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.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Part 1 Holiday Stitching: Quick embroidery gifts and home decorating items for the holidays!

Planning ahead for the holidays?  Get stitching right away with this free design I whipped up and have put on the CookiesCreationsWebsite Fan Page.

A few years ago I went crazy making bookmarks for everyone.  I kept ordering them and finally I achieved the impossible and all my friends had them.  I still had a few left over and this year I was inspired to use them.

YES! Napkin rings and all that was needed were a simple design and buttonhole!  

Here is how I made the napkin rings:

The free design from my Fan Page.
The lace bookmark from
A small button
Sticky paper

I placed the sticky paper in the hoop, scored it and removed the waxy top.

I did several at a time in one hoop by duplicating the design on my machine and positioning them correctly for each book mark blank.  

Putting the lacy side of the bookmark (pretty side up) with the lace to the right when placed on the sticky paper.  Stitched out the design.  The dimensions of the book mark is 3" x 8" so if you try this, you want to be sure that they fit in the embroidery area of the size hoop you choose.  I used a buttonhole chisel to open the small opening for the button to pass through.  If you use a seam ripper, use caution to avoid ripping the thread along with the slit of fabric of the buttonhole. Sewing a button on the left side of the bookmark (pretty side up) once to finish it off.  (You could even stitch the buttons on with a sewing machine; check it out in your manual.)  Quickest napkin rings ever.  More ideas coming!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Learn a new craft today or perfect an old one - take advantage of this great opportunity!

Craftsy is having an amazing sale this weekend  and I am already planning what classes I want to take!  Of course, my classes: Digitizing Machine Embroidery Designs and Artistic Digitizing from Inspiration to Stitch will be on sale. You may also want to check out some of my favorite embroidery classes that will also be on sale this weekend:  Elements of Design Editing by Marilyn York Reames, Stabilizer Savvy by Terri Hanson, Big Embroidery with a Small Hoop by Lisa Shaw, and Machine Embroidered Cutwork by Evie Hawkins. There are many more classes by wonderful instructors. Too many to list.  See for yourself.

What class will you take? 

While I am a Craftsy Instructor, I also enjoy taking other classes they produce because of the HD video quality and their professional approach. I take classes online because it helps me learn new skills to create fresh projects and to recycle and update project ideas on my own free time.

During big sales, like this one, I'll venture out and try new classes that pique my curiosity and are totally different from my current skill sets. Use the links provided and choose the new class adventure on the left side of the page by selecting "All Categories" to get the sale promotion pricing!

The last sales promotion introduced me to crochet. I made fun trims for my embroidered baby socks with ease.

Here is a photo of the socks I trimmed up after taking Linda Permann's Crafty Crochet Embellishment Class, in case you missed it earlier: my sock and her flower project!
During another sales promotion, I took a class which taught me how to knit a keyhole lace scarf with instructor, Stefanie Japel in Knit Lab.  These were all new skills for me:

I took another class, "Container Gardening with Katie Ketelsen,"during the spring sales promotion that taught me how to grow the right kind of plants and how to arrange them in various containers — from a former plant killer to a plant bloomer! My husband was thrilled to see the front porch transformation with newly acquired knowledge and skills!

In a winter promotion: The Rigid Heddle weaving class by Angela Tong taught me much about yarn fibers. I even managed to subtly embroider them when I was finished.


These are my two classes on creating (digitizing) your own embroidery designs, which can be done with any home embroidery digitizing software. Come join the fun on Craftsy! 

What are you taking? Share it on Facebook!

See you there!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Scarf it up - DIY Scarf and mastering Faux Serged Edges!

The Twirly Scarf - continued

The previous posts has the supply list for my twirly scarf project.  The ideal distance for  the curly Qs of the pattern should be the length between the left and right shoulder of the wearer plus 3 inches.

Place pattern on fold. If you wish the scarf to hang longer, then you may move it up to 2 inches from the fold.  Cut pattern on the line, seam finish is included when calculating this scarf pattern. 

Serger Option for Making the Twirly Scarf: If you are handy and own a serger: Serge edge with a two or three thread narrow rolled hem or flat to finish. You can choose a 2 or 3 thread flat lock finish, if preferred depending on the fabric. Sergers handle curves by straightening the fabric on the plate as you stitch them. So take your time and work in small increments.

Sewing Machine Finishing Technique:
Stitch Zig Zag
Width 3.0
Length from .5 to .6mm

Tip: Depending on the fabric and the stretch of the bias (rounded areas) you may have to lengthen from  .5 to .6mm.  You can feel the hesitation in the feeding of the fabric. Lengthen slightly rather than pulling the fabric through.

This Brother made machine offers a Zig Zag right 1-11 which I prefer because it makes guiding the fabric easier.

Machine settings may vary depending on brands. Always create a test sample using the same fabric to ensure a great results.

Favorite optional settings that I look for on all new machines: needle drop aka needle down and scissors.  This machine has needle drop while additionally lifting the foot for turning corners! 

The small stabilizer strips placed under the fabric help with “feeding the fabric” and reduce “pokies,” as less stress is placed on the edge.

With the zig zag stitch, you are swinging the needle left into the fabric and right into the stabilizer (just outside the edge of the fabric).

Years of sewing skating costumes and left over water soluble has perfected faux serger finishes.  See for yourself! No pokies, threads are lying neatly and most importantly is the time saved.  

While the serger may produce quicker results, this sewing method for ruffly or straight scarves is simple and versatile.

Look how neat the corner looks.

Tip: As you approach a corner, stop the needle swing on the left, in a needle down position. Turn the fabric on the corner. For the right swing of the needle, roll the hand-wheel towards you. The needle needs to penetrate into the stabilizer next to the edge of the fabric. If you miss your mark, relax! You can raise the foot and the needle carefully to reposition using a small amount of movement. Drop the needle down, and check your upper thread tension to ensure you haven’t pulled the thread too much.  Adjust if needed.

Rinse out water soluble stabilizer according to manufacturer’s directions. If possible, use cool water to avoid shrinkage.