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Showing posts with label Machine Embroidery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Machine Embroidery. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Where in the World is....

Patsy she in Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, California???

I guess it depends on which day of the week it is!  Yep, Patsy does travel quite a bit so when I met up with a group of gals for a machine embroidery lesson yesterday, I was tickled to see Patsy in the flesh. 

Patsy came to demonstrate her way of hooping projects or should I say....not hooping projects when she is creating her quilts.  There is a free download on her website, HERE, that is a guide for aligning your project no matter the orientation in the hoop. 
Patsy is a non-traditional machine embroiderer and has made many of her own patterns.  She also encourages people to mix and match various designs and think about using them in different orientations to get different effects.

These are just some of the fantastic tips Patsy shared:
  • Stitch out an outline on a piece of stabilizer or muslin to test out the size you desire for your project
  • Keep that inventory of stitched out shapes so you can refer to them for a variety of projects.
  • Test stitch and move that piece under a piece of muslin to visually check how close or distant you like the design on your borders or blocks.
  • Take notes on your stitch outs to save time when stitching in future projects.

I know there was so much more but honestly I was not taking notes.  I can say one thing for sure and that is that Patsy loves...or should I say, LOVES her Babylock Embroidery Machines!  LOL  I should tease because I too love mine and they are the most intuitive and user friendly machines I've ever had the pleasure of using.  Brother machines are also very user friendly and made by the same people so I'm told.
Here is one of Patsy's you tube videos where she shares more about machine embroidery:

If you blink, you might miss Patsy....she is on the move.  Next week she'll be at the Road to California Quilters Conference  along with several other wonderful teachers I know including: Sarah Vedeler, Julie HermanLady Eleanor Burns, Edyta Sitar, and Cheryl Phillips.  There are a ton more teachers I just don't know all of them....yet :)  Plenty of friends are going as well so I hope everyone in Southern California actually knows how blessed they are to have so many womderful and inspiring people gathering for some quilting fun.

I'm on my way to PA today for my annual winter retreat with my girlfriends there.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and stay tuned for a tutorial from none other than my dear friend and machine embroidery expert (in my mind)  Karin :)


Thursday, January 9, 2014


 The Flamingo Family is now up to their ears in snow!
This is not the first floor, is a pix from the second floor of our home.
 The drifting snow on our roof...amazing isn't it?
 I had an appointment yesterday and this was the inside of the building....yes...frost on the inside of the building...impressive :)
The snow and freeze has slowed everything down, which I absolutely love :)  The slower life goes the happier I am!!!  I was able to make these several days ago.  Not been able to make anything else because this is the 4th day of no-school for my co-workers.  YIKES....I'm up to my ears in pokemon cards, games, pine wood derby cars and oh yeah....that's right...laundry...double YIKES.

I've heard some say they think this is all due to global warming.....I'm thinking Wal Mart drove down the price of Arctic Freeze and some hoarder let it all go at once.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

I hope everyone who is affected by this Arctic Blast is slowing down and taking time to enjoy the beauty of the white snow and life at a manageable pace.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Karin's Trimmed Tea Towel Tutorial

Howdy!  It's Karin again, popping in to show y'all how to make those spiffy fabric-trimmed embroidered towels.  Now, keep in mind, every towel is different, and any of the measurements I provide can be changed to personalize your look.  

First thing to do is embroider (hand or machine) your towels, being sure to leave about 3 inches from the bottom of the design to the bottom edge of the towel.  This is where your fabric trimmings will be placed.  You can leave a little more or less, depending on how you like it.

And here's a couple more tips before we get started - wash, dry and  iron your towels and fabric prior to any cutting.  This will minimize the shrinkage or shrinkage differences.  And for this project, starch is your best friend. Make sure you starch the heck out of your fabrics; you want them to be somewhat stiff when you start working with them.

Basically, you want to start off with fabrics that are slightly wider than your towel - at least 1/2 inch on each side.  I usually make a WOF cut, 2 inches wide, for the accent fabric (in this case, that's the dark green) and 5 inches wide for the main fabric (in this case, the red).  If your towels are of average size, you can cut each of these strips in half, on the fold, and get two towels out of each strip.  SOMEtimes, your towels are wider than 1/2 of your WOF strip, so you can only get one towel out of a strip, with a short leftover piece for some other project.  Or the floor, whichever suits your style.  

 So here you see I've cut my WOF strips, 2 inches wide for the green and 5 inches wide for the red...and you can see the excess off the edges of the towel.
 Now, fold the accent strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.  Fold one long edge of your main fabric down, a little more than 1/4 inch, wrong sides together, and press.  Watch your fingertips here - I always (ALWAYS) burn mine.
 Now, this part is optional, but it sure saves you some worry and fiddling with the backside, down the road.  I always lay a strip of 1/4 inch Steam-A-Seam down on the little part you just folded down.  I iron it down, but I leave the paper on it.  Typically, I don't read instructions, and if you're like me, you didn't read that either, so I'll say it again...please, leave the paper ON it.  You'll thank me later. 
 Now, here's where it can get a little dicey, so I hope these pictures will clear things up.  Take the long bottom edge of your main fabric, and bring it up to meet the folded edge on the other side, still mostly wrong sides together.  (where the paper tape is, you'll have wrong side meeting paper tape)

 Give it a good press - that bottom crease (shown on the left here) will become your guideline later, so make sure you can see it:
 Now, open that whole sleeve out flat, wrong side down, and long raw edge at the top.  Lay your accent strip on top, raw edges together, and pin it.  See how I'm pinching where the fold is here?  And that paper tape is on the bottom of the bottom edge.  Clear as mud, right?
 Here's a side view of what you should have:
 Go ahead and sew that long seam, attaching the accent strip to the main fabric.  I don't have a picture of that - I figured if you're reading this blog, you are already pretty good at sewing a seam.  :)  Press said seam toward your main fabric.

Now you've got the beginnings of your fabric sleeve.  Now's a good time to dry fit it to your towel(s).  Lay your sleeve down on the table, and insert the bottom edge of your towel into it, meeting the edge of your towel to the long fold of the sleeve.

 Flip the accent + main fabric up over the edge of the towel, and check the proportions of each section.  You might want a smaller accent strip, or you might even want to cut some off the bottom of the towel, to bring your fabrics up closer to your design.  Now's the time to fix it so you like it.
 Yup, looks good enough for me.  :)  No modifications necessary this time.
Remove your towel, open your sleeve up and lay your fabric sleeve back down on the table, wrong sides down, with the accent side towards the top of the towel.  Lay your towel on top of your sleeve, again meeting the edge of the towel with the fold of the sleeve.  Carefully, flip the bottom edge of the sleeve up, over the bottom edge of the towel, until it almost meets the top edge of the accent piece.  When you do that correctly, you should be able to see that paper strip from before.  Nooooo, don't remove it just yet...I know, it's hard..but just be patient, you'll see.  Put one pin in each corner, just to hold your layers together.
 Line your ruler up straight along the TOWEL's edge, and as straight as you can across the folded edge of your trim fabrics.  Draw a stitching line - you can use pen or water-soluble, it really doesn't matter:
 Carefully remove your towel, but leave your pin in place (or replace it, if necessary).  One pin is generally sufficient.
 Remember, that paper tape is still on there, and that little flap is folded down, towards you.
 Sew along that stitching line you drew, being sure to backstitch (or otherwise lock) your stitches, at both ends of that seam.
 Trim your seam allowance & trim the corner to a point.  I always use pinking shears for this part.
 Using a point turner (or a chopstick), poke the corners right side out, so you've got nice sharp corners and a little canoe shape going on.
 Set your sleeve down on the table again, and insert your towel into the sleeve...again, the bottom edge of your towel should butt right up to that fold, and now the side edges of your sleeve should encase the sides of your towel.  Make sure that you have your accent fabric on the same side of your towel as your embroidered design (wish I didn't have to tell you that from personal experience)
 You might also check to make sure that that little bitty piece of accent fabric is wrapped around the towel, to the rear, not just folded over in the front.  You can put a little Fray-Check on the edge when you're all done, if you'd like, to finish that raw edge a little better.  (Alternatively, you can match the edges better when you're doing that side seam!)
 Here's what you want the edge to look like from the front:
 And if you're doing two (or more) towels at one time, now's a good time to line 'em up, side by side to make sure they are relatively even with each other.  And NOW you get to peel that paper tape off the Steam-A-Seam, and fuse the back side of the fabric sleeve to the back side of the towel.
Once that's done, you can either topstitch on the main fabric or stitch-in-the-ditch on the accent fabric.  You might even want to try out one of those fancy stitches on your machine for an added touch!  Just remember, your bobbin thread should match your main fabric, and I'd suggest using the same weight as you use on the front, for a nicer finish.  And, because there are so many layers at this point, you'd probably do best with a walking foot and a slightly longer than normal stitch.  I generally use a Floriani embroidery thread in both the needle and bobbin - there are so many colors it's easy to find one that matches well.

And there you go - two nicely trimmed towels, all ready for gifting.

(the visiting blogger :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hand Made Gifts Are The Best

As I was driving home the other night I passed this house.  What a gift it is to everyone who drives past.  A labor of love that has been shared with those of us who drive past....I'm very grateful!

In those few extra moments I get to stitch, I've been working on making these kitchen towels with Holiday Recipe Towels (they come on USB).

These designs are by Lunch Box Quilts and from the moment I saw them, I just knew I had to make some for gifts.  I'm learning quite a bit using my "new to me" embroidery machine.  I know many gals who have asked Santa for an embroidery machine and I just hope those reindeer have been fortified because those machines are heavy! 
My girlfriend, Diane, made these beautiful gifts for me.  The towel is absolutely beautiful isn't it?  I can only hope to be as proficient one day as my friends are at machine embroidery.

Speaking of proficient, look what Karin sent to me recently:
Do you remember the Fall Machine Embroidery Hop?  If not, you can see the post HERE.   The design is from Marjorie's online store,  I choose the Turtle Design to make mug rugs for my co-workers for the holidays and then promptly broke my hand and couldn't make them.  I'm all better now so I'm planning on making them each a mug rug for next to their bed.  Every night they take a glass of water to bed so a mug rug will come in very handy.

Karin always does such a lovely job.  If you have not seen her Etsy Shop, Sew-Write Creations, you really do need to go see the beautiful things that she makes.  Karin also does custom orders and I've had the pleasure of seeing the appliance covers she has custom made for some of  her customers.  They were absolutely top quality.

A Flamingo Update:

I know these photos would be much more fun if taken in the dark so you could see the lights, but then the flamingos don't show up as well.  You'll just have to use your imagination.
The Flamingos are being kept busy as you can see.  For those who would like to send the Flamingo Family a holiday card, you can Click Here for their address :)

Recently I saw this quote and thought it was I thought I'd share it with all of you.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our Local MEG Presents at the Black Swamp Quilt Guild

The Black Swamp Quilt Guild had a wonderful Machine Embroidery Presentation at our last meeting.  It was hosted by  Diane Giveins, President of our local Machine Embroidery Guild( MEG) and Nancy Lee, who has been crowned "The Queen of Machine Embroidery."

  I thought many of you would enjoy seeing all the beautiful items that were shared.  Keep in mind, it was these two ladies that taught me about the excellent quality of Floriani Machine Embroidery Products.

Three women brought their Embroidery Machines, all different brands, to demonstrate a different technique or style of ME.   Nancy Lee brought her beautiful Brother Machine, Pam Moffatt brought her Janome, and Judy Breen brought her Pfaff.  These ladies are all members of our local Machine Embroidery Guild (MEG).


This Wildflower Quilt was a guild project for our Machine Embroidery Guild.  The first to finish was Annie and you may remember I showed her quilt on THIS post.

Art Journal
 Greeting Cards....did you know how fun and easy these cards are to make?

 For those of us who may be challenged with Free Motion Quilting...there's always Machine Embroidery Quilting! 

The show also included some beautiful Machine Embroidery and Quilting by Patsy Thompson Designs.

The combination of Patsy's Free Motion Quilting and Machine Embroidery really take her designs to a new place. 

This is an example of Patsy's Hyperquilting added to her Machine Embroidery Designs.

I love the idea of using ME on pillowcases....How could this not make you smile?   I want some for every holiday : )
 The cutwork on these towels is beautiful.

These are lovely luncheon know if someone had those out, I"d never wipe my mouth or fingers on them....they are just so beautiful. 

I bet there is not a kitchen towel in these women's houses that isn't beautiful.

 These are a pair of Nancy Lee's pants.  She has embroidered on the leg and I'm telling you they are so much fun.  

Can you imagine sitting and piecing at one machine while the Embroidery Machine works next to you?  LOL....some people say they do that....but I'm still in the "In Love" phase and I sit and watch Maddy Jo do her thing.

 These designs were done on batting .  I think they would make lovely ornaments, embellishments for cards or gift toppers. 

There was so much shown I could not possibly take photos of everything.  Suffice to say the presentation was educational as well as very entertaining.  Nancy Lee had made several little gifts and during the lecture she would periodically throw one or two out into the audience.  That was fun to see.

I hope you got a few ideas of what can be done with an Embroidery Machine and enjoyed these ladies beautiful work.


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