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!!
Do you mix and match? if you have not tried mixing and matching, check out this video where I put two Anit Goodesign quilting collections together to make a gorgeous wall hanging!!
In this video, I am going to show you how I mixed and matched 2 embroidery design collections – both for quilting blocks. The first embroidery design that I selected was from the July 2019 All Access embroidery book, and the design was from the Folk Art Animal quilt! I loved the bright fabric colors and the folded fabric borders – and there were so many cute folk art animals to pick from – so many embroidery designs in one collection! I decided on the folk art bunny rabbit to be the central focus of my quilted wall hanging. For the second quilting set to mix and match, I picked a border design from the Beautiful Blocks and Borders collections which is another huge collection of embroidery designs and embroidery patterns for the edges or borders of the quilt blocks. There are so many gorgeous embroidery designs in this collection, it was really difficult to select which embroidery design would look the best! The flower embroidery design would be gorgeous – but I wanted to keep the fabric colors and the embroidery thread colors in the range of orange and blue – 2 shades of machine embroidery thread, and a few shades of blue embroidery thread, similar to the folk art animal quilt. I am so happy how this embroidered wall hanging turned out. Even with the bright and happy fabric and the bright thread, this embroidery makes a statement. And thanks to Anita Goodesign, it is truly beautiful and I am so proud of my stitch work!!
Let’s talk embroidery! Do you know the lingo? There are quite a few embroidery terms, short forms, and verbs that we need to be using properly to speak the embroidery lingo properly. Using the correct terms will help everyone understand your comment or question better, and it will also help you make more professional posts and statements. Also added in this list are some things that you should be doing in everyday embroidery. Embroidery is a skill that you must learn! I am not the Grammar Police, but I do see the same mistakes made over and over again – and as we discussed in the blog two weeks ago, presenting yourself and your business in a professional manner AT ALL TIMES, in every post and everything you do online is paramount to increasing your business. After all, first impressions are lasting impressions – and social media works the same – even if we are not in person anymore, people do read what you write, and if you don’t present yourself properly in a professional manner, that is what everyone will remember.
I know everyone can read their manuals and find out
these definitions, but I am not going to copy and paste any manual – I am going
to explain everything in terms that everyone can understand, somewhat of a
guideline to speaking and doing embroidery.
is what you use under your embroidery to provide stability for your embroidery
designs on your machine. There are many kinds of stabilizer, just as
there are many different fabrics: you must make sure that your stabilizer
is the correct thickness and type BEFORE you hoop. Hatch has an “auto
fabric” feather that will tell you exactly what stabilizer you need to use.
Listen to Hatch’s suggestions and your embroidery will look much better, and
last much longer too!
Hooping: I know I sound like a broken record here, but I am going to keep saying it until everyone has heard me. HOOPING IS PART OF EMBROIDERY. You must hoop stabilizer AND the garment/material that you want to embroider. Floating is an option and yes, it may work, and it may look OK, but it is certainly not as good as it should be. Seriously. I am confident that my embroidery will look great through many wash and regular wear – because I have the proper stabilizer and I have hooped everything properly. I go for the best, so I take the time to do my best. Learn how to hoop. Some projects may be difficult, but it will be worth it!
WSS: This stands for water-soluble stabilizer and it is one of the most over-used stabilizers around. It is not actually a stabilizer – it does not stabilize your garment/fabric in any way. WSS was designed mainly for FSL, and that is what you should be using it for! You can also use it to help hold the stitches up (a bit) when you are stitching items like towels or anything with a high nap, but you will get much better results with a light fill stitch, stitching first to hold down the nap (also called Hatch Smash). You do NOT need to use WSS for stitching designs on t-shirts or sweatshirts or jeans. You are simply wasting money and time.
FSL: Free Standing Lace is one of my favorite things to do in embroidery, as long as the embroidery is designed well. The FSL design is made up of only thread – that is to say that you are not embroidering on any material, just some WSS, and when you have finished the design, you soak the design in water and wash the WSS away and you are left with a beautiful design. I have noticed over the years that FSL designs have changed quite a bit! I have done a few designs, and my machine was not happy going through layers upon layers of thread to stitch through. I do not continue to stitch when my machine doesn’t like it – I am not going to break or wear my machine down because of dense stitching. When you are stitching your FSL design, your machine should be happily stitching, no banging, no thread breaks, and no design separation. I have noticed quite a few people posting designs where the FSL has come apart, or parts have separated from the design, and even been “punched out” of the WSS before it is done! That is not how FSL is supposed to be! Some FSL designs are merely a crosshatch design with satin stitches over top and a few layers in between too – while they may be nice-ish, they are not going to hold up well and they are not going to make my machine happy.
ITH – In the Hoop Embroidery Designs: ITH is the short form for in the hoop – which means that the embroidery design is comipleteted in the hoop. Some ITH designs need some sewing when they are finished stitching, but they are still considered ITH. You can make bags, purses, zipper purses and even cute stuffed animals. Anything goes! My favorite place for ITH designs is Kreative Kiwi! Her designs are fantastic! If you want some fantastic machine embroidered ITH mugrugs or coasters, Kreative Kiwi is the place to be. You will love doing ITH once you try it!!
IT’S GRAMMAR TIME!
Embroidery vs. Embroider. Ok, this is a bit of a grammar police paragraph, but it is worth
mentioning. Some people write “I am going to embroidery this design”.
Embroider is a verb (verbs show action) so the correct sentence is “I am
going to embroider this design”. Embroidery is the name of the skill that
we are learning “I am learning embroidery” or “I am learning to
embroider” are both correct. Of course, there are exceptions to all
grammar rules, but that is the basics.
see this word spelled incorrectly all the time. You digitize, or you
learn to digitize, and I am digitizing. It is not digitalizing.
Grammar police, again, but there it is.
Jump stitches: When you are learning to digitize, one of your main goals is to get rid of as many jump stitches as you can. Jump stitches are literally “jumping” from one object to another. A jump stitch can be long (a no-no) or shorter (between letters in a word), some are acceptable and some are not. Jump stitches between letters are fine, as long as they are not too long! Again, if I am doing an embroidery design and there are huge jump stitches (my old single needle machine did not trim any stitches) I will STOP stitching that design. If you have jump stitches everywhere, your needle foot may get caught on them and you might break your machine. If I am working on one of the big machines which trims, I still hear and see all that trimming going on, so I know that the design was not optimized properly – and that means that the digitizer did NOT take the time to digitize properly.
Connections or connecting stitches: These stitches are what you need to eliminate the jump stitches to keep your design optimized. You must learn optimization if you are a digitizer – you must! You need to make running stitch connections between objects so you don’t have an excessive amount of trims or jumps. Anything less than a maximum effort on optimization is not acceptable.
Optimization and optimizing your designs: This should be the final check of your design that you are about
to stitch. Do you need to make connections with running stitches?
Is your design set out in a logical manner? Do you have tons of
unnecessary color changes? Do you have tons of jump stitches? Does
your machine stitch one color at the top, then trim, and then move to the
bottom and back up again? If your machine is doing any of these things, your
design is not optimized and therefore not finished! Take the time and
Design Registration: This term has to do with your hooping skills, which includes
using the correct stabilizer. If your design is “out of registration”
that means things don’t line up, your fill stitch is pulled back from your
outline, or things are misaligned. These issues are not usually the
digitizer’s fault, more often than not it is the embroiderer’s fault! If
you don’t hoop everything and stabilize properly things will move around and
pull. Keep things looking sharp and exactly where they should be by
learning hooping skills.
Hopefully, that will helps some people that are struggling with some of these terms. If you don’t understand WSS and what it stands for, the whole process of FSL will be confusing! Hopefully explaining these terms will help some of the new people understand some of the terminologies that we use in embroidery.
We are still working on the puzzle motif, this time in Embird Studio. In this video, I show you how to set up the motif, save the EOF file and then the stitch file and last but not least create a BMP (bitmap image) of the design so we can get creating the user-defined motif in the next video!!
Have you tried the new and fun embroidery project that we have been working on in OML Embroidery University? it’s a puzzle piece. This week I digitized the puzzle piece in Hatch Embroidery software 2, and this video is doing the same thing in Embird Embroidery Software! This is not any puzzle piece machine embroidery designs – this puzzle piece makes a fantastic motif stitch! The key to this design is making the puzzle piece embroidery design perfectly symmetrical – if you create the design by manually digitizing each piece, the motif stitch will not look correct when you put it all together, so take your time digitizing each piece carefully. When you have created all of the parts, then you can branch the entire design so that there is one start point and one finish point. Make sure you save the embird EOF file before you go any further. Embird EOF is the working file for embird, so if you need to go back into Embird Studio and make changes, you need to use the working EOF file. The next step is to compile and save into Embird Editor – and you can save a stitch file so that you can send it to your embroidery machine if you wanted to stitch it out to see how it looks. Once you save the stitch file, head over to Embird Manager and export a bitmap (BMP) image and that is where we are going to pick up in the next video – we need the BMP to create the embroidery motif in Embird Studio.
Embroidery on Facebook? Don’t make these mistakes!
IN MY OPINION,
Things have changed over the years, and social
media is one of them. Social media now is one of the main ways to get
your name out there and get yourself known. I am constantly on
social media, I belong to quite a few embroidery groups, and I see time and
time again, daily, the same mistakes made over and over again.
If you want to start a business, or if you want to
get your business moving along, here are a few helpful tips to keep things
going. I will try not to rant too much!
The first one is a biggie, and I have encountered it many times – personally as well, and it always makes me laugh. Yes, I laugh at the way people behave because it is not professional. That is the BIGGEST thing to remember, ACT PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU DO. If you say something derogatory or mean or anything else, people will remember your name, but not in a good way. Children act like this – negative attention is still attention – but that will not get you the attention that you want for your business. Seriously – stop being rude, stop being mean, stop picking fights. You have the right to your opinion, and you may feel like your criticism of someone’s work is helpful, but really it isn’t. It is better to simply walk away from it. If someone in a group is posting a picture of their “newbie” work, why would you not be positive? why would posting a response “you need to do more work on this, it is not good enough” help them out any? Being positive is the most help you can give them. If they are asking “what did I do wrong?” then you can point out some helpful hints in a positive way. Be helpful, not negative. That is a great place to start.
Acting professionally in EVERY post in EVERY group
on EVERY forum (including facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc) is the only way to
go. Some people think they can get away from this and there is no
connection. I beg to differ, there is a big connection. You can
open up facebook and type in a name, and you can see every post that person has
made! And if someone is being mean or negative to other people, are you
really going to buy their designs? NO. You will move on to someone
that deserves the sale, right? Well, think of that when you are posting,
that thousands of people can see you, listen to you and decide in an instant if
they are going to purchase anything from you. If they don’t like you,
they will not buy anything.
For clarity, posting a customer’s personalized
item, or conversation in a closed group is absolutely NOT PROFESSIONAL. I
have seen in more than one group, someone posts a screenshot of the
conversation that they had with a particularly difficult customer. Really?
It is pretty darn easy for that customer to find out about that – and
wow, talk about embarrassing! Do you really want to “shame” your customer
or potential customer in a group? What do you think the people in the
group think of your actions? Do you expect to get more business this way?
A closed group doesn’t mean that people can’t see your posts, all they
have to do is join the group! They will see it, and you will have lost a
customer for sure, but many customers! When they tell everyone they know,
or in other groups, you have lost all of that word of mouth customers, too.
Posting your work is kind of a gray area: if
you do something for a customer, and then make a “show off” post in a group, is
it right? I don’t think so – if you really must post your customer’s
design or child’s name publicly in a group, I think you should take a few
moments to ask permission and keep everything at a professional level.
Remember that everything that you write is PUBLIC, even in closed groups. Everything public can be shared or have a screenshot made in about 2 seconds, and then posted elsewhere. Each and every time you post on Facebook, it is a PUBLIC post and can be used against you at any time. Did you know that generally Facebook posts can be submitted in court? Think of that next time you call someone out or post something that you should not post. Same goes for posting other people’s pictures – I see that all of the time – they post a picture of the finished product and ask questions about how it was done. My mind screams COPY – you want to copy someone’s work, do you? I think you should learn how to do your own…when people start copying your work, you will have something to say about it, I am sure. So stop trying to copy!
Picking fights, or entering into fights on
facebook. Oh my! I see this all the time. Yes, you are
entitled to your opinion, of course, but getting into a heated discussion on
copyright issues is not going to help you further your business.
PICTURES: Selling embroidery designs takes a ton of time. If you are lazy, you are not going to make sales. And by lazy, I mean not taking the time to make great professional pictures of your work! Why would you ever post the digital image of your design? We all know that the stitched out design, on pretty material, with an interesting background with a watermark is going to take you way further than a screenshot of your work. Take the time to do professional pictures, with a good camera (your phone is a good camera), great lighting, and beautiful embroidery. We take quite a bit of time outside, or in the inside studio to make our pictures look professional – we use 4 lights (from around the house), a nice camera and props too!
This is a key fob I made for a friend of mine – the item is completely finished, neat and clean, cut out carefully and most importantly in focus, with the focal point on the embroidery. The background is some roses for props that I bought at a craft store. This is the style that you want. Add a watermark, and now you have a professional presentation for your beautiful embroidery!
Excessive use of hashtags: please stop using
so many hashtags when you post your work, or anything, especially in groups.
While you may think that using #Hatchembroidery or #machine embroidery
will work and get you business, it will not. Someone using #
HatchEmbroidery is looking for Hatch embroidery software, not the work you did
in embroidery. They may look at your work, but they will not buy it.
Using #machineembroidery will get you zero too. Why? BECAUSE
EVERYONE USES IT and there will be thousands upon thousands of pictures with
that hashtag. Do some research, find one or two hashtags that will work –
and do some research in how to use hashtags properly – it will take you further
in the long run.
Spamming. Oh yes, this one. I see it all the time too. If you do a pretty design, take some good pictures, and then proceed to post it in every single embroidery group that you are in, you are spamming. Not officially spamming, but spamming still. You must realize that most of the same people are in the same groups – Hatch people are also in machine embroidery groups, and quilting groups, machine specific groups…. And then they see your stuff posted again and again and again all over the place – they will get annoyed. I would also suggest that posting your work daily is also spamming. If you MUST post a design daily, then post it in one group, then your next design in another group. Posting your designs daily in 20 groups is not going to get your name out there. Please stop. Show off your work a little bit, but stop with the overkill.
Trying to add your business name in your profile,
or tag, or anything. Well, that is against the rules, too. You
can’t have your profile name with the name of your business. Facebook
doesn’t like that. If you have a facebook page for your business, that is
the way to go – however, tagging your business facebook page in all of your
posts is not. And believe it or not, it makes you look bad. And
people don’t like it. Joining a group with your facebook business page,
or making posts with that page is not professional either. If you are
doing this, again you are spamming people with your business name, and frankly,
you are trying to hard. Rome was not built in a day, right? Neither
is your business. It is going to take years of hard work to make any
money, so don’t start the long journey by spamming potential customers.
Have some confidence, hold your head up high and trust that your
professional level work will carry you the distance!
Back to the professional level idea, and here are
some more suggestions for you every single time you post. Spelling and
grammar count. Oh, yes it does. If you don’t spell things correctly
on your posts or use the correct grammar on any post, then customers are going
to think that you will make those mistakes in your work. Please know the
difference between “your” and “you’re” and use them correctly! I have
seen people posting their work with grammar errors!! This will not get
you any business either! Be careful and check your work, and check every
I have had occasion as a blogger and business person as well as doing the classes, that people lash out because they are not getting their way on something, or they simply disagree with what I am saying. It is OK to disagree with me publicly – but you must agree to disagree. Let me explain. If I say something is one way, and you think it is another – that’s great, and we can have a healthy and happy professional conversation post about it. If you disagree and keep insisting that you are right and I am wrong, and it starts getting nasty – you are only hurting yourself. If you try and take your opinion to another group and bad mouth someone in another group – and keep going and going – your business is pretty much over. Nobody is going to deal with you, because wow, you don’t want to disagree, right? I see people making posts and calling other people names, and basically slandering their business for one reason or another. Don’t be that person writing the post – it will ruin you in the end.
Another thing that I have a hard time dealing with sometimes is forceful opinionated people that send PM’s to “discuss the matter” privately. I really don’t have time for any of this, and neither should you! I do appreciate people offering ideas – that is fantastic and I wish people would do it more – but you can’t get mad at me if I don’t use the suggestions, right? Right. I love hearing ideas and different ways of doing things, but that does not mean I am going to drop everything and change it your way. Think about it from both sides – on your business page if someone repeatedly “helps” you with suggestions, are you really going to do them? Maybe some, but all? If you are on the other side and offering suggestions, please offer them politely and only once. If the person uses them, GREAT, if not then you still contributed your ideas and that is very helpful. Chill people!
In summary: if you want to further your
business on social networking – BE PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES, IN ALL
GROUPS, ON YOUR PERSONAL TIMELINE AND EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION YOU MAKE.
STOP SPAMMING WITH POSTS AND HASHTAGS. TREAT EVERYONE AT A
PROFESSIONAL LEVEL, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Take the time to do things
right – like pictures, posts and anything else you do.
If all else fails, you have a “magic button” on your mouse to SCROLL ON. Most of the time, that is the best solution. If you don’t like it, scroll on by and leave it alone.
And now I await the comments from the people who are sure I am wrong, or have a “good reason” to fight with someone on Facebook. Ha ha ha. I bet it will happen!!! Anyone want to bet?
I will say that my blog posts are meant to be taken lightly. It’s not about YOU, and if you think it is, then you need to have a coffee and chill. I approach my life with humor, and I love to write things that people don’t want to say. Be positive. Take some advice to help you be more professional on social media. Or don’t. It’s all the same to me 🙂
Sassy time is over, back to work making awesome videos!
Think outside the box: OML Embroidery shows you how to make small changes to any embroidery design and create a new looking embroidery design. Anita Goodesign Quarter Turn Quilt from the All Access February 2019 edition. If you don’t have All Access, then you can get this amazing machine embroidery design here: https://www.anitagoodesign.com/produc…
Here is what you need to get started on this machine embroidery project. This is an embroidery design for beginner embroiderers and advanced embroiderers too.
Anita Goodesign Quarter Turn Quilt embroidery pattern , cutaway stabilizer (no show mesh cutaway stabilizer works best for quilting projects), fabric – you can use a layer cake for this project, depending on the size of the embroidery design you select, embroidery thread, tacky spray, quilt batting, duck-billed applique scissors.
The first step in this machine embroidery project is the foundation of the quilt block. Hoop the cutaway stabilizer and then add your quilt batting. Once it is stitched down, you can get your applique scissors out and trim the batting as close to the line as possible. Now you are ready to get stitching some applique in the hoop! Each applique piece has two parts – the first stitch is the placement stitch and then you add your applique fabric, then the second stitch is going to hold down the fabric. Once that has stitched, then you can use your applique scissors to trim the fabric.
In between some of the applique ITH in the hoop pieces, there will be satin stitches to cover up the applique raw edges. The satin stitches should be in a contrasting embroidery thread color so the satin stitches really stand out. Once you have finished all of the applique pieces and have trimmed them all with your applique scissors, then it’s time to sit back and watch the embroidery magic happen with all of the embroidery detail work: embroidered flowers, decorations and quilting detail work to complete the embroidery project.
Can you digitize embroidery without embroidery software? Yes you can with My Design Center and a Brother Dream Machine 2! All you have to do is scan the writing, fix it up a bit and stitch! It’s that easy! Have you tried this yet? Let me know in the comments!
Did you know you could scan handwriting right in the hoop and the Brother Dream Machine 2 can turn the handwriting into embroidery? Yes, you can, and it looks amazing!! When you purchased your Brother Dream Machine 2, you recieved a bunch of hoops. One of the hoops was thick and had some green magnets attached to it. That is the scanning hoop, and that is what we are using in today’s video. Take a plain piece of paper and draw a picture, or create a saying using a thick sharpie pen. Keep it simple and make sure there is a clear contrast between the handwriting and the paper. If you used colored paper or even lined paper, you will have a more difficult time digitizing the handwriting on the Brother Dream Machine 2 because it will scan and recognize the lines too. Once you have your handwriting in place, put the paper on the special scanning hoop and load it onto your embroidery machine. The special scanning hoop loads the exact same way as other hoops, so this part is easy. Once the scanning hoop is in place, go to your “my design center” on the screen of the Dream Machine 2 and select line drawing. Then you can start scanning! This takes a few minutes to do and a few minutes more to recognize the writing, but it is fun to watch 🙂 .
Once the handwriting is scanned, you are ready to convert it into embroidery. I think the stitches look best as satin stitches, but you can play around with different looks. you have a chance to edit the embroidery design right on the dream machine 2. You can move, resize and change the satin stitches to suit your embroidery needs. Once you get the embroidery design how you like it, remove the scanning hoop and replace it with a regular embroidery hoop. I hooped some cutaway stabilizer and some groovy fabric and use my Snap Hoop Monster 8×8 magnetic embroidery hoop to make things easier. yes, I love my snap hoop magnetic hoops – they make embroidery so much easier. Now load the snap hoop monster on to the dream Machine 2, load up your favorite embroidery thread and get stitching and watch the embroidery magic happen!
I am probably an “extra” type of person – I like to do things a bit differently, and usually outside the box. When I do something, I like to do it all the way – including extras that make a big difference and is the final touch for your presentation. Why give an embroidered gift when you can give an embroidered gift with a matching card – and get a lot of WOWs!!
I call this idea, “OML Crafty Extras” – a few extra things you can do to really spiff up your gift presentation. I use my cutter to make these crafty extras. I know not everyone is interested in using the cutters, but more and more people have them for pre-cutting fabric for their applique designs – so why not take it a bit further and create something for your embroidery?
For this crafty extra, I used a piece of plain cardstock, a glitter gel pen and my Cricut Maker! That’s it! It really took 5 minutes to put together and a few more to draw and cut it out. The key to this embroidery gift project is that the design in the card matches the embroidery design. Talk about classy!
The first thing you need to do is open up your embroidery design in your embroidery software. For this project, I used Wilcom E4, my top software. I brought in the embroidery design – a monogram from Shuler Studio that’s gorgeous – and I made a few changes. I didn’t worry about the size, but I did change the motif stitches on one of the letters for a better drawing result. I made the motif stitches simple and clear so that they would draw better.
The next thing you need to do – and you can do it in most embroidery software is to save the embroidery design as an image. In Wilcom E4 you can export the embroidery design in quite a few ways – but exporting the bitmap into a PNG seemed to pick up the detail.
PRO TIP: if you don’t have embroidery software that will allow you to export images of the embroidery, you can always take a screenshot on your computer with free software that comes with Windows 10.
Open up your cutter software and import the image to trace. Depending on your cutter software, there are many ways to do this. In Cricut design space, you import the image, tell Cricut what type of image it is (this one is simple and clean) and then you can make adjustments and save it as a drawing file. bring that into your software mat, and you are good to go! Change the cut to draw, making it the size that you want. You can hop on to the Cricut site to grab a simple card to put around the design – you can change colors and add more designs or a special lettering message if you wish – just to make it even more unique, and then load and send it to your Cricut maker. Draw, score and cut your card out!
That’s pretty much all that you do! Once you do it a few times, it will get faster and easier to set up. Plus, you can be more and more creative with this extra project. Pick paper that matches your design or gift, pick different pen colors and different card shapes. No one says that a card has to be square, right?
Make yourself stand out from the crowd and do a little extra for your machine embroidery – you will love the reactions to being just a little extra crafty!!
New Contest! click on the image to enter NOW! contest ends July 20, 2019 – and the more you share, the more you can win! Click on the Image and you can enter to win. SHARE and you have more chances to win!