Sweet Pea Sew Along

January 8, 2022 at 10AM EST on the OML Embroidery youtube channel!!

We are going to learn a new technique this week – a 3D bow pattern from Sweet Pea!

Get your design below and join me for the sewalong!

HELLO2022

Are you ready to start the new year with a great embroidery deal? Use the coupon code HELLO2022 and get 40% off each item when you checkout!! EVERYTHING ON THE SITE IS 40% OFF FOR 1 WEEK! SALE ENDS ON JANUARY 11, 2022.

Add designs to your cart and then SCROLL DOWN on the cart page to see your awesome discount!

Shop now and get the best deals!!

Happy Stitching!!!

Must-see video

If you think finishing the Hoffman Dream Big Panel is too difficult, think again. Stitch Delight (stitchdelight.net) GORGEOUS embroidery designs are made to fit on the Dream Big panel, no matter what colors you are using. If you have a regular embroidery machine then you can print out each template and cut it out and use it to mark the center of the design. If you have a scanning camera, then you can use that to place the designs – and same with the projector, too. You can use small or large hoops and regular and magnetic hoops. the important thing is that you get stitching.

Check out this video and see the results with some of my tips and tricks for quilting the Hoffman Dream Big Panel with Stitch Delight quilting designs.

HOW TO TAME YOUR FACEBOOK NEWS FEED

Facebook changes all the time, it’s worth double checking your settings.

Facebook is a virtual hub of information – you can join groups, like pages and support businesses and people that you like.  You can peruse your friends and see what they are doing.  You can ask questions and get answers and help when you need it.  It can be a great place to be.

Facebook is a progressive company, and they are trendsetters – so they are not just trying to keep up with new things, they are the makers of new things.  There seems to be a shift of Facebook “power” going on from time to time.   Sometimes Facebook will make small changes that we don’t even notice, and sometimes they will make large changes that make people hunt around for a certain feature – for example changing the location of the “search” button in groups, that one was a biggie and stumped and frustrated quite a few people.

Apparently, the changes are supposed to clean up your notifications and news feed.  I am not sure that I needed it cleaned up, but there it is.   I belong to a lot of groups, run a few of my own, and manage just fine, thank you Facebook.  I am generally pretty organized and if I have joined a group, that is because I am interested in the group and would like to see posts so I can participate.  So why bother to clean up my newsfeed by force?  Ok, well no one exactly forced me, but it wasn’t exactly my idea either, right? Maybe I like a messy newsfeed!

Like everything with Facebook, it is going to take some work to figure out.  I get notified that someone has posted in a group for some groups (not necessary to send me a notification of every time someone posts in groups, I only use that for the groups that I am an admin or groups that I don’t want to miss anything), I have apparently unfollowed a few friends and also I see tons and tons of ads!!   I don’t mind a few ads here and there, but geez, really Facebook??

So I did some research to figure out how to get more actual information or group activity into my newsfeed.  Here are a few things to try.

First thing is to go to your best groups and make sure that your NOTIFICATIONS are ON.    The notifications settings are a tab right underneath the title of the group.  Make sure notifications are on, but also make sure that you change the options for notifications – you have some options here that you may not be aware of:

I have mine set to all posts, so I get notification of every single post in OML Embroidery because I don’t want to miss anything!  The next option is Highlights – which means a periodic summary of the posts in the group – kind of a catch up at the end of the day.  You can also choose to be notified  when your friends post only (does anyone actually use that option?  seems too limiting to me?) and you can turn notifications OFF, which means you will have to click on the group and read the posts in the group to get caught up, because you won’t be getting any notifications.  My vote is ALL for your favorite groups.

The next thing to look at is your NEWS FEED PREFERENCES.  Whew, there are a lot of things you can change here!

so many choices…

There are some big lists here…but the main one is that you can prioritize what you see first.  This feature applies to friends and pages, so you can customize what you see in your news feed.  So the first option is that you and prioritize what posts you see first.  If you want to see posts from your friends first, then you can select them from this list, remembering that this list can be long.  Apparently, once you pick what you want to see first, it will show up in your newsfeed first, and the rest will show up later down the line, if at all.  I am not really sure how it works, I don’t have any priorities on so I can see how Facebook with then controls my newsfeed.

The next option is to unfollow people.  That option was always there, but now you have it on a nice long list.  If you want to stay friends with someone or still like a page, but you don’t want to see anything from them, this is the option.   So if you have a friend that you like, but they post multiple times a day and you find this annoying, you can unfollow that friend – you are still friends with them, but you don’t have to have all of their posts clogging up your newsfeed.  No, that good friend of yours will not get a notification that you unfollowed them – same with a page.  If you want to like a page to show your support, but you are not really interested in their posts, then unfollow the page and check in on it when you feel like it.

Reconnect with people that you unfollow is the next option.  Well, I am not sure why making a list of this is a good thing, but if you unfollow people and want to follow them again, here is a list to make that happen.

The last option is to discover pages that match your interests, which might be kind of handy, I guess.  It’s not like every group or page you click on gives you suggestions for other pages or anything like that.  Or it’s not like the right side banner on facebook is full of pages or groups that are your interests, and has ads and suggestions for you there.  Let’s not even mention the ads that are geared towards your interests, right?  After all those suggestions, if you need to find more, you can go to this list and get more.

The last thing you can do to tame Facebook is to open up your Ad Preferences.  Yep, you can do that!  First, you need to go into your settings.  It took me a bit to figure it out though, they don’t actually label it “ad preferences”  it is simply called “ads”.  I assumed that you would click on this part if you were creating ads or had created ads on Facebook.  Not so, it is how you change your ad preferences.  A bit tricky there!

Once you click on that, you have tons of things you can adjust – I had no idea that I could make changes for ads that I see in my newsfeed.

As you can see from this list, you can change quite a bit!  You can change your interests – there are so many to pick from there, it might help narrow down the ads so you only see embroidery stuff :), of course, embroidery being the most important, right?   You can see what advertisers that you have interacted with, and you can also change what information the advertisers can see from you –  this is information that matches the demographics of the ad that they are putting out – so if they are selling something to single people, the algorithm is going to pick up on that from your profile.  I did some more reading, and they are NOT sharing anything personal from your profile, just basic information.  You can turn this on or off, but I left mine on so I don’t get a whole ton of ads that have nothing to do with me.  Well, you will anyway, LOL but at least I won’t be getting ads for single 20-year-olds!  Ha Ha!

The next part “ad Settings” seems quite important to me, and I would suggest checking this one out.  The ad settings are broken down into a few other categories:

You can decide which ones work best for you – these are not my settings, I was playing around with them a little bit.  Ads based on your use of websites and apps seems a bit “cookie intense” to me.  They use cookies or tracking cookies to find out what websites you are on.  I doubt that it is an invasion of privacy there, but maybe Facebook ads don’t need to know everything I do?  I am not that worried though, so I will probably leave that one on.  The rest of the options are self-explanatory, and will hopefully give you more appropriate ads in your newsfeed.

Like it or not, these are the changes that Facebook has thrown at us.  Lots of ads…lots and lots of ads.

The best I can say is make sure you see what you want to see other than ads.  Make a few changes to the groups you belong to, follow or unfollow pages and friends to allow more room for what you want to see, and tweak your ad settings for Facebook.

Until next time,

STITCH YOU LATER!

SUE BROWN

Embroidering on Leather: 5 Things you need to know before you stitch!

Oldie but goodie 🙂

If you tuned into the OML Embroidery youtube channel back in the day, we released an Embroidery Case files dealing with embroidery on leather, specifically lettering on leather.  There are a few things to take into consideration when you are working with leather.   Let’s look at a few of them in detail – make sure you watch the video, it will help make sense of my recommendations.

Once you make a hole, it will always be there.  The leather is unlike most other materials that you stitch on.  Yes, you CAN stitch on leather with minimal issues (I make leather patches all the time) but you really have to make sure you know what you are doing – with the design AND the machine.  There are no do-overs or second chances working with leather.  Once you make a hole in leather, it is going to stay there – you can’t close it up or change it.  If you make too many holes, you will cut through the leather.  Sure, you can use specialty leather needles if you wish, but the end result is the same:  a hole in your leather.  If there is embroidery already on something, and someone asks you do do something over it, the answer is no, there is a good chance the whole area will fall apart once you remove the stitches.  So yes, stitch on leather, but be very careful.

Density is extremely important:  Density and holes go hand in hand with this one.  If your design is too dense, then you are making too many holes in the leather!  See above – too many holes make a mess in leather, so make sure you are using great embroidery designs created for leather, or have the correct density and underlay for leather.  If you don’t have enough density, then you will have the leather showing through – so you really need to have the right design created for leather.

The leather is thick.  A leather jacket is VERY thick:  Leather is generally thick and most definitely expensive for the most part.  Thick things require different hooping techniques and styles.  In the video, we show you a leather jacket that was hooped, but not properly.  The jacket is a winter jacket, so it has a lining, padding and a few layers of leather going on.  It really was an expensive mistake, but with the jacket being so heavy (it really is a BIG jacket) it pulled and weighed so much that it moved things out of registration.  I would not put any of my machines, no matter how many needles they have or how old or new they are, up against this jacket!  I would be too afraid of breaking one of my machines – they are not meant to embroider through layers of leather, lining and winter insulation.

Bird’s nests are a sign that something is wrong!  STOP stitching immediately. If your machine is stitching away happily on one type of fabric and you switch to another one that is too thick (as in the case of the winter jacket) you may have some tension issues.  You don’t want the tension too tight or all of the stitches will be pulled down.  If the tension is too loose, then you will have bird’s nests and possible tearing of your fabric.  I have had a bird’s nest that was so bad years ago, it took me more than an hour to cut it all apart!  I had to clean everything out, clean the tension disks and the bobbin area and do a test stitch before going back to work.  So if you have a bird’s nest going on, stop your machine immediately and get cleaning!   On the example of the leather jacket, there was more than one bird’s nest, and they cleared the thread nest and then kept going – we can see the density issues and the pulling of the stitches down into the leather – creating a pucker and making the lettering completely unreadable.

so.dense.can’t.read.

There are a few things that I will not embroider, and one of them is leather jackets, including my own.  So many things could happen with the embroidery and the embroidery machine, I don’t want to risk the leather jacket – it is not worth having to replace it.  If you complete embroidery that you can’t even read, that is not worth it either.  Everything that you embroider on for anyone should always be the best it can be – if you don’t think the results are perfect, you need to do more work, more research and better designs to get the results that you are proud of as an embroiderer.

Learn to say NO:  Anyone doing embroidery for a business or even a hobby should realize that saying NO is a perfectly acceptable answer to a job or an idea.  If you are not comfortable with the job, or you have no idea how to hoop it, or what stabilizer to use, unsure about density, fonts or final results, you can always say NO.  It doesn’t mean you are a failure or are turning away potential customers, it means that you will not put out second rate embroidery – you will find out the answers and learn how to do it properly before you do work for a customer.  And then get doing some research and some testing, test stitching so you know how to do it for the next time, and you can confidently say YES to that same job.

Stitch you later!

Until Next time,

Happy stitching and know your work!

Sue Brown

Embroidery Case Files: Density Matters

“I WANT A SMALLER VERSION OF MY DESIGN:  I HAVE SOFTWARE, SO WHY CAN’T I TAKE THE DESIGN AND MAKE IT SMALLER?  IT LOOKS FINE ON MY COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT DOESN’T STITCH OUT VERY WELL.”

I see this question asked again and again in all different groups.  I have a perfect example of why you can’t do this, and I opened a case file to show you exactly what happens when you take a large design and try and make it smaller.  Unless you have the original working file, editing a stitch file is a lot of work. If you reduce a stitch file, it usually becomes bulletproof ( or like a hockey puck, as we Canucks say) and you have all sorts of issues.  If you have not seen Embroidery Case Files 4:  Density Matters, check it out before we continue the discussion.

Wow, did you see that logo?  Did you HEAR HOW THICK IT WAS?  Yeah, density matters.  Density matters a lot.   It matters to your machine, your business customers and to your embroidery skills.  It just simply matters.  Taking a BIG design and making it significantly smaller is a shortcut that you don’t want to do – it will cost you time, money and customers in the end.  And maybe even a whole lot of wear and tear on your machine, along with more than one broken needle.  It is possible to do a lot of damage if your embroidery machine is being forced to stitch something too dense and you break needles – you could bend parts, and you can even put your timing off.  Any of those issues could cost a lot of money and time to fix!  Unless you have the original embroidery working file, I would stick to only reducing files a small amount to avoid any issues.

Now you know one more of the Embroidery Rules:  you can’t take a large design and make it significantly smaller for a stitch file.   You just can’t do this and expect good embroidery.   You can slightly bend the rules if necessary – reducing a design somewhat for some reason – but you shouldn’t have to do that often.  You will notice that most designs will be created to fit in the different standard hoops – so just make sure you pick the right size for the hoop that you want to use.  Most digitizers say right on their site that they do not recommend ANY changes to their designs in any way – they won’t guarantee a great stitch out if the embroiderer makes any changes to their designs.

Back to the video – did you see the detail work on that logo?  You can clearly see that it was a massive design made into a smaller one.  There are way too many details for such a small design – I point out the highlights on the lettering.   Too much detail work on small designs can mess up the design.  If you notice below, the word looks like “Ruckets” instead of Rockets because there are so many layers of detail work, it has taken away from the actual lettering of the logo.

You can see that there are layers of white outside the main lettering – small satin stitches and lots of them! That is over a base of black and red again, then the highlight on top of that.  Wow, that makes way too many layers.  But can you see how the detail work is just not necessary at this size?  Can you picture it on a large scale? There would be enough of a gap between the red of the “e” and the outside white edge to make the highlight look useful and give the desired effect.  At a small size, it just makes it look like Ruckets.

So, what is the solution?  (say it with me, everyone, and with enthusiasm, please)

DIGITIZE AT THE SIZE YOU WANT YOUR FINAL DESIGN TO BE.

You can’t really break that rule…so if you create a design that is big, and you want a smaller version, the best way is to start again, and digitize for the smaller size – omit the details that will not have any effect on the final design (such as the highlights in the letters), and make your small design look good.  With the right amount of detail work and using the correct stitch types, you can make a small design look just as good as the large one.  It takes time and practice to learn these skills, so keep working at it.

Remember that embroidery digitizing and stitching is a SKILL.  You have to learn a skill, and you have to keep learning to keep up with that skill – the learning should never stop.

SASSY PRO TIP:  if you are stitching out a design, whether you created it or you bought the design, and if you changed the design or not – if you start breaking needles, or hear some new and loud noises from your embroidery machine – it doesn’t matter if you are working on a single needle, 10 needle or commercial machine – if you hear anything different or loud STOP YOUR MACHINE.  Like, immediately.  Figure out what the issue is – tension, bird’s nest or density issues.  But seriously, stop stitching – don’t take a video and put it on facebook – a noise usually means something is wrong or is going to go wrong, so save your machine while you can.    That is my sass for the day.

Until Next time,

Stitch you later.  And, oh,

DENSITY MATTERS.

Sue Brown

Embroidery on a Budget: MORE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

Last week, we talked about some things you can do to save money in embroidery and today we are going to be talking about thread.  After all, you can’t do embroidery without embroidery thread, and thread can be one of your biggest expenses.

SO MUCH THREAD:  This can be a tricky subject to save money.  While obviously purchasing less expensive thread you are going to save money, but maybe the thread is probably inexpensive for a reason!  If you are using cheap thread, it will show in your embroidery work – cheap thread tends to split and shred and cause many other issues.  Years ago I tried going this route, and I ended up with many issues when I was trying to stitch a simple design, and I realized that it was because of the cheap thread (it was really really cheap on Ebay) – I tried a few different spools and a few different designs and I realized that the thread was the issue, nothing else.  I switched back to my regular thread, and the design stitched out just fine.   At the same time, people have used this thread and love it, so it really depends on your likes and dislikes and also your machine.  We have one Machine here in the workshop that will not use any other thread other than Madeira.  Barry Barudan (the machine) will not stitch using any other thread, and that is the end of that – I have tried everything, every adjustment and tons of different threads, and he likes nothing else other than Madeira.  So that is all that he uses!  We don’t argue with Barry anymore.

SMALLER IS SOMETIMES BETTER:  Ok, stay with me on this one and let’s think it through.  Small spools of thread are generally more expensive than the larger spools of the same thread.  So for example, you can purchase a mini cone (1000M) of Pink thread and it costs $6, or you can buy a king cone of the exact same thread (5000M) for $11.  The price difference is quite a bit – you are paying less than twice the price of the small cone and getting 5x more thread.  Seems like a great investment, right?  You will save money!  BUT there is a catch – you will only save money IF YOU ACTUALLY USE THE THREAD.  No one thinks of this when they are purchasing thread because the amount of money you are saving is huge – and you are getting so much more with the bigger spools of embroidery thread. BUT if you don’t use that thread all the time and empty the spool, you are not saving anything – you just have a whole bunch of less expensive thread hanging about.    THE SOLUTION? Consider only purchasing the large spools of thread in colors that you think you will use most often.  Of course BLACK and WHITE are basic staple threads, so I would always buy those colors in the larger spools of thread.    I would also think that purchasing large spools of the basic thread colors will save you tons:  so pure red, green, yellow, blue, purple, pink, orange, gold, etc.  will be a great way to start.  You know you will be using those basic colors- especially orange for Halloween and red/green/gold for Christmas.   You can expand on the basic colors depending on what you are creating:  for example, if you are stitching out portraits of people and regularly use skin toned colors for embroidery thread, those will be great to get in the big spools and save you money in the long run.   If you are not sure if the thread color will work for you – then audition the small spool – if it works and you use a lot of it, you can make a note that that specific color can be moved into the basic thread category and you need the larger spool to keep up with your work.

bigger can fit into your budget

Now you have a set of basics in large spools of thread that are made up of the colors that you use most often, and you know you will be using those colors, let’s move on to the smaller thread spools that we know are more expensive, but will get used less.  Let’s not forget to mention that the smaller spools are easier to store, too.  I would then audition lighter and darker colors of the basic colors you have – so you will have a large spool of basic orange, then you can have a smaller spool of a lighter orange and then a smaller spool of a darker orange.  You can keep building your thread collection in this way, and you will have the most value for your money – the threads that you use often will save you money, and the lesser used shades will also save you money in the long run.

LOOK FOR SALES AND PACKAGE DEALS: along with all of your calculations above on saving money on your most used thread colors, make sure you scope out and keep up with any sales.  A great sale can often save you a ton of money, and enable you to increase your thread stash quickly!   Watch for flyers, emails and online store sales – it can be worth the effort!

Personally, I have tons and tons of thread, and I love having so many shades of each shade and color, it makes it so much fun picking out the perfect thread color for a new project and it took me a long time to get so many different colors of thread over the years.

My thread collection in drawers

This is part of my thread collection of small spools, each drawer’s color is filled with that color thread.  If I am looking for shades of yellow, i go directly for the yellow drawer.  It’s a great system!!

Another way of saving money is looking for package deals – so a special grouping of thread in a package – oh I love these!  Usually, in a package deal, the price per spool is less because you are purchasing more spools of thread.  For example, I have seen packages of 10 small spools of thread with a Christmas theme – so different shades of red, gold, green, etc.  Or how about a specialty package of threads for skin tones?  or Halloween colors?

Embroidery on a thread budget just means that you have to think about your usage and save money that way.

Until next time

Sue Brown

OML Embroidery

Are you ready for a challenge? something different? then check out today’s video (released at 4PM EST) and we will unbox a new subscription box that I love!

The box is from Dancing-Stitches.com and it’s fantastic! Everything is pre-cut and ready to stitch. I picked the quilting box because it’s going to be great to practice sewing AND I will come up with some great quilting designs that we can do in the hoop.

All you have to do is piece together the pre-cut shapes, and then put it all together. Everything you need is in the box, including thread.

Why am I recommending this? if you love quilting in the hoop (Anita Goodesign has a ton) then you will know that you need to bring up your sewing skills to be able to finish your project. I have been looking for projects that focus on improving your sewing skills, but are not impossible to sew. This box has it all. The piecing is all cut for you, and the sewing lines are small – so if you make a mistake it only takes a minute to try it again!

Check out Dancing Stitches here: Sewing & Quilting Subscription Box | Dancing Stitches (dancing-stitches.com) and get practicing your sewing skills!!

To see everything inside this box, check out the unboxing video when it is released:

New currency updates

At OML Embroidery we are always working hard to improve everything we do – new cameras, better camera shots and listening to suggestions. One of the suggestions that had been made about the website currency. Good news, we have made those improvements. Now you can order your embroidery designs in USD, CDN and EUR and the currency is displayed on the checkout!

Also to note, when you place your order, your download links are available immediately when the order is completed.

Change your currency and place your order! Summary at the top, download links in the middle and order details at the bottom.

if you sign into your account BEFORE ordering, then your downloads will also show up in your Library, and you will still receive a confirmation email with downloads.

Happy stitching!!!

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