Showing posts with label Floriani Stabilizers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Floriani Stabilizers. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Post - The Right Tools Make All The Difference!

Hey, y'all, Karin here again, doing what I do best - hijacking Kelly's blog giving Kelly a hand while she is recovering.

 (just for the description....no one was hurt in the making of this blog post :)

The title of this post could just as easily have been "The Towels From H E double hockey sticks" but, it's not my blog, and I didn't want to offend any of  Kelly's dear readers and friends.  Be forewarned, this quick, short and easy project was anything but, and definitely proved the adage that the using right tool for the job makes the job a whole lot easier.

I had some Christmas fabric that I wanted to add to the bottom of the towels and I choose  this design from Embroidery Library.   I wanted to make the stars gold and the ornaments red...easy-peasy, right?

 (haha, little did I know...do you sense a trend here?)


Well, you see all those little loopies and swirlies in the original design?  Can you imagine trying to remove even tearaway paper stabilizer from all those tiny stitches?  Darned near impossible, so tearaway is out.  I could use water soluble, but even after a good rinse, that often leaves the towel stiff until it's run through the washer and I didn't plan on doing that prior to gifting.  I don't like leaving cutaway stabilizer on towels that are to be used, so that was out too.  What's left?  Floriani Heat N Gone, of course!  It's very similar to water soluble, but it gets removed with a simple pass of a hot iron instead of water.  Perfect!

 So here we are, all hooped up, and ready to stitch.  I've got my towel and one layer of Heat N Gone hooped together, nice and tight.   I think puckers in machine embroidery are BAAAAD.
 I fast-forwarded a few stitches to see where I was going first, and it turned out my needle was at the top left star.  Perfect, as I wanted to make the stars gold.  You can hardly see it in the next picture, but I managed to get the first star gold, stop the machine, change thread and bobbin to red and continue stitching.  Easy right?  Haha, she says.
Apparently I wasn't paying super close attention (I might have actually dozed off...just sayin) and lo and behold, the needle went right into stitching the second star before I knew it.  It was almost half done before I was able to stop the machine.  Oh, but once it stopped, boy did I have a mess situation in my hoop.
 First I tried removing stitches with my trusty Seam-Fix seam ripper (I call that reverse stitching, and it's a stitch I use more than I care to admit.)  This wasn't your ordinary run stitch, though..oh no...it was double stitched to make it thick and visible.  The seam ripper just wasn't cutting the mustard; surely there was a better tool in the arsenal.....
 How about if I try my Famore Angled Tweezers?
 Yup, that's the right tool for this job!  Those little pointy tips were able to get under that thread and pull it right up for me to snip off.

Remember, though, I'm only a few minutes into this project and already I've made a mistake that cost me extra time and trouble.  What happened to easy and quick?  Surely I'll pick up the pace once I remove these stitches....after all, I've only got a short time to sew up 4 towels and this design is supposed to take 19 minutes to sew out.  Oh wait, they didn't count on me changing colors so I have to add  more time.... 
It will be a cinch to swipe the Heat and Gone with my iron and remove all the stabilizer.  Quick and easy..love that.  Once again, the right tool makes the job go easy.

Here is the design all stitched out.  You can see  the Heat N Gone - it's the shiny part.
 And, once again, those angled Famore tweezers came in handy to remove a couple of red underlay stitches that were peeping out from underneath the green swirls.  Again, the right tool makes the job quick and easy.  Thank you Kelly!

 By now, I've got about an hour invested in this 19 minute stitchout.....ugh...and I've got 3 more to go.  Ummmm...maybe not.  I decided that I will do ONE more towel with this design (gotta have a matching pair, right?) and I'll cut one more piece of Heat N Gone then wrap it up and put it away.

I fiddled with trying to get that roll back into the wrapper, but you know that didn't happen.  At least, not the way I wanted it to fit.  Hugo's Amazing Tape to the rescue!  I just wrapped the cellophane wrapper around the roll of stabilizer, wrapped a short piece of tape around it and called it done.  I know I can rely on it sticking to itself without sticking to anything else or leaving any gunky residue, and when I'm ready to use the stabilizer again, a lift of one corner and it peels right off.
 And where do I keep all my stabilizer rolls you may ask?  My sweet daughter gifted me one of those upright, hanging shoe holders and I just didn't have the heart to tell her I didn't have that many pairs of shoes...so I just put it away for a while.  I just hung it on one of those over-the-door hooks, and there ya go!  Might not be its intended use, but it sure works for me!  (right tool, remember?)

Why two hooks over the door?  Wait until you see the front.

 Here's what's hanging on the FRONT of the door...I had a $10 coupon for Kohl's last year, and this baby cost $9.99, so, basically, it was free and it was ME, so I just *had* to have it!  The "IN" sign turns around to show "OUT" when I'm not in the room.  Handy when Driver has to come looking for me and makes me smile every time I see it!  I leave it (and my other Halloween decoration: cobwebs) up all year..much easier that way.

 Brake's over, back to stitching....I've got another 19 minute stitchout, and then 2 more towels, whose design was still to be determined.   I got smart on the second towel and decided to fast-forward my stitching so that I could stitch both gold stars at one time without having to switch colors in the middle.  Quick, smart, and easy, eh?  Haha, I thought so too...little did I know.
 Here we are, both stars stitched nicely, so let's switch back to red, and go do the ornaments.
 Annnnnd, what have we here?????  Arrrrrgh.  I turned my back to review my fabric (do you ever second guess yourself?) and look what happened!  I'd forgotten the stitching order, and I stitched RED right over top of my (previously stitched) GOLD star!  Arrrrrrgh.  See, I told you, the towels from H E double hockey sticks!
 Well, use your imagination here....and trust me when I tell you that my Famore Angled tweezers saved my butt design once again.  And here are the two towels, only 3 hours or so later all ready for their fabric trim.  Good thing I picked such an easy and quick design right? 
 Here they are after their fabric trims have been added.  Good enough to gift, thanks to all the right tools from IHAN!
 Here are the other two towels I made.  Notice the design I chose?  Yup, it's a regular, solid and dense design.  With approximately 3 times the number of stitches as the airy tree design.  And these took about the same time to stitch out, and noooo, I didn't make ANY mistakes on these, and all I had to do was change the thread at each color stop and add the trim and fabric.
This design is also from Embroidery Library, and it stitched out without a hitch.  So now my towels are all ready to wrap up and fly to Alabama, with a few days to spare.  Thank Goodness!
(actual stitching results)
Thanks for sharing all the trials and tribulations of my "Towels From H E double hockey sticks."  I'm glad they're done, that's for sure!  And I'm super glad Kelly and IHAN have all the tools I need to make my "job" easier and quicker, not to mention take care of all those self-created issues.  These wonderful tools make GREAT stocking stuffers, so be sure to drop some hints around the house and see what turns up in YOUR stocking!

Thanks for reading!
Karin

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Machine Embroidery Improvements

Oh but wait...first a Flamingo Update:

I'm not sure if this is Mommy or Daddy taking the new offspring out for a stroll....can you believe it? 

Ok, now on the the stitching :)  A few weeks ago I had made some kitchen towels for a wedding shower.  Much to my dismay I used a stabilizer that was not so easy to get out of this particular design.  Before I go on, I want to say that folks will tell you that learning what stabilizer to use is not an easy thing....and that is only a little bit true.   As a newbie to Machine Embroidery I can tell you that if there has been a mistake to be made, I've made it....and I wish I were kidding (not to say there are not more to make :).  Floriani offers a Stabilizer Workbook that you can download for free and print if you like.  You can find it HERE.  Between a little bit of experience and the Floriani Workbook you will find choosing the right stabilizer to be a whole lot easier :)

On this one I used Floriani Perfect Stick and I was very happy with the hooping process....all I had to do was line up my design and press the towel down.  Easy right?  Right!  The thing I didn't take into consideration was the density of the stitching  and how to get out those small bits of stabilizer. 
Honestly...no biggie in the whole scheme of things because it will come out in the wash.  However, most folks don't want to have to do that...and naturally the experts at Floriani know what they are doing!

This time I used Floriani Wet N Gone Tacky. 

The cool thing about Floriani Wet N Gone Tacky is it is also a sticky back stabilizer but it dissolves in water and there is not tiny pieces of paper to tear away.  Inside the package there are instructions for anyone who has not used this stabilizer before.  I hooped the stabilizer and scored the top with a pin and tore off the paper, revealing the sticky back stabilizer.  The shiny stuff you are seeing above is there because of the adhesive on the stabilizer.

As you can see, I hooped it with the paper on and then scored the paper exposing the adhesive.  I wanted the paper part to stay where the hoop was so it would not stick to the hoop.  Keep in mind, I am a newbie so if you know more than I do....feel free to share :)

The machine is just a stitchin' away....and I could not be happier that it isn't asking me what to do next :)

By the way, I'm using the towels by Dunroven House.  I've added a ton of them to the IHAN website and you can find them HERE.  I have been very happy with the quality and consistency of the Dunroven House Linens so I have purchased several different colors and have a nice little stash for making those fun kitchen towels.

Back to the stabilizer....
After the machine finished with the Salt towel I cut around the design and left the rest of the stabilizer in the hoop.  As you can see, I patched the stabilizer (which conserves stabilizer) for the next towel.
This photo may be a bit difficult to make out.  The blue is a kitchen bowl I used.  I filled it with water and just put the part of the towel with the stabilizer on it into the warm water and soaked it.  The white hazy looking stuff is the stabilizer melting away.  When it is dissolving it has the consistency of light egg white...a little goopy.  After a few more minutes I took the towel out of the water and took paper towel and wiped off the back of the design.  I could have soaked the entire towel but I was on a time line....as usual.....and I wanted the design to dry so my sister could take the the gift to deliver.

Here is the towel drying....look...no little pieces of stabilizer to be annoyed with....yeah!!!!


Speaking of annoyed....I find myself annoyed with the bobbins running out when I'm doing Machine Embroidery.  Truth be told, I don't want to stop having fun to do these "necessary" things ( I also don't like to stop and go potty....I just want to have fun...I'm a real child aren't I?). 

YEP....I did it....I got a Portable Side Winder.   If you think like I used to think....you are probably wondering why do you need a Side Winder when the Machine's have bobbin winders on them... right?
Because I spend my time winding bobbins while the Embroidery Machine is doing it's thing and I don't want to take the risk of messing up the machine by using it's winder.  I have pre-wound tons of bobbins so they are at the ready when I need them.  Is is a bit extravagant?  Probably....but I have to say the Portable Side Winder works well...works with batteries or electric and it winds a spanky bobbin :)

Above you might be able to see I was winding from a large cone.  The Portable Side Winder has a pin for regular size spools and not the larger cones.  There is a Deluxe Sidewinder as well....but I wanted the compact Portable Side Winder so I put the cone on my thread rack and fed it into the Side Winder.  It worked wonderfully :) 

The black thread in this photo probably shows up better.  I was pretty happy to have a bobbin at the ready so I could keep on keepin' on.

That's what I've been up too....other than a really bad hair accident...:)  Yep....my sister and I were coloring our hair over the weekend and mine turned out bright orange ...but only around my face and at the roots.

Yep....it was more like the dark orange around the outer part of this photo.  To get such "rare beauty" only cost me 8 bucks.  Correcting  it cost me 105 bucks.....ouch!  That is the first time that has ever happened to me and I have to say it brought a lot of laughter....and laughter never hurt anyone...it was good for the soul.

I"m goin' fishing again....Tomorrow, Thursday, is the last day I'll be shipping IHAN orders until Monday April 9th.  Since I'm not supplying organs for transplant....what is waiting 10 days for your notions right?  I have not decided weather or not I'll take my laptop to do some blogging or not....we'll see.  The boss told me to do what ever my heart desired....I just love my boss :)

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nancy Lee's Machine Embroidery

I am fortunate enough to know a a few women who really know what they are doing with Machine Embroidery and they have been educating me since I  became interested in ME.  Both of them told me their first preference for stabilizers and thread is Floriani.  After hearing about how wonderful Floriani products are, I did some investigating and became a Floriani Dealer last November.

Today, I'm going to introduce you to one of those really smart ladies...this is Nancy Lee....Nancy Lee, I'd like you to meet the IHAN Blogifers. 

Nancy Lee has been sewing all of her life.  Over the last 20 plus years, she has been doing machine embroidery and the last 5-6 years she has been quilting.  With all that experience you know when Nancy Lee tells me  to put my metallic thread spool upside down on my thread holder...I do it... without even a slight hesitation! 

Nancy Lee allowed me to visit her home and photograph some of her projects in December.  All of her projects shown here were made with Floriani Embroidery Thread and I've noted the designers beneath the photos.
(Embroidery Design by Smart Needle)
 These sandals cracked me up.... it makes me want a swimming pool and a margarita for sure.
(Embroidery Design by Momo-Dini)
Nancy Lee took a third place ribbon in the Tote Bag Category at the Kaleidoscope of Quilts this past year.
I really like the close up of this design...didn't it come out nice?
 (Napkin ring Embroidery Designs by Advanced Embroidery)
These napkin rings are snowflakes and Nancy Lee had made several that were just beautiful. 
Thanksgiving napkin rings...aren't they just perfect for Thanksgiving?  Nancy Lee even embroidered her napkins...
Neat ay?  Now we just need an invitation for Thanksgiving Dinner!!

(Embroidery Design by Zundt)
This bag is a ribbon winner for Nancy Lee.  She received a 2nd place ribbon at the American Embroidery Conference in 2011.
The butterflies are three dimensional and really make this bag take off...pun intended :)
 (Embroidery Design by Julie Hall)
I thought this wine bag was really cute.  When I give people a bottle of wine...it never has a bag...I think this just may need to change.
 (Anita Good Designs)
A book mark is a nice personal little gift or treasure to have.  My boys are always looking for their book marks...I think I should make some with their names on it so they'll know who it belongs to.

Time for a confession....yes...another confession!!  I have this thing for dish towels and bath towels.  I love dish cloths with embroidery.  I've received a few as gifts and I'm telling you they are so much fun.  Perhaps because can make me smile when I have to do a dreaded chore.
If this doesn't make you giggle....well...just giggle will ya?  It won't hurt a bit!
Loralie has some very fun designs too.  Nancy Lee took the time to show me how nicely the Floriani Stabilizer tears away from the design.
Look how nice and clean the back is.
This pix is enlarged a bit to show you the centers of these lace snowflakes.  Nancy Lee used Floriani Wet N Gone Stabilizer and Angelina Fibers (center)....they really are so beautiful and the addition of the Angelina really pop these snowflakes, don't ya think?
(Jenny Haskins Designs)
Nancy Lee has made so many beautiful things that it was difficult to pick and choose the photographs for this post.  I thought I'd end with this one because I'm so impressed with how fine these flowers came out. 

Beautiful aren't they?

I'm going to leave you with some of the things Nancy shared with me about her experience with Floriani products:
"Floriani thread is my preferred thread because it shines beautifully like rayon and it glides through the needle.  Rarely does it ever fray or break and if it does, that usually means I need to change my needle.

Floriani Stabelizers are the best and I've never been disappointed.  The outcome of my projects really shows how nice the stabilizers are.  Everything comes out beautifully."  
Nancy Lee White, OH Dec, 2011

I have been using the Floriani Thread and Stabilizers since November and I've been more than happy with the results.  My needle never once got sticky when I used the Perfect Stick Stabilizer and when I used another brand my needle was covered in a gummy substance...not good.  The Floriani Thread is absolutely beautiful no doubt about it....so I've been very pleased.  Time has been limited with year end inventory and book keeping with IHAN so that stuff gets in the way of having fun with Floriani of recent.

Floriani has a Year End Sell Out Promotion going on until the end of January so if you want to take advantage of Floriani Thread at 50% OFF and other excellent deals...click here for all the information to order from I Have A Notion :)

Thank you Nancy Lee for sharing your time, projects and insights with me!

Smiles,
Kelly

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