Blanket Appeal Part 2 – Replacing

Time for Part 2 of Blanket Appeal

In Part 1, I removed an old Monogram from a very loose weave, loopy Blanket so that I could replace it with a new Monogram. Time to show you the Replacement Monogram!

Before & After:

I know the blues are different but trust me, the blankets are the same. The pictures were taken in different rooms with different cameras.


I used the same technique on this Blanket that I used in the Posts on Christmas Stockings and “Busy” Fabric. I created the Monogram first and then created an Outline of the Monogram that followed the shape of the Monogram. I made two copies of this Outline and Filled each with a large gap between the lines of stitching. I reversed the Angles of the two Outlines so that the stitches formed a CrossHatch pattern. I placed the Monogram on top of these two Outlines so that it would stitch last. I did not put a Satin Border around these two Outlines because I did not want to call attention to them on the finished Blanket. I wanted the Monogram to be the “Star of the Show” and the CrossHatch stitches to recede into the background and just do their job – hold down those blanket loops so my Monogram would not sink down into them or be “eaten” by them over time and washing.



I used Black Tearaway instead of White under the Blanket so any edges or fibers left behind after tearing would blend in better with the Blue Blanket. I used a Black Bobbin Thread so that it also would blend in visually with the Dark Blue of the Blanket when viewed from the back. I used a Magnetic Mighty Hoop so that the thickness of the Blanket was not an issue! Mighty Hoops work beautifully with Towels, Carhartt Jackets, Purses, Bags, Quilts, etc.

I used a light weight Water Soluble Topping (WST or WSS) to help hold back the loops during the embroidery process. I Hoop this topping along with the Backing and Blanket so that it is tight against the top of the blanket rather than just Floating or laying it on top. When finished, this topping tears easily away from the edge of the CrossHatch Fill Stitches.


The CrossHatch Fill Stitches do their job, they hold back the loops and almost disappear into the background of the blanket, allowing the Monogram to really be the Star of the Show.

I used this same technique on a brown Towel.











Blanket Appeal Part 1 – Undoing

I recently was given a Monogrammed Throw Blanket to Re-Work. The original Monogram was done with a very wide Satin Stitch. This kind of stitch does not “wear” well as the stitches can be very loose and prone to snagging and pulling. In addition, if you look closely, you can see the loops of the blanket actually beginning to work their way up through the embroidery thread. A Water Soluble Stabilizer (WSS) used as a Topping at the time of the original stitchout held these loops back. With time, and washing, this topping dissolves and is no longer able to hold these loops back. The same thing happens with a Terry Cloth Towel or a napped fabric like the Christmas Stocking featured in previous posts. Even if you don’t wash the item, Water Soluble Stabilizer dries out over time and can become brittle and flake away underneath the embroidery design if there is enough room under the stitches as in the embroidery below.

Fortunately for me, the same thing that makes this stitch style a bad choice for the blanket, makes it a very easy “fix”. I simply slid the tip of my Snip EZ Scissors and Snip, Snip, Snipped my way across, underneath the Bobbin Thread. The Squeeze Action of these Scissors make them a dream to use for cleaning up thread tails on the back of designs as well as this type of project. I especially love these Snips because they are so easy on my hands. My thumbs no longer work well and my fingers are stiffening up. I can use these for extended periods with very little pain in my hands. Even when you have good hands, working regular Scissors for long periods can become quite painful.



2 Problems – Same Solution?

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!

Valentine’s Day!!!

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!

valentinesparkle   valentinesparklesolutions


Happy Valentine’s Day!


Embossed Christmas Stocking

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:

Bluebird3 Bluebird2 Bluebird1

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


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah

Happy Holidays!


My Oh Mylar!

I have a new passion – Applique passion!

Applique with Mylar that is. Have you tried this?

Am I completely behind the curve on this one?

In preparing for the upcoming Everything Applique Conference in Atlanta this week I stumbled across this technique for my show samples. I was looking for something unique and different to demonstrate in our booth at the show.

Below is an Applique Bluebird embroidery design. I added a widely spaced cross hatch type stitching to the body of the bird that runs in two directions – the open areas between the rows of stitching allow the Mylar to shine through – and I do mean shine! Instead of fabric appliqued for the bird’s body, I used a layer of brilliant blue Mylar under a layer of Opalescent/Iridescent See-Through Mylar that added just a  bit more sparkle and shine.


The placement stitch in the design shows me where to place my two layers of Mylar just as it does when using fabric.


The Mylar rips away from the cross hatch stitching when finished – no cutting machines or scissors needed!


The only metallic thread used on the bird below is the beak, all the other Sparkle and Shine is from the 2 layers of Mylar peeking through the open areas of the cross hatch stitching.


You can even use patterned Mylar!


This little rabbit was stunning!


I played all weekend!





Hidden Benefits

You’ve heard the term “Hidden Benefits” I’m sure. It seems everything has Hidden Benefits . . .

  • Eating Vegetables
  • Eating Meat
  • Saving Money
  • Spending Freely

Well, setting up my Embroidery Machine wirelessly so I can sit in the living room has a Hidden Benefit as well


You see, when I sit in my Sewing Room at the computer, I am sitting in an office chair. Not much room for a Buddy in this kind of chair.


Until now, you’ve only seen my perspective of the room when I’m taking advantage of my new wireless capabilities. You know, the TV and the Fireplace.


What you haven’t been seeing is the big cushy Recliner I’m sitting in.


Hidden Benefit?

Room for a Buddy!

You probably can’t tell but her eyes are open. She likes to watch TV upside down. Must be a dog thing. 🙂


Even Keelie’s little bitty Romper is easy to monogram on my Happy Embroidery Machine! I used the 5.5″ Mighty Hoop this time.






Sorry, gotta go now!












Baby Clothes!

Well I’ve gone from Aprons for my grown son to clothes for my real baby!

My little Yorkie, Keelie, is almost 5 years old but she doesn’t even weigh 5 pounds. I usually keep her hair medium short so she looks kind of like a little stuffed animal. A little boy at the pet store asked me one time if she was “real”. She looks like a miniature Chewbacca to me!


I took her in for a cut while I was on vacation and they got her hair a little bit short so she’s been doing a bit of shivering.  The Extra Small clothes at the pet store are too small for her and the Small are too big – so I decided to make her some myself! and really have some fun with my Happy Embroidery Machine.

I call this her Safari Collection. And you know down here in the South, we monogram everything! My accent makes it sound like she has two names – Kee Lee – so her Monogram is KML – just like a big girl.



Then I got to playing with my faux leather and snakeskin embossed fabrics that I usually reserve for making Handbags . . .

20160103_194303-1 20160103_194328-1


She’s not really a Rescue dog, I just couldn’t resist the design. I’m going to remake this one – I took out the word Rescue and replaced it with her name – Embroidery Software comes in very handy in a situation like this!


Every Baby needs a Romper, especially in the Winter


I think this will be her Biker Chick outfit! And I’ve got an Emerald Green Snakeskin that I can’t wait to use.


You know, when you’ve got a great machine like the Happy, sometimes you gotta just have fun with it!

Happy New Year Everybody!