Monday, 2 March 2015


I've been embroidering for days.

I wanted to make some tags to put on the Twins' birthday presents.  I bought an in-the-hoop tag design, and really liked it. I tested it out, and it stitched well and looked good.   I looked online for fabric specific to each of the two children.   I found what I wanted, and quite a lot more besides. While I was shopping for fabric for the twins, I ordered some sticky stabiliser.  And a few other bits and pieces.

Of course, when I find something easier than expected,  I have to make it more complicated. I have to try harder,  do better,  make better,  more intricate,  more detail....

I tried using vinyl as a stabiliser, to avoid getting white bits round the edge of the pieces. .  I'd bought some ages ago from that trip to FabricLand,  but I thought I'd bought stuff that was too thick.  I had ordered some thinner vinyl the other day but it hadn't arrived, so I decided to try the thicker stuff anyway. 

The embroidery design site I perhaps love most, BigDreamsEmbroidery,  announced a sale to celebrate something or other.  I greedily emptied items from my wishlist into my basket and bought them.     I tried out some of the designs as possible alternatives to the tags.  They were amazing.  Everyone was double sided, with different fabric front and back.

I stitched out different sizes, different fabrics.  I couldn't stop.  I tried different stabilisers.  I added text.  I threaded some of them onto ribbon so I could keep them together. 

I ordered yet more fabric squares in various sizes. It's not particularly cost effective on a cost-per-metre basis, but on the plus side it gives me a wide variety of fabric colours and patterns, and I can always go and buy proper amounts of those fabrics which I end up using a lot.

I started to get a bit fed up with cutting round the fabric on the hoop, mainly because I'm not that good at it.  I wondered about cutting the fabric first.

I asked DH if he could laser me some templates,  or build them with his 3D printer.   We discussed it in detail and decided not.   I tried making templates using the machine, I had this great idea about stitching out the outline until the paper was perforated, then that would give me a template......trouble is it doesn't help with my accuracy.

I looked online.

I found something that might work.

I asked about it on a relevant Facebook page, and the discussion that ensued was really helpful.  I watched some videos.  I showed it to DH.   I ordered it.

Fabric storage 'A'
Meanwhile, the fabric - and stuff - started arriving. On Saturday, a couple of packs of fabric-by-the-metre arrived.  And some pre-cut squares. And the tabletop sleeve-ironing board - which is a perfect size for ironing my embroidery bits and pieces and has been in use today.

Today, the post was full of little packets.  Luckily, the packs arriving in the post were mainly either pre-cut 5" squares or fat quarters so when I got them out they didn't look too much.

I've re-organised the fabric shelves.  The non-fabric stuff is now piled on the floor waiting for me to find it a new home.  I'm not sure where that's going to be, I can see this all spilling over into the spare bedroom.

Fat Quarters

I've made myself a little fat-quarter (FQ) storage box out of a cat food box, so I can pick up the whole box and bring it downstairs.    I've even made 5" square "bolts" as well.  Each FQ is wrapped round a bolt, which gives it some rigidity and means it is easy to see the pattern from the edge.  I can flick through without the fabrics all screwing up.  .

Today the stabilisers arrived, and they are all over the worktop.  

Add caption
As a test run with the sticky stabiliser - and making myself use my digitiser software - I created a personalised Mothers Day card for my lovely mother in law. 

Pic is  of my second attempt, and this is the one I'm going to send her.

I still haven't made the twins tags yet. I'm waiting for the cutter thing to arrive, and I'll use that.

Goodness knows where that's going to live.

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