Thursday, October 29, 2009

A bit of Halloween Help

Well you can tell it's the 48 hours count down to Halloween here at the Fresh Thread Manor!.. Treats are being made and the finishing touches are being put on costumes for not one but two parties this year! For both parties we are taking pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese icing.. and although totally delish they needed a bit more seasonal sparkle.. so I created this graphic from a vintage card in my collection and a new file to make a whole batch of cupcake charms and I am sharing them with you!

What!.. you don't know what a Cupcake Charm is?... ~ falls over in a dead faint~ My dears.. it's one of the cutest vintage ways to make your cupcakes the hit of the party. Just print off the PDF File I have created for you!.. and then cut out the image ( keeping both circles together and the a big figure 8).. then fold it in half and secure a toothpick inside( between the layers). using a bit of glue or double stick tape. Now poke it into the top of a yummy cupcake or on the appetizer platter of your adult Halloween party! Easy huh? P.s. use card stock and your best print setting!

So now you are ready with you food.. but are you heading off to the party without a hostess gift? ~ for shame~.. Do something quick and easy.. Make a small batch of Halloween Chapflaps.. all you need to have on hand is a bit of felt of spooky fabric.. it's very easy and the pattern will be retired come the strike of midnight on the 31st so get yours now!

The Boo-Lovie bandit will also be gone as of the 31st, so if you want her you had better get her now! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

*Fresh Ideas* and more Crop-a-dile goodness

A little more information and yet another way to work with your Java Wraps.. As you see .. on the left I have used a loop of elastic that is sewn in into the flap seam the same way I show you in the instructions.. and on the right is an alternative way with an eyelet with a loop of string elastic pulled through. Both easy and quick to do.
The purpose is to use the elastic loop is to wrap up your Java Wrapz so it's easy to throw in your purse or gym bag and have handy any place where you might be stopping for your daily caffeine fix Hope that helps and gives you another *Fresh Idea*
In other news I have found yet another use for my beloved Crop-a-dile Big Bite. Most of you know that I will sing the praises of this great contraption for just about all my crafting needs.. but here I am using it again with embroidery. Like most of us to own embroidery machines mine came with plastic templates that help with in-the-hoop alignment. And while good start..mine was only punched with 4 holes that you could then mark through to make points of reference. So enter the Big Bite C.A.D!.. I used it on the 3/16 setting to make multiple perfect holes so I can easily make more reference marks!

Where they were only 4 before.. now I have multiple points of reference... Truly wonderful!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lovie Sale

It's a busy time here in the Fresh Thread studio.. new ideas for the store and holiday sewing is in full swing... I nearly fell over when looking at the calendar and seeing how few stitching days there are till the holidays!
For quite a few little girls in my life I will be making holiday Lovies.. there are so many festive holiday fabrics out there it's no trouble finding just the right one for each child. I even found an adorable Hanukkah fabric that is going to steal the heart of one not-so-little girl that I know!

So with holiday sewing in mind the Lovies are going to be on sale for the week. So if you have any sweet little girls in your life feel free to take advantage of this sale and get ahead of the holiday curve!

In other news my new 830 and I are getting acquainted... wow, she is some gal.. I suspect that it's going to take me quite a while to find out all she can do! My jumbo hoop should come in next week and I am set up and ready to play. Due to the size of this machine I had to modify where this machine was going to go. Given the clearance needed by the jumbo hoop I had to clear way more space than I first thought. But I think I am in the groove now.. Still waiting on flooring for my studio.. almost to the point of thinking of the subfloor as the real deal!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

woo hoo... doing the Happy dance

Excuse me if I gush a bit... but today I made room for a new " baby" in my studio.. Isn't she a beauty? She is a Bernina 830 and I brought her home today. I suspect she is going to make my 6 needle a bit jealous.. but I swear that I have enough love for both of them!

In other news.. it's the last 24 hours for the Java Wrapz at their introductory price. After the weekend is over the price goes up to $20.

And in a bit more coffee related news .. for those looking to pick up a bit more embroidery business this might help. Today I just spoke to a local independent coffee house that is placing an order for multiple Java Wrapz with their company name on them.. they are going to sell some and give others to some of their more devoted customers during the holiday season. So think about making up a great looking Wrapz.. and take it by your local upscale coffee house and see what sort of business you can dig up for yourself.. you might be surprised!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Packaging for Profit

Anyone who knows me knows that I am rather the nut about packaging, to me an item might has well not be put up for sale when it comes to craft shows and the like unless you have it well merchandised. I believe that presentation can make or break any sale.

The biggest problem is finding effective ways to package that don't break the bank. Here at Fresh Thread Embroidery Design I understand and hope to help you merchandise our products for optimum sale.

To that end today I bring to you a couple of easy print pillow boxes and a mini tutorial that I designed just for you! These pillow boxes can be printed and assembled with only the most simple of supplies and even the less than crafty can handle putting them together! * I do suggest printing on high-quality card stock and on your best print setting since otherwise you will just be wasting your time*
I have created boxes for the Halloween Chap flaps, the Java Wrapz and a simple to/from box for non-Fresh Thread items. I have also created a tutorial that you can print ( click here for that).
To download:
Boo-chaps pillow box - click here
Java -Wrapz Pillow box - click here
To/From Pillow box - Click here
The finished size of the box is 5x3 and will hold many small and hard to package items. I hope you enjoy this Fresh Project and let me know what you think of it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In the Hoop Applique

As promised I am going to show you how I do in-the-hoop applique for the Java Wrapz. (above) First I cut out square of fabric that I know will be big enough to cover the circle area .. the applique circles are 2.5 inches in diameter so I usually cut at least a 3 inch square. On the back of that I iron on a square of Heat n' bond lite ( Remember to then pull off the paper back after ironing.. do this right away.. don't ask me how I now ~sigh~)
Run the positioning stage and then lay down your fabric and let it run the first stage of the tack down. Now remove the hoop from the machine and cut away the excess fabric with applique or other suitable scissors.

At this stage you have two choices.. since your fabric is in the hoop it's not possible to use a conventional iron to activate the heat n' bond and you will have to do it after your item is removed from the hoop. But if you happen to have a Clover mini-iron ( see below) ironing in the hoop will be a fast and easy process assuring you perfect applique registration. **Please note.. this iron takes a full 10 minutes to heat up but DO NOT set it to high... high is more than enough to totally melt poly thread ( again... ask me how I know!)
Now run the zig-zag or e-stitch of the file and check for alignment.. if any things seems off give it another trim at this time.

Run the rest of your applique steps and if needed give it an ironing after all is said and done. Easy huh?
Next time we will talking about fixing little boo-boos like you can see on the *J* applique.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Doing the Java Jive

I have a lot of coffee drinkers in my life and with the holidays right around the corner I knew I was going to be buying a lot of Starbucks gift cards..but it seems a bit cold just to give someone a gift card alone ( agree?)..but most did not need another coffee mug in their lives since they drink most of their coffee from take-out cups despite there best efforts to be as "green" as possible. Thus the Java Wrapz was born!

Java Wrapz are an eco-friendly, personal alternative to the cardboard sleeves on take out coffee and tea cups. This item is a sure winner with not only folks who are trying to go green but for those who are coffee crazy or looking for quick easy gifts for a multitude of people in their lives. This is going to be a great craft-show seller... and low stitch count makes it profit friendly!
Included files are for the 300x200 hoop, the 6x10 and the 5x7. In the 300x200 it stitches out double files like below. In the 6x10 size you get a single Wrapz. The 5x7 version is an easy cut-n-sew pattern ( included on a full sized PDF file) that embroiders in the hoop on an easy to use template.

I wish you could feel how good these feel in the hand. That comes from using wool and wool blend felt for the Wrapz. I am a huge fan of wool felt and get it all at
The above photo is how the Java Wrapz stitch out in the big hoop. In the smaller hoop version you precut the wrap and then lay it into a template that stitches out onto tearaway in the hoop.

I am very excited to be making these for my friends who are sports fans.. I am using team fabrics that I found at my local fabric store in the applique circle.. perfect! For the folks in my life who are not sports fans I am getting different holiday or hobby theme fabrics. I found some great fishing fabric for my bil who always grabs a " cup of joe" on the way out to the lake. A varitey of sweet holiday prints just the right size for the applique circle can be found at your local quilt store in charm packs! This darling tree fabric is from the Moda, Figgy Pudding collection that I purchased at my wonderful local quilt store.. Lavender and Lime

Each collection comes with:

1) Applique-monogram-ready circle
2) A blank template
3)Groovy daisy monogram-ready Wrapz.
4) Coffee-Talk, two phrases sure to tickle the funny bone of any Java drinker.
5) Full color, printable PDF Java Wrapz instructions
6) Full size and printable Java Wrapz pattern for the 5x7 hoops version

As promised, also included in your purchase are two full color printable PDF files with two styles of Java Wrapz hang tags for your gift giving or business needs.

For the first week and the first week only I am pricing the collection at $10 after that it will go up to $20. The collection if for sale at my Big Cartel shop and is delivered by e-mail within 6 hours of ordering if ordered during regular business hours. Click here on Fresh Threads to learn more.

I hope you all enjoy the collection and much as I have.. I think it's just right for small gift for teachers, hairdressers and office mates.. I know that I am going to be making a lot of them this season!

Setting eyelets

I have had a lot of people write and ask me how I set the eyelets on the Halloween Boo-Chaps. It seems that these little grommets get the best of a lot of people. So I thought I would share with you the best way to set them...IMHO. While not cheap the Crop-a-dile is well worth the money when it comes to setting grommets I can't say enough about it and was going to do a video for you guys.. but as luck would have it there is already a great one out there! So take a peak and add some cool grommets to your next project!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Get your " geek" on...

Most of my little boys are very science minded.. some might even call them " geeks", one of the things they consider fun is balancing chemical equations..go figure! For such boys no simple little alligator on a shirt will do so I had to come up with the just the right little something .. and what is more geeky than a little robot!
My little boys love it and that has been great but what has surprised me is the number of teens and older guys who covet the little bot! Who knew robots were such a hot item! Little Bot is about 1.33 inches tall and two colors. He runs in about 2 minutes. Here he is in steel color with black but he is lots of fun in bright colors too! To assure that he runs well I use a stout cut away on the back and a piece of non-soluble tearaway on top. He is yours to download for the next few days, after that he will be stored in the Progressive Thread files so if you want him after this weekend you will need to join that group to have access to him. Happy Stitching! Download the Pes 8 file here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lovie Winner!

The winner of my New B00-Lovie Design is Knittingrace! Join the Progressive Thread list for more information and ways to sign up! Boo-Lovie is a limited release for the month of October only. You can find her in my Fresh Thread store at Big Cartel.

Friday, October 9, 2009

To you...from me!

Don't you just love it when you get more than you expect? Something that makes things fun and even more special? Well that is how we want you to feel with each and every collection you buy from Fresh Thread. So starting with the Halloween collections and soon with all of our collections you will receive two high-resolution PDF files of custom designed printable tags to go with your embroidery. One page of tags will be just perfect for personal gift giving and the other for craft fairs and other revenue building opportunities.

Easy to print on standard card stock or to print on full page stickers and then cut out.. you will wonder what you did before this great little add-on service here at Fresh thread. The right tag is the finishing touch to a well embroidered item.. and now it's as easy as clicking the *print* button!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

For a limited time...

I admit it.. I am helpless in my love for Halloween, when else can you enjoy a holiday just for the pure fun of it! So in the spirit of the season may I introduce you to the newest Lovie of the group.. Boo-Lovie is a very limited time offering just in time for a bit playful gift giving. ( click on photo for up close detail)
Sew her up and give her to any pre-teen who is getting too old for trick or treating but not to old for a little bit of fun. The pocket is sized just right for a gift card or even a bit of cold hard cash for a little trip to the mall!
Add a card to the local coffee shop and this would make a "frightfully sweet" gift for an office mate.
Until the 15th of the month this file is especially priced at $4 after that the price will rise. And after the 31st it's gone only to be seen again in the New Year in a Holiday Lovies collection I have planned. Visit FRESH THREAD STORE for more details!

Tick Tock....

I honestly don't think time could be passing any faster.. the middle of the month is only 7ish day away.
The Boo-Chaps will be at their sale price ( $5) for only 2 more days and then up- up they go. This series will only be in the store until the 31st and after that they will be retired so if you want them, time is a-wasting.
Now is also a great time to check out your local fabric store.. I picked up some adorable Halloween fabrics at 75% off to make some more of the fast version of the boo-chaps for my children's friends. I found some mini glow sticks that are a perfect fit as an alternative to slipping in a lip balm.
Have a Boo-tastic time stitching this week!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stitch Call!

Calling all stitchers. I am forming a couple of new stitching teams for late Fall and Winter. If you are interested in test stitching new designs I would like to talk with you!
I am also getting ready to post an ad looking for a new team artist ( this part is a paying gig) so if you know someone who might fit the bill have them contact me. Use the Progressive thread link on the side bar or leave a message here! Thanks!

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's Boo-Ween... Do you celebrate?

Around our house Halloween is a full month affair and we call it Boo-Ween! I got out most of the decor yesterday and will pick up the hay bales and corn stalks this weekend for the front porch. Such a fun month to start fluffing the house for the upcoming holidays and the start of friends dropping by for cups of cocoa and visits around the fire pit.

Being a "hostess-with-the-mostess" type I like to send all of our guests home with a little something so this month I designed something to help chase off those chapped lips and cheeks that come with being out-doors in the fall. I am calling them Chap-Flaps and they are the perfect and festive way to keep up with your lip balm during this active social month.

The collection contains three quick to run in-the-hoop designs and is made to run on felt or stabilized woven fabric. Included are three versions. 1 black cat, 1 sweet little ghost and 1 simple-run file for use with printed Halloween fabrics. If using craft felt the cost is less than FIVE CENTS per Boo-Chap!!! How is that for " easy on the wallet"? Locally I have found Chapstick sized lip balms at my Dollar store for 4-$1.. that means each little gift is less than 30 cents each! At that price I can make a ton of them to give to everyone who stops by! But come real close and I will tell you a secret... for people who I am really close to I am filling these with Burt's Bees lip balm.. it's divine!

This is the perfect fun little gift for office mates, party favors or if you are feeling really extravagant you can do them up for a whole class of kids as a school party treat! These fast running files make it totally possible to make all the Boo-Chaps you could need in one evening of easy in-the-hoop sewing. Past the obvious fabric and thread all you need is 1/8 inch grommets and some ribbon.. how easy is that? Enjoy the season! You can find this collection and many others for sale in my Fresh Thread Store Oh.. and if you act fast.. the Boo-Chap collection is just $5 for the first week.. After that the collection will go up to $10
Oh... ooooooo I almost forgot! Included with this collection is a very special gift to you that includes 2 styles of gift hang tags in PDF format that you can print on card stock and add to your little gift so you can be a "hostess with the mostess" too!

**and one more tiny note... in the above photo the Chapstick is pulled out for visual effect.. actually the chaps fit fully and securely down in the Chap-Flap- in case you were wondering.

Quote the raven....Nevermore

Like your Halloween a touch more classy? Well then this is the design for you. Never a more chilling and sorrowful poem was written than Edgar Allen Poe's ~ The Raven~ and now it's yours done in the equally chilling *Chiller* font and hand punch raven. This design is my gift to you for stopping by. It is in PES 8 format and is digitized to run in a 5x7 hoop. Please note, the curly frame is not included in this download. You can download the design here.