Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drawing Placement Lines For Machine Embroidery

I tried making a movie on how to arrange multiple templates and mark them on fabric but my camera kept acting up.  My son says my voice is hilarious and started laughing.  13-year-old boys think everything is funny.

I marked the fabric according to the directions; through the centers and on the diagonal.  I printed out each template with Embird and cut them out.  This particular block has 13 templates to work with.  

1. Mark Your Centers

Embird prints out my designs with center lines through the entire template.  If your design/template doesn't have centers marked through the entire template, draw them out.  Or find a reference point to work with.  Push a pin through the center of each template so you can mark the centers later.

2.  Making Templates Temporary

I like double sided tape but couldn't find it today.  I ended up using 505 spray instead.  I had too many pieces to just lay out.  505 spray was messy but it worked. I know some people make templates using special paper that is reusable.  

3.  Lay Out Templates

Following the picture/guide start laying out the templates.   Align them using the center lines on your fabric and on your templates.  You can see them between the two flowers and aligned up.

From Embroidery Designs

Think about placement and what is going to be done first and last.  Work from the back to the front.  In this block, I think the two flowers are going to be embroidered first.  Because they are stitched as one piece and I have another motif that sits between them, I have them first for visibility.  You can always reposition your pieces.

Keep checking for accuracy and make sure your placement guides line up on the diagonal, vertical, and horizontal lines.  I found I had to cut closer around the templates to have them all fit.

This is why having that cross reference line stitch from Embird is so important when I do a new motif.  If I'm off just a little, the entire design is off.  Just like in quilting. This block is cutting it close for my embroidery skills.    

From Embroidery Designs

4.  Mark Your Center And Outer Lines Of Templates

Using a pencil or other marking tool mark the center and the reference lines for each piece.  If they were quilting templates trace them out.

Take a ruler and draw lines from the outside edges making sure the lines are in the center.

With the above lines you can now embroider the designs for your block.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Horse Quilt Is Done!

Woo Hoo! It's done! I finished binding it today! It's beautifully bound! Mitered corners and everything! I've discovered that 3/8 inch binding is perfect for me. It's easy to fold over and easy to sew down. I love this quilt!

From Embroidery Designs

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Attempting Hardanger Embroidery

Since I've been stuck to lying around, I've been trying to learn how to do Hardanger Embroidery after wanting to do the purse in the magazine I found.  I finally found a tutorial online but I'm still lost.   The tutorial had you do it another color to see what you were doing.   I got this far:
From Embroidery Designs
I am proud of myself that I cut the threads without messing up the satin stitching.  I also pulled out the right threads to create the gridwork.  Woo Hoo!   I don't have the inside weaving done, but I'm stuck on the closed squares in the center.  The tutorial said nothing about them and I can't find a close up of any embroidery to get a good look.

For the most part it's pretty easy if you can count to five and can cut the right threads.  I still can't figure out how to read the charts.  You'd think I'd have figured that out.  I'm not sure where you enter in and out of and the charts appear to read as if one line is two threads in the directions.    

I found some more free embroidery designs that I'll use for another biscornu.  I'm so upset I can't find the one I made.  It's so beautiful and the designer was so kind to make it available as a free design.  One of the designs I'll try came from this site

From Embroidery Designs
This one came from

From Embroidery Designs
I'm going to Hancock Fabric tomorrow for a class and will pick up some thread there.  I really need to bind my horse quilt but don't dare attempt to bend over to cut strips or mess with the ironing board right now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Aquamarine Ambience Block One Done

Using the cross reference line command from Embird I have one block completed!
From Embroidery Designs
The only problem I'm encountering now is that Jenny speeds up in the small detailed designs and it's eating my threads.  The small yellow leaves in the center kept shredding my thread because of how fast she had them stitching out.  I finally gave up in the center design and will leave them as open circles.  I know you can change the speed on the Topaz I just wasn't sure you can do it while stitching out and I wasn't about to find out until I finished this block.

I'm going to have to take a trip up to Omaha and get more thread as well.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Alignment Stitches With Embird

I had someone ask what fusible fleece is.  Fusible fleece is a thin batting that you fuse to your fabric.  It's not fusible batting which is much thicker.  

Here's what I was talking about when I was using Embird to make an alignment stitch.  Sticky stabilizer is like contact paper and is used if you don't want to hoop something.  For the quilt block I am working on, hooping each design over and over would stretch out the fabric and distort it.  However; I think I'm doing a good job of that on my own.  LOL.  Here's what sticky stabilizer looks like:
From Embroidery Designs
On the first test out I drew horizontal/vertical lines on the stabilizer but it didn't work as I was still off.  I tried several times to line with the lines I had drawn on the fabric to the lines I had drawn on the paper.  Then I realized the lines I had drawn weren't done right with the marks on the hoop as I did the alignment stitch on it.  Sigh.

Here's what the fabric looks like on top of the hoop.  You can see the references lines I've drawn.  My design HAS to be perfectly aligned with those lines or it won't fit.  I know the lines aren't perfectly straight when I placed it on the stabilizer either because I'm not that good.

From Embroidery Designs
In Embird I can do an alignment stitch that does a horizontal/vertical set of stitches so I can double check my if my marks are exactly centered on the hoop.

From Embroidery Designs
Errr...  I think I'm just a little off.  If I just guessed my design would have gone over into the other design.  Sigh.  I'm really pathetic at lining this up.  LOL.

I take out the stitches and I get needle holes in the stabilizer for exact placement.  I thought about doing that first, but it actually works better if stitch over the fabric first.

From Embroidery Designs
I put the my fabric lines up with the perforated stabilizer and it works perfectly every time.  And yes; I have tried it with the grids on the lined paper.  You still need center marks on the sticky part. 

It would be totally awesome if the machine gave you this option.  Or if the overpriced 4D Extra would do this as part of their editing.  If you are looking for embroidery software, buy Embird.  The name brand software programs aren't awful, they are just extremely limited in what they can do and they force you to keep buying up until you spend a fortune on their TOL software.    

Monday, May 18, 2009

Aligning Your Designs

From Embroidery Designs

Apparently I can't take a picture today.  I discovered that my dealer carries Floriani fusible fleece and bought a package on Friday.  I fused the fleece yesterday and started on the first "Aquamarine Ambience" block.  I only have part of the corners done but it lies flat and is beautifully stitched out.  The machine goes through the fleece and the sticky back stabilizer with ease.

When I read through "Vintage Garden" Jenny gives COMPLETE instructions on how to do her quilts and then everything made more sense.  I hate when authors give instructions in one book and assume you know everything in another book.  

My only problem is aligning the designs with the machine using sticky back stabilizer.  In this method you put the project on top of the hoop instead of hooping it.  The first time I drew lines and lined up the white lines on the ones I drew.  I was off.  I repositioned.  I was off.  Come on.  It's NOT that hard.  After several attempts I went into Embird and had the program draw alignment lines and saved the design.  When I stitched out the lines I could see where I was off and it left holes in the stabilizer.  Line up the white lines with the perforated holes and it worked.

Now, why can't a very expensive machine do this for you?  I don't even think the Diamond does this either as I was reading how people were having problems aligning up designs with the really big hoop.  Mine will baste and I think will outline in the air a square around the hoop where the design is.  You can "jog" the needle over to where something is at, but it can't check that the design is aligned completely with the lines.  It would be so awesome if it would give you the option to do an alignment stitch.

I don't even think my way overpriced 4D Extra does this either.  No wonder I love Embird.  I do love the features of my Topaz.  I just think this should be a standard thing on medium to TOL priced embroidery machines.  Now to go back into my embroidery design CD and put in alignment stitches.  Jenny could do that too when she does her designs.  That would be awesome.     

Friday, May 15, 2009

Horse Is Quilted!

I got my horse quilted last night and it looks great.  I just need to bind it and it will be done.  I despise binding so it may never get done..LOL.

From Quilted with Love
A close up shot:

From Quilted with Love
Just the horse:
From Quilted with Love

Topaz Embroidery Bag Came!

I picked up my embroidery module bag today!  I've waited several weeks for this to come in as it was special ordered.  Here it is:

From Embroidery Designs
The styrofoam insert fits inside:

From Embroidery Designs
This is a really nice bag and sure beats trying to get the unit out of the box.  My only complaint is that the bag doesn't stand up very well vertically.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Glasses And Boxes

I got my new glasses today.  I haven't had a new pair in about 4-5 years.  The last time I went he said my prescription hadn't changed much so I didn't bother.  This appointment I decided to treat myself and get a pair.  WOW.  I didn't know how blind I was.  The difference is amazing.

My embroidery module bag is here!  I pick it up tomorrow.  I'll post pics when I come home.

I've slowly been organizing as my area is a bombshell.  I knocked over my rack of threads again and need to find a way to store them ASAP.  They are the large bottom embroidery spools and don't fit into drawers nicely nor do the fit on the small racks that I have for my smaller spools.

I got smart and bought a floss box to put my extra sewing feet in.  That way I wasn't digging through the box in the back of the machine.  I put the card that has the directions with the foot for easy reference in each part.
From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love
Now to figure out where to put the box.  LOL.  

Evening Gowns And Purses

I went to Hancock Fabric in Lincoln yesterday to check out supplies for the purse I fell in love with.   After all, how hard could it be?  I've done some cross stitch.  Little projects, but I figure I have enough experience now.  Just follow the paper pattern and it works.   
From Quilted with Love
I go through the list.  Red-black shot Chiffon.  I know that's a fabric.  Poplin?  That's a fabric too.   No. 5 Perle cotton.  8 Perle cotton.  That's gotta be for the hand stitching.  DMC has the numbers listed so I grab some white and cream.  At least if I change my mind I'm covered.  

One thing I do know is Hancock isn't about to have those kind of beads that are listed.  Those will have to be special ordered.  If I even get that far.  

Nice lady helps me find the Chiffon.  OHH..this is sheer fabric.  Pretty fabric though and would make a stunning evening gown.  I have visions of me in a beautiful red evening gown gliding around a ballroom like a princess with a handsome prince... The nice lady interrupts the ball and I come back to reality when she asks if I need anything else.  Sigh.
How in the world did this lady work with this stuff?  I have visions of it fraying, sliding and being a huge mess.  I'm NOT that skilled.  I can at least admit that.  Forget the poplin then.  I have green fabric linen at home.  That will make a nice purse.  

If I understand the directions, you put the cross stitch linen under the fabric and do the stitching.  No biggie.  It's not the design that has me confused, it's the how it's stitched.  It's a satin stitch star and I don't know if the pattern is full size or not as it doesn't say.  If it's satin stitched then how do you work with the evenweave behind it?  The grid didn't make sense either.  Is it like when I did the cross stitch and count over two to make one unit?  

The magazine was at least kind enough to show how to do the stitches in the middle of the magazine and when I played with it, they are beautiful.  Maybe I should just fudge the star thing.

I figured I could really cheat and just machine embroider the top but can't find anything wide enough to fit.  Right now the project is on hold. But it will get done.  Even if it gets simplified.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fireworks Anyone?

It's been an ummm... beyond crazy couple of days.  My sister eloped yesterday and caused a huge explosion of fireworks.  Since I live 13 hours away I missed most of it.  I spent yesterday helping my husband's family as some things came up while my parents dealt with the aftershock of it all.  I'm hoping things have calmed down some between both families. 

 I hope that her and her husband are very happy together.  He has a daughter that I know of and my sister has 3 kids.  The funniest part is that his last name is very similar to mine. His is Frederick and I'm Frerichs.  That's gonna mess up whomever does genealogy a hundred years from now.  It's going to mess up everyone in this time period too.

My book, "Vintage Garden" came and I spent some time looking through the designs and the quilt.  I'm thinking of doing mine in blues and yellows.  However; some rich reds would look lovely too.   
From Quilted with Love
I got my magazine today for the purse I fell in love with.  I don't know anything about the kind of embroidery on the purse, but it's stunning.   The hardest part seems to be the design.  The magazine had several beautiful projects.
From Quilted with Love
I've been quilting my horse as well.  I'm getting closer to getting done.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Outlining My Horse

I've managed to get a lot of the horse done.  I gave up on free motion quilting because it looked so bad.  Even while going very slow, I couldn't keep the stitches even like I wanted.  This project just screamed perfect stitches for outlining.  

Here's a close-up of the outline work:

From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love

This is turning out really beautiful. I can't wait to get it done. I love that the pressure foot lifts every time you stop for more detailed sewing. Once I discovered I had a clear open toe foot with a cover in front of the needle, it's been perfect for this. The fabric isn't sliding over the edge. I haven't needed a walking foot for this either. take-up lever issues. I love this machine.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Horse Help!!

Please help! While quilting the pieces are coming off! I've pressed them several times but the fusible stuff has already been used. I hate this brand and I can't even remember what it is! It's not steam a seam I know that. I just want to cry! Especially as the horse will have parts of the background showing through! Can I just use a glue stick or Roxanne's? I just worry about the glue showing through.

From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love

Friday, May 08, 2009

Don't Mess With A Quilter

My Aurifil thread card came today! Now it will be much easier to find the colors I want. 

From Quilted with Love

I also found out why finding Jenny Haskin's fusible fleece is impossible to find as the factory she uses has shut down.  I wish websites would just say that.  While in a fabric store today I bought some Pellon fusible fleece to try out.  Apparently the store used to carry Jenny's but it was so expensive they refused to buy it anymore.  Maybe that's why the factory shut down??

I stopped in the Viking dealer to see if my embroidery case had come in as I was in town.  Nope he said crankily.  What it is with dealers being so cranky?  I was even nice today.  

Oh.  I was talking with a friend about being home alone at night.  I told her:
"Don't mess with a quilter.  I have 10 pairs of scissors, 3 rotary cutters, boxes of pins/needles, masking tape and a 38 lb sewing machine.  I'm not worried".

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Vintage Garden" Book

I just did it.  I bought Jenny Haskins book, "Vintage Gardens" and the fusible fleece for the "Aquamarine Ambience".  I refuse to buy 300 dollars or more worth of silk duponi though.  That's just plain ridiculous.  I just know that I will want to do the quilt someday and won't be able to get the book.  Of course, now that I bought the book, it won't go out of print..LOL.

No more quilts for now.  This is getting way too expensive especially as this fusible fleece stuff is over priced big time.  I haven't used it before, so I'll see how good it really is since everyone raves about it.  It's not the same stuff as fusible batting.

I'm still trying to decide if this FaceBook thing is worth it.  What I don't like is that when someone joins something I get a notice on the left side and I can't take it off.  Some of it I really don't want to know that you've joined up.   Although I have mega crushed my sister's score on the Bejeweled game.  I have high score of 147, 900 for playing the one minute version.  I noticed no one else has challenged me  LOL. 

I'm wondering if I should do a movie on how I sew on the 6600 and see if someone smarter than me can figure out why I can't sew on it.  

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Getting My Thread

WooHoo!  It just hit me.  I don't need large spools for this quilt.  Just the little ones.  Duh..just  order from Nancy Chong's site, Pacific Rim Company.  I ordered the thread colors that looked like they should work and a thread chart.  Some days I am a genius.  The other days are questionable.    

Monday, May 04, 2009

Roses On Dish Towels?

I have a facebook account after some prodding by a good friend.  Didn't know I knew 9 people..LOL.  At the same time it's great to talk to my 15 year old sister as I don't see her much. She's got her license now (needs an adult present) so stay off the roads.  

I decided to test out a rose design that I bought from Emblibrary today.  If I had hand towels I would have done it on one, but all I have are dish towels.   I must go buy hand towels after this as it came out stunningly beautiful with the pinks.
From Embroidery Designs
WOW.  I have a whole set of these.  Must go buy towels.  Anyone willing to drive me to Wallyworld?  Their towels are actually really nice.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

"Aquamarine Ambience" Block One Test

This is for ytsmom as you don't have your blog settings set so that I can reply.  I got my Janome 6600 table from Ken's Sewing and Vacuum Center off of Ebay.  I believe you can get the table from OK Sew And Vac in Omaha as they sell Janome machines.  If they don't have one in stock, they can order you one.  Or check with Ken and see if he'll send you one.

And yes, it will hold a Bernina but it won't fit into the table.  You'll have to get a board to put over the opening as I've done for my Topaz. I put rubber mats under the board so it doesn't move.  

Block One Stitch Out Test

My first block has been a test block to see how things stitch out.  LOL.  I have ripples in the block as I obviously haven't mastered stabilizing for this block.  
From Embroidery Designs
Here's a close up shot:

From Embroidery Designs
I ran into another problem.  Color.  My second green is driving me crazy.  I love the yellow-green and the aqua green but but I tried 2 other greens with some mixed reviews.  The circles in the center are done in Hemingworth's Caribbean Green.  It's very bright even if it doesn't show that way in the picture.  The green in the left motif is Hemingworth's Wintergreen.  It looks darker on the spool but comes out gray green on the fabric.  

I'm heading up to Omaha next week to check out some other colors.  

Friday, May 01, 2009

Attempts At A Purse

I got brave and made a purse.  Several days later, lots of curse words I didn't know I knew, ripping out most of the seams and trying to read directions I finally have it done.  To be fair, the directions were just fine.  Great directions.  I just don't know enough about putting a purse together to really get it.

Purse is from the site Made By Rae
From Quilted with Love
I tried to add a decorative stitch on the pink fabric several times, but my 6600 ate two of them. My MIL and I spent several hours trying out decorative stitches on the Topaz and I was halfway through one we picked out when I realized I'd gone off the line.  Sigh. 

I bought magnets and attempted to put those in as that was what the directions said.  Back of the package said something about cutting slits, and bending over the prongs.  However; this doesn't seem very stabilizing.  Hmm.  I put them in too high and couldn't stitch the lining in right. Take out the magnets and put them lower.  One is now higher than the other and forget trying to pull them apart  LOL! 

Pic with magnets:

From Quilted with Love
I had to rip out the lining several..err many times and there's an open slit in there as no one said how to close that back up.  No one said how to put straps on either.  This one purse I wouldn't even give to a friend..LOL.   

However;  I am quite pleased with myself since I finished it.  I love the purse design with the pleats and the size is fantastic.    

If I was better with my embroidery editing software, I'd add some embroidery designs.