Thursday, April 10, 2014

Annaliese is TEN!

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I feel like I say this with shock and dismay every year, but today is my daughter's birthday and she's 10. TEN! Double digits! How is that even possible?!
Thankfully she still loves to wear applique shirts so I got to make something special for her yet again:
She requested this herself, a cake plate where the pedestal is a 10. Clever idea, right? And not only does she still like applique shirts, she specifically wanted this puff sleeves and ruffle bottom shirt :)
I started with I2S's Cake on Stand, but I deleted out the pedestal and inserted the numbers from One Thing. Annaliese picked the fabrics and threads herself! Thankfully they were EXACTLY what I had envisioned using, too. Yay! Easy Peasy project.
I love my girl, she makes parenthood a delight!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Castle Frame fit for a little Princess!

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So I'm not taking orders. I'm not. But sometimes if you ask at the very right minute... I might say yes. Ha! If it's a "two birds with one stone" kinda situation.
A friend asked if I had time to make a birthday shirt for her sweet little girl. We were chatting on fb at the exact moment I was updating the LP testing database for new designs.
I told my friend that I was sorry, but I didn't have time.
Then a moment later said, "hold up, princess themed??"
I gave her one option, this sweet Swirly Split Castle Applique that I had the opportunity to test for LP. She loved it, and I got it done the next day!

Isn't this a great design?! One fabric, the beauty is in all the embroidery. I added Kendal and the 3 with LP's Strawberry Limeade.
And guess what?! If you do custom embroidery yourself, you can go grab it for free from LP's site for a limited time. HURRY!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Custom gift bags

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In keeping with Dashiell's insistance to buy toys to take as gifts to birthday parties, we have compromised by me making custom bags to wrap said toys in. :)
For Audrey, I actually put a pocket on a pink tote bag. I stitched the I2S TuTu Cute Bunny design on fabric first, and then made it into a pocket on the front of the bag:
Rex and Anthony got Spider-man themed monogram tote bags like Owen and Joey did! I used 8CP's Web applique and Spidey fonts. I completely forgot to take a picture of Rex's until we were at the park, so all I have is a phone pic:
And I didn't realize how bad my pic of Anthony's was until it was too late! But I wanted to show it off anyway, I took a gamble and resized the Spidey font to 50% to get his name on there. Anthony is significantly longer than Rex in this font, ha! But it worked!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Let's Play Ball!

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I don't have an athletic bone in my body, but Dashiell sure does! That sports gene from my dad jumped right over me and into him. This year he has started Tee Ball! I don't have a whole lot of interest in sports, so I'm making up for it in cute clothing :) Yesterday was his first game, and Annaliese and I were sporting new shirts for the occasion.
 
As you can see, his team colors are maroon and gray, so I went with a heather gray shirts, used white sports vinyl for the applique, and maroon and dark gray threads.
My shirt uses a relatively new Tee Ball Mom design from Katelyn's Kreative Stitches. I added Dashiell's number with her Corinthia Script (it includes numbers and punctuation!) I really like how it turned out!
For Annaliese's shirt I used the Baseball Bats Heart design from the March 2014 set of The Applique Club. I added the text with I2S Hambone. I think it looks great with the wood grain fabric and vinyl!
Here she is, watching intently :)


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rejoice!

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I have been so busy with my "day job" that I have severely neglected my blog. But I'm taking some time to catch up over spring break, and I want to share this beautiful project from earlier in the year... before Easter has come and gone!
I had the honor and privilege of testing this Rejoice design for Lynnie Pinnie:
Isn't it gorgeous? I love everything about it! The way the fabrics are tacked down and top stitched for the gradient sky, the texture of the cross, the font choice... it's beautiful!
I stitched it on a nice woven fabric first, then before I unhooped I floated two layers of burlap and a loop of ribbon under my hoop and added a triple-bean stitch rectangle around the perimeter to tack it all together. Trimmed it and frayed it and turned it into a wall hanging for myself!
When I hung it up my daughter said, "Oh is that for Easter?" and then immediately said it was good anytime though. That's exactly right! We can rejoice in our risen Savior every day of the year!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nerd Lunch Podcast Polos

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I do lots of embroidery for my family, but rarely for my husband... He's just not all that into appliqué ;)
BUT he did make a request... Oh, about a year ago? He has his own blog and records a weekly podcast with like-minded friends, The Nerd Lunch Podcast. He asked if I could get his logo digitized to embroider on items.
Last year I contacted Whitney of That's Sew Grammie to see if she was up to the challenge. This logo includes fading checkerboard, gradient background, reflection highlights, and lots of lettering. All squeezed into a 4" wide design and stitched with thread?! She tackled it with a "bring it on!" attitude.

The first draft design attempted to cover all bases. I tested it as is, and then stitched a simplified version.
 
Then I took my tests with me to the Appliqué Getaway and got to show them to Whitney in person. We talked it over there, with the intention of finishing once we were both home and recovered. I look really tired here...

Fast forward several months...

My husband was going to meet up with his podcasting friends and asked, "hey could you actually finish that project from long ago and embroider shirts?" Ha! So I contacted Whitney and we got it finished up. Had to recall all the things we discussed in person:
-the checkerboard turned out awesome!
-We decided that my thread choice for the gradient was too harsh, so I swapped the white underneath to a dark orange and then it worked great! Thrilled with the gradient effect.
-The top stitching on the text "Nerd Lunch" was a valiant effort, but at this size didn't translate well in thread, so it was eliminated.
-We altered the stitch style of the top stitching for the highlights on the box
-and believe it or not, I asked for a skinnier version of Podcast. That's probably a rare request since we all love our wide satin stitch fonts! ;)

Then I stitched it a few more times to get my thread choices just right.
 I finally put it on three polos and sent him out the door for a road trip! Pardon my photography, this was literally a late night before he left photo shoot...

Here they are together! (My guy is on the right. He's got long arms to do a group selfie. Ha!)
We were please how it came out, ESPECIALLY considering how non-embroidery friendly the logo was to start with! :) So if you are looking for some custom digitizing, I would highly recommend Whitney! You can find her on Facebook and her site That's Sew Grammie

Monday, March 17, 2014

Counting Sheep!

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I ordered these super cute pajamas during ARB Blanks' spring PJs preorder, and when they arrived I then had to decide what to put on them. About that same time I2S had released some cute "sleepy" animal designs. I loved the lamb for Annaliese, and sweetly asked my boss if she would create a boy version (less swirly wool, no bow, no eyelashes) for Dashiell,and she did! Aren't these adorable?
I also ordered a pair of doll sized PJs for Annaliese's American Girl doll. I took the 4x4 size of the design, reduced it (maybe to 75%?), increased pull compensation to widen the satin stitches back up, and stitched away. Turned out so cute, I love Embird!
Dashiell has been rather miffed every time Annaliese gets a matching doll clothing item and he doesn't get something for his BuildABear, so this time I found a blue onesie in my stash and made something for him. He was SO excited and appreciative :) I chopped it off and used steam-a-seam to "hem" it. Ha!
Here they are, all comfy and ready for bed ;)


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Recent Party Gifts

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My son had two buddies that had January birthdays. I asked him what designs we should put on a shirt for each of them, and he immediately said, "NO MOM!!!!!! We never take TOYS to parties!!!!" Taken aback ;) I said, "But don't you love all your special shirts I've made you? Didn't you love your Man of 5teel shirt for your birthday?" He explained that yes, he did love all his shirts, but he also got toys for his birthday and his friends would be so sad if we didn't give them toys. SIGH.
This comes right on the heels of me stating on the Success With Embroidery podcast that my FAVORITE thing to do is make birthday shirts for party gifts. Oh the irony!
Well, we compromised. I monogrammed some denim tote bags in my stash, which we then used to wrap a toy that he picked out. Win-win I guess. :) He made sure to tell his buddies that it was a bag to keep, not to throw away like the rest.
I used 8CP's Web Applique font for the initial and Spidey for their names.

My daughter also attended a birthday party recently, but she is still excited to takes shirts as party gifts, especially if it includes a matching doll shirt!
I really wanted to show off these cute prints that I had gotten from Whimsical Fabrics, so I picked the I2S Ice Cream Box design. It didn't have the doll size at the time, but Cristy digitized it for me and we added it to the zip file! :)  I added Lindsay's name with Borders Divide.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm on a podcast!

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Hey, so if you are here, you are used to reading my wordy, wordy posts... how would you like to HEAR me TALK about my personal machine embroidery journey?? Well now you can do just that!

I met Chanda last year at the Applique Getaway. We were both volunteering there, and talked for the first time Friday night. She mentioned then that she reads my blog, but later in the weekend we got to talk more in depth. She actually found my blog through (get this) the Itch 2 Stitch's Facebook page. How ironic! I had posted a project photo on I2S's wall, which Cristy then shared, and it showed up in Chanda's news feed. She saw my watermark and headed over to my blog, then proceeded to go back to the very first post and read her way through my entire blog!

Chanda has her own embroidery business, but also wants to give back to the online embroidery community and has started "Success with Embroidery" -- a blog and podcast aimed at giving tips to those who are starting or looking to improve their embroidery business. I was honored to be her first guest!
You can find the first episode here: SWE - Episode 001 - Stitched by Janay
To be notified of future podcasts you can join her newsletter or like her Facebook page Success with Embroidery

I am anxious to continue listening and hear what's next! Won't you join me?

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