Thursday, December 31, 2009

The girls are back in town!

One of my goals for the new year is do some more Charity sewing each month. I already do some but I wanted to spend this year doing even more. You see I lost my father Summer before last after a very long and courageous battle with 3 different cancers. He was a most spectacular man and each day without him at times seems impossible. One of his deep loves was St. Jude Children's Hospital and even as he lived out his last days he still felt it unfair that children should know such pain and he made me promise to maintain his giving to St. Jude and it's to him, my wonderful father, Richard Szot that I dedicate this collection.

I have turned to my Lovies as a way to honor and give back. $5 from each  Sweet Charity Lovie collection sold will be donated to St. Jude for the entire life of the collection. This five doll Lovie collection has been created expressly for making dolls for direct charity giving or for use as fundraising merchandise. These dolls differ from normal Lovies in that they are large size babies ( about 7 inches tall) and they are redesigned for even faster production in that they do not have the pocket and their faces are simple but sweet and fast sewing. 

The collection includes 5 dolls:

" Fight like a girl" Lovie for Breast cancer awareness

Awareness ribbon Lovie with an embroidered ribbon that you can stitch in any color you need for a variety of fundraising efforts

" Choose hope" Lovie in support of St. Jude - this one is close to my heart.

Simple heart Lovie, with a small heart on her chest,you can send your love where ever she goes ( not pictured)

Basic Lovie, Her sweet smile says it all. Use all sorts of wonderful but heavier fabrics to make this a special doll suited for sending to children who are in hard circumstances ( not pictured)

For More information about the Sweet Charity Lovie collection and how to purchase it  please click HERE


Hang Tag Hiccup

Thank you to everyone who has already ordered Valentine's Lovie. Over 50 orders went out last night when to my horror I noticed that I did not pack the hangtag file in the zipfile so I am sending the files out as quick as I can but if you have not gotten yours or if you just need a cute Valentine's Hangtag then please feel free to click HERE  to get a pdf full sheet copy of the tags.

And as long as I am here I thought I would answer a question I received the other day about how I get my tags to look so nice with just a regular home printer. I guess I do have a couple of tricks and am happy to share them :
1) A corner clipper. Perfect rounded corners in the blink of an eye

2) Printing on quality card stock

3) Using the photo setting on my printer

4) Finishing the tie hole with an eyelet

That's about it... anyone can get create wonderful cards with just these few tips.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

She's here!

Pardon the pun but I ~love~ Valentine's Day and how fun is it to share my love of it with you!? I am already pulling out my vintage valentines, the gittler and the red and pink bunting getting ready to fuss and fluff the house for those dark winter days when we all could use something cheerful to look at. And what could be more cheerful than Lovie all dressed for the season?

Valentine's Lovie is ready to melt your heart and the hearts of those you make her for!
What a perfectly wonderful gift to hide in a back pack of your favorite gradeschooler!

 Create her as a door hanger and add a gift card to become a super valentine giver!

Or make a set of sisters and while you are at it stuff one with lavender and send it to your very own sister to tell her how much you love her!
Or maybe you need a quick gift for a Valentine's Secret Pal?.. Lovie is up to the job!

Lovie is just under 7 inches of easy in-the-hoop magic. She comes in PES and DST formats and includes her twin babies, full instructions and of course printable hangtags and to-from cards for easy gift giving.

Like all the other holiday Lovies she is a limited edition so get her before she is moved to the complete holiday collection which will not be out till late 2010.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tip of the week.. or so I hope!

One of my goals of the new year is to try to post up a tip of the week... of course this means at some point I might run out of tips since my little pea-brain can only hold so much tippy-goodness but I am going to give it a try!

This week's tip has to do with storing embroidery thread on basic thread racks.  Like many I have a ton of the typical June Tailor thread racks that are ment to hold regular spools of thread. These racks are great space savers when hung on a wall and not too expensive, especially if you can catch them on sale. What they are not, is made for the taller spools of embroidery thread. So while on the rack the spools are prone to tipping off and taking 20 other spools with them, causing me to saying unprintable things  sigh deeply and pick them up once again. 

This was a pretty constant source of frustration to me and I was close to drilling out all the little dowels and replacing them with longer ones when it occured to me that I could work a little smarter  and just add an extension to each  peg for some more stability. I will spare you all the items I tried that ended up either falling off, being hard to deal with or were hard to find and cut to the chase and tell you that run of the mill drinking straws were the perfect answer.  Some straws are a bit bigger and you can pu them all the way down the shaft and then trim to the length you need. Some are smaller ( usually the cheaper brands) and they fit on quite well but are tight and you can't really work them down the whole way. Both choices are great and hold the embroidery thread on the racks like a dream.   If you would like to store color specific bobbins with your thread, cut your straws even longer so you can place the bobbin on top of the thread!

Friday, December 25, 2009

New Year Dishes

For me the week after Christmas is all about taking some time to get my life back on track. To clean up the messy details from the previous year. Fluff the house, clean the deep cubbies of my desk and make plans for the coming year. One of my goals for this year is to really look at my stuff and decide what I really like and what is really clutter. I want to live and work with the things that make me happy, that make my heart sing. So room by room I am going through the house and getting rid of things that don't meet the mark. I am also finally going to get my studio finished and hope to take you along on that adventure in the coming year ( it's going to be a big project!)

But for today I am starting small. I am sorting dishes that I love and packing up those that no longer reflect who I am. These happen to be two of my favorites and I was struck by how pretty they looked resting there in the draining basket and how well they go together even though they were never meant to. It made me understand the "rightness" of living with what you love...and it's my mantra for the new year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Looking Towards the Future

My sewing is done, the groceries have been bought ( including T.P.!) so ready or not the holiday will swing into full gear around here starting tomorrow night with the beginnings of the people we want to see and gifts we want to give to those in our extended family. That will ease us into Christmas it's self and then the warm afterglow that will be the weekend after.

But of course being of the A.D.D. sort my mind is already spinning into next year and all the plans I have and things I need to get accomplished.. of course I will need a list for that so keep your eyes peeled for another fun printable to show up very soon! And since I am forever the tease.. I leave you with this photo.. giving you a sneak peek into the new year of designs here at Fresh Thread!

Keep Warm - Be Safe - Sew Happy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blessed are the List Makers

Blessed are the list makers
 for they shall know that
there is T.P. in the house on
Christmas Day!

I am a list maker, and not just any list maker, I might be the freak queen of list makers and I am very particular about how I make my lists ( must write on every other line leaving space for related items that occur to me later... yeh, see told you!) .  After that the one holiday where we paid a kings ransom for one single roll of T.P. at the corner gas staion due to my poor planning for the holiday.. well let's just say that is NOT going to happen again! 

Like most I have woken this moring to make my list of things that must get done in these precious few days before Christmas.  And just for fun I have created this list sheet to share with you. It prints 2 to a sheets and I highly suggest printing it on card stock so it can take the wear and tear of the days ahead with ease.  Print 3 sheets and that will get you right up to the big day it's self.

You can download the file here   CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Just remember.. DON'T PANIC, with good planning you can get it all done.  And if while you are making out your list you come up short of gifts pop on by the FRESH THREAD store and take advantage of our DON'T PANIC SALE where you will find just about everything 1/2 price between now and Christmas. All Fresh Thread projects can be accomplished in under 30 minutes ( start to finsh..not just stitching time!) with most only taking 1/2 that time. So remember.. make that list, and DON'T PANIC!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Missing... Miss Bailey

Dear all... thank you so much to all of your who have written me  off list to expresse your concern and offer your ideas for lost pet location.  We still have not found her and as soon as the heavy rains clear we will be back out today to put up more posters.  I was told by the kennel staff that since she is a pure breed I have less of a chance of getting her back since people often keep pure breed that they find... even with collars on!. This makes me so sad.  But she is chipped and if they take her to the vet and they chip is found we will know.
Our very own Miss Bailey has gone missing and we are just heartbroken. She got out sometime yesterday afternoon and  has gone on walk-about.  Please keep us in your thoughts as we continue our search. ~much like those computer aged photos of missing children you see on milk cartons, you will need to add 10 pounds and 4 years to the photo to know our true girl.. but her spirit is true and we miss her so much.

She did have on her collar and she has been micro chipped, we are putting up posters and have called all the local socities and vets.  We will keep looking and keep praying.. we want her back home. We got Baily on Christmas day 10 years ago next week... not sure how to work without her lying on my feet while I am at my desk. ;-(

Sweet Memories

As a child I never had any of these sweeties.. but I have fond memories of friends having them on nursey lamps and as part of their childhood room decor.  I always found them strangley appealing so now when ever I run across them ( and it's not to often) I have to add them to my collection.

These little darlings are kept on a shelf in my studio year round.  I had a buy a whole pre-bagged assortment of really freaky  holiday ornaments just to get them ( don't worry..the whole bag was only $1).  I think I totally wigged out the  cashier lady when after the bag-o-ornaments was paid for I opened it up.. plucked out the three jewels and then asked her if  they "took donation".. she said yes and so I handed her back the rest of the bag and went on my way

Monday, December 14, 2009

Contemplative Mopping and Trend Watching

Have you ever noticed that the minute you say you need to mop the kitchen or clean the bathroom that everyone in your house disappears? I have decided to make that to my advantage in order to get some peace and quite around here. So tonight while I was mopping I was reflecting on my short trip to the mall this week. Now you have to know.. I say "this week" and what I should really say is ~this year~ since I have not been to the mall since this very time last year. I don't like the mall, the place gives me the hives but once a year I go there to get my favorite perfumes when they goes on sale in the holiday gift boxes..usually packaged with extras. Now don't get me wrong it's not that I don't like to shop, since I do.. antiques, fabrics, thrift stores, yep, mall, nope. Lots people, lots of artificial light and way to much noise for my taste.

So when I do go on my yearly pilgrimage I try to make it worth my time by watching the trends I see working their way across the retail landscape. For some these might not be as easy to spot if you are there all the time ( sort of like not being able to see how big a puppy has gotten if you see them all the time) but for me they are very evident and I do think that it's important to pay attention to such things especially for those in the business of embroidery. While not necessary to follow all the trends at least knowing about them lets you keep up to date with what you embroider for yourself or offer to your customers.

One trend that I noticed was the notes of subtle embroidery. And while subtle it's also quite playful in it's placement. A small motif on the cuff of a sweat pant, the waist of some yoga pants or on the inner wrist area of a long sleeve knit t-shirt. Even on the inside waist band of some jeans! This is embroidery meant to charm the wearer, not announce it's location to the world. I was quite intrigued by this idea and my mind wandered to a few knit shirts that I have that might be good candidates for such a subtle bit of whimsy. ( I told you mopping the kitchen floor is a very solitary job around here.. no one had yet even said a peep to me.. quite nice really)

So after mopping was done I headed off to the back of the house where my studio is located..but to be safe, on my way I loudly announced that I was going to go clean out the cat boxes, assuring that I might not see anybody till dinner time! So safely back in my studio I pondered on embroidering the cuff of my shirt. Such small places are often difficult and fiddley. I assume that in ready to wear the embroidery is done before construction but I did not have that option and really did not want to open up the sleeve since I wanted this to be a fast and easy job.
As I stood there and pondered my eyes fell to my work table piled high with socks that I embroidered a few days ago that needed to be readied for Christmas. In that pile was my trusty Sock Easy.. ohhhhhhh now there was an idea! So I went to work seeing if it would work.. in theory it should but I have had my share of crack-pot theories so it really was best to run a test. So I loaded up my Sock Easy just like Cookie taught me all those years ago ( shirt turned inside out just like doing a cuffed sock)..

I could instantly see that this idea had great promise. Problem being was that my cuff was much wider than a sock, but once stuck down in the hoop and with a small pin used to keep everything in place I was ready to go with the Sock Easy keeping the fabric clear of the stitching area. Cookie says to use a pin to remember which way is up.. I used a water soluble marker but I think both ideas are valid, but I am a goober about remembering to remove the pin so I went with the marker! So then to the machine..

and less than three minutes later I had a wonderful little motif that does indeed make me smile each time I see if there on the inside of my wrist!

I then went on to do the ankle hem of my winter leggings... I see a minor obsession coming on!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sleep tight....

Update : The free files have now been removed, I hope that everyone who got them enjoys them very much!

Happy Holiday's everyone!   I know that lots of you are looking for easy projects to fill out your holiday lists and I think I might have just what some of you need. My new Sleep-Diva, In-the-hoop eye masks are ready to go. These have been created to sew out on the faux suede shearling that is so popular right now ( this fabric is also refered to as suede sherpa at some stores). If you have not worked with this fabric do give it a try. It's butter soft and this file stitches on it like a dream. But of course if you can't find any many other thick soft fabrics will do quite well.  Fluffy the poodle is modeling the Sleep Diva mask and holding the two other versions of the file.

Here is an upclose look at the mask. I can't begin to tell you how soft it is! And how fun would this be as a party favor for a bunch of little girls at a sleep over! The mask is sized just right for kids 8+ up to older teen girls and young women

But of course not all Diva's are human... this is my own Big-Diva being so kind as to model a mask while taking a snooze on the loveseat ( where he is not suppose to be!)

The complete 3 piece collection with full in color directions, and printable hangtags is available for sale at Maddie's Fresh Thread store for only $5

This introductory price good for this week only.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just saying.......

Hi all, just popping in to say that the storewide "techno-idiot"  sale will be over as of tonight as I am over feeling guilty... told you I was mercurial :)

Second... remember that Christmas Eve Lovie goes away as of the 24th .. not to be seen again until the full holiday collection is released some time next year... like I said.. just saying :)

Happy Holiday sewing!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

For Hattie... Tiny Tutorial on how to make a hanger dust cover

Making the dust cover is very easy and even easier if you use a pre-hemmed sheet or pillowcase! In my case I used a pillow case ( hahaha.. I made a pun!)   Lay the pillowcase ( or doubled fabric)  on your work surface and fold in half for center. positioning the hem edge for the finished edge of the project.  Trace around the upper profile of your hanger adding in a seam allowance and a tab of fabric at the top to tuck in around the neck of the hanger ( see that in the last photo)

Cut out your fabric and now is the time to add trim or a monogram. Here I used some vintage rick rack.. perfect match!  Got to love that!

Notice the tab at the top of the fabric.. when you sew up for dust cover leave that area unsewn... you will tuck it into the cover after you turn your cover right side out.. this will give a nice finish to the opening for the hanger neck.   That's about all there is to it.  I haunt thrift stores for cool old sheets and pillow cases for this project. With a twin sheet you can do two hanger cover and still have more than enough fabric to do a matching laundry bag. Not bad from a sheet that coast $1 from the Thrift! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sweet Organization...

Due to the downturn in the economy my evening wear has not gotten much use over the past year.. to the point that some of it was getting actually dusty in my closet! So a quick dash into the vintage fabric stash netted me this great old vintage pillowcase to make into a dust cover for my less worn clothing. 1 pillowcase makes 2 covers. To this one I added some rick-rack and sewed it along what used to be the hem edge of the pillow case. On the other version I added a center monogram. If you are interested in a little tutorial for how I did this let me know and I will paste it up! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Houston we may have a problem....

Dear all... I am soooooooo sorry about the rash of bad links that have plagued my blog over the past few days.  Mostly just my links to my store due to the domian pointer that is in the process of  pointing someplace new very soon ( that was a big hint.. but more on that soon!).. in the mean time if you needed anything in the store you can get there by clicking  HERE and it will take you like all sorts of techie magic right to my Big Cartel Store front.   Now.. should you just happen to do that you will find that I am having a store wide " I am sorry that I am a techo-idiot sale" since..well it seems I am a techno-idiot and and just might be the person who caused the whole domain pointing mess ~ insert sheepish grin~

So there you go.. I mess up.. you save money.  If only all things in life were this easy to fix!

Much love and lots of thread,

p.s. the sale will only last till my guilt is gone... act quick.. I can be mercurial ;-)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Doing it "old school"

Some babies are just too hip and cool for duckies or bunnies.. for such uber cool tots you need something that sings to who they are..  or at the very least who their parents are.   With the influx of indie-rock fashion being the main stay of many hip new parents there is no reason that baby cannot be just as cool with this Sketchy  "old school" design that is just right for little t-shirts and rompers. 

 This design is part of the Sketchy Collection part I   which is full of lots of fun and relaxed designs that we will showing off this week.  This entire collection has been designed to run on t-shirt fabric including todays " tissue-weight" t's that can be difficult to stitch due to their thin nature.  Make sure to use a layer of see -thru wash away on top and a light weight no-show stabilizer on the back for a perfect outcome each time.

We have a Winner!

It's Thursday morning and I promised a winner.  Using the Random number generator  we now know that our winner is #4  So Linda Palmer you are the winner of the Cath Kidston Kitchen notes! This kitchen note set could not be cuter.. it makes such a cheery way to stay organized... and who does not need help with that this time of year!  Thanks to everyone who took the time to play and keep your eyes peeled... next time we have a packed of funky sewing notions that needs a new home! :) 

Linda, please drop me a note at so I can get your address and get your package in the mail to you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From the other side of the studio...

People often write and ask me about my studio and my machines so I thought I would give you just a tiny peek in my creative haven. While embroidery is close to my heart so are other art forms and part of my studio is dedicated to my jewelry making... and very soon in the future you will see where these two passions are going to intersect! ( hint hint!) This is a late night shot of my not so tidy space where I am working on a new soldered piece for a dear lady I know.. it's a celebration of her physical recovery from some rather daunting medical challenges..

It still needs more work.. including, some silver gleam, and major sanding, shaping and buffing but I think it's going to come out quite well. The piece of china is beautiful fragment I had and always thought that is was just right for her  and I think it's sort of off center wonky look is just right for the piece.

Do remember that tonight in the end of the Cath Kidston drawing for the kitchen organizer.. so  do make sure to go back to that post and add your name to the drawing by just clicking on the word COMMENTS at the bottom of the post.