Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Look what I got from DigiStitches!

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While at Applique Getaway, I had the honor of meeting Jennilee of DigiStitches, and she gave me a special gift!
(oh, and my apologies to Jennilee, I'm confident these were originally packaged with pretty tissue paper and her business card... I restaged this pic a month later :) )
In the bag I found a Monag toddler ruffle tee and baby one-piece.
But look carefully, there is something extra special about these! One of the side seams had intentionally been left unsewn! Jennilee chose me, Me, ME! to test these for her!! Once out of the testing phase these will go into production! EEK!
Check out how much flat work space this provides!
SO EXCITING!
There have been times that I have ripped out side seams in order to ease the process of putting a large design on a small item, but this saves that step!
I first put the toddler ruffle tee to the test. I hooped it the same way I always do (my preferred method is fuse polymesh to inside of shirt, hoop a second piece of stabilizer and use spray adhesive/pins to attach the shirt; you do what works for you). However this was much faster because the open space made it easy to see that my marking lines matched up with the hoop axes. Check out all that open free space at the machine!
From this point I stitched the design as normal (using her I Love Pre-K design) but it was so much easier! At NO POINT did I have to manipulate the shirt to reveal a new part of my hoop, or watch out for the back hem of the shirt which might flop into my stitching area. Now, I couldn't walk away because I had lots of fabric to trim and several thread changes on my single needle :) BUT I was never paranoid and I could multitask!
When it was done, all I had left to do was sew up that open seam. I pinned it together matching all the seams:
I measured the existing serged seam on the other side of the shirt, it was a quarter-inch.
A serger would be helpful, but not required! I took the shirt to my machine and first sewed an exact quarter-inch seam (love that foot with a quarter-inch guide):
Then went back over the edges with an overlocking stitch (a simple zig zag would probably work, too). Final product looks pretty professional!
And here we go, a sweet little tee for a sweet little friend off to her first year of preschool!
What a colorful design, and gotta love those glitter sheets from Hobby Lobby!
I am instantly in love with this concept.
Yes, sewing up the seam is an added step. But the flexibility and reduced stitching stress is SO WORTH IT. I would have dreaded doing this applique (with 7 different elements to trim) the normal way I hoop a traditional tee. This was so much easier.

I cannot wait to give the one-piece a try. I'm going to use DS's Tool Belt. For that design to look best it really needs to stretch across the whole width of the one-piece, but that's hard to hoop! An open side seam is going to simplify the process so much!

Dreaming of 3-6 month sized one-pieces, so when I do my special delivery designs I don't have to do this anymore. Doesn't that raise your blood pressure a bit just looking at it?! I've done nearly 100 of them this way...
In summary...
DigiStitches has partnered with Monag and is putting open side seam shirts into production... more info soon!!! 
Remember, you saw it HERE first!

:)

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of School 2013

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Another school year is here, and my kids are ready!
Oh wait! I promise that's the result of bright sunshine and gnats on the grassy lot outside of school. Let's try again against the building...
Both of my kids were very excited to start school back up today! That is a blessing I do not take for granted. They were also both thrilled with their first day of school shirts that they helped design. Neither are exactly what *I* would have picked in terms of fabrics and threads, but it's exactly what they wanted, and I aim to please my two favorite customers. :)
Annaliese selected East Coast Applique's "Sweet Grade" design. I added "4th" by using the 4 from 8CP's Frills and the th from 8CP's Waiting.
She has two skirts in her closet that we love (great length for her long legs plus they built in shorts) but they are ODD colors and we can't find matching shirts for them. Applique to the rescue! :) Although honestly I didn't have much fabric in my stash to match them either. She decided to pick colors so that it would match BOTH skirts. Whew, that was a challenge but we figured it out!
 Dashiell loved ECA's School is a Blast design. I wish I could have recorded our negotiation session picking fabrics and threads. Green had to go (it's sneaky afterall). It was ok for the pencil to be yellow, but the star could NOT be yellow. So he made that red and insisted that "is" be yellow in it's place. He also wanted a solid red P and not one of my "beautiful" fabrics (I had picked a cool chevron or a cool stripe for him to choose from). So... it's not exactly the most balanced and legible design, but it's what he wanted :)
 And his reaction to the completed shirt made it worthwhile: "Wow Mommy that's great! I could wear that forever!"

Our kids delivered their school supplies in personalized shopping totes:
 Annaliese's classroom is decorated with a baseball theme, so I used ECA's divided baseball (vintage stitch) and 8CP's College Block Small.
Dashiell's teacher likes cherries :) So I went on a hunt for a large single cherry design to use as a patch. I ended up modifying 8CP's Applique Cherries design. I separated out one of the cherries and enlarged it A LOT (like 80%?!) which of course made the satin stitches huge. That's ok, my plan was to delete them anyway and just make it a raggy patch. When I deleted the satin stitches, I noticed the tackdown was a lovely blanket stitch, which worked perfectly! :)  I added her name with 8CP's Janessa.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Why I love Embird, reason #919

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I am not a digitizer. I've dabbled just enough to know I am going to leave that task in the hand of pros. So when a friend asks me to coordinate with a theme or fabric, I start hunting for good designs.
My friend initially asked what owl designs I had for a boy. I shared several of my favorite options. Then she showed me what fabric she was using. I knew I could piece together a really close match! What do you think?!
 I appliquéd the design on a large square of minky and shipped it off. My friend then pieced together the quilt top for her nephew:
The bulk of this design is from one owl, but I added wings from a second and feet from a third. I used so many Embird features... Splitting, rotating, removing stitches. I resized elements, adjusted pull compensation to make the width of all satin stitches the same. Then when I was done the whole thing was slightly too big. So, {gasp!} I did the unthinkable, I resized it all again! So pleased with how well Embird handled it, it turned out great.
(Also a quick shout out to technology. My friend is in Missouri. I was able to send screen shots of the embroidery design for approval, and then I snapped pics of different fabric combos messaging back and forth until we settled on a final decision. Sure, it would have been a bit easier in person, but technology makes it pretty easy to work together though separated by miles and miles!)

Then I worked through it all over again to create a smaller version for a burp cloth. Font is 8CP's Whoa Nelly.
I also put GG Designs' neck tie on a bib! Love this new chevron I bought at Appliqué Getaway!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Four-letter Monograms

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When I found out my nephew was going to have two middle names I started playing with 4-letter monograms. I posted a preview of some ideas in an appliqué group, and received some additional suggestions, too. So I decided to try them all!
For simplicity I used the same font for all of these and picked 8CP's Riddles.  I was looking for a classic looking font for a boy, something more on the tall side, and satin in 1, 2, and 3".  This one fit the bill!
First just 4 initials in a row as they appear in his name
Then a stacked monogram, where the first three initials are about 1" tall and the last initial is 3" tall.
Someone suggested putting the three little initials inside the C. That wouldn't work with every monogram though :)
Another suggestion was put the three little initials horizontally across the larger last initial
I tried an extension of the traditional three letter monogram with first initial on left, the two middle initials on the right, and a larger last initial in the middle. This one simply has the middle initials stacked
And this has them kind of nestled together
It was fun to come up with these options and stitch out samples on functional burp cloths for my nephew. (These were colored cloth diapers I bought over four years ago when my son was an infant but I didn't use them all for him, and they have been sitting here waiting for this project since then.)
I still can't settle on a favorite, what do you think??
But here's the funny thing... They plan to call Ezekiel "Zeke" and there isn't a Z on these anywhere! Ha!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Emily!

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Today we attended a first birthday party, and my gift was a bib for Emily to wear while eating her cake!
Pink ladybug theme, so I merged this together. GG Designs' Chubby Wubby 1, MCA's Ladybug, Jolson's Hand Lettered Floss Stitch font, and one of the flutter trails from That's Sew Grammy's Just Bug Trails set (which is a nice bean stitch, I ended up stitching 2 or 3 times to match the heaving stitching of the floss stitch font).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quick Custom Bib

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This post will be short and sweet!
My friend Tiffany asked me to make a bib for her to give to friends expecting their first baby. Well, first human baby, they already have three dogs that are members of the family, and this bib honors them. :)
It's hard to believe it's been nearly six years since I made the first bib like this that Tiffany requested. The text is Embird Alphabet #18, and the paw prints came from Sew Forum (no longer available). The color scheme is in honor of their favorite sports team. I love making custom things that you can't find on the shelves!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Recent Test Stitching

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Are you ready for football season?
This Touchdown design is new from Lynnie Pinnie. I put it on a stay-put towel for friends of mine who are Auburn fans :)
(My Stay Put towel is loosely inspired by the Topsy Towel tutorial posted on Embroidery Library. In this case I did not applique a square of fabric, nor did I square up the towel. There is a free V-shaped buttonhole design posted on Sew Forum that goes with this tutorial. If you are not a member of SF, it is free to join.)

School starts in less than two weeks and I still haven't done back to school shirts for my kids, but by golly we are ready for St Patrick's Day! ;)
This is Embroidery Boutique's Split Shamrock, and I used her Oopsy Daisy font to add Annaliese's name.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ailynn!

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Today my other little niece turned one, so again I used it as an excuse to try a set of designs that have been sitting in my stash for a while. I love how it turned out!
The candle numbers are from Hooked on Appliqué. This was the first time I have used designs from HOA, and it was digitized exactly like I prefer: single running stitch placement, single running stitch tackdown, double zigzag underlay before satin stitches with great width. Nice coverage, great corners, good sequencing, all around very pleased! I added her name with 8CP's Reba:

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