The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Hidden tips and tricks for excellent embroidery

There are so many places to learn about embroidery on the Internet.  My blog and that of the other bloggers here at AnnTheGran are among the best sources of information for projects that inspire and teach you at the same time.  Frankly, for quick Tips and Tricks, no one else has the easy to find and search to read blogs as here at AnnTheGran, believe me, I have checked.

These hidden Tips and Tricks are actually visible to anyone who wishes to find them.  The issue is that the clever tips are in videos that are called something else.  For instance, the first link shown below is attempting to sell a product.  If you are uninterested in that merchandise, you will likely not look at the video.

But, have you ever considered that there are things that the demonstrator will do as you watch that will help you understand some of the terminology that may be a little ‘loose.’  One thing that comes to my mind is ‘taut’ for the description of the fabric in the hoop.  Just exactly what is ‘taut?’  Should the fabric sound like a drum if you thump on it?  Or should it have a little slack or even a lot of slack?     Notice how she is pulling the fabric inside a hoop, it is not taut at all. But, it is set to be laying correctly once the embroidery is completed. The Snap Hoops are solving many issues with hard-to-hoop fabrics. Check for your machine type, because this one will make your embroidery more easy to hoop. And, they are expanding the line to include more machine types of hoops. They have, depending on size and differing needs - Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Husqvarna-Viking, Pfaff, and Singer to name a few.

Snap Hoop Monster for Quick Snap

This one is with Nancy of Nancy’s Notions and Sewing with Nancy.  She discusses how to embroider on a t-shirt, but discusses ‘no show adhesive stabilizers’ at the same time.  As relatively expensive as stabilizers are, seeing how to correctly use it comes with this video making it a tip that you will understand easily.  For me personally, I found it strange that she left the outer fabric laying loosely.  There is an opportunity for trouble.  I  I use binder clips to hold the edges of the extra fabric.  They are cheap and keep everything in place.  

Have you ever had a design that was very old and you are not sure if it is an applique design or not? There are some tips here for you to be sure of the type of pattern you have. There are some ideas for doing monograms.

Peggy's Stitch Eraser  I prefer to use the remover on a flat surface and have a book or something beneath the fabric to keep it even.  I know that pros are always shown doing it on their hand.  But, let me ask you, when you bought all those small tools to create roses out of tomatoes or an elephants nose from a bell pepper, how was your first or second try?  Mine was not so great, so I  want to have more tips on my side.  You can see my blog on this here:

Perhaps the hand held method works for you, but it did not for me. Practice is the key and you will be proficient in no time. Additionally, I do prefer the corded model, it is more steady in its cutting.

I know that you will find other videos on YouTube and right here at AnnTheGran. Watch for how they are handling the machines, fabric, stabilizers and other items that will make your embroidery even better. Share some with us either here or in the Forum under Tips. Seeing someone do the actual work is a great way to learn when you don't have an expert at your side.

I could have used this hack last week - If you are using Wikipedia and they are using technical words that are not making sense to you, on the left side of the page, select "Simple English" which is the first 'language' in that column title of language.  

I just have to share this one!!  I love to change the colors on my embroidery.  Not every selection is - shall I say - appealing to the eye. . .   I look at the professionals and wonder how they come up with the combinations they have.  It is fun to play with.  I cannot get my items to really save.  It saves for the time I am there, but it is gone the next them I return.  But, when you save to 'mix' you will see the Pantone color #.
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Life's a Beach

Life's a Beach

Birthday party

Well since the last time I wrote I have celebrated my birthday in style and had a nice vacation to boot!  My husband worked so hard to give a me a "Surprise Birthday" party and he really succeeded.  It was a surprise party with a beach theme at a seashore restaurant.  One of my brothers even sponsored having one of our son's come from Colorado to New York with his family to surprise me.  I hear from so many of my friends how we are all so busy that we just never have a chance to get together....that is surely the truth.  I am glad that I had the birthday so everyone could get together. 

As I said, my husband and I also took a week's vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina recently.  It was the perfect place to go in the "off season."  We got to sightsee and hang out on the beach in beautiful weather.  One of the things that impressed me in all of the souvenir shops was the monogrammed mugs and towels of course.  It was very popular to get one of those mugs from the craft store that you can take apart and insert your favorite picture in.  The creative folks inserted a striking piece of fabric like black with white polka dots and then put a hot pink monogram in the center.  It was fun and a great gift.  The collection also included key rings and luggage tags with an embroidered initial. 

I am still keeping up with Project Runway and I have to be honest I now have a Facebook friendship with one of the contestants, Christopher Straub.  He is so nice and I do love his creations.  I just had to ask him how he made ruffles on his paper evening gown last week and he quickly shot me a link to his Facebook page so that I could have a closer look.  He sure does have my curiosity each week for what he is going to create. During my recent trip to the Rachael Ray show, Chris was one of the featured Project Runway participants who got to show his creativity when it came to making a garment out of things found in the kitchen.  What he did with a head of cabbage and Chinese food “to go” boxes was just so much fun.  At that point Chris did not need to use the Brother machines that were on the show but he did jump right in and help the other gals who were sewing on tin foil and paper napkins to make cute little dresses. Each of the contestants were totally impressed at how easy it is to use the Brother NS-40.  The show will have already been broadcast when you read this blog.  I was sworn to secrecy and could not tell anyone what was going to happen on Oct. 1.  Sorry...!     ...Okay the show has now aired and I can tell you that he won the Racheal Ray challenge.  Lucky guy!

Project Runway

In the middle of October I will be heading to Fashion Week in St. Louis and I really can't wait to see what that is going to be like.  I am supposed to be meeting up with the DIY-Style Chicks.  I have known one of the young ladies since she is about 10 years old and now she has her own cool web cast.  You can see all that they have at  The gals love to use the Brother PE-900D on the show as well.  It's such a cool little machine I can't blame them.  Check out the cool sewing projects on their site as well.

 Sewing Machine

Before I close, I wanted to share a photo that I took at a quilt show recently.  As it happened, Brother sponsored a class and that meant that the consumers all used our machines in the Brother classrooms.  I was so impressed by one gal who whipped out her handy dandy cutting mat that fit perfectly on the extension table for the Brother  QC-1000.  All she had to do was slide her fabric over to the mat for quick rotary cutting and measuring.  I just thought that was so cool.  At lunch today we were saying how impressive the QC-1000 is at quilting and sewing.  The oversized extension table makes this machine have one of the largest sewing areas in the industry and when the over-sized thread spool stand is are ready to quilt for hours.  This machine will be featured in the classrooms at the International Quilt Show from Oct. 10-18 in Houston, Texas. There will be a handy Brother drop-in room at the show if you want to sit down and give this machine a test drive! 

Take Care folks,

June Mellinger

Comments (2) -

Interesting blog, you are one busy gal.

junemellinger 10/27/2009 9:44:41 PM

I sure am I have to compose my next blog!

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