Christmas Stocking Tags

img_0094
I haven’t blogged much about it, but just a wee bit ago I thought I would foster kittens. An opportunity arose to bottle feed the cutest four little cuddly meowers you’ve ever laid your eyes on – and I jumped in. I thought I’d keep two and put two up for adoption (cough, cough). Living rurally, there aren’t as many good homes and we may have more un-neutered cats than other areas and lack the resources for no-kill shelters. So, you guessed it, I’ve added four rowdy beasts – much to the chagrin of the existing two – to my family. Crazy cat lady status is full blown here.

img_0102
I LOVE decorating with Christmas stockings. They’re just one of my favorite things and, on the practical side, take no room to store and require no heavy lifting at all. As much as I love, love, love living rurally – there are a few things – like curbside Christmas tree pickup – that just don’t happen here. Generally, you have to saw it up, pack it up and take it to the green recycle during that time in normal years where it’s raining (sawing is an outdoor activity). Not a fan, also not a fan of fake trees (well, except for some colorful tabletop versions). So, full trees are only here in years that I host Christmas eve or day.

img_0104-1
This is not to say that decorations don’t abound – everywhere. And, stockings figure in prominently. I’d seen this concept of tags instead of stitching the name on the cuff – and loved it. I loosened up my hoop screws and just hooped a sandwich of the back fabric, cut away stabilizer (to keep them stiff once done – the sandwich didn’t really need stabilizer for any other reason), Warm n natural Batting and the top fabric. Edited text and put four tags in each hooping – moments later, name taggies 🙂 .

img_0101-1

These are the easy fleece unlined stocking I’d written about here , here and here.

img_0097

A few of the boys checking out their name tags, photographing items is always an exercise in holding back cats while balancing a camera.

Sites with free military machine embroidery designs

For some of the different groups I’m in, I’ve created different lists of free sites (like my post with all the awareness and awareness ribbon designs here). One of the popular requests in the group was for military designs.

I’m not including generic patriotic designs here – those about for July 4th and other US holidays. These have some specific military association. Some are non-U.S. .

FREE

AnntheGran – her search in free will also show for sale designs, the search link doesn’t copy over on the left under Free Designs – use that search box and key in military to see the largest selection. Free designs are 3 free per week. http://www.annthegran.com/FreeEmbroideryDesigns.aspx

BFC Creations – Free plane at bottom of a sale page (they’ve removed some free military designs)

 http://bfc-creations.com/Designs800/829Planes/index.html

Brother – Words “In Honor Of” in the Special Designs dropdown

http://www.brother-usa.com/Homesewing/DesignStudio/Projects/DesignList.aspx#.VIuDzouhifQ

Cindy’s Embroidery Designs – Aussie troop emblems and support 

http://cindysembroiderydesigns.com/Free-Aussie.html

Embroidery Affair – Multiple designs and multiple service groups, US 

http://www.embroideryaffair.com/free-patriotic-designs/ 

Embroidery Designs (3 free per week) – USe the Search Within box to find different designs for ARMY , NAVY, MARINES, AIR FORCE – they don’t all show in a search for military. http://www.embroiderydesigns.com/freeembroiderydesigns.aspx  

MILITARY  http://www.embroiderydesigns.com/freeembroiderydesigns.aspx?SearchText=military   

FOR PURCHASE

BFC Creations – various replica planes (Marine, Air Force and more). BFC has recently updated their website, you can always query Suze for more as Fred has designed a bunch no longer showing on their new site.

http://bfc-creations.com/bfc0829-planes.html

Blasto Stitch ARMY

http://www.blastostitch.com/shop/army-men-pose-machine-embroidery-design/

Digitized Embroidery Designs DEA (not heard of them, but have a lot – just scroll down) 

http://digitized-embroidery-designs.com/digitizing-blog/

Great Notions has a Military Category 

http://www.greatnotions.com/Categories/Embroidery/Military.aspx

PINTEREST Board of Military Machine Embroidery Designs

 https://www.pinterest.com/tiatoangels/in-the-hoop-military/

Supporting our Troops Aussie & US

Cindy’s keeps a list on her site 

http://cindysembroiderydesigns.com/Supporting-Our-Troops.html

I believe there are some military machine embroidery designs on Etsy as well.

Whew, just finished checking the links – sadly some had gone away. This is most likely a partial list  🙂 . You can always turn to trusty Google to turn up more for sale designs – just search machine embroidery design military and click images for pages of choices.

Embroidery Sites for Free Awareness Designs

I periodically stitch for charity fund raising and one of the organizations I support is the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I’ve shared some of these pictures on here before, but they do help highlight what you can stitch

Awareness Charm Earrings for fundraiser batch 2

Many machine embroidery design companies offer sample designs or regular freebies for you to try out. Here is a list I’ve created of machine embroidery companies that offer free Awareness designs. With a solid color ribbon, you can download any awareness ribbon design and just substitute your thread color. Even if you can’t edit, you can switch out your thread spool. There are some specific two color designs, although there are fewer of those for free. There are autism puzzle free designs as well.

Earrings lg awareness

Many sites require you to sign up/register with an email address before you can download the free files.

If you need help determining the color of ribbon for what you choose to support, Wikipedia has a good reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons

Sadias

Ann the Gran
Heart with ribbon on it
http://www.annthegran.com/prd/Designs/Embroidery-Patterns/Pink-Ribbon-Heart/1/EMP00649.aspx

Butterfly with word HOPE
http://www.annthegran.com/prd/Designs/Grand-Slam-Designs/Hope/1/HOG606T1.aspx

Apex Embroidery fonts
Autism awareness
http://apexembdesigns.com/autism-awareness-ribbon-embroidery-design
applique split awareness ribbon
http://apexembdesigns.com/embroidery/product/ribbon-split-frame-embroidery-designs

Apex has added more (ribbon with flowers, give cancer the boot), best to scroll through their free design pages.
http://apexembdesigns.com/embroidery/subject/all?keys=&commerce_price_amount=1&field_font_type_tid=All

Artistic Thread Works
A multi colored Ribbon representing all the Cancer organizations signature colors, 4 different designs
http://www.artisticthreadworks.com/public/698.cfm
Monkey with ribbon
http://www.artisticthreadworks.com/public/6764.cfm

A Time to Stitch
6 designs on Freebies page – includes troop support and red white and blue ribbons in addition to cancer awareness, just scroll down
http://www.atimetostitch.com/freebies.htm

Baby Kay’s Appliques
Smock look 3 ribbons
http://www.babykaysappliques.com/freebies/

Craftsy Embroidery
Awareness mug rug
https://www.craftsy.com/pattern/embroidery/machine-embroidery/in-the-hoop-cancer-awareness-mug-rugs/72013
Ribbon Heart
http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/embroidery/machine-embroidery/ribbon-heart-free-machine-embroidery/104910
Ribbon with hearts on it
http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/embroidery/machine-embroidery/awareness-ribbon/71734

Creative Machine Embroidery 
Stitched ribbons
http://www.cmemag.com/articles/Free-Pink-Ribbon-Embroidery-Design 

Criswell Embroidery and Design
ITH ribbon bookmark – bottom of page
http://www.criswell-emb.com/frontpage/singles/singles72.html
Criswell FSL earrings and charm – Halfway down the page – I’ve used both sizes for earrings
http://www.criswell-emb.com/frontpage/singles/singles71.html

Designs in Machine Embroidery
https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/free-embroidery-designs?page=1

Embroidery Designs
http://www.embroiderydesigns.com/freeembroiderydesigns.aspx?searchtext=awareness

Embroidery Library Inc.
Butterfly of Hope
http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/Products.aspx?Catalog=Emblibrary&ProductID=E3982

EMS Cross Stitch
http://www.cross-stitch-board.com/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=466

Embroidery Online (OESD)
This may only be free in October of each year, 5 designs
http://www.embroideryonline.com/p-57240-pink-ribbons.aspx

FiveStarFonts
Fill stitch in 3 sizes
http://fivestarfonts.com/free-awareness-ribbon-embroidery-design
Double applique Ribbon design
http://fivestarfonts.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=37&product_id=426

GG Designs Embroidery
Awareness tree
http://www.ggdesignsembroidery.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=129

Hyfi’s House
Several here – just scroll past the first for purchase one to the free listings
http://www.hyfis-house.com/powder-room

JHB at Oregon – pretty set of ribbon with phrases of hope http://www.oregonpatchworks.com/collections.php?id=jhb

Just Sew Pretty
Infant loss applique ribbon with foot prints
http://www.justsewpretty.com/item_946/PAIL-Footprint-Ribbon-Applique.htm

Just Sew Sandy and Debora – filled butterfly ribbon
http://justsewsandyanddebora.com/free/39-awarenessbutterfly.html

Lynnie Pinnie
Two Color in two sizes
http://lynniepinnie.com/shop/free-embroidery-designs/two-color-mini-awareness-ribbon-4×4/prod_10545.html 

Pamelas Embroidery
Lots of filled designs also a couple of quilting blocks
http://www.pamelasembroidery.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=56&product_id=423

Sadia Sews –
Free ribbon designs – all are FSL
http://sadiasews.com/inmemory.html
FSL with hearts, has a hanging loop
http://www.sadiasews.com/hero.html
Cancer Dedication Bracelets
http://www.sadiasews.com/cb.html

IMG_7877

(the wings in this pic are a purchased design from Stitch Delight)

Sewterific
Save the Hooters owl – bottom of page
http://www.sewterific.com/babygirlowls.htm

Simon Haskins
(Jenny Haskins son, both well known digitizers) has leukemia and there’s a FB page with free files (files tab) with multiple different designs (to go on fabric) that people are making quilt blocks for leukemia awareness fundraising – for ribbon, pick your color and you’re all set.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/317778385023199/?fref=ts&refid=52

Sonia Showalter –
FSL Ribbon with Rose
http://www.soniashowalterdesigns.com/cancer-awareness/cancer-ribbon/
FSL Angel with Ribbon
http://www.soniashowalterdesigns.com/angel-of-light/angel-of-light-cancer-edition/
Ribbon
http://www.soniashowalterdesigns.com/cancer-awareness/cancer-awareness-ribbon/

Stitch it Cheap
Save the Hooters filled and redwork files http://www.stitchitcheap.com/index.php?rt=product%2Fproduct&product_id=478

Sulky Embroidery Club http://www.sulkyembclub.com/designs.aspx?cid=1&scid=36&pt=4

Swak Embroidery
Mini Autism heart and ribbon (or stitch in one color) http://www.swakembroidery.com/info/free/SWAK_op_FREEAutismAwareness_2Deisgns.htm

Autism Awareness
https://www.swakembroidery.com/info/free/SWAK_jkd_free_autismawareness.htm

The Country Needle
Two color or one color FSL
http://www.countryneedle.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=253

I checked all the links on May 6, 2016. There are also many companies that will offer free designs in concert with October Breast Cancer Awareness – some of these are temporary and go for purchase or disappear before the end of the year. This may not be a complete list as designs are always being put up and down – but it is more than enough to get you started if you have a cause you’d like to stitch an attractive embroidery design for. There are also many beautiful embroidery awareness designs for sale.

Doggie Bandanas

Doggie bandanas – my sister’s pooch advertises upcoming activities on his walks. Apex offered the Relay design on his old site, the American Cancer Society site did say in copyright that if you don’t sell items you may use their design for promoting local Relay for Life activities. Contact Apex to see if he’ll offer it. The appliqué was a freebie from Embroidery Boutique that also is not currently offered but I’d expect we’ll see in October again.

IMG_8522

Purchased designs I’ve used include the heart wings design (above) and butterfly wings awareness design from Ace Points

IMG_6492 - Version 2

and (with colors changed and text added) the Awareness Rose from Embroidery Librarythe Cancer Awareness bracelet  as a bookmark

IMG_6488

and Celebrate Life also from Embroidery Library (each only $1USD and beautiful). The person wanted a check box with “other” as signing in on Relay and such, the non-pink cancers (in this case teal for ovarian) check “other”.

For those of you with cutting machines (Scan n Cut, Silhouette ..) Apex’s Cuttable Designs has a set of 5 free cuttable awareness ribbons with wings http://apexembdesigns.com/cuttables/product/pink-ribbon-cuttable-design and free Give cancer the boot designs http://apexembdesigns.com/cuttables/product/give-cancer-boot-cuttable-designs.  

If you’d like more photos, check out my Flickr feed.

A little gift

IMG_0167 (1)

A friend of my mother had drawn a sweet design, nabbed this quote and embroidered it for her. My sister could recall the wall hanging, but no one knows what happened to it. She decided she really wanted it, so I set about creating one for her.

maggie tea

The original had a little boy and tea cups, but I couldn’t find a ‘ready to purchase” design of a boy that fit my concept and I did really like these stacked tea cups from Embroidery Library. I tried it with a few different fonts (loading up Embrilliance’s font program as my TruEmbroidery digitizing program is not good with purchased fonts and doesn’t have all that many to choose from). Once I had the quote, I gave it a very slight slant and saved it; then edited with TruE to place tea cups, move the paragraph lines, nudge things. Also made and added the apostrophe there.  The font is Jolson’s Hand Print Floss Stitch. Below is one of many samples that were part of the design creation process (also a Jolson’s floss font – I was really going for hand look embroidery).

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 2.49.47 PM

I’d Google searched the tea quote and found references to a quilt that it was stitched into in the 1840’s (Wisconsin statehood was 1848, and this was brought into the new state with settlers). Found another where a son had quotes his mom had written in a notebook – he thought they were hers – many ladies in the 40’s kept collections of Valentine quotes or things to do needlework in –  theirs was after the quilt by a hundred years and now two websites are crediting that mom with this little poem (yes, I am a nerd and love tracking down data). It shows up in a few places as being one of those short quotes you see on Valentine’s cards. Bottom line, it’s been around a very, very long time.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 2.15.10 PM

Also had my nerd hat on for mounting – had looked up all variations and will save you some of that detail, went with an archival self-adhesive foam core board for ease, they make them for needlework and you can usually find them in the major craft stores with the needlework supplies. I used something called Needleart Nucor foam mounting board from JoAnn. The frame was just barely deep enough for the embroidery plus foam core – no room for a glass pane. Something to be aware of when shopping for frames. I hope to get the supplies to do what has been around for awhile in needlework – short steel pins (short common pins) that you use to stick into the edge of foam core and all the way around to attach without that self adhesive bit – this way, if your piece is washable – you can take it off the mounting and wash it down the road (tutorial). But, truth be told, the self adhesive I used was certainly easier. 🙂  The stabilizer was a cut away and I did not trim it down, but left it the size of the framed picture.

Editing this as I got a question on Facebook. There’s a Facebook group Embrilliance if you have questions on how to use it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/582705468485594/?fref=nf. If you buy the Jolson’s font and download the BX format, it comes with a PDF telling you how to download Embrilliance and use the software. The free version will let you load a purchased digitized font and then use your keyboard to type. It sometimes interferes with TruEmbroidery. Best to put Embrilliance on a USB and just plug it in when you’re using it. TruEmbroidery also has a Facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/trueusers/ and a Google+ group – https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/102963886496719470234 . If you have trouble getting in to Google+ (you need a free Google+ id), let me know as I started and run the TruEmbroidery Users group.

I am so pleased with this one, been wanting to make some time to stitch one up for myself 🙂 .

Embroidering Baby Outfits

UT Ireland

Still stitchin for my favorite little mister. Pick up the baby bodysuits in a four pack, so I tend to do up a few at a time. I did a run with Urban Threads designs, you’ll see I’m obviously a fan. This design is their Passport to Ireland.

UT Bunny friend

And this is the bunny from their Friends Border with a bit of grass from an Embroidery Library design.

UT Lonely Robot

In December, I’d shipped off the UT Lonely Robot and was rewarded with this happy shot.Charlie UT lonely robot

Had also sent off UT’s Free MonsterUT free monster

and Hedgie from the Friends border.

Charlie's Hedgie

If you’ve made it this far, I’ll now reward you with the best shot of me I’ve taken in years – very happy great aunt Maggie with cuddly little Charlie 🙂 .Version 2

He’s stylish in his UT Devilish Heart onsie.

I’d given details and pictures of how I embroider on baby bodysuits in this post. I have one more onsie from the last four pack to stitch, so it’s back to the machine I go!

This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City, be sure to stop by and say hello.

Spiffing up the Kitchen

IMG_0002-2
Stitching on towels is one of the easier things you can tackle with an embroidery machine. The material is flat ,so it hoops easily and you’re rewarded with a customized decoration of your choice that’s also useful 🙂

IMG_9998-2

You might think – if you follow this blog – that I’d have stitched on everything in my home that’s not nailed down by now. But, I’m coming up to 10 years here and I’d never made a set of kitchen Christmas towels for me! They’ve all been gifts. The set is on Food Network Ombre towels and the design is BirdBrain’s redwork stitched in cotton quilting thread. In truth, the towels are a bit thinner terrycloth than I thought they’d be given the ‘regular’ price (but you can usually find them on sale plus discounts). 

IMG_0018-2

This fun set in red and green is to match my sister’s Christmas decorating colors. Urban Threads designs stitched in Rayon 40 threads. Love how they came out – so cheery!

Next post up will be some holiday bath towel gifts.

For a Little Mister

IMG_9987-1
There’s a new little nephew in the extended family and I’m continuing to get a few gifts for him onto the machine. This design is from Urban Threads, edited a tad. 

Although the design looks simple, I’ve decided onsies are the bane of my existence. To machine embroider this, you’re actually tugging open the crotch and using all sorts of clips to hold it back, then stitching very very slowly so you can gently push back the clips (that don’t hang on to the hoop edges well) as the embroidery gets closer to them. Centering the design on the onsie when working this way is more than a pain in the butt and exercise in frustration!

The easier way is to open up a side seam (and then tape the heck out of it). I did this for his birthday shirt. Had to rip open the side plus arm seams to hoop it. I didn’t love the new re-serged seam – my threads felt a bit rougher than what the item was originally sewn with. So, I’d adopted the wrestling with a onsie approach for the next few items.

IMG_9908-1I’d edited an appliqué number with the little appliqué elephant design (from Bunnycup) and added the ‘I’m One’ in my software. My thinking is he can wear it throughout the year as the first thing people ask when they see a little guy is “How old is he?”

IMG_9979 (1)-1

His mom loves muted colors – this green and greys are her favorites. Loved the sweet little elf design from Urban Threads.

IMG_9910-1
His mom also loves elephants and when I’d shown her a few designs to pick from, immediately landed on this one from Embroidery Library.  If you have a choice, zip front hoodies are a breeze to hoop compare to the itty tees and onsies. Took a break from Little Mister stitching to do up some holiday towels, stay tuned to hear about those next.