Monday, February 23, 2009

Angels Arrive

Back in mid January, I decided I would participate in FatCatPattern's Angel Baby Block Swap. Well they arrived late last week and they are all so great! I have to admit, this was my first block swap in all the years I have been sewing.

Something about the angels stirred me to action and I am so glad I did. I swapped 7 angels and kept 2 (of the worst) of mine. Here are the 9 angels I hope to make into a quilt. The top right angel did not photograph too well but it is really precious. It's too hard to choose a favorite!

I encourage all those that have not participated in a block swap to go ahead and try one! Take a look at Sindy's upcoming swaps at FatCatPatterns.com

Thanks for stopping by!
~*~Trish~*~

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Machine Applique - Testing precut shapes

Over the past several days / week, I've been trying to work on applique completed using the embroidery machine. My first attempt was to have the outline sewn down by the embroidery machine and then trim the fabric myself in the hoop and then continue on with the applique. I'm going to need a lot of practice with trimming this way.

After some research, I see that some people print out the outlines first and then cut their fabric prior to going to the embroidery machine. So, I gave it a try. Mind you, the scrap fabrics and colors are clashing since I'm using leftovers for practice. I also picked a very basic shape but one with several corners.

First I printed out the shape using the embroidery program and then I cut out the star shape with pink fabric. I used a piece of double sided tape to keep the fabric from moving while I was cutting it out. I guess you could use pins, adhesive spray, etc.


First, the design outline was stitched by the embroidery machine. I then placed adhesive spray on the star and placed it very carefully over the outline and started the machine on it's stitch down layer.


Finished the zig zag sew down layer and then on to satin stitching it down. The satin stitch seemed to pull in and cover any smaller miscuts.




I placed some text over the star to see how that is handled over applique. Probably should have positioned it a little bit better or decreased the size to not have overlap.


Not too bad, but need lots of practice.
Thanks for stopping by
~*~Trish~*~

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day Card

I love combining crafts to create items. This time it's embroidery and cardmaking. I searched for the perfect heart pattern and found this heart at abc embroidery designs. I knew this was going to be on my card the moment I saw it.

I started to stitched it out and ran into my first bobbin thread ending. It made a little mess but I kept on going. It's easy for me to find but the hubby did not find it. I used it in my explanation of why I love and appreciate him so much. He does not see my issues and faults and only sees the big picture. I'm sure my crafty friends can find it. I also used two contrasting reds for a reason to comment on how different we are but complement each other.

I then cut it out in a square size a smidgen smaller than my cardstock. Placed double-sided tape on the back and placed it on the top section of my card.

Then I placed half inch strips around the corner to hide the edges and double-taped them down and trimmed around the heart. I finally adhered the corners with rhinestone tacks and there you have it.

Hope you enjoy your valentines day! I got a gift card to Joann's so I'm very happy.

Thanks for stopping by
~*~Trish~*~

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baby gifts and Doberman Quilt

Time flies when you are having fun. I'm been testing out some photo frames I purchased from A time to stitch on the Janome MB-4. It's been lots of learning but fun.

Now I find that this new hobby has me searching the Internet for all the "free embroidery" files out there. There are sooo many, I could spend hours out there. Here's one of the frames I purchased. The flash on the camera washed it out some. I also graphically modified the last name to remove a few letters for publishing on the blog :-)



On the Janome embroidery machine, it comes with 10 fonts. I ordered some baby blankets and finished my first embroidered name.

I used wash away stabilizer but I'm not sure if I did it correctly. I placed it on the back and embroidered the name. Then I took a damp down towel to the stabilizer to remove. It came off, but left a large amount of sticky/stiff residue on the blanket.

I ended up having to wash the blanket. It finally fixed the sticky/stiff area but I'm hesitant to wash a blanket after it was embroidered for a gift. Any quick hints out there on how to cleanly remove the washable sizing without having to wash the whole item? Here's the blanket...


Doberman Quilt


Here's what inspired this new embroidery hobby. I was working on a donation quilt for the doberman assistance network which rescues and places dobermans. When I had my friend Rachel embroider the center block. Over the last week, I've finished all the pieces to place together the quilt top. It has applique, embroidery and photo collages.

You can see, I finally (after several years) have given up on using straight pins to pin the quilt sandwich. I finally purchased some bent safety pins. Seemed to go rather quickly. We'll see how this goes trying to quilt the top. That's a lot of pins....

Thanks for stopping by
~*~Trish~*~

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wow - What a win! Congrats Steelers

Superbowl Champs!

The Steeler.com website says it best! Pittsburgh Steelers are the Superbowl XLIII World Champions! Wow, what a game!

Learning Embroidery - Quick Change Thread and Stabilizers

When I purchased the Janome MB-4, I realized there was probably going to be a lot to learn and it would take a lot of reading to understand how to work it. I'm happy to say that I'm doing well with learning the machine.

Changing Threads - I don't know about you but I'm starting to dread threading a needle. Some of the "auto needle threaders" available don't help either. The best trick I learned with this machine so far is for when changing thread. I'm sure this is well known already but when I changed thread on my sewing machine, each time I rethreaded the whole thing.

When you are ready to use an additional thread color outside of your 4 active available bays, you cut the thread closest to the spool you are removing and then tie it to the thread of the new spool. Loosen the tension and pull the new thread through the thread path down to the needle for the quick color change. Beats rethreading the whole thing.

Stabilizers - Boy there are so many types. I'm just getting experience on some of them lately. In the past, I've only used stabilizer on the backs of T-Shirts to stiffen for quilting. Lately I've been introduced to wash-away and "stitch and tear" stabilizer. Both work well for clearing leftover stabilizer.


I found this stabilizer cheat sheet on Nancy's Notions website that was very helpful!


Thanks for stopping by!

~*~Trish~*~