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:

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  • 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).

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

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

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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Pinch the connector closed.

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

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Viola! Your necklaces are done.

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

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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

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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!




A Couple More Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is next weekend but if you still aren’t sure what to do, here are a couple more gifts that you will have done in a snap.

Blue-Cosmetic-Bag

You can purchase the green version of this cute cosmetic bag here and this embroidery design from the Sulky Embroidery Club here. It’s a great way to remind a mom in your life that she really is super every single day.

Mother's-Day-Cocktail-Napkin

These linen cocktails napkins are also available at Sulky.com and the flower embroidery is here in the Sulky Embroidery Club. I just love these! You could do one, two, or twelve and they are a great gift for just about anyone.

If you ordered these today, you would most likely get them in plenty of time to get them embroidered before Mother’s Day. (I can’t promise that for you California folks, but you can always blame me for your present being late).

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Sewing!




New Free Project – A Mother’s Day Sachet

lavenders-in-the-sun-1538100-640x480Lavender is one of my very favorite things. I love how it smells, feels and looks. Walking through a field of lavender in France is on my ultimate bucket list.

whatsnewslider-sachetThat is just one of the reasons this month’s Free Project from Sulky would be a perfect Mother’s Day gift for me. This month, our friend and machine embroidery expert, Pamela Cox created a fantastic lavender-filled sachet as our project.

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The project includes the machine embroidery design FOR FREE also!

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It’s such a quick and thoughtful gift, go ahead and make several for all the moms in your life.

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Do you need a source to buy wonderful dried lavender? I like these guys.




Great Mother’s Day Gifts – Especially If Your Mama Sews

GIFTS

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if your spring has been anything like mine, you haven’t had 3 seconds to think about what to give to your mom. If your mama is a sewist like mine, here are some great tutorials that I found around the web (do we still call it that?) for some great gift ideas.

Pin Cushions!

Sewists can never have enough of these! I just counted and in my sewing studio, I have 6 and they are all in use. I love this one and it can be done in about 30 minutes:

Click the photo to go to the tutorial

Click the photo to go to the tutorial

Make this one even more special by using a cup that has sentimental value to you and your mom.

I love this one too:

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Click the picture for the tutorial

It’s a chicken feeder! What a great place to put your Sulky Cotton Petites, scissors, pins and needles. It gives you an adorable hand sewing station wherever your mama wants to put it.

This is not exactly a pin cushion; it’s a needle cushion from our friends at Shiny Happy World.

Click the picture for the tutorial

Click the picture for the tutorial

Make this with your mama’s favorite fabrics and add a pack of her favorite needles, you have a perfect gift.

Are you still worried you won’t have time to make something? It’s okay; your mom sews! Just print out the tutorial, collect the supplies to make the pin cushion, add some Sulky Cotton Petites, scissors, pins & needles and for goodness sake, don’t forget to add a heart felt note thanking her for being a great mom, friend, protector, provider and warrior for you all these years.

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Sewing!




In-The-Hoop Piggie Softie – And It’s Free!

Little softies are fun to make and they make great gifts! This little piggie by Lisa Archer of Pickle Pie Designs is fun, easy and FREE! Here is the video tutorial

And here is the link to the Free Design Download

pig-200_28378Aren’t they adorable? I have several friends with new babies on the way and they will all love these guys! It’s perfect for girls or boys. I mean, who doesn’t like pigs?Now go make some piggies.

Happy Sewing!




In-The-Hoop Easter Egg Holder

Can you believe Easter is this Sunday?!! It has completely sneaked up on me this year. If you are still looking for a cute project do to, this in-the-hoop Easter Egg Holder may be just the thing you are looking for!

 

You lisa archer egg holdercan get the design here. It’s a digital download so you can sew these cuties today!

Happy Easter and Happy Sewing!




DIY Heart Pendant – Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Spread The Love

Whether you want to show your love to a friend or make one of these for yourself, these little hand stitch pendants are wonderful!

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These guys are so quick and easy to make. This would be a perfect DIY project to do with your kids or grandkids.

circle pendant

I used this wooden circle blank.

Pink Ribbon Petites Thread Collection

And Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites. I used two of the colors from our Beat Cancer Petites Thread Collection, the Hot Pink #1109 and Blendables color Vintage Rose #4030.

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With the Vintage Rose Blendables thread I used just one strand. Sulky’s 12 wt. cotton is equal to 2 strands of embroidery floss. I outlined my heart shape first and then did a cross stitch pattern on the inside.

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The single strand gave the pendant a more delicate look and I like how the Blendables color change gives it some dimension.

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For the Hot Pink one, I used two strands of Sulky 12 wt. cotton thread.

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This not only made the heart really stand out, it also meant that I didn’t have to tie a knot on the back! Thread the needle with the loop at the end.

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Once you take your first stitch, and you poke your needle back through the pendant, put your needle through the loop of the thread.

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Pull it tight and this will secure your thread without having to do a knot! (Sorry for the blurry pic. This is the best I could do with the camera on my phone, but hopefully you get the concept.)

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When securing the thread after you have stitched the heart, slide the needle under a few of the stitches on the backside of the pendant.

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Once you pull the thread through, those stitches will hold the thread in place. Now go enjoy spreading the love with your new pendant!

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Happy Sewing!




Think Pink For Christmas!

Think Pink

Here is another great gift idea and yes, you have my permission to buy this gift for yourself if you want :). We are still selling the limited edition Beat Cancer Thread Sets until the end of December in the Beat Cancer shop at Sulky.com. These great sets make awesome gifts and don’t forget that 10% of the proceeds will go to National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Pink Ribbon Rayon Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon 40 wt. Rayon Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Petites Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon 12 wt. Cotton Petites Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Cotton Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Sulky Cotton 30 wt. Thread Collection

I have created a project to go with each set of thread too!

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This great tote bag for the 40 wt Rayon set

BCA_Cotton-King-Spool-Project-w-Thread

This little wall hanging for the 30 wt. cotton set

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And this hand embroidered zipper bag to go with the 12 wt. Cotton Petites set.

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These threads sets are limited edition so we won’t be selling them after December, but I plan on using these threads in the Valentine’s Day projects that I will be putting on the blog so you should probably pick up a set now. Added Bonus: If you buy all 3 sets, shipping is free in the contiguous US. Just think of it as getting a jump start on your New Year’s Resolutions! There!  You’re already thinking about February; you are such a planner :)!

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Won’t this heart look great in the colors from the Beat Cancer Sulky 40 wt. Rayon set?

You may remember that this Beat Cancer campaign that Sulky is doing is very personal for me. This Christmas is the one year anniversary of my very good friend’s breast reconstruction surgery, the last step in a long breast cancer journey. We were just talking the other day about how she had to miss all the Christmas Party’s last year because of the surgery. We were also thanking God that she is cancer free.NBCF logo

Walking through the journey of any cancer is painful and life changing. One of the reasons we chose National Breast Cancer Foundation as the recipient of our campaign is they focus on helping women not ever having to take that journey, but also helping them walk through it if they do.

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I know at Christmastime, you have a lot of demands on your money and your time, so think of these thread sets and these projects as a way to do two wonderful things at once! Help NBCF and give a great gift. Such a win-win!

Happy Sewing!