machine embroidery


Spring time is all about my favourite colour, green. I love watching the new green leaves start to appear on trees and bushes. Maybe it’s to do with my roots, (I was born in the ‘green’ island of Ireland), I just love green. Now spring is on the way I feel more energised. The new machine embroidery designs on my website this month are mostly linked to the spring and nature thoughts I have as I watch winter brown trees turning green. ‘Spring is in the air’ is this pretty bird design. SpringIsInTheAir   There is a bouquet of flowers that would brighten up any home items or look pretty on clothing.BouquetGirls will love this silver winged fairy sitting on a mushroom. I shall be using it on something pretty for my granddaughter.

MushroomFairyI haven’t forgotten the boys either as there is also a new plane added to the transport designs.

Our free designs to download for March are a little daffodil and a colourful kite.

I have been trying out a new sewing skill and made a Victorian style rag doll this week. She is made from felt and I am quite pleased with how she has turned out. Emily2She has a lace trimmed petticoat and bloomers under her flowery dress. I will also make her some boots, and a wool coat and matching bonnet.

I’ve enjoyed making something different from my normal sewing. I thought the hardest part was getting the stuffing right, not floppy or lumpy!

Finally having started my post with the onset of spring, here are some spring photos taken in my garden this morning, which cheer me up. First some lovely bright yellow crocus, one of our first spring flowers here in England.

crocus

Next my favourite spring flower, the beautiful primrose.

primroses

Finally some of those new green leaves I mentioned that make me feel renewed by their colour.

new green leaves

embroiderycrazy:

Gorgeous colours in this photo.

Originally posted on PhotoCrazy:

I really think we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area. You could drive right past without noticing, but stop and take a look at what is waiting to be discovered…

Lazy day on Walton Backwaters

To be truthful you can’t actually drive past us because we are a peninsula, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. If you don’t get out and look – and I mean REALLY LOOK around wherever you are, then scenes like this simply go unnoticed.
Last summer was really very wet but that allowed for some pretty spectacular sights when the sun did come out. This was late in the day, in late summer at a low tide on the backwaters in Walton-on-the-Naze. Right towards the end of what they call the ‘Golden Hour’ in photography. The best time of day for soft, yet contrasty enough light to give great form and colour. For those not…

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I love sewing and not just machine embroidery. I am always making something. Last week I made some seaside bunting to go in my kitchen. I did freehand machine embroidery on every other flag – seaside stuff. I chose red, blue and white for the colours as I wanted it to look nautical. I am quite pleased with the result. Image

I think I’ll put another hook half way so it doesn’t hang over the window though.

I got a new phone on Wednesday. I haven’t updated my phone for years so it was quite a good thing. I have finally gone android! I made a fabric phone cover to protect it in my bag. I used some nice bright fabric I had a small amount of. Camera coverI made my youngest daughter a new bag for Christmas. She loves tattoos so it’s an Alexander Henry fabric. I was quite pleased with the result and I think she likes it too. tattoo bag

embroiderycrazy:

Great offer as there are some lovely pictures. Do have a look!

Originally posted on PhotoCrazy:

Something for Nothing
Something for nothing! Really…
well, yes actually. I know I’m mad (at least people keep telling me anyway) but for the rest of February - that’s another 3 weeks -
anyone spending £30 or more on my site
(sorry but value cannot include delivery)
will receive an A4 Fine Art Print (of their choice) absolutely free.

As all sales are produced to order, I will simply contact all qualifying purchasers for the photo choice. I will produce an A4 Satin copy of the chosen PhotoArt image and deliver with your other item(s).

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I have finally updated my machine embroidery design shop after several weeks. Due to family problems I have not been at home very much. My poor eldest daughter slipped a disc in her back a few weeks ago. She has 3 small children, the youngest is only 16 months old. As her partner has an important medical science job he had to still go to work and she desperately needed help. She lives 75 miles away so I have been staying with her to help with the children and do the three times daily, two mile walk to take my older two grandchildren to school/ pre-school and back. Now she is beginning to mend and not in so much pain I am back at home.

While there I took her a no longer used Brother Innovis sewing machine I had. She has never used a sewing machine before so I gave her a few lessons and now she is off on a new addiction! She has discovered a new creative streak and in a couple of weeks has become sewing obsessed.

I am amazed at what she is now making without help. It has helped take her mind off her back problem too!

I have now added a new set of embroidery designs to my shop which I created especially with  bedroom decor in mind. They would look great on cushions to decorate a bed. There is this pretty cuddling lovebirds design, SnuggleUpa baby bird sleeping, PeaceAtLasta cute sleepy owl, Relax

and this decorative moons and stars design. FeelingSleepyThey are available as a set. As it’s February my free machine embroidery downloads this month are both romantic designs. This Love Hearts design is a new one. LoveHeartsOur weather in England has been very cold and we have had a fair amount of snow for the Eastern part of England. It looks like there is more to come this week. While I was staying with my daughter I took some photos around her pretty village. I love this little cottage by the river. It looked really cosy in the snow.snowy cottage

Opposite the school is a lovely old church. I liked how the churchyard looked covered with snow. snowy churchyard

There is an old antiques shop on the main road. Sadly no longer in business but the building is beautiful. Phoenix antiques

My little grandson enjoyed his first snowy experiences. This photo made me laugh! Mum I can't seeBless him! His new coat is a little on the big side! This is him – he has big blue eyes and long blonde curls.Ben in snowI think he’s gorgeous, but I’m biased of course!!

embroiderycrazy:

Love this high tide photo of our local beach.

Originally posted on PhotoCrazy:

The latest addition to my Photo Art Shop. This was a particularly striking day for photographs and really begged to be made into something extra special.

SummerNoMore

If you’re interested in any of the items on my site they are all for sale. If you would like a special commission then please contact me and I will get back to you with what can be done. There are a number of special commission items on the site now, ideas that others have given the spark for and I have produced in my own way.
I’ll be adding more this week and I also have a special offer which I will announce properly tomorrow. Stay tuned…

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Okay so I have been very bad and not written my blog for weeks. I have been super busy and just haven’t managed to get round to it. Poor excuse, I know! My website has been updated with some very cute seasonal designs that will especially appeal to children or anyone who is a child at heart! I love the Christmas penguin in particular. Isn’t it adorable?CuteAtChristmas

It would look gorgeous on a baby outfit. There is a winter penguin design too, and a sweet little bear.WinterTime CuteLittleBear

I seem to have gone overboard on the ‘cute’ factor this month!! The free machine embroidery downloads are this pretty Christmas tree, ChristmasTree2and a sporty skiing design.

I have been busy sewing presents for family and grandchildren. I am very pleased with my attempt to make a teepee for my two little grandsons. I appliqued each panel with an American Indian symbol before joining it together. My husband was quite impressed at the finished result. I hope they like it! I will take some photos when they play in it.

I escaped to the beach for a walk a few days ago and spotted these Brent geese foraging on the shoreline. There were about 30 of them altogether. They are not very big and we often so hundreds of them on a field near our house! seaside geese (1352 x 970)They have lovely dark heads and I rather like them.

This will be a very busy few weeks as our first large craft fair is being held in 3 weeks time! There seems so much to do still. It is a 2 day fair so we need to have plenty to sell, just in case! My poor embroidery machine has been busy every day and I feel like I work in a sewing workshop. I’ve made lots of these little Christmas stockings which will hang on a tree.

Meanwhile I haven’t much time to spend blogging or creating new designs for my website. I have updated the website for November though and there are 5 new designs. I like this peace dove, it would make a lovely card.This  Chrysanthemum design is a pretty autumnal flower, which would look good on clothing.

This Christmas candle is pretty with the flame stitched in metallic gold.

Our free machine embroidery downloads are a robin and a purple snowflake.

I can’t post without adding some photos so here are a few recent ones I’ve taken. On a recent walk into town this couple of seagulls on the sea wall were brave enough to let me take this photo.

Our winter visitors, the little Turnstones are much in evidence around the beaches and on the sea walls as we walk. I snapped these ones walking to the pier to go bowling.

As the weather worsens the boats on the Backwaters are disappearing. But I did use the zoom on my new camera to spot this little pirate ship out of my bedroom window!

I wouldn’t have seen the Jolly Roger without a zoom lens. As you can see we get lots of little yachts too on the Walton Backwaters on sunny weekends. I hope they made it safely past the Pirates!

I am now extremely busy getting ready for our big two day craft fair at the end of November. So many things I still want to make and the time seems to be running away with me! Okay I’ve still got 6 weeks, but it will fly past. My lovely other half, Alec at Photo Crazy, is also doing the fair so he is creating wonderful photo art to sell. I have spent a week making I-pad and Kindle covers so next week I am back to making more embroidered bags as they take the longest time.

I have also updated the website for October, with some new designs and new free downloads. We have a bat and a pumpkin free for Halloween projects. There is this cute skiing snowman. As crafters are already making Christmas things I have also added a Santa Elf.

Santa Elf

I have of course been using my new camera with the super zoom a lot in the past few weeks. I had to laugh when I looked out my kitchen window and saw this photo opportunity though!

My cat and ‘dinner’.

Our cat Cyrus must have thought it was his birthday when he spotted an enormous pheasant planning to land in the garden.

The pheasant on our back gate.

He was quite a beautiful bird, as you can see from this closer photo of him on our back gate.

Mentioning birds, I took this photo of a young seagull sitting on the sea wall this week. I love the markings on it. It seems a shame they disappear later.

Young seagull

I always love the view from our bedroom, we are so lucky to see sights like this orange sunset.

Sunset on Walton-On-The-Naze backwaters.

I can zoom in on the boats in the Marina with my new camera too.

Marina boats.

But my favourite photo taken this week was the other morning when I was up at sunrise and looked out my kitchen window. There are some tall trees nearby and sitting in one  silhouetted was this fully grown heron! I grabbed my camera quickly and managed to get some shots of it.

Resting heron at sunrise.

It was quite far away so I wouldn’t have got it without the decent zoom lens.

Today I thought I’d share some tips to help those of you who are not so confident using their embroidery machines or perhaps new to this addictive hobby. These are things I have found useful to know or have discovered through time and experience.

  1. Your machine needles are your most important piece of your machine embroidery equipment. You need to change your needle regularly! If it is blunt it won’t give you a decent result and machine embroidering blunts your needles fast. I change my needle after about 10 hours of sewing or if I am having problems with thread breaking, stitches not looking right etc. Buy the best quality needles for your embroidery machine. Schmetz are excellent and are my recommended choice.
  2. Stabiliser can be tricky to get right but as a basic rule of thumb the lighter your fabric the more you need to stabilise it, so for lighter fabrics like cottons use cutaway stabiliser as it is thicker than tearaway. If you are sewing on a heavy fabric such as denim or canvas you can use tearaway or may not even need stabiliser, but light fabrics always need stabilising. There are of course many other kinds of stabiliser for particular projects but I am just giving a basic rule here.
  3. Sewing with metallic thread can be tricky if you are not used to it. Always use a special metallic needle as it has a bigger eye for the thread to go through, and turn your tension right down. I have mine on 1 when I sew with metallic thread. Also slow your machine down and sew on the slowest speed.
  4. The tools I find the most useful are a pair of embroidery scissors with  very small, fine blades and also tweezers. These are used for trimming jump threads and any other bits of thread that are left poking out. By holding the end with tweezers you can cut very close. Decent lighting is also a must! If your eyesight is not great I would also invest in a large magnifier to hang round your neck too.
  5. Cheap thread is NOT an economy. It will break easily and give you lots of problems. Buy a good quality machine embroidery thread such as Madeira, Janome, Guterman Sulky, or Robison Anton, to name a few reliable brands you could use.
  6. Bobbin thread can be an issue as embroidery machines are temperamental and may not like every brand! For example my Janome 350e will not tolerate Madeira bobbin thread, although this is a perfectly reliable make!! It happily uses Janome or Brother bobbin thread. Although I now use so much of it I buy a very large cone of fine bobbin thread from an online supplier, which works out much cheaper.

I hope you find these tips useful. Most of all have fun with your machine exploring all the possibilities. It can quickly become an addictive hobby once you get to know your machine and how it works.

Finally, because I don’t like to post without adding a photograph, here is the sunset I took the other night. Isn’t it beautiful!

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