Search Results for: stitch lab

DIME Stitch Lab 2018 Haul

I just took a fun little overnight road trip to The Woodlands (just north of Houston) to attend a Designs in Machine Embroidery (DIME) Stitch Lab.  I’d never been to one and wanted to check it out.  It was held at the Homewood Suites and that’s where I stayed the night as well.  I think there were about 45 in attendance and it was sponsored by the Sewing & Vacuum Warehouse.  They did a great job of hosting and feeding the herd for two days.  They even took into consideration my low carb diet and had specialty meals for me.  Nice huh?

The room was set up with nine sets of three 4 ft tables in U-shape groupings for 3 to sit at each table – total of up to nine folks on each table set.  On each table was the brand new Brother Luminaire sewing and embroidery machine (comparable to the Baby Lock Solaris I believe).  This thing is a beauty and it lights up like a runway!  It has a whole host of very cool features like the ability to edit your designs right on the iPad-sized screen and project your design onto the stitching field so you know exactly where the design will go and what it will look like when it’s finished.  I think it has a camera in it too so you can take a picture of what you want and it will show up on the screen so you can edit it.  This thing is pretty high tech.  They sold 5 or 6 of them at the event, but not to me.  lol
wp-15370921969877705933806977390960.jpgwp-15370921972621573609328242727361.jpg

This seminar was not a Brother demo though so we didn’t get schooled in all the cool features of the machine, but was instead an opportunity to try out all of the DIME products on the machine.  They had fabric and stabilizer for us to make six projects:  a dog bandana with 3-D raised foam lettering, a hot pad trivet, a giraffe Embroider Buddy, a wall hanging, a t-shirt, and a burp cloth.  All things were donated to local charities and the giraffes and burp clothes went to a children’s hospital.  Nice huh? 🙂  This is my table partner Terri.
wp-1537092197457826113131904675601.jpg

The bottom line of this event (while incredibly fun) is that it is for us to play with all the cool gizmos that DIME offers to make our embroidery journey fun and easier.  After a product was demonstrated by the great instructors, they had little paddles with numbers on them for each of us and little shopping bags lined up against the back wall with our corresponding numbers from the paddles.  When they were finished doing a product demo, Cheryl the head DIME Educator, would ask who wanted one and we’d all raise our paddles and she’d call out our numbers like an auctioneer.  The girls in the back would stuff our bags and in the end it was like Christmas!  Shopping while sitting down in front of a gorgeous toy and making friends along the way.  I loved it!  Here is Cheryl.  She was awesome!
wp-15370921978416440639126214440542.jpg

Note:  The links to the products below are affiliate links so if you use that link to buy something, I get paid by the vendor so I can buy more stuff.  Win win!

My haul included Word Art in Stitches software which I bought specifically for the 10 micro-fonts.  My son is a pastor and wants me to embroider scripture on small items and you simply can’t do that with regular software when the smallest font size is 1/2″.  It also digitizes for the puffy letters that is so popular now on ball caps.  This software can be used for any brand embroidery machine and comes with over 140 fonts.  The demo was amazing.  Most of my embroidery includes lettering so this is well worth the expense to me.  I’ll also use it to embroider on quilt backings vs. hand stitching on a separate quilt label.
wp-1537094043054277688844822131425.jpg

I also picked up Perfect Stitch Viewer which allows you to see a preview of your design on your laptop in the file library so know what the heck it is you’re looking at.  When you download design files from any online vendor, it comes with a file name like UT123456 and what the heck is that?  You can’t open it to see without opening your design software and pulling the file in.  Even if you re-name the file to say like “Snowman”, do you know how many snowman files I have?  Scads!  I have the Embrilliance version of this and it works great, but while I can see the preview of the .pes files, I can’t see the preview of the .jef files for the new 7 needle Janome machine we have (I’m not sure why – probably operator error).  AND this software allows me to see a preview of long arm files!  YAY!  That’s what really sold me on this version.  Worth every penny.
wp-15370940435106016430019262254388.jpg

Next is the Bird’s Nest tool.  How this works is when you have a bird’s nest, rather than attempt to remove the hoop – with the nest refusing to let go – and doink up your machine’s timing while you’re at it, you use this long hook to reach under the hoop and lift the stabilizer away from the machine.  Then use the long blade to get under there and slice the nesty threads.  Then you can remove the hoop safely and clean it up.  It comes in a handy zipper case with an extra blade and blade cover.  Of course, I’ve never had a bird’s nest happen to me so I don’t know why I bought it.  HA!  I wish!  Plus, it doubles as a weapon if needed or I can remove my appendix.  Money.
wp-15370940438791062821444712581852.jpg

I’ve wanted these little Hoop Guards for a while.  Have you ever embroidered a newborn Onesie?  Absolute miserable experience.  Nuff said.
wp-1537094043704325479430669553048.jpg

I’ve looked around for an off-brand version of this Print & Stick Target Paper and haven’t found it.  This makes life so much easier when hooping.  I usually print out my design on regular paper and then pin or use spray adhesive to adhere it to the item I’m hooping.  That method has a success factor of like 50% or less for me on hard-to-hoop items because inevitably, the paper comes off or I poke myself.  The tack on this paper is great and it doesn’t leave any residue when you lift it off.  They call it paper but it’s really like a lightweight sticky interfacing that bends along with the item it is stuck to and seriously stays put. You can use the printed paper many times over and over (that’s redundant I know but it’s important so I’m leaving it).  You print your design on this paper using your regular printer, cut it out and then stick it to your item and hoop your item as usual.  Since the paper is stuck firmly to the item, you can be exactly sure you’ve centered your design where you want it in the hoop.  This is especially helpful for big designs that require multiple hoopings like up the leg of a pair of jeans.  Then you load your hoop into the machine, make sure your needle is coming down exactly on center and remove the sticky paper.  Playing with this stuff at the seminar, I really found the value in it for me.
wp-1537094044171231480516026271452.jpg

And last but not least, is the Unicorn Embroider Buddy.  Isn’t she cute?  They had a wall full of these cute cuddly creatures of all kinds, but there was only one unicorn.  I saw her early on the first day and I went to the back of the room and asked the lady to put her in my bag right away.  I knew she’d be gone in an instant.  You can remove the insides from these creatures and then hoop their belly in a 4×4 hoop for any design you like.  On the 2nd day when I was waiting in line to check out, one lady came up to me and asked me if I’d be willing to part with it.  Was she serious??  Fat chance!  She said that the shop could order her one and she hoped that it would come in by the time she went to Ft Worth to see her granddaughter because her granddaughter just LOVES unicorns.  Well what granddaughter doesn’t?  I’ve got one too ya’ know?  You think I’m buying this for myself?  Sheesh! You snooze you lose sister!  I asked if she lived nearby and she said yes.  I said I well I don’t so I’d have to pay shipping if I didn’t get it now.  So she says, “Oh well OK, you should keep it then.”  HA!  Well gee, thanks!  Like it was ever an option that she was going to get this unicorn from me.  I was bigger than her so I’m sure I could take her but you never know about those ladies.
wp-15370940443202427410511347376877.jpg

Because my purchase was over $250 I got a free font.  That was nice I suppose.  Not sure when I’ll use it but hey, it was free!
wp-1537094044022122676737978855113.jpg

So that’s it!  I left a little early to start the 3-hour drive home.  I really had a great time!

wp-15370921979755192102789343520247.jpg

Applique, Stitch Artist, and Silhouette Cameo 3

I’m recently all about a new technology/skill/craft that is creating pre-cut fabric applique pieces with a cutting machine and adding them to a quilt block with an embroidery machine.  I’m not sure what that is (lazy?) but you just can’t pick this up and go unless you’re super savvy and have the right equipment and embroidery digitizing software.  At least I need to be super savvy.  🙂

About two years ago or so, I bought a Silhouette Cameo3 from Woot.com for $199.00 which apparently was a great deal.  Have you heard of Woot.com?  Awesome daily deals and shipping is always $5.  This company was started by 2 guys from Texas and was bought a couple of years ago by Amazon.  I digress, but check them out.  Anyhoo…  So I bought this thing with the idea that it could make latex logo labels for hubs to use in his custom fishing rod business.  It came with a starter pack with a bunch of blades and tools and an extra mat I think.

Silhouette-Cameo-3-1

It arrived, I told hubs what it was, set the box down on the floor in the game room, and that was that.  Forgotten.  Don’t have a heart attack!  My blog is Power Tools with Thread, not “power tools with paper”.  Lots of you paper craft and I applaud that.  It just isn’t me.  Maybe it goes back to a seriously bad paper cut as a kid, I’m not sure, but I have absolutely no desire in my LIFE to paper craft.

So one morning while we were at the coast and the house was quiet (hubs was still asleep) I was surfing YouTube and I came across a video of someone cutting fabric shapes with a cutting machine.  I had literally completely forgotten about the box in the game room and was like “Hey! I should get one of those machines because I HATE to trace and cut out applique shapes in fabric and I could use this for the Dinosaur Applique Quilt”.   The machine in the video was the Brother Scan-n-Cut so I watched all kinds of videos on that machine.   

When we got home I was putting things away and for no reason, glanced at the box on the floor in the game room and it struck me.  EUREKA! I have one of those machines!  I opened it up and it’s not a Scan-n-Cut, but the Silhouette Cameo 3.  Hmm.  More YouTube surfing for some OJT on that baby.  I finally got the thing working with my phone via Bluetooth, but had a disastrous outcome when I tried to cut the fabric.

Then on another day I was surfing YouTube (again) and I came across a video by Briton Leap featuring Lisa Shaw who’s a rock star in the machine embroidery world.  She was showing how to use an embroidery machine to create a placement line for pre-cut applique shapes and then sew a final tack-down stitch for the pieces.  Seriously???  I wouldn’t even have to sew them in place?  Wait…Let me get this right… If I can get the shapes to cut out with the Silhouette, and use embroidery software to create an applique file, then I wouldn’t have to trace/print, cut, or sew it down the old fashioned way?  REALLY??  SIGN ME UP!!  

My first thing was to order her recommended Heat & Bond Lite Stretch.  She showed in the video how it turns the fabric to almost paper-like so it cuts cleanly in a cutting machine.  In my previous attempts I had used Wonder Under on the back of the fabric and I tried it with the paper and without the paper on the back of the fabric and it didn’t work worth a crap either way.

After seeing the video with Lisa Shaw, I didn’t know if my Embrilliance software would work or if I needed a digitizing software like Stitch Artist?  I surfed all around the web and I guess I either didn’t ask the right question or whatever but I couldn’t find an answer.  Well, when Google fails there’s Facebook!  I became a member of a machine embroidery group and explained what I wanted to do and asked for advice.  Guess who responded to me?  LISA SHAW!  In the virtual flesh!  (I was tickled!) She said I would need to upgrade my Embrilliance Essentials to Stitch Artist Level 1 and then pointed me to the video in the link below where Sunbonnet Sue was digitized with Stitch Artist for applique. 

So that’s it!  I need time to play with all this and my initial fiddling with Stitch Artist is going well but I haven’t had time to try cutting fabric yet with the new H&B.  But this summer has been so crazy busy and I’m on a new compressed work schedule that keeps me in the office for an extra hour each day but gives me a day off every two week pay period. It’s on those off days I’ll be able to sit and think and play to get this process going.  Have you done this?  Success?  Failure?  Words of wisdom?

UPDATE:  Summer 2018.  I never could get the hang of the Silhouette – too much of a learning curve for this techy girl if you can believe it.  So I sold it on Craigslist and bought the Brother ScanNCut 650W.  LOVE IT!!  I have mastered cutting my applique shapes in fabric and embroidering them down using Simply Applique.  Read about it here:  https://powertoolswiththread.com/2018/09/23/automated-machine-embroidered-applique-with-brother-scan-n-cut-simply-applique/

Merry Christmas 2018!

As promised, I’m going to show all the quilting and embroidery gifts I worked on throughout the year for my grand kiddos. The quilts were quilted on my King Quilter using a Butler robot. And before you wonder if I spent my Christmas morning blogging, no…I wrote this a few days ago and scheduled it to post at 7 AM on Dec 25.

The first is a quilt for my 10 y/o step-granddaughter Lyric. She is all into that Monster High that young girls are into now. I found this Grimsely’s fabric and pattern at Mes Ames Quilt shop in New Orleans. I blogged how I finished the top in the RV before we even left the camp site! Sorry, I didn’t get a photo after I quilted it.

The next was for Aiden, my baby grandbaby who just turned 2 in October. They call him Aiden the Destroyer because he’s already built like a little linebacker and doesn’t mind giving a stack of toys (or a person) a tackle for no reason at all. It’s called Woodland Friends and was just a simple panel with borders. The quilting is Puffy Clouds from Intelligent Quilting. It has an 80/20 Warm and a poly batting to make the clouds extra puffy.

My local quilt shop had this kit on the wall – all except for the backing which I found on Etsy. It’s called Corner of 5th and Fun and I just fell in love with it. This one is for Callie my 5 year old granddaughter with the Christmas Birthday. I wrapped the quilt in Christmas paper to set it apart from the unicorn she got for her birthday. It too is a panel that’s cut into 3 parts and then pieced with strips of pinwheels and blocks in the border. The quilt pattern is Bunnies from Urban Elementz. I didn’t want it too dense so it might take away from the images on the quilt.

And last but not least, the Cute Monster Quilt from Craftsy by Wendi Gratz. If you haven’t already, please check out my YouTube channel for details on how I made it by using the Brother ScanNCut for the applique pieces. This one is for Calvin, my 7 year old grandson, and I was originally going to make him the Bjorn Bear quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. However, I started too late and decided the monster quilt would be quicker. I’m not entirely sure that was true! LOL I quilted it with Spirals Squared (a pattern that came with my robot Butler). If you notice, one of the monsters has blue glasses just like Calvin does! Third row/2nd monster. The glasses pattern is from the Bjorn Bear quilt pattern and I scaled it down 55% to make it fit. I cut them out on the ScanNCut as well. The fabric is from a fat quarter bundle designed for the Bjorn Bear quilt. The backing is a light gray Grunge. I had SO much fun making this quilt and it’s by far my favorite of all my quilts I’ve ever done. That’s my lucky gecko on the ceiling!

For Callie’s birthday present, I embroidered the Unicorn Embroider Cubbie. I blogged my acquisition of this adorable creature at the DIME Stitch Lab in Houston last Sept. It’s a little crooked…just like me. 🙂 I also made her the Reading Pillow as a Christmas present. I show it here on YouTube. It has an embroidered unicorn on it and the pocket contains a Little Golden Book The Night Before Christmas and an activities book. The back of the pillow is a minkey scrap.

That’s all for now. Enjoy what remains of your Christmas season and Happy New Year!

December 1st!  Somebody tell me where the year went!  Y’all, I have to tell you that 2018 has been a blessed year around our house and I hope it was at yours as well.  Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past month.

Check out the cutting mat I picked up at the Quilt Festival in Houston last month.  This thing is like a football field!  I absolutely love it.  I got it at the show price of $75.  I’ve been butting up two large green Olfa mats for some time now and inevitably they come apart in the middle and the rotary cutter won’t cut there or if overlapped, they were like a ski slope.
wp-1543668259794..jpg

I’ve wanted a heat press for some time as well, and I picked up this 6″ x 7″ for just $99 along with a mat and pressing sheets on Amazon on Black Friday.
wp-1543668259818..jpg

I don’t do a whole lot of heat transfer vinyl (I don’t have the room in my world for that craft)  but the girls at work decided we’d all look the same on Fridays this month and we all got this bling design to go on black t-shirts.  I needed an iron right?  My blogger buddy Joy would just love this!  wp-1543668259831..jpg

Sorry Joy, when we bought the bling pieces at work, you and I weren’t in contact yet or I’d of made one for you.  I’ll think of you every time I wear it though!  Isn’t she a peach?  You guys have to go check out Joy Bernhardt on YouTube and her blog at Joyful-expressions.blogspot.com.  Joy is bubbly, happy, and always up to something.  I just love her videos and following her around in her sewing room.  That’s a new BabyLock Solaris hiding under the new cover she made for it.  Can’t wait to see what she starts doing with that beauty!
Joy

When I went to the DIME Stitch Lab in The Woodlands in Sept, I bought a piece of software called Word Art in Stitches and let me tell you, I love this thing!  I’m a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (I have like 13 American Revolutionary War ancestors) and my local chapter wanted to have matching embroidered blouses that we could wear to public events where we wouldn’t normally be wearing our ribbons like in chapter meetings or State conferences.  I came up with this design and I’m testing it out right now on “like” fabric to see how it’s stitching out.  The micro-fonts in WAS are exactly why I purchased this software.  The lower case letters are about 1/4″ tall.  Look how clear they are!
wp-1543668259905..jpg

Not sewing related, but would you look at the price of fuel here in South Texas?  WOW!
wp-1543668259947..jpg

We had an amazing feast for Thanksgiving at the Hurricane in Port O’Connor.  There was so much food with great friends.  The restaurant provided the turkey & ham and everyone was asked to bring a side.  I brought two homemade pecan pies.  We had a wonderful time and I didn’t have to kill myself cooking and cleaning.  Perfect!  Keith gave the blessing and it’s got almost 400 Likes on FaceBook.
wp-1543668259938..jpg

While we were in POC, I stopped by Beefore It’s a Quilt in Port Lavaca, and picked up a kit for this quilt.  It’s just perfect for my house in LaVernia.  It’s really lovely and the photo doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a Villa Rosa pattern and sometimes the simplest patterns make the prettiest and most satisfying finishes.
wp-1543668259890..jpg

I made a couple of these embroidered toilet paper rolls as a gag and Keith took them in to the office as a show-n-tell.  Now I’ve got orders for 5 of them!  Thanks for adding to my to-do list!  Ha!  If you want to know how to make these, there’s a bunch of videos on YouTube.
wp-1543668259880..jpg

The Christmas Scenes quilt is off the longarm and bound.  It turned out so pretty!
wp-1543668259929..jpg

My local quilt store, Scrappy Quilter in Schertz, Texas is moving.  They found a place twice the size across the street from their old shop.  I stopped by to lend a hand and they put me to work moving about 100+ bolts of clearance fabric from a huge pile on one end of the store into a display on the other end.  I had a blast!
wp-1543668259866..jpg

I’m working on a quilt for a grandchild for Christmas.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
wp-1543668259807..jpg

I’ve got to get this finished, longarmed, bound, and mailed in the next two weeks.  Yikes!  I need to quit blogging and get sewing!  What are you working on?

 

 

 

Tutorial – Making the Millennium Quilt Block

Summer is almost here and it is time to start thinking about quilts for the upcoming patriotic season. The Millennium block is an easy and beautiful block for quilts for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. This block finishes at 12″ so it’s a nice sized block that will make a beautiful table runner too with just 3 or 4 blocks. Let’s get started!

This line of fabric is a combination of an American Basics roll of 2.5″ strips and a navy blue fat quarter.

Cutting instructions:

Block A (1) – 4″ x 4″ square.
B (4) – 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares.
C (4) – 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.
D (4) – 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.
E (4) – 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares.
F (4) – 1.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.
G (4) – 1.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles.
H (8) – 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares. These squares matched Block A.

Start by making for flying geese units. Sew 2 of square H to 1 rectangle C. Draw a diagonal line on the back of square H and sew from the outer corner toward the middle.

Trim outside the stitch line to 1/4″ and iron the point open.

Repeat on the other side.

Make 4. They should finish at 2.5″ x 4.5″.

Sew together the F & G rectangles to make 4.

Sew the F & G rectangle to the C & H flying geese unit.

Time to make the corner blocks. Sew B & E together and make 4.

Sew the B & E unit to D.

Make 4 of the corner blocks.

Now lay everything out like a 9 patch!

Sew your nine patch together for a gorgeous Millennium block!

I’m going to make enough of these for 5 across and 5 down with sashing and navy cornerstones in between! So pretty!

QuiltCon 2020

My buddy Lisa and I and our husbands trekked up to Austin, Texas with “Media Creds” to check out QuiltCon 2020. QuiltCon gets its name as a take off from Comic-Con which is where all the comic book groupies join up for a comic book convention every year – usually in LasVegas. So QuiltCon is a quilt convention but it is the quilt convention for the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG). You can read about the MQG here. This year, there were 1,600 quilts entered into the show to be juried and 432 were chosen to be judged. Sorry about image quality throughout this post. I snagged the pictures as screen shots while editing the videos.

My previous experience with QuiltCon is limited. I’ve read about it on blogs over the years and have come across posts where quilters have had quilts accepted for judging. I was very excited to interview the Executive Director, Karen Cooper, and come to find out, we live about 20 miles from each other. From what I could tell, she did an amazing job and the show itself was very well-organized and flowed very smoothly.

I loved the Welcome Quilt.

We saw some very lovely work at this show. This quilt took 2nd place in Piecing.

We also saw some quilts that were designed to shock. I guess that comes with the territory of the modern quilting movement. There were political messages and other themed quilts that were very “in your face” about the divisive issues of our time regarding politicians, guns, oppression, political anarchy, immigration…you name it. We saw it all including profanity delicately hand stitched and pieced into fabric. Beauty and art is in the eye of the beholder.

Here is a glimpse of the Best In Show by Peter of Toronto, Canada. This is a screenshot of my interview with him in front of his winning quilt.

This one took Judge’s Choice.

There were also some we saw with no message but just a work of art.

So that’s a glimpse of what we did yesterday. Today we are off to another quilt show in Brenham, Texas that I’m pretty sure will lean more to the side of “traditional quilting”. Happy Trails!

Thank You for 2019 and Happy New Year!

What an amazing year this has been! I find it hard to believe I began this blog 5 years ago. Over the past 5 years I’ve had successes, I’ve had fails, and all along the way I’ve learned what an amazing group of people that quilters and sewers are. Whether you’re in the industry or a home quilter/embroiderer/sewer, you are an incredible group of people!

The beginning of 2019 found me expanding my social media presence and starting up my YouTube channel and oh my…what a response you have given me! In just the first year, I’m almost to 8,400 subscribers! I owe all of that to Joy Bernhardt (above) for her unfailing support to me and encouraging you to visit my channel. That’s hard to believe (that you’d watch) when it’s only been a year. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. I’ve loved meeting you at shops, quilt shows, the Houston Quilt Festival, and at retreats. I’ve loved doing the giveaways and receiving your leftovers for those of you who are downsizing and passing them forward.

It is so meaningful to me when I do a “Come Along With Me” video and I hear from so many of you that you can no longer get out to shop in the stores any longer and so appreciate the tour because “it’s just like you were there”. Maybe you don’t drive any longer, maybe you’re a full time care giver, or maybe your health doesn’t permit you to get out as much as you would like. It means the world to me that I can help you continue to visit quilt and sewing stores and shops. Or maybe you’re looking for a new shop to visit on your next outing! Road trip!!
https://youtu.be/Dxv4QGmFMzI

2020 is already full of new and exciting things for Power Tools With Thread. I’ve begun a collaboration with Designs by JuJu and I’m so excited to begin to share Julie’s adorable embroidery designs. I’ve also begun collaborating with Creative Notions Quilt Shop monthly subscription where Vickie will provide me the latest and greatest quilting fabrics and notions that I can share with you. I especially love her Kids Box that is full of creativity and designed to get the littles away from a screen and allows you to share your love of stitching with them.

There will be a lot more tutorials and quilt/sew-alongs too. I just love to teach, but not only that, I love to learn from you as well. There’s not a single video I put out that I don’t learn a thing or two from your comments. Many of you know my ‘day job’ is in computers and I so enjoy sharing the new technology with you that can make your life in your sewing room sew much easier!
https://youtu.be/CBYfaaNruyY

I will continue to do classes and events with Allbrands and Designs in Machine Embroidery. I also have lots of shop spotlights planned for the new year as well in my travels. My husband is retiring in April 2020 and he says he has plans to be ‘my bus driver’ to take me around to all my quilting and embroidery excursions. I’m so blessed that he supports me the way he does.

He also has plans to begin to make custom sewing tools that he will make in his woodshop. Be on the lookout for a Power Tools With Thread shop on Etsy (or the like) for fine handcrafted tailor’s tools, sleeveboards, ruler stands, etc. Here’s one he made me for Christmas a few years ago. He couldn’t believe I filled up that day! Well duh! lol


As I type this, we are on our way to Manhattan, KS and we are nearly to our destination. Again, I thank you for your support, your likes and chat in the PTWT Facebook group, your loves on Instagram, and your YouTube subscriptions. I want to wish each and every one of you a very blessed and Happy New Year and I can’t wait to continue our stitching journey together!

Simplicity 8794 #widelegpantchallenge

Have you all heard about Joy Bernhardt’s Wide Leg Pant Challenge? She decided to challenge us all to make up some wide leg pants to get us sewing and because they are SOOOO easy!

I used Simplicity 8794. The pattern for the pants is literally 3 pieces. Front, back, and POCKET! Love me some pockets!

The elastic I used is a 1.5″ wide super soft elastic that I got from Louise Cutting’s website (based on a recommendation from Joy). I trimmed it down to 1.25″. This stuff is amazing and so easy to sew through.

I used 3 machines in this make: 1) the serger for the inner and outer leg seams; 2) the standard sewing machine for the hem; and 3) the coverstitch for the waistband. I think a coverstitch machine makes for such a pretty look on the outside over an elastic waist band. I used Steam-A-Seam for the hem before stitching the single hem stitch at a 4.0.

The fabric is a luscious stretch crepe. It’s heavy and flowy and has a beautiful hand. Sorry, I can’t recall where I got it and it’s not in any of my regular online ordering history so maybe…probably…Joann’s?

I get my labels at Dutch Label Shop. I love this!

These will be worn a lot! I need a shorter top to wear with them though. I would also go down a size. My hips measure 44 so that’s a size 20 out of the package but I probably could wear my standard pattern size of 18.

OK, time to post on Instagram! If you’re doing this, be sure to tag them (use the pound sign! lol) #widelegpantchallenge (and that’s “pant” singular)

#DIME Trapunto Seashell Table Runner is Finished!

I’ve finished the table runner! Yay! #DesignsInMachineEmbroidery has offered a free table runner project and you can get the directions and a link to download the files on my previous post here. Also, those free design files are only good through Dec 31, 2019 so if you think you might want to make this later, be sure to download them from the Ameliescott website now.

Trapunto Seashell Table Runner
Designs In Machine Embroidery Trapunto Seashell Table Runner

I made the last two how-to videos today and unfortunately, before I finished, my camera battery ran out. Dang! Typical… I’ll be editing them and getting them up this week.

Anyhoo…Once I figured out how to use the scan camera in my Brother Quattro (upgrade Kit 1), life became fun, and happy, and full of rainbows! 🙂 So much so, that I was disappointed when the time came to say goodnight to my machine. That nifty little feature allowed me to perfectly place the quilt stitching in the background fabric around the shell and also place the stitching in the accent fabric. I can “see” the stitching on the screen by using the scanned image that the camera picked up. I’m in a silly kind of heaven I never knew existed!

I finished the runner with My Favorite Machine Binding Method using a Kona Silver I got from an MSQC Daily Deal that was hanging around in my stash. However, unlike that blog post, I no longer need or use the Steam-a-Seam due to my Brother PQ1500SL which upped my binding game much to my surprise. The 1/4″ foot on that machine does away with the need for pins, clips, or SAS. I love it!

Oh, one more thing… Offer ends July 31, 2019 to get two years of #DesignsInMachineEmbroidery magazine for the price of one for less than $20! Use this link. http://www.dzgns.com/magazine/bt142/ If your Apple Safari browser won’t let you through, use Chrome or Firefox or the Samsung browser if you have an Android device. When you get to the point of actually ordering, it switches to https so it is secure.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I hope during the course of this project you learned to overcome your fear and the mystique of your embroidery machine! If you have joined along in our table runner journey, please upload your finished table runners to Instagram and use the hashtag #trapuntoseashelltablerunner

See you on YouTube soon!

Streamlined Sewing with New IKEA Linmon Tables

You may recall, we enclosed the back patio on our home to become my sewing room in this post. Here’s a quick look at how I had my machines set up before. I only had one machine on top of the sewing table and if I needed to use the serger or cover stitch, I had to perform all kinds of acrobatics to make room and move machines around in order to sew a single garment. It was so inconvenient and I hated it.

I searched all over online and watched tons of YouTube videos to get ideas of what I wanted and what would work for me. I finally decided to go the IKEA route and used Linmon tables to give each machine its own living space. I wanted an assembly line of sorts to be able to use any machine at any time without having to move them around. I purchased two sets of Alex drawers to hold all my sewing notions and placed one at each end of the assembly line. I also place a little bamboo box within each reach of the machines that contain scissors, seam rippers, rulers, and other notions I use frequently. To keep things neat, there’s a trash can next to each machine.

To get from machine to machine, I simply roll back and forth. It’s heaven! Yes, I need another chair, but for now, this is what I have. That’s a memory pillow on the chair made from a couple of my dad’s old shirts. He’s always with me when I sew. 🙂

From bottom to top: Brother Quattro Embroidery Machine, Brother PQ1500SL quilt piecing machine, Brother PC420 sewing machine, Brother 1034D Lock serger, and Janome 900 Cover Stitch.

My first garment using the new set up was a pair of Jalie Clara leggings and it was such a joy to roll from the sewing machine, to the serger, to the cover stitch. I even completed the project faster than I had ever sewn anything before because I wasn’t stopping and starting throughout the process. And for once, I hemmed my garment right away with the cover stitch because, well…it was right there ready to go!

I’m so, so happy with the new set up! I’m certain my garment sewing is going to really ramp up with more projects in the works!