OML Embroidery is starting a new line of embroidery merch!! We are so excited to be able to bring these awesome designs to you! The designs are printed onto the products – you can get t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, along with mugs and a few other items!
LEARN. STITCH. SMILE. You can be a master of mug rugs!OML Embroidery will show you how!
We have been having so much fun creating mug rugs and sewing them out on Saturday’s! All is in support of the OML Embroidery Channel. Without your support, we can’t keep doing what we are doing! Make sure you check out our newest mug rugs! Every purchase you make helps keep the channel going!
OUR GOAL: we want everyone to enjoy machine embroidery and embroidery applique! Each mug rug that you stitch will improve your embroidery skills in so many ways!
Our second goal is to get 100,000 subscribers on the OML Embroidery youtube channel. Why? 3 reasons. The first reason is that there would be 100K people that have learned embroidery without frustration. That would be awesome – I love hearing success stories from embroidery people who jumped out of their comfort zone and tried something new. The second reason is that we will have created the biggest embroidery community on youtube. Yeah, that’s cool. There are huge quilting and sewing channels, but embroidery is lagging far behind. Third reason. This one is a bit personal, but after I had a heart attack, I decided to make my mark and get one of those youtube awards for 100K subscribers. It’s just a silly plaque and doesn’t mean much on its own, but it means lots to me! Those are 3 pretty good reasons, and I would love to make it happen.
The one big thing that we are trying to do is to get you to a stage where you understand the embroidery designs and the steps you need to take, without printed instructions. Is this possible? yes, it sure is. Once you get to know how to make the mug rugs and applique pieces, you will realize that they have the same steps! Placement, stitch down and trim and then the final stitches. No matter how many applique pieces are in the design, they always do the same steps.
The mug rugs are done 3 different ways, and each mug rug done in one style finishes the same way.
Satin stitch finish: this style is finished completely in the hoop with a satin stitch finish. stitch normally, and there will be a color change that is the shape of the whole design. Add your fabric to the back, face down and stitch the outline. Once that is done, trim front and back and stitch the outside finishing satin stitches.
Folded fabric finish: this style of mug rug is also finished in the hoop, but instead of satin stitches, you use 2 pieces of folded fabric that are overlapped and put on top of the design, with the folds towards the middle. This makes a fantastic back finish and makes it easy to turn your mug rug the right way.
Sewing Finish: for this style of mug rug, you place the fabric on top of the stitching, face down. then stitch the tack down stitches, and part of the mug stitch down leaves a gap. This is for turning and then you have to sew the gap closed once you turn the mug rug the correct way.
Don’t worry, we don’t just throw you into making mug rugs. We do a sew along every Saturday and show you how it’s done. You can do this!
Until next time,
Mug Rug Queen 🙂
As we approach the new year, (the year 2020, can you believe it?) I wanted to take a few minutes to look back at all we have accomplished in the last year – and yes, we have made some milestones!!
One of the big things for me is that we are now almost 1/4 of the way to my personal goal of 100K subscribers on the OML Embroidery Youtube channel! I hope this trend continues, I am thankful to all those that subscribed in 2019, and hopefully, another 20K will subscribe in 2020. How cool would that be?
Moving forward, let’s talk about YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Our OML Embroidery University facebook group is full of your wonderful creations – matching thread with fabric, putting your own fabric/thread style on each of your mug rug creations!
People who are new to embroidery have been inspired to stitch some applique and do their first in the hoop project! That is amazing – and kudos to everyone who moved out of their comfort zone and tried something new. Give yourself a pat on the back!!
OML Live! sew along videos has become a huge hit and we are breaking some records with attendance and views! I am having so much fun with the regular stitch along, and I think everyone else is too! It is so much fun, I can’t wait until the next one! Let’s keep it going 🙂
Last but not least, you are LEARNING. Did you notice that? Among all of the mug rugs, steps, applique, and stitching, you may not have noticed that many have made a huge step in embroidery skills! Because there are no written instructions, you have had to view the video and think about each step that you make. Yes, it’s OK to pause the video step by step, but you will find that you need to do this less and less as time goes on. That takes skill, and it’s a skill that you have learned!
You have learned the steps in applique and making a mug rug. You no longer look at the embroidery pattern and wonder what all the steps are for! The strange colors at the beginning are applique, batting and stitch down, and the straight lines are folded fabric applique. You have learned to prepare your fabric, batting, and hoop before you start sewing. You have learned to take your time, and carefully trim and make precision applique. My goodness, there are so many more skills that you have learned in the last year, I can’t list them all! You get the idea!
Hopefully, at this point you have also started to learn the difference between an OK embroidery design and a great embroidery design that you love to stitch and stitch again. Think about this one for a few moments, and you will see what I mean!
We will talk about that more in another blog.
For now, Happy New Year to every embroiderer out there. Let’s make 2020 a year of milestones and accomplishments!
Thank you to each and every one of you who watches the videos, likes, comments and of course donates what they can. Each subscriber brings the channel closer to the goal! You have all be spectacular and fun, and again I thank you for everything you have done to help and participate. We can’t do any of it without you!
Best wishes for a Happy New Embroidery Year 2020!!
Are you lost when it comes to selecting the right stabilizer? You need a compass to navigate the mysteries of embroidery!
Not a compass to help you with directions, but an EMBROIDERER’S COMPASS! It is one of the best things to happen to embroidery – this is the handiest tool you will ever have.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS EMBROIDERY TOOL.
WHO NEEDS THE EMBROIDERER’S COMPASS? Everyone, including me. I am a seasoned embroiderer, but when it comes to fancy fabrics and stabilizer, I am truly lost. Do you know offhand what stabilizer to use on gauze? how about bulky knits? Yeah, me neither and that information is kind of difficult to find…unless….you have this amazing tool!
Let’s take a look at it. Keep reading, you will LOVE this:
zOOM RIGHT IN AND CHECK IT OUT! Here is the fantastic information you will get with just a turn on the compass! First, find the fabric that you want to use. The top window tells you the correct stabilizer to use. The next window will tell you what needles to use – the size and the type. NEED MORE? The embroiderer’s compass has more! Check out the comments section and get tips and tricks for the fabric.
SO MANY EMBROIDERY QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED WITH THIS EMBROIDERY TOOL.
Let’s look at the first example: embroidery on velvet. I really don’t know the procedure for embroidery on velvet other than you can’t hoop it because velvet crushes. That is not enough information to get the job done. I need more to be able to successfully embroider on velvet! Dial-up velvet and get all the information fast, easy and complete.
Did you know that velvet requires two stabilizers? Ok, so now what needle do you use, and what are the steps to get the best embroidery results?
Look at all of the information that you get. Everything you need to know about how to correctly embroider on velvet. The Embroiderer’s compass shows you the way!!
Let’s try another one. How about MOISTURE WICKING FABRIC? These are expensive garments, so you better know what you are doing! Let’s navigate the compass:
Boom! the answer is right there in front of you, and you can start stitching with confidence. This tool will save you time and money and will allow you to say “yes, I can stitch on that” each and every time something new comes to your machine. I say it’s priceless.
For $24.99, this tool is worth it…for EVERYONE WHO DOES EMBROIDERY! Check it out for yourself, you won’t regret it. I am very happy that I have one and I am going to store it right beside my machine.
Happy stitching on any fabric!
Until next time,
(happy to check out embroidery tools and test them for you)
SATURDAY SEW ALONG WITH SUE
OCTOBER 26, 2019 AT 10:00 AM EST, on the OML Embroidery youtube channel (link below)
Be there or be scare(d). I don’t have that pun together yet, but I do have it together when it comes to this sew along featuring metallic thread that actually works!! Join me tomorrow for the “seeing is believing” sew along event of the year featuring metallic thread that you can stitch on anything! Seriously, you can even stitch out FSL lace with metallic thread! CAN YOUR METALLIC THREAD DO ALL OF THAT?
NOPE. metallic thread is always a big hassle. It is stiff and all twisted up. You need to be a thread wizard to set the thread in a cup, away from your embroidery machine and make sure it has enough time to unwind before getting to the needle. If you don’t do this, then your metallic thread will break or shred or split and it is horrible looking in your hoop. If you are like me, I LOVE metallic thread, and I have a bunch of different spools from all sorts of different companies that are beautiful on the spool, but used only on the most special occasions.
THIS THREAD BY KINGSTAR IS GOINGTO CHANGE EVERYTHING!
Here are some things that will make your embroidery life easier when you are using metallic thread:
Kingstar Thread does NOT require a special needle
You don’t have to slow down your machine. at all. seriously.
THIS metallic thread will work in multi-needle machines AND single needle machines.
No thread wizardry involving cups, etc. is required: Load your thread the same way as regular thread.
You can use this metallic thread on ANY FABRIC
You can even stitch out intricate lace with this metallic thread.
For single needle embroidery machines, you can top load the thread or you can sideload the thread (the thread is on it’s side at the top of the machine – both will work!!
Don’t believe me? see the Kingstar metallic thread in action – stitching at high speed, small stitches, and a regular needle. Seeing is believing.
See you tomorrow at 10:00 AM EST for this awesome sew along!
Do you want to try this thread yourself?? here is the link to Designs in Machine Embroidery’s website. It’s so worth it! https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/metallic-thread-pack
Queen of the Metallic Thread
Welcome to Part 5 of the @Anita Goodesign Halloween Town Sew Along! In this video, we are going to stitch out a quilt top, step by step! Lots of bright Halloween colors, pumpkin applique and scary ghosts – and of course the scary Halloween trees!!
The Economical Embroiderer here, bringing you important computer information: clean up your computer desktop and keep your embroidery designs organized!
OK, that may not seem like a big deal, but eventually, it may be. I am making it a part of the Economical Embroiderer series because eventually having tons of embroidery designs on your computer will take up too much space and everything will slow down. If you take the time now to organize your designs and keep up with it every time you download a new set of designs, it will take up less room, and your computer will be faster for longer. True story!
DON’T HAVE EMBROIDERY DESIGNS ON YOUR DESKTOP. Yep, people don’t realize this, but the more you have on your desktop, the longer it takes your computer to boot up and get ready to work. Keep your desktop clean! On all 4 of my computers, I have only 4 folders on my desktop – and my computer functions very well. All of the icons for the programs that you use are simply shortcuts – get rid of them they are just clutter. All you need to do is RIGHT-CLICK on your programs, and select “pin to taskbar” and they will appear at the very bottom of your screen, for easy access. Then all you have to do is take the icon and drop it in the recycle bin. Do that with all of your programs and clean up your desktop.
FILES ON YOUR DESKTOP NEED TO BE CLEANED UP TOO. As I said above, keep your desktop nice and tidy. If you have a ton of embroidery designs, you need to organize them on your desktop, or better yet, take them right off of your desktop! If you must have them on the desktop, then organize them by putting them in folders. You can create a folder easily. All you have to do is RIGHT-CLICK anywhere on the desktop and a list will pop up (similar to the image above) and you can navigate down to NEW FOLDER and name it! That’s it! Then all you have to do is drag and drop (left click and hold) all of your designs into that folder. Double click on the folder and it will open up to show you all of the embroidery designs that you have put in there! Now your desktop should look a bit better – some folders, a file here or there, but you should be able to see the background now! If you can’t see your background picture, keep organizing!
ORGANIZE THE REST OF YOUR EMBROIDERY FILES: At this point, it may be a huge job to get organized BUT if you can find the exact embroidery design that you are looking for in a short amount of time, then it is worth it – time is money, and saving time before embroidery leaves you more time for embroidery, right? Well, that is how I see it – I don’t really want to waste time finding stuff when I can use that time to create and stitch.
People ask what is the best way to organize all of your files. By digitizer? by design name? by design subject? My answer is YES. Each of those or even a combination of those ideas will work just fine. It really depends on what you like. If you would like to know how I do it, hold on because it is a big job. I have been creating embroidery designs for around 15 years, and I have a big BIG list of embroidery files on my computer. The list is so big that I have around 8TB of storage space on my computer. No, I don’t use nearly all of that, but I can if I need to. I think probably if I wasn’t so organized, that hard drive would be filling up faster. Here is how I keep organized.
I keep work files separate from “fun” embroidery files. That is the first “branch” of my folder organization. WORK is one, and Embroidery is the second one, and everything is organized into those two big files. If I am working, I am only using the work folder. Yes, there are many subfolders, etc, but I don’t have to see any embroidery files that are not work-related, so that saves me time.
Let’s look into my Embroidery organization methods. This file folder contains my non-work related digitizing files as well as files from other digitizers. I have some files that are organized into general categories that are easy to find. For example Dogs, Cats, Christmas, Halloween etc. That way if I am looking for some Halloween designs, I am going to have a whole folder full of them. I also have a few digitizers with separate folders. I do that for a few reasons – time-saving would be the main one. When I am downloading designs from Kreative Kiwi, it is easier and faster to put them in one folder directory. I also want to know exactly where Kreative Kiwi’s designs are because I know they will all stitch perfectly, so I don’t have to worry about any of those designs – I have confidence and I just pick what I want and send it directly to my machine. I do have some other digitizer’s work from big companies, and I like to put them in separate folders so I know where they came from.
If I am starting a big project or planning a big project, I like to make a folder specifically for that project so I can keep everything in one place. All the designs that I am thinking about using, I COPY them into that folder. If I don’t end up doing the project, I can simply delete the entire folder, and I am only deleting copies of files – the original files are still organized on my computer. It’s a simple way to keep organized and keep the right designs exactly where you need them.
KEEPING DUPLICATES OF THE SAME FILES: When you are downloading embroidery files, you quite often get ALL versions of that file: PES, DST, JEF, and XXX (singer, if you didn’t know). While it may not seem like a lot of extra files, if you are downloading files that are separated into sizes too, you may have a few extra hundred files that you really don’t need. After a while, that can quickly pile up and take up a lot of space on your computer. The solution is pretty easy and fast and if you do this EVERY TIME you download files, it will simply become a habit. All you have to do is delete the files that you don’t want! Personally, I only keep the EMB files (of course) and PES files, because I only have Brother Machines. You may want to keep the DST files, as that is the commercial version and you can use it on most machines. But cutting out a few hundred files on each design will end up saving you space on your computer.
Computer housekeeping is important and will help you get stitching faster – and a faster computer, too.
COMMENT on how many files/folders you have on your desktop and how many embroidery designs you have on your computer.
Here are my answers: 4 folders and no files on my desktop and….more than 400,000 embroidery files. Can you beat that???
Until next time,
The Economical Embroiderer
I do have a ton of experience stitching and creating embroidery, I have not done much sewing. If I could program the embroidery machine to sew for me, that was a good day! Then McDreamy came along (he is my Brother Dream Machine 2) and everything changed! The DM2 is an incredible embroidery machine, but also one of the best sewing machines out there. So now I have to learn to sew and quilt!
I am still working on sewing…I generally give it a try and then pick it out until I get it right. Yep, trial and error. I am getting better at it each time I try, and I do learn something new. How am I supposed to move the quilt around? What about embroidery???
My big problem was sewing and quilting LARGE QUILTS. It is hard to get the whole quilt moved around so everything lines up, sew a bit, and then do re-arranging again and a bit of sewing again. It is a lot of hard work! Since I am not an amazing quilter or sewer, just about anything will make my stitches crooked. So. What the heck can I do to make this easier? I don’t want to give up. I found the solution, and I am super happy.
What solves all of my large quilt quilting problems?
THE WEIGHTLESS QUILTER, BY DIME!!! (here is the link if ya wanna check it out https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/quilting/products/weightless-quilter )
The best part? you don’t need any additional equipment to get this to work – it is adaptable to any desk and any sized quilt. Even better, it has a small footprint, so if you only have a smaller working space like I do, the Weightless quilter fits right in! I was so happy to make quilting easier for me. Check out my set up!
How will this work for embroidery? After all, that is what I do best! All you have to do is make your quilt sandwich (same steps as sewing) and grab your Snap Hoop Monster – the biggest one you have!!! and find a gorgeous machine embroidery quilting design. Press start. Watch the magic happen!!!
I am loving this solution – it is FANTASTIC and so easy to use! I will be working more with the Weightless Quilter, so stay tuned for more embroidery experiments and tests. So far, this is EXCELLENT!
I am so happy!
Until next time,
(a happy weightless quilter)
Protect yourself from online embroidery scams! If it seems to good to be true, it probably is!! The embroidery machine is the most expensive embroidery investment, so be careful out there!
Can you really find a cheap embroidery machine? what is a good price? does a $66 embroidery machine really true? I can save so much money on machine embroidery if I get a cheap embroidery machine. Let’s face it. You purchase embroidery designs, in the hoop embroidery designs, thread, stabilizer and of course fabric. What are you missing? AN EMBROIDERY MACHINE. Before you purchase one, you need to ask: is this too good to be true? Can you go onto eBay and get a $2k 10 needle embroidery machine? Probably not. To purchase an embroidery machine, you need to be able to see the embroidery machine in action. That means that you need to stitch something on that machine to make sure that it works. New machines right from the dealer are great but can be expensive. If you want to save money, purchase a used machine! But, be careful about it! we have sourced out some amazing deals on newish embroidery machines. We find the machine, ask a few questions and drive out to see the machine. We start the machine. We stitch an embroidery design that is built into the machine. We check it’s service status. Then and only then do we consider purchasing it. Although we would love to think that the world of embroidery is a safe place, there are scammers out there that will play on your desperation for an embroidery machine at a cheap price that you can afford. But $66 is not a reasonable price – that’s shipping, not that machine. It is said that people take advantage of other people like this, but it happens all the time. Be careful with your money – when you pay for something, make sure you are walking out with something. Be safe out there!
Tension issues and how to solve them!
Do you have Tension issues? The very first things you need to do are: Clean your bobbin, clean and rethread your upper thread(s) and do the I-test
The I-test sounds like it should go along with your iPhone and iMac or testing your eyes, but don’t worry, it’s completely different and has to do with your embroidery machine!
I have noticed a growing trend on Facebook – tension issue posts. Not everyone knows what causes tension issues or how to fix them, but tension issues can be a big problem and can ruin your embroidery. Tension issues can “pop up” in the middle of embroidery, at the end or at the beginning of a new project – your machine can be perfectly tensioned and then the next stitch it out and you have white bobbin showing through. It can happen at any time and it can happen to you.
What are tension issues? Tension issues have to do with either the top or bobbin thread. If your bobbin tension is too loose, the bobbin thread will come up and show up in your work. If your top tension is too tight, you will probably have a lot of broken or shredded threads. What happens if your top tension is too loose? Birds nest are a possibility, as well as loopy and messy embroidery. The I test is to help with the top thread tension, and I would suggest that every few months, or if you change thread brands you should run an I test. Remember that tension is a balancing act – and your goal is to fix the balance so your machine stitches properly.
Most of the time when your bobbin is showing through to the top, it is bobbin tension.
It sounds complicated, and sometimes it can be a bit of work to figure out what is going on, especially if you have a multi needle machine! All you need is a place to start to become a good “tension Detective”. You need to figure out the tension issues and get your machine back into balance. Here are a few suggestions, the first step we take is looking and analyzing the issue – loops, bobbin thread showing, threads breaking, etc. Once you understand what the issue is, you can then move on to the solution and get back to embroidery!
What is the I test? It’s actually really easy to do on your machine. If you have a multi-needle machine, you will have answers for each needle regarding tension. Newer machines actually have the I test in the built-in designs! Look for a series of capital letter “I” in a row, and that is your eye test. If you don’t have it built into your machine, you can use your software to stitch out a few I’s to make this work – the idea is one capital letter I for each needle and thread color. Then all you have to do is stitch them out and get your detective boots on and analyze the results!
We just bought a new machine and fixed another one, so before we do any work on either of those machines, we do an I test on each. Here are the results:
Fig 1 (10 needle)
This is the back of the embroidery, so we can see the balance between the bobbin thread and the top thread. The perfect balance is for the white bobbin thread to be through the middle and be taking up about 1/3 of the space, and each side has the top color, taking up 1/3 each side. You don’t have to be precise, but you can see in the first image of the 10 needle I-test, we have some issues! Needle number 1 in red looks great – a nice balance between the two, although I would still adjust the top tension a little bit because it is not quite 1/3 at the sides. However, I don’t think you would have any issues with stitching using this tension. If you look at the silver thread (needle 5) you can see that the bobbin thread down the middle is really small – not close enough to the 1/3 measurement that we want. That means that the top tension is too loose, and we need to tighten that one up a bit. You can see that the other ones are just about right, and the balance of 1/3 is good for the bobbin and top thread.
If you did an I test, and each needle has too much bobbin thread showing down the middle, I would adjust the bobbin – you can clean the bobbin case and slightly adjust the bobbin tension – if it is on every needle every time, then it is bobbin. Once you make that bobbin adjustment, then run the test again and you can start working on the top tension.
Let’s look at Figure 2, the 6 needle machine that just got it’s motor fixed. Yep, wow, that tension is out on just about every needle!
Figure 2, 6 needle
Needle number 1 (silver) has the start of a birds nest and some loops of the top thread that completely covers up the bobbin thread. Yes, that one needs to be fixed before we do any more stitching. Because that one has so much thread showing, I would completely unthread that needle, right back to the thread spool, and clean the thread path with a small soft brush or possibly some canned air if it is really bad. I would double check the tensioners, and then re-thread – and then check the pathway again. Turns out that there was a small mistake in threading and we missed one path of the thread – and it made that big of a difference! Without making any tension adjustments, we stitched the I on that needle again, and it was perfect! So before messing with the tensioners, make sure that your thread path is clean, and that you have followed the path properly – I have been threading machines for 15 years, and it is pretty easy to miss one of the tiny steps that the thread takes on the multi-needle machines!
Let’s look at needle 3, brown. Oh, that tension is a bit off too – there is not nearly enough bobbin showing on that one – we need to adjust so that we can get back to the 1/3 measurement. When you are making tension adjustments, I would advise some baby steps! For my 6-needle, the tensioners are all marked off in increments – even though this needle is quite off, I would not do a full turn of the tensioner, I would do maybe a ¼ turn and see how that worked first. If it is not quite there, then I would do another ¼ turn and then stitch it again until it is perfect. It is easier to tell which way to go (tighter or looser) when you are only working in small steps – if the next ¼ turn is too much, then all you have to do is put it back ¼ turn and you know you have it exactly where you want it. If you were to make a full turn, then you would still have no idea where the perfect mark is, and you will take more time to figure it out. Baby steps!
I would also like to point out that each tensioner is probably set differently. What I mean is that you can’t just set one up perfectly (if there were numbers, say tension number 12) and do that for each needle – set each to 12 and have them all work fine – you have to do each needle separately, one at a time. Chances are the tension settings will be similar, but each one will be different. There is no room for shortcuts when it comes to the tension!
Tension issues can happen at any time! Keep an eye on your work – and if you see some loose threads or the bobbin showing, you need to make some adjustments – the tension is not going to fix itself.
Keep in mind, there are some quick fixes that will work to help your tension issues – if you have a tension problem, you don’t always have to stop what you are doing and immediately do an I test. The I test is for maintenance, to fine tune your tension.
One of the biggest issues of tension is fluff. Fluffy stuff building up in your bobbin case or a tiny piece of fluff in your tensioner. It really does not take much to throw your machine off tension! And yes, it can happen any time – you could be in the middle of an embroidery project and see bobbin thread coming up. Yucch! Immediately stop your machine and have a quick look at your bobbin. If you have a multi needle machine, I would carefully take a thick piece of paper or business card corner, and slide it under the tension part of the bobbin to clean out that fluff! Then pop it back into your machine and keep stitching. If you have a single needle machine stop your machine, take the hoop off, take out the bobbin and grab that tiny brush and remove all of the fluff that is in there. Yucch again – I bet you will find more than you thought you would! Once you have removed all of that fluff, your bobbin tension should be back on track.
There are many more things that can affect thread tension – changing brands of thread, humidity and sometimes temperature can change the “elasticity” of your thread and throw your machine off tension balance. With regular cleaning and checking your thread path, as well and keeping your machine well oiled and keeping your bobbin case clean, you can keep your machine running in tip-top tension and have beautiful, sharp and clear embroidery each time.
Until next time,
Have you ever tried to stitch an in the hoop drawstring bag? If you have not tried yet, then you need to add this to your ITH creation list! These bags are finished completely in the hoop in two simple hoopings, and look amazing!
To get this gorgeous design, check out Anita Goodesign’s website: https://www.anitagoodesign.com/product/anitas-wonderland/ The drawstring bag is part of Anita’s Wonderland Premium collection so you don’t have to stop at one bag! The collection is full of matching placemats, table runners, free-motion blocks and scalloped blogs, plus so much more!! You can even stitch a matching coffee cozy!!
check out this video and follow along with me!