Monday, September 26, 2011

Still needs some work.....

So here's a reverse applique from a new holiday design pack from Husqvarna Viking. I embroidered this on a kitchen towel and the design includes the use of the 4 cutwork needles. The needles actually worked pretty good although they didn't completely remove the center piece that was being cut out. I just needed to use some small scissors to remove a couple of threads that were holding the piece in. So this is how it works. It lays down an initial outline of the area to be cut out. Then each of the needles cut areas on different angles all around the INSIDE of that outline.

I think to finish this off I'll likely add some of the same fabric to the bottom of the towel and perhaps a thin bias strip above the area of embroidery. We also just had a Hobby Lobby and Michaels open near where I work so I can also look for a nice complimenting trim. I repost when the towel is completely being done.

It's not too early to start working on holiday projects! I also have a December calendar that I'm working on. It has an area on the calendar for little fabric ornaments that are included in the panel. I'm experimenting with various ways of finishing them off. I've attached batting to the back of all that I've completed and found that they stick to the actual calendar. It's meant to be used year after year and therefore the ornaments are just placed on the calendar in the order based on the year. Right now my method of finishing is to use Steam A Seam 2 on the back of the ornament, then fuse to batting and finally satin stitch the two together with a thin satin stitch on my HV Designer Diamond.

Right now my Trout quilt is on hold while I work on holiday projects and prep for a few classes I'm teaching. So September is about over. Are you ready for the holiday season?? What projects are you working on?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monogramming Time


As much embroidery as I do you would think that all the towels in my house were monogrammed.  NOT!! I do so much for others I hardly have time to do those type of things for me.  Well this weekend we different.  I finally decided to monogram a set of towels I've had for awhile.  I originally set out to monogram the bath mat.  That was a big mistake.  It was very thick and the end result was a disaster.  I ended up making a appliqué to cover up the disaster.  It was the only thing I could think of to cover up the mistake because I was NOT taking out all those stitches.  The towels ended up being a much better choice and turned out nicely.

I found upping the density was necessary on all the towels to get good coverage.  I used a typical tear-away stabilizer and a melt away topper.  With all the stitching perforation holes, the topper actually pulled away very nicely.  I did one bath towel, 2 hand towels and 1 wash cloth.  The other towel and wash cloth are in the laundry and perhaps I'll finish them off next weekend.

My other project is my Trout quilt that I've just started.  I've not even hooked an entire fish just yet!  More on that in later editions.  Happy embroidering everyone!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Font

One of the new fonts in 5D Embroidery is Per Gothic.  I love the way it just mirrors itself.  It's really very attractive and is an each design to stitch out.  Here, I've used my initials on a travel make up bag that I purchased from an embroidery supply site.  One of this things I really like about this bag is that the front (the part you embroider on) unzips from the main bag which makes it very easy to hoop.  The bag was purchased from Discount Embroidery Blanks (www.discountembroideryblanks.com).  Just search 2 compartment waffle weave cosmetic bags.  The part code from my receipt is A-19G-2compbag.  These make great gifts for that special someone and after all, fall and winter is just around the corner.  It's never too early to start your holiday gift embroideries!!!  I can always use some new ideas.  Please feel free to comment on what you may be working on or some of your projects for the holidays.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Embroidered Butterfly

This is one of my weekend creations. It's a simple to embroider butterfly pin. It was made using the quick trace features and is one that is a little larger with a smaller on on top for depth. I added some beads to represent the body. It actually looks much better in person. I used a hot glue gun to attach the pin to the body rather than sewing it on. It just seemed much easier to do that way. Work smart, not hard is my motto!! Anyone wanting the directions can email me directly. And is almost already August? Will this heat ever end?? I'm ready for the cooler weather of fall. It's one of my favorite seasons. I'll be posting more of my weekend creations shortly. So please stay tuned!
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Switching back to Windows

So where have I been?  Well, about a month ago I decided that it was time to move my sewing and embroidery software back from the Mac platform to a pure Windows machine.  My decision was based on a couple of factors.  First, my beloved MacBook Pro was only being used as a vessel in the sewing room to house my Windows sewing programs.  Second, my virus protection was about ready for needing to be renewed and last but not least, I knew I was going to eventually move off of Windows XP.

I purchased a inexpensive Toshiba laptop at my local Best Buy.  I didn't have all the wiz-bang features of some of the mid to higher end machines but it was fine for hosting my embroidery and quilting software programs.  I didn't need a big hard drive, bluetooth or any of the fancy-pants video cards.  So for about $400, I have a new Windows7 machine with a nice display (not as nice as my MBP but acceptable) and I have loaded my 5D Professional and my EQ7 software on it. 

It took awhile to transfer all my designs and I'm still not sure I have everything moved I needed.  Before making the move, I cloned my MBP hard drive so that stuff is safe and secure if I need to go back and find it. 

For back up, I decided to use Crash Plan and back up to my iMac in my office.  I also plan on setting up a back up routine locally as I have a couple of USB drives laying around.

So what's up next?  Well, I'm going to be working on a fall table runner.  It's simple and elegant Patick Lose Studios pattern.  I have chosen all my fabric and wanted to get started today but alas, I don't seem to be able to find any Steam-A-Seam2 for the appliques.  So I'll pick that up tomorrow when I'm in town and plan on working on that next weekend.

So for the few who follow me, thank you, and please be patient. I promise to get back to my hobby shortly and post more often and show you what I'm working oon in my wonderful sewing cave!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Designer Diamond deLuxe vs. Designer Diamond

While I was at convention, one of the classes I took was on the new Designer Diamond deLuxe.  The Designer Diamond deLuxe has the new feed system and the claim is that the embroideries it produces are as good on the back as they are on the front.  The theory is simple in that the feed system now acts similar to the sensor system when you sew over various thickness of fabric.  So no matter what thickness of thread, the new feed system will adjust to the right tension and produce superior results.

During the class, I was able to stitch just one side of the think scarf they had for us in the project kit.  This presented an opportunity to stitch the other side on my Designer Diamond when I got home.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the design we created in class but I did select what I thought was a similar design.  It was an open design that was not very stitch intensive.  The design was stitched with a candlelight type of thread.  I happened to have the exact type of thread at home (bonus)!  So the pictures below show both the deLuxe as well as the standard Diamond.  To me, with these designs, on this fabric and with this thread, there is virtually no difference in the stitch quality.
Designer Diamond deLuxe front

Designer Diamond deLuxe back

Standard Designer Diamond front

Standard Designer Diamond back


My Conclusion:  No significant visual difference.  In the coming month I hope to find some time to be able to use a Designer Diamond deLuxe in the store to test some thicker threads and observe the quality. I'll also want to try the same design, especially one with a higher stitch count.  At convention they did show some designs that had a higher stitch count and the difference was observable.  But as all of know that embroider often, hooping and stabilizer also play a part in the final product.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back From Convention

Convention was wonderful and I'm starting to decompress. This pillow is a easy class that was done on the new H class 200S serger. Many of my classmates remarked that this serger resembles an old White model carried by HV stores which was very popular.  The H/Class 200S is an inexpensive and simple to use serger and is very versatile.  I was very impressed that both sides of the machine, below the stitching area, opened up for easy access and cleaning.  And, when the right side cover is opened, you have access to a few tools that are used often (cleaning brush and screwdriver) as well as there is an area for extra needles.  That's a simple but very nice feature.

The stitches were easy to dial in and the stitch quality was excellent.  I was able to complete this exercise in the allotted class time of 2 hours.  While the pillow doesn't have colors I would select, I will definitely be making a few of these with fancier threads and seasonal colors for decorations on beds and couches in my home.  The two dotted strips featured the gathering foot on the serger and some of the others were done with the blind hem foot.  It was a great class for me, someone who rarely uses her serger. I didn't feel lost (too much) at all. I loved trying the various feet and how easy the project was to complete.  My next post will be on the new Designer Diamond deLuxe and how the new thread roller systems makes your embroideries perfect, front and back.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Husqvarna Viking Convention

It's been a great week so far in Reno, NV at the Husqvarna Viking convention.  Inspiration is everywhere. From quilts, serger projects, embroidery and software.  HV has just introduced the Designer Diamond deLuxe.  The screen on the DDd is fabulous.  It's clear and icons are highlighted when selected much more so than on the original DD.  I was lucky enough to sew and embroider on it yesterday.  The new feed system gives you a much better result on the back of the fabric.  What is normally the "wrong" side of the fabric can now pass as a reversible garment.

Today I spent some time on the new 200S serger.  What a nice entry level machine.  I completed a serger pillow and will adopt the design for classes at VSQ in the fall/winter.

My final class of the day was using the new 9.3 update of the 5D Embroidery software.  Once I finally got it installed (stupid me forgot the need to turn off my Anti Virus), we did an iPhone case that's a "in the hoop"project.

The picture I'm including today is a new embroidery design package that is crochet.  I'm sure it uses a ton of thread but it looks so lovely.  The teddy is actually a purchased teddy that the embroidery design, which is just the crocheted top piece is added to the garment.  This is something I'm definitely going to make a sample of for the shop.

Stay tuned for more convention follow up in coming days!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blocks completed!!

Well, I have completed the 25 blocks for the Hobo quilt.  The blocks went together very easily and I was able to use the same fabric from the base blocks for the two 2 1/2 inch connecting blocks.  I'm planning on adding sashing in between the blocks.  My thoughts are brown for the block sashing.  The borders I'm planning now are red and blue.  I'll take the blocks to Viking Sew 'n Quilt at some point next week to select my fabric.  Stay tuned for the finished project.  I'll likely take the quilt top to a long arm quilter to quilt prior to putting the binding on.  I also plan on making a sleeve for it so it can hang in the quilt store on display (if they find it worthy).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Starting the blocks

Well, I don't think there is anyone out there following me....but maybe one day!  Today, despite a sinus headache I managed to get the remaining 4 blocks appliqued.  Yeah, how it's on to making a pattern (who would have thought that one wasn't included with the embroidery designs) and assembling the blocks.  Here are the first two that I've put together.  Once I get all the blocks completed, I'll figure out what type of sashing and boarders to use.  More later!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pocket Tissue Holder

Here's a simple, quick and fun embroidery project.  It's a pocket tissue holder.  It would make a great gift.  The hearts are Encored in a line.  You could use any number of designs to customize the look for that special someone.  I'll be teaching this in a future class at Viking Sew 'n Quilt too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

3D Butterfly

Here's a new label pin I created this weekend.  It's a 3D butterfly created using 5D Embroidery Extra and the stock pictures that are already in the software.  I think this will make a great class for this Spring.  What do you think?  It's created using both the Quick Trace and Quick Trace Borders with the 5D Wizard.  It's done on Aqua Magic with organza material.  It's a fast and easy project that will add some extra pizzaz to your dress, jacket or blouse.  It's two butterflies, one on top of the other and a few beads added for extra dimension.  Just attach a pin closure to the back and you'll be good to go!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

5D Cross Stitcher - Easter Bunny Project

One of my next classes at Viking Sew 'n Quilt will be on using 5D Cross Stitcher (March 12th from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m). Here's a real short video (YouTube Link) of the stitch out of the project we'll be doing. It's really amazing how you can take a printed/charted cross stitch pattern and import it into the software and digitize a machine embroidery cross stitch project. It's way faster than doing it by hand and the results are amazing too!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The train is leaving the station!!





Well, I finally got my baby back and I am so happy! After being without a machine for just over a month, I was truly starting to have withdrawal symptoms. After completing a quilt for a great nephew in Michigan, I am embarking on a new "journey". I saw this quilt at the HV convention last year and immediately fell in love with the homespun look. My quilt will feature both homespuns as well as Civil War reproduction fabrics. It just seemed very fitting. I really liked the symbols and how they translate to a universal hobo language. And finally, this is also a great "guys" quilt. So here are a few pictures of the start of the train that has left the station. Stay tuned for more stops along the way as I complete this journey!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Waiting!

I'm just checking in to confirm I'm not slacking off on projects. I'm just still waiting for my beloved Designer Diamond to come home from the repair shop. I was pleased to hear that it wasn't my fault that it wouldn't work. Apparently there was a bad part that needed replacing. So until I get my baby back, I'll just be cleaning in my sewing cave and dreaming of new projects to work on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What to do, what to do....


So, my beloved Designer Diamond has come down with the flu (bug). I'm sure it's just a minor sensor that needs cleaning but it's putting me out of the sewing and embroidery game until it's fixed. So now what shall I do in my sewing cave?? I guess it's time to tidy up and organize!! I love my cave but it has become very cluttered lately. Especially after several holiday projects. So over the next 3 day weekend (thank you Martin Luther King) I'll spend a little time organizing.

My newest project is a Hobo Design quilt. It's symbols and their definitions that will be woven in to a civil war fabric inspired quilt. I'm also thinking about adding a few homespun fabrics as the actual appliques. So far I've gotten the description of all the symbols embroidered. That was a marathon session last weekend where I completed all 25 sayings!! Lots of hooping but not much thread changing (nice)!! I'll be picking up some additional fabric at Viking Sew n Quilt this weekend. It's a "make it as you go" type project. Apparently there isn't a pattern for the designs printed on the pack. Well, apparently there is a quilt (which I'm designing to) but the designer didn't include that particular quilt pattern in with the embroidery designs (weird). So if I don't post too many pictures in the coming weeks just know I'm organizing in preparation for a great quilt project and I'll post my progress as soon as I get my DD back in the cave!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thread "Painting"



These are some samples that I'll be taking to a upcoming class. It's both a monochrome and Sepia toned thread painting of "Maggie". Maggie is the daughter of a good friend. This was very fun to do. The monochrome is much easier to do than the Sepia toned. Maggie has a fair complexion. Lighter toned faces are more difficult to work with (my experience) due to the more subtile shading on their face. I'm working to try and perfect my process and see what hints and tips I might be able to find for students.