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.

     

 

Did you know that Happy Embroidery Machines Go To School!

Happy Embroidery Machines are perfect for a variety of School Programs and needs. 

  • Vocational

  • Fashion & Clothing Design

  • Life Skills

  • Booster Programs

Socastee High School has proven it with their Learners at Work Program

Contact me today to see how TEXMAC’s Happy Embroidery Machines can meet your School’s needs.

 

 

Customer Spotlight – I.D. MERCH

During a recent conversation with one of our customers in Michigan, I clicked my way over to their Facebook page . . . Oh My!

I was so impressed with their Caps and Patches I wanted you to see them.

  • Partly because they just do such an amazing job.
  • Partly because they get such large designs on their caps.
  • But MOSTLY I wanted to inspire you with the fact that they are doing all this on our 7 Needle HCH 701 Journey machine – well, actually, 6 of our 7 Needle Journey machines!

They just keep Growing and Growing and Growing. Now we are discussing the possibilities of adding a Multi Head Happy to their workroom.

   

     

    

      

It’s not just Caps and Patches! They do beautiful Left Chest Logos as well!

This could just as easily be Your Story!

With the Happy Embroidery Machine, we offer Commercial Japanese-made Quality at better than home market machine prices.

Whether you are

  • just starting out,
  • a home-based business,
  • a Boutique Embroidery shop,
  • a production shop,
  • or something else altogether,

Happy has the machine that will fit your needs and budget.

From Single Head, 7 Needle all the way to 12 Head, 15 Needle

         

We also offer the training and support that will insure your success in your learning process.

I am available 7 days a week to take your calls and emails. You can reach me at 704-393-6532 or 877-335-5206, ext 6532.

Thank you, I.D. MERCH, for letting me share your Success Story.

 

Embroider on Boots & Shoes with the Happy One Point Frame

Did you see my post a while back featuring these High Top Sneakers? I used the One Point Frame Small that attaches to the Cap Driver on our Happy Embroidery Machines. These come in 3 different sizes: Small, Large & Long.

They work beautifully on Shirt Pockets, Backs of Caps, Cuffs, Blue Jean Pockets . . . all kinds of items, not just Shoes and Boots!

I posted a link below to Rene’s new video showing how to attach these to your machine, be sure to check it out.

One Point Frame Small

One Point Frame Large

One Point Frame Long

 

 

Stains on your project! Ever happened to you?

Has this ever happened to you? Everything is going along beautifully and out of nowhere – an oil stain on your Embroidery Project!

How do these things happen? And always at the worst possible time! On the worst possible item – one you can’t replace!!!

Well it happened to me on a White Apron I was working on. Happily, I remembered that I had bought something months before that was supposed to remove this kind of stain. I had been shopping in our TexmacDirect.com store here at TEXMAC’S Corporate Offices where I am located. I love shopping in there by the way. Anyway, I was browsing around one day and saw a can of stuff that said it would remove stains and thought,

“Why not, couldn’t hurt to have some on hand, just in case.” 

Now, here I was, the unthinkable, my last white Apron on the shelf and my last Christmas Gift, with a great big Blop of Oil! Just before I panicked and headed for the store to look for another apron I remembered that can of stain remover I had bought so long ago. Now I just had to find that can!

1. I read and followed the directions on the can.

2. I waited for the Powder to dry

3. I just brushed away the Powder and the Oil Stain was completely gone. Gone I tell you!

Look! Not even a hint of stain. It was so easy and quick and did exactly what I needed it to do. PSR Powdered Dry Cleaning Fluid

There will always be a can of PSR on my shelf, just in case . . .  🙂

Happy Customers

A picture is worth a Thousand Words!

I am a picture kind of person.

I take pictures with my cell phone of just about anything I want to remember – everything from your face to the fabric bolt I just bought so I can buy more of the exact fabric if I need it. I can also look back at the photo for content and care instructions.

FabricBought

This approach works really well for me when it comes to my Embroidery Designs. When stitching out a complicated, high color change design that I know I will be stitching again, it is nice to know that my Happy will know exactly which needles to use 6 months from now. Problem? Well the odds that I will have the same color spools on those needles six months from now are slim to none!

What to do? Take a picture!

Just lay the stitchout next to the spools and snap a quick picture. This shows me exactly which threads I used and what their locations were when I stitched out that design. I can also write a note with the date, design name and project/recipient next to the design and add that information to the picture as well.

20170325_090244

It is also helpful to lay the cones down and snap a picture of the bottom so I can see the exact color numbers used.

ThreadColorsUsed

In a shop environment, this can be a helpful approach to add to the files or folder for a customer job so that no matter who runs the job in the future, they can get it right!

Don’t forget the recipe either – you know, the stabilizer you used, the needle type (Ball Point, Sharp) and the needle size. Include anything in the notes that will insure that future runs for that customer will be as successful as the first.

Come On, Get Happy in Tinley Park, Illinois!

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 will 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!

Embroidered Patches with my Happy Embroidery Machine

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.

Note: For the best results with Embroidered Patches when using a Background Fabric in place of Fill Stitches, be sure to use a sturdy structured fabric. The Satin Stitches on the finished edge must be fully supported by the background fabric in order to maintain their shape after the Ultra Solvy is rinsed away. I used www.TEXMACDirect.com Tackle Twill for the white background on the Patches shown here. Tackle Twill comes in a variety of colors and is used to make embroidered badges, patches, labels, etc. It is tightly woven, poly-cotton backed with a non-woven material for additional stability. Be sure to cut the Twill so that it goes right to the edge of the Satin Stitch as you can see in the picture below. The needle should fall just barely outside the edge of the Twill on the outside stroke of the Satin Stitch.

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

Thread Break – Crazy Thread!

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:needlediagram

Finally,

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. 🙂