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!


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!

Sign Your Work

I was talking to my son back in Texas last week and we were, as usual, arguing about who the better cook is – me, him or my Mom. I was in an Apron/Recipe kind of groove in my sewing room and I wanted to send him an apron with the recipe embroidered on it. I was trying to find out (in a sneaky, mom kind of way) which recipe I should put on his apron. In our friendly battle over skills and recipes, he said,

“Momma, real men don’t need recipes! Besides, spaghetti is my favorite and NOBODY uses a recipe for that.”

Well, how do you like them apples! I guess he told me.

Guess what I found – the perfect embroidery design for Mr. Texas Hot Stuff – already done –

I just added some spaghetti to the existing design and Voila! Take that Smarty Pants!


Because I’m a Quilter and “Sign” my Quilts with Labels, I wanted to sign his apron. I used to demonstrate to customers how they could capture their children’s refrigerator artwork by digitizing it. I would just grab a piece of paper and with a thick marker, draw a stick man. Then I would scan it and digitize it with digitizing software. When they saw that stick man on the computer screen – all kinds of lights came on as they envisioned all that they could do with these marvelous embroidery machines.

I realized I could take the same approach with my son’s apron – I wrote “Momma” on a piece of white paper with a thick marker, took a picture of it and digitized it to “sign” the bottom edge of his apron.


I did a second apron for him with his favorite cookie recipe – Peanut Blossom Cookies – the ones with the Hershey Kiss on top. He made a batch of these at Thanksgiving and was complaining about other people eating “his cookies”. I put the recipe on the skirt of the apron, upside down. This way he can wear the apron and all he has to do is look down to read his ingredients.


Now, I know he won’t wear these, but he can hang them in his kitchen. Besides, I’m just looking to put a smile on his face when he opens the package. Headed for the Post Office!