Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Antique Roses

I  L O V E linens, old new and anything in between. I look for blank canvases on which I can embroider. I look for old tablecloths, new tablecloths, I have a closet for just for linens. My name is and I'm addicted...  I saw this blank canvas at Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion in Huntsville several years ago. I had to have it. I mean HAD to have it. The drawn thread work on the piece was amazing. They've just had another event, so the webstore is a bit low.. but check it out periodically. You won't be sorry. Click HERE to be transported to her heirloom emporium.

Regrettably, I have no clue from whom this design is. Is it a Jenny Haskins design? Is it a Zundt? We've been in this house now 18 months and the embroidery designs are still in a box. I think I'll have to remedy that PDQ!!!

I used a heavy weight iron away stabilizer. The kind that is milky white and almost clear. I like to use this because there is no residue on the back. Wherever the iron touches, the stabilizer is removed. Where the iron doesn't touch it (ie. within the design itself) the stabilizer stays.

I always test the embroidery on the same fabric or one that is similar with the stabilizer and threads I intend to use. This gives a realistic piece on which to assess the finished piece. Is it too stiff - then lower the stitch density of your design (software or a machine with design editing capabilities required). Is the coverage adequate - once again adjust the stitch density. Are the fibers on the blank pulled - re-evaluate your stabilizer, it's probably not heavy enough to hold the weight of the stitches. Can you see needle holes, don't use the largest needle on the market. I prefer Organ needles because they have a needle eye one size larger than the size indicated thus providing less strain on your thread. I prefer rayon embroidery threads for delicate items because it is a natural fiber and the shine is amazing. I tend to gravitate towards Madeira threads.

I always print out or use the supplied design template for placement. I mark the north on the template and then trim the template directly outside the motif. I then place the motif on the fabric and mark the center and horizontal and vertical centers so that I can properly hoop both the stabilizer and the fabric.

Always iron your finished product wrong side up with the embroidered motif on a towel. This will leave the stitches raised. When you press on the right side, do not iron over the motif. Come up to it and then maneuver around the design.

I also do not put my linens away starched and ironed. It keeps the bugs away and with no starch in the fibers, the bends are kinder on the fabric. Ironing tip: place the damp piece in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight. This ensures that you will be ironing on icy cold fabric the next day. Use a hot iron and you probably won't need any starch!

Thanks for dropping by. Your visits delight me, your comments are my blessings.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

QuicKutz Club - September

Basic Grey paper as shown
Quickutz Espresso font
Quickutz Santa's Workshop
Chestnut Roan cat's eye ink
9 brads
basic scrapbooking supplies

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Soldered house class teaser

Stacy and I are teaching a collage/soldering class September 23rd at 5pm and October 16th at 2pm. It's a tabletop display with dimensional collage sandwiched between two house-shaped pieces of glass. One side is Halloween!

The other side is Fall. I used JustRite stampers and a wheat sheaf on this side. See the plaid - doesn't that just scream 'Fall'??

See  you there!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Santa Fe - Fashion Forward

We made another pilgrimage to Santa Fe. This time for Fiesta! Viva la Fiesta. Santa Fe is celebrating it's 400 years and it happened to fall during the annual fiesta celebrating taking the city back from the Indians by the Don Diego de Vargas' peaceful re-occupation of the city of faith in 1692. 

Fiesta starts with the burning of Zozobro on Thursday evening and continues through Sunday. Events include the pet parade on Saturday morning, a Mariachi extravaganza, the Entrada de Don Diego de Vargas, continued entertainment in the plaza, and an arts and crafts venue with lots of food vendors.

Today, I want to share with you some of the fashions I saw. Of course the price tag was in direct proportion with the number of visitors to the city.

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. And if the day is full of stores, parades, music and a New Mexico sunset, then it's most important. Fresh croissant that will rival any made en France, from Cafe Paris.

My most favorite morsels served along side a regular breakfast.. garlic, butter and parslied potatoes. I could live on these alone.

Netting seems to be the rage of the day. Not fine English netting which is cotton. No this is fine polyester netting. See the large flowers along the hem? And all the delicate stitching?

It's a shame that merchants aren't more agreeable to taking pictures in the stores.. but here's a close up of the hem.
For the flowers, gather one edge of a length of tulle and wrap the gathered edge around itself to create a flower. This would be really fun on some jackets too. Use a very fine gauge tulle for this, not the rougher one you find in the crafts dept. More like a bridal tulle. 

Beautiful bronze fountains and they were all going at the same time.. I have no room, I have no room.

Simple boards with metal rings through which the wine bottles are threaded. Be pretty neat in a wine cellar to display those favorite vintages. 
You could use old fence pickets, painted in various shades, attached on the back to a 1x4 and then bend some heavy gauge metal to hold the wine bottles. Be sure to drill holes evenly spaced through which to insert the wire.

Bejeweled and glitzed tights. I think everyone needs a pair.. or two, ha ha. But you did see them in lots of places and on lots of bodies.

This is Poem. A favorite place to shop in a little courtyard off of the main shopping trek. Do you see anything on this display you wouldn't love to have???

In the chocolate store next door, the gentle man had a blessing chain hanging on the back door. It's his personal tribute as a thanks for all the blessings having been bestowed on him.
One possibility is to purchase a large metal ring that opens and insert blessings on this ring and hang it on a door. Blessings can be small cards, pictures and other ephemera that means something to you.. It should make you smile when you see it!

Everything was all about layers.. skirts where in layers and tops were layered. The skirts had the base longer skirt and then the layers got progressively shorter as they neared the outer layer. This was a beautiful skirt with lost of lace.

Use a gauzy cotton as the background and embellish with lace motifs and laces.

I think the metal decor are grave markers. They were pretty cool while being a bit morbid. Love those belts on that chair!

One of the many beautiful leather jackets we saw in the stores.

Leather pillows with a Western flair.

This is the most incredible skirt. embroidered on guess what?  Tulle. I told you it was everywhere.
Yes there, was an underskirt under the tulle, but leggings would have done as well.

Test your embroidery motif and be sure to reduce the density for this type of design. Use either matching bobbin thread to the top thread or use black bobbin thread. Personally, since bobbin thread is lighter in weight than the embroidery thread thus making the design less dense, this would be my choice.

Beaded embroidery on - yup you guessed it.. Tulle.

This wasn't on tulle, but on another very lightweight cotton. You would think that all this embroidery made the top very stiff and uncomfortable. Nope, it floated and the embroidery was certainly not stiff.

The most looked at jacket on the square. It garnered more than it's share of window shoppers.

Another - you guessed it! Tulle embroidered skirt...

Another layered skirt..   All you really need for this are scraps of lace, scraps of madiera appliqued fabric, and there is no hem.

I hope you enjoyed the shopping.. I'll be back later in the week with some more updates from the City Different!! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tea towel chair back covers

Embroidery Arts Candlewick Font
This is a super easy way to spruce up your chairs for an upcoming event. I suggest you plan to carry this out a few days ahead of time, not the night before. I think there is a direct correlation between your stress level and your embroidery machine. The machine is all knowing!!!

Embroidery software
Embroidery machine
60 wt. cotton thread (or thread of your choice)
Melt-Away stabilizer
Fonts design package or true-type fonts from your word processing program
~~~~~designs used on towels are listed beneath each towel picture with links
Martha Pullen Co. tea towels
Silk satin ribbon to tie to chairs

*I prefer to use the heavy weight Melt-Away stabilizer for this type of embroidery. It supports the stitches well and with the use of an iron, there is no residual residue left in the project. The melt-away stabilizer also remains under the stitches because it's not in direct contact with the iron therefore leaving necessary stabilization in the project for the satin stitched letters.

  1. Open your embroidery software, bring in the design or font you want to use and resize to your heart's desire or your machine's limitation. *Pick an overall size that you want your combination of designs to be so that each embroidery has size in common. You wouldn't want a 2" monogram on one tea towel and a 4" monogram on the next.
  2. Send the design/designs to your machine for embroidery.
  3. Hoop both the Melt-Away stabilizer and the tea towel.
  4. Embroider with 60 wt. cotton thread in needle and bobbin. *I prefer to use the cotton thread because it mimics the hand done work of years past so well. Do not use regular sewing thread because it won't cover as well as the cotton thread.
  5. When the embroidery is complete, cut away the excess stabilizer from the back of the towel. Turn your iron to the recommended setting for your Melt-away stabilizer. Iron until the stabilizer remains are all gone.
  6. Stitch 2 buttonholes on each side of each towel (4 per towel) aligning them so that when the towel is folded in half (as in over a chair), the buttonholes on each side align so that you can run a ribbon through to tie them on the chair.

French Script - Bernina Tassels and Trims 2 (tips - click here)

Harrington Font - OESD corner design

Edwardian Script - Zundt rose embroidery design
French Script - Amazing Designs lace motif

Click here for an additional project using the Tassels and Trims embroidery design collection from Bernina.