Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monogrammed Blanket Wedding Gift

Brett contacted me about monogramming a blanket. He had used the blanket in his engagement proposal to Courtney (you can read the sweet story here), and now wanted to surprise her on their wedding day by having special dates embroidered in each corner. I could NOT say no to that!! Like my husband and me, they are high school sweethearts and have a long history together (as you can tell by the dates below). It was a honor to do this for them.
One corner has their last initial, first names and wedding date:
And the other three corners are significant dates in their history:
I picked Corinthia Script from Katelyn's Kreative Stitches. Elegant yet legible, it included numbers and the ampersand in the sizes I needed for the project. It stitched beautifully!
Congratulations Brett and Courtney! May the Lord grant you a long and happy marriage as you serve him together!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Teacher Gifts 2014

This year everyone got a kitchen towel!
I gave Annaliese's teachers a monogrammed Stay-Put towel:
I cranked out 14 of these! I like to give a token of appreciation to each of the special area teachers that Annaliese interacts with on a weekly basis.
 I used I2S's Intertwined Vine for their last initial.
(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.)

I also made a Nameflake ornament for her two classroom teachers:
For the preschool staff I gave out the various holiday towels I had stitched throughout the fall. (Full design details can be found here)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baby Gifts

Here are a few baby gifts I haven't shared yet. First a set for baby Kylie:
Her grandma ordered this set requesting elephants and purple/aqua/gray color theme. Both elephants are from DBJJ's Roly Poly Elephant set.
For the hooded towel I used 8CP's Dancer to add her name. Her crib bedding has gray chevron so I was excited to find this ribbon!
and for the burp cloth I used EB's Chevron Circle Monogram, I thought it was a perfect pairing with the ribbon.
Here's burp cloth for Cruz:
I used I2S's Dino and Oscar font. I love this little wavy striped fabric :)
 And this burp cloth for Molly:
I used I2S's Jeremiah 29:11 add a name design, I added her name with Inspiration.

Getting my merge on!

You know your embroidered work has made an impression when a new dad sends his mother a text saying, 
            Can u have the lady make one that says:            I love Tom Boy days with DADDY!
Ha! So Melissa and I got to work. She bought the bodysuit and I merged together the design!

The inspiration was a little outfit they already had, but Daddy wanted his own version for his girl. How sweet is that?!

I used I2S's Pigtails for the pink lettering, 8CP's College Block Small for tomboy and 8CP's Cherry for Daddy. I thought it came together quite nicely!
Earlier in the fall Michelle said something along the lines of "I'm such a sucker for my grandkids, I need a shirt that says that!" I knew just the design we could modify to make that a reality!
I started with I2S's Sucker for Love design, but changed up the text using Behind These Hazel Eyes. I was pleased with the results, I love aqua/red/pink together!

Holiday shirts with creative hooping

When you look at these two shirts, what do they have in common?
Besides the fact that they are holiday Lynnie Pinnie designs, that I tested, on 4T shirts, for my son. Ok, there's a lot in common, ha! But there's something else in common... can you see it?

These designs fall in the category of "off center" designs. The cape on Super Ginger
and the tail on Heart Monster
cause the body of the character to be off center. Placing these on shirts can be tricky so you have to pay attention. One strategy for good design placement is to scoot the design over in the hoop so it looks centered. But with both of these designs they completely fill the width of the hoop and there is no room to do that. Instead of taking these 5x7 designs into my 6x10 hoop (which would waste a lot of stabilizer), I hooped the shirts off center to compensate.

You can print templates, trim out the design, lay it on your shirt where it looks right, and then hoop your shirt. But I don't like to waste paper (oh who am I kidding, it's the ink I don't want to waste), instead I use my template to help me place my design.

I look at the design carefully in my software (I use Embird). I decide where I think the visual center of the design is (red line) and compare it to the actual design center (black line). For the Super Ginger design, the center of the head is about 14mm to the right of the vertical axis:
and the center of the monster's body is about 11-12 mm to the right of the vertical axis:
SO... what I do is find the center of my shirt, and then adjust where I lay my hoop template down. Instead of putting the axis of my template directly on my shirt's center line, I move it over to the left the appropriate amount. It looks weird to hoop your shirt off center, but in the end, the design looks perfectly placed!
I haven't gotten a good picture of my son in his monster shirt yet, but here he is in his Super Ginger shirt. Now that Christmas is past, we do not run the risk of you telling him his shirt is funny or cute. It is not funny. It is not cute. It is cool. Got it? COOL. Very important distinction. Remember that for next year if it still fits him. ;)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Seriously BIG Applique Name Pillow

I have only made a couple of appliqué name pillows (Kylie and Kenzie). I've wanted to do one for Annaliese but joked that hers would be the size of a body pillow since her name is so long, ha!
Then I realized she had a sad, OLD body pillow on her bed that could use a facelift. Or replacement!! So for Christmas I surprised her with a new body pillow!
I bought this super soft pillow cover at Walmart. They didn't have a lot of color options, but this worked perfectly with the current quilt on her bed. While I would have loved to use nine different fabrics, the reality is a) I would never be able to decide on nine different fabrics, and b) my mom made this quilt as a high school graduation gift for me (ahem, 20, yes TWENTY!! years ago) so nothing in my fabric stash was really going to work anyway. I did however have this one perfect fabric that had all four colors from the quilt incorporated in it, so it won!

Next I had to pick a font. I wanted something with some curls and whimsy. I wanted lowercase letters. I wanted the A to be at least 6" tall. And I wanted zig zag stitch because frankly I WAS OUT OF TIME. I started this after 8pm on December 23. Not so smart for a Christmas gift. :) But Embroidery Boutique's Swirly Applique Alphabet fit the bill! So I got to work.

First I merged it all together in Embird. Thirty-three inches wide! I intentionally placed the letters at varying heights so I didn't have to worry about precise placement on this multihooping project.
Then I saved the design in four 6x10 hoopings: An - na - lie - se. I printed templates, taped them together and laid it on the pillow. Here's an in progress picture after two hoopings:
If I were to do this project again, I would take out the side seam on the pillow and then sew it back up. But I really wanted to get to work and wasn't sure I had the time to mess with that. So I did all four hoopings by turning the pillowcase inside out and stitching through the zipper opening on one end. (I should have gotten a picture of that!) A magnified version of doing a onesie, but with LOTS of extra bulk. :)
I did use three different thread colors for the zig zag stitch. And one thing I did to save myself some headache... I waited and trimmed the letters after the zig zag was done. I had such a hard time getting the hoop on in the first place that I didn't want to mess with taking it off and on. So I had to trim carefully to not snip the zig zag stitch. Thankfully the plush factor of the minky-like pillowcase is very forgiving.
And I'll admit it was NOT fun removing the tearaway on the inside. I wish my 6x10 hoop gripped polymesh better, it just doesn't stay taut for some reason.
But it was all worth it because her reaction was priceless. It was one of her favorite gifts!
I don't think anyone could pay me enough to do this again. But as an embroidery friend pointed out, surely I'd do it again for Annaliese. :) If she wants a new one someday with new bedding, I'm sure she could talk me into it. But not anytime soon!!

Sweet Matching PJs

Oh boy, do I love how these turned out!!
These PJs are from the ARB Blanks Valentine's Preorder. They are SO SOFT. I love the quality.
I decided to use one of the lovely heart designs from the December set of designs from The Applique Club. And I finally used this remix zig zag fabric that I ordered last fall. Yay!
I used the 6x10 size on Annaliese's PJs:
and the 4x4 size on Anna's PJs:
I hadn't told Annaliese that I ordered these for her, so they were a complete surprise when she unwrapped them Christmas morning. She put them on, then developed a headache and slight fever, and ended up taking a nap Christmas afternoon :(
I did get a quick picture of them together on my phone, but she's not quite as perky as usual :)
Now I'm anxious for the Spring PJs to arrive! I ordered a set of blue for Dashiell and lavender Annaliese/Anna. I need to start brainstorming design ideas now so I'm ready to go when they arrive.

Misc Monogramming, the applique edition

And here are a random assortment of things I monogrammed this fall, with applique!
I got to test a new applique alphabet for EB. I really didn't have time to do it, but when I saw the preview image of the T I made time -- pretty Ts that don't look like Js are hard to come by! I love the way my monogram looks in this font!
Happy Day Scribble Alphabet is a quick stitch since it's not satin stitch. I really like this style, this is currently my favorite shirt.
A while back Cristy added an alternate left D to the Natural Circle embroidery font, and now the I2S Circle Monogram applique set has been updated as well! I tested it for her on a turtleneck for Dashiell, and miracles of miracles he has actually worn it! ;)
Mid-fall there was an I2S customer having troubles with a particular design so I wanted to sew a sample in effort to troubleshoot with her. I considered the season, the letter and my stash of blanks and realized Sawyer was the perfect candidate for my project. I was able to help a customer and he got a cool shirt to wear while cheering on the Noles!
 This is I2S's Football Applique Alphabet, beautiful as always!
Dashiell's little friend had a birthday party recently, so I used 8CP's Snowflake Monogram on this little shirt for her
This sparkly fabric is perfect for snowflakes!
 A coworker of my husband is going to have a baby boy very soon. He will be named after his grandfather and father, so as the third they are going to call him Tripp. I made this monogrammed set as a shower gift:





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