More embroidery fun

We found these blue napkins at a consignment shop so I decided to practice some embroidery designs on these napkins.

The flower designs are from OESD.  I used white thread on the top and in the bobbin and used aqua mesh (wash away stabilizer).

I love the contrast of the white flowers with the dark blue napkins.

I also made a zippered bag in the hoop with the embroidery machine. I wanted to try making a bag in the hoop but this bag was the smallest zippered bag that I have ever made. LOL.

The bee (also about 3″)  was my fist time making a free standing design.  This type of design is not stitched on fabric but is stitched on a stabilizer (either tear away or wash away). I used a tear away stabilizer. There are over 9200 stitches in this design – hard to believe.

Have fun sewing and quilting.  Donna


Llama UFO complete

Donna recently gave me another UFO when she embroidered 2 Llama’s for me.   I just love them.

So, last week at our all day Quilt Bee sew-in, I made a new tote with them.   My old tote was well loved and probably needed to be retired anyways.   I do like totes as they are great for toting quilting magazines and hand work when you know you may have a wait for appointments (e.g. Dr. offices).

Drumroll… here is my new No-Drama-Llama tote.

All the fabric was from our stash and I even raided my secret stash drawer for the camera fabric (my other love) to make the inside of the bag.

Happy Stitchin,


Playing with machine embroidery with bird designs

I am going to put away my embroidery module later this week so I can get back to some quilting projects.  I found some bird designs on OESD and wanted to experiment with different backgrounds for the birds. So I made collage backgrounds using neutrals, blues, and greens.  I cut out random sized squares and rectangles and used a straight stitch to attach to a muslin foundation.  Then I used these 3 backgrounds to stitch on birds using the embroidery machine.  The bird designs stitched out over the patchwork collage backgrounds without any problems. On the blue background, I added a tree for the woodpecker.  With the second woodpecker on the green print fabric, I enlarged the bird by 20% without any problems with the design and the stitches.

20% larger

Three of the birds were stitched on the same green print since I plan to put those birds on a cactus wallhanging that I am working on.  I really liked these birds designs. I can’t wait to put the birds on the cactus.  Have  fun  sewing.  Donna

Llamas and more llamas embroidery designs

While I had the embroidery module set up, I decided to stitch out some more embroidery designs that I had purchased last month.  I couldn’t resist these Llamas designs from OESD especially the “No Drama Llama” embroidery design.  Sometimes there is just too much drama.

These llama designs make me smile.  I stitched out 3 designs using polymesh stabilizer.

At first Mary and I  thought the “No Drama Llama” design would make a good pillow design.  But Mary wanted to make a new tote bag so she is going to use 2 of the Llama designs for her tote bag.  Mary liked the llama with the knitted hat (Blue Llama) so she is going to use that design along with the No Drama Llama with the sunglasses.  I stitched out those 2 designs in colors that Mary likes. So I stitched the designs and gave them to Mary and now she has a new UFO.

I am going to use the third llama design (Rainbow Llama) in a project but not sure yet what the project will be.  So I guess I have a new UFO too.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

More fun embroidery projects using tea towels

I did take a break from embroidery last week.  I worked on 3 baby quilts to donate. They are quilted but I haven’t put on the bindings so no pictures yet.

This week I started working with tea towels and kitchen embroidery designs.  I found 3 striped towels in my embroidery supplies drawer to practice placement of the embroidery designs on towels.  Then I ordered more towels to embroider for a house warming gift.

I used “Bluework Kitchen” designs from Hatched in Africa embroidery designs.  These designs are really cute and only use one color.  Most of the designs stitch out in less than 10 minutes.  Awesome.

The first towel had red stripes so I used red thread for the stitching.  Since I didn’t place it exactly where I thought it should be, I added red rick rack trim to the bottom.

The last 2 towels had green and teal stripes so I used teal thread. I matched the same color of thread in the bobbin.  I also used a wash away stabilizer (AquaMesh).  I haven’t washed out the stabilizer yet.

I can’t wait to stitch out the other 7 towel designs.  So much fun and they stitch out so quickly.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Embroidery sampler

This month I have been learning new techniques with machine embroidery.  I have been taking an online embroidery class to learn more about my machine.  For the class I made a table top sampler using the different techniques – lots of new techniques for me.  It was lots of fun.

I started with a focus fabric (which is the outside border) to pick the colors for the sampler. The first 2 blocks were made on a solid background with the bumble bee design (the second block was a mirror image of the first). Then I made a pieced block (looks like a regular pieced block that you would make with a sewing machine but it was done in the hoop).  Next – the two landscape blocks with a small butterfly – one square is a mirror image of the other).  This block used raw curved edges which were stitched down with a zig zag stitch.  The 2 large butterflies are made using the appliqué technique and mirror image.  The 4 blocks in the center are a tile scene.  The beehive was made using confetti pieces of fabric and threads that are under a piece of tulle and then embroidery around the edges of the beehive.  The yellow butterfly was made using 2 extra pieces of cotton batting for the trapunto effect.  It was not as puffy as I thought it was going to be – so maybe next time I will use wool batting. There is a cut away block (below the beehive block) – cut away the background instead of the flower petals.  The hand stitched block (below the yellow butterfly) is meant to look like hand stitching.  The last block is the shadow block (bottom right corner) – uses a piece of organza fabric as an overlay to the purple embroidery flower.

All the blocks are quilted by the embroidery machine with a 1/2″ seam allowance so the blocks can be stitched together. I used my focus fabric to add the outer border so that I could use the sampler as a spring table topper.

There are more lessons in the online class but I put away the embroidery module so that I could work on some machine quilting projects next.  I am feeling more comfortable using my embroidery module and can’t wait to try some new techniques next month  – maybe some designs on towels.  Stay tuned.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.   Donna

Learning new stitches and techniques on my sewing machine

One of my goals this year is to learn more techniques for sewing and quilting through the online classes that I have and other tutorials.  I have been using a sewing mastery website to learn more about my sewing machine.  I have used this site in the past to learn more about sewing machines when I was teaching customers how to use their new machines at the quilt shop.  I haven’t looked at this site in a couple of years.  Heirloom Creations is a quilt shop in South Dakota that has great tutorials on 3 different brands of sewing machines: Bernina, Pfaff, and Husqvarna Viking.  (  This site has great videos to explain the functions of the sewing machines.

Here are some of the things I learned how to do.  I found a basting stitch with 2 different lengths (3.8 and 6.0).  Super easy to remove and would be great to use around the quilt top edge before adding the binding.  Next I found the “long stitch” which allows you to alter decorative stitches. It stitches every other stitch so you get a whole new look to your decorative stitches. Very cool. I could also change the length density of decorative stitches to get a different look to decorative stitches that include satin stitches.  For appliqué stitches, you can use a blind appliqué stitch (#1331 on Bernina) or a blind hem stitch that you have reduced the width to 1.0 and shorten the length also.  Another interesting appliqué stitch is to use the stretch stitch (#18 on Bernina) and change length to 3.0 and width to 5.3.  I also played with using a double needle to stitch out some decorative stitches.  You can play with variegated thread or metallic thread using the double needle.  Can’t wait to play more.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna