Friday, April 30, 2010

Sewing a Straight Line is Not Mandatory

For those in the Chattanooga Valley area of TN with a penchant for the fresh new quilts that are all the buzz of the internet crafting world please feel free to join me in the birth of the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild. This new group is part of the national MQG movment and now is a registered group that has just formed.  We will be searching for a meeting "home" and setting up some rules of the road as we gain more members. The group focus will be on the creative process and will not get bound up in a do or die attitude when it comes to 1/4 inch seams or jurried quilt show pettiness. This will be a venu to explore your quilter within and have fun doing it!

Click on the link to the right for more information!

If you are not in the Chattanooga area but want to know more about the Modern Quilt Guild movment check it out here! There might already be one in your town!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hidden in Plain Sight

 Well it seems that along with lots of sewing goodies I also brought home a cold which has my brain more than a bit fuzzy but I did want to share this with you.  I have been keeping a keen eye on the SewMamaSew blog since it's quilting month, and  getting all sorts of inspiration!

Last night I was staring at a beautiful Jelly Roll of Free Bird by Moda and this image just popped into my head .. next thing I knew I was 1/2 way done. I hand cut the appliques as sort of an orgaic quiliting expereince. I then did a bit of silly quilting on it and now it's ready to be run through the wash before I decide if it's going to be  hot trivet or a pillow front. 

I am thinking of replicating this as an Embroidery Adventure design... what do you think??
Drop me a note by clicking on the COMMENT below.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

Yes,  it's true, I am home from the most wonderful American Embroidery Conference. I have much to say and tons of conference swag to show off, but first I must do laundry and I must sleep. I met wonderful people, saw wonderful things and will do my best to share it all with you over the coming week. I had planned to be able to post during the week but the wireless uplink in our room was dicey at best so please forgive me.

It's good to be home!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Inspiration, AEC style

Long ago and far away I was a teen who was forced to take  a dance class where all the "young ladies" were not to dance with the same boy more than 1 time in a row and thus we were to have "dance cards" to which the young men ( also forced to be there) were to sign in order that we knew with whom we were to dance with next.  Now mind you I am a child of the late 60"s and 70"s, and that is NOT the 1860's and 1870's so the idea of a dance card was about as popular as wool knickers! and yet  now that I think back I wish I had those cards so I could remember those young men since these days I am lucky to remember my own head when rushing aboutgetting ready for such an event as the AEC.

With that in mind I designed this little printable for you to fill out the things you want to remember~ Maybe it's something you want to buy or it's the  people you want to find while you are at the AEC.   It seems that the time passes so fast while we are there that we don't want to miss a minute ( or a cool product!) and these might help.

Bundled with this file is also an AEC packing list that might help you make sure you get everything packed and out the door when it's time to go.

CLICK HERE for the file.. it's a PDF so print it out on some nice thick cardstock and then cut them out and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Conference swag

SWAG - The Urban dictionary says ~The chief difference between swag and regular merchandise is that its purpose is not to make a profit, but to promote the brand/label, and reward its supporters by giving them something cool and unique.  And the AEC is the perfect time me to say thanks to all my wonderful Fresh Thread friends with free collections and mogo-drastic coupons to make you swoon. 

Starting next week there will be a couple more giveaways and a nice sale while I am gone.  I will only be able to fullfiil orders 1 time per day so please be patient. ( and yes.. very soon the dowload option will be working over at my Big cartel store front)

In the mean time I am working as fast as I can to get my projects done, get packed and get the family ready to travel. As well as get meals into the house for the part of the family that is staying home!

 As I packed my little class tote I shot a pic since it just looked so bright and happy  and ready to hit the road!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A little Birdie Told Me.......

 Shhhhhhhhh... a little birdie told me that Sew Be It Quilt Shop will be having a  10% off special for  AEC conference partisipants who might be traveling their way ( on 75 between Chattnooga and Atlanta).  Just let the store owner know you are on your way to the AEC and then have fun at one of the best quilt stores in the South!  Once at the Alabama Hwy exit you are only 2 minutes to the front door of the store!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Dear all, I could not be more thrilled that you like my ID Charms and want one of your very own!  I am sending out the custom initial charms to yesterday's winners but have  another little surprise just for the conference goers.
For a limited time you can download a  AEC 2010 charm to festoon all of your conference gear.. be it your tools or your tote~

The file is here!

and now for a  down and dirty little tutorial on how to make them!

First  trace your 4x4 hoop on a piece of stiff interfacting ( like you might use in a structured purse or tote) or Easy Felt. You are doing this since this stuff is impossible to hoop!

Ok.. now hoop up a piece of  regular stablizer, lay in your piece of felt/interfacing and then a piece of fabric print side up! ( use embroidery spray adhesive to keep things in place)

Stitch out the file.. it will create 4 charms for you!  Now cut them out with pinking shears, close but not touching the satin stitching.

Now use Fray Check on the pinking edge for longer life ( this is optional but really makes them last much longer). After the Fray Check is dry punch a hole in them and set an eyelet if you have an eyelet setting tool ( I adore my Crop-a-file Big Bite! for such projects)

Thread them up and you are then ready to tie them on to all the stuff you really would like to come home with you!  Make sure to use a realy distictive fabric to make identification even easier!

But what you say??? you have no time for such foolish bits when you don't even have your dainties washed and ready for the trip???... Have no fear... I have mutliple  premade charm sets that I will be giving away at the conference to people I spot wearing the Fresh Thread Pebble pin!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Charming Conference Accessories!

One of best parts about a sewing/embroidery conferences is learning new techniques and expanding skills with hands-on classes, this of course means bringing supplies such as scissors and pins etc..   but then there is the whole issue of keeping track of them!   

 To make things easy for myself I created this simple file for  ID Charm Medallions and will be giving away copies of this design at the AEC .. I have this set with my initial but to make it even faster just run these with a distictive print fabric and you will always know what pair of Ginger's are yours.

But wait, wait there's more  (hehehe, what a corn ball I am!)

For the first  4 people who leave me a comment.. I will send you a file set with your very own inital to festoon your own gear.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More AEC fun!, for a good cause!

Ah!... fresh from the dryer in all it's wrinkley goodness is my donation for the Kids in Distress quilt raiser that will be going on at the AEC.  Maybe it's just me.. but I can work on a quilted piece and like it well enough.. but to me it's not " born" till after I have washed and dried it.

 I just love the way it pulls up.. soft wrinkles, snuggly... all the stuff that make me love it even more!  This quilt was more simple than I had planned but  being ill from January through March has a way of knocking the wind out of a lot of plans!.. so it's just a simple patch quilt with  green bias binding.. crib-sized and just right for a young child in need of the comfort of their very own blanket.  After the the photo but before packing it up for the trip I graced it with a blessing that it might comfort the child who needs to be wrapped in it, my thoughts and light will be with them.

Next.... packing for the AEC!

Monday, April 5, 2010

American Embroidery Conference Countdown!

Today begins the 2 weeks of the progressive Happy Dance that is the count down to the American Embroidery Confernce 2010!  To help celebrate the event here at Fresh thread we are going to be having give aways and prizes for everyone ( so don't be sad if you were not able to go this year!.. you can still be part of the fun!)
In celebration of the confernce you will be able to download one of my newest designs that I have used in making this adorable in the hoop lapel pin.    It's just palm sized... like a nice sized beach pebble, bringing to mind the warm days coming our way.   Later today the free file and tutorial will be posted up here for you to download. 

During the days of the conference I will be haunting around looking for those who are wearing their Fresh Thread embroidered pebble and when I catch you I will be giving away free design coupons and radical discount codes.  By the end of the confernence I will be giving away over 20 design packs, some Lovies and bunches of discount codes good enough to make you squeal in delight!

So check back late this afternoon to get in on the fun!

Hello and welcome back!  I am very excited to say that the file is ready and I have a little online tutorial here for you so you can make this up quick as a wink!

First off you can find the file here  it's in PES format so should be useable or convertable for everyone.

The first step is to  hoop up a piece of stabilizer and then lay down a thin piece of  batting and the front fabric for your pin.  Use a bit of spray embroidery adhesive to keep it all in place.

Next run the design  in colors  of your choice.. making sure to match the outline to your fabic color. Then before the last color change...
Lay down a swanky piece of fabric for the back of the pin... do make sure to lay it face down! and then run the last step in a color that blends well.

Next cut out the pin with pinking shears making sure to get close to the stitching line but not cut it!  Then cut open a slit on the back fabric  ( I have marked with with the blue line.. see above).. Use this slit to turn the pebble right side out and then give it a good pressing!
 Next.. cut an oval patch the cover the slit and glue it in place. Or as an alternative whip stitch the opening closed... this will be covered by the pin in many cases so is all very tidy when finshed.

Now it's time to add your pin back.  This one is really to small for the pin... I like to use one that is about 3/4 the length of the pin for better support.. but sometimes you take what you an get and this was the size left in my craft stash!

As my kids say " easy peasy, mac and cheesey"!

This design along with 3 others will also be available in my new collection that I hope to have ready for the AEC so keep your eye's peeled for that.  The collection will come with printable display cards that make this a real winner for craft fairs and gift giving.  Special cards will be included for giving to teachers and other special people you would like to thank as we come close to the end of the school year!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Color Theory

One of the better parts of embroidery is having lots and lots of thread to play with.  If I mentioned how much thread I own it might seem like bragging.. but please trust me it's not. It's more like some sort of fiber based mental illness with no DSM code at this time!

Getting to play with this much thread on a daily basis is indeed fun and it gives me a very wide range of  choices when it comes to design..  Putting threads together for a project is one of my favorite parts and not one I take lightly, or maybe I do. I take it lightly as to think that YOU my dear have your own opinion on what color " flesh" is .. and what color red would tickle your fancy, so often you will not see specific brand or color charts with my designs since I trust that you have your own ideas about what looks great together and I encourage you to play with lots of color combinations and not just stick with what I picked for sample items on the blog. 

But all of that said.. if you ever want to do a quick color consultation don't feel shy about droping me a line or givng me a call... like I said.. I love this stuff and am happy to help!

** and please note, I don't think you should color coordinate your chickens and your embroidery.. I think chicks are generally best left a sweet yellow :)... not to mention I think that little blue one might be itching for a fight.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Remake, Reuse, Redo!

One of the best things we can do with our wonderful embroidery machines is to remake and recycle clothing into something that feels fresh and new for the season. This skirt is a in-process example. The skirt was found at a local thrift store.  In it's found state it was a 1970's wrap skirt that hit about mid calf... which is possibly the least flattering length on anybody!..  not to mention that it was a size 10 and I am a very curvy size 14!

What it did have going for it was the most adorable retro strawberry and daisy print on a baby blue back ground.  So.. with a couple of quick swipes of the scissors I cut off the excess length.. cut off the ties and side bias binding and remade it into a simple A-line skirt with a red bias trim at the waist and hem.  I also added a simple back zipper with a small snap at the top.

This is a great skirt for walks in the park or just a day out shopping.  But to add that touch that only those of us with embroidery machines can I am making a matching shirt to go with my skirt.  Taking my cue from the fabric I have created a small strawberry and daisy motif to add to a purchased shirt to wear with my "new" skirt.  The key here is to add the embroidery in a way that steps it up from the ordinary.. so that means maybe I will put the motif near the t-shirt hem... or on the back shoulder or on the arm.  While middle of the chest placment might be your first thought, take a look at some the most expesive or trendy items  and you will see very little of the middle of the chest placment ... so think fresh and new and pop back in real soon to see my new shirt to go with my skirt!

p.s.  Yes those really are my calves... rock solid muscle but none too dainty eh???