Thursday, October 31, 2013

Owl LOVE X 2

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Long-time blog followers know that we love owls since it's our elementary school's mascot. :)
Last weekend my daughter's BFF at school had a birthday party, so obviously I was already considering a turquoise shirt with an owl design as our gift. What I didn't factor in was that by deciding to use a new-to-me design, I'd have to make one for my daughter, too, so they could match. Ahhhhh... girls. ;)
Today was Twin Day at school, so the timing was quite perfect!
The Owl LOVE design is from the Itch 2 Stitch. This colorful fabric was the inspiration for the color palette:
We selected 3 coordinating Ta Dots and used the print for the owl. My big hang up was thread colors. I didn't have a perfect dark purple, dark pink or .... whatever that green color is. I did have a good match for the lighter purple dot and lighter pink dot, but not for the green dots in the fabric, every thread I had was too bright. So I decided to shake things up a bit (this is very unlike me) and outline the letters with contrasting colors. WHOA! This is bright!
Can I be honest, I didn't exactly LOVE it. But Annaliese did and still begged me to make a second. I really did not want it to be identical, so we rearranged the fabrics and threads for the second version. Equally as bright!
I will confess though that I'm totally impressed with my fussy cutting fabric placement on the owls!! WOO HOO HOO! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More fall designs...

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I've shared some scarecrows and pumpkins already; here are a couple more fall projects before I move into turkeys :)
Dashiell's beloved preschool teacher loves sock monkeys. I have a few aprons for her that I'm going to do seasonal sock monkey designs on, and first up, one for fall!
I had to get my merge on for this project. Even though DBJJ has a harvest themed sock monkey set, it's not yet available in applique form. So I made up my own! I used a girl from the original Sock Monkey set and merged it on top of a pumpkin from the Harvest Patchwork set. I did quite a bit of editing to simplify (one fabric instead of five, delete some interior satin stitches and let the tackdowns provide detail) and remove the pumpkin stitches under the monkey. I love how this turned out!
I ordered a long sleeved brown shirt for Annaliese earlier in the year, and as long as we live in FL I don't think I'll do that again! By the time it got "cold" enough to wear long sleeves, most of fall is over! I'm hoping a sunflower can endure through the next few months better than wearing a pumpkin or turkey in January. ;)
The sunflower applique is from the Itch 2 Stitch, and I added her monogram with Natural Circle.
I really like this design. Only 2 fabrics, but the petals are outlined with two different colors so it adds a bit of variety, but not a nightmare to trim. :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Shirts 2013

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Yesterday we took a quick trip to a local pumpkin patch!
As of late, virtually all my projects have been centered around testing designs. I love doing that -- getting to pick my very own fabric combos before seeing what other embroiderers do. This project however is the exact opposite, ha! I saw a beautiful pumpkin shirt posted by an I2S customer on Facebook and fell in love -- could not get it out of my head! So I decided to borrow the idea for my kids. Please don't think less of me. :)
The pumpkin trio applique is from I2S. On Annaliese's I used I2S's Fancy Oval monogram and this chevron with purples:
 For Dashiell I used I2S's Natural Circle monogram with the aqua chevron:
I love how these turned out and I hope they still fit next year :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Shirts for the Gulfarium

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Last Sunday we took the kids to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach. It was a beautiful day and a fun end to a busy weekend at Destin.
It also was a great excuse to make a shirt for my son that he had requested a while ago! When I received my copy of the "I Want It ALL!" CD from Designs by JuJu, he saw the shark design on the cover and asked for a shark shirt. I didn't do it right away... but at 10pm the night before we left for Destin. Ha!
He and Annaliese collaborated on this, picking the black/gray TaDot fabric since Annaliese's dolphin shirt used a TaDot print, as well. Without really noticing until I was done, the shark and dolphin are in basically the same position! Crazy, huh?
They had lots of fun and really enjoyed the dolphin show.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy Fall, Y'all!

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This last week it FINALLY felt like fall here in FL. Time to share some cute shirts I've appliqued recently. Pumpkins and Turkeys to come in later posts... for now, how about these adorable scarecrows?!
Numerous I2S customers requested this design be modified for the 4x4 hoop and I jumped at the chance to test them because they were so cute, and I had great small-scale fabrics I wanted to put to use. :) Aren't these adorable?
Scarecrow Boy Happy Fall Y'all design -- I loved using this tiny argyle with the diamond patch on his hat:

and Scarecrow Girl Happy Fall Y'all design -- I've been so anxious to use this brown floral, I thought it was precious and perfect for fall designs!
I knew of two little babies whose grandmothers would probably snatch them right up... and I was right. :) I also made a matching shirt for big sister of one of the babies:
This design is definitely not for the faint at heart, but like many of my favorites, SO worth the effort!
Happy Fall, Y'all!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Awareness Raggy Patch Hats

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This year I was unable to attend our local "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk, but I was able to support a friend! Tarika asked if I could help her team by embroidering hats. She purchased the hats and I made a raggy patch for them that included her team name:

Special thanks to Rachel of EB who modified her free Awareness ribbon for me by converting it to a raggy design. I added the text "Demi Duos" (team name) using 8CP's Kayleigh, which was as close as a match I could find to the font that was printed on their team shirts last year.
I was able to get 6 of these in my 6x10 hoop, so I stitched them all first (hooped tearaway, 2 layers of flannel and one later of gingham on top, a layer of pink floated on the bottom)
Then trimmed them all out and fluffed them up:
Then glued them all down!
Here's a picture of the team from the event taken by the MSABC photographer, Ada Images and Designs (photo used with permission).
This was a fun project to work on and I was delighted to donate my time to a great cause!
However... I'm not really in the business of selling raggy patch hats, so if you are in the market for one, let me give a quick shout out to my friend, Tracy. She answered all my questions and gave me honest feedback when my first patch attempt was too big. :) Her hats are beautiful, click here to see my favorite posted on her fb page Naptime Craft Mommy!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Banner for Miller

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Another baby shower a few weeks ago meant another name banner!
This time though, I went straight to the momma for fabric. Miller's mom is a great seamstress and had made the crib bedding herself. So when I was commissioned to make the name banner (using the Frayed Block Letters from Hang To Dry), I asked my friend Katie for scraps. I figured it would be better to use the exact same fabrics than guess at grays and oranges. And lucky me,  pregnancy brain prevented her from deducing why I asked for it. Ha!
My original plan was to alternate gray and orange, but then when I saw there were three gray/white patterns and one solid orange I decided to try something new. I used orange flannel (instead of white) and orange on the back with the gray prints on the top. I did the quilting in orange, and then when I trimmed, I trimmed the gray closer to the design, leaving an orange border around each letter. It was a bit more tedious, but I really like how it turned out! I tied them all together with the solid orange as well.
Here it is hanging above Miller's crib! The wall was just waiting for the banner :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Not-so-recent Burp Cloths

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I have been a busy girl in the embroidery world, but I'm having a hard time finding time for my blog!
I made these cute burp cloths a while back... I couldn't post pics immediately because they were gifts, and by the time it was safe, well... I just forgot! But I love each of them!
My favorite customer picks such cute designs for me to use on her orders :)
Joshua got Itch 2 Stitch's Sea Turtle Box, and I added his name with I2S's Jack and Jill.
Miller got Savvy Stitches Elephant holding balloon design, and I added the name with I2S's Razzle
and Asara got Embroidery Boutique's Tuscan alpha, and I added her name with 8CP's Southern Belle.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How I Monogrammed a Set of Stockings

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First, I am embarrassed to admit that I have had this project sitting on my table since January. Yes, JANUARY! I agreed to monogram these stockings for a friend back when there was a strong possibility that we might move out of state. When God confirmed that His plan was for us to stay put, there was no longer a rush to get it done... and it continued to get bumped by more time sensitive projects.
But today was the day!
I added the names to these stockings in an amazingly short amount of time... so short that I'm mad at myself for waiting so long. :)
I'm hesitant to agree to monogramming stockings until I can get them in my hands and see how easy they are to lay flat. These fold-down cuffs could be flipped up and maneuvered easily in my single needle (which you will see later) so I proceeded on.
A quick note about the stockings: These were made by the matriarch of the family, who has since passed away. So there was an added amount of pressure to get them perfectly right; I had no room for error. My brain processed for months how I was going to hoop these to ensure the names were straight and all positioned in the same spot. I'm happy to say it was easy and turned out perfectly!
These stockings are not that big, so I planned to use my 4x4 hoop. We picked Embird Alpha #4 (Comic Sans) and I made the longest name (Caroline) 4" wide. The rest of the names were generated at the same settings so they had a consistent size. In the end that makes the short ones (Ray and Lisa) seem a little on the small side when you look at them individually, but I really prefer a consistent look across the board.

The cuffs were all a pretty consistent size (about 7" wide and 2 1/8" tall). So I modified Embird's built in basting stitch to create top and bottom lines that were exactly 2.125 inches apart, with little notches where the center was. That created a nice window for me to be sure the names were visually centered both horizontally and vertically. (For Ashley and Ray I ignored those dangly Ys and visually centered the capital letters; all names had the baseline in the same position.)
Now for the super fast hooping!
Disclaimer: This may not be the most sound hooping technique ever and has potential for error so please practice before using sentimental items!
I hooped sticky stabilizer and ran the placement lines directly on the stabilizer (sorry, I should have used a dark thread so you could see better!):
 
I measured and marked the center of the cuff with a straight pin:
Then I lined up the stocking on my hoop with edge along the stitched line and straight pin at the center notch:
Then I pinned the stocking (outside the stitch area) to the sticky for extra measure and headed back to my machine to stitch the name. (I did remove that center marking pin before hitting start :) )
Here's where the cheap conservation lady kicks in -- I VERY CAREFULLY removed the stocking from the sticky stabilizer WITHOUT unhooping. That sticky stabilizer is still usable!!
I lined up another stocking, floated a scrap of tearaway underneath, pinned the stocking, sticky and floated tearaway all together, and stitched stocking #2!
and #3, and #4, and #5, and #6.... Check out my stabilizer at the end! At this point the stickiness of the stabilizer is basically gone so I would have needed to start over with a new piece of sticky stabilizer. Thankfully I was done. :)
I'm super pleased with how this turned out. Not only was it a fast way of cranking through them, it ensured that every single name was the exact same distance from the bottom of the cuff, centered and straight with no worries!

So there you go. Writing this blog post literally took longer than monogramming the stockings from start to finish. I hope this helps on your next stocking project!





And now a moment for true confessions:
I created the designs, embroidered the stockings, photographed them, edited the pics, wrote and published this entire blog post... and THEN noticed that Ray's name was in fact smaller than the rest. It took me a moment to figure out why, but I remembered that I created his name separate from the rest, and the size settings in Embird must have returned to the default setting without me realizing it. UGH. So I picked out the stitches (which took longer than all of the above combined) and redid the name. Bah. It originally was a fast project... :)

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