Directions start @ paragraph 9 - Just a hint to save you some time if you want to go to the project directly. (Chatty Cathy is going strong 1-8)
HH (Hello Hello) Fellow M’Eers,
I hope all is going well for you and that your MEing is going great! I hope too that your machines are purring and you are still happy and excited about your hobby!!!! Even if you’ve had some glitches, I hope you are at least DOING something with your machine!!!
(I am speaking more to myself than to you, here.) I was so swamped (and stressed) with “other things’ (summer school, kids crisis, renters, c- tunnel flair up, canning, July blogs not done on time, & a very excited husband not packed but headed for Alaska to fish with some sons etc) Everything is getting back to normal now finally with the exception my home looks like a cyclone went through it!!!.:) I don’t do well in chaos and clutter and it sure has been both to the max.
One special friend (with whom I did share all the gory details of ALL that’s been going on) suggested I needed to go to a spa & drink a bottle of wine.
Well 1. I can’t afford a spa. (since I bought so many THINGS) and:
2. I don’t drink alcohol,
but I did tell her that I was going to drink my home-grown grape juice - STRAIGHT - completely UNDILUTED!!!! - We’re talking strong stuff!!! L0L
Now that’s getting serious!!
(I bought an entire case of Pepsi when I went through my divorce but that’s another story.) I’m off caffeine except for chocolate; & it would behoove me to drop that too.
I’ve done almost nothing on my machine for the last few weeks…although I did make up for it shopping for things to ‘help me embroider better ’!!!! Not all stress is bad, right???? (Well not until the Visa bill comes at least, - but unfortunately/fortunately I just learned how to do online banking…holy cow…now that is an eye opener to see what one can do to themselves shopping with on-line shopping now too !!!!!! ) I used to pay off my visa once a month…then had to do it twice a month to keep on top of it…lately it’s been every 2- 3 days!!! Enough is enough!!!
I guess I should give a word of warning to any of your newbies….PHEW…It can be addictive and at least for me…since I am so new…I just got “ALL EXCITED” when I saw NEW designs that I thought I just HAD to HAVE right then etc (oh and ALWAYS the ‘carrot dangling ’ …” ON SALE” …well if it’s on sale then I had ‘better hurry’ or I might miss out!….Those marketers have me all figured out!!!! (My son, who DOES have a degree in marketing from UNLV, sat with me one day while we were at a ‘presentation’ and he explained what the steps are that sales people were going to use (which they did) …so it isn’t that I have never been told….Well I am now “putting the BRAKES on until I take care of , & find a place for WHAT I already have, & USE it - at least SOME of what I have!”
Now THAT is a good plan!
OK don’t faint…. I am actually going to share with you a REAL project for any of you beginners out there like myself - who might not know where to begin. It’s been awhile…sorry!!! Really I am!!!
You might have heard many different terms describing various types of machine embroidery; appliqué, trapunto, rosemaling, FSL ( free standing lace- which is really easy – honest), etc etc ) and you might feel a bit overwhelmed. I did and still do, but I personally am GOING BACK to the BASICS here and I am going to do more of them! I am truly a beginner and it’s where I’m at & need to be because I am just learning. I felt somehow that I needed to hurry up and learn as many new things so I could be blogging about them….but now I am SO happy because there are more and more bloggers coming on to Ann’s site who can help those who are advanced and/or wanting to learn a specific technique. They KNOW what they are doing & HAVE EXPERIENCE…) I think it is so great too that Ann is adding a quilting section…that is SO very popular!!!!! My friend Kitty will be beyond thrilled! She’s been at it for a long time and so far I haven’t gotten into it because I see fabric stashes in the horizon if I do and I don’t need ANY more stashes of ANYTHING for awhile!!!
So I am going to take a new fresh deep breath, drink my grape juice (diluted in the near future I hope) and enjoy the rest of this embroidery journey I started just a few months ago. It’s time to HAVE FUN and ENJOY embroidering!!!! I can’t wait to do projects and give them as gifts …be they small or humble to begin with.
**** OK. Let’s begin the PROJECT of RED WORK
A very basic, but still VERY nice gift to give is called “REDWORK. “
I believe it is usually done on kitchen hand towels but could be done on napkins, a quilt square, baby receiving blanket, gardening towel, purse, eyeglass holder, napkins and probably a golf towel too. I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of ideas once you do it yourself. Then please DO share it with me in Ann’s community. We’ll love to see and/or hear about it!!!
I didn’t know (prior to doing it) that REDWORK is almost identical to BLACKWORK & GREEN WORK and I am pretty certain BLUE work could be found too, so why stop there?????…Why don’t the EMBROIDERY gurus on high out there just call it COLORWORK???? Hmmmm??? I am serious! It would be easier for us beginners….plus it would be like getting 3 + things for the price of one training!!!… (What a bargain!!)
The ONLY thing I found out to be different was the color of thread you use!!!! …although when looking at different designs you can buy, they were separated into different categories. Why????? Hmmmm someone more advanced than I can set me straight, but to me as a beginner, I could have missed out on black work for example, and think it ( ‘blackwork’ ) was a completely different embroidery type that may have used a different technique/stabilizer/ etc etc.
Not so!!!! So why make something so simple – harder???? They’re all SIMPLE!!!!
Until an expert sets me straight I think they are INTERCHANGEABLE.
OK…enough editorializing…here we go….
Supplies needed for the project Ethan and I did (besides your machine and hoop)
1. Hand towel
2 Embroidery thread
3. Bobbin thread ( I used white.)
4. Tear away stabilizer
5. Redwork/ blackwork etc ‘design’ (It has many fewer stitches than many designs and NO fill.)
6. Rick Rack (optional but I really thought it added A LOT)
7. Alphabet for name/ or day of the week etc (optional) We did it and we really liked the individualization.
Hint…..In the embroidery class when we did it, the towels were NOT washed in advanced and they looked crisp and wonderful. They still do because I haven’t used them yet because I knew once the dust settled, I’d be blogging about it and wanted to photograph them while they still looked really new.
Yesterday I bought SEVERAL similar towels but ALL in SOLID colors (from the same store the teacher bought ours) and WASHED THEM IN ADVANCE, so as to remove any sizing. I also put in one sheet of Color Catcher (recommended by a quilt shop) into the washer (made by Shout that says it “traps color –runs to protect clothes.) I got the box - a pkg of 24 for less than $5. I put all 75 (of them into the dryer (2 loads ) also in order to make sure that they would NOT shrink after the stitching was done so no puckering would occur.
WELL…. ALL the new towels/napkins I bought FADED, and my rainbow of colors now look like worn-out wanna-be cleaning cloths. I am SOOOO disappointed. (I washed the colored ones in COLD water…& only the very light yellow ones in warm water.) I am going tomorrow to Lynn, who is a professional embroiderer that I met in ‘ embroidery group’, to see what she thinks. Rather than fancy napkins for each person, I think I’ll change the theme to ‘gardening’ this next Christmas or bike rags for one family who designs racing bikes etc.
I’ve heard so many times to do a ‘test’ on your patterns…well I suggest you do a ‘test’ on ANY new fabric before you even do a stitch.
Had I NOT done that 1st step of getting rid of any sizing….they would have been beautiful at least at first glance…I’m not a quilter so it could be worse…had I done them all up into squares thinking they’d be a beautiful rainbow quilt and then given as a gift…only to have it all faded whammo fast would have been so disheartening…
OK…. Back to the DIRECTIONS for doing the dish towels.
The only ‘hard’ part (& it wasn’t that hard ) one could say, is getting the PLACEMENT of the design WHERE you want it on your towel. You may want to measure it so that it is up from the bottom edge about 4 or so inches & get it centered. (You can fold your towel 2 directions to get the center or use one of the fancier ‘gadgets’ to get it centered.).
Once you place the tear away stabilizer UNDER the towel (& some put a water soluable on the top…but we didn’t in class) and then HOOP it tightly…Snap it all into your it it machine & then sit back and be thoroughly AMAZED how QUICKLY it stitches out and then you are done. VOILA!!! Well except for a few tiny thread clippings & tearing the stabilizer off the bottom. I think you will love it!!!
Hint….Just select your designs in advance if you know for sure who it’s going to.…E SHOULD have gotten a rooster for example rather than a hen….but we’ll do better next time!!! (He’s so flexible…He just went with the flow being a black hen instead of a rooster!!!! ) Not all men would go for that!!! What a guy!)
His towel is called BLACK WORK and my towel is called RED work. EVERYTHING was done exactly the same EXCEPT for the color of thread used!!!! See I told you….Now you can do MULTIPLE types of machine embroidery EVEN if this is your very 1st project!!! It takes just a FEW minutes to get the design on the towel!!! REALLY FAST!!!
We did add the rick rack on both of ours. I think they turned out really cute!!! IF you do put rick rack on, your machine must be able to do a simple sewing stitch or hand stitch it on.
I may NEVER ever WASH them….but for now I just love them. (SO I also would not use water soluble because that would need to be removed with H2O, and I am not high on ‘washing with water right now.”). BRAND NEW, they would make a darling wedding or hostess gift.
SOOOOOO good luck on your NEWEST PROJECT. If you try to choose this. I will love hearing from you!!!!
Cathy...speaking of ‘hens’ this one needs to ‘fly the coop’ for a week at the beach & I will!
P.S. For Newbies' eyes only… what do you say…Shall we unite and start using the term “COLOR WORK “ and see how soon it catches on in the embroidery world.???!!! Hmmmmmm We’d have our very OWN NEW technique called COLOR WORK…..we could make it famous.!!! We need to be brave and expand our vision….!!! , sort of like when the “Fosbury Flop” was 1st shown publicly to the world of track and field. Do any of you remember when 1st did it ???- It was a new style for high jumping which now is used in the Olympics instead of the scissor style. BtW we went to the same high school & I saw him practicing!!! I just stared at him and he just smiled back. To finish the story, I scissored 4’2” when I was younger…went to Europe gained 30 lbs and jumped 2’6” when I got back!!!) True story! My track days were SO over!!!!
So, what do you say newbies…Shall we start a NEW movement??? Heavens… I can see it now!!! I LOVE hot pink, purple, violet and lots of other colors. I also LOVE SIMPLE and quick….I couldn’t help but think it sure would be nice to be in the position of agranddaughter of Ann's - getting to do a project already selected and having it completed in a short time under her trained and experienced eyes!!!! Lucky girl!!!! Ann, do you want to become even MORE famous than you already are??? How about doing a collection of SUPER SIMPLE designs that you did for your granddaughter by putting them into a new package marketed “especially for beginners’ and calling it COLOR WORKS. It could be the newest and hottest trend !!!! We’d love it, right!!!
Let’s hear it for Ann !!!! (We’d just have to change embroidery threads.) Yeah!!!! Just think you could be right on the cutting edge and we readers on AnntheGran will KNOW exactly what it is…right off the bat…even before the golden oldies know what it is?? Yeah for us newbies!!