Showing posts with label embroidery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label embroidery. Show all posts

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Adding Paint to Hand Embroidery

Design (mine is slightly modified) is from Green Bean Baby's Etsy shop
 I've never added anything to hand embroidery aside from the thread, but I'm branching out!  The finished sample on Etsy had some color added, and my piece looked all wrong with just the lines of red thread for the hair.  The others from Green Bean looked fine to me without additional color, but this one needed more.
Off I went, down the crafting rabbit hole, to find a way to save the already half-embroidered piece.  The short and sweet is that I wasted too much time and money before contacting one of my artsy bloggers, Tiny Rotten Peanuts, for ideas on fabric paint.  She suggested a few things including Jacquard Textile paint which I ended up using.  Jacquard's True Red and colorless extender were the final choices to get the red here.   

I wanted the extender to make the color less opaque.  That didn't happen, but the extender did make the paints bleed less.  That was really important since I had already embroidered the hair outline. 

Once the painting was finished, I realized that the red thread practically disappeared in the paint.  Black would have worked better around the painted area.  Rather than pick all the red thread out, I weaved Christmas Red Fuzzy Stuff thread which is literally fuzzy thread with gold metallic pieces in it.  You can see it in this photo.

Love the end result. Being that she looks like a bit of a hussy, I gave her gold bead earrings along with a bead on the bodice.  

Lessons learned:
  • Never use water with the paint because it will bleed (unless you want that effect).
  • Sharpies don't hold their color in the wash.  In fact, of all the products I tried, Sharpies were the worst for bleeding and failing in the washing and drying tests.
  • Mix more than you think you will need and find a tiny container to save some extra in case you miss a spot--not that I have any experience with that.  That giant carrot top was a design choice--really.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I have a blog?

Holy crap!  I almost forgot about the blog.  Nah, not really.  I've just moved the blog down on the to-do list because it was sucking up too much time.  BUT I got some sewing finished that I want to share cuz it's so freakin' cute.  As it turns out, the way to get me into the sewing room is to tell me the recipient's mom is three centimeters dilated.   
 Taggy blanket, pacifier holder, burp cloths, and bib finally finished! 
Got that fairy centered nicely on the bib!
Something tells me IdaMae Catherine (named for a great grandma or something
 like that) will NOT be finding her name on any personalized
merchandise; so I've embroidered it on a few pieces.
I used some of the fairy fabric for the back of the
burp cloths.
Brian says he doubts the parents will recognize this quote from The Hobbit.
Who on earth hasn't read the book or seen the movie??? In any case, I think
the quote is more than appropriate for always-hungry new babies.
Blanket is about 35 inches square with a soft flannel lining,
And the newby's name embroidered on a corner.
My first pacifier holder was quick and easy with the snap
setter and some little clips I got online.
An update for those who sew:  Sometimes we forget or maybe never realize how much our work is worth.  In the spirit of helping sewers appreciate the value of their work, I looked on Etsy to see how much items using similar quality fabrics and embellishment would cost. 34" square embroidered taggy blanket: around $45, pacifier holder: $5, 2 terry backed embroidered burp clothes:  $24, bib: $11.  That about $85! 
Have to share a photo of our neighborhood's summer guest siting on our fence post.   
He was the talk of the town stalking bird feeders (not for seed either), resting on mailboxes, decks, and lawns, using low lying tree limbs as a dining table for his squirrel and chipmunk feasts.  His habit of eating just outside the second floor windows led me to think he preferred company when dining.  He has apparently moved on as juvenile hawks usually do.  We are all sad and miss him--especially Brian who has noted an increase in the number of squirrels that tend to file their teeth on our siding.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who Has the Cutest Towels?

I do!
It has been pointed out to me that you're supposed to make a hooded towel on which to place these designs.
I know!  I like this way, though.  It's easier to make, looks cute, and is easy to fold.  Just try making one of
those hooded towels look nice on a towel rack.  

Are they not the cutest things?  I should have waited for better lighting, but I wanted to get this post up before it got lost in my busyness.  

 I've been playing with the washcloth ears.  They can stand up really well like the one below if you fool around with folding the washcloth more snugly. 

These were supposed to be appliqued, but the pattern doesn't have the level of directions I would need to do that.  I have no idea how to cut out the fabric to fit!  I like my version without the applique just as well in any case.

I also changed the colors a bit.  The design calls for the upper lip to be black, but I like the pink. The eyelashes are supposed to be gray, but, as you can see, I used black.

 I'd tell you where I got this, but I cannot find anything on my computer with that information!  I thought it was an Etsy shop, but there is no listing for it on my account.  If you really want it, let me know.  I'll go through my PayPal account to see if I can find the info.

UPDATE:  I hear from a few faithful commenters that my comment section is out of order.  Yup, it is, and I am having a fun time trying to fix it.  If you need info on the towels, email me.  Hopefully that is still working.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yes I Did Finish the Arrested Development Embroidery

Just a few minor changes from Janalyn's original pattern.  
Love it--both the show and the embroidery.  This has been hanging in my son's room for a couple of months now where I have periodically tried getting decent pics of it.  The valuable lesson learned was to take photos of things framed with reflective glass without the glass in place.  Then you can seal up the whole things with that perfectly cut paper backing.  You are gonna have to take my word for it that it looks great in a black frame with black matting.  This photo gives you an idea--just try to ignore the glare.

I got the design  from Janalyn's Etsy shop here for a mere $5.  I'm not a huge fan of most cross stitch,  but the lettering is quick and easy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

No I've Not Been On An Extended Vacation...

I've been away--from my blog.  Sometimes life gets busy with things that make boring blog posts.  However, I finally made it back into my sewing room yesterday.  My embroidery machine proved to be the clear winner in the productivity department. It managed to create these from some Huck towels I made last year.
The towel is crooked in that last one, not the design.  Designs are from the Embroidery Library (
In the same amount of time that my machine got all that finished, I got this far with the hungry bunny pouch I've been meaning to make.
Honestly, I had two towels finished before I was able to decide which fabrics to use for the damned bunny. No, I am not using the red polka dot zippers for it.  I just dumped all my zippers trying to choose a zipper. Another towel was nearing completion before I was able to decide on the zipper and interfacing.

Don't look for the finished bunny anytime soon.  This morning, as I tried to put the pieces on the zipper, I realized the bunny is not symmetrical.  I should have read the directions more carefully.  Okay, I should have READ the directions. It appears that I've not cut things right, and  I've used up all that polka dot lining fabric.  Good thing I have a few more towels ready to embroider while I try to decide on another fabric.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Those Squeezed In Projects

I sometimes feel as though I'm not getting much done.  Then I am reminded of all the squeezed-in projects that people spring on me.  They are always needed NOW and end up leaving the house before I can get decent pics if any at all.  (Consider that an excuse and apology for the crappy photos below.) 

This was the latest "save me" project.  It's just a simple quilt top, but it needed to be in the party "theme colors." The only one of those colors in the stash was the white!  I spent a day and a half coming up with a design, figuring out all the dimensions, shopping, cutting, sewing, and embroidering.  Non-sewers have no idea how long this stuff takes.
It will be a raffle item for a teacher appreciation party.  The blue lines across the white strip with the embroidered lettering are supposed to make it look like school paper. If I had more time, I would have preferred to do these line by hand with embroidery floss to give them more emphasis. 
On my "Thankful List" this week: someone else is being gifted with the quilting and binding. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The "I Forgot My Phone" Solution

According to my family, I am the only person who constantly leaves the house or car with my phone still sitting in the charger.  Just in case someone else has this annoying habit, I'm sharing my solution:

I used the lettering on my machine, but there are other ways of getting lettering onto fabric.  I thought about just going with a lightning bolt, but opted for what was easiest for me.

My finished circle is 4 1/2".  As you can see I used my new toy, the low on tech but high on awesomeness SnapSetter from Snapsource.  A button with loop/buttonhole or just Velcro would work in place of a snap. 
I used a medium-stiff iron-on interfacing on both circles of fabric and top stitched after turning it right-side out.  It pops in my purse when not being used.  I'm hoping to get started on making a new bag soon cuz I CANNOT find one that fits all my needs.  This "perfect" bag will a have place where I can just snap this to the lining.

Another project off the list!

Linking up with

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Some New Bibs Finished

Lately my sewing muse, Sandra has been making bibs which reminded me that I was supposed to get some of those going, too.  Sandra's bibs are made from old jeans and have sweet designs with fabric appliques and trim.   I used old jeans but decided to let my machines do most of the decorative work by using some of the embroidery designs I had purchased from an Etsy shop and the Embroidery Library.

This first one is for the average, easy-going baby.
Etsy shop embroidery design.  Bib pattern is free from

 This next one is for the feistier baby--you know mild to moderate mood swings.
Again, Etsy shop design

The last bib is for those babies that really need cautionary labeling--like a cigarette pack.  You know the ones that throw food and/or feces around at will.
Embroidery Library design.  Okay, I have to point out that I KNOW I put the snaps on the wrong sides on this one.  Hopefully the mom will be too busy to notice.
New parents who might be reading should not worry too much about these wild babies.  Most of them turn out fine.  Take my niece for instance.  During a short nap once, she decorated herself, the crib, and the wall behind it with the contents of her diaper.  Even though her mother was nauseated by the sight, there was a little maternal pride there, too.  The kid had made her own art supplies!  Today that girl is an art teacher.  There is hope!

There you have it!  Three bibs finished thanks to Sandra's inspiration.

Once last thing--I used my new SnapSetter from Snapsource. com.  It's a low tech one that requires a hammer.  I had one like this from Joann's that was totally worthless, but the reviews for the SnapSetter were great.  I am glad I decided to give this one a try.  It's easy to use and the snaps are nice and tight. 

 Linking up with

The Gunny Sack

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taking Mistakes in Stride

When I finished the second sewing machine cover today with this lovely design from The Embroidery Library
and set it on the machine next to the first one, something was definitely wrong:
Yup, that first bird, on the right, was heading in the wrong direction.  The good thing about my easy cover design is that I could just flip it to the other side and redo the embroidery design there.  I did own up to being on the lazy side yesterday, so I'm sure you knew I was NOT gonna start over from the beginning.
Much better this way, and no one but my blog readers and me will know about the little mistake on the back.

Another plus about the easy cover design is that it sits nicely on the back of my chair when I'm using the machine.

 Two covers down and two more to go.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is how lazy I am

First, despite having had sewing machines for over 30 years, I'm just making my first machine cover.  I've thought about it FOREVER, but always found excuses.  I finally decided that something simple was better than nothing.  This is the result.
Yup.  It's just a rectangle of fabric--not even little ties on the sides.  It's made of duck cloth which is pretty stiff, but I added the two lines of top stitching to make the sides stand out. It hangs more evenly with the extra stitching.

I found the embroidery design at the Embroidery Library.
 See--here's the little Project Runway underneath.

I'm feeling a bit guilty about copping out with such a simple piece.  The embroidery machine did the hardest part with very little help from me.  Frankly, though, I finally realized that it was going to have to be simple or I'd never get around to making covers for the machines.  I have a saying that I use all the time that definitely applies here--it's so much better than nothing.

One down.  Three more to go!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Newest Apron

I've finally got some sewing finished.  This is a late birthday gift for the younger son's girlfriend--only a little late, though.
Kelsey is in culinary school, hence the culinary queen.  I had to go look up my own apron tutorial created when I made my other son's fiance's apron.  So nice to have a blog to keep all these things.  It's a quick and easy project if you want to try one.  The tutorial is here.

We also got Kelsey a bead for her Pandora bracelet.  That's what is tucked in the little pocket. It's the ladybug bead in red.  Pandora has made my life so much easier.  I can always find a new bead for the girls to add to their collections.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Embroidered Towels - The Green Phase

After finished eight dish towels with shades of gold, I needed a change.  I've moved to my green phase.

I can't decide whether I like the light/bright green colors shown up close here:

or the light and dark greens together:

None of these colors, by the way, are the ones used by the designer.  As soon as I buy more fabric, I shall have to try making a set with the "right" colors.   Ya never know--one of these days I may learn to follow the directions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting started on the Gift Making - Embroidered Towels

I've been doing lots of things lately--just not blog-worthy--such as making 15 pillow cases from old sheets cuz one of my kids likes to change his pillow cases every night or so.  Of course, he's also the one who uses two pillows.  Here's a portion of that chore.
Nice, easy, straight sewing. But still a bit time consuming.

I did start something blog-worthy! I'm making embroidered dish towels from Huck toweling as Christmas gifts.

These are some of the designs I got from Embroidery Library during the summer when I was making the baker's apron for Melissa.  I love this design company!  They have so many designs, great prices, lots of sales, and downloading orders is so easy even I can't screw it up.  Every design comes up beautifully.  (No, they are not paying me.)  In searching for a design for the apron, I found the "Savory Swirls" set that I thought would be great on dish towels. These are four of the eight designs in the set. 

I love this fabric.  It is so easy to work with and takes machine embroidery exceptionally well.  I got it from Joann's with a 50% off coupon.  You don't find those too often anymore!   It's usually $5.99 a yard.

I pre-washed and dried on hot with very little shrinkage or wrinkling.  The fabric is 15 inches wide with finished edged so you only need to hem the ends.  I cut 27 inches for each towel, turned the edges under 1-/2 inch twice and did a straight stitch that you can see here.
Frankly, these looked great without the embroidery, too.  While Joann's doesn't have any other material like this, I did find a number of different toweling options/colors online at    I'm going to order a bit of each to see how they wash--will let you know.

That is four towels down and about 20 more to go, a couple of aprons, countless napkins--It's going to be a kitcheny Christmas.

Equally as nice as getting some sewing done is being able to listen to some books while I'm working.  I finished Michael Chabon's Summerland.  LOVED IT!   Just as Neil Gaiman's American Gods uses many mythological gods throughout the story, Summerland uses many characters from folklore.  That and the great writing in each is where the similarities end.  Summerland is NOT a dark tale at all.  I have a whole new respect for baseball.  You'll understand if you read it.

I also listened to Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, an amazing story about a guy's World War II experiences.  She also wrote Seabiscuit.  I didn't think I'd be interested in that one, but after, listening to Unbroken, I'm going to give it a try.

Anyone else getting a head start on making Christmas gifts???  Let me know what you're doing.  I'm always open to stealing sharing ideas.