Needle Eyes And What They See…

If you are seeing loops, or skipped stitches in your embroidery or sewing projects or having thread breakage, it might be your needle…Using the correct needle and correct stabilizer, sewing at a reasonable speed, and knowing the requirements for the fabric you are using is not a hard task if you think it through…

If you are stitching on denim, what needle would you use? what stabilizer if it is embroidery?Are you using good quality thread or old, dried out and brittle thread? Are you using metallic thread and can’t get ten stitches sewn without breakage?

The eye of a needle is a fascinating thing… needle eyes are round, long, oval and short… points are sharp, ball point, knit designed, denim designed, leather designed…you name it…Thread actually goes through the eye of a needle several times before it becomes a stitch in your project …

The way a spool of thread is wound is also a point to remember when trouble shooting stitching issues…Metallic thread must come off the spool straight and must have a needle eye big enough to allow it to move through forward and backward several times, and metallic thread does not like friction so a much slower speed is required…

I store all my thread in a dark, dry and dust free place… sunlight and the rise and fall of humidity in a room, seasons changing from spring (moist) to winter (dry) and just the amount of dust in the room, fabric makes a lot of lint dust…all affect how your thread will behave…Below is a suggested guide for needle use… the cover photo shows some various needle eye sizes…

Have fun sewing, it should be a wonderful experience….

The Elephant In The Room!!

When I got my bernina and handed over all that cash, I decided that what ever I wanted to do I was going to try it… My 770QE has never let me down…I did think that someday I would upgrade, and so with that in mind, I only purchased two extra hoops, the jumbo hoop and the mega hoop…that way, I would not need to buy them once I had the space to accomodate the jumbo hoop… I have never found anything I can not stitch in my jumbo hoop even though I can not access all of it….This tutorial is just some ideas and suggestions on how to hoop and stitch a project that is big, thick, padded and fluffy!The embroidery design I am using in this video is from Embroidery Weekly, file number EW219_pencil sketch elephants….size 7 by 12

inches..https://www.embweekly.co.za/designs/pencil-sketch-elephants/

Below is a Towel set done the same way….

I Can’t Find My Design!

Once you get the bug for machine embroidery, you will find yourself getting caught up in all the new designs that come out each week (in some cases every day!) and thinking how gorgeous those colors are or what a great idea for a gift and on and on and before you know it you have a whole bunch of designs and can never find the one you want!

Here is my method which has worked for me for many years…❤️ you may have a system that works for you much better and if so, go for it…whatever works is what we want…

Country Mug Rug Tutorial

This tutorial is for a free design from Kreative Kiwi… I have provided a link to the design below…When you download the design, open the folder and look for the PDF file … Open that and print it off and you will have the step by step directions that I am using in the tutorial…For beginners, do not trim the outer base fabric as I have done… wait until the directions tell you to trim it toward the end of the project…Have fun, and post photos of your finished mug rug! If you get stuck or have questions just post them here or message me and I’ll be happy to help…

https://www.kreativekiwiembroidery.co.nz/product/Free-In-the-hoop-Sewing-Machine-Mug-Rug.html?fbclid=IwAR333dFpJonl0YwKz9ne7nZohLiTCPVbAffCkanmxJOsPLPEI9L-TStiSNM

Mug Rug Tutorial video 1

Mug Rug Tutorial video 2

Have Fun!!!

Flour Sack Fun!

I love the look of the vintage flour sack tea towels….

It’s pretty fun to re-create them today with the incredible embroidery machines now available…

I picked a couple of designs from embroidery library and a patriotic one from stitchtopia and made some sweet little vintage look flour sack tea towels…

Towels available here.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/fiddlestixnstitches?ref=search_shop_redirect

Keeping My Dogs Comfy ❤️

Several years ago I got the idea that I would make crate mats for my dogs…I used freezer paper to make my pattern…

Fleece and fleece lambs wool are wonderful to use and flannel also works but isn’t quite as plush…I use two layers of thermolamb plus as batting….

Here is my pattern so you can make one too!

Fleece crate mat for an 18 by 24 inch dog crate.

  • Materials needed…
  • 1 yard 60 inch wide fleece
  • 1 yard 60 inch wide lambs wool fleece
  • 1 and 1/2 yards 45 inch wide themolamb plus
  • Thread
  • Freezer paper
  • Scissors, cutting mat and rotary cutter and pinking sheers
  • June Tailor corner round template or a large glass or saucer
  • Quilting pins
  • Sewing machine

Tear off two long pieces of freezer paper at least 26 inches long and tape them together to make a wide piece…draw a rectangle on the freezer paper 26 by 19 1/2 inches…round off corners and cut out your pattern.

Cut out a crate mat top and bottom and two layers of the thermolamb plus..

Place the layers in this order..put the two layers of thermolamb down first then the crate mat bottom right side up and then the crate mat top right side down. If you layer in this order, when you turn your mat right side out after sewing, everything will be right where it’s supposed to be…

Pin well leaving a four or five inch opening on one end and sew all around with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Trim seams to 1/4 inch and pink around corners.

Reach in and turn your mat right side out.

Smooth out mat and turn in and sew opening closed by hand or machine using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.

Pin well around edges and put a couple of pins down the center.

Sew a row of stitching at 1 inch in all around outside edge of mat … then move in five inches and sew a square on the interior of the mat to hold it all together…

Your crate mat is all finished!

From Scraps To A Potholder!

Every few months I sort through my scrap bag(s)… I can’t seem to waste anything….I never buy more than I need and I don’t have a big stash of fabric, I just purchase what I need for the project I’m making…but every project will end up leaving a few scraps behind. I love those scraps and find them precious in the way of memories..

My granddaughter Paige is now 13 years old but when she was born I made her a sweet baby quilt which she still has…It left me with some wonderful scraps that got smaller and smaller with each scrap project I found to use them on until…today I used the last of them to make a potholder/trivet for my kitchen table…the scraps from Paige’s baby quilt are now all gone.

It was a quick fun project that allowed me to use the new serpentine stitch installed on my Bernina with the most recent update…I knew it was there but had not found an opportunity to give it a try and this potholder/trivet was the perfect project….I call it a pot holder/trivet because it’s an odd size…when using scraps..be creative! Don’t worry about boundaries…go for what is fun and brings you joy!

I stitched strips together and trimmed them… I had an old cotton sheet that I had cut into good pieces and used that for the back of my potholder/trivet…

I used serpentine stitch 1396 with my 9 mm stitch plate and just went down each seam..

I used thermal batting to insulate the potholder/trivet…

Once the quilting was done I rounded off the corners and cleaned up each edge…

I used the last of the scraps to piece together a binding …

I joined the binding so it just fit the potholder and looked continuous…

I love hand sewing so I stitched the binding down by hand..

All done and ready to use for Sunday dinner this weekend..❤️

Taming Machine Embroidery Files

As you begin to use that beautiful new embroidery machine you will soon find lots and lots of designs on-line that grab your attention and give you ideas for projects that you can make and even if you are not a computer wizard, it’s easy to download and move a machine embroidery file to your machine…. let’s go get a design and drop it on a USB stick….

Each machine embroidery design website is different…. some have the color sheet/guide in a separate download or print off… some will have a little different route to your purchases (very often you will get an email confirming your purchase with a link to the download)… but once you get started, you can navigate almost any web site to find your purchased designs…

Have fun today and enjoy your sewing!

My Love Affair With My Bernina ❤️

I’ve sewn and been interested in all things needlework for 53 years…. I learned to sew on my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine…I loved that old machine! I made all my school clothes and many other projects on it…

My next machine was a singer which I didn’t have very long. As a young mother making clothes for my three little ones I soon traded that singer in on a brand new Elna…. I used my first Elna until it was worn out… about 20 years… at which time I purchased another new Elna which I loved and used about ten years and traded it in on a new computerized Pfaff… I wore it out too and had it long enough that all the computer connections were so out of date they no longer worked…I sewed on all these machines nearly everyday!

When my Pfaff died, I decided I was going to get the best new machine I could fit in my budget and started looking. My choices came down to baby lock and Bernina and the deciding factor was the Bernina stitch regulator… I bought a Bernina 770 QEE with embroidery module, added some extra hoops and more presser feet and I don’t regret one penny I spent on this machine! I love it… everyday it’s a delight and a joy to sit down and sew or embroider or quilt on this machine!

I keep it clean and oiled and care for it like it’s the wonderful machine that it is… I have it serviced regularly by my wonderful Bernina dealer and I’ve never had a single problem with it!

I’m hooked on Bernina!

Machine Embroidery on Towels

I think when most sewers begin to think about getting started with machine embroidery the first thing that comes to mind is a towel….It’s a great place to start…but a few hints and tips will get you off to a great start and admiring your work in no time…

First, purchase a good towel… I use Better Homes and Gardens terry towels…. they are plush and thick and wonderful to embroider on… lesser quality towels are just that… thin and loosly woven and not good for most machine embroidery files…

I use medium weight tear away in my hoop and I “Float” my towel…I float most everything….I use my steam iron and press a fold down the center of the towel top to bottom and then I decide where I want my embroidery and press a fold from side to side..this way I have a center spot and alignment folds to line up with the marks at the top and bottom and sides of my hoop…I sometimes use a little 505 temporary spray but not always… sticky stabelizers and sprays pull at the little loops on terry cloth and can snag your towel…

I always use wash away stableizer on the top of any fabric with a nap and terry towels have a rather large nap…so..tear away in the hoop, float the towel and water soluble wash away stabelizer on the top and you are ready to go!