Monthly Archives: November 2008

Machine Embroidery – Science or Art

One of the most frustrating things I’ve found about getting started in machine embroidery is the lack of definitive knowledge and instructions on the Internet.  Sure, there are sites where people give anecdotal stories about how they did this or how they did that, but no one seems to really be an expert that can explain WHY this works and that doesn’t, or WHAT you should do to fix this problem or that.

Stabilizer is a perfect example.  The more I read about it on the Internet, the less scientific it seems and the more it becomes an art.  There are so many different thicknesses of stabilizer to start with.  Some are intended to be hooped with the fabric.  Others are intended to be ironed on and then hooped.  Others are hooped by themselves and are sticky so the fabric is just stuck down while being embroidered.  There are special heat-dissolving, water-dissolving, tear-away, cut-away…

So you combine all these different stabilizers with different types of fabric, and throw in 30-40 different people, and what you end up with is this: everyone does it their own way, partially based on what they were told to do, and partially based on what they’ve experienced.

So what’s a new person to do?  There’s no guidebook that says, “with pattern V, machine X, fabric Y, and thread Z, use this many layers of this stabilizer, hooped together.”  Instead you think about what you’ve done successfully in the past and go from there.  You experiment a lot with spare fabric, including your own clothes.  You keep trying different things until something works, and celebrate when it does!

Janome MC350E Update

Just wanted to note that the new Janome Embroidery machine is still humming right along.  I’m glad we returned the Singer and spent the additional money on the Janome.  It’s such a solid machine, just sits there and plugs along.  You get the impression that it would sew right through a brick if you could stick one under the needle.

Bergner’s Bait and Switch

This is the second year in a row that I’ve noticed Bergner’s has had a special coupon for it’s Black Friday sale.  And this is the second year in a row that I’ve walked out of Bergner’s mad.

The “special” coupon is this: $10 off on any item that is more than $10.  If the item is normally $10.50, the sale price is $0.50.  Excluded is pretty much any item that is already on sale.  Also excluded is cosmetics.  That’s basically everything in the store excluded from this $10 off coupon.  For the second year in a row, I’ve been unable to find anything in the store that qualified for the coupon.

Classic bait and switch tactic?  Advertise something that doesn’t really exist to get somone to enter the store in the hope they’ll buy something else?  No, I imagine if pressured Bergner’s probably had a few items scattered here and there that met the coupon rules, so they could produce something if pressured.  Still, not exactly the kind of thing that builds customer loyalty.

Fabric Samples online

After the recent Black Friday sale at Joann Fabric, I came home with around 200 yards of fabric.  I’ve taken pictures of all the new stock and put in a Fabric Gallery on my Image Gallery page so you can see what’s available.  I’ll be taking pictures of the rest of the fabric I already had in stock so you can see those as well.  If you see something in my Ebay store but would like a different fabric, you’ll be able to check my Fabric Gallery for alternatives.

Black Friday review

Last year I was at Joann Fabrics early for Black Friday.  I was pretty much the only one there and they let me in early to get my bulk shopping out of the way.

This year we weren’t so lucky.  There was a line of people waiting, and no way to get in early.  We had to fight with everyone else.  I had one of the kids guarding a cart full of fabric that was already cut and tagged, and other women were trying to snatch things out of her cart!  Overall, it was still a successful trip, about 200 yards of fabric averaging $1.50/yd.  Considering cotton flannel has been running $5.99/yd lately, that’s a pretty good deal.

Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is on the way!

Don’t put off what you can do today!  Get started on your Christmas shopping!

We have lots of neat handmade gifts available through our Ebay store.  Most can be personalized with names, initials and designs.  Don’t wait until the last minute and risk not getting your shipments in time for the holidays!

If you have an idea for a gift and you don’t see it on our site, just ask – many things can be custom made for reasonable prices.

Bobbin Holders

It looks like I’ve got a local storefront willing to resell my Bobbin Holders!

I’ll be delivering my first batch to them tomorrow to put on the shelf.  Don’t worry, you can still buy them direct from me on my Ebay store.  I’ve got a picture in my Image Gallery as well.  The bobbin holders are elastic, so you just pop the bobbins in and out of the loops. They work great for both plastic or metal bobbins full or empty.  No more loose strings and a small ring on each end works as a way to hang them on a hook or pegboard.

Great gift for the sewing enthusiast in your family!

Black Friday, here I come!

(This is Alaine) 5am tomorrow morning I’ll be at the front door of my local Joann Fabrics, waiting for my chance to load up on discount fabric.  I’ve already scouted out the terrain with the two oldest kids, and everyone has their orders on what to do, where to go, and what to grab. We’ll have 3 carts and the goal is 200 yards of fabic. This is one of the worst days of the year.  Manners and decency are left at the front doors.  In a past year, I had women actually take fabric out of my cart. It won’t be pleasant but it will be worth it when we’re done.

(This is Jason) 5am tomorrow morning I’ll be sleeping. 🙂  You’d have to pay me a lot of money to get out in that mob of people, because I’d need a lot of bail money after I snapped and went beserk.

Tents, tents and more tents

Worked most of the day on small tents for kids. I finshed about 30 of them – 15 purple and 15 brown.  I need to get them posted for the Christmas shoppers. That might have to wait, as the kids get out of school early today and I still have to get to the post office with today’s orders.

Towel Quilt

Well, we had a needle malfunction the night the towel quilt was being made, and it got pretty late.  Luckily the quilt was put together far enough that the 2-year old could use it.  She’s gotten pretty attached to it already.