David Hufnagel and I will be at the DAX Show in Tinley Park, IL this month. As always, we will be demonstrating our fabulous Happy Embroidery Machines at the show. I also be demonstrating the Patch technique I featured in my last post and showed at the Everything Applique Conference last week in Atlanta, Georgia.
If you already own a Happy Embroidery Machine we would love to see you in Owner Class following the Show – be sure to register in advance – there is a link below for Show Registration and Owner Class Registration.
Show Dates: Friday & Saturday – April 21-22 Show Registration: www.DAXShow.com
Class Date: Sunday – April 23 Owner Class Registration: https://happyemb.com/…/registration_training_chicagoland_20…
Ya’ll come see us!
No matter what state I’m in lately, everybody wants to know how to do Patches with their embroidery machine. It was all the talk at the DAX Show in Kansas City and then 2 weeks later – ISS Show in Atlantic City – same thing – “How do I make Patches?”
Patches are actually one of the easiest things to create when you have the right machine! My Multi Needle Happy Embroidery Machine just moves from color to color, patch to patch, all by itself! Can you imagine if I had to re-hoop for every patch? I don’t even want to think about having to thread and unthread for every color change!
I simply hoop Ultra Solvy Disolvable Backing and embroider my patches. A Patch is just an Applique after all, the Satin Stitch not only finishes the Applique, it “finishes” the Patch as well. All the Patches just break free from the Ultra Solvy when I’m finished.
I don’t have to cut them or burn them free with a heat tool either! All the products I use for this process are available at www.TexmacDirect.com. I will be demonstrating this technique at the Everything Applique Conference in Atlanta next week – April 6-8. Come see us! Conference details and registration here: www.EverythingApplique.com
Can’t make it to Atlanta – I will be at the DAX Show in Tinley Park, IL, April 21-22 – same demonstration. DAX Show details and registration here: www.DAXShow.com
Check out our Happy Embroidery Machines at www.HappyEmb.com
Step 1: Hoop Ultra Solvy and embroider the Placement Stitch for the Patches
Step 2: Spray Pre-Cut Twilly with Temporary Spray Adhesive – light spritz is all you need to keep the fabric from shifting – place inside the Placement Stitch and press lightly to adhere.
Step 3: Optional – for extra Bling – Lay a sheet of Opalescent Mylar over the Twilly
Step 4: Optional – If you are using Mylar – Stitch an open weave, widely spaced Knock-down Stitch over the Mylar and Twilly. This secures the Mylar but allows it to shine through and add sparkle to the Twilly in the background. The Mylar appears pink here but it takes on the color of the fabric underneath or the thread being used.
Step 5: Stitch the Satin Stitch Border that finishes the edges of the Patches. In my example Patches shown at the top, I added a Long Running Stitch on top of the Satin Stitch in the center. This is a decorative element but also helps secure the Satin Stitch and makes it less likely to snag. You can use a contrasting color as I did for an additional design element or use the same color as the Satin Stitch and it will disappear and simply secure the edges.
Step 6: Stitch the center elements of the Patch – logo, text, decorative designs . . . I like to stitch these after the Satin Edges so that the edges are secured and the stitching in the center doesn’t pull the edges out of place and cause the edges not to align properly.
Step 7: Break the edges of the Patches free from the Ultra Solvy and apply the Patch to the garment by sewing or apply Thermo Fix to the back of the Patch to be ironed to the garment. These could also be Snap Tabs or Coasters. How about Christmas Ornaments or Door Hangers? The Sky’s the Limit here People!
With my Border Frame on my Happy HCD2, 15 Needle Machine, I can produce 20 Patches at a time. Looking for a great Embroidery Machine – visit us at www.HappyEmb.com
The products used are available for purchase at www.TexmacDirect.com
I was Happily embroidering a couple of nights ago when I got a Thread Break. I am embroidering on some very rough textured Placemats (almost like burlap) for an upcoming Valentine Banquet. As I am using Metallic Thread, I wasn’t terribly surprised because this rough burlapy fabric can be hard on Metallic Thread, even our Rapos “Metallized” Thread that is really wrapped with Mylar instead of actual metallic bits.
When I grabbed the end of the thread to snip a clean end and re-thread the needle, I couldn’t even pull enough thread down to reach the needle!
We embroiderers tend to yell at our embroidery machine when we experience a Thread Break. We blame it on Tension, bad needles, bad fabric, wrong stabilizer . . . you name it. And when it happens repeatedly, we tend to growl and mumble and scowl at our machine and say, “What the heck is wrong with you!!???” In this instance, the problem was my thread. It had gotten itself off its thread path and wrapped itself around the post in the adjacent thread path!
If you have sewn or embroidered for any length of time, you know that thread can do some crazy things. When you get a Thread Break, before you re-thread the needle and press Start – do yourself a favor and check the entire length of the Thread’s Path to verify that all is truly well with the Thread.
What the heck? It’s not the fabric that is the problem here!
I made the two videos below to show you what happened.
The Moral of this Story? When you start experiencing unexplained issues:
- Check the entire Thread Path – from Thread Spool to Needle. Sometimes, thread can droop off the spool and get itself caught under the spool causing the kind of Thread Break shown in this video. A Thread Net around the spool can keep the Thread from being able to droop down and get caught under the spool. A Thread Net can also prevent the kind of slack in the Thread that allowed it to get over into the adjacent Thread Path and get wrapped around the post.
- Pull the Thread and make sure it moves freely.
- As you pull, watch the Thread move through the Thread Path – watch the Tension Dials – are they turning as you pull?
- Is your needle in Backwards? If you are new to your Happy Machine – coming from the Single Needle/Home Market with Flat-Backed Shank Needles – it is easy to insert your Round Shank Commercial Needles backwards. Guess what? They won’t work when they are in backwards! If you can’t tell the difference, get yourself a magnifying glass and really, really inspect one of your needles. Get familiar with it. Once you look at your needle really closely, you will be able to tell immediately if it is inserted backwards. Doesn’t mean you won’t still put it in backwards from time to time, we all get in a hurry and make mistakes. But, when you do, and you are troubleshooting, you will see the problem right away if you know the back of the needle when it is facing the wrong way – towards you!
Here’s a helpful diagram:
It is easy to get yourself all worked up when you feel like you are in a battle with your embroidery machine and it is winning! Kind of like trying to get a Toddler to eat his peas. He is winning! But if you will take a deep breath, walk away, calm down and then come back and really, really look at the situation – from top to bottom – you might find that it is just a simple problem like my Crazy Thread!
Sorry, I have no advice on the Toddler – my son never ate his peas – still won’t. 🙂
First, did you know that there are periodic Firmware Updates for your Happy Embroidery Machine? Check it out here: v. 2.11 Released.
Firmware Updates are revisions to one or more of the onboard programs that operate your HAPPY Embroidery Machine. They may include several major and minor updates or improvements. You don’t have to install these but it is recommended that you keep your machine current with these periodic Updates. You never know what cool new feature you will find on your machine after the update.
Second, did you know that this latest Firmware Update (v. 2.11) allows you to load designs while your machine is busily stitching out a design? Oh yeah!
Here is a video showing how this new feature works:
CAUTION: Successful installation of these updates require that all steps be performed EXACTLY as required to prevent damage to your machine. It is highly recommended that you contact your appropriate technical support staff for help BEFORE proceeding.
Third, did you know that we have a new Facebook Group for customers that purchase their Happy Embroidery Machine from TEXMAC, Inc.? Be sure to join!
Last month I was consumed with embroidering on deep pile Christmas Stockings. As with any textured surface, Terrycloth, Velvet, Fleece, Fur, you name it, the plush “fur” of the Stocking presented some Digitizing and Embroidery challenges.
I wrote about those Challenges and my Solutions here:
A Right Way and a Wrong Way & Embossed Christmas Stocking
I started my New Year with a Sewing Room clean out and came across my stash of Valentine’s Day fabric. Guess what. Christmas is over. It is already past time to be thinking about the next Holiday!
It’s less than 6 weeks away. The stores are probably already half sold out of all their Valentine’s Day merchandise.
It’ll probably all be on Clearance by next week!
As I was admiring one of my favorite pieces of Valentine’s fabric, I realized that embroidering on it presents some real challenges in the Digitizing and the Embroidery itself.
As you can see, this is one “busy” print! And its not just the print, it has sparkle bits on it too. I really have to think about anything I embroider on this fabric because it can just get “eat up” by all those hearts and sparkly dots. The wrong embroidery design can simply disappear into that background.
As I was forming my plan of attack, I realized I had already been there, done that, got the T-shirt! The Challenge and the Solution for this background print is exactly the same as the Challenge and the Solution for those Christmas Stockings!
I made a series of videos as I was testing my options. 12 in all. Yes, 12, relax, they are just 12 short steps in the process instead of one looooong video.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Really? Maybe there’s just a “Better Way“
It seems like no matter what you do, whether it is Cooking, Sewing, Painting, even Cleaning, you can always find a “Better Way” to do it. OK, so it’s a Better Way, you still have the option of continuing to do whatever it happens to be the Same Old Way – the choice is yours – your way isn’t Wrong, there’s just a Better Way and you might or might not use it – up to you.
Totally Up to You!
Sometimes though, there is a “Right Way” and a “Wrong Way”.
Yes, you could keep doing whatever it is the Same Old Way – but why would you?
That’s just, well, WRONG!
The Embossed Christmas Stockings I just finished yesterday are a perfect example of the Right Way, Wrong Way Principle!
Well, I got in a hurry and did the first side the WRONG WAY!
First & Foremost! I forgot to put stabilizer under the Stocking!!! Sometimes you can get away with no Stabilizer but this lined Stocking with a plush nap is not one of those times. I used a quality Cutaway Stabilizer on the Right Side – literally, the Right Side, get it? 🙂
Second & maybe Foremoster! I went back to the computer and ran the design player in my digitizing software to watch the stitchout on the screen. I immediately realized that there was no outline stitch around the perimeter of the design. It simply begins stitching the knock down stitches and works it’s way up the design – pushing the Stocking Fabric ahead of itself as it progresses through the stitchout. When the second color change, the Satin Stitch border stitches, the fabric and the nap have shifted and the outlines or Registration of the design elements/colors no longer line up properly.
I edited my design and added a Running Stitch around the entire perimeter of the 1st Color, the Knock Down Stitch. This stitch attaches or locks the Stocking Fabric to the Cutaway Stabilizer underneath and holds it in place when the Knock Down stitches begin to form. Now the fabric and the nap are locked in place and don’t get shifted up or down, left or right. Then, when the 2nd Color stitches, the Satin Stitch Border, the first element, the Knock Down Stitches and the fabric are still where they belong and the two elements/colors line up properly – no tacky stitches showing through where they don’t belong.
Problem solved – the Right Way!
Are you looking for a great Embroidery Machine? Well I can help you there too!
Purchase Stockings, Stabilizers, Thread at
It’s Christmas Time!
Last year it was all about Aprons at my house:
This year? Christmas Stockings!
My BFF Andrea got an Apron last year that had my Cinnamon Roll Recipe embroidered upside down on the bottom. That way, when she made the rolls and needed the recipe, all she had to do was lift up the bottom of her apron and read it!
This year, I am embroidering some of the Hidden Zipper Christmas Stockings for her and her family.
Have you ever embroidered something with a plush nap like the Stockings or Velvet, maybe Terrycloth or Fleece and then had the nap come up and start eating your design? Especially if there were thin or small areas in the design. Maybe you just had to use a particular font but the nap of the fabric was just too deep!
See how the nap is starting to cover up the edges of the letters and the small details on the Snowman below? And this just came off the machine. Imagine how it will look next year when she pulls it out to use again!
Good thing I had a spare Stocking! I went back to the computer and added a Knock Down Stitch or Emboss Technique underneath the entire design. This open weave Fill Stitch stitches first and permanently holds back the nap of the Christmas Stocking. With this foundation in place, I can embroider even the smallest details on the plushest of Stocking, Velvet, Towel, Blanket, you name it!
Look what a difference it made!
And that’s not all! That Knock Down Stitch is what is used with the Mylar designs featured in this post: https://multineedleemb.com/2016/04/04/my-oh-mylar/
But wait, there’s more!
You can use this technique to create negative space as shown on the Stocking below! The nap standing up where the stitches “aren’t” spells out the words Ho! Ho! Ho!
And more! Add Mylar to the Negative Space Technique
Here’s a series of videos stitching out the Ho! Ho! Ho! Stocking.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah
Here is our Holiday Calendar for December so you know when you can reach us.