Caught in a trap . . . .

I love to read tips and tricks about all sorts of things.  I love computer tips (if you have a good one, I want to hear about it!!).  I enjoy organizational tips (but I am so disorganized, I need to do them, not just read them!). I devour ideas for cleaning (see "disorganized" for reality check).  And best of all, I love to find embroidery tips and tricks.  Even better, I like to find tips, tricks and traps.  Those traps are treacherous and in embroidery, they abound.  I am going over a few of them that I have had a little experience with - - - or a lot of experience with.

In no particular order, here are a couple of my favorites -

  • When I was new to embroidery (your own recollection inserted here), I had no idea about threads (OK, more than threads, but this was a trap that I walked right into). I did not understand quality, weights or even fabric blend - polyester v. rayon v. cotton, etc. At the same time I remember thinking "I just spent all this money on this machine and all I am doing now is spending more and more and more." While I have thought that many more time, at that time, I needed thread.

Enter the Internet.  You already know that everyone has the finest quality and the best prices, so I won't go there.  Mind you, this was about 10 years ago and the options were not as great as we have available today.  But, I bought my machine from the Internet, therefore, the Internet is the gigantic machine embroidery goddess that knows all and tells all.  LOL

I bought a package of about 80 spools of rayon thread for about $100.  I could not wait for the arrival.  (Deep sigh. . .) How do I explain the array of colors?  There was no true red, or blue, there were a lot of weird browns and purples and the best of all, there was three of the same very strange and sad gray green color. 

TRAP - It always costs twice as much as you estimated.    A bargain is only worth the true value of the commodity.  See my blog on colors for one method of choosing colors.

  • My next trap was so silly that I don't know why I did not understand it right from the beginning. I supposed that people with a sewing background (not me) may not have had this issue, I did not understand that lightweight fabrics and heavily stitched embroidery just don't mix. I thought that if you used the right stabilizer, you could do whatever you thought you could create.

Woe is me, I wanted to have an income and thought that I could make money on the Internet, I just needed to open a site and after I ‘built it, they would come.'  My interest was in pashminas.  They are so beautiful; everyone needs and wants one. 

Well, people do love them, especially brides.  I began to get orders (you can see the URL for my site in my Profile) and was offering them with monogramming.  So far, so good.  Then it came time to actually embroider them.  OMG!!!

Pashminas (This link is about how I actually managed to handle this issue.) are very loosely woven and monograms tend to be dense in a very small area.  What a disaster!  The monograms caused the woven threads to separate leaving large holes in the pashminas.  I searched the Net seeking anyone who might be able to give me some guidance.  Nothing was available.  Additionally, what I did find, I tried without success.  There are some writers who may or may not know what they are talking about.  I wondered if they had actually tried what they presented. I am certain that some figured that what they offered made sense and would work. 

I actually bought a book with a pattern for a scarf.  The drawn photos they were showing did not work.  They had the pattern for the right side correct, but the left side was upside down.  I learned the hard way that you need to try what they offer and judge for yourself.

Additionally, just because something worked for them, under certain circumstances they won't work for you.  For instance, adhesives do work differently depending on the amount of humidity or the age of the adhesive.

TRAP - Just because it is written down does not make it so.  And as a reminder to my readers, all my blogs are my personal experiences; I make no claims as to expertise.  Your outcome may vary. 

Read some really good information from true experts.  Check these out.  This one, from Nancy Zieman is terrific and has photos proving that they did what they were demonstrating.  Mine is dog eared from use and I guarantee, every project was completed as shown.

Thanks for reading my blog and many good wishes to you and yours, Pat

Comments (5) -

susiesembroidery 9/24/2011 10:30:16 AM

Wow! I thought I had problems.  Happil we now have you and other people, like you, who can help us avoid those pitfalls. Thank you for the input of all these traps, since they are easily fallen into.

Sometimes the obvious isn't!  Thank you for your blog.

Thanks!  One of the things I have noted is that you can find tips all over the Net, but sometimes they are traps that are not so obvious.  

As I try to remind everyone, these are my experiences and your event may vary.  You may never encounter either of these issues.  

If you have come upon a trap, share them with us, we want to be aware too.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

I forgot to mention that I do sell the pashminas here.  You can get them one at a time (they really are a super and unexpected gift) or I do sell them wholesale.">

If you have a friend or someone who appreciates a lap blanket during the cooler months, this one is perfect.  Pashmina is light weight and still warm.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

I did get a request for a thread conversion chart and here is one that I found:

It is a Polyester Thread Conversion Chart:

It even includes the Pantone number - see my blog on this tip">

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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