Showing posts with label Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop and Giveaway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop and Giveaway. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SewCalGal's Fall 2013 Machine Embroidery Blog Hop

DISCLAIMER:  This post has been written by my dear friend, Karin.  Due to my injury I was not able to fulfill my commitment so Karin offered to pitch hit for me.  THANK YOU KARIN!!!  (You'll find a link to Karin's Etsy shop on the left sidebar of my blog : Sew-Write Creations

I was so honored and excited to be invited to SewCalGal's Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop this year....of course, none of this would have been possible without Kelly's own personal "Fall", which occurred shortly after her Machine Embroidery Guild meeting last month.  I'm just tickled that she's let me crash hijack her blog once again!  So, let's get started, shall we?

Zandra Shaw, the owner/designer behind the Embroider Shoppe, is our featured designer.  Kelly had gone shopping before her accident and had selected a set of scissor keeps as the design she wanted to sew out. 

 I wanted to honor Kelly's original plan, so I elected to sew one of the scissor pockets for her, but which one was she planning on doing?  I really didn't want to pester her with embroidery questions while she was undergoing her therapy sessions, nor did I want to disturb her meals or sleep...what to do, what to do?  I looked at the 4 options, an owl, a lady bug, an ice cream cone and a bouquet of roses.  They were all so sweet, I knew she'd love any one of 'em.

Then it hit me; Kelly just looooves this picture of Farnsworth and his keeper that I took at the zoo one day.  Farnsworth is a Great Horned Owl that came to the zoo as a week-old baby and has been hand fed for the past year.  He's really quite special to us all and since he can't hunt for himself, he won't be released into the wild.  So, of course, I decided to sew out the owl pocket for Kelly!

A couple of years ago, I got hold of some samples of a new textile, from The Kunin Group, made completely from recycled bottles and other plastics, right here in the USA.  Its properties and feel are very similar to felt, but it isn't felt.  And it came in several colors and styles, but I thought this textured brown fabric would be just perfect for our little owl.

I read the Readme text file that came with the design, and it said if you want your finished product to look like theirs, you had to be sure to use the same colors they used.  Well........I don't usually do that....and this time was no different.  I picked out a lining fabric (they had suggested a small floral print - I chose a variegated batik with some speckles and swirls) and some Fall-inspired thread colors.  Here we are, all ready to sew.
I decided I'd better take a look at the instructions and Zandra's color recommendations, just to see if I understood the directions and had enough supplies all set out. 

Blue was the very first color to stitch.  Let me just say this about that....if you insert your bobbin and then  thread your machine and it makes funny noises, well, chances are, you didn't load that bobbin correctly.  And you might as well stop sewing and fix it before you get too far along.  Here's my trusty SeamFix seam ripper, hard at work.  It did away with those uneven stitches in no time flat.

 See how pretty they look after I fixed the bobbin thread?  That's one thing I noticed about Zandra's digitizing...she put lots of underlay stitches in there so the design fills up nicely without puckering the fabric.

 Here's a close-up of the detail that sews on each wing.  See how much coverage there is?  All those stitches lay nice and flat.  Oh, you may have noticed that little gap in the upper right corner...yeah, that might be a problem later..we'll see.  That's where the fabric shifted a little when I laid it into the applique outline.
 So here's my wing piece, all sewn out.  Looks pretty good, right?  Well, thank you, but I can't take any of the credit for that - I just load the thread up and push start.  (What could be easier??)
 So, here we go, sewing the back (body) piece.  Check out more of that solid underlay stitching.
 And the coverage of her fills...pretty cool, if you ask me.
Here is our finished owl, just hanging around, keeping my embroidery scissors safe and sound.  Do ya think maybe if I keep them put up in this little guy, no one will come steal them when the dog's fur is matted?  Well, probably they really are WONDERful for cutting matted furballs out.  Ask me how I know that!
Here he is again, hanging out with Hugo's Amazing Tape, a little closer to my sewing machine (hint, hint...after all, these ARE embroidery scissors).
 Now he's down on my cutting mat, hanging out with some Wonderfil DecoBob prewound bobbins.  They make embroidery sooooo much easier and efficient!  Oh, and that little gap that was in the upper right section of the wing?  Gone.  I was able to trim the pieces to match each other and you can't even tell where I goofed up.
 I bet you were wondering where that batik fabric went, weren't you!?  It's used as a lining, inside the wing piece, and on the back, to cover up the "wrong" side and the jump stitches.  So, really, if you didn't have matching or coordinating fabric in your stash, it'd be one's going to see it anyway.

Zandra's home is South Africa, but she's currently on a USA Tour giving free trunk shows, how sweet is that?!  You may want to check her schedule to see if she's giving a show near you.  If not, you can contact your local quilt shops or sewing centers to have them contact Zandra and see if they can schedule a special presentation for you and your friends.

Be sure to join me in visiting all the other talented ladies to see what they've sewn up for SewCalGal's Fall Embroidery Blog Hop:

Monday, Nov 4th
Tuesday, November 5th
Wednesday, November 6th
Thursday, November 7th
Friday, November 8th

A big THANK YOU to Kelly,  SewCalGal and Zandra...I had a lot of fun sharing my little owls with you all!


Want to make your own scissor pocket or one of the other beautiful designs at Embroider Shoppe?
If you answered YES, then hop on over to the Embroider Shoppe and leave a comment on this post telling me which design is your favorite.  The winner will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11th.

A little birdie told me that the Embroider Shoppe has 25% off all of their Christmas designs so you won't want to miss out on the sale.


It's Kelly here, I just want to say...we get by with help from our friends!

With much gratitude,

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Few Reminders and Quilt Market News

I'm sure by now, all of the IHAN® blog readers know about SewCalGal's Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop.  There are giveaways going on so make sure you visit all of the participating blogs.

 Monday, November 5th-Marjorie's Quilting Bee
Tuesday, November 6th-All Things Crafty
Wednesday, November 7th-SewCalGal
Thursday, November 8th-I Have A Notion
Friday, November 9th-Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio & Cheeky Cognoscenti

The UR Priceless Blog Hop going on from November 5th through November 13.  To see my blog post and giveaway  for this hop, click HERE.  To view the entire schedule, click HERE. on to Quilt Market in Houston 2012.  I want to share this video from Creative Bug because I really enjoyed their video.  I have photos of the same people and fabrics...but somehow...the video brings it all alive and makes the experience so much fun!

Creativebug Field Report: Quilt Market 2012 from Creativebug on Vimeo.

I have been sorting the thousands of photos I took while in Houston and I'll be posting those soon.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop and Giveaway

NOTE:  Even if you are not into Machine may want to scroll down and see the amazing little Turtles below.  The giveaway is open to everyone who is an IHAN ® blog follower....I'll have two for Marjorie's Machine Embroidery Designs and one for 5 Spools of Floriani Embroidery Thread.

Today is my day to share what I made for the Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop!  Marjorie, Trish and SewCalGal are extremely hard acts to follow.

Before I began this post, I have to share with you that  I did not make the project.  I had intended on making it when I returned from Quilt Market but you all know what happened there!  Thank God for friends!  My dear friend Karin did the Machine Embroidery for me and I sooooo appreciate her help!!

Those of us whoare participating  in this blog hop,  were able to select the design we wanted to make from "". Marjorie, the owner, digitizes tons of the applique shapes that are made by the modern day fabric cutting machines (Slice Fabrique,Silhouette, Big Shot Pro (Sizzix) and AccuQuilt)  I chose Marjorie's Turtle because I thought it was adorable and I just knew my boys would like it too.  My intentions were to make a mug rug for each boy to keep their water on next to their beds.  After Karin agreed to help me....the project morphed into 7 Turtles!  Funny how those things happen.

Starting with Floriani Embroidery Thread and some beautiful batik can you go wrong?

Karin stitched  the outline of the she would have proper placement of those wonderful little feet and head.
She used Floriani Heat N Stay Fusible Tearaway on the body, head and feet to prevent puckers (you will notice below...there is not one pucker in the design :).    Both Sizzix and AccuQuilt offer circle fabric cutting dies to cut the parts of the Turtle and body.  Karin does not have a need for a fabric cutting machine so she traced the design on the Floriani Heat N Stay Fusible Tearaway Stabilizer and cut them out by hand.  You may want to keep that in mind.  You don't need the dies to make your own Machine Embroidery Applique Shapes....Marjorie provides the template so you can cut them out by hand.    I would have used my Sizzix Vagabond to cut the circles had I been the one to make the Turtles.  
Each Turtle has one 3  inch circular body, four 1 inch circular feet and one 2 inch circular head.  Don't add gums up the machine needle.  Just eat it before you do your Machine Embroidery...and having some coffee with the caramel provides a great sugar buzz (all this talk of Turtles just takes my brain to places it shouldn't be going...sorry!).

Karin is a saint...who hand cuts out all these little circles for a friend?  I guess she must know I'd do the same for her....after my hand heals :)
In the hoop, Karin used Floriani Perfect Stick.  I would have used the very same thing.  Why?  I absolutely love Floriani Perfect Stick because all I have to do is press my fabric down and very simple.  I also prefer it over other products that do the same thing because it does not gum up my needle.  I've used others and I have to change the needle frequently because the adhesive sticks to the needle and pulls up my stitches.

I was going to make mug rugs....Karin decided to use one of "those purple kitchen towels" (her comment to me was, "who uses purple in the kitchen?"  I wonder?)  She marked the places where she wanted the can see the white marks.
The outline of the applique shape stitches out so you know where to place the fabric.

Here is a screen shot of Karin's embroidery machine.  I'm not exactly why she took this photo...but hey...I'm using it :)  My guess is she wanted everyone to see all the different stitches this beautiful design offers....but who really knows?  I'm guessing she is asleep and I'm not about to wake her just to inquire....just go with it :)

She placed the head, tail and feet first and then the body as you can see in this photo.

The design tacks down the fabric and then.....

the tacking stitches are covered by the beautiful satin stitching.  Karin is using the Floriani Embroidery Thread.  The thread never once broke and the sheen is absolutely beautiful. 

Marjorie's Machine Embroidery Designs provide options of the type of edge stitching you like so you can change up the look of each Turtle/design.  Her designs are digitized for various machines so you don't need any special software to convert the just transfer the one your machine requires.  How is that for easy? 

Now you can see why I choose the sweet is this Turtle?  (I know....would be sweeter with caramel!)

Even the back looks nice :)

She repeated the process 4 more times.....before taking an afternoon break.
 Karin's design idea was to put 6 Turtles heading up the towel and one headed down the towel and it would read, "Follow your heart."  I just love that....isn't that a great idea?

You can see the variety of stitch options Marjorie offers for her designs.  Each Turtle is unique :)

Then what happened?  You happens to all of us.  LIFE!  Karin's husband had kidney stones so she spent the next few days taking care of him and the project didn't get finished....Yet!  Isn't that the way things go sometimes?  It is so important to be flexible and just go with what "IS" because there isn't any changing it.

My Machine Embroidery Tips:

  • Use the best stabilizers and thread you can does seem to me to make a big difference in reduction of frustration and the lasting beauty of your finished product.  I began using Floriani Machine Embroidery products because two friends (over 30 years of ME experience combined) told me about Floriani and showed me the difference....again...Thank God for friends!
  • Keep a list of every one of your Machine Embroidery Friends next to your Embroidery Machine.  Why?  Because it is often faster to ask a friend a question or problem solve than it is  to search through those manuals (Babylock are the only manuals I know of that are written by users.  I only use my Bernina manual as an absolute last resort.)  Besides, it is more fun to stitch with friends....even if only by phone...than to stitch my opinion :)
  • Bookmark your favorite Machine Embroidery Design websites as they seem to have some of the best tips.
  • Join a Machine Embroidery Chat Group.
  • Don't agree to participate in a Blog Hop and then break your hand.....from personal experience...LOL.
The GIVEAWAY....oh yeah baby!
There are two prizes being given away.  The first is only for those with an Embroidery Machine or a friend with one.  The winner will be chosen at random and they will win a design of their choice from Marjorie's website:

The second prize....5 spools of Floriani Embroidery Thread of the winners choice.  The Floriani Embroidery Thread is not exclusively used for Machine Embroidery.  It is absolutely beautiful used in other projects as well. 

How to win?  Just leave a comment below telling us that you have a friend who would be there to help you if you needed them or that you are the type of friend who would cut out 42 circles for another stitching friend.  You can also just leave any comment you feel is appropriate : )

Please, please, please go visit the other ladies in the Fall Machine Embroidery Blog'll be glad you did.  Here is the line up:

Monday, November 5th 
Tuesday, November 6th 
All Things Crafty
Wednesday, November 7th 
Thursday, November 8th 
I Have A Notion
Friday, November 9th 
Smiles and Giggles,

PS...keep in mind I have a Blog Disclaimer at the bottom of my post.....more giggles.

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