Thursday, November 20, 2014

Part 6, Holiday Project, Decor digitized and stitched in minutes for Thanksgiving!

Single leave duplicated and rotated twice!
I love the earth tone colors of Thanksgiving with a dash of brilliant orange, gold, red and more.  Nature can be so easy to translate into embroidery, especially plants.

These three maple leaves were simple to digitize in embroidery software.  

Scan or take a photo of  a leaf  straight from the convenient outdoors and save it as a jpg. Bring the leaf image into your software as a background.  Use the drawing pen or line drawing tools and trace the veins of the leaf.  Be sure to trace two lines of thread for every area of each vein.  

Single Leaf Screen Shot
No need for exact positioning of the layers of thread.  See the single leaf screen shot below. A less than perfect trace actually looks much prettier when the design stitches as nature is not perfect. Remember that what you see on your computer screen does not take in the nature of thread and fabric.  Apply a double stitch or bean stitch style of outline to the vein.  Trace the outside of the leaf and consider applying a fun motif.  

The sample shown uses a stem stitch which is actually a slanted spaced zigzag stitch. The photos are software screen shots which look "messy". Once the leaves are stitched, they are perfect for table runners, placemats and more.  

The leaf took less than 5 minutes to trace and apply stitch attributes.  Bonus: the design stitches out in just a few minutes because of the outline style of the pattern.  A border hoop option makes this even easier to stitch out.

If you are not sure how to bring an image into your software, or the best tools to trace with, consider giving yourself a Craftsy Class: Digitizing Machine Embroidery Designs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Part 5: Holiday Tip, Inspiration for Gifting Embroidered Presents...Sketch in Thread!

Clip Art
Time has gotten away from me and I am a post behind, so this week let's have two! Transform your ideas from doodles to unique embroidery creations. On Thursday, let's turn them into projects!

As the holidays approach I often see great gift ideas at the stores or have a need to sew something practical which could use an embellishment or two!

After creating it, I start thinking gee that is really adorable and useful.  I know that modesty leaves the room when we create something we love, right? Who else on my gift list could use it and how can tailor it more for them?  Examples: a padded cover for a flat iron, travel drawstring bags for shoes, jewelry, makeup, headphones and techie gadgets. For my crafty friends: fabric and pattern journals, project bags, needle organizers, stabilizer tags and more. All with content names plus a personal unique design added to kick it up!

If you want quick but unique then clip art is an easy resource and it's easy to Google clip art for sale.

Age progression makes this unique!
If you want to do something truly unique, see if you can "borrow" some favorite photo or child's drawing from that person without noticing.  Or use that mobile phone and take a photo of something that your friend loves and sketch that in thread! If you don't know how to use your software to sketch in thread then consider Artistic Digitizing on Craftsy  Don't be too disheartened if drawing is your obstacle initially you can trace your photos! I believe I can make everyone an instant artist, if you know the tools of your embroidery software.

Can you draw?  It need not be art gallery quality, laughing loudly.  I am asking can you draw a small doodle and have it be recognizable?  Say yes, and always keep scrap paper near by.

My most inspired times occur while waiting for lunch to arrive.  Instead of throwing out sheets of paper that are "printer" mistakes, chop them into quarters and doodle away.  My husband was traveling last week and I ate out a lot.  So the artwork was inexpensive but the meal prices give these increased value!

Everyone can draw with a little training and practice.  It's true. Take a class locally or take one online.  Do you have a young person in your life?  Draw Anime is a favorite class I give to friends and it's been a real hit improving self-confidence in drawing and digitizing skills, too!

 Keep it holiday simple this gift giving season while making it personal...
Do you need to learn how to use your embroidery digitizing software?  Or do you have a friend who just received digitizing software and you need a holiday gift for them?  Digitizing Machine Embroidery Designs class works for all machine embroidery digitizing software brands. Includes editing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Part 4: Holiday Quick Gift Idea, bring dessert and wrap it up in the gift!

A favorite oldie:

Look how easy it is to take two placemats and sew them together on three sides and slip a tray of brownies inside. I've seen many variations since the first one I sewed in the 1990s.

Use two button holes on each placemat, in the same exact position on the open side.  The slotted spoon or spatula is inserted through both sets for the closure.

You can stitch an appliqué or perhaps a nice sentiment like Season's Greetings or the name of the receiving family!

For those who avoid sewing button holes but do own an embroidery machine, the button holes are on my Facebook Fan Page for free for a limited time.

Two placemats on sale for $5.99, spatula sale $3.50, and raid your stash for fabric patches, designs and thread.  If you don't own an embroidery machine, you certainly can create your own appliqué and sew button holes.  Add a half inch to width of stick.  The stick was almost an inch so I made it 1-1/2"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Part 3 Holiday Stitching: What gift can you make with auto appliqué feature on an embroidery machine?

If you own an embroidery machine that has auto appliqué built in, here's an idea:

Bring your design onto the screen, be sure to check the menu setting of the machine and give the appliqué line extra space from the design itself for cutting later. Refer to your manual or ask your dealer to show you how, if this is new to you.

Not knowing which machine you are on while reading this, remember you can use your onscreen machine layout tools to move through the elements as you need them.

Hoop water soluble mesh stabilizer in the hoop.  Float a piece of pre-shrunk cotton fabric on top and have the machine sew the running stitch of the auto machine appliqué. That will anchor the fabric onto the stabilizer. Next, stitch out the design itself. Once the design is embroidered, it is time to remove the hoop from the machine. Keep everything hooped and remove the frame from the machine.

Place the hoop face down on your table and make a sandwich while using adhesive spray or embroidery tape to hold it all together. If you are using tape, be sure to keep it out of the path of stitching.  Place a layer of cotton batting and then a layer of microsuede facing right side out.  Or instead of cotton batting with microsuede, just add a piece of color fast felt. Carefully return the hoop to the machine. Use the appliqué running stitch again to sew everything to the water soluble stabilizer.  Remove the hoop once more with everything in place. Use scissors and trim away the excess fabric from the top and bottom of the hoop.  Do this trimming on a flat surface and not your lap. Return the hoop to the machine and finish stitching the remaining appliqué stitches. Remove project from hoop. Trim and spray off the water soluble stabilizer. Now you have an instant mug rug!  The possibilities of newly designed mug rugs are endless. Like my fan page on Facebook and check out our free designs.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Part 2 Holiday Stitching: Exploring the roles of elements created in a design set.

In my last post, I shared directions on making the simple napkin ring and now using the same idea I've adorned it with a festive bow. I embroidered a complimentary design on a napkin.

Picking a small "common" embellishment, in this case a small bow, makes each accessory flow together as a set.  In the prior post set of October 3rd, it was the Star of David done in several sizes, with different approaches.

Think of the bow as a character which makes guest appearances in all of the designs in the role of a supporting actor.  Think of the previous Star of David as the main actor/star who appears in every episode. By building a set of designs around a common embellishment with a project theme in mind, it becomes easy to add other decorated items.

Enjoy 2 free napkin ring embellishments from both last week and this week on my cookiescreationswebsite"business fan page. Like on Facebook and the link to the design is under the cover page photo.

See the inspired design set in last week's post now available for purchase at

What shape or small design element will use in your design set?

I would love to hear about it.