Not Your Typical Table Topper Courses 50% off Month of July

Who doesn’t love table toppers? They can match your décor, make a statement, or celebrate a holiday, birthday, anniversary, and more!  Not to mention, they’re SO much fun to make!  And guess what?  This month only, you can get 50% off all of our “Not Your Typical Table Topper” Courses with coupon code: SULKY50

The inspiration for these projects came from my own desire to have some new items to decorate my home that were different and a little more modern. I started by making this set of 3-dimensional pieces. These guys are perfect for holding coffee filters, fabric, rotary cutters and the big one is perfect for a wine bottle! The best part is once you take the on-line class, you will be able to make these so quickly, they will be your new go-to gift for friends and family.

Next, came the Matchsticked placemat. I love matchstick quilting and what better way to practice and get really good at it than to make a beautiful set a place mats. To take this project over the top, I added a cool border, some big-stitch hand quilting, and a binding technique that you will love learning how to do. 

Since I have a round table in my breakfast area at my house, I wanted to be able to put a round table topper on it. So, I set my mind to figuring out the easiest way to put together a round table topper without doing any math at all (I hate math!), and yet have the project stay flat. You can learn this cool method without all the trial and error that I went through! The best part is, you can do a round table topper as big or as small as you want with this method. Yay for flexibility! 

The last project, the Minimalist Table Runner, may seem to be the simplest, but it is my favorite. Partly because the sample is made in my two favorite colors, but mostly because it teaches how to create your very own unique modern design that perfectly fits your style and personality. NO longer do you have to follow a pattern or be limited to another designer’s imagination. It’s your project and you make all the decisions. I show you how with step-by-step instructions!  (And guess what?!  The background fabric is denim!)

Sale price for the entire Course Collection, which includes tutorials on how to make ALL FOUR table toppers, is only $49.50!  And each Individual Course (you pick which table topper you want to make!) is only $17.50!  (You save $20.50 when you take the Course Collection).

Learn All Of This And More!

  • Four fabulous, trendy and unusual Table Toppers that you will thoroughly enjoy making. They will inspire you to design your own versions that have your personality and creativity written all over them.
  • Kelly Nagel, Creator of Opportunities at Sulky of America, guides you step-by-step through these projects, making them easy-peasy. Go beyond the typical table runner to improv, circular, and even 3-dimensional pieces.
  • These modern projects teach you valuable sewing techniques, inspiring you to “kick it up a notch” if you want.
  • This class is designed for both beginning sewists and more advanced sewists looking for professional finishing tips.
  • The projects are all simple, with optional more challenging techniques.
  • ·Whatever end of the sewing spectrum you’re on, you are going to LOVE these home decor projects. You’ll be making these for your friends and family, too. And best of all…none of these have to fit beyond the size of the table!

Patti Lee, VP of Sulky, says: “I don’t know about you, but I’ve reached the stage in my life, where I just like making smaller projects now. Maybe it’s because I have too many UFO’s to finish even if I live to be a hundred! So, for me, making table toppers is just the ticket! They’re fun and ‘finishable’, probably even in time for the special event! So, I hope you’ll find these as much fun as I have.”

Even More “Stuff” You Will Learn:

  • You will learn exactly how to set up your machine (and you can use any well-maintained machine, you don’t need a fancy, expensive machine). Older machines with just a few decorative stitches will be fine, as well as top-of-the-line brand new machines, which you’ll see in the videos.
  • You will learn all about different weights and types of threads to use for quilting or free-motion embellishment or decorative stitching.
  • Quick lesson on free-motion machine set-up and quilting.
  • Proper needles, SO important to success.
  • And lots of ideas on how to take these techniques even further.
  • You can sign in and read the materials, watch the videos, DOWNLOAD THE MATERIALS AND VIDEOS TO KEEP FOREVER, and work at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want to for one full year!
  • We’ll be here every step of the way to help you with any questions or problems during that year. (And in reality, we at Sulky will always be here to help in the future, too.)
  • You can submit photos of your projects for our input and suggestions, too.
  • Share ideas, questions and comments with fellow students within the course, if you want.
  • There are wonderful full-color, step-by-step instructions for you to print and keep for each project.
  • Includes a bonus video by Ellen Osten, Director of Education for Sulky, for Magical, No-Show, Perfect Binding every time!

Sign up today!




Christmas in July – Christmas Embroider Buddies

Christmas in July – Embroider Buddies

Do you want to know a secret? I love being the girl who always gives the perfect gift. I especially like it when I give the perfect gift to a child. The look on their sweet face, the big hug and the look of envy from every other adult in the room just makes my heart happy. This is why I often give Embroider Buddies as gifts. An added bonus is these guys can be personalized, and if you know anything about me, you know I love to personalize things!

Also, during our Christmas in July Sale, all of our Embroider Buddies are 15% off!

Embroider Buddies are super easy to do machine embroidery on, but there are a couple things you need to do to be sure they look great (They have to look great if you want your gift to be the envy of all other gift givers!). So I am stepping out the process for you here:

Supplies:

You need an Embroider Buddy, Sulky Solvy, Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer, Sulky Cut-Away Plus, Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive, and Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon thread.

The Process:

 

Hoop two layers of Soft ‘n Sheer and one layer of Cut Away Plus, then spray the top with KK 2000.

Unzip the bottom of the Embroider Buddy and take out the stuffing.

christmas in july embroider buddies

(He is even cute flat!)

Stick his belly to the hoop. Be sure to center him so the embroidery will stitch out straight and exactly where you want it to be. Take a piece of Solvy, spray one side of it with KK 2000.

Stick the Solvy to the front of his belly. This will help the pile of the Embroider Buddy lay down under the stitching so you don’t get anything poking out between the stitches.

Now let’s chat about needle, machine foot, and thread. When I am using Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon Thread in both the top and bobbin, as I did with this project, I usually use a 90/14 embroidery needle. If you can’t remember the last time you changed the needle on your machine, then change it before you start sewing on this cute little buddy. Let’s face it, needles are cheap compared to the frustration, heart ache and overall angst of thread breakage, and the possibility of having to rip out stitches and start over because we tried to embroider this with a dull, worn out needle.

I put the open toe, spring-loaded machine embroidery foot on the machine as well and, as I mentioned, I used Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon in the bobbin and on top.

When you load the hoop into the machine, be sure you lock the hoop into place. It is also best for his head to be to the left of the machine. Trying to embroider this with his head crammed between the needle and the machine would not produce the best results.

Be sure to check that all of his arms, legs, back, etc are out from under where you will be stitching.

Stay and watch it stitch out. If your machine is anything like mine, the second I step away she gets jealous and starts to mess up. For this kind of project, there are also times that I need to hold parts of the Embroider Buddy out the the way just to be sure everything stitches out cleanly.

It is also really fun to watch!

Almost hypnotizing…

Here is another tip for making this the perfect gift. When the stitching is finished, hit start and stitch over it one more time. Especially on things with any kind of pile, like the Embroider Buddy, a towel, fleece, the second layer of stitching really helps the embroidery to stand out. Think of that first layer of stitching as the crumb coat of a cake and this second layer is the one that will look perfect.

Doesn’t he look great?! Carefully tear away the Solvy on top, tearing towards the stitching and being sure to hold the body stable.

Unhoop him and then cut down the backing stabilizers so they will fit nicely inside the body.

Christmas in July Embroider Buddy

Add the stuffing back in, zip him back up and be ready to be the favorite gift giver at the party!

Look at that face! That face is what makes my heart happy.

Don’t forget… during our Christmas in July Sale, all of our Embroider Buddies are 15% off! We have so many great Buddies to choose from!

Happy Sewing!




Christmas in July Sale 2017 + Projects and Inspiration

Christmas in July 2017

Projects and Inspiration

 

To kick off Christmas in July 2017 we put together some great projects and ideas to get those creative juices flowing! We’ve got some amazing deals on the Sulky website this year that we can not wait to share with you! 40% off Webinar Kits, NEW bundles and kits over 20% off, Deck the Walls Christmas Panel kit – only $14.99, 15% off Embroider Buddies, 25% off all Christmas Thread, and so much more!

A few new and exciting things we’ve added to the site for Christmas in July are all new Amy Barickman Crossroads Thread and Fabric Bundles!  The inspiration for Crossroads came from Amy’s desire to design a line of denims that would be versatile for fashion and home. A new line of softened denim for today’s urban lifestyle by Amy Barickman.

 

 

Amy Barickman Crossroads Winter Thread and Fabric Bundle

For some unique, fun projects to make with Crossroads Thread and Fabric visit Indygo Junction. Here a few super creative and neat gift ideas:

Pieced Pet Pillows Pattern

We also added two new embroidery kits – one for hand embroiderers and one for machine embroiderers! Hand Embroidery Kit is normally $37.22 but for Christmas in July it is only $29.99! Beginners Machine Embroidery Kit is 25% off – normally $260.83, but is now only $199.99!

 

Hand Embroidery Kit – Christmas edition

Beginners Machine Embroidery Kit

And guess what? All of our Christmas Embroidery Designs on the Sulky Embroidery Club Website are 50% off for Christmas in July!

 

Plus….check out our Hand Embroidery Pinterest board for even more embroidery inspiration!

and our Christmas Pinterest board, too!

 

New Deck the Walls Christmas Panel – purchase the kit (or the panel itself) for two great deals:

Christmas in July sale

Deck the Walls Christmas Panel Kit comes with the panel and three spools of Metallic Holoshimmer Thread – only $14.99

Deck the Walls Christmas Fabric Panel – was $9.99, now only $4.99

Here’s a PDF of helpful hints, stitching guide, and tips for stitching on panels with Metallic Threads.

Here are a few more festive projects…

This pincushion would be the perfect gift for someone who loves to sew!

By: Swoodson Says

Embroidered Reverse Applique Snowflake Pincushion – by Swoodson Says

 

These adorable Elves!

By: Wild Olive

Elf Dance Puppets – by: Wild Olive

And this Christmas Ornament: Snowflake Mitten

By: Shiny Happy World

Oh, and as an added bonus, the Zen Machine Embroidery Classes AND Not Your Typical Table Toppers Courses are 50% off as part of our Christmas in July Sale! These are great courses where you will learn a ton from our Sulky Educators, and have so much fun along the way!

Christmas in July is all about savings for you and your loved ones to take advantage of for the holiday season. Whether you want a head-start on a Christmas gift for a loved one, know someone who would LOVE some new sewing supplies, or are looking to spruce up your home in time for Christmas, we know you’ll love these spectacular products – and savings!

Christmas in July Sale ends 7/31 at Midnight EDT. 

 




Why You’ll Love This Cotton+Steel Webinar

Cotton + Steel Webinar

Sunshine Pillow


cotton + steel webinar: why you'll love it

Want to add a little extra cheer to your home or office? Maybe you’re looking for a neat gift for a baby shower, wedding, or birthday! Whatever the occasion, the Sunshine Pillow project by Cotton+Steel is your winner. Here’s why…

  1. You get to watch how it’s made in a FREE webinar!

  2. You get to hang out with Devon Iott, Captain of Creative Communications at Cotton+Steel! (And we all know how cool those gals are!)

  3. If this fabric is too bright for you or doesn’t fit the occasion, you can change it out with whatever fabric suits your style! (Like these other fun Cotton+Steel Fabric Collections)

  4. You’ll get to see the new Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky in action

You will learn…

Why You'll Love This Cotton+Steel Webinar: Sunshine Pillow

Register Now!

Once you register, share the registration link with your friends on Facebook with hashtag: #cottonandsteelwebinar to have your name in the hat to win a 6-pack of Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky!! (Make sure you use the hashtag so we see it!)

Can’t make it? You can still sign up and receive everything that’s included in the webinar AND watch the recorded webinar at your convenience anytime in the future.

Added bonus: Following the webinar we have a special discount running on the Sulky website that you have GOT to see!

See you there!Why You'll Love This Cotton+Steel Webinar: Sunshine Pillow




4th of July DIY Using Sulky Blendables in a Serger

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!

DIY: 4th of July Napkins and Place Mats

Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger

 

4th of july napkins and place mats using sulky blendables thread

The 4th of July is all about outdoor gatherings, fireworks, and celebrating our country’s independence! These explosions of color are sure to inspire creativity!  So, this is the perfect time to explore the wide variety of Sulky® Threads and using them in applications other than our regular intentions.

 

Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger

Let’s look at Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread .  These exciting, multicolor threads are a masterful blend of different colors within the same range of tone and intensity, with random, subtle color changes every 2-1/2 to 5 inches, which come in two weights: 12 wt. and 30 wt.  Originally brought into the Sulky Thread family knowing that it was perfect for free-motion and decorative machine stitching, it became apparent that this wonderful thread was also applicable to many machine embroidery designs.

Appreciating that Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread performs well in so many applications, my curiosity got the better of me and I began to wonder how this thread would perform in a Serger.

Fully aware that Sulky only produces quality products, I was not terribly surprised that this thread stitched flawlessly in the Serger. But what was truly amazing was the effect it produced!

My 1st attempt was using a 4-thread overlock stitch with 12 wt. Cotton Blendables Thread (not even the same color) in both upper and lower loopers. And two solid-colored 30 wt. Sulky Cotton Threads, picking up colors in the upper looper blend, for the top needles.

Sulky Metallic Thread in a Serger

With the interest Sulky Blendables created in Serger stitching, I added a Sulky Holoshimmer™ Metallic Thread to one of the top needles (O2). Loving the process, I began to experiment!

Adjusting stitch length on a Serger translates into “how compact” the over-edge stitches are.  On my sample fabric – a loosely woven polyester/linen fabric – I wasn’t thrilled with all the loose threads that appeared along the edge, so, I tried a folded-edge finish.  I then added a Metallic Thread in one of the upper needles and it did bring a bit of sparkle!

So, now I’m dying to see the results of using a metallic thread in the upper looper, which is the decorative over-edge stitch that shows on the top-side as the fabric is fed into the Serger.  One quick word of advice, Holoshimmer Metallic Thread could not be “air-threaded” in my Evolution. I simply threaded a cotton thread through the looper, tied it to the metallic thread and pulled it through. Sulky Holoshimmer #6046 stitched beautifully and provided a lot of sparkle!

Can you begin to see how fun this is??  Can you also agree that it is important to first experiment before attempting a project?  Although I love the effect with the metallic thread in the upper looper, if I was ready to incorporate “glitter at its best”  (which already has me thinking of Christmas), I would try another sample changing out the outside top thread (O1) to a Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread matching the fabric in use.  I’d then check out how Sulky Invisible Thread stitches as the second top thread (O2), plus use Sulky Metallic Thread in both upper and lower loopers and not necessarily the same color.  I’ll go from there!

It is helpful to establish a “sampler cheat-sheet” for your Serger! In a small notebook, staple the stitched sample to a page documenting stitch selection, widths, lengths, thread type and threading location.  This documentation will be a very valuable resource for future projects.

After seeing and loving the effect of using Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger, my thoughts turned to practical applications:

The obvious application is to provide a decorative finish to any edge.  Why not edge tucks on a garment?

Why not add an additional row to create a lacy or crotchet effect and edge a fleece blanket?

Edge a strip of bias binding for finishing a garment.

So far, only one stitch has been explored, so I questioned if Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread provide artistic appeal with different Serger stitches, such as a Rolled Hem.  The answer was overwhelmingly, yes!

In stitching a rolled hem sample, it became apparent that this stitch can stand on its own and be used as a decorative “braid”…

which offers many applications, including couching.

Seriously, endless possibilities!!

Here is one quick, easy project to start with, and just in time for the 4th of July!  Make a set of place-mats and napkins using Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread #4105.

 

Napkins

Sizes of napkins vary, but the considered standard is 16”-18” luncheon size, while 20”-22” is for dinner. Therefore, a yard of cotton fabric will yield four 18” napkins.

 

Supplies:

Pre-wash, dry, and press all fabrics prior to using

Steps:

  • Cut cotton fabric into 18” squares on grain
  • Thread the Serger for a 3-Thread Overlock-Narrow Hem. On my Baby Lock Evolution:  stitch length 1, width 3.0.
  • Stitch two opposite sides first

  • Stitch top and bottom leaving long tails at the beginning and ends cutting off any tails on the two already stitched sides.

  • Turn the napkin to the wrong side and weave a blunt needle into the stitches.

I used a dental floss carrier since it is plastic with a blunt end, but more importantly, a very large eye which makes it easy to thread the wide Serged thread through.
  • Pull the thread into the back side of the napkin in each corner, cutting excess thread not under stitches.

There are other techniques for finishing off.  Thread Check is a glue product many people use to “seal” Serger ends.  Others will “Serge off” ends.  Napkins will be repeatedly washed, so make sure whatever method you choose will provide a pleasing look and remain intact.

Another Serger stitch often used for napkins is a rolled edge and it provides almost a ridge edging because the stitches are more compact, not to mention the machine rolled the raw edge to the top of the fabric.

It’s also exciting to experiment with different Cotton Blendables Thread shades such as #4108, another perfect choice for celebrating the 4th!

Two layers of fabric can be Serged together making a heavier napkin. This method will also provide a “finished” backing to a fabric printed on one side, plus present more options with table settings.

Make sure you check out the Internet to find interesting ways of folding napkins.  That’s where I learned to make the pinwheel for my table setting!!

Place Mats

Supplies for 4 place mats:

Steps:

  • Cut Drill cloth into 15 ½” x 20” rectangles
  • Designate center placement for embroidery design with hand basting

  • On the left-hand side, baste a line ½” in from edges marking off “a margin for error”. This will also ensure ample space between the embroidery design and the decorative over-edge stitch.
  • Fold the 15 ½” side in half to determine horizontal center of the embroidery design
  • Measure in 3 ¾” from the left edge to determine the vertical center
  • Securely hoop Sulky Soft ’n Sheer™ Stabilizer.  This stabilizer will need to have the excess cut away, but it is easily done plus any remaining sheer stabilizer in almost invisible.

 

 Fabri-Solvy is another great choice.  Although water-soluble, it behaves like a fabric stabilizer and can be securely hooped directly in the embroidery frame.
  • Lay the hoop on a grid mat, matching the hoop center marking to heavy lines on the grid. Roll back the fabric on center and lay on vertical center, matching hand basting horizontal lines to proper grid line.

  • Download design and transfer it to your machine
  • Attach the hoop, line the machine’s needle placement for design, and center up with fabric center

  • Once satisfied, machine baste a box around the design area to secure the fabric to the stabilizer using an 80/12 Topstitch needle.  This is a function found on most embroidery machines.  If your machine does not have this function, lightly spray the back of the fabric with Sulky KK 2000 and firmly press onto the stabilizer.
  • Change the needle to a 90/14 Topstitch or Metallic needle.  Embroider the design in Sulky Sliver™ Metallic.

  • When completed, remove from the machine and hoop, evaluating design placement. Use the basting box around the design to re-square the fabric if necessary, removing only the barest amount needed.  Trim excess stabilizer and any jump threads.

As you can see (or I should say “not see”), even though most of the stabilizer has been removed, Sulky Soft ’n Sheer remains inside the butterfly outlines.

  • In each corner, measure 4 ½” in towards center, as well as 4 ½” down/up.

  • Use a straight edge to connect each corner mark and cut a diagonal line (red line).
  • Set up the Serger for a 4-Thread over-lock stitch.  On my Baby Lock Evolution:  stitch length 2.25, width 6.5
  • Serge the diagonal cuts first.  Serge the straight sides next, leaving long tails of thread both at the beginning and end, cutting any tails on the diagonal edges.
  • Finish ends as shown in Napkins

Now that you see how easy it is to make place mats and napkins, in addition to how much fun it is to experiment with the wonderful world of Sulky Threads, I’m sure your imagination is brimming with other ideas. Not only for holiday place mats, but many other beautiful items!  Enjoy!




Rod Art with Sulky Threads

Rod Art with Sulky Threads

Did you know you can even glam up your fishing rod with Sulky Threads?  Rod art is a great DIY gift idea for the fisherman in your life!  We talked with John, who has been building rods to help make fishing easier for people with disabilities since becoming disabled himself. He uses Sulky Threads to turn his rods into beautiful works of art. Here are a few of his tips and tricks to making Rod Art:rod art

How did you get started with rod building?

After I became disabled my hands became very weak and the pain in my body made fishing very difficult. My wife gave me the idea that I should make my own fishing rods. The idea was to make a rod that was easier to hold and less painful. After talking to several people I was introduced to a really nice guy who started a rod building club. He taught me how to make rods that were easier to use, and how to do rod art. He warned me that it was addictive and it has proven to be just that! With all the different thread types and colors that you can only get from Sulky, there’s no end to the design possibilities. The only limit is your own imagination. Half the fun is making something no one else has.

How long does it take you to finish one rod?

Most people can build a rod in a day or two. However because of my disability it can take me several months.

rod art

Do you have any tips or tricks for people wishing to make their own rod art?

Trial and error, or, as some call it, “The school of hard knocks.” To come up with a new design, look at what others are doing and then look at the thread colors. You can find inspiration from anything and everything. Watch the “How To” videos and add your own twist. After all your threads are down, always use at least two coats of CP “color preserver”. This keeps the threads from moving when you put the epoxy on. Keep your pattern tight and straight by lining each thread as you go. To keep bubbles out of your finish use an epoxy mixer and never mix by hand. Use a heat gun to bust any bubbles.

This rod was a test to see if it was possible to do a full wrap. Most of the time only a wrap of 6 to 8 inches is done. This rod looks great but you have to see it in direct sunlight to get the full effect.

You don’t need a lot of money to get started. I made most of my tools or bought tools that are for a different craft but can be used for what I need. My first rod wrap cost me less than $20 to build. Use the internet to your advantage and let your imagination run wild!

This link is a great way to learn the craft: https://www.rodguild.com/how-tos/

This is the second rod I ever made. I made it using the spiral wrapped eye technique. When a fish pulls on the line, instead of pulling the rod out of your hands, it bends the rod in a way that it pushes the handle back towards you.

 

What is your favorite Sulky product to use, and why?

It’s so hard to choose. The Sulky Rayon and Sulky Polyester Threads come in every color imaginable. They are super strong, they don’t stretch or sag, and the color doesn’t change or fade. Sulky Metallic Thread is almost as soft. However, my favorite Metallic has to be the Metallic Holoshimmer Thread. In direct sunlight it sparkles like diamonds. Plus, it reflects the color from the other threads you wrap over it. It makes a great base layer, you can weave it into the pattern, or it can be used all by itself like a trip band or accent wrap.

rod art

Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread

 

If you want to learn more about how to get started in this craft you can visit The Custom Rod Builders Guild.

 

 




Just in Time for Easter: Bunny Bags and more!

With Easter quickly approaching we have some fun Easter ideas for you to make just in time for the festivities!

 Bunny Bag

by Jen Frost

Project Overview:

Note: 1/4 yard of fabric will make multiple bunny bags; however, instructions are written (for simplicity) to make just one bag.

 

What you will need: 
  • 4 fat quarters in Easter prints (or scrap pieces)
  • Bunny Templates (found in full instructions on website)
  • Sulky® Thread in complementary colors
  • Soft ‘n Sheer™ Cut-Away Permanent Stabilizer
  • KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive
  • Straight pins
  • Ribbon in complementary colors (45″ in length, cut to 15″ per bag
  • Polyfill

To make the bunny exterior

To make the bunny interior

 

 

 

 

 

Ears turned right-side out, bottoms left open and lightly stuffed

To assemble the bunny bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a sneak peek of this awesome Bunny Bag project! Get started on yours today!

*To download the full instructions visit the Free Projects page.

 

More fun Easter projects from past blogs:

Want more? Here are two past blog posts we’ve shared that would make great Easter projects for you to start on with family and friends!

May Day Basket and Sulky Cotton Thread and Solvy Easter Eggs

“Hop” on over! 😉

Sulky Cotton Thread and Solvy Eggs

May Day Basket

 




DIY Tassel Necklace – It’s Super Easy!

In case you are like me and need a couple more gifts, here is a fun and quick gift you can make.

tassle-necklaces-done

 

These trendy necklaces can be made in any color you want, and you can get them done fairly quickly. Here is what you need:

tassle-necklace-supplies

  • Beads – I picked mostly glass beads with a few natural stone and painted beads thrown in. I got 3 necklaces out of each 112-inch string of glass beads.
  • Bead Stringing Wire, .024 in – I bought 30 ft. since I knew I had a lot of necklaces to make. You need 34″ per necklace
  • Connectors – I like the triangle ones, but the round ones would work just as well.
  • Crimp Tubes, 2mm – The bead stringing wire said which size crimp tube to use.
  • Needle-Nose Pliers – This little guy is great because it crimps the crimp tube down and cuts the beading wire.
  • Scissors – to cut the thread, and to cut the clear string the beads are sold on.
  • Wooden Skewer – You can use a pencil, chopstick, even a candy cane. You just need something to hold the tassel while you are making it.
  • Index Cards and a Rubber Band – For winding the tassel.
  • Threads – I used a variety of threads. Sulky 40 wt. Rayon, Sulky 12 wt. Cotton, Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables® and Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Solids

tassle-necklace-threads

To get started grab the stack of index cards and rubber-band them together (I used about 10 cards); then choose which thread you want to use to make the tassel.tassle-necklace-1

Begin wrapping the thread around the card stack.wrap-aorund-card-beginning

Keep wrapping until you are happy with the tassel size (remember that you are only seeing half the tassel on top of the card).

tassle-necklace-4

Take a piece of thread and feed it under the threads that you wrapped; then tie it off to hold all the threads together.

tie-strings-on-index-card

Now slip the skewer under the threads and gently pull them off the stack of index cards.

srap-thread-around-the-tassle-strings

Take another piece of thread and begin wrapping it around all the threads close to the top.

tassle-on-skewer

Wrap several times and then tie it off. You can either cut the ends after you’ve tied off, or you can smooth those two strings down into the tassel.

tie-the-tassle-top

Cut the loops at the bottom and set the tassel aside. Don’t take it off the skewer until the bead part of the necklace is ready.

cut-the-tassle-strings

Now for the beads. I cut a piece of beading wire 34″ long and strung the glass beads onto the wire. Here is my time-saving tip. Leave the beads connected together on the clear line they came on and just feed the beading wire down next to the other line. You can string all three of the necklaces before cutting the clear line. This means the beads don’t roll around everywhere and you don’t have to feed them all on one at a time.

stringing-beads

string-beads-1

Once they are strung, use the crimp tube and the needle nose pliers to crimp both ends of the wire together. Be sure to cut off the excess wire. Your necklace will end up about 32″ long.

Now it’s time to add the tassel. Get your connector and open it up with the needle nose pliers.

tassle-triangles

Put the connector through the top of the tassel while it is still on the skewer. The skewer will help you maneuver the connector through the threads.

put-ring-thru-tassle

Now slide the tassel off the skewer and secure the tassel to the beads.

tassle-necklace-secure-to-beads-2

Pinch the connector closed.

tassle-necklace-pinch-metal-2

Lastly, give your tassels a haircut so they are all even across the bottom.

tassle-necklaces-haircut

Viola! Your necklaces are done.

tassle-necklace-finished-1

Make one in every color to keep for yourself or give as gifts.

tassle-necklace-compare-threads-for-tassle

 




Gifts For Sewists

great-giftsFinding the perfect gift for my sewing friends should be easy. They love sewing, just like me; so if I would like it, they will like it! Well, I have found that isn’t always the case! More than once, I have given a gift to a sewing friend and been met with that fake smile and forced, “oh, thank you.” Some have even said, “Oh good! something else I won’t have time to make.” (Don’t worry, those people went on the “don’t buy a gift for them” list).

In an effort to become a better gift-giver myself, I have done some research and made a list of gifts that sewists actually want. I realize not every sewist is the same, and just because I like something doesn’t mean it will fit the style of someone else, but I hope this list will give a few ideas.

  1. Personalized Quilt Labels – modern-yardage-labels-1I bought these from Modern Yardage and I just love them! You can get a set of 13 personalized labels for only $18. modern-yardage-labels-3This is a great personal gift.
  2. Mason Jar Sewing Kit – mason-jar-2Who doesn’t need a cute mason jar sewing kit! It’s easy to make and you can personalize the items inside if you want. This is how I made mine. I bought a mason jar with a lid from the store. I took a scrap piece of fabric and some fiberfil and hot-glued the fabric to the insert of the mason jar lid (that’s right folks! I didn’t even sew it down.). mason-jar-1Here is the list of what I put inside:
    1. Pins – You just put a pin cushion for the lid. Give them pins to go in the pin cushion
    2. Squeezers – These are fantastic little scissors! They are great for cutting thread tails and jump stitches
    3. Seam Ripper – Have you ever met a sewist that didn’t need another seam ripper?
    4. Needles – Machine and Hand – We all use needles!
    5. Tweezers – Perfect for your friend who loves to use her serger
    6. A few spools of Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Petites Thread – the perfect hand embroidery thread
    7. Prewound bobbins in the size that fits the recipients machine (check the chart here) – Like needles and seam rippers, one can never have too many.
    8. A couple spools of Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread – Because this is my all time favorite thread for quilting.
    9. A Sulky Transfer Pen – Transferring patterns onto fabric is just one of a gazzillion uses for these pens! Check out this video for more ideas
    10. Mechanical Pencil – When you need to write something down, mark a registration mark on some fabric or use the eraser side to turn out corners.
  3. Online classes – 2d_for reason_4Give the gift of education! The cool thing about online classes is you can take them whenever you want, in your own home, in your pajamas, and work on your own sewing machine. And there is a class for everyone! Whether your friend is an acomplished sewist ready to go to the next level or a complete newbie. Another bonus is right now all of Sulky’s online classes are 30% off! Just use the coupon code: SULKY30. Check out all the classes here.
  4. Hand Embroidery Patterns and Kits – Photo May 20, 3 41 08 PMUnlike a full quilt kit, hand embroidery kits are small, less expensive and don’t take as much time to make. This means that even the sewist who isn’t looking for another project on her plate will still enjoy it. (Or you can buy the kit, stitch up the project yourself, and then give the finished project as a gift!). The other great thing about this, is there is a kit for every style. Here is my list of places for hand embroidery.
    1. Indygo Junction
    2. Kathy Schmitz
    3. A Wing and A Prayer
    4. Plays with Wool
    5. Meags & Me
    6. Shiny Happy World
    7. Penguin and Fish
  5. Monthly Stitch Club! – adorn-it-artplay-stitchTechnically, this is still Hand Embroidery, but a monthly stitch club from a company like Adorn it, is extra special because you get a new pattern every month! I love just about any kind of “of-the-month” club, but a stitching club makes my heart sing. adort-it-month-clubCombine your gift of the club membership with a package of Stick ‘n Stitch and a Sampler Pack of Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites, and you have the ultimate stitcher’s gift.
  6. The Quilter’s Planner – quilter-planner-1Stephanie Palmer, the brains behind this amazing planner said it best, “I want to spend more time doing and less time planning.” That is what this planner helps the sewist do. Not only is it beautiful and thoughtfully laid out for the sewist, it also includes quilt patterns! patternjackswIf you aren’t sure if this kind of planner will work for you or your sewing friends, go over to the website and sign up for the e-newsletter. You will get a pdf of the month of December to try it out. Order by December 10 and she guarantees Christmas delivery in the continental United States. Use coupon code FreeShip to get free shipping.
  7. Curvalicious Ruler curvalicious-rulerI personally don’t usually go gaga over rulers, but this particular one really caught my eye. I love the ability to make several different types of quilts and I like that it makes a complicated looking quilt without being very complicated to actually make. curvalicious-quilt-1I figured if I wanted this ruler (and I am not usually a ruler girl), this would be a great gift for lots of sewists!
  8. Webinar Bundles – Sulky has been doing free webinars for a while now and they are all amazing, but I do have a few favorites. I love the webinar that you can also purchase a kit to make the project in the webinar! We have three webinar bundles still available: crafty-gemini_600x600The Crafty Gemini Pinnacle Table Runner Kit, db-kit1The Quilt Doodle Bundle, and cqc-kit1_600x600the Creative Quilt Challenge Bundle. Buying one of these bundles for a sewing friend not only gives them some great product (at a great price to you), but you can also give them the link to the webinar so it’s like giving them a whole class and the supplies. (Maybe this is the one you want to tell you family to buy for you!)
  9. Sulky Slimline Storage Boxes 886-07_2open_600x600These boxes are the absolute best way to store thread. It keeps them dust free, they open flat so you can even hang it up on the wall if you want; and they have a handle so you can carry all your thread with you if you go sew with a friend or go to a class. 886-_2open_600x600You can buy them empty, ready for you to fill with your thread or you can buy them already filled with thread! 3fb479ecf6f2faf843a82be13bd07f93It’s like giving someone a box of candy without the calories!
  10. Sew Steady Table – wish_flyer_holiday-660w_extended-sale-bnrThese great extension tables for a sewing machine really are the ultimate great gift for a sewist. The Wish Table, my personal favorite, has compartments for storing extra little things that you always need handy, like a seam ripper and bobbins. I called Sew Steady and asked them if they would extend the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale just for you, my blog readers, and they said yes! So right now you can get this awesome table along with a Travel Bag for only $175! Simply call Sew Steady at 800-837-3261 or email them at info@sewsteady.com.

So that’s my list! What do you think? Do you have a good gift idea? Put it in the comments below.  I would love to see what you are wishing for this holiday season.

Happy Sewing!




How To Sew The Perfect Monogram for Men

The Perfect Monogram

Father’s Day! It’s just around the corner. Are you stuck for what to give the dad in your life? There are some great tutorials in this post “For Father’s Day – The Perfect Monogram”

 

monogram cuff

Picture From Style Me Pretty

Monogrammed shirt pocket

Monogrammed Shirt Pocket from Preppy Wife Preppy Life

something blue sewn_groom3

Speaking of monograms, if you really want a monogram like the ones on these dress shirts to look crisp and professional, the best choice for thread is Sulky 60 wt. PolyLite™.

PolyLite-Grouping

Because Polylite is a nice thin thread (in the world of thread, the higher the number, the thinner the thread), so small lettering, like a small shirt cuff monogram will come out much cleaner and sharper than if you stitched with a standard 40 wt. Rayon or PolyDeco thread.

Do you need a little more convincing? Well check out this picture below.

Embroidery Design from Advanced Embroidery Designs

Embroidery Design from Advanced Embroidery Designs

The dog in this embroidery was stitch out with Sulky 40 wt. Rayon on the left, and with Sulky 60 wt. PolyLite on the right.

Can you see how the lines on the right are more defined and the details of the little doggie are more defined? The same is true for small lettering. This is especially important when we are monogramming on a dress shirt. A little detail like a monogrammed cuff is a great way to make a $20 dress shirt look like a $200 dress shirt, but only if the monogram actually looks professional.

Do you have any tips for monogramming dress shirts? If so, share with us in the comments below.

Happy Sewing!