Friday, March 22, 2013

My Day for the ME Blog Hop


I thought this day would be forever getting here.   Today is finally my day for the Machine Embroidery Blog Hop hosted by IHAN (I Have A Notion) and sponsored by Anita Goodesign.

                   
This has been a lot of fun planning and making a project to showcase a machine embroidery design.  By the way, machine embroidery is commonly abbreviated as ME.  Now that you know that, I can save a lot of typing.

I chose a package called Asian Quilt for my project. There are 42 designs in the package and each one comes in three sizes.  The smallest is 5.8" square so you need a machine with a large embroidery hoop space.  There are designs that are repeating patterns as well as designs that are traditional Asian elements.  Some of the designs are medallions - I used one of those.

If you haven't skipped this already and gone straight for the pictures, I will show them now.

 I chose to make a wall hanging with these designs.  I used two elements in each section and made four sections.


This has fleece as the batting and is quilted with wavy lines all around the design elements.  I did consider adding some stuffing under the designs like trapunto, but decided it was overkill.  I will happily hang this on my cubicle wall at work to add some color to my space.

Let me show you some closes ups of these designs.



These are designed to mimic traditional Sashiko which is a type of hand embroidery.  Sashiko is done with white thread on dark blue fabric.  Obviously I modernized it a bit.
I hope you notice the two color design on the purple section (the flower and pagoda.)  This is designed to stitch out all one color.  As I watched it stitch, I was hoping the flower would complete before the pagoda started. It did and I quickly hit the stop button on the machine and changed thread colors.
TIP #1 Dont' be afraid to stop the machine and change thread colors. I think it really made this element more interesting.

Then in the green section there is a lotus flower (I think that is what it is.)  I originally sewed that out in a yellow thread. It got lost in the green.  I did NOT unhoop. I simply used the placement control on my machine and "nudged" the design over two "clicks."  I restarted that section with a brown thread. You may not be able to see both colors in the picture but in person that adds depth and a pop factor to the element.
TIP # 2 Learn to use the controls on your machine to your advantage. If I had not tried this I would have been ripping out the stitches.  And if you have never removed ME stitches, take my word - save it for a last resort!

Stabilizer is important when stitching out ME designs.  I used a medium weight tearaway/washaway.  For this project just a tearaway would work, but I usually buy one that will wash away too as it is more versatile.

Since I was using the big hoop on my machine and my stabilizer wasn't wide enough to hoop I had to improvise.  I hooped the fabric first.  Then I used an Elmer's washable glue stick to outline and make an X on the stabilizer and glued it to the back of the fabric. It worked perfectly. It held very well during sewing and yet was easy enough to pull off when I tore away the stabilizer.

Tip #3 Stabilize your work, and remember my glue stick trick.

When I first got the design pack I sewed out a couple of the repeating patterns just to see what they looked like.  I hated to waste good fabric and a nice ME stitch-out, so I made this little zipper pouch.
I love the way this design seems to shift before your eyes.  I think I will use this to store charger cables for my electronic gadgets.

Tip #4 Use those test stitch-outs for another little project.

Did I happen to mention a prize?  There is a prize.  All you have to do is leave a comment.  The winner will get to choose one of the Anita Goodesign Special Edition packs.  I happen to love Oriental Daydream (are you surprised?) and also Garden Gate. there are two different Christmas sets also.  I think there will be a winner from every blog on the hop. (hint hint)
I will use the Random Number Generator to choose a winner on the evening of March 26th. So leave a comment if you have an embroidery machine and want a chance to win.

I am at the end of the line, but you can still go back and visit all the other participants.

Mon, March 18th 

Kelly - I Have A Notion
SewCalGal
Tues, March 19th
Cindy - Sew Cindy
Trish - AllThingsCrafty.com
Wed, March 20th
Marjorie's Quilting Bee
Margaret - The Average Quilter
Thurs, March 21st
Rebecca Grace - Cheeky Cognoscenti
Fri, March 22nd
Gene Black - Alabama Artist
SewCalGal

68 comments:

Beeshebags said...

Oh oh, first cab off the rank hardly ever seems to be the lucky ones, so I'll go first and give one of the others the chance!

Love the wall hanging.

Hugs
Naomi

BRD Girl said...

I loved reading about your machine embroidered Asian quilt and zippered pouch - your post is a great addition to the IHAN Machine Embroidery Blog Hop!

Marjorie said...

I love these designs. I am a one color girl as much as possible, so this would be fun for me. And I love the Japanese motifs. Your tips are so good--I had never thought about just moving the design over just a bit--can't wait to try it.

Dot said...

Very nice designs and I love the way you used them as a wall hanging piece. Your tips were very helpful. Thanks for sharing

Fiesta said...

Gene, as usual your work is so intriguing and beautiful. Thank you for the chance to win.

Sharon said...

I am learning a good deal from the me tips this week

Tammy said...

Very nice. I love those designs of theirs. I have never bought them as they are way over my budget. But I have often drooled. I love the tree of life design. But goodness those christmas ones are becoming my favorites now. That was a great idea to do the zipper pouch. With the Test stich out. Nice when you get to use the test stichouts. Then it doesn't seem wasteful at all. I'm gonna be your newest follower.

beaquilter said...

great stuff Gene!

Purl Buttons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...

Oh my....I just love this design and all of the wonderful tips you gave. I really need to book mark this post. Just love it!

Purl Buttons said...

I really like the Sashiko style stitch-out zippered pouch. What a great idea for "left-overs". I am learning a lot! Great tips.

Pauline G said...

Love your projects and this is a great post about ME. love the Mix and Match quilting set

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

Beautiful wall hanging. I love Sashiko works. I think it's a great idea to use your test pieces to make something useful. There is no sense "wasting" a perfectly good piece of work.

GeeMa said...

The wall hanging is awesome. Thanks for the great tips about ME.

My favorite collection from the Special Editions is Prayer Garden. The garden designs have me hopeful that Spring will eventually arrive.

Cindy said...

Most of the time I use my "sample stitch-outs" too, Gene. But there are those 'times" when I'm thankful I did a stitch out because it showed me I had to change things up to get what I wanted.

marth225 said...

I'm like you I didn't think this day would ever come. I have been dying to see what you did and it looks great. I really like the design on the zipper pouch.

LeAnne said...

Thanks for the great tips. If I don't like a color, I usually just embroider right over the top of the first one. Never tried to nudge it over it bit. I'll have to try that.

judy said...

great job. very interesting. love the pouch
judy

Rebecca Grace said...

Great job, Gene! That repeating pattern on the little zippered pouch intrigues me. I wonder how large of an area you can cover with that pattern without having to enlarge it? Wouldn't that be pretty in a silver metallic thread against a deep, saturated blue? Like a silvery snowflake pattern, and then you could cut it up and use it in a patchwork quilt. Custom fabric! I also loved your tip about restitching the outline design in another thread color, slightly shifted. Great post!

Nanbon44 said...

I am having a great time visiting all the blogs and there are so many great tutorials.. Thanks for all the work you put into making yours.. Oh, if you decide you no longer need that cute little zipper pouch you can send it my direction...LOL

Teresa said...

I love your wallhanging! It is beautiful!

Exuberant Color said...

I like the designs you chose for your project. I never thought of offsetting by a couple clicks when restitching in another color. I have just gone over the top with a new color a couple times. I wonder if I could purposely make a shadow pattern if I offset up 2 clicks and then left 2 clicks.

Lyn said...

Loved your projects and how you made a pouch out of it. Thanks for sharing!

Tina said...

Your Zippered Pouch Is Great.

WoolenSails said...

That is a beautiful design pack and lots of possibilities as you have shown. I like the mix and match pack, different designs to create a variety of items and quilts.

Debbie

Cecilia said...

Thank you for the tips. I really like the way you used a practice piece to make a pretty pouch.i like your wall hanging too.

Sylvia said...

I like the pouch and quilt too. Thank you for sharing your work.
Sylvia

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Gene, what a great idea to move the stitches over slightly instead of tearing out. I would have never thought of that! Genius Gene :)

I bet your cubicle gets more visitors now with those beautiful colors and designs....sure helps brighten a day when you are not feeling quite as sunny inside too.

Thank you for participating in this blog hop and encouraging others to get their machines out and have some fun :)

Love the zipper bag...another great idea and I probably would not thought of that either.

Hugs,
Kelly

Needled Mom said...

I love the Asian designs as well. Your piece turned out beautifully.

Cyndy said...

Thanks for the great tips and I loved your wall hanging. I recently found this ME blog hop and I'm really enjoying all the different posts.

Carol Jones said...

Love those designs and the way you have used them

Beth said...

Thank you for the great tips. You are very creative.

Linda E in AZ said...

Thanks for your great tips, Gene. The zippered pouch is quite attractive.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Great tips! Thank you! I love the zippered pouch and your wall hanging. Have a happy weekend!

LJ said...

Great stitching and I picked up some excellent ideas for embroidery. The glue stick is something I will definitely be trying - thanks. Also, I loved your trick of moving the design over just a bit to give the flower another dimension; I'll be using that one, too. AG has some marvelous looking designs/projects.

Kathy MacKie said...

Looks like you had fun and thanks for the great info!

BizyStitches said...

Love your little bag. Thanks for being in the hop and for sharing your talent. This has been a very helpful blog hop. Thanks for the chance to win.

SewCalGal said...

What a beautiful design. Love your project and all your tips, especially the zippered pouch you made.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Agnes B. Bullock said...

I also use the washable glue sticks for stabilizer help! It really helps especially if using pieces of leftover stabilizer from other projects (I hate to throw out pieces that can clearly be used in he future)

Love what you made and the idea for using the stitch outs is fabulous!

Sallie said...

Very nice! Thanks for the tips and giveaway! My favorite Special Edition is the Homestead one.

Jean(ie) said...

Love the zipper bag. VEEERY CLEVER!!!!!!
And I like the shashiko stitch on these designs!

That would be a happy addition to the workspace.

Kathy H said...

Great glue stick tip. ANd I love the bag you made with the repeating design.

Rose W said...

Beautiful wall hanging! And thanks for the great tip for when the stabilizer isn't wide enough for the hoop.

Sally said...

Your Asian quilt is beautiful! Also love the pouch. Thanks for sharing!

cntryways said...

Thanks for the stabilizer info. Learned something new every day.

Rosemary

Lou said...

Great job and thanks for the hint about moving the design over a bit and using another color kinda like a shadow:) Will have to remember that one!

My Sister Made Me Do It.... said...

Great Job on your project, Gene, and thank you for all the tips. I am new to ME and just love love love it!

OhioLori said...

Love your project and all the tips....am new to embroidery with my machine....saving this info! OH yeah....I loooooove your lil' red bag....the embroidery is amzing!! :)

MJ said...

Thanks for the tips! and for the chance to win! WhoooHoooo...

Tangos Treasures said...

Wow cool designs!! I didn't go to any of the other sites cause I don't have a ME machine :( maybe someday!

Trish said...

I love the zippered pouch and ME on it! I want the designs just for that. Since I love bling, I want to make one and place iron on rhinestones in the points! Thanks for the great tips! Also, what a great idea for the cubicle at work!

quiltin cntrygrl said...

Gene I adore the Christmas designs too. I have I think 6 blocks of the Christmas town stitched. Wanted it done for this last christmas but bronchitis that wouldn't go away. I have several of Anitas oriental designs I love them. They remind my husband of his time stationed in Japan.

CK said...

Great job! Thank you for all the tips. My favorite one is to remember that we don't have to follow the pattern design, colors, etc., as is. We should remember to be free to experiment and expand. Good advice!

Rebecca Fiedler said...

The design on the pouch is beautiful. I like the Golden Tapestry collection, too

Judylee said...

Very nice designs. I love sashiko and your glue slick trick.

Bonnie58 said...

Thanks so much, Gene. I have anew embroidery machine and have just started playing with it this winter. All the tips and information from the bloggers on this hop has been wonderful and very helpful. I have learned so much. I would love to win one of Anita Good-Design patterns. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity on a super draw.
bonnielarson58@gmail.com

Sew Quilt Embroider said...

I love your ME post. I've seen your comments on IHAN. What you've done with ME is great! I love the zippered pouch and the Asian designs. I'm glad you experimented! I would have stitched over the first color instead of moving 2 clicks over, so thanks for that tip! enjoying the hop, thanks for the fun!

Linda J said...

Well done, Gene! The Asian design piece is lovely and will definitely brighten up the work space. I agree that switching up the color particularly on the purple background area was a great choice.

Love the sashiko pouch!

Fran said...

Thanks for the tips, a great idea about the little pouch! I love these designs, thanks for the chance to win one of these fabulous collections!

Melody Shingler said...

Oh Gene! I'm so glad I was hopping the blogs & bumped into yours! What lovely work you do. Thank you for sharing some good ME tips. & thanks for giving away a Anita Goodesign selection, too. My favorite is "Prayer Garden", but I like what you've done with the Asian Quilt designs.

Melody Shingler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KatieQ said...

Thanks for the great tip. I never would have thought of using a glue stick to place the stabilizer on the back of the fabric.
The sashiko zip bag is a great way to use a practice stitch out. I've been trying to come up with projects for my practice stitchouts. Sometimes it can be a challenge.

stitchedbyme said...

I thought that I posted a comment yesterday. I know that I wrote it out, I must have gotten distracted before hitting the post button. :)
Anyway, I wanted to say that I like how you used the stitch out to make a zippered pouch. I have enjoyed AG embroidery designs for making several beautiful projects.
~June in AZ
(contact info on my blog)

Deb said...

I love the Tree of Life one.

Debra Spincic said...

I like using the stitchouts for other projects too. The sashiko is stiched really well.

I especially like the Fantasy Birds collection.

Sewgirl said...

Thanks for the neat ideas and tips. Nice job with the embroidery project, and thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

Beth said...

Your lovely wall hanging should keep things nice and 'zen' in your cubical. I love the pouch you stitched out!

Gene Black said...

Comments are now closed!