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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. 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 usual.....and I wanted the design to dry so my sister could take the the gift to deliver.

Here is the towel 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 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 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...:) 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. 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 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 :)



  1. Enjoy your fishing trip. Good to know about that stabilizer. Love the embroidery design you used on the towel, too!

    Orange hairs? (laughing). I'm laughing with you, not at you. I till loves ya orange hairs and all.

  2. You are so correct about all there is to learn on stabilizer. I'm far from an expert and can easily get blown away learning about stabilizers, just when I think I understand them. But, that is part of the fun of learning.

    Great job on ME.

    Have fun fishing. And, remember you can frequently catch fish in a quilt store!


  3. Thanks for the machine embroidery info. I do have trouble with stablizers.

  4. Thank you for all the great information. Have a great time fishing!

  5. Let us see your pretty orange hair...any photos before the 'correction'?!?!!!

  6. I would love to take a class on just stabilizers, fusible web backing, interfacings, etc...There are so many out there that I get totally confused. I'm a relative newbie so I could really use some expert advice. BTW, got my sewing machine Bag today!!!!! I'm so thrilled!! Your "check is in the mail" and thank you SEW much for extending the sale!! You have excellent customer service.
    Gmama Jane

  7. I have 3 side winders. I collect vintage, people powered sewing machines, and it gets tiring hand cranking a bobbin (or treadling it). These are great! Even hubby has fun winding bobbins with it (you know how men are with tools). Mine are all pink (special edition Breast Cancer models) from a few years ago.

  8. I need to get better stabilizers, that one looks like a nice product.
    Please do take you puter and send us photos of your trip, would love to see them.


  9. My local shop is having an all day stabilizer event this week and I will be attending. I have gotten better at deciding what to use when, but there is always room for improvement. I love the flamingo family! How fun to drive by and see what is new at their house. Have fun fishing.


  10. Stabilizers are & can be the devil or the hero of your projects. As you've discovered, use the wrong one & you'll regret it for hours. Use the RIGHT one, and your project is simple and the results gorgeous. They are coming out with more & more stabilizers for us to use & I'm finding it hard to keep up! What I learned 10 years ago hardly applies anymore!! Always an adventure.

    Thanks for the update on the flamingo family - I was wondering what they were up to.

    Fishin, eh? Hope you catch a rootin'-tootin' jolly good time!!! :)

  11. LOL... Shame I wasn't there to do the corrective coloring.. You could have paid me in stabilizer! And probably gotten by a lot cheaper.

  12. Gotta tell ya, I love the flamingo updates..... Whitehouse is going to have a flamingo decorating contest this year. All I can say about mine is that handcuffs will be involved.....

    My sis and I play hair colorists, too. Usually with the same result. All I can say is.... wine was usually involved.

    Have fun fishin'. Walleye in the river or something else?

  13. I've not used washaway stabilizer before, good for you! Cute towels.

    I dyed my hair one time, it turned orange at the roots, and then black all the way to the ends. I looked like a WITCH. It too cost big at the beauty parlor...sigh.

    The flamingos cracked me up. Enjoy your fishing, and catch a big one for me!

  14. Synthesis Winding Technologies Pvt. Ltd as a leading manufacturer and exporter of automatic winding machines. manufacture and sales of a comprehensive range of Winding machines, Automatic Winding Machines, Transformer Winding Machines, Winding Machines, Coil Winding Machines, Bangalore, India.

  15. My mother use to say she was going Fishing when we asked her where she was going and didn't want us to know....HA!!!

    Well.....I would have loved to see your hair.

    Enjoyed the info about the embroidery.

  16. I had a hair accident like that once! Red colouring on Blonde hair sometimes is not the best! LOL Have fun fishing!!

  17. The towel turned out beautifully - obviously better than the hair??????

  18. I want the dryer you have hanging with the towel...COOL!!


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


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