Friday, July 26, 2013

Applique Getaway 2013

When I started this blog over six years ago, it simply was my online scrapbook so I could record my projects for my own benefit and to share with our moms. So I've decided to tackle my Applique Getaway experience in that same vein... this is just going to be my personal diary entry about my fabulous experience. :) And it's two weeks late because it's taken me that long to compose my thoughts about its awesomeness and recover from my long road trip! I'm confident I have forgotten great details, and I didn't take nearly as many photos as I expected. Text is chronological, pictures are not, just woven in to go with my story. :)

Friday morning I pulled into the DFW area. My aunt and uncle live in Plano, so my mom drove down to stay there and watch my kids while I headed to Frisco for the Applique Getaway... Over 48 hours kids-free! After getting them settled and giving hugs, I was on my way!

My first stop was the Love Field Airport to pick up my virtual BFF Kaycee. We "met" and have interacted in various applique groups and forums over the years. We seemed so much alike and have become genuine friends, it was fantastic to actually meet in person! We headed to the Westin Stonebriar to check in, grab lunch and catch our breath before the activities began. We happened to see Mrs. Lynnie Pinnie herself and gave her a big hug. At that moment, I had accomplished my main goal, meeting Kaycee and Lyndsie! Everything after that was just gravy. :)
We decided to check out the grounds and ran into Whitney of That's Sew Grammy and Sara Ann of Pick and Stitch at the pool. I ended up having several opportunities to visit with these two throughout the weekend, such sweet and down to earth ladies!
Janna (fellow LP tester) came by our room late in the afternoon, it was such a delight to meet her and chit chat a bit. She gave us a ride to a dinner, a gathering of several volunteers at a Tex-Mex place. It was neat to walk in and hear, "I would recognize you in a group of 100 people, Janay!" (It was the first of many experiences being recognized. I was not prepared for that aspect of the weekend at all!) Met several fun people: Lori, Kendra, Tracy, Laura, Amanda (plus adorable son and husband), Shannon and Bradley, and had lots of laughs. (I didn't get any decent pictures though!)

When we finally got our bills we dashed back to the convention center to help set up. Even though we were "working" it was SO FUN to meet people -- fellow stitchers who inspire and educate and commiserate with each other on a daily basis online. I am hesitant to list the volunteers there, I know I am leaving out a TON! Joanett, Amy, Faye, Ivannia, Kelli, Rhonda, Teri, Chanda... (again, I didn't take any pictures as we were filling goody bags, helium balloons, etc)
I got to meet some of my all-time favorite digitizers, I was beyond giddy! I met Cristy of The Itch 2 Stitch:
and Rachel of Embroidery Boutique.
I loaned Rachel a couple garden flags to add to her part of the sponsor digitizers' display.
Also met Lynnell, one of EB's testers. We have followed each others' blogs for a long time! I didn't get a picture with her, sniff sniff...
Towards the end of the night I met Nicole! Another gal whose blog I have followed for years. She is such a fabulous seamstress, I've often wished she lived next door. She taught a sewing basics class at AG.
That night I also had the opportunity to give Lyndsie a custom made baby gift in person! That was so exciting. I'd been dying to show it to her. (More on that here.)
Saturday morning we were up bright and early to help get AG off to a good start.  Those manning the registration table were ready to go early:
so they starting checking attendees in as they arrived, which was great --when the doors to the vendor room opened at 10am they could just walk in! There was never much of a line at the registration tables, which was such a blessing.
Here we are, ready to roll! Chystyna, Cristy, Me, Lyndsie, Kaycee and Janna!
When the classes started, I first volunteered in the class taught by Jennilee of DigiStitches. It was SO NEAT to meet her.
She and her buddy Teresa taught together and they were a fun pair! I learned a few things (mostly that I have significant multi-needle and hooping technique envy) and got to throw candy and goody bags to active class participants. She also debuted a new product that might be coming out under her own brand, and gave me, ME! a couple to bring home and try out. More on that soon. :)
I played gopher (running to find batteries, bags of ice...) grabbed some lunch, then and headed to my next volunteer stop, Lyndsie's class for single needle owners. Even though she has been doing embroidery for years and has a multineedle machine, she remembers her 4x4 single-needle days and still has a heart for those just starting out. She gave good tips for how to hoop challenging items and instilled confidence in those with machine limitations. Afterward I was able to do some troubleshooting with gals that have similar machines to me, that was neat!

A little more gophering to help track down a missing software dongle :) and then I sat in on Lyndsie's digitizing demonstration. It was amazing to watch her create a design from start to finish, and confirmed that I'm just going to leave digitizing to the pros!!

Throughout the day I did browse briefly in the vendor room. I avoided the machine dealers (no sense in drooling over things I can't have), quickly perused the blank suppliers (sadly Annaliese is now too big for the A-lines, ruffle pants and knit dresses I saw) and lingered in the fabric booths. I didn't go TOO overboard buying fat quarters from All Stitched Up by Angela and The Fabric Cobbler.

The Meet-n-Greet that evening probably turned out to be my favorite part of the whole weekend. Yummy food and fun company! Towards the end of night I was sitting between Jennilee and Cristy, and around the table and at the next were more of my favorite digitizers and embroiderers! It was hard to not be totally star struck!
I got to talk to Whitney about a special digitizing project she is working on for me. It was cool to be able to bring a couple of my test stitchouts with me and discuss progress in person. She is doing a valiant job on such a detailed request... can't wait to show off the final product when it's all done!

One of the gals around the table that I haven't mentioned yet is Sheila of Savvy Stitches. It was so neat to meet her! We "met" a few years back, both testers for LP and bloggers. We've participated in the same fb group, and been fans of each other pages. She's moved on to digitizing and I really enjoy the designs of hers that I've used. I was excited to meet her, but the crazy thing is she seemed just as excited to meet me! So fun!
When the hotel employees kicked us out of the restaurant, we headed to the pool. I really enjoyed the time spent with Kaycee, Amy and Ivannia just chit chatting. Also met three other girls who were there for the Getaway, too. Here's a pic of me and Amy... she reminds me SO MUCH of a friend from my college days!
I didn't sleep the greatest that night, up late chatting with my roomie (we really are a lot alike!) and up early, too excited to sleep. Even though Sunday was our non-volunteer day, we popped down early to make sure we weren't needed, and milled around with the other volunteers that were there. These gals are a hoot:
I attended Whitney and Sara Ann's class that walked through the applique process start to finish. Even though I've been doing applique for years and have perfected my own technique, it is always insightful to hear how others do it and pick up little new tips. They did a great job teaching together. Alas, I didn't win the new laptop they gave away. ;)
The second class I attended was Applique Innovations, sharing three cool products that you can use in applique projects, taught by Sue Sews herself and her daughter. They were a fun pair as well! After the class I spend some time browsing their booth. I didn't end up buying anything there but came home armed with a coupon to do some online shopping (they had actually sold out of some cool products demoed in their class). I got to chat a bit with Katie (one of Sue's daughters and EB tester) she's a sweetie!
There was a lot of hustle and bustle at the very end of the day, the vendors had to pack up and get out pretty quickly. I chatted with Cristy a bit more as I helped take down Just Sew Pretty's display (Toby was still teaching. I never did actually meet her...) I helped Monogram Market pack up their booth and missed the final door prize drawings. No worries, Kaycee had my ticket number and it was never called. :) There were some amazing prizes that would have been fun to win, but really, interacting with all my online friends was prize enough! Macy's mom made an amazing cake to celebrate Laura's birthday, so I had a huge slice (aka my lunch) before giving final hugs and heading back to my aunt's house.

The coolest, most unexpected part was being stopped over and over again by people who recognized me from my blog, FB page, groups or forums, and wanted to thank me for my posts and for answering questions. I do occasionally get a random email or comment on my blog, but I was overwhelmed by all the in-person feedback I got at Applique Getaway. Prior to AG Lyndsie told me that she had gotten several emails asking if I was teaching a class, and several more asked me in person at AG. ME! THAT blew me away. Sounds like I might have a teaching slot next year though... what do you think I should do?! EEK! Next year. I already can't wait. :)

Oh, hold on, there's one more little thing. Another digitizer that I've become close to wasn't able to attend Applique Getaway due to their recent adoption, the timing just didn't work out for them this year. But my journey home from AG took me near their home, so I stopped by to meet Joe and Julie of 8 Claws and a Paw! We had a delightful time talking in person, and it was neat to meet all of their new kids.
Whew! So there you have it! My Applique Getaway experience. I loved every minute of it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monthly Milestones, ninja style!

Have you ever had a fantastic idea eight days too late? I did, and BOY was I mad at myself!! I whined about it to a friend who encouraged me not to abandon the idea but get creative. I'm so glad I did, I LOVE how this turned out!
The Ninja Numbers are from Lynnie Pinnie, I've already blogged about them a bit here. When I had the opportunity to test the 4" #1 design, I put it on a bib thinking some day it could make a good first birthday bib for someone. I wanted to test a few more, but had no project in mind, so I just stitched them on cutaway stabilizer. I had a passing thought of making them monthly milestones, but who would I give them to? I dismissed it pretty quickly.

Then eight days later I realized I knew EXACTLY who I could give them to!!! Lyndsie of Lynnie Pinnie herself! She's due very soon with a little boy. She digitized the set of numbers inspired by one of my projects, I tested them for her, and put them on bibs for her son! How perfect would that be?!
So I rehooped the #1 and stitched "month" across it. (I hadn't left myself enough space to put it below.) I used 8CP's Chinese Take Away for the text.
Next I had to deal with the five numbers I had stitched on stabilizer. I first fused HNBL on the back. Then I carefully trimmed away the stabilizer as close as possible without snipping any of the satin stitches.
Then I opened my software. I deleted every element of the design except for the placement and tackdown stitches. I hooped bib, ran placement stitches, laid the number down as perfectly as I could, and then tacked it down.
It wasn't as perfect as I had hoped, but it got the job done. If I could do over, I would have taken the time to use matching thread instead of white (was thinking it would look like a cool top stitch, but that's only true if it's perfectly lined up ;) ). I stitched the word "months" under it. When it was done and cleaned up I pressed from the back to activate the HNBL fusing the design to the bib.
Once those were done, I was halfway through!
Bibs #5, 8 and 9 were very straight forward:
But 10, 11 and 12 required more work of course!
For #10, I used the #1 from 8CP's Big Applique set, and flipped LP's #0 so the bandana overlapped. I did some design editing to remove underlay stitches. I would never let Lyndsie see the embroidery file (what a mess!) but the final product was great!
For #11, I couldn't use the #1 ninja number design, it just wasn't going to work the way the one was shaped. So I used two of the Big Applique 1's and put a mask over it.
For #12 I started off making it like the #10 but quickly realized I couldn't simply mirror the 2 design to get the mask to overlap the 1, that made the two backwards ;) So I separated out the eye mask, mirrored it, and did some scooting/rotating to get it lined up as perfectly as possible.
This project was SO FUN, and I couldn't wait to give it to Lyndsie! It was such an honor to meet her and deliver the gift in person on Friday night as we were setting up for Applique Getaway:
Now I can't wait to see the monthly milestones modeled once Jacoby arrives!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More Garden Flags

This blog post comes to you while on a road trip! This past weekend I attended the Applique Getaway (which was a blast!!! More on that in a future post.) and I have gotten to visit a lot of family members. In anticipation of this adventure I made a couple garden flags. If you happened to attend Applique Getaway, you may have seen them in the vendor room among the sponsor digitizers' display with Embroidery Boutique's items (they feature her Split Tuscan Applique Alphabet). How cool is that?!
The first garden flag was for my aunt and uncle who live in the DFW area. They hosted my mom and kids while I attended the Getaway. I was SO THANKFUL for that, it made it possible for me to go! I was able to give this to them on their anniversary! I used 8CP's Tuscan Sun font to add their last name.
The second flag was for my aunt and uncle who lost their home in the Moore OK tornado in May. They recently closed on a beautiful home, and I was able to deliver this housewarming gift in person!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The perfect dolphin!

We bought this skirt last summer for my daughter and I have just been completely uninspired to make a shirt to match. A couple months ago we picked up this new 2013 MM Ta Dot because the colors were perfect, but it's just been sitting on my shelf waiting... until last week! I had the opportunity to test this dolphin design for Embroidery Boutique.
What do you think of my fence picture?! I used to just lay Annaliese's outfits on a piece of fabric on my bed to snap pics, but her clothes are getting too big to do that without standing on a ladder. :(
This design is simple, 2 fabrics, quick stitch. But it's perfect!
Annaliese loves it! Look how tall she is...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Raggy Patch Monogram Hats

I jumped on the raggy patch monogram ball cap bandwagon a couple weeks ago, and am just now getting around to posting pictures. Still perfecting my technique, but so far I like them!

I digitized a triple bean stitch oval, and used 8CP's Monogram 3 on these three hats. First one for myself:
One for Amanda who taught my children's swim lessons:
And one for Marci who did us a nice favor today :)
And this hat I am SUPER excited to wear LATER THIS WEEK at Applique Getaway!
The coordinators provided an applique design of the logo, and when we arrive with it stitched on an item, we get entered into a drawing for an amazing prize! I decided to put the design on a hat, and I'm hoping the fabric I picked matches my volunteer shirt. I'll find out Friday! EEK! FRIDAY!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Recent Monogramming

We have had more than our fair share of stormy weather the last few weeks! I haven't accomplished much other than some straightforward monogramming. And I apologize in advance for the lackluster photos...

In general I really like the Natural Circle monogram, but the left D bugs me. I've used it before for Dashiell, but now that he is older he probably would not accept the backwards D. The O actually looks more like a D, so I cobbled together my own mockup of a modified D and asked Itch 2 Stitch if she could create an alternative. I love the results!!
Tracy bought this cute dress and asked me to monogram it. She picked 8CP's Tinker Toy. It looks super cute on her!
Stripes make me nervous, so to insure I didn't get it crooked I stitched a line on stabilizer, then attached the dress with spray adhesive and pins, lining up a stripe on the dress.

Worked as well as possible!

Katie made these adorable A-line dresses and asked me to monogram them.
On the blue striped seersucker I used 8CP's Monogram 3
And on the gray dot I used Katelyn's Kreative Stitches' Elegant Monogram
When Brooks was a baby his grandmother asked me to monogram a blanket purchased at the hospital, and now that little Caden is here I have monogrammed his, too, using 8CP's Jane Doe
At Caden's baby shower, one of the hostess's mom had monogrammed several little items for a bunting on the mantle, such a cute decoration! His grandma bought 2 matching polos for big brother Brooks and asked me to monogram them to match. I used Jolson's Hobo Mini font.
And finally a burp cloth using Appliqué Momma's Sports Patch Design and 8CP's College Block Small. Had to get a touch of applique in this post! :)





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