Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

ED

This blog post is written by Eric Drexler,
Sulky National Educator

I first experimented with this project making large Easter Egg decorations in fun colors. You can view that blog here.

Recently I saw a Halloween decoration on the internet that looked a lot like my eggs. They were really cool spider webs with spiders on them. Oooo CREEPY.

So I wanted to try it out for myself!

Supplies:

  • First, find water balloons (This turned out to be the hardest part of the project).
  • Then, gather the web material. For the Easter eggs I used Sulky’s 12 wt. Cotton Blendables ThreadYou can also use kite string for a heavier look.

New Blendables Petites

  • Wide paint brush (1/2″ bristles)
  • Clear Acrylic
  • Fake spiders!

Directions:

  1. Microwave water. For every 1 cup of water, microwave 30 seconds. Slowly add 1 yard of dry Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer to the heated water (If you are like me, you save scraps and can use those!). Mix until a thin, almost watery, paste is formed. Let the mixture sit until you are ready to apply, then try to work out all of the clumps.
  2. Inflate balloon, but not all the way. Tape down the belly button so it is flat.
  3. Wrap Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Solid or Blendables Thread around the balloon, starting at the top or bottom. Turn the balloon on its axis as it is being wrapped so that a star burst pattern is formed. Be careful to stay in the center of the balloon as you wrap so it doesn’t slide off the side. This is easy to do since you are wrapping and turning at the same time. Try: turn, wrap, turn, wrap to gain more control.
  4. Turn on its side, and start wrapping from the center and repeat the turning motion until another star is formed. Keep wrapping to fill in empty spaces.
  5. Find the other open areas and make another star burst there till you are happy with the thickness. (Light and Lacy is nice, but more fragile. If wrapped thicker it will absorb more liquid Solvy) For a jaw dropping look, add a coordinating Sulky Holoshimmer with the Cotton or Blendables Thread.
  6. Use a wider paint brush (like ½” bristles) to apply the liquid Solvy over the outside of the wrapped balloon. Let it soak in and make sure to cover every inch. If too much is applied it will drip.
  7. Find a small plastic or glass bowl to set the egg down on for drying. They dry quicker in the sun or with a fan on them. Make sure to turn them over from side to side and top to bottom to avoid the liquid Solvy migrating to the lowest point. Every 15 to 20 minutes should be sufficient.
  8. When the egg is dry, apply another layer of Liquid Solvy. Repeat a third time for a super strong egg.
  9. When the egg is COMPLETELY dry, put a pin in the balloon. If you are not going to cut it open you can remove the balloon with a dental pick through one of the holes.
  10. Spray with Clear Acrylic to seal and strengthen.

spooky solvy spider web

If you are making webs, an egg can be cut in half to make 2 webs. Small slivers of painter’s tape (2” X ¼”) help to pre-plan where you are going to cut. 

spooky solvy spider web

Finally, glue a few fake spiders to your web and find fun a spot for your new, spooky Halloween decoration!

Show us your Halloween creations! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and tag us with #SulkyThreads 🙂




DIY: Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric Tote Bag

DIY: Kraft-Tex™ Paper Fabric Tote Bag

 



pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

Tote Bags have become a lifestyle necessity. In fact, we depend upon this casual bag for everything from carrying groceries home, to heading off to the beach!  Bags embroidered with specific themes can even help us stay organized by knowing which bag to grab when heading to a music lesson or off to the gym.

The birth of tote bags began with being environmentally conscientious. To embrace this concept, let’s create a bag which is strong enough to withstand repeated usage, yet pretty enough to make a fashion statement!  For this tote, renewable materials such as 100% cotton fabric and thread will be used, along with Kraft-Tex™, a plant-based, hybrid material. Kraft-Tex is not only “earth friendly”, but this product provides an exciting new outlet for creative expression.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Kraft-Tex is a paper product that performs like fabric on many levels! The paper can be kept stiff, much like a light-weight cardboard, or softened by washing it.  Although it must be treated as a “non-forgiving surface”, Kraft-Tex feeds through the sewing machine effortlessly and can be enhanced with machine embroidery.

Tote Bag Directions

Preparation:

Note:  Read through the directions and assemble the materials prior to beginning the project.

Pre-wash, dry, and press all material, including Kraft-Tex – although you may want to pre-cut the necessary pieces, making it easier to put into the washing machine.  Cut pieces slightly larger than the required final sizes.  Re-cut to the true measurements after washing.  Both 1/2” and 1/4” seams are used throughout this project and are specified.

When stitching bias strips together, press seams prior to laying the unit on top of the template to mate with the next segment.

When joining the patchwork pieces, depending upon your sewing/cutting skills, it may be necessary to re-square the joined pieces.  Take the time to check, and if necessary, take off the minimal increments needed to square the piece.

If you’ve never worked with Kraft-Tex, please take the time to review Sulky’s recent blog post Kraft-tex Paper Fabric for this material.  It will afford a wealth of information!

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Supplies:

100% cotton fabric 45” wide:

  • Fabric A:  1/3 yd.
  • Fabric B:  1/3 yd.
  • Fabric C:  1 yd.

Kraft-Tex:

  • 2 pieces:  5” x 12-1/2” – top panels
  • 1 piece:  7-1/4” x 9-1/2” – embroidered square
  • 2 pieces:  1-1/4” x 15” – strap accents

Thread:

90/14 Topstitch Needle

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer

Sulky Embroidery Club design #1048: Poppies – (Download for free here)

Download the free Pattern Templates here.

Painter’s or Masking Tape (optional)

Quilter’s cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter (optional)

 

Prepare Patchwork Segments:

  1. Machine embroider the 7-1/4” x 9-1/2” piece of Kraft-Tex:

To mark the design placement on the unforgiving paper surface, begin by drawing a “+” on a small piece of painter or masking tape. Place the tape’s crosshairs centered on the width of the Kraft-Tex piece, and 4-3/4” up from the bottom edge.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Hoop Sulky Sticky+ Stabilizer directly in the embroidery hoop, with the shiny, paper-side facing up.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Lightly score the protective paper with a pin and peel it away, exposing the stabilizer’s sticky surface.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Firmly press the paper onto the sticky stabilizer, matching the tape’s crosshairs with the hoop’s center markings.  Note:  Hoop centers may not be actual true centers.  Make sure your hoop is assembled with these marks showing correctly.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Transfer the embroidery design to the machine.  Match the needle center position to the design center.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once satisfied, remove the tape and embroider the design using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread. Slow  the machine down to at least half-speed.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Gently tear away the excess stabilizer from the embroidery.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  1. Decorate both 5” x 12-1/2” panels of Kraft-Tex:

Establish a 45° diagonal line with a quilter’s ruler.  Lay a piece of painter or masking tape along the ruler’s edge.  It is not important where the initial line is established within the rectangle; only the angle is important.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Choose decorative stitch(es).  Your creative thoughts may travel to using just one, or a combination of two, as shown; or possibly including many different stitches.  It’s all good!

For the first row of stitching, guide the edge of the presser foot along the edge of the tape, which establishes the 45° angle.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

There is a wealth of aids available on the market to assist in uniformly spacing rows of stitches.  Feel free to use any of these aids. I chose a quilting bar guide.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

The bar travels down the middle of the existing stitched row, placing the next row of stitches on the same angle, and keeps rows equally distanced from each other.

Cover the entire surface of the Kraft-Tex panel.  The example shown alternates stitches #31 and #46, Mode 2 on a Janome Memory Craft Professional 6500, spaced 1-3/4” apart.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Since the front and back top panels are separated at each side by a fabric panel, mirror imaging or matching rows is not a consideration.  The only criteria when stitching the second panel is to maintain the same stitching pattern and angle.

  1. Cut cotton fabrics referring to Fabric Key graphic presented:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  • Fabric A:

Cut two strips:  3” x 12-1/2” – accent strips

Cut two pieces:  5-1/2” x 12-1/2” – bottom panels

Cut two pieces:  4” x 16-1/2” – side panels

  • Fabric B:

Cut two strips:  4” x 23” – straps

Bias panel patches:  Refer to the template for required lengths.  Cut 5 bias strips each 1-5/8” wide, and longer than its placement position on the template.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  • Fabric C:

Cut two panels:  12-1/2” x 17-1/2” – front and back lining

Cut two strips:  4” x 17-1/2” – lining side panels

Cut one piece:  8-1/2” x 14” – inside pocket

Bias panel patches:  Refer to the template for required lengths, and cut each strip longer than its placement position on the template.

Cut four strips:  3-3/4” wide – upper right and lower left corner strips for both front and back panels

Cut three strips:  2-3/4” wide – middle strips of front and back panels

  1. Stitch Fabric B/C bias strips together to form both front and back panels:

Lay the cut strips out in their proper places on top of the template.  Starting at a corner, stitch strip B to C – right sides together – making sure that edges extend well beyond the rectangle’s border.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once seamed, press open, and position the piece on top of the template to mate with the next segment.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Continue in this same fashion until the entire rectangle has been stitched.

Place template on top of pieced fabric rectangle.  It is not important to match the actual seams, but rather to match the 45° angle of the bias strips to the template.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Cut the rectangle for the tote bag back panel.  Repeat the process for the smaller front panel.

  1. Make the straps:

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together.

Stitch the long side with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving both ends open.

Press the seam open, and turn right side out.

Press the strap with the seam running down the middle of the back side.

Re-shape the ends of the Kraft-Tex 1-1/4” x 15” strips, using the provided template.

Center the Kraft-Tex accent on the fabric strap, both in width and length.  If needed, hold in place with painter/masking tape.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the Kraft-Tex accent to the fabric strap with Sulky 30 wt. Cotton in any chosen decorative stitch. (The example shows a Triple Topstitch, Mode 1, stitch 5; Janome Memory Craft Professional 6500 stitched 1/8” in from edges).  You may want to choose a very simple stitch though, since you need to make that curve.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Leave a long thread tail at the end, and pull the top thread to the back side.  Hand-tie a couple of knots, and then thread the tail into a sewing needle and weave the ends under a few stitches

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

before cutting to make a neat underside.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

 

Construction –

Front Panel:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the bias square to the embroidered Kraft-Tex using a 1/2” seam allowance. (Using the numbers in the above diagram, stitch 1 to 2)

Fold one fabric A accent strip in half to create a flange, and baste it to the top of the joined squares within the 1/2” seam allowance. (Stitch 3 to the newly joined 1 and 2)

Stitching with 1/2” seams, add the top decoratively-stitched Kraft-Tex panel and then the bottom fabric panel. (Stitch 4 to the top and 5 to the bottom)

Back Panel:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Fold the remaining fabric A accent strip in half, and baste it to the top of the pieced bias rectangle, within the 1/2” seam allowance.

Stitching with 1/2” seams, add the top decoratively-stitched Kraft-Tex panel, and then the bottom fabric panel.

Side Panels:

Using a 1/4” seam allowance, stitch the side panels to the back sections on both sides.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the front and back panels together at the side seam.

An optional, but suggested step, to reinforce seams:  Press the side joining seams towards the side panel center.  Topstitch 1/8” from the seam on the side panel, using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Fold the bag at side panels, matching the front and back seams.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch a 1/2” bottom seam.

Make bottom gusset:

Inside the bag, push a finger up into a bottom corner.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Flatten the bottom seam into the side panel,

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

matching the seam to the center of the side panel.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Work the fabric to make an isosceles triangle; a triangle which has two equal sides.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once satisfied, pin in place and stitch along the seamed line at the base of the formed triangle. (That’s the top line in the picture above)

Press the triangle flat and then crease along the seam, pointing the triangle in the direction of the bottom seam.

Repeat for other side.

Optional:  Tack corner triangles into the bottom seam with a few hand stitches.  This keeps the bag’s shape during repeated washing cycles.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Add a strap to the front and back panels:

With right sides facing each other, and raw edges matching, place the outer edge of one strap 1” away from a side seam towards bag center.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch twice: 1/8” and 1/4” down from top edge

With the length of the strap hanging down into the bag, bring the other strap end up to stitch to the other side of same panel.  Make sure the strap is not twisted.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Attach the remaining strap to the other panel in this same fashion.

Leave the tote bag inside out.

Lining:

Make a pocket:

  • Fold the pocket piece with right sides together, making it 8-1/2” x 7”.
  • Stitch three sides with 1/2” seam, leaving an opening on one side for turning.
  • Cut the corners on a diagonal, and press seams open.
  • Turn right-side out and press.
  • Topstitch the pocket to one panel. Folded side of the pocket is 6” below panel the top edge and centered in width.

Attach the side panels using 1/4” seams joining front and back pieces.  Leave an 8” opening in the middle of one side seam for turning purposes.

Press seams open.

Stitch 1/2” bottom seam checking that the pocket opening is facing to the upper edge of the fabric tube.

Make the bottom gussets as described above. (Note: the long line is the stitching line). Since seams have been pressed open, stitch “in the ditch” at the base of the triangle.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Press the triangle towards the side panels.  Optional tacking was done by machine for the lining since it will not be seen.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Put it all together:

With the tote bag inside out and the lining right side out, drop the lining into the bag, matching side panel seams.  Right sides of each unit will be facing each other.  Have the pocket panel (lining back) facing the non-embroidered bag back panel (although it’s not crucial where the pocket is inside the bag).

Keep top raw edges even, and pin at fabric sides to hold in place.  If needed, use clips or masking tape to hold fabric to the top Kraft-Tex panels.Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch along top edge using a 1/2” seam, keeping the straps straight down inside bag, so only the top-edge of the strap is caught within the seam.

Pull the lining straight out of the bag.Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Reach into the lining through its side opening, grab the tote bag, and begin to pull it out through this hole.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Don’t be afraid to bend the Kraft-Tex.  Once the bag begins to emerge, it becomes easier to pull the remaining fabric through the opening.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

When the bag is completely freed, the entire bag will face right side out.  Close the lining slit with hand-stitches.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Tuck the lining down inside the bag, pushing into the bottom.  Push the lining gusset into tote bag gusset – squaring up the bottom.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Allow the lining to roll over the stiff Kraft-Tex top edge, enhancing the overall bag design with a fabric “binding”.

Press lining around the entire top, creasing the edge.

Stitch “in the ditch” on the fabric side-panels.

DIY: Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric Tote Bag

Kraft-tex Paper Fabric is environmentally friendly, useful, fashionable, plus extremely versatile!

Be creative!  Select your own fabric colors, mix or match thread choices, and experiment with decorative stitches available on your sewing machine.  Just have fun and enjoy the process!




How to Root for Your Favorite Team

How to Root for Your Favorite Team

Embroider Buddy Edition

Football season is upon us and it’s never too early to get your kids rooting for the (obvious) winning team!  Whether you’re a “Cheese-head”, a Dawg, or a Gator, it’s time for your kids to be a part of the tradition – and what better way to get them in the team spirit than with Embroider Buddies?!

 

It’s the best of both worlds – they get a soft cuddly new stuffed animal, and you get the pleasure of knowing they’re headed in the right direction in life!  Embroider Buddy stuffed animals are not only adorable, but are extremely simple to customize.

Plus, if you’re like me (yes, I can still appreciate a nice stuffed animal – especially if it has my team’s colors on it!) you can just embroider one for yourself!

How to Root for Your Favorite Team

Tutorials

We’ve got free tutorials on the blog for how to embroider on these fun guys – like this Christmas-themed tutorial here.

You can also download an Embroider Buddy Tutorial here.

Share your Projects!

Can’t wait to see what you all create (and what teams you root for!).  Be sure to tag us with #SewWithSulky or #SulkyThreads.  If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook and our other Social Media platforms for more inspiration, helpful tips, & to always be in-the-know about all our great sales!




Free Webinar: Holiday In-the-Hoop

Free Webinar: Holiday In-the-Hoop

Embroidery Quilt Block Projects & More

with Lisa Archer

 

Join us for this FREE webinar: Holiday In-the-Hoop!  Lisa Archer, Owner & Creative Director of Pickle Pie Designs, will teach you how fast, fun and easy it is to make machine embroidery in-the-hoop projects. Lisa is the master when it comes to in-the-hoop projects, and she will share her tips and tricks for success.

She will explain the purpose of each step of an in-the-hoop project as she walks you through the process of making a whimsical Snowman Coaster entirely in the hoop. That’s right, no machine sewing required!

 

Get the details:

Title: Holiday In-the-Hoop

Date: October 10, 2017

Time: 9:00 pm EST

Duration: 1 hour

Special Guest: Lisa Archer of Pickle Pie Designs

You will learn:

  • All about in-the-hoop designs
  • The best way to trim appliqué while it’s in the hoop
  • How to hoop a baby bib
  • Tips & techniques for perfectly trimmed appliqués
  • How to turn our whimsical quilt blocks into 9 different projects

You’ll Receive:

A free Snowman Quilt Block from the Baby It’s Cold Outside CD Set by Pickle Pie Designs – AND a free Ducky Applique design from Lisa’s book: Modern Machine Embroidery.

Dont forget!

Great kits and items will we be on sale following the initial webcast, for 24 hours ONLY – so be sure to check those out at www.sulky.com!

Can’t make it? You can still sign up! After the initial webcast, it is available as a Start-Anytime course – meaning you can watch it at anytime at your own convenience!

 

free webinar: holiday in-the-hoop

Register today!

 




Introducing: Machine Cross Stitch

Introducing: Machine Cross Stitch

to the Sulky Embroidery Club

 

Machine cross stitch gives you the unique look of counted cross stitch with the ease and versatility of machine embroidery. We have added over 100 machine cross stitch designs to the Sulky Embroidery Club from two of the most popular cross stitch designers: Marcia Manning of Lickity Stitch Designs and Ursula Michael with her famous Word Play Designs.

If you like the look of Cross Stitch designs, especially Word Play, but do not have the patience or desire to hand stitch them, then you will love these Machine Cross Stitch Designs from Ursula Michael.  Here are some of her Word Play Designs:

And for you cat lovers… you will adore Ursula’s “Cats on Quilts” series:

We have also fallen in love with Marcia’s monstrously cute alphabet designs:

 

Here are some things you need to know about these new designs:

  1. With each design you purchase, you will receive anywhere from 5 – 12 different size/density design files. These means you do not have to pay more for the same design if different hoop sizes. All hoop sizes come with the purchase of the design.
  2. You can treat this like any other Embroidery design and put them on lots of different fabrics. You are not limited to counted cross stitch fabrics.
  3. When it comes to words and fine detail, Machine cross stitch is crisper and words can be read more easily. This is really noticeable in Ursula Michael’s Word Play designs.
  4. There is a tutorial that includes a free machine cross stitch design to try and gives you lots of details and hints about stitching out these fun designs. Get the Tutorial here: sulky.com/mxtutorial.zip

We know you will fall in love with these designs like we have! Can’t wait to see what great projects you all come up with!

Happy Sewing!




Quilting in the Tropics – Book your Cruise!

Quilting in the Tropics

with Ellen Osten

Book your Cruise!

Combine the warm tropical breezes of the Eastern Caribbean with the fun-filled days of quilting with Ellen Osten and you have the perfect vacation.  Join us for this amazing adventure on the high seas.  This is a great ship to invite the family along to enjoy their activities while you enjoy yours – Creative Quilting and Stitching!

Here are the details:

Date: July 15-22, 2018 (7 nights)

Ship: Royal Carribean – Oasis of the Seas

Royal Carribean – Oasis of the Seas

Featured Educator: Ellen Osten

Ellen Osten, Sulky National Educator

Sponsored by: Sulky of America

Package Includes:

  • 7 Nights Onboard Accomodations
  • Port Fees and Taxes
  • Prepaid Onboard Gratuities
  • Quilting and Stitching Classes
  • Complete Project Kit
  • Group Onboard Activities
  • Group Dining
  • Onboard Entertainment
  • Giveaways and Goodies
  • 2 Private Group Cocktail Parties
  • Machine Provided by Janome

Itinerary:

Roundtrip from Port Canaveral

Ports include:

  • St. Maarten
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Labadee, Haiti

3 Quilting Days at Sea

A couple of photos from past quilting retreats!

Pricing:

Pricing is per quilter, based on double occupancy.  Non-Quilters may deduct $350.00 from advertised rates.

Oceanview: $2150

Central Park Balcony: $2250

Oceanview Balcony: $2350

Monthly Payment Plans Available

$250 due at time of booking

 

Invite the family to enjoy their activities, while you enjoy yours – Creative Quilting & Stitching!

Book your trip here!

 




It’s Back! Fearless Free-Motion Stitching II

free motion stitching Eric Drexler

Free-Motion Stitching

with Eric Drexler

In just six 15-45 minute segments, you can learn from Eric Drexler, the Master of Free-Motion, how to easily move beyond the basics of Free-Motion Stitching so you can enjoy more intricate Thread Painting, Quilting, Print Embellishment, Turned or Raw Edge Appliqué, and much, much more!

free motion stitching Eric Drexler

Eric introduced you to the basics in “Fearless Free-Motion Stitching I – For Beginners”:

free motion stitching Eric Drexler

It was an incredible success and we thank you.  He covers some of the basics again in this course (so you do not necessarily have to take the first course before this one); and we include a free, 26-page hand-out from the basic course to help you along on this adventure if you haven’t taken it (and for those who have as well, as a refresher).

Inspiring! Mesmerizing! Captivating! Entertaining! These are a few of the words that thousands of Eric’s students all over the country use to describe his teaching style.  Eric loves life and he loves to teach and share his exuberance for all things Free-Motion.  He is passionate about inspiring students of all ages so they can discover and enjoy a lifetime of creative fun.  Eric learned this technique from Joyce Drexler (co-founder and Creative Director of Sulky – now retired) when he was just 10 years old!

free motion stitching Eric Drexler

One of Eric’s thread-sketched dragons.

Here are a few words from Eric himself:

“As you may or may not know, I was taught how to do Free-Motion Thread Painting when I was very young, like 10 or 11. Like all of us, as I got older I fell away from the fun. I replaced fun with school, work, and, of course, girls (a totally different version of FUN). When I was settling back down and had a child of my own, I picked it back up again. This has really helped my quilting skills, so important when I became a Sulky Educator more than 10 years ago. After all, Thread Painting is just moving the material under the needle, much like quilting.

The taping process is more fun than you could imagine. Of course, I geek out on this stuff. I want to know what the camera people and producer are looking for, and how they are capturing it. I think, without knowing, it has given me better on-camera demos. I feel like part of a big entertainment team! (But no, I will never get used to makeup!)  Below is a shot of the control room.  Hmmm…could those be cookies on that laptop?

I think you will enjoy what I chose in this second course to challenge you a bit more after Beginning Free-Motion Basics. This is just a few more steps beyond, and it gets into how I do my actual Thread Painting, too.”

– Eric

free motion stitching Eric Drexler

This Ash Tree Wallhanging is one of the highlight projects of the course

Interested in signing up for Fearless Free Motion Stitching II: Beyond the Basics?  You can enroll here.

P.S. Here is a quick video of Eric explaining this awesome course:




Love to Stitch: Machine Quilting Webinar with Lori Kennedy

Love to Stitch: Machine Quilting Tips & Tricks with Lori Kennedy

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve got another FREE webinar for you guys!  Join us for Love to Stitch: Machine Quilting Tips and Tricks.  The best part?  Lori Kennedy, author of Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 and the voice behind the popular quilting blog, The Inbox Jaunt, will be our special guest!

Here is a link to a book review of Free-Motion: Machine Quilting 1-2-3.

In this webinar you will create a whimsical sewing machine wall hanging, while learning tips and tricks for better machine quilting as Lori guides you through her own unique process.  Discover Lori’s secrets for creating beautiful stitches and how to transfer a pattern onto fabric.machine quilting lori kennedy

The Details:

Date: September 12, 2017

Time: 9:00pm EST

Duration: 1 hour

Cost: FREE!

Bonus: Door prizes and web-special sales available!

What you will learn:

  • The Five Tasks of Threads

  • How to choose the right thread for every quilting job
  • How to transfer a pattern to fabric

  • Tips and tricks for better machine quilting

Added bonus: You’ll receive a downloadable, FREE “Love to Stitch” pattern, plus a Tip Sheet: Ten Tips for Better Machine Quilting.

Register here!

Can’t make it? You can still sign up! After the initial broadcast the webinar will be available as a Start-Anytime webcast, which you can watch anytime at your own convenience!

 

 




Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric


pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

 

Kraft-Tex™ Paper

All artists relish finding new methods in expressing individual creativity. Machine embroidery is not exempt from craving new inspirational materials. Welcome, Kraft-Tex™, an exciting product certain to stimulate the imagination.

kraft-tex paper fabric

What it is

Kraft-Tex is a paper product that performs like fabric on many levels.  Seriously! At least take the time to read about it, because it is amazing!

Available in several colors, Kraft-Tex can be purchased by the roll, bolt, or in sample packages of multiple colors.  It seems to be more easily available on the Internet (such as on C&T Publishing), but do check local craft or fabric stores.

Directly out of the package, Kraft-Tex looks and feels like a light-weight, sturdy cardboard. In this original state, Kraft-Tex offers many creative outlets such as block printing, drawing, painting, dying, etc..

Taking Care of Kraft-Tex

Since Kraft-Tex is a natural, plant-based product, much like cotton and linen fibers in cloth, it is WASHABLE!  I literally threw several large pieces into a washing machine, electing to use cold water. I then threw it into the dryer, setting it to the next to the highest heat. Pre-washing and drying softens the feel of the paper. Plus, the process gives Kraft-Tex a slightly crinkled texture, resembling leather.

Over time, Kraft-Tex continues to soften, stretch, and mellow with use – which are also leather-like properties.

This product cuts easily, but since it is paper, it will dull needles and scissor edges. So, it is best to designate a rotary cutter blade and needle specifically for working with Kraft-Tex.

Although Kraft-Tex does accept machine stitching, it needs to be treated as a non-forgiving surface.  Just like any paper or leather surface, every hole made by a needle or pin will remain…forever!  If necessary to secure straight edges while stitching, hold joining sections with clips rather than pins – or at least make sure that the pin holes are within the seam allowance.

Putting it to the Test

Since Kraft-Tex is advertised to “function like fabric”, I decided to put it to the test by stitching a seam in 100% polyester utility thread with a 90/14 Topstitch Needle, lengthening stitching to 8 stitches per inch. Contrasting thread was used for samples for ease in evaluating tension.

The sewing machine handled the material beautifully. Even seen from the wrong side, the seam looked perfect.

One question was: Would the seam hold under duress or would the perforated paper tear along the seam? Stress was applied to the stitched seam by pulling the paper apart and, I must admit, not too gently!  I really pulled at the seam!

Although the holes stretched (not surprising if you knew how hard I pulled) and became a bit more apparent when viewed up close, the stitched seam remained strong, secure, and held no matter how hard I tugged!

So, if nothing else, this material has already proven to be potentially valuable for all kinds of projects – from belts, wallets, coin purses, book covers, luggage tags, tote bags, coupon organizers, bookmarks, and even a key fob!  It would also be a valuable resource for Halloween costumes or theater attire, where a “leather” garment/accessory was required, but now could be made at a much lower price point.

What about machine embroidery?

Because I love to machine embroider, the big question for me is… Is this a suitable canvas for machine embroidery?

Considering most modern machines are capable of “machine embroidery” to some extent by employing the often overlooked decorative stitches built into sewing machines, I thought that was a great place to start.

The silky look of Sulky® 40 wt. Rayon provided a striking contrast to the faux leather, while the heavier Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables® – #733-4108 complemented the rugged texture of a Kraft-Tex canvas.


Decorative stitches with space between entry points, or those which re-used the same hole, seemed to work best. Satin-filled stitches shouldn’t be automatically ruled out. However, remember that the closer the needle penetrations are to each other, the weaker the paper foundation will become.

Choosing the proper machine embroidery design for non-forgiving foundations is very important. Not only must every stitch matter by being part of the actual design, needle punctures cannot be too close together or the paper will tear.

 

Red-work, stippling, and line designs may prove to be a good choice. However, avoid line designs that include closely placed stitches.


Look at designs specifically digitized for paper or choose a line design that reuses the same holes to boldly define its shape.

You can find the entire Jumbo Fabulous Fern collection here.

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer is the natural choice for Kraft-Tex embroidery since paper cannot be secured directly in the hoop.

Secure Sticky+ in the frame with the release sheet (shiny, gridded paper side) facing up.  Gently score the paper with a pin.  Peel back the protective paper.

Press Kraft-Tex firmly to the exposed sticky surface.

Never having embroidered on this material, it was important to do a test sample. Fern design #26311 was a perfect choice.  The machine was threaded, both top and bobbin, with Sulky 40 wt. Rayon.  The machine was put to its slowest speed and a 100/16 Topstitch needle was used.


Knowing that this was just a test, after a short segment of stitching, the large 100/16 Topstitch Needle was changed out to a smaller gauge (90/14 Topstitch) to reduce the size of the penetration holes.  The speed of the machine was then increased to its next level.  The final experiment switched the rayon thread to Sulky 30 wt. Cotton.

Evaluate your test sample, noting what worked and, if necessary, what didn’t. Label and save test stitching-samples, referring to them for future project input.

The Results

Results: Both Sulky thread types stitched equally well, but each offered a different appeal for the design. The smaller needle gauge (90/14 Topstitch) was preferred.

The testing sample already inspired my first Kraft-Tex project. It will be a tote bag featuring a Poppy design from the Sulky Embroidery Club, stitched in Sulky 30 wt. Cotton, #733-1119. Three fabric prints will be used in a patch-work style bag, accented with additional Kraft-Tex panels. I can’t wait to share this project with you!




Get Scrappin’ with Free Webinar: Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers

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Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers 

For all you scrap lovers! Have piles of scraps around your sewing room, and need a little inspiration for what to DO with all those wonderful scrap pieces? Then our newest, FREE Webinar: Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers is perfect for you! Our Special Guest, Judy Gauthier is the author of “Quilts for Scrap Lovers” and “Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers”.

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Title: Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers

Special Guest: Judy Gauthier

Date: August 8, 2017

Time: 9 pm EDT

Duration: One hour

Cost: FREE!

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ADDED BONUS: If you watch the webinar on August 8th, you’ll receive a special coupon that’s good for 24 hours! You won’t want to miss it!

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What you will learn:

  • How to organize and “bust” your scrap fabric stash for quilting
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PLUS: You will receive a FREE scrap fabric quilting pattern!

 

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