dscf1090_21

This item was a gift to my sister who lives on Lake Michigan. The embroidered design with the chairs was done on paper and if I recall (I don’t remember) blue fabric behind it. The design was shrunk to fit the area and the density in areas was heavy. The first attempt the paper was tearing and I really didn’t want to use a white stabilizer behind it. So to add dimension or effect, I put the blue behind it. The color also brings out the texture in the paper. It is not wrinkled paper, its strands of woven fiber running through it. 

The white seashell underneath it. That is done on wood paper. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the stuff. It is not balsa wood. Gonna tell you, I did use a stabilizer behind it because of the density and it did tear around the bottom. Well guess that’s why we have glue sticks to hide imperfections.

The last seashell. When you have toile work, that is the best to work on paper. I love this white paper and I CAN’T GET IT ANYMORE. I am going to take a piece to the art store and see if I can get more of it. This paper is great because it has texture and dimension. (OMG my power cord was off and I almost lost all of this) Yes the swirls in the paper that you see, they are actually pressed in the paper. The swirls remind me of waves. I didn’t go the extra mile on this piece, I was to take sand and sprinkle it across the shell and paper. Now we don’t want to get too creative do we.

The two small boxes were just to small to do anything and that is why I took a darker piece of the wood paper I purchased and glued two small neat seashells to the piece. Nope I take that back. I put the wood paper inside the glass and glued the seashells to the glass on the outside!

See how much you can do with machine embroidery. You can take a piece of embroidery and make it a piece of art. And you are having fun doing it!

What to do if you buy curtains that are too short

We always have lessons to learn and one lesson that I seem to never learn is to measure length of windows when buying curtains, but then again, when I buy curtains, I usually am buying them on a whim.

Two weeks ago before going on vacation I was being rushed to get some major and minor things done. If I would have know that I would have had an extra day, I would not have rushed. 

JC Pennys had a terrific sale going on. We were in need of new towels and I figured buy several sets. I fiddled around and found the towels that would look good in our pale purple room, then grabbed a small area rug. I was looking at the curtains they had to offer but nothing short nor plain.

Decided to check out the drapery department to see what they had to offer. Even with retail stores, they usually don’t have short curtains for windows that are in the tub/shower area. And if they do, they are patterned or colors that won’t fit my decor. Ended looking at kitchen curtains, which guess what, where on sale! Found some real nice small checked shears in plain white. Got the longest length, 36 inches, thinking they would be just right.

Got home washed everything and then went to put the curtains up. You did it again sweetie, too short. Now you have to consider, the window is a customized size window, so it is very hard to get the right size. The plastic curtains we used to get were always way too long, thus the ones I just tossed out, I made. My SO liked them cause they were shear with colorful stripes that brightened the room as well as let light in.

 

dscf2474

So this morning after I shoveled our nasty, crappy snow, I took the curtains down and took out all the stitching on the top. My decision was to add lightweight white fabric at the top. Wasn’t sure how much was needed, decided 10 inches would be sufficient. Put a 1/4 inch seam on both sides of new fabric, sewed both items together. Ironed seam upwards, folded the white fabric to met the seam of the curtain. Didn’t have to worry about white fabric fraying because I made sure that the tightly woven selvage was at that end. Top stitched all fabrics together and then stitched another line. Ironed again. Then stitched 1 inch from the top and did another line of stitching about two inches for the rod. Took the one panel and hug it up. Perfect and that panel looked really nice. I then did the second panel and then hung it up. You would think that they were made that way and I could easily go to the fabric store and see if I can find some lace that matches what is on the bottom of the original curtains and put it were the two fabrics meet. This took me no more than two hours to complete and now my bathroom looks very nice and complete.

After I finished the curtains, I cleaned and scrubbed the bathroom to show off my handy work. Even my daughter said I did a nice job. Next project who knows, but after I did some more cleaning, I picked up my yarn to finish another scarf. I don’t think winter is done with us yet.

Evening – Input on Embroidery Home Decor

As a machine embroider I was wondering if I could get feedback from both embroiders as well as people who would purchase embroidered items.

In purchasing home decor items for lets say your kitchen, what type of designs would you be looking for. Would it be chefs, chickens, coffee designs, italian items or what? What is popular out there even if the designs aren’t made for retail stores, what would tickle peoples’ fancy?

Lets say you want a collection for the kitchen that consists of chef apron, towels, and maybe something else like a cozy for a toaster. Or you have plain canisters for your flour, sugar, tea or coffee and you wanted to spice up the decor of those canisters. Would you want a piece of material with a design of your home decor choice that easily wraps around the canister and holds in place with velcro. Or what about a bottle apron that you put on your dish soap bottle? What would you be interested in? 

I am looking for input from people who would purchase sets, as well as home machine embroiders, that have made sets that they sell at craft shows or else where.

Then you have the occasional person who likes lady bugs, dragonflies, penguins, or even birds or birdhouses. Do you believe that chef aprons, towels and such would be appropriate? What other favorites is out there that I wouldn’t be aware of?

I am trying to get this input not only for my etsy site, but I am looking for popular items. Even interested in items for the bathroom, whether the master bath or the half bath. 

Can you please let me know. I really would appreciate it.

I am traveling right now and will approve your messages as soon as possible.