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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hoop The Unhoopable? Floriani Perfect Stick to the Rescue :)

I'd like to introduce everyone to one of my dear friends, Karin.  Karin has done machine embroidery for many years and is much more knowledgable than I am currently about the subject.  She has agreed to be my Embroidery Consultant and write guest posts for IHAN blog readers.  So without further ado....Karin...take it away :)  

Hoop the unhoopable?  Yup, it can be done!  You just have to have the right tools to do the job, and Floriani has ‘em!  The other day, I wanted to embroider along the edge of some pillowcases.  But how was I gonna hoop them so they’d stay where I wanted them and the embroidery would still be aligned properly?

Not a problem -- Perfect Stick to the rescue!  

I hooped my regular tear-away stabilizer, then I added a strip of Perfect Stick right down the middle.  How come Perfect Stick doesn’t stick to my hoop?  Because it’s got a layer of paper over the sticky part (which keeps it from accidentally collecting those loose threads, too!).  Here I’ve scored it with a pin & I’m ready to remove the protective paper from my stitching area. 

Because my design was so large, I had to rotate the design so that it stitched from the top of the hoop to the bottom of the hoop, and that made the design read from right to left when the pillowcase was removed from the hoop.  Clear as mud, right?  It’s lots easier to understand by looking at the picture:
That little blue dot is my center (left to right & top to bottom – a lot of people use lines & crosshairs, but I like to live dangerously and just wing it!), and the pillowcase is rolled up in the throat of the machine, to the right of the hoop.  And the checkerboard?  That’s the sun coming through the window & casting a shadow of my rubber shelving; sorry about that.  But, you can see how my pillowcase isn’t really hooped, right?  See the edge of it, about 2 inches from the hoop on the left?  Couldn’t do *that* with just regular stabilizer…not without puckers, you couldn’t! 
OK, now we’re ready to press Start & go get ourselves a cuppa.  ROFL!  I don’t know about YOU, but I *never* go get a cuppa!  I’m the world’s biggest klutz, and I’m married to the world’s next biggest klutz (don’t believe me?  ha – I have stories, and from 500 miles away, I can see Kelly nodding her head in agreement!) so I don’t bring drinks into my sewing room, and I really don’t ever leave the machine untended.  Seems that every time I turn my back on him, I hear ca-chink, thunk, klunk, and brrrrrrrmp….and when I come back, I see the screen that tells me to check upper thread (it’s usually broken, just like the needle, at that point).  So, I just sit & watch it work, or at least stay really, really close by.  Besides, even after all this time, I am still fascinated by the fact that a machine is doing all the work & I get all the credit.
So, we’ve got our pillowcase hooped & sewn, what do we do now?  Because Perfect Stick is tear-away, that’s what we do!  We carefully remove the hoop from the machine, trim the jump stitches & begin tearing the stabilizer away from our project.

See how easily it comes off?  If you’re really careful (and cheap, like me), you can patch those holes with another piece and re-use the larger one.  I can get about 3 uses out of the bottom layer before it begins to lose its stick.
You may notice a layer of stabilizer fused to the pillowcase – that’s Floriani No-Show Fusible Mesh, just to give a little more stability to the pillowcase…I really don’t like puckers in my finished products.  And speaking of puckers, I bet you’ve also noticed that rubber-shelving stuff I have on my hoops….that’s what I use to really secure the fabric in my hoops (when I bother to hoop the fabric!).  That stuff is just like Super Glue, only better, because there’s no glue residue and it lets go easily when I want to remove the fabric.

If you don’t want to use a tear-away product to hoop your unhoopables, Floriani has a sticky wash-away product, as well.  It’s called Wet n Gone Tacky, and it works pretty much the same way….just cut a piece big enough for your project, hoop it up (I won’t object if you whoop it up too!), remove the paper, stick your project to it & sew!  Only difference is when you go to remove the project, you need to cut it off the stabilizer with scissors (not your good shears – use a pair from the Dollar Store!).  You’ll be left with this:
Now, to be honest, I ran my pillowcase under some cold water, and let it dry in the sun.  That didn’t take long; I believe it was about 105* that day!  But, apparently, I didn’t get all the stabilizer washed out, because I was left with a hard & scratchy pillowcase edge.  Not at all suitable for the little punkin-heads I was sewing for!  So, I threw just threw all 6 pillowcases into the wash, dried ‘em, and then pressed them.  After that, the No-Show Mesh was still in place (that stuff is wonderful!) and all the tear-away & wash-away was gone.  I fused another layer of No-Show Mesh over the stitching to hold it all in place and give it a little nicer finish, gave them all another quick press, and I was done!
Not bad for a day’s work, if I do say so myself!  Couldn’t have done it without Floriani’s Perfect Stick tho!
Want to see some more unhoopables?  Check out the lunchboxes I got for my grandkids:

Cute, huh?  Well that little flap is about the ONLY thing that lays flat, and all the rest of it is insulated, too, so if I had stitched there, I’d be putting holes in the insulation…not so smart.
Here’s how I hooped ‘em:

And here’s how they look now:

OK, I lied.  That’s how they looked about an hour ago.  Now they’re all boxed up and ready to ship out!!   Perfect results, with Perfect Stick, every time!

Best Regards,

Thank you Karin!!!  If you would like to contribute to the IHAN blog, just e-mail me at and we'll discuss it .


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Catching Up- Raegen's Purse & Camp Gosip

I know I'm days behind in my I'm going to do my best to catch everyone up quickly.

Raegen, my friend and neighbor, had a project due for 4 H last week and she had selected this pattern:

Raegen is 17 and some sewing experience but not a lot. She had no problems understanding the pattern and I thought it was a great pattern as patterns go.
 She wanted her purse quilted. Here she is drawing the lines to sew on.  I giggled because Raegen was concerned the Sewline Air Erasable Pen  would not disappear.  Much to her amazement, the lines did disappear (these are the times I'm so glad I know which products are the best for particular projects :).

 It is fun to see a young person sewing at my machine.

After two sessions over two days....her Madison bag was finished.  It's not an overstatement to say she loved it and was tickled pink.
As a matter of fact, she was jumping for joy!

Raegen didn't want an embellishment on the front of her purse.  I thought she might like to see what one would look like so I made a flower from the Blooming Possibilities book by Abbey Lane Quilts.  You may remember when I blogged about it HERE. 
I thought the flower looked excellent.  Apparently my taste is not the same as that of a 17 year old, so now I wear the flower on my green blouse :)

I know some of you may appreciate the "normal" activities of the IHAN clan.  You may recall last year when the boys went to camp at the Toledo Zoo.  I posted about it here.

This is a picture from that post.  Yes, this is Zachary and I had learned to "let go" you might say.  I actually have this photo hanging in my kitchen to remind me to just "let go."  

This year all is well, I pull up in front of the Zoo to drop off the boys and Aaron gets out of the van.  I wanted to take a picture of each one of them in front of the Zoo sign.

Little did I know how LUCKY I was last year.  At least Zach had shoes!!!!  How a 9 1/2 year old gets into the van without shoes is beyond me....but apparently it is not beyond Aaron.  You know the camp director had not forgotten us and when I told him about Aaron's perdiciment, all he could do is laugh.  Mr. McSteamy to the rescue!
"Family Emergency" he claimed as he raced to meet us at the Zoo to deliver Aaron not one pair of shoes, but two!  I was sooooo grateful....not only that McSteamy brought the shoes, but also that Aaron chose to wear two of the same shoes :)

 The rest of the day went VERY WELL! 
 I'm so glad they are still young enough to pose for these fun photos.
I sware this was not a posed photo.  Aaron loves the aquarium and he loves the fish.  He walked right up to the tank and the fish swam up to his face and he leaned forward to give that big ole fish a smooch.  Precious times indeed.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Back With A Mac

I feel like I've been gone forever.  My laptop died again ....more virus' and problems so I went Mac!  I've been told by my kids, "once you go Mac, you never go back."   We'll see how this goes :)

I'm so far behind I don't even know where to start.  I guess I should start with an update on the Flamingos.  They have been busy the past week.

  A friendly game of corn hole while friends relax and cheer them on :)  Today it is so hot they are trying to keep cool.

 The Flamingo to the far left of the photo is wearing sun glasses....and the water was actually turned on last night.  What fun these Flamingos are having :)

Now on to fun Quilt related fun.  Yesterday a group of us met at a Parks building for an afternoon of sewing.  My friend, Jean Overmeyer, was there and she was working on SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilt Challenge.

I dream of quilting as well as Jean does :)   She makes it look so easy and I guess it would be much easier if I spent more time practicing!  

I shared a tip with the gals yesterday and they thought it was a good one so I'll share it with all of you too.  When you are ripping out a seam (as I did yesterday-6 to be exact) what I do is put the fabric under the presser foot.
The presser foot acts like a third hand and it keeps my fabric stable while I take my killer seam rip (Famore Cutlery)and just move it down the seam and the threads just melt away :) 

I've got to get back to writing all the posts I've missed since being without a bot.  You can't begin to imagine how frustrated I've been.  One might think I was born in the age of computers...ROFL....nope...well before!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Bigger Pockets of Access

You could say I now have bigger pockets of access....internet access that is....but I'm telling you it is slow as molasses!  My laptop has "gone fishing" and will be staying with her mates over at the Geek Squad until she is ready to come on back home :(   I'm going to have to depend on this big ole slow desktop for the next few days. 
This is a typical view as we drive to our cabin in PA.  Rolling hills and beautiful country side.  I had planned on visiting with MJ and my girlfriends for 2 days as well.
Well....what can I say?  I was ready to go to visit with MJ and the crew had their stuff in the might say I "dumped my family off" and headed out...LOL
Can you blame me?  I don't get much time to visit with my girlfriends and I was excited to go.  Who wouldn't be when they find a smiling face like this one on the porch waiting for you?

Oh and did I mention I have deluxe accommodations at MJ's?  Yep....I slept in this bed....isn't it beautiful?

All hand quilted too!  And...just for the record...I didn't drool on it while taking these photos...ROFL.

This is a bed runner MJ is working on....I'm in love with it.  All hand done naturally :)

Everything we did wasn't sewing or stitching related....we actually got out on the town too.
We went to Arnot, PA to this lovely little church.
You might say we went for the is a restaurant!  I cracked up laughing....the pizza was very good by the way :)

I'm not sure if you could call this a "local attraction" or not....but it did attract my camera on the way to the church/pizza parlor.
Of course we went to Needles in Wellsboro too.  A little shopping and dinner with my girlfriends....what a wonderful  36 hours!

Life here at IHAN is back to normal.  I dropped the boys off at Zoo camp this morning.  I'll post those photos a little later....this bot is so dog gone slow it might take me 20 minutes to get those things on here.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Small Pockets of Access

Internet Access that is.  Every time I try to get on line to publish this post I get knocked off.  Lets see if it works this time.
Here I am Zero Tasking :)
Hooking Lip
Hand Catching
Catching Critters
Building New
Our own personal fireworks too!

Now we are on the way to pick up an embroidery machine....I can't help but say, "are we there yet?" every 15 minutes.

Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Fourth of July.


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