Embroidering with Mylar, The Dos and Don’ts

Purely Gates Mylar Designs

Mylar Embroidery® is the trademarked name owned by Patricia Gates, the owner of Purely Gates Embroidery. For the last 15 years she has been creating machine embroidery designs made specifically for use with Mylar which is an opalescent film. Her designs are beautiful and always turn out perfect when you use the proper Mylar that she sells. Her product can be washed and dried and there is no loss of film from flaking. The designs are exquisite and you can get just about any design category you want. How about cute lady or male chefs on an apron for a Christmas present, or a fun glitter camper on a tea towel as a gift for someone who owns an RV. You can purchase her products direct or at your favorite quilt or embroidery shop. Check it out here https://purelygates.com

Embroidery designs for Mylar are digitized differently than regular designs. They are more like machine applique with the Mylar, and sometimes fabric, being the component that makes the design. They are fun because they are shimmery, giving that design some bling and pop! Designs for Mylar have light, spaced out stitches, that show the Mylar applique off. Regular machine embroidery is more solid, so the Mylar would be buried under the fill stitches. You can use these designs on Christmas cards, projects and quilts that are designed for use with this versatile product.

Anita Goodesign Mylar Cards

What is Mylar? There’s a website that sells all types of film that everyone calls Mylar, both washable and non washable. That website is https://www.heirloomsbysharon.com/. On her site there is a wonderful explanation of what Mylar is. She also explains the difference between washable and non washable and how and when to use each. I learned about this site not long ago, through a virtual webinar with Anita Goodesigns. https://www.anitagoodesign.com/. .

Many people have been buying the clear colored package wraps from Michael’s. You know, the kind they use for wrapping gift baskets etc? I tried it and wondered why it flaked off or lost it’s color when I washed the towel I put the design on. I found out there is a WORLD of difference when you use the correct product with the correct embroidery designs. The companies I talk about here, guarantee their Mylar will wash and dry, and won’t flake off.

Charming Station Free Deign

Another nice site is Charming Station Designs. She has beautiful designs and her prices are very reasonable. http://www.charmingstation.com/ She has some great free snowman designs. How about some fun in the hoop mug rugs you won’t be able to resist., and at a reasonable price. They come in all sizes from 4 x 4 and up. Check it out. She also has a nice explanation of Mylar.. What it is and what it is made of.

I could go on and on about the virtues of using Mylar in your projects. Why not check out the companies I have mentioned above and below, and jump in and do something fun. Some of these companies also have video tutorials that show you how to use their products. You will be amazed at how beautiful these designs are with Mylar. Why not go all out and use Floriani’s metallic thread over the Mylar. Your designs will be a stand out.

The following companies also have some designs that use the product called Mylar. All the companies I mention in this blog use Mylar in a different way. Be sure to follow the instructions that tell you when to place the Mylar in that particular design, or when to take off the excess. Each company is a little different.

https://hopeyoder.com/https://www.kimberbell.com/

I will be doing more educational blogs in the future and I genuinely hope you enjoy them. Please pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer,  threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.

Meantime, stay safe and happy sewing,

Molly

My Love Affair With The Featherweight Machine

1950 Singer Featherwweight Sewing Machine

Way back when I was 8 years old, my Grandmother bought me my first sewing machine. It was that darling little black Singer Featherweight Machine. I still have that same little gem, and I love it as much now, as I did when I first got it. That special little machine has seen a lot of stitch miles over the years and it still purrs right along, thanks to our service tech Rob, at Expert Sewing Center in Port Charlotte, FL where I teach.

These machines have regained popularity thanks to the quilters around the country. They are light weight to take to a class or sewing bee. They only sew a straight stitch, but that is all you sew when piecing a quilt.

For many years getting service and parts for them was a problem, but not any more. People on Ebay started finding spare parts and selling them, also machines that they found in garage sales, or old shops, etc. Of course you never knew what condition they were in so you take your chances buying one of those.

The original price of this machine in 1950 was $150. A few years ago, quilters were paying $350 t0 $500, depending on the condition and who was selling them. Now you are looking at paying any where from $800 to $2000 depending on the year and condition and if it has the original case, parts, manual and accessories. The ones made back in the 30’s and 40’s are the most expensive ones.

Getting parts has been a problem, but not any more. I discovered a website that caters only to the Featherweight. Of course, it is called the Featherweight Shop. Here’s the link https://singer-featherweight.com/ They have EVERYTHING. Parts, machines to buy, manuals, feet, cleaning supplies, etc. They have video tutorials that show how to thread the machine, clean it, service it yourself, and the history of the machine to name a few. It’s a family operated business and they eat sleep and breathe the Featherweight.

If you are a fanatic about your Featherweight, like I am, or you are interested in maybe buying one, then you must check out this web store.

As always, I will be doing more blogs in the future and I genuinely hope you enjoy them. Please pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer,  threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.

Meantime, Happy Sewing!

Molly

A Time For Reflection and Sewing

This has been a time of reflection for all of us, but one thing has been brought to mind. Something I have said for years. Sewers are some of the most generous people in the world. Every day I hear of a group of sewers who are making masks to donate to nursing homes, rehab centers, hospital visitors, relatives and anyone who needs them. My hats off to all of you who are doing what you can to help people be safe.

EmbLibrary In The Hoop Mask – free digital download

Many of the vendors are giving away free mask designs. http://www.emblibrary.com has an In The Hoop design that I have been making. http://www.shabbyfabrics.com has a tutorial on making a mask with a sewing machine. YouTube has several very good sites making masks. http://www.accuquilt.com has a nice easy to follow design to sew on any size sewing machine. Check them all out and make some for family or friends to help keep them safe. Be creative with fancy fabrics and even some trimming, like lace or ribbons. Young children are more apt to wear them if you make them fun. http://www.smartneedle.com designs has some fun animal face masks that kids would like. They have a free pig embroidery mask. Why not make some of these for any children you know in the hospital. Check out your favorite vendors and see what they have.

Accuquilt Free sewing download pattern

You may need to type in a search for “free mask pattern” to get the pattern. With EmbLibrary just go to their free designs page. If you are not already signed up to get emails from these companies, it is worth it to do so. They all send out emails with sales, free patterns, designs, etc.

This is also a good time to start sewing projects you may want to give for Christmas. I find sewing helps to keep me focused on life while I self isolate. At the end of the day, I’m amazed at where the time has gone.

Meantime I hope we all stay safe. Keep your family as close as you can. Life is good and beautiful. This won’t last forever and hopefully we will get back to normal, renewed and grateful for life, loved ones and the chance to share our art with someone special.

 I will be doing more blogs in the future and I genuinely hope you enjoy them Please pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer,  threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.

Meantime, Happy Sewing!

Molly

UFO Catch Up

These are troubled times and we are all staying home to stay safe. We sewers have a nice advantage in that we can sew, embroider or quilt to keep us busy. Maybe this is the time we can get out those UFO’s and finish them up. Or, maybe you have had a project in mind that you wanted to do but just couldn’t get to it. Well, now is the time to be creative.

I don’t know about you, but I have at least 3 projects that I have started and hopefully I will get them finished or at least on the way. While other people are looking for things to keep them occupied, sewers never have enough time to do what they love to do.

Whatever you decide to do, be grateful that we can spend time doing what we love. I have a couple of UFO’s that are not sewing, namely blogs that I have started and need to finish. Maybe this is the time for me to get those done.

Whatever you do, please stay safe. Life is precious and this too shall pass.

I hope you enjoy my blogs and you pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer,  threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.

Meantime, Happy Sewing!

Molly

Class & Retreat Travel Bag and Supplies

The holidays are almost  over and it’s time to think about taking some classes or going to a retreat. This is one of the joys of being a sewer, a quilter or embroiderer.. It’s especially great when you have all your supplies ready to work and enjoy class.  But wait! What if you forgot to pack a thing or two? Then you get frustrated because you don’t have all the supplies you need. If you are in a store like Expert Sewing Center where I teach, you can buy whatever you need. BUT … if you are taking class some where that you can’t buy what you forgot, then the frustration begins. You might be able to borrow something from another sewer (I have found sewers to be incredibly generous). But maybe no one has what you need.

I figured out years ago, that I needed a complete set of most supplies to always be ready to go. I have a sewing bag that I purchased at my store, about 8 years ago. This way, all I need to do is add whatever supplies my project calls for.

You don’t need to purchase a sewing bag, unless you want to. Pick a small suit case, maybe carry on size, that you can stock with what you need. There are plastic bins that Joanns Craft Store sells that would work. Whatever you choose, make it comfortable for you to have all supplies ready to go.

This is what I carry with me…..

Various scissors, pins, wonder clips, water soluble, air erase or iron off marking pens or chalk, (I have all of these markers in my case but my go to most often is a purple air erase marker). You need a rotary cutter, travel size cutting mat maybe 17 x 28 or smaller but still big enough to cut your fabric or quilt blocks, a small travel iron & ironing pad. Some companies, like OMNIGRID,  or combo cutting mat/ironing pad that is padded on one side and has a cutting mat on the other side. Either of these would work and not take up too much space. Don’t forget various sizes of rulers. My bag will carry a 6 or 6.5 by 18 ruler and I also carry a 6″ ruler for small measurements. You can also get a folding ruler that would give you a longer length if needed.

Don’t forget! Needles to fit your machine in various sizes to suit what you are working on, ie; 80/12 sharps & ball point, 90/14 sharps & ballpoint, embroidery needles 75/11 & 90/14, maybe a top stitch needle. If you are working with metallic thread, be sure to have a needle made to stitch metallic thread.

Threads in neutral colors for quilt piecing such as white, ivory or light grey. I also have a black in my case to go with dark neutrals.

Scotch tape, and medical tape, or Floriani Perfection tape. These hold your embroidery topper, or pieces of applique’ or parts of quilt blocks. Tweezers are another staple in my class bag, to use in embroidery, pulling my bobbin thread to the top of my project, or picking out threads in an embroidery designs gone wrong!!

If you are bringing a sewing machine or embroidery machine, make sure you pack your electric cord, or buy an extra cord that can stay in your class bag.  Don’t forget the case that has all your machine feet. Have extra bobbins to wind if you need to change bobbin color. Maybe put a tube of pre-wound embroidery bobbins in, if your machine likes them.

These things are separate from what is at my sewing table. I have 2 separate sets of everything so all I have to do is grab what supplies or designs I need, plus my machine and my travel supply bag and I am ready to go and enjoy a day of sewing without frustration.

You will be happy you did this. I have students who don’t and they always seem to forget something. Those that have followed my lead, walk into class confident, relaxed and ready for any kind of class.

Here are the 2 bags I use. The small one is for smaller supply classes and is 14″ square and 2″ deep.  It has   individual pockets to store things in. The big one is 18″ x 15″ x 7″ deep.  It has room for a small iron and more full size items like best press, 505 spray, and a roll that you can put all your small items in.  It has a large pocket to hols various size rulers.  Yes, I have duplicates in both bags that are separate from my sewing machine.  You do what works for you, but be guided by what I have suggested. You can figure that out by being guided by my list, or with a list of things you forgot at class, or by just looking around your sewing stuff to see what you always use or may need at class or retreat. A word of note, Omnigrid has a lot of storage options that are geared to the sewing industry. The middle bag is the Sew Together bag that you can make yourself to store the smaller things for class like needles, pins, marking pens, small scissors. It holds a LOT!.

2-gear-bags-2I hope you enjoy my blogs and you pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer,  threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.

Meantime, Happy Sewing!

Molly

Quick Holiday Gift Ideas 2019

a-great-miracle-1It’s the time of year that we need last minute gifts for a holiday party hostess gift, or an unexpected relative arrives, or you forgot “Aunt Mary” in the nursing home needs something personal that she can enjoy. Whatever the person or occasion, here are some ideas to get you started.

delph-blue-rooster-1Towels are always a good choice. They are something people will use and not put in a closet!  Kitchen towels can hold embroidery designs or applique’ designs. Add a nice border to finish them off and make them look like they came from a high end kitchen boutique’. I like using the flat kitchen towels and putting a matching border on the bottom. You can also trim the bottom with rick rack or ribbon. Remember if you are decorating a terry towel to add a clear wash away topper so your stitches don’t disappear into the terry nap.

lace-tea-bookmark-1Free Standing Lace items are great to put in a Christmas card to mail to friends who are far from you. It can be a lace bookmark (yes some people still read a physical book like me) or a Christmas ornament that can be used on their tree every year.

Cloth napkins with a lace corner or a pretty embroidery design or DSCN0915monogram is always a nice gift. You can generally find quality napkins on sale at places like Tuesday Morning, then add your design or monogram to have a gift that is inexpensive but nice.

You can make a table runner and add embroidery. Need it fast? Buy a ready made runner and/or place mats and add a pretty embroidery design, monogram or applique’.

T-shirts and Sweat shirts are great to add embroidery designs to.

Bathroom towels are always a nice gift. Whether they be a set of finger tip towels for a guest bath or a complete set of towels for a master bath. You can monogram them, add a pretty embroidery design, or make them look really fancy with an embossed design. I’ve added a wonderful tutorial video from EmbLibrary.com that shows the proper way to do an embossed plush towel.

Let your imagination be your guide. A gift you made yourself is always 2-gear-bags-2something special and hopefully, appreciated so much more than something you just went out and bought. Here are some other ideas; small zippered bags for someone to put their treasures in, larger gear type bags with lots of pockets to put travel accessories in, or anything embroidered with a person’s name on it. These are just a sample of what you can do to make someone happy

molly-zipper-bag-2

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday.  Here’s to an exciting new year in 2020!

I hope you enjoy reading about sewing, quilting and embroidery. Please sign up to follow my blog. As I have said, Google likes it if we bloggers have followers! Also, please pass on my link to your sewing friends so they can sign up and be informed, too. Check my other blogs as I talk about needles, stabilizers, thread, design project ideas and many more subjects. I hope you will find my past and current blogs to be informative and educational.

If you have any questions or suggestions for  blog ideas, please let me know. I want to make this blog interesting, informative and educational.

Until next time; happy sewing!

Molly

 

Scissors, Scissors, Never Enough Scissors!

Description; Scissors are hand-operated shearing tools. A pair of scissors consists of a pair of metal blades pivoted so that the sharpened edges slide against each other when the handles (bows) opposite to the pivot are closed.

DSCN0833They say you are only as good as your weakest tool. Well that holds very true for scissors. There are many types of scissors and I think I own them all. One pair of scissors (or shears as they are often called) will not do it! Most of your better scissors are forged stainless steel and hold their sharpness.

Dressmaker Shears; These are generally 8″ in length, and bent, but you can get them in a 5 or 6 inch length. These are used for cutting out sewing patterns for clothes.

DSCN0835Embroidery Scissors;  are generally small, curved or flat, and very sharp. I have several types. Flat is great for trimming threads and small spaces. and are 4 or 5 inches long.  There are single curved ones that make it easier to cut into small tight spaces when  cutting around applique’ designs. Double curved ones are great for trimming embroidery threads in the hoop, and for trimming around applique’  without taking a project out of the hoop.

Small Sub Nose Scissors; These are great for trimming threads under a quilt so as not to accidentally cut your fabric. You can also take them on a plane because they have rounded tips instead of sharp pointed tips. If you like to do needle point or hand embroidery while traveling, then having a pair of these is a great idea.

DSCN0838Duckbill Scissors; These are those funny looking ones that have a wide rounded side and a regular flat side. These are wonderful for trimming applique’s. The rounded part goes next to the background fabric while the flat straight side is on top of fabric so you can see where you are cutting. These come in various sizes so buy the size that works for you. I have 3 sizes and I use them all.

Brands; There are many great scissors out there. It is really a matter of preference. Gingher is one of the better brands and maintain their sharpness quite well.  They are a little pricey, but if you watch for sales, or shop online, you can generally get a good deal. Fiskars are a medium priced, nice quality scissor you can find at Joanns and many department stores.  Wiss is an old line brand that you don’t see as much, but has been the “go to” scissor for tailors for many years. The man who taught me to do tailoring introduced me to this brand. It was his favorite. I bought a pair of Wiss Dressmaker 8″ shears and I’m still using them, have never had them sharpened, and they still cut beautifully. There is a newer brand out that is advertised in all the craft and quilting magazines called Kai. They come in all sizes and shapes and I have several curved ones that I use to cut applique embroidery pieces on embroidery designs, and for cutting out fabric pieces when doing cut work machine embroidery. They have a slight serrated blade that is sharp and holds the fabric nicely.

DSCN0837There are also many novelty scissors out there that are fun for clipping threads, etc. Whatever your needs, I can only suggest you buy good quality scissors for whatever project you are working on. The success of your project depends on whatever your weakest tool is. Good quality scissors will make any project go easier. DO NOT use these quality scissors on paper, –  as paper will dull your scissors. Buy cheap scissors for the kids and your husband, and keep your sewing and embroidery scissors in a safe place only you know where they are. (:-)

DSCN0839Rotary cutters are a whole new kind of cutter, used mainly by quilters and machine embroiderers. Most all brands of rotary cutters are excellent quality. They vary in style and that is a matter of preference. Just change your blades often, or cutting through the fabric can become an issue.

I hope you enjoy reading about sewing, quilting and embroidery. Please sign up to follow my blog. As I have said, Google likes it if we bloggers have followers! Also, please pass on my link to your sewing friends so they can sign up and be informed, too. Check my other blogs as I talk about needles, stabilizers, thread, design project ideas and many more subjects. I hope you will find my past and current blogs to be informative and educational.

If you have any questions or suggestions for  blog ideas, please let me know. I want to make this blog interesting, informative and educational.

Until next time; happy sewing!

Molly

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Mean I Need More Than 2 Stabilizers?

I think this is one of my most asked questions in class. Stabilizers have come a long way from the early days of using paper or coffee filters to stabilize fabrics in an embroidery hoop. That’s going way back in time! I’ve been sewing since I was a young child, but doing embroidery for the past 12 years. Times have changed, even from when I started, and those changes are wonderful for those of us who do home embroidery. The quality of stabilizers is amazing and when you use the proper stabilizer for your project, the outcome is beautiful. You can take a plain piece of fabric or linen and make a high end style pillow that would cost you up to $100 from a home decor boutique store. Your cost? The price of a yard of fabric, your embroidery supplies, and your creative imagination.  You can design a kitchen tea towel and personalize it to give as a gift. You can embroider a beautiful monogram on a set of towels for a lovely wedding gift. All these projects use a different stabilizer to make them look professional.

There are two main things to remember. If the fabric stretches, use a cutaway stabilizer. If it doesn’t stretch, you can use a tearaway. That’s your starting point. If you keep that in mind, most of your problems are solved.

Let’s look at Tearaway stabilizers, of which there are many. There is light to medium weight tearaway which can be used on designs that are not overly dense, or they can be used to “float” under another stabilizer when a design has more than 10,000 stitches.

Another one is the “sticky back” tearaway. Floriani makes one called Perfect Stick. This particular stabilizer is half water based and half fiber based. This means that the portion under the stitches will stay even if the rest is washed away. I like this one for a lot of things like embroidery on quilting fabric, tea towels, small terry kitchen towels, etc. This stabilizer, as I understand,  has a silicone base so it won’t gum up your needle. RNK Distributing makes this and many other stabilizers under the brand names of Floriani and Jenny Haskins. They also have one called Wet n Stick. With this stabilizer, you dampen the stabilizer once it is hooped, and a little water activates the sticky quality. Then “float” and stick down the item to be embroidered. This one is great for heavier towels. Once you are done stitching, dampen the back of the stabilizer and it will activate the water property again, so it will peel away and tear away easily. Again, it is half water soluble and half fiber.

You can also get iron on tearaway that you fuse to the back of the fabric, then hoop fabric and stabilizer as one.  For the most part, it is always best if you can hoop the stabilizer and the fabric together. But… there are times when hooping the fabric is not good for a variety of reasons, like a quality towel or velvet which could get “hoop burn”. Or the fabric is too delicate, so floating is the best option. Floriani has a sheet inside the tube of each stabilizer roll  that tells you how to use that particular one.

Stretch fabric like T-shirts, knits, sweatshirts and some cottons need a cutaway stabilizer. A prime example is a T-shirt with lots of stretch. This needs No Show Mesh cutaway. It comes in fusible and non fusible. Several companies make this type,  but I happen to like Floriani because it comes in 3 color options, white, beige and black. I generally use beige or black depending on the fabric color. Because you cut it away about 1/8th inch to 1/4th inch  from the outside edge of the design, the beige doesn’t show through the light colored T-shirts.

You can also get a cutaway that looks like tearaway, but can’t be torn. This one is great for heavy sweatshirts, or jackets and will hold a large design with a heavy stitch count. This same cutaway is great to use behind a design that you want to turn into a decor picture in a frame or wall hanging.

There’s one more to talk about. water soluble stabilizers. These are great to use for Free Standing Lace (FSL), or for embroidery on organza, or sheer fabrics that you don’t want a stabilizer to show on the back. I like the kind that looks like funny fabric or cheese cloth. It’s sturdy and one or two layers can hold a LOT of stitches. Sulky also makes a heavy weight plastic or opaque looking stabilizer that is also good for FSL. There is another kind that looks like Saran Wrap. This is a “topper” that you put on top of your design to hold down the nap while stitching out your design.  Sulky calls it a stabilizer, but it is not to be used for holding stitches. The light or medium weight is to be used only as a topper. You pull it off and if you have any little nooks and crannies that you need to get out, a wet cue tip will do the trick. There is also a topper that you melt off with a dry iron. Follow instructions carefully to know how to use it properly. Floriani  calls theirs Heat N Gone

One of my favorite things to do is embroidery on towels. Below is a You Tube video with some excellent instructions on stabilizing terry or velour towels. The educator is Ellen Olsten and she is wonderful. I had the pleasure of meeting her when she came to our store, Expert Sewing Center, with a Sulky sit n sew event.  Watch and enjoy!

I welcome comments or questions and would love to have you “follow” my blog, so please click the follow button, fill in your email, and you will receive a notice each time I publish a new blog. Don’t worry, no emails are ever sold

Please check out some of my past blogs. I try to make them informative and educational. It is my delight to help people to enjoy and learn. Sewing has been a passion of mine since I was a young child.  There is a blog on threads, or one on needles, or ideas for gifts and more.  Also check out my creative links. These are businesses I do business with. They are all good quality companies.

Until next time…. Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

Charming Gifts For Any Holiday or Special Occasion

Here are some ideas for you to make quick holiday, hostess gifts, birthday gifts  or cherished Christmas gifts for family and friends to use every year.

I said I would start adding You Tube videos that I thought my subscribers would like. Here’s the first one and it comes from our friends at http://www.emblibrary.com …I love these cute and fun napkins that can be made with cotton or washable linen fabric, and you can make them  for any occasion.  If you are an embroiderer, put a cute embroidery design that fits whatever holiday you choose, or a fun any occasion design that you can use year round. Not an embroiderer? How about an applique’ design. They call them Christmas Tree napkins, because of the fold, but with a non holiday fabric or embroidery design, they would just look charming on your table.  Let’s face it, nothing says elegance like a cloth napkin.

How about a  simple monogram on napkins you purchase at  stores like Tuesday Morning? They are elegant and can be used year round.

delph-blue-rooster-1

Kitchen dish towels machine embroidered with a pretty design, make a great useful gift. Make them fancy by putting on a bottom trim of fabric, rick rack or ribbon. Pot holders are always another useful gift. Why not make them to match your kitchen towel, and you have a lovely Holiday, house warming or party gift. Better than a bottle of wine. Better yet, wrap the towel around the wine and tie with a pretty bow. Sounds good to me.

Place mats are always fun sewing project. Four can be made with a yard of top fabric and a yard of complimentary back fabric. Sandwich them with Annie’s Soft n Stable, add a decorative binding, and you have a one of a kind gift. Are you a quilter? Make a patchwork top and you have something really special. Before putting the binding on, quilt it with cross hatching (or in the ditch) and you have a very professional looking gift. Again make matching pot holders to finish it off.

Have a golfer in your family or circle of friends? How about a golf towel with a cute black-golf-bag-1embroidered  design on it and maybe even a name or monogram. You can purchase quality golf towels from All About Blanks or Discount Embroidery Blanks. They have beautiful velour tops with terry back for wiping hands or golf clubs. Towels also come ready with grommet and hook to attach to golf bag and they have a wonderful variety of colors.

2-ivory-fingertip-christmas-towelsDon’t forget bath room towel sets. Fingertip towels with a pretty machine embroidered design or monogram are great for a powder room. Bath towel sets with an elegant monogram is always a nice Christmas present house warming or wedding shower gift.

Don’t forget  to machine embroider T-Shirts, Sweat shirts, and jackets to dress up your own clothes or for someone else. Kids love T-shirts embroidered by Grandma (or Grandpa) Be sure to put Sulky Tender Touch or Floriani Dream Weave on back of design to cover stitches so the threads inside the shirt don’t touch the skin.

These are just an idea of quick gifts that will be appreciated. If you only sew, then besides place mats, how about fabric bowls, rope bowls or wall hangings.

Ok. Now that I’ve inspired you, lets get sewing. I welcome comments or questions and would love to have you “follow” my blog, so please click the follow button, fill in your email, and you will receive a notice each time I publish a new blog. Don’t worry, no emails are ever sold.

PS. All kitchen towels, golf towels, and finger tip towels can be purchased at All About Blanks, or Discount Embroidery blanks. See Creative Links.

Until the next time….. happy sewing!

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Where Did You Get That?

Whenever I teach a class, I try to bring something new to the table. I may use ribbon, sequins, rick rack or rhinestones (I’m accused of being a “bling” girl), on whatever embroidery project I am doing. Well, I have some great companies I buy from and I would like tell you about some of them. Most of these companies also have great sales throughout the year, so be sure to sign up to get their emails. It’s well worth it. Their links are all in my Creative Links section.

Thread Art.com has EVERYTHING you could want to trim your project. That’s not all, they have many different types and weights of threads. Add, embroidery designs you can download, quilting fabric, vinyl, stabilizer, and much more. You just have to check each page to see what treasure you can find.

Another great company to buy blanks to embroider on, is Discount Embroidery Blanks.com They, and their sister store, Sewfisticated Stitcher.com  have reasonably priced blanks like towels of all kinds. tea towels, golf towels, finger tip towels, etc. Don’t let their prices fool you. The quality is great.

Also check out All About Blanks.com  They have some beautiful things you can embroider like the usual towels, but also elegant cotton table runners, napkins, handkerchiefs, etc (be sure to use 60 wt. embroidery thread when working with delicate handkerchiefs)

There are other companies out there, but these 3 companies I do a lot of business with.

How nice is it to make something personalized for someone special. We all like the sound of our own name. Well, how about their name or monogram on a gift  that they will always cherish.

Please click the follow button and sign up to follow my blog. You will get an email each time I publish something new. Check out my past blogs and I’d appreciate it if you would pass on my link to your sewing, quilting and embroidery friends.

Until next time …. happy sewing!