Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Current Passion.. Machine Embroidery

About 7 years ago, I was at the stage in my life where I was getting married and so were all my friends.  For a period of 3-4 years, I had average of 10 friends getting married per year.  This meant gifts for the wedding, bridal shower and baby showers came right after for those who had kids right away... So what is a girl to do??  Buy an embroidery machine :-)

I decided to buy a sewing and embroidery combo machine so I can personalize their gifts myself. It took me a bit to figure out what to buy.  Originally I was going to go with a computerized sewing machine that had more stitches to embellish my gifts but when I went to a Sew & Vac store, I discovered about embroidery machines. 
(^-^) and (♥~♥)

If you never gone to a Sew and Vac store, you're in for a treat.   There were two I visited and each had similar offers but the second one allowed me to bring it home with no cost to try for a week free.  No commitment to buy.. How great is that!! I couldn't resist.. so I tried a computerized sewing machine for a week and went right back to try something else.  I would have been bored quickly with just the computerized one since it's mainly for regular sewing with fancier stitch options.. the guy at the store showed me a combo with embroidery.  The combo is a computerized sewing machine and embroidery machine in one.  It was the best of both worlds.  So I took home a Janome Memory Craft 9500 for a week and fell in love with it..

For those who never tried machine embroidery, go to your local Sew and Vac store and give it a try.  It's so much fun being able to embroidery already made items or sew your own things and add a personal touch.

To start doing machine embroidery there was a slight learning curve.  It's slightly different than regular sewing.  Sewing you just have to worry about the needle and the thread tension.  With machine embroidery, you have to learn about stabilizers and which one to use for the various types of fabrics.  Stabilizers will make or break the outcome of your embroidery because it's primary purpose is to support the fabric and create a well formed stitch.

There are various types of stabilizers to be used to support embroidery design on your fabric.   Most common stabilizers are used as a backing to your fabric to prevent puckering or slipping.   The stabilizers used on top (called topper) of your fabric is used to prevent stitch from sinking into the fabric (like fleece or towels).   Stabilizers come in many different weights and properties.  The most common ones are tearaways, cutaways, washaway, peel and stick.  As you can see the names represent the properties of the stabilizers.  They each have different uses depending on your project.  I prefer the tearaway and the washaway since they come out easily; no trimming needed.
There is so much information out there about stabilizers, I won't go into the same details. Check out the links I've included within this post.

So are you curious on what gifts I started to make with my new embroidery sewing machine???
Well, the weddings was definitely first priority...
I decided to make a wedding frames with the bride and groom's names and wedding date.
1st Frame

Thisturned out pretty good for my first attempt. Lots of puckering but not too bad.
2nd Frame

This turned one was too complicated. It looked better in my mind. I was trying to make a Winnie the Pooh wedding party. Way too much puckering.
3rd Frame

I fell in love with the heart frame style. This is one of many using the heart frame. Still haven't learned how to deal with the puckering. :-(
4th Frame

I wanted to try sliver metallic thread but it wasn't a good contrast with the light blue fabric. Puckering is better since i switched to heavier fabric.
5th Frame

I'm getting the hang of this. What do you think? I tried to make each frame slightly different. Look, minimal puckering.. FINALLY.
6th Frame

Last one in the series that I took picture of.
No Puckering (^_^)

So hope you'll get inspired to try machine embroidery.. I had lots of fun creating these wedding frames for my friends.

Question of the Day: What wedding gifts have you created?

~~Words of Encouragement~~
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)


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