Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Birthdays are made for celebrating

I have been sewing a bit, beading a lot, but more importantly I have been celebrating.

In all honesty I am pretty blah about most holidays. Some are great for the kids like Christmas, some like Thanksgiving are nice family gatherings but are a ton of work, some like Valentine's Day or Sweetest Day are just what you make them.

But birthdays are special. This is the one day of the year that your existence is acknowledged. A day that you can make it whatever you want. I love birthdays. I enjoy celebrating them, mine or anyone else's.

This past weekend was spent celebrating my birthday. It wasn't a huge milestone or anything, but it was well spent. Lots of great time with friends and family. Thank you to everyone that celebrated it with me. The lunches, dinners, drinks, phone calls, texts, cards - they mean the world to me thank you all!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

All about choices ...

I choose not to hoop anything I don't have to. I will be perfectly honest - I just hate to do it. To fight with the tension and the placement, it just sends me.

So for this little project where I am sprinkling some small embroidery designs into an already busy fabric I have been enjoying the use of my favorite stabilizer ever. Light and Tacky Tear Away. It's like masking tape for sewing. Super easy to peel, stick, move, without a worry.

This is what it looks like when I am done. On this one I could have used it much more intelligently, making the most of my stash. But you get the idea.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

First stitch out

Here is the first stitch out of the large looped vine onto the hummingbird fabric.

Not bad, it might blend a bit much or maybe I just don't love the placement.

But the concept is solid, so I will continue to play with it.

It really is about adding the darker blue and a bit of texture, so it might work ....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Little bits of blue

So I went through the design and pulled out my three favorite bits - a looped vine like piece, a striped and dotted leaf, and a flower with nice needle work edges.

And of course being able to use the software to pull them out wasn't enough - I had to play with the sizing as well. Because I can do that. Not just the 20% scaling that the embroidery machine can do, but really play with the size until I found what I thought might work well with the fabric.

Here they are test stitched - because even having made them the sizes I think I want I had to test stitch the designs out. Nothing really helps me envision a project like seeing the designs in thread.

So far the looped vine is my favorite. But I am thinking I will plan out a pillow, stitch on the actual fabric and go from there.

With this project I am really trying to relax and enjoy the process and not worry about getting the pillows done. This one is about learning some of the software and making something fun for me with fabric I really like.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A method to the madness

I have looked at the fabric and the embroidery design a hundred times and keep thinking they have the right vibe for each other, like they will be a good couple if I can just pick the right pieces to compliment each other.

So because I always do, I thought about test stitching the entire design. But only in one color - because that would be slightly faster. It gives me a real size sample to work with and I get to know the design a little better. Get a better feeling for the textures, the order the components stitch in, that sort of thing.

Then I realized - I will never use the entire design for this particular project. It would be a waste of time and effort and my madness can be better used elsewhere. Like editing.

When I bought my machine it came with a basic organizer program for the embroidery designs. I quickly learned that was not enough and have been tinkering around with the Husqvarna Viking 4D Professional. And I really do mean tinkering. There is so much to learn and so many possibilities.

But just selecting what I want, copying it into a new design? That is cake! Which means I can take this:

And systemically select, copy and paste each component I want to play with into something like this:

And while that lonely little leaf doesn't look like much all by itself, the ability to pull it out this easily - that is power and potential.

For anyone who enjoys machine embroidery you understand that this opens a gigantic door for my creative side to run through at top speed. This means I'm only limited by my imagination and
my sewing supplies.