Monday, October 4, 2010

This Guest Suggests...

Hi, I'm Amber, Diane's engineer daughter and guest host for this post. I currently live in Florida with my husband where we thoroughly enjoy the beach...
and where sights like this are not altogether uncommon:

But the real reason I was invited to post is because of some of my recent creations. Much to my mother's disappointment, I didn't inherit her sewing skills or fetish. Last Christmas, however, my husband and I decided to give some handmade gifts, I thought I'd try some embroidery. This is what we came up with for our nephews (based on Lego Star Wars and Batman characters):

I really enjoyed the stitching, and I am continuing it, primarily on onesies for baby gifts. This is a shirt I embroidered for a little friend who just loves animals. The giraffe is my favorite!

The whale onesie went to her little brother.
The space scene and river scene went to new babies.

There are a number of methods for transferring a design, but my favorite is Glad Press'n Seal.

It's pretty simple. First I sketch out my design on paper (which often involves browsing the Internet for ideas on how to portray a design, along with a lot of erasing). Then I apply a piece of Press'n Seal to the paper and trace the drawing using a ballpoint pen. Next I transfer the Press'n Seal to the onesie/shirt/tie/etc. I pick my colors, then stitch directly through the Press'n Seal. When the stitching is completed, I peel the Press'n Seal off. It sometimes sticks a bit in areas with small stitches, but a seam ripper or the back of a needle helps work it out.

These projects work up really quickly, especially after getting the design figured out. I also like them because they are easy to transport. I can work on them in the car, on the airplane, even at the beach. And bonus, the supplies aren't expensive. It just takes embroidery floss, a needle, a onesie, and a package of Press'n Seal (which you may already have in your kitchen).

A few disclaimers: I'm not sure how well these wash up (I always pre-wash and dry). Hand washing might help preserve the stitching, but who wants to hand wash a onesie? The final product would probably be more stable with some iron-on interfacing, but I don't like the stiffness. Also, this is by no means a product promotion for Press'n Seal. Finally, as you can probably tell, I am primarily working these designs in basic backstitch. I need to expand my stitch repertoire!

Thanks to Diane for letting me show off a little. I wish you all well from the sunshine state!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Little Wallet and a Guest Blogger!

This is the 7th Little Wallet. I forgot to take photos of the first 6 that I made before I gave them away. This pattern is a creation by Valori Wells of The Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon. I've been able to shop at The Stitchin' Post on 2 different occasions. Sisters, Oregon is a nice little town. When I attended the outdoor quilt show a few years back, I LOVED the home and garden tour that week!
I just might keep this last one for my use. When making these, I modified the bottom of the card compartments to prevent a lot of bulk in the bottom seam. I love having a snap tool. I've used it off and on through the years and very frequently lately as I recently made 2, mark that! 2 quiet books. I must show them here soon, BUT before that I'd like you to see the works of college girl gone Florida engineer girl. She will be showing some fun original embroidery! yeah for a Guest Blogger!
Take Care. ~~