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. 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.

Another Halloween Mug Rug off the Machine

UT Vampire mug rug

This cutie is two Urban Threads designs, the corner webbing and the lil vamp.  He is one of their sketchy designs and the outline is not meant to match up (really, no excuses here, check it out http://www.urbanthreads.com/products.aspx?productid=UT1356 their dark charcoal is on the outside of the outline all along the bottom edge plus has those gaps – it’s supposed to be that way, sketchy). Emphasizing this as there’ll be someone who think the embroidering is off. I get a lot of their sketchy designs as I’m a fan of the look. My vamp has a blue cape to call out the blue of the witch hat in the border. Mentioned a few posts back, that the ITH mug rug is from Stickbaer, edited, and that I changed it to use a backing with an opening in a seam in the center back so the edges don’t show any of my horrid hand stitching. Too hot to be outside here today, so it’s back to the machine for me!

This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City – check it out, most folks are out and about not hiding inside from the glaring sun.

Finishing a Few Gifts

Owl hoodie

This is actually soooo cute as it’s on a 12 month hoodie. The lil guy’s parents are into a concert venue that has an owl (EDC) as its thing. A blue owl was the feature at the last event although their ad material often goes multi-colors. Living in the mountains, I put owl designs on a lot for my use here and have just about every owl design any digitizer has ever offered 🙂 . I am so set to stitch up a million items for this little one if the owl thing stays in vogue with mom and dad!

Mom done

Mom’s stocking also finished up quite nicely. I’ve been putting the tabs on the outside seam as they hang better that way (they hang longer empty and some seam inserts of the tab hang off kilter).

Charlie C

Added a C to the front of Charlie’s hoodie, wish it was a tad closer to the zipper but I think it will look fine on. One of those, the facing for the zipper is a bit wide and I didn’t want to stitch onto it (the C would’ve come out loopy going over two seams of sweatshirt material). I’ll get the mom to send me a pic on and see if I need to fuss a bit more and move designs over for the next one.

Babies are so fun to stitch for. I have another hoodie in the works and want to get to a few stuffies, although I worry that everyone and their brother gifts moms with stuffed toys – probably the one thing in the world they don’t need more of!

More Stocking Cheerfulness

UT Snowstorm

Continuing to stitch a few more Christmas items. I was really pleased with the fleece plus cuff combo on the Charlie stocking (and it was so well received by his mom!) that I’m determined to do a bunch in this style. As with the Charlie stocking, an iron on polymesh backs the cotton cuff, cut away stabilizer – with even more temporary spray adhesive – anchors the center stocking designs and Sulky rayon threads are used throughout.

Stickbaer

Tatjana at Stickbaer does wonderful appliqué and in the hoop designs. I’d purchased one of her in the hoop (ITH) Christmas stocking designs and, although it can go to 14 inches long, decided not to use the ITH part of the design. My stockings tend to be about 18 inches long and I like that look.  A tad more space between the bird and the holly matches the slightly longer stocking. Her appliqués stitch perfectly with a nice satin edge that covers all your trimming. Heat n Bond Lite was bonded to the appliqué pieces – and temporary spray adhesive applied to their backs – before they were used in the embroidery. UT Snowstorm close

Urban Threads‘ Snowstorm Santa just makes me smile. I love happy Santas and this one is so perfect, I want to put him everywhere! The word Believe is edited out of their Believe Santa design – it fits beautifully with both. Did use a floater of water soluble stabilizer on top of the fleece to prevent the threads from sinking too far into the fleece – and it worked. I’d thought I might have to stitch this design twice to get it to show up on the fluffy fleece, but the one time was all that was needed – yea!

Back to the machine to stitch even more cheer. Saving the names for last, then I’ll sort who gets which.