Category: how-to

How to embroider on really thick fuzzy Christmas Stockings

This is a little easier than you think it would be. The problem is the fabric is so thick that the embroidery foot on the machine doesn’t jump high enough to move to the next spot without snagging. What you need to do is make the fuzzy part temporarily thinner.

Start by putting a tear-away sticky-back stabilizer on the back of the part to be embroidered. On the front use a thick/heavy wash away stabilizer. Using a regular sewing machine run a basting stitch (1/4″ stitch length) up and down the area that will be embroidered. This will tie the two stabilizers together, sandwiching the whole thing into something that will be thin enough to work in the embroidery machine.

Next, hoop up the stocking, pick a design, and start the machine to stitch it out. After the machine finishes all you need to do is remove the base stitches and pull the tear-away stabilizer off. The fabric that was sandwiched together will fluff back up, leaving a very nice design.

Stocking with basting stitches and stabilizer still in place. The machine embroidery has already been finished.

The stabilizer and basting stitches are gone. As you can see, the fuzzy part of the stocking is all fluffed up again.

Fast and easy way to hem your pants

I ‘m 5 feet tall so finding pants that are short enough is really hard. For starters they’re not labeled right. If only the tag said what they meant. But there is no short and lumpy section of the store! So its time to learn how to fix this yourself. Put the pants on and put a pin in where you want the hem to be. Now you need to decide how wide you want your hem and double it. Today we’ll be doing a 1/2″ hem, so you need an extra inch of fabric past the pin. Now cut the extra fabric off. One of the most important tools I have in my sewing room is wonder tape, it can be found at JoAnn’s. This is a wash-away double-sided sticky tape and needs to be placed along the bottom edge of the topside of the cuff.

Now you need to turn your hem under twice and stick the tape down so you have a 1/2″ seam.

Now you’ll need thread to match not the fabric but the top stitching of the pants. One of the biggest problems people have now is sewing over top of the bulky seam without breaking a needle. Well go get your hammer – that’s right get your hammer – and smack the two side seems a few times.

This will flatten the seam and also make it a lot easier for the needle to stitch right over the top of it.

You want to stitch as close to the top side of this seam as possible and you’re done. With no broken needles and no pinning. Plus, I always feel better after I’ve used my hammer on something.

Summer Pond Pictures

Over the summer I got a new bigger pond. Jason did most of the work. But I got some neat plants and brick to put in and around it. I got some really cool floating hyacinths. The roots look like a feather duster and it helps keep the pond clean. NO more green pond for me. They also have pretty purple flowers most of the summer.

Floating Hyacinths

I also added some Hornwort. This is a fern-like plant that sinks to the bottom. It serves the same purpose and keeps your pond clean but also gives the fish a place to lay eggs. In the winter months the hornwort will keep oxygen in the water and not only help feed your fish but keep them warmer. Of course if you have a plant that needs help floating I made a floating pond basket. It lets you float any plant or even artificial flowers in the pond. It’s also great if you don’t have a pond shelf to sit shallow pond plants on. I also added a few snails. My goal was to cut down on the algae. My pond was clean and clear all summer.

Placemats, Table Graces

Last year I bought a pattern at Times Square Sewing called Table Graces. This is very easy and fun to do and will make a great wedding or house warming gift. I also think these would be great to do for each holiday. You could have a different set for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. They do take a little bit of time to make so you won’t be seeing them on my Ebay site.  If you’re interested in a set, contact me for pricing.

I cut all my fabric out ahead of time. Of course I had to embroider mine so I sewed the fabric right to the stabilizer. This made hooping and centering the design very easy. Next I lay the back and front wrong sides together, placed that on top of the batting and sewed around the outside edge. I left a small opening to turn it right side out and pressed with an iron. I finished by quilting them in the ditch starting at the center and working my way out. I also stitched around the outside about 1/8th of an inch from the edge. This closed up the opening that I had when I turned it right side out.

After it was done I had a great gift. Even a beginner can follow this pattern. This is at the top of my list and a must buy for all quilters. Locally you can pick this up at Times Square in Quincy, IL or you can get it online at

Boo Boo Buddy’s are back

Lots of people have been wanting them, so here they are! Before, All I had were bears, now I have added Bunnies, Butterflies & more are on there way. They are the best cold packs for little kids. I fill them full of wheat and cinnamon so when you freeze them they stay soft and smell great. No more hard wet ice cubes. If you have little kids you have have to get one of these! Ebay store

Boo Boo buddy's

Neat Stabilizer Trick

(written by Jason)

Alaine figured out a neat trick.  She’s using Janome Wet N’ Set stabilizer when making these bottle aprons and wineglass cozies.  Towards the end of each job, there’s a step where another piece of fabric has to be added to the underside of the existing project.  That doesn’t seem like a big deal until you consider that pretty much all self-stick stabilizer on the market is only self-stick on one side.  So, the general idea is to use the self-stick on the top side, and when that back fabric needs to be added, stick it on with spray-stick adhesive. (more…)