Category Archives: Embroidery

Post Christmas Update in March!

Well, here it is March 1 and I’m finally sharing the other Christmas sewing I did.  This will be short and sweet…just wanting to get it out there.  To that point,, “sewing” isn’t exactly accurate.  “Embroidery” is more to the point.  This fall, after owning my amazing sewing machine for three years, I finally tackled the embroidery functions of this machine and I am so excited by what I can do with it.  After a steep learning curve, steep as in two months and a lot of discarded projects, I finally got the hang of it and set out to embroider (a lot of) napkins for friends and family for Christmas.  I had such good results that I ended up embroidering 60 napkins.  Before you ask, all my napkin blanks came from World Market…they had terrific sales and coupons and helped the project come in at a reasonable cost.

Lessons learned with this project:  Where you get your files matters…not all digitizers are equal.  Poorly laid out jump threads make for a painful project.  Poorly digitized projects cannot be resized well at all.  Appropriate stabilizer is key…once I found the perfect combination of stabilizers, my results were terrific.  Finally, my machine prefers pre-wound bobbins.  I had no problems until I ran out of the pre-wound embroidery thread bobbins and tried to use bobbins I wound myself.  I have no idea why this is and after two screwed up beyond redemption projects, I gave up and ordered more pre-wound bobbins.

So, on that note, here they are, with information on the source of the embroidery image.  I used Sew What Pro software to manipulate the images for the size and colors I needed.  Each one of these was done on a Brother SE400 in the 4×4 hoop with two layers of Sulky tear away hooped and the napkin floated using Sulky spray adhesive and then another layer of tear away pinned on the top.

First Up, the “C” napkins.  This is the Fancy Block Monogram by Designs by JuJu, without the blocks intended to surround the letter and the flourish.  These stitched up like a dream.  Really quite pleased with the pop of coral and the tone on tone flourish.

The Sants napkins are also done with an alphabet from Designs by JuJu.  This one is the Split Flourish Monogram combined with the basic San Serif.  The red really looks festive against the gold on these white napkins.  I was so pleased with them.

This next set was for friends who are hunters and fishers…I thought a woodland Christmas theme was fitting for their camo-themed life.  The images are from Breezy Lane Embroidery…her library of designs is extensive and fun.  There was something for everyone on my list!

Not too fussy, but still fun for a family with grandsons who visit at Christmas!  These dense images took about an hour each to embroider…definitely a labor of love.

Another from Breezy Lane, these penguins for perfect for a family with penguin-themed Christmas decorations.Pretty adorable and fit right in with all the other penguins in their winter wonderland.

I loved these modern Christmas trees from Breezy Lane…festive without being fussy.I made two sets of these, each going to friends who weren’t decorating too much…just brought in a little holiday cheer.

My son’s girlfriend collects nutcrackers and Breezy Lane came to my rescue again with this handsome fellow.

She loved them and my son wasn’t opposed to them, so its all good!

Finally, I made two sets of these laurel wreath monograms from Love Some Designs.  These were the first alphabet I purchased.

I got the files via Etsy and, while I loved the result, the jump threads on the laurel wreath were crazy and I think I’ll probably source a different design file if I decide to do more of this style.

So, there you have it…a quite belated Christmas wrap up!  I learned so much by doing these and I’m so glad I set the bar high for myself this Christmas.  The pressure to get everything done on time really made me dig in and learn my stuff.  Talk with you again soon!


First Applique Project

I’ve never done applique…I’ve never worn applique.  When it comes to clothing, I’m pretty minimalist.  Black, grey, white, and tan…oh, and army green!  Yeah, I’m a colorful kind of lady-not.  I’m not a fussy decorator, either.  I just like simple things…no ruffles, no florals, nothing too busy.  Couple that with the fact that all my children are pretty much grown ups and you can quickly to see why I’ve never gotten into embroidered t-shirts and/or applique.  My sewing machine is a combination sewing/embroidery machine, but other than adding names to things using the pre-loaded fonts, I’ve left the embroidery side alone.  Untouched.  Unexplored.  Uncharted territory.

Still, I won’t lie,  I’ve been intrigued.  How were people making these amazingly cute little onesies or t-shirts for babies and toddlers?   Finally, I decided I had to know.  I joined a FB group specifically geared towards owners of my sewing machine and the members were a wealth of information and encouragement.  It wasn’t long before I leapt head first into embroidery and applique.  I did this little spider first and was hooked.

This little spider made applique make sense…

So, I texted a friend of mine and asked her what size her boys were wearing and devised a plan.  Her boys were perfect for my applique adventure…think about it:  toddler boys aren’t going to be harsh critics and moms of toddler boys are always willing to get a new t-shirt.  I ordered the blanks (blank items on which to embroider or applique) and set about learning what I needed to know so I’d be ready when the blanks arrived.  I honestly had no idea how to applique…minor road block, right?  Nabbing a few recommendations, I headed over to The Itch 2 Stitch , browsed through their amazing selection of applique files and watched their video tutorial.  I bought a few applique files, and got to work with my scrap fabric. After struggling to narrow down my applique choices to these two, the actual applique process was surprisingly easy.

I tried both images first on just some scrap fabric to learn how the applique would really work. Then I tried them on a scrap of t-shirt material to mimic the shirts I’d be using for the end result (I didn’t remove all the WSS from the t-shirt sample…the final applique wasn’t shiny.)

A few practice runs under my belt and I was ready to go.  These two little shirts were the end result.   Not bad for a newbie!

They’re not perfect, but they’re really quite okay for a first time. Definitely inspired me to keep playing with my embroidery machine!

While I haven’t done more applique following my success with these two shirts, they inspired me to jump into embroidery in a big way…to the point that I was still doing embroidery at 8:00 p.m. December 24!  To say I was hooked would be an understatement, but more on that another time.  In the meantime, I’ve got two February themed applique projects in the pipeline…I look forward to sharing them with you.