Friday, September 30, 2011

Football Monogram

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When I got done with Dashiell's tote bag using the sports ball vinyl, I did a google image search on sports balls applique designs -- just to see if there was something cool out there (that I didn't already have) that I could use on a shirt for him. And I stumbled upon this neat monogram!
This football applique alphabet is from Starbird Stock Designs. I had never been to this site before, and still need to explore it some more. But I was so intrigued by the design (and enticed by the amazing sale) that I decided to buy the letter D design and stitch it out to see if I wanted to purchase the whole alphabet. I really like the results!

For those of you that do machine applique, here's a bit of advice/info. I had to do a bit of editing in my software. The die line is only stitched once, and then the zigzag stitch came next. So I duplicated the die line to have a placement and tackdown stitch. It does the background color first, then the accent color, then the football, and then the white stitching last. The vinyl did very well on this design! You will want to use HNBL on the fabrics since it's a zigzag stitch. Actually this design kind of lends itself to felt -- may have to give that a whirl. And look at my pleased little boy!
The set comes with both the alphabet and numbers, which I think would make awesome birthday shirts. You can use whatever team colors you want, so it's super versatile, and you don't have to worry about any licensing issues! in our case GO NOLES!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sports Bag

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Let's see... how many weeks have we been in school? Dashiell has been using one of Annaliese's old preschool bags, even though I bought a tote bag to stitch something on for him before school started. I just couldn't get inspired for what to put on it. My goal was a school themed applique, but I wasn't in love with anything (for a boy).
Then this week I decided it didn't have to be school themed, and I could use it as an opportunity to test out the new sports ball vinyl that my MIL bought for me!! Didn't this turn out cute?!?

I used the Sportsballs Applique design from Planet Applique, although I deleted out the soccer ball. No offense to  soccer lovers, I just wanted to simplify a bit and have space to add his name. I used the College Block Small alphabet from 8 Claws and a Paw to add "Dashiell".
Ok, let me weigh in here on this vinyl. My MIL purchased a yard of each (as well as black) from 1st Impressions Designs and gave me half of it! It's pretty cool stuff! It cuts easier than I expected. I used these applique scissors and they did great. I had complete coverage with the satin stitches, no vinyl poking out.
While I love the looks of this design, I would not recommend using vinyl with it. They way the tackdowns are digitized the balls overlap by about 1/4", which is no big deal when using regular cotton material, but vinyl makes it pretty thick right where the satin stitches need to go. In fact I broke a needle, and there was about a 1" stretch on the football that my machine just would NOT do the satin stitches on, I had to do it manually with my sewing machine.
Here's a close up for two reasons... first, look at the awesome texture of this vinyl! Second, see the top of the baseball where the right red stitching lines come out... the white satin stitches there are very narrow. That's caused by three layers of vinyl and two layers of satin stitches BEFORE the white was stitched. YIKES! I was holding my breath with my finger on the stop button as it stitched across there!
So... I will stitch this design again, but with cotton fabric. And I will definitely use the vinyl again, but on a design that doesn't have the ball fabrics overlap.
My next project with the vinyl will be a shirt for Dashiell -- I want to experiment with laundering it!

Ballet Bag

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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but this project is a result of the "love" part. :) One feature I really enjoy is the fan album. It's great to peruse the pictures posted by other embroiderers showing how they've used designs from my favorite digitizers. About two weeks ago I found a great project picture on 8 Claws and a Paw's Facebook wall that had been posted by another fan. I really liked it (font and bag) so I decided to be a total copy cat! Annaliese recently started a ballet class, and was "in need" of a new bag. She was beyond thrilled with my little surprise for her:
The quilted back pack is from Hobby Lobby:
The Ballet Embroidery Font is from 8 Claws and a Paw:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sister shirts

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Michelle asked me to make a set of sibling shirts using the designs from Applique Momma. I was happy to oblige! I used my new Fabric Finders gingham for these, inspired by a sample posted on AM's facebook page.
I used the zig zag 5" size of the Big Sister design for Kyleigh's shirt, adding her name with the Tinker Toy font from 8 Claws and a Paw. :
I used the zig zag 4" size of the Little Sister design for Elliana's shirt. We also experimented with switching the fabrics. I can't decide which I like better, but I definitely like the monochromatic look!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Me and My Doll aprons

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Ever since Annaliese got an American Girl doll, she has asked for the "Me and My Doll" kits whenever we see them at Walmart or Hobby Lobby. I've always told her no because frankly I haven't been thrilled with the colors/patterns I've seen on these printed panel kits for matching bags or doll dresses. But a couple weeks ago when I discovered that one of our Walmart locations is getting a fabric cutting counter back (YES!) they had the "Me and My Doll" items on clearance. I dug through and found one that looked decent... matching aprons. This weekend Annaliese and I worked on them together:
The kit was simply a fabric panel:

 I cut out the pieces for Annaliese's apron, and she cut out the pieces for the doll apron -- and did a great job! After that, she just hung out of my bed playing while I sewed. :)
The fabric is very thin, and the directions called for serging edges, folding under 3/8" and top stitching. I was not thrilled with that idea, so I dug through my fabric stash and found something to line the entire apron. I'll be honest, I'm pretty proud of myself. :)  I have very limited garment construction experience, and I definitely prefer to follow directions, so "winging it" isn't something I do often. I'm glad I had a tiny version to practice on first! The doll apron turned out well, so I was safe to proceed onto Annaliese's, and her's turned out to be completely reversible (although the other side is boring and I doubt she'll wear it that way).
This may shock you, but there is no embroidery on these... And I don't know if I'll monogram them. Probably not unless she asks me to.
Annaliese really likes her apron, and as soon as we were done she wanted to go to the kitchen to make something. Thankfully I had a package of pudding that was sufficient. :)

Custom shirts

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Jason asked me to make a couple custom shirts, one for each of his boys. I'm not exactly sure of the stories behind each shirt... just created what he asked for! :) This one is for the older son:
I searched high and low for a good embroidery design (applique or fill-stitch) of a sitting howling wolf. No luck! Found one, but it was on a site I had never purchased from, and it gave no info about the design (size, stitch count, thread changes) so I didn't really want to spend the money and discover it was not appropriate for this project. (Side note to digitizers -- please provide this info on your site!!!) Soooooo.... I asked Jason to send me an image of what he was visualizing, and I digitized the silhouette myself.
I added the text (front and back) with Embird Alphabet #2. The soccer balls are from a Band to Bow CD I have (it may be this design?)
For the younger son's shirt, I digitized this rounded rectangle to look like a playing card and added the text (front and back) with Embird Alphabet #14.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chloe!

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Third year in a row for making Chloe a custom item to wear on her birthday! First birthday was a reversible A-line, 2nd was an appliqued shirt, and now year three:
Jenn made it really easy on me this year -- she wanted me to reproduce a shirt I made in July, all I did was swap the name and changed the thread color to match this adorable tutu skirt she had purchased. If you compare, I even got the fabric placement virtually identical -- so proud of myself! ;) I used the Chubby Wubby applique numbers from GG Designs for the 3, added the crown with Applique Cafe's Add a Crown design and stitched her name with the Swirley font from 8 Claws and a Paw.
 I didn't get to celebrate with Chloe, but saw pictures... man is she adorable. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Burp Cloth

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Ok, I know I just posted a "miscellaneous projects" post and could have included this there, but I really like how this turned out and wanted to highlight it. :) Tracy asked me to make a burp cloth for her to give as a gift, requesting a lavender and light green color scheme. I acknowledge that this turned out to be more purple than lavender, but we both really liked the ribbon. I've had it in my stash for a long time, but I think this is the first time I've actually used it!
And I absolutely LOVE this monogram/font combination. The "E" is Lynnie Pinnie's Applique Swirl Font. I added Emma with Swirley from 8 Claws and a Paw.
 I wonder how many times I have combined a LP applique with an 8CP font... probably about a million. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Miscellaneous Stitching...

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Eh, I'm trying to catch up. I have a bunch of little stuff that I've done over the past few months but haven't shared yet. So I'm going to throw them all at you in one big post.
Monogrammed Flower Flip Flops -- I put all the design and how-to details in a blog post earlier this year, you can find it here. I made three more pairs at the end of July:
Key Chains:
Sabrina asked me to make one for her niece, and Rebekah asked me to make a couple for her daughter... these are being used as name tags on back packs and lunch boxes, made from 1.5" ribbon and D-rings:

Key Fobs:
Last weekend our family attended a fun shindig, and what better gift do you take to a sweet sixteen party than a key fob?? It also makes an awesome gift for Annaliese's teacher, whose birthday was this week.

(Quick side note: if you make DigiStitches key fobs, or really any thing that requires a tube that needs to be turned, you MUST get this Quick Turn tool. WOW it makes it unbelievably easy and fast to turn something right side out!!)
And finally my big project of the week... 10 more aprons like the ones I made earlier in the summer.
This was an exciting and successful experiment in running both machines at the same time. What would have taken me over two and a half hours on one machine I got done in less than an hour and a half. Woo-hoo! I won't be able to do this very often, but 2-color embroidery-only designs on aprons was doable. And can only be done when I'm home alone. It's pretty loud, so I don't want to wake sleeping children, or not be able to hear what is going on outside of my room. Or be distracted, that could be disastrous. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Gift set for Auburn fans

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Just a few short days after making Tre's birthday gift, I got an email that said, "would you have any time at all to make a burp cloth and medium onsie for a baby shower? Baby boy, Tre' with the accent over the E -- Auburn fans." I almost fell out of my chair. And here's the kicker -- she hadn't even seen my blog post about Tre's shirt! It was pretty easy to come up with an idea... :)
In this case (since it was an order and not a gift) I did not use the licensed fabric, but simply used orange and navy. I used Lynnie Pinnie's applique football helmet design, and added his name with Embird Alphabet #2.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lucy's Luau

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Lucy turned one, and her parents threw her a luau! Natalie requested a "1" shirt with a hibiscus flower, and here's what I made (this picture is really dark for some reason...):
Initially I thought about using Planet Applique's Tiki Alphabet, but the 1 was so skinny that I didn't like it. So I used my fave Chubby Wubby Applique Numbers from GG Designs, and merged the hibiscus from the Tiki Alphabet onto GG's 1. I added the text with Embird Alphabet #8.


Natalie sent me a link to the hibiscus plates they purchased so I could use it to determine my color palette. Lucy coordinated with the decor quite well! :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Simple little burp cloth

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Michelle requested this design and color scheme for a burp cloth as a baby gift. I love it when she does all the planning for me! The Taylor applique monogram is from Lynnie Pinnie.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Tre!

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A little buddy of mine turns four today! It's so hard to believe... seems like yesterday I made his first birthday shirt. His parents are big Auburn fans, so I decided to grab a bit of AU fabric and make this shirt to give to him as a gift:
I used Lynnie Pinnie's new applique football helmet design, and added his name with Embird Alphabet #8.
Quick comment -- Licensed fabric is for personal use only. Gifts are fine, but I can't sell items using licensed fabric... so don't ask. :)

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