Monday, April 29, 2013

Funday Monday 15

Is it Monday already? I hope you have time for some crafting. I'm looking forward to getting to some quilting and embroidery today.

Thanks to the crafty friends that shared their projects last week!  Love you all!  ♡♡♡

WELCOME to our little weekly sharing party!

Little Funday Monday History...
This past fall, my friend Kathleen (I mention her a lot on this blog) and I made a commitment to get together once a week for crafting.  We chose Mondays to be our day to craft, and we call them "Funday Mondays".    It makes Mondays much more fun, don't you think??

I always have more fun when I stitch with a friend, so I thought I would have a linky party so we can have everyone join for a group Funday.

So...
Please join in and share a link to your post of what's new with you.  Anything family-friendly would be great!  I just ask that you link to a specific post in your blog (not your whole blog).

This party is open Monday - Friday this week, so that gives us plenty of time to come back and share.

Grab my button if you like:

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Crafty Gimp Keychain

This weekend was spent camping with our older Girl Scouts in Mount Solan, Virginia.  A traditional Girl Scout activity is using gimp, which is a plastic lace.  So although I got no stitching done, I did make a new keychain for myself this weekend, which I was in need of.

My new 4-color Gimp Keychain
This pic made me notice that I need to trim that pink lace!  ☺

Since I tend to misplace my keys often, I like to having a long keychain, so it can easily be spotted. There can always be a piece of it sticking out somewhere so it can be easily found at the bottom of my purse or bag.

close-up view of weaving

This keychain uses four colors.  I did the twisted style, with a couple of reversals to make it look interesting.  Using four colors is similar to using two or three colors - you just weave in one more color.

I searched online to find some instructions to show you how this is made.  I did find the site laneyards.com that looks like it covers all you need to know for learning the different stitches.

There are differences in the laces sold at different stores.  My personal preference is for the Rexlace I find at Michaels.  It seems thicker and more durable.

Click here for the page that shows how to make this corkscrew effect with four colors.

A couple of pics from our camping:
North River

Our Weekend Accommodations

Our Troop 5527


Happy Stitching!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

I was featured in Sewing Savvy!

I'm so excited to see my embroidery highlighted in the latest issue of Sewing Savvy Newsletter at Annie's Crafts!  It features the embroidery I did using JoAnn Fink's Zenspirations monogram designs.

If you are visiting from Annie's, then WELCOME!  Thanks for stopping by!  I love to share my crafty hobby and I hope you enjoy what you see here too.

Click here to read the fun I had with these designs in my original post.


One of my favorites Zenspirations was using a variegated thread on black:



Happy Stitching!!

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Just a quick share

This week has been incredibly busy with home happenings. No time to sit and stitch at all. It is just the way it is sometimes, right? This week was DS last Cub Scout meeting for the school year, so I wanted to give his Den leader a little something for the work she does with the boys all year.

I found some cute quilted duffle bags at Five Below and thought they would make nice little gifts with monogramming. I got one done with just a little time to spare before the meeting. His den leader really likes it!

This embroidery is the Aidan font using Brother's BES Embroidery Software


I've had limited time at the computer this week, I'm entering this post from the iPhone app, while I wait at the allergist for DD2. We'll be outside camping with the Girl Scouts this weekend, and her allergies can make it unbearable for her. Good times. :)

Have a great weekend. Hope you get some crafting done!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Funday Monday Linky 14

I almost forgot that today is Funday Monday again. Time flies quickly sometimes, doesn't it???
Thanks to the crafty friends that shared their projects last week!

WELCOME to our little weekly sharing party!

Little Funday Monday History...
This past fall, my friend Kathleen (I mention her a lot on this blog) and I made a commitment to get together once a week for crafting.  We chose Mondays to be our day to craft, and we call them "Funday Mondays".    It makes Mondays much more fun, don't you think??

I always have more fun when I stitch with a friend, so I thought I would have a linky party so we can have everyone join for a group Funday.

So...
Please join in and share a link to your post of what's new with you.  Anything family-friendly would be great!  I just ask that you link to a specific post in your blog (not your whole blog).

This party is open Monday - Friday this week, so that gives us plenty of time to come back and share.

Grab my button if you like:

Print Friendly and PDF

How To: Free Standing Lace Embroidery

A machine-embroidered Free Standing Lace bookmark.
We traveled to my brother's on Sunday for my nephew's first communion.  I wasn't sure what little gift to give and I had waited too long to order something online, so I thought I would make him a bookmark for his bible.  I found this cross design on emblibrary.com.

I made this lace bookmark on my embroidery machine using a free standing lace (FSL) design.  These designs are stitched on a water-soluble stabilizer.  Once the embroidery is soaked in water, all that remains is the thread.

Only embroidery designs that have been created for FSL technique will work since the stitches have to be designed to hold together without any fabric.  The FSL designs do tend to have higher stitch-counts because of this.  Here is how it is done.

1.  Hoop a layer or two of water soluble stabilizer.   My preference for FSL is Vilene, which is a non-plastic type of wash-away stabilizer.
I used two layers of Vilene in the hoop.

2.  If the lace will be seen from both sides when finished, fill your bobbin with matching top thread. Stitch the design directly on the hooped stabilizer.

Stitching finished.

3.  Once complete, remove from hoop and trim away the stabilizer from the embroidery.

4.  Soak the design is a pan of water.  I use warm-temperature water.  The stabilizer dissolves quickly. The longer you soak the design, the softer it will become.
No more stabilizer!

5.  Bolt the design, and lay flat to dry.


That is it.

I added a ribbon on top and was done.


There are some really great free standing lace designs available (just google it!).  They are fun little projects to do.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tip for Pin Basting Quilt Layers

I am watching some video lessons from the Machine Quilting - Free Motion and More online class at craftsy.com taught by Wendy Butler Berns.  She shared a tip for centering your quilt backing and batting for pin basting.  I gave it a try and it worked well, so I thought I would share it too...

Many times, it may be difficult to center your quilt backing with your quilt top over the backing once the batting covers it.

1.  To help make this easier, you can tape a few bamboo skewers to your work space to form a "+" where you want the center of the quilt to be.


2.  Soft-press the backing and batting in half length-wise and width-wise to get your centering marks.

3.  Lay the backing on your work space, and use your fingers to  feel for the bamboo skewers underneath.  Line up the center-press marks of your backing fabric with the bamboo markers you feel.

4.  Lay the batting down on top of the backing, and again feel for the bamboo skewers underneath.  Line the center-press marks of your batting with the raised bamboo markers to properly place the layer on center.

Hopefully you can see where the bamboo skewers can be noticed and felt under the layers.

5.  Lay your quilt-top on top and center it on top of your layers and secure them with tape or clips..

You're then ready for pin basting your quilt.


Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Locks of Love


Had to share...  I'm so proud of my DD2.  She recently cut off her long beautiful blonde hair and donated it to Locks of Love.

If you are not familiar with this organization, they provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss.  It is a wonderful organization.


DD2 has never had her hair cut short before, so this was a really big deal in our family.  She was blessed with this beautiful silky blonde hair as a toddler, so we just let it grow.  We would get her hair trimmed to keep it neat, but never cut short.


There it goes!




Ta-Da!

At first, DH was not in favor of cutting her hair, but this is something she really wanted to do.    Her hair will always grow back if she wants it long again.

Her new do.  
Donating her hair made her feel so good inside!  She even took some of her own savings and sent it in along with her hair.

Life is still good!

Have a great day!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stitching with a Friend

My friend Kathleen was over yesterday for our weekly Funday.  We got to sit side-by-side in my sewing room this week as she brought me a quilt to quilt, and she worked on a vest.



She has pretty fabrics in her quilt top, and has sewed a checker-board quilt backing.



Her first attempt at making a clothing item - a vest for her DS.



I haven't finished quilting her top yet, but hope to get back in my sewing room later this week.


I'm loving our milder weather!

This robin bird likes our windows as much as the cardinals did,


I made a commitment recently to "Move More and Eat Smarter".  I'm tracking my activity as well since this hobby of ours involves sitting most of the time.  :-)   I do belong to a gym, and plan to find my way back there next week....  I'm walking every day and just wanted to share a photo from this week.

Puppy enjoying our morning walk along the Potomac River.
This is a quiet neighborhood trail, so he can enjoy some off-leash time as well.
The state of Maryland is across the river on the left, we're on the Virginia side.

Our puppy Shadow has grown!  He is almost six months old and weighs in at 19.1 pounds.  When we got him at Christmas, he was two months old and 4.5 pounds.  :-)

He has tried before to jump into the front seat (from the back) while I drive, and this morning he was finally successful at getting there.  Think he is spoiled already???

He just wants to make it easier for me to pet him while I drive.



Happy Stitching!!

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Monday, April 15, 2013

FUNDAY Monday Linky 13


WELCOME to our Lucky 13th Funday Monday!  A big Thank You shout out to those that hooked up their projects last week.  It is a lot of fun to see what's you're up to and I'm happy you linked up here to share with others.


Little Funday Monday History...
This past fall, my friend Kathleen (I mention her a lot on this blog) and I made a commitment to get together once a week for crafting.  We chose Mondays to be our day to craft, and we call them "Funday Mondays".    It makes Mondays much more fun, don't you think??

I always have more fun when I stitch with a friend, so I thought I would have a linky party so we can have everyone join for a group Funday.

So...
Please join in and share a link to your post of what's new with you.  Anything family-friendly would be great!  I just ask that you link to a specific post in your blog (not your whole blog).

This party is open Monday - Friday this week, so that gives us plenty of time to come back and share.

Grab my button if you like:

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Stitching

This week whizzed by and Saturday was busy with kids' soccer games and Tae Kwon Do seminars.  I have had zero time in for crafting, so I made sure to have some fun crafting time for me on Sunday.  

First, I need to share with you what arrived in the mail on Saturday!!  I won a copy of an Anita Goodesign Sepcial Edition from the IHAN Machine Embroidery Hop on Cindy Carlson's Sew Cindy blog a few weeks ago.    These design projects are beautiful.  I had a very hard time choosing just one.  I got DH's input for what he would like to see hanging on our wall.  I chose the Fantasy Birds.  It is absolutely beautiful.  You can read a great review of this design set here.  I must admit that I'm a bit nervous to undertake this project.

Fantasy Birds by Anita Goodesign

While trying to decide which Special Edition to chose, I could not stop looking at the Golden Tapestry Special Edition.  I kept coming back to it to look at it in detail.  This design was inspired by the artistry and opulence at the Palace of Versailes in France.

Golden Tapestry embroidery by Anita Goodesign.

I happen to find it 40% off on sale for one more day at IHAN so I ordered it before I changed my mind!  This one will the better project to do first to learn how these Special Edition projects work.  It is only two colors of fabric and thread.  I would like to do this one on a dark forest green silk fabric with gold metallic thread.  It will hang in either our living room or dining room.

I made a copy of the instructions and put them in a pocket folder so that
I can write notes all over my instructions and keep any related items together.

____


I did get my EQ Stitch installed and watched a couple of included videos.  This is definitely software that I'll need to play with to improve on.

EQ Stitch came with a few instruction videos.

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I have been without my embroidery machine for a couple of weeks while it was out for servicing.  I just got it back and was happy to use it again.  First up was a tote bag for one of my DDs.

Embroidering on a canvas tote bag.


This great bag came from Five Below

I had the canvas tote bag in my stash.  It originally came from the Five Below store with the embroidery on the straps.  I used a matching red thread and chose the "Tagged" font for the name.  I turned the tote bag inside-out, and hooped Hydro-stick stabilizer.  This water-activated sticky stabilizer forms a strong adhesive, so I don't like to use it on towels or other lofty fabric.  It works well with this canvas material.   Even though it is a tear-away, I tend to cut-away this stabilizer for a neater look as it doesn't tear that easily.  A temporary basting stitch was done first before stitching the name.

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I embroidered a lunch tote for my friend Kathleen.  I promised her I would do one that turned out better than my trial on the thick-tote material with the open-font Zenspirations.  The font I used this time is called "Wiggle".  These insulated lunch totes came from the Five Below store too.

Thought I would show a bit about how I get some embroidery to my sewing machine...

First, I type what I want using Brother's Embroidery Lettering Software.  I connect my computer to my machine via a USB cable.  I could also use a USB flash stick, but the cable is quicker.  My machine shows up on my computer as a drive that I can just drag and drop embroidery files onto.

My computer connected via USB cable to my sewing machine to transfer the embroidery.


I used Floriani's Perfect Stick tear-away in the hoop.

After stitching, this stabilizer easily tears away from the back of the embroidery.

I love the little happy face that pops up on my machine's screen when the embroidery is complete.
A solid (non-open) font works well with the thick insulated material.

Monday is Funday, and I've got some FMQ planned.  Looking forward to it!

Happy Stitching!!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Funday Monday Linky 12


WELCOME to our 12th-in-a row Funday Monday!  Thank You to those that hooked up their projects last week.  It is a lot of fun to see what's you're up to.


Little Funday Monday History...
This past fall, my friend Kathleen (I mention her a lot on this blog) and I made a commitment to get together once a week for crafting.  We chose Mondays to be our day to craft, and we call them "Funday Mondays".    It makes Mondays much more fun, don't you think??

I always have more fun when I stitch with a friend, so I thought I would have a linky party so we can have everyone join for a group Funday.

So...
Please join in and share a link to your post of what's new with you.  Anything family-friendly would be great!  I just ask that you link to a specific post in your blog (not your whole blog).

This party is open Monday - Friday this week, so that gives us plenty of time to come back and share.

Grab my button if you like:

Print Friendly and PDF