Digitizing and Embroidery with my Favorite Things

Hi everyone.  As you probably have noticed, I have not posted in quite some time.  Life can sometimes take over and you have to choose your priorities.

I have been working hard though, so I have lots of information to share with you over the next few weeks.  I have been busy digitizing  a lot of machine embroidered appliques which can be purchased on my website soon.  I wanted to share with you my favorite notions and products and the stitching process of my machine embroidered appliques.  Some posts on digitizing with Bernina’s Designer Plus Software are in the works for posting as well.

Since I digitize my own designs, I have my computer close by with my all time favorite software,  Bernina Designer Plus Version 6.  This software is so powerful and gives you creative capabilities that are amazing.  This software is not just for Berninas and is used by many who own other brands of machines.  In my opinion,  it is the very best.  By the way, if you own or plan to own Designer Plus, the very best book that you can purchase to help you learn the abilities of this software can by found on http://www.creativesewing.com.

And, of course, my Bernina 830 sewing and embroidery machine which by itself,  will knock your socks off.  This particular weekend, my friend Gina trusted me with her 830 so I could get a lot of blocks finished for the quilt I am doing.  You might think that was a good thing,  but now,  after having two 830’s running, I am obsessed with having two of my own.

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I am in love with my Koala Quilt Pro IV sewing center.  The drawers and storage of this center are to die for.  The swing outs are perfect for my computer on one side and tools and such on the other.  I love having my computer close by the machine for making corrections to the designs I have created while I stitch them out.  I stitch my designs many times to make sure they are as close to perfect as I can get them.

Add a nice cup of hot tea on my mug rug and a few bites of candy and I’m sitting pretty.  My friend Belvalee made the mug rug and also the tea carrier which holds several tea bags .  Perfect for your purse.  I think it was made for charge cards, but it”s also handy for tea or coffee packs.

I have two cutting tools that are a must when machine embroidering my applique designs.  My Gingher Double Curved 6 inch embroidery scissors and my Side Hopper Jump Stitch Scissors.

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Those little Jump Stitch Scissors are amazing.  In my future posts,  you will see how I position them to get the perfect snipping of tiny thread tails.  They snip threads so close to your fabric you will be amazed.

I use my Gingher scissors for trimming the excess applique fabric away after the machine tacks it in place.  They cut close to the stitching which is so important in achieving neat and good results to your applique.  Leaving too much fabric extending from the tacking stitch will cause frayed fabric edges in your final stitching because the stitch cannot cover the edges of the fabric.  If you cannot find the scissors in your area, visit my friend Gina on her website http://www.ginasbernina.com and contact her for purchase and shipping.

I also love my Jumbo Hoop for creating large embroidery designs for my quilt blocks.  This embroidery measures 10.5 inches square.  Perfect for a twelve inch block, or a larger block with room for decorative quilting.  I also have embroidered quilting designs available on my site, http://www.kathydrewquiltingandembroidery.com.

That’s it for today’s post.  Future posts will include more of  the tools and products I use,  but more importantly, the stitching process of my embroidered appliques.

Let me know if  these planned future posts are going to be of interest to you and feel to ask any questions you may have or things you would like me to include.

See you at my next post.

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Keepin It Straight

I’ve been working on a few designs for embroidery that will be adorable to use on collars, yokes or hem lines of heirloom dresses.  When I showed the designs to my friend Regina, she immediately planned a beautiful dress and asked me to create 2 yards for the hem  and 18 inches to use in the yoke.  We decided to apply the embroidery to a blank entredeux insertion that is approximately 1.5 inches wide.  It comes in various widths and is great for creating your own bands with decorative stitches from the machine or in this case designs created for the embroidery machine and embroidery unit.Immediately the problem with this product is hooping.   The hoop is too wide to be able to secure the piece on all sides.  There are stabilizers that have a sticky surface that you can load in the hoop and then place the item directly on the sticky surface.  They work very well on many items but, in this case, that type of stabilizer is not a good choice.    The designs I digitize for heirloom sewing are very delicate and are sewn with light weight thread.   Sticky stabilizers could be problematic.

I prefer using a crisp tear away stabilizer, that will tear away from the embroidery smoothly and easily much like a piece of notebook paper.   This stabilizer will make it very easy to remove from our tiny stitches without damaging or breaking the threads.  When removing the stabilizer, I tear from the sides in toward the embroidery and then while supporting the embroidery with my hand, I tear away the remaining amounts of the stabilizer very carefully and gently.  The products I primarily use come from OESD.

One of the things I always do to my embroidery hoops, is mark some centering lines on the top and sides of the hoop.  Place the template in the hoop, and with a permanent marker,  place a mark to represent the vertical center, and the horizontal center.

Load the stabilizer in the hoop keeping it as flat and taught as possible.   Tighten the hoop to prevent shifting during the stitching process.

Place the hoop on a cutting mat and line up the marks placed on your hoop with the lines of the cutting mat.

Now that we’ve lined our hoop up with the straight lines on the mat, we can draw a line down the center of the stabilizer following the line on the mat. The line will definitely be straight and not at an angle.  I use a water-soluble fabric marker instead of pencils or pens to prevent leaving a residue in the embroidery.

Along the area where the insertion will be placed, lightly spray with a temporary adhesive spray.   Don’t over spray and make the surface too sticky and gummy.  My favorite spray is 505 Spray and Fix.

Draw a line down the center of the insertion with a water-soluble marker.

Place the insertion on the hooped stabilizer lining up the lines.

I can now be sure that the design will stitch evenly down the center of the insertion.  Just a few checks at the machine and we’ll be ready to sew.

I like to use a few clamps to hold the excess amount of insertion.

Lets check to be sure the machine will place our design over our center line.  Most machines have the ability to show you where they will place the center of your design.  Use whatever means that is available on your brand of machine.  I have a Bernina 830, so the pictures I am going to show you will be from my personal machine.

After attaching the hoop, I select the icon on my machine that will show the center of the design placement.  It does this by moving the hoop till the machines default center position is below the sewing needle of the machine.

As you can see,  the machine wants to place the center of my design slightly to the left of where I prefer the center to be placed.

I will re-align the machine to place the center where I need it rather than the default centering position of the machine.  I first select the Move Icon on the machine and using my stitch width dial, I turn the dial until my needle is above my drawn center mark.

Now, I am ready to stitch.  Even though we sprayed the stabilizer with 505, it may not be enough to hold the insertion firmly once the embroidery begins.  My embroidery machine has a basting feature which is wonderful for this type of situation.  I’ll choose the basting style that will stitch a boundary box slightly larger than the embroidery.

Now for the embroidery.

I believe we were successful.

And now, the finished product.  Two yards of beautiful machine embroidered insertion.  Just think of the beautiful things you could make with this.  I have a few things in mind myself, but that’s another post.

To see more of my designs, visit my website at www.kathydrewquiltingandembroidery.com

I Couldn’t Help Myself

I had to do it.  I got all inspired and just had to finish the changes on the design shown on the pillow.  I’ll call them improvements.  All stitch outs have been completed,  checked and double checked and I have loaded it on my website for purchase.

Here are the final stitch outs.

A Short Post

Just a short post today.  I think it must be the spring weather and the buttercups and tulips, but my mind can’t seem to stop thinking about heirloom sewing and all the beautiful dresses I made for my daughters when they were small.  I still have each and everyone.  I just couldn’t part with them.   My girls are in their thirties now, and when I made their dresses, I always embroidered them by hand.  My how things have changed.  I still love to hand embroider, but I also love to digitize embroidery and since I love heirloom sewing, I am beginning to digitize some of my designs for those of you who own embroidery machines.  Below is a picture of one of the designs.  I have made some improvements in the design since this pillow was made, but I think you can still see how very delicate it is.  I plan to start adding designs to my website next week.

Hope each and every one of you have a beautiful day filled with the pleasures of spring.

A Quick Update!

Sew Beautiful Magazine has given me permission to post the picture they used in their magazine article featuring designs from my “Baby Chicks and Bows” Embroidery Design CD.   The only thing I can add, is a special thank you to Sew Beautiful and the beautiful model that wore the dress.  She is so adorable.  You can read more about the article in my previous post, Easter Is on It’s Way.

To view these and all the designs I have available for purchase, visit my website at www.kathydrewquiltingandembroidery.com

Little Boy Quacker Embroidery Design CD

Hello Everyone:

Sorry its been such a long time since my last post.  Life sometimes has a way of throwing you curve balls and I have been busy with other things.  Thanks to my laptop and its portability, I have been able to spend some time on digitizing and have finally finished another of my Embroidery Design CDs in my Children’s Line.  Little Boy Quackers is now printed and available for purchase.  I hope you think it’s as cute as I do.

The CD contains Satin Stitched Appliques for the embroidery machine and also digitized backstitch versions.  The multi-color backstitch designs look great as a standalone design and also are great fun to color with crayons.  How fun would that be to embroider and have your children or grandchildren color the design with crayons and then construct those into a quilt.

I also included a single color back-stitch version which is great for redwork,  bluework or any color you wish to use.  They look so precious and are fast to stitch and soft to the eye.

I love sewing garments for children, and have also included small embroidery designs to compliment the appliques.  These designs are adorable accents for  a collar, pocket or sleeve.

I also have included instructions for how my appliques are stitched out with the embroidery machine and also instructions for making the quilt pictured on the front cover.  The instructions are included on your CD either for viewing on your computer or printing.

I hope you think the designs are as cute as I do.  I would love to hear your  ideas for where they could be used.  I need to make more samples, so please, if you have time, give me some suggestions.

I hope to be able to show you Little Girl Quackers  very soon.  The quackers are with the printer and I hope to have them soon.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with me.

Applique on the Embroidery Machine

Hi Everyone.

Just wanted to let you know that I have added a couple of pages to my blog.  One page is Embroidery Techniques and the other is Quilting Techniques.

I just finished adding some instructions with photos of the  process of Applique with the Embroidery Unit of your Machine.  These instructions can be found on the Embroidery Technique page and will  show the different steps in stitching .  I hope you find them helpful and feel free to post any questions  you may have.

 

Co-ordinating Sailboat Applique/copyright 2011