Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Benton Sewing Day 2

Today at our seminar in Benton, Ark. we held two different classes.  The first one was on editing and the second on Photo Stitch.  I do hope you all went away from the seminar having learned a few new tips and tricks to help you with the software.  I don't know if I ever saw anyone so excited about one of the best kept secrets of the software - the Design Database!  Below are a few pictures from today.  I am sorry, but I did forget to take pictures from the first class......

Have fun creating something today,

apron and feet

As most of you know, I have been heard to say "I don't sew".  I should ammend that statement.  I am very capable of sewing, as a matter of fact, I learned to sew from my Grandmother (Nana).  I remember the first thing I created was a skirt made of zippers at the ripe old age of about 4 or 5.  I can't say it was the prettiest of items.  As a matter of fact my dad made me take it off and put on my real clothes before going out in public, but it was fun.  My Nana had quite the zipper collection and I had most of them in my skirt.  My first year of teaching school, the only way I had a new item to wear was to sew it.  Having said that, I just don't enjoy sewing clothing.  I much prefer sewing projects, like bags or crafty items.  I do wish my Nana had been able to see my first embroidery machine.  She would have loved it!  She would absolutely not believe what the Quattro is capable of creating. 

A couple of weeks ago before I went to Peoria, I created an apron using a purchased kitchen apron from Wally World.

Next it was off to the embellishment.  I created a really cute Halloween design using the PE-DESIGN NEXT software and the BES Embroidery Lettering Program.  The lettering is using the Cherub font in the BES Embroidery Lettering software.  The broom is one I created using a piece of purchased clipart from Graphics Factory.

After I embroidered the design, I decided the apron needed a bit something else.

 I removed all the straps first and went off to find fabric to match the embroidery. If you have met me, you know I am not the tallest of people. Short in stature was probably created by my side of the family. So I had to cut about 4 inches off the bottom of the apron. While I was at it, I rounded off the corners of the bottom of the apron.

I sewed together new straps for the apron that would cross on the back instead of going around my neck.  I don't like aprons that hang around my neck, they tend to start hurting.  Next I decided to add a ruffle around the bottom of the apron.  I went out and purchased the ruffler foot for the Quattro (it also works on other Brother machines) and cut three 6 inch strips of fabric.  I sewed the three strips together and then folded them to make 1 long strip that was 3 by about 132.  Having never really created a ruffle, I wasn't exactly sure how much fabric I would need.  So I decided to err on the side of caution (better to have too much than not enough).  I set the ruffle depth 6 to 1 kick per 12 stitches.  This was too much fun and oh so easy!

Next to sew on the ruffle.  I pined the ruffle to the bottom of the apron and stitch it on with a straight stitch.  After stitching the ruffle on,  I could have pulled out the serger (or I could have serged the ruffle on, but once again I decided to try something new.  I pulled out the side cutter foot for the Quattro and  used an overcast stitch to the right side of the ruffle.  This worked great!  If you haven't tried it out, it works nicely and gives a pretty finish to the back side of the garment.  Yes, my serger would have been quicker, but I didn't have it out and it didn't have black thread on it at the time.  Exploring the different feet for the machine was a great experience.

I then put the J foot back on the machine and top stitched the ruffle.

Below is the finished project.  Jennifer from Benton Sewing was kind enough to model it for me.  Thanks Jennifer!

I have to say this was a fun project.  I really enjoyed using the different feet!

Have fun creating something this week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tsunami Project

Hello again,
Today I received an email from Brother about a project that they are sponsoring.  As I am sure you all know, Japan had a major disaster this year and the children and families are still struggling to put their lives back together.  Brother has a goal to collect school bags for the children made from a pattern that takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.  The bags will be collected and distributed to the children affected by the disaster.  Follow the link below for the Dream 1000 project information and instructions on how to construct the bags and where to send them.  I know the children will greatly appreciate any and all efforts.  It is after all the "little things" that make a difference.  All bags should be shipped by December 8, 2011.  The shipping info is on the link as well. 
Let's see if we can't all create a smile for a child in the near future!


Create something beautiful or just plain fun today!

Benton Sewing Day 1

Hi All,
I am currently in Benton, Arkansas teaching at Benton Sewing Center (Johnston's Home Center).  I just love visiting with Billie Jo and her customers.  Today, we held a software overview: showed all the new software products and spent the afternoon learning BES® software.
You ladies were a great group to spend time with.  Below are a couple of pictures from today.  It is the end of the day and everyone is still smiling!

Friday, October 21, 2011

More pictures from Galesburg Sewing in Peoria

Vicky sent me some more pictures from this past weekend.  Enjoy!

Becky, evidently didn't want her picture
taken.    She was having fun, promise!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Galesburg Sewing - Peoria, IL

As promised, pictures from the Galesburg Sewing Event are below.  I enjoyed meeting and instructing all of you and  hope you enjoyed the class and found it informative.  Have fun creating and embroidering the projects!  Please feel free to post comments on the blog.  I do want it to be interactive.  That is one of the reasons I moved it to this site.
If you have pictures you would like to share, send them to me and I will post them.

Create something beautiful or just plain fun today!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The Knowing in Sewing Newsletter went out last night.  If you did not receive it via email, your email either blocked the delivery or you signed up with the incorrect email address.  If you did not recieve it and wish to do so, send me an email and I will forward you the current newsletter.  You can then go to the website and sign up for the next edition.  There is another small video lesson for this newsletter.  I hope you enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been very busy around here.  I have traveled to Pittsburg, PA. and Peoria, IL. and met some wonderful new people and saw some old friends.  As always I enjoyed sharing knowledge with you.  Below are some pics from the Pittsburg event.  I will post pictures of the Galesburg event if I remember to take some tomorrow.  I have a hard time remembering to take pictures.  We had a great day of fun today making checkbook and notepad covers.

Create something beautiful or just plain fun today,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bag bottom

A viewer asked what I used to support the bottom of the bag.  I used Timtex to give the bottom of the bag structure.  I used Decor bond to give the side panels a little body as well.  Finished bag dimensions 12L x 12H x 4W  when the flap is folded over.

Bag is finally finished

I started working on this project over a month ago.  It was just one I wanted to do for myself as a kind of creativity kick start.  I don't know about you, but for me, always creating for a specific purpose can suck the fun out of embroidery and every now and then I have to do something just because.  When I started this, I had no idea of where I would end up.  I just new I wanted to create some fabric with a new technique and different threads.

So the first thing I did was create the fabric.  I sewed together 2 different colors of fabric in 6 1/2 inch blocks.  I made 2 layers that alternated.
Next I created the spiral embroidery in the PE-DESIGN Next software.  Beneath the embroidery, I ran a running stitch so that I could cut away the centers of the circles and squares.  Now I was off to the embroidery machine.  To stitch the circle and square spirals.  I decided to use some new thread that my local dealer (MidSouth Sewing) had, Wonderfil Spaghetti (12 wt Egyptian Cotton) thread in the color of the square that would peek through.  To the right is a picture of the fabric that was created.
Now I had to decide what to do with the fabric.  That took a while.  I never like to rush when I am creating, I just kind of let it flow, therefore, the fabric hung on my shelf while I mulled it over for a couple of weeks.  It had started out as a tote bag, but it really was going to be one whopper of a tote bag and I really didn't think I would carry something so large.
So I waited a while longer.  I finally decided it would be something of a messenger bag.  Oh no, that meant I had to do some deconstruction and some more embroidery.
So I started on the side embroidery.  I was afraid if I did the 2 layer fabric on the sides it would be too busy, so I went with black fabric with the blue thread.  I still used cotton thread, but I went with the lighter weight Konfetti thread in blue.

Now time to construct. I finally had the idea down, now I had to execute it, without a pattern.  Below is the finished result.  I am glad I took the time to nourish my soul with a fun project just for me.  I finished it this morning and put all the snaps in place.  It is now ready for me to take on my travels.  I will say, no one will ever guess how much time it took to create such a simple looking project.

Have fun creating this week.....Do something to feed your creative spirit!