Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Birds of a Feather Sundress

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At the end of last summer I grabbed some of these cute sundresses for Annaliese in the next size when they were on clearance. I used one of them this week:
I was fascinated by Hang To Dry's "Birds of a Feather" design and wanted to give it a go. I think Crissie's turned out so much cuter, it looks great on white! Still not sure what I think about it on this turquoise....
The design is 3 rows of birds, but I was limited by the space on the bodice, so I deleted the third line. This light airy design made it easy to fill the space on that dress even with the gathered waistband.
I wanted something big on the bottom, so I used Lynnie Pinnie's Simple Bird. But since the flock of birds at the top was finished with a triple bean stitch, I didn't want the thick satin stitches on LP's bird. So I simply used her tackdown stitches and left it raggy. I merged it with a line from the HTD design, but it doesn't really show up well as Annaliese wears the dress.
Annaliese helped me pick all the fabrics for this. Once we selected the stripe for the large bird, I let her pick the nine fabrics for the little birds from my scraps. And I mean scraps! These birds are tiny and don't require much fabric at all!! I did use a layer of white felt under them to help the color pop and not be dulled out by the dark background.

Two more dresses... a pink and a purple. I need to figure out what to put on them ASAP!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

♫ Land that I Love ♫

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When I had the opportunity to test the Land that I Love design for Lynnie Pinnie, I spent some time debating which fabrics to use... go blingy or Americana? Ultimately I decided to do both!
First I used confetti dot material for Annaliese's shirt:
For those of you that do custom embroidery, if you've never worked with sequin fabric (technically called confetti dot) don't be scared to try it! On it's own it is pretty thin, so my preferred way of using confetti dot is to fuse it to another colored piece of fabric using Heat and Bond Lite before using it in my applique design. This not only provides stability, but really helps the colors pop.
I fuse the HNBL to the right side of the fabric, then peel the paper off and fuse it to the wrong side of the sequins. Be sure to never set your iron directly on the sequins; either press from the wrong side or use a pressing cloth, and be quick! (I also recommend washing cold inside out, lay flat to dry. However my daughter's shirts have survived accidental trips through the dryer!)

For myself, I used this neat wavy stripe fabric I have in my stash -- love it for patriotic designs!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cute shirts for Birthday Girls

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Two little girls I know had birthdays this week, and they each got a special shirt!
Annaliese picked this design to give to her friend Keeley:
The Cutie Princess as Ariel is from Lynnie Pinnie. Isn't she so cute?! Love how this turned out with the sequin material. I used the Kelsi font from 8 Claws and a Paw to add her name. I'm usually not a fan of mixed case fonts, but I really wanted to pick something where the height of each letter was the same (it looked better curved beside the tail) and it came in 3/4" size, which was perfect!
Katie's mommy requested a gymnastics shirt to give her daughter:
I immediately thought of Designs by JuJu's Gymnasts set, and Michele picked this one on the balance beam. I added her name with my favorite girly font Swirley from 8CP.
Words cannot express how thoroughly I enjoy watching LP and DBJJ designs and 8CP fonts stitch out. Lyndsie, Julie and Julie do a phenomenal job digitizing. Their work is always flawless with no surprises. I cannot recommend them enough!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

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This may look familiar, but I promise you haven't seen it on my blog before! Earlier in the year I made a birthday shirt for a Nathan who turned three, and I recently did another! While the first one was a cowboy theme, this little Nathan had a farm themed party. He is particularly fond of black and white cows, so I created this:
The "3" is from GG Designs' Chubby Wubby Numbers. The cow is from Designs by JuJu's Barnyard Buddies set, and I added his name with the Clay font from 8 Claws and a Paw.
For those of you who do custom embroidery (and my friends who just can't get enough of my wordiness, ha!) let me explain what I do when I create a look by overlapping designs. I like to do some design editing in my software beforehand. First of all I needed to modify the precious cow from DBJJ. This was for a boy, so the flowers had to go. For space reasons I decided to remove the appliqué grass patch as well.  Nathan loves black and white cows, so within Embird I changed the colors to give his mommy an accurate preview before stitching.
Once I merged that on top of the appliqué 3, I removed the unnecessary zigzag stitches on the 3 that would be under the cow. That's relatively easy and quick to do in Embird. However, I don't bother changing the placement and tack down stitches -- that's too much work!
Instead I did creative cutting in the hoop, since I knew the red fabric on the bottom would show through the white fabric on top. I ran the placement, tackdown, and modified zigzag stitches for the "3". Then I ran the placement stitch for the cow and removed my hoop from the machine.
I trimmed out the part of the 3 that would be under the cow:
Oops, I used red thread for my placement stitches, and it WILL show through my white fabric! So I picked those stitches out, too. Note to self -- use white thread for placement stitches next time. It's a little extra work, but worth the effort! That cow is a bright white without any discoloration!
Here's a case in point from two past projects -- Without trimming away overlapped fabric:
Trimming away the overlapped fabric:
See how much better the flower looks when the fabric underneath is trimmed away? Just a little detail that I like to keep in mind. I didn't notice the problem on the first shirt until it was done.  I'm always trying to improve my final product!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy 40th Anniversary!

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Today is my in-laws' 40th anniversary! I am so thankful for their wonderful example of a godly marriage -- it makes mine possible since they laid such a fabulous foundation for my husband. I'm grateful for their love and friendship.

I've been brainstorming ideas for a gift ever since I made my parents' 40th anniversary gift last year. I didn't want to do the *exact* same thing, but really liked the idea of wall art and the use of scriptures. I've also been intrigued by all the subway art designs that have become popular, so I opted to go that route and incorporate a scripture into it:
I contacted Krissy to create a custom design for me. I requested a few modifications from a previous anniversary design posted on her facebook group (Embroidery Sayings and Phrases) and she sent me this:
Then I modified it a bit more to incorporate the scripture. (I'm confident Krissy would have done a beautiful job herself, but in true Trammel fashion, inspiration didn't hit until the very last minute and I couldn't expect her to meet my requests on such short notice. She was super fast with swapping out the name, number and date as it was!) I love the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 3:12 so I swapped out the text around LOVE and replaced it with the scripture.

I'm also not a big fan of the word "fate" so to fill the space I changed 40th to 40 years. Then there was this little gap and I felt a pair of wedding rings was very appropriate. I'm sure somewhere in my stash of designs I have a perfect pair of wedding rings, but I couldn't find them. I also couldn't quickly find something small, simple and cheap to purchase online. I thought to myself, "All I need is a simple oval!" I looked over and notice the zero in June 10 was perfect. So here's my big secret -- that double wedding ring design is simply two zeros! :) 
I really like how this turned out! It took me a while to figure out what color threads to use, but I settled on gold, brown, black and blue to coordinate with the Labrador quilted wall hanging I made for Kathy several years ago. Stitched on canvas, stretched over foam board, and placed inside an 8x10 frame without glass. 

So, congratulations Harold and Kathy! May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other for many more years to come. Happy Anniversary!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Jumping on the $Tree bandwagon

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If you do custom embroidery and you are not a part of an online group or forum, you just might be missing out on some awesome ideas! This post is filled with things I've made for my family inspired by other stitchers... FROM DOLLAR TREE! That's right folks, grab a $1 item, add some embroidery, and suddenly you have a boutique item!

First up, place mats. Dollar Tree has these in red, white and blue right now. You can find similar place mats at other locations. They will cost more, and probably have a higher quality, but for us this will do. After looking through all of my 8CP fonts with my daughter trying to find a single font that had:
  • a D that was clearly identifiable as D (since Dashiell is VERY into his initial at the moment) 
  • a C that was not too feminine
  • an A that was pretty and pleased Annaliese
  • and a J wasn't boring yet didn't look like an I or a T 
(whew, that's not as easy as you would think!) we settled on Miss Kitty from 8 Claws and a Paw. Honestly it wasn't my first choice (Southern Belle was), but I knew Annaliese would bring it up every time we sat down for dinner, so I went with her first choice. ;) And hey, it was only a $4 experiment!
Next, sunglasses cases! I can't give a source for the font I used for Annaliese, it appeared in my inbox from a friend. :) I love it though, it's like Curlz without the annoying tiny curls! I made Annaliese's a couple weeks ago. Dashiell is starting to notice when I make things for her and not him. This week he told me that he wanted a sunglasses case with his name on it. He insists that his favorite color is dark brown (???) and was quite distraught when I told him that Dollar Tree didn't sell brown sunglasses cases. Oh dear, we talked about this in great length. He finally settled on a blue one with dark brown thread. :) I used Dream from 8CP for his name.
How about a sunhat?? You can find these hats a lots of locations for a variety of prices, but for an experiment for an 8 year old, a $1 hat is PERFECT. I used Pizazz from 8CP to do Annaliese's monogram, and picked purple thread to match her new swimsuit.
Finally, a new beach bag. Dollar Tree is selling these awesome canvas totes! They are a great size and I'm anxious to put it to use.
This design is from Luna Embroidery. LOVE the striped fabric that my mom bought for me when she was here last week!
So what are you waiting for?? Get yourself to a Dollar Tree!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Recent Baby Items

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Tiffany asked me to make a couple items for a shower gift. In this case the parents are keeping the gender a surprise, so we went with a yellow/orange color scheme. The nursery is decorated with a "you are my sunshine" theme, and this is what we came up with:
It pays to be a tester for Lynnie Pinnie! After searching the internet for a cute design and coming up dry, I asked Lyndsie if she would have time to whip something up for me. She did, it's perfect, and now you embroiderers can get the "You Are My Sunshine" design yourself!
Tiffany wanted to reuse the idea she requested WAY back when I just got started. Jackson is the name of the family dog and is sure to be enjoying table scraps soon from this baby! :) The text is Embird Alphabet #18, and the paw prints came from Sew Forum (no longer available).
Kathie bought this adorable little robe to give as a shower gift, and asked me to applique a lion on the back.
 I used Applique Momma's Lion design but only used the head. Would you believe that I used one type of fleece for this lion? It's a marble fleece (used it a couple years ago for a VBS lion craft) and I was able to isolate a bright yellow spot and a bright orange spot. Cool, huh?

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