Free Webinar: Create a Unicorn Towel Hoodie

Free Webinar: Create a Unicorn Towel Hoodie

Free Webinar: Let’s Create a Unicorn!

Demystifying the Hooded Towel

“Let me walk you through the process of creating adorable Hoodie Towels using my new Unicorn pattern. Creating these towels as fun gifts is easy and so satisfying. I will even show you how to fold it and add a bow so it is all ready to give away.”
Desiree of Desiree’s Designs

 

You’ll learn:

Free Webinar: Create a Unicorn Towel Hoodie

  • How to hoop up your stabilizer and float your towel
  • How to make different-sized towel hoodies for different ages
  • How to follow a machine guided applique by either cutting or using SVG files
  • How to use a topper like Sulky Solvy Stabilizer, as well as Sulky Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer for embroidery on towels
  • How to assemble your hoodie with the bath towel
  • How to fold and add a bow to complete the whole package

  • Downloadable step-by-step instructions for the hoodie
  • Each step has pictures!
  • A chance to win the special Sulky webinar CD that will have 4 unique designs, consisting of: a hedgehog, Boston Terrier with glasses, Boston Terrier with bow, and the unicorn (a $24.95 value!)
  • A chance to win a completed Unicorn Hoodie

Free Webinar: Create a Unicorn Towel Hoodie

Join us live if you can, to take advantage of our web-specials!

Date | February 20, 2018

Time | 2 pm EST

Duration | 1 hour

Featuring | Desiree Dianne Habicht: Artist, Fiber Artist, Multi-media Artist, Owner and CCO of Desiree’s Designs, Fabric Designer, Pattern Designer, Embroidery Designer, Instructor and Business Coach

Can’t make the live viewing? No worries! You can still sign up! Following the initial broadcast, the webinar will be available on-demand so you can watch it at your convenience!

Free Webinar: Create a Unicorn Towel Hoodie




Valentine’s Day DIY Inspiration

Valentine’s Day DIY Inspiration

With Valentine’s Day coming up we wanted to highlight our previous Valentine’s Day blog posts to give you some “lovely” inspiration.

Heart Mug Rug and Place Mats Tutorial

Fill your home with love! Create these adorable heart-shaped place mats and “mug rugs” for the perfect Valentine’s Day environment.

Valentine's Day DIY Inspiration

Machine Embroidery on Card Stock Tutorial

Create unique, personal cards that the recipient can cherish forever or even use as Valentine’s Day decor for years to come!

DIY Heart Pendant

Whether you want to show love to a friend, sibling, child, or make one for yourself, these little hand-stitched pendants are wonderful, quick and easy Valentine’s Day gifts!

Scrappy St. Valentine’s Day Cards

These cards are not only fun to make, but they utilize those old tiny scraps you have lying around! Learn how to transform your scraps into beautiful, hand-crafted cards that can be cherished forever.

Written by guest blogger Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric.

In-the-Hoop Picture Frames – An Easier Way!

Give your photographs a home with these thoughtful, one-of-a-kind picture frames.

Written by guest blogger Patti Lee, Vice President, Consumer Relations, Sulky of America.

Valentine's Day Inspiration

Show us what Valentine’s Day gift ideas you come up with! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and use hashtag #SewBetterWithSulky for a chance to be featured on Sulky’s social media!




Autograph Your Quilt

Autograph Your Quilt

Eric Drexler, Master of Free-Motion

Did you know that today is National Handwriting Day?  I don’t know about y’all, but I am personally NOT a fan of my handwriting (yikes!).  But you know what, we should be proud of those messy, crooked letters! 🙂  On the blog today, we have Eric Drexler, Sulky Educator and Master of Free-Motion, talking about how he incorporates his own handwriting in his quilts! Here’s what he has to say…

The first time I even thought about “signing” my quilt was at one of my first guild lectures.  When the ultra-fun trunk show of beautiful Sulky® quilts, and some of my own, was over, one of the guild members approached me and asked, “Why don’t you sign your quilts?”  I had never thought about it before and had always used pre-printed labels on the back.  Since then I have always tried to slip my signature in there somewhere.

Most of the time it is visible, but if I can find a way to hide it in the quilt somewhere, it is way more fun.  I have added it to the stippling which is easy to do in bubble letters with my name.  I have also hidden it in some of the artwork on my Zentangle quilts.autograph your quiltAny way you do it is fine.  Be proud of the work of art you created and sign your work like the true artist that you are (You are to someone).  Quilts last a long time and are often passed from generation to generation.

Eric usually incorporates his signature in every quilt!

My all-time favorite way is to actually autograph on the quilt.  I described a method in my Fearless Free Motion online classes.

You can check out his Fearless Free Motion II Class here.

Here’s how…

Start by writing your name on a piece of paper as large as you would like it to be on the quilt.  You might have to do it a few times like I did because my (sloppy) check signature is not like my (legible) autograph.

Next, lay a piece of water-soluble, such as Sulky Solvy®, Super Solvy, Fabri-Solvy, or Sticky Fabri-Solvy, over the autograph and trace it with either a water-soluble Fade-away, or FriXion™ pen.

If you are using Sticky Fabri-Solvy, simply cut it out, peel off the release sheet, and stick it where you want it.  Of course, if you are using Sticky Fabri-Solvy you already know that you can just scan your autograph into your printer then print directly onto the 8 ½” X 11” pre-cut piece.  Be frugal and make sure to write or print it in the corner so you still have plenty of space to play with later.  For all the other Solvy Stabilizers, turn them over and lightly spray Sulky KK 2000 (a non-flammable temporary spray adhesive) on the wrong side, then flip and apply.

Now you have a perfectly placed autograph without having to write directly on the quilt with the possibility of making a mistake.

Set your machine for straight stitch, feed dogs down, and free motion foot on.  It is important to tie off at the beginning and end to avoid losing stitches.  Trace the lines with the machine, making sure to pay attention to stitches per inch.  This can also be done with zig-zag, but usually has to be larger writing to allow for the needle swing.

There you have it!  I hope this helps.  I hope to cover monogramming in the next installment of Fearless Free Motion video, so be on the look-out!

Live long and be Hippie

Eric




MJ Kinman’s Diamond Quilts

MJ Kinman’s Diamond Quilts

When people ask me what I do, I like to tell them I make the biggest diamonds in the world. But instead of working with the hardest substances on earth, I work with the softest… cloth.”
– MJ Kinman

We are honored to have MJ Kinman as our newest Sulky Featured Artist.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to see her amazing work, you must check out her website!  Her beautiful gem-inspired quilts are intricate and unique in every way!  Her passion for quilting shows throughout every single piece she creates.  Because she uses Sulky products, you may even see one of her quilts in the Sulky booth at one of the quilt shows! 😉

MJ Kinman's Diamond Quilts

Titled: “I’d Rather Have Roses On My Table Than Diamonds On My Neck”

We got a chance to ask her a few questions, such as, what inspires her, where she’s from, how she go started, and more!

Where were you born?

I was born in Hastings, an amazing town in the middle of the Nebraska cornfields. If you take a map of the contiguous United States and fold it into equal quarters, Hastings is a straight shot north about 60 miles of those fold lines. It truly is the heartland.

How did you grow up (i.e. in a city, on a farm, raised by wolves)?

My family lived in town. Hastings was the perfect size for kids back then – small enough so that you could get just about anywhere on your bike if you really wanted to and big enough so that there was plenty to explore. My favorite places were the Hastings Public Library and the House of Yesterday, our local museum.

When did you first know you wanted to be an artist/designer? 

I knew I loved color and creating things as a little girl. I kept a running list of all the color combinations I loved, but could never decide on my favorite. One day it might be the green of the trees against the blue sky. Another day it was the bright pink of my fuzzy slippers on the dark black bathroom rug. But the one that still makes me crazy to this day is the sight of a storm coming across a sunlit wheat field in July. I’ll stop the darn car any day to watch that.

As much as I loved color and making things, I never thought it would be a career for me. I had a terrible time in college figuring out what I wanted to do. I ended up becoming a social worker for the first part of my career and then jumped into corporate America as a project manager. All the while, though, I was quilting.

“Copper Queen” Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

How did you get started in the Sewing/Textile Industry?

While I’m just now joining the industry, I’ve been sewing since I was 8. A group of us formed a 4-H club as 5th graders and I kept up with that until I was in junior high. I entered sewing projects and did cooking demonstrations at the county and state fairs.

I learned to quilt in 1987. I moved into my first apartment and wanted to hang a quilt on one of the walls to brighten up the place. My mom and I asked one of her friends to teach us how to quilt, so in 1987 she and I spent every Wednesday evening at Gay’s house putting together our wall samplers. That was it. I was hooked.

Title: “Char #4” in progress. Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

Title: “Char #4” in progress. Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

Do you have any professional training or are you self-taught?

“Char #4” in progress. Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

I haven’t had any professional training. I’m primarily self-taught and love taking classes with the experts and learning new techniques. That’s how I figured out how to create my diamond quilts. I have to admit that I’m NOT an expert sewist. By the time I first pick up the scissors or sit down at the machine on any given day, I’ll have already committed a dozen grievous sewing sins. I like to tell people who are interested in taking my classes that if they are looking to learn how to be an expert sewist, please, please, please do not take my classes! However, if they want to learn the techniques that I use to make my diamonds, I would love to share that with them. You know, one of my favorite things about teaching is that I learn so much from the participants. I definitely benefit, too.

What inspires you?

Oh my, lots of things. Clearly, diamonds and colored gemstones are my biggest source of inspiration now and have been for the past 20 years. The geometry of the facets and the flow of light and color across the face of beautiful gemstones captivate me. My recent work has taken a turn toward the abstract as I’ve discovered the stunning landscapes inside gemstones. These little compositions of line, shape, and color that you find deep in the facets has really caught my attention. I’m excited about sharing that personal discovery – and how to facilitate that with any image – with others.

“Lila” Series: “Angle of Repose”

But, truly, I’m inspired by others who are pursuing their passion. People who are moving in sync with their personal vision have an energy and honesty about them that inspires me. That’s why we’re here! I believe that every single one of us arrives on Earth with a mission and purpose. And when we aren’t pursuing our specific purpose, life can get very dark and “un-fun”. I’ve had to learn that the hard way.

I know Sewing and textile art isn’t your only hobby, what other things do you like to do to express yourself creatively?

Making my quilts is my primary creative focus right now and has been for the past 30 years. But there’s also a book of historical fiction – a mystery – bouncing around my brain. The idea arrived a few years ago. So while I’m charting, piecing, and quilting my diamonds, I also like to listen to what I call my “research” on Audible – books about early religious groups and manuscripts, crazy stuff on quantum physics and astrophysics, and the history of lost and hidden art. I’m starting to write, but there’s a long way to go. We’ll see what comes of all of it.

“Communion” detail shot. Series: “Angle of Repose”

How do you come up with your designs and collections?

I’m inspired by images of gorgeous gems in books, magazines, and online. When I first started doing this work in the mid-1990’s, I was living in a log cabin in the woods of Kentucky. It was the early days of the Internet and we only had extremely slow dial-up. Trying to pull up an image on the PC was agonizing. Now, of course, it’s much easier. I also have a friend who is a gem dealer who has given me express permission to use any of her gemstones as inspiration.

My current series is called Bourbon Diamonds. It’s inspired by amber-colored gems and Kentucky’s amazing bourbon makers. I really enjoy the research for this series!

Titled: “Devil’s Due” Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

“Kentucky Honey” Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

What is your mission statement?

Love God, do good, have fun.

“Angel’s Share” Series: “Bourbon Diamonds”

What is your vision for the future?

Joy-filled work.

What’s your next big project?

It’s been a dream of mine since I started creating the diamond quilts to do a series inspired by the National Gem Collection, the gemstones at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. My friend the gem dealer put me in touch with a curator in their Mineral Department and I received the green light to move forward! As she mentioned, the National Gem Collection belongs to the people of the United States, and we can use them as inspiration for whatever we’d like to do. The caveat of course is that you can’t use their original images for your own use (which is true for any image, or course). So creating work inspired by the Hope Diamond, the Blue Heart Diamond, the Hooker Emerald, and other gems in the collection is what’s on deck for 2018.

MJ Kinman's Diamond Quilts

MJ’s work as been exhibited in galleries, museums, and national juried competitions.  Her gems were recently featured by the Women’s Jewelry Association at the 2017 Awards for Excellence Gala in New York City.  As well as being featured in national publications and local media, her work will be featured in a PBS series that is airing in 2018.

Want to see more? Check out her website and give her a follow on Facebook and Instagram!





Free Webinar! 30-minute Infinity Scarf

We are kicking off the new year with another FREE webinar: 30-minute Infinity Scarf – Made with Sulky Water-Soluble Stabilizer.  In just one hour, learn a fun, fast, and fabulous technique with “infinite” possibilities – that’s completely free!  Plus: You choose what live date works best for you – or watch it on demand!

Free Webinar: 30-minute Infinity Scarf

Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Time: 2:00 PM EST

Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Time: 7:00 PM EST

Featuring:

Ellen Osten, Sulky Director of Education
Patti Lee, Sulky VP of Consumer Relations

Do neither of those dates work for you?  No worries!  You can still sign up and watch at your own convenience – and don’t worry, it’s still free!

Free Webinar: 30-minute Infinity Scarf

  • How to make a one-of-a-kind infinity scarf on your sewing machine in less than an hour using Sulky Water Soluble Stabilizers
  • How to choose the right yarns and threads that work well together
  • Other ways to use these techniques to create beautiful things!

  • Downloadable step-by-step instructions for the scarf
  • Each step has pictures (For all of us visual learners)!
  • PLUS: A bonus discount for our upcoming Sulky Sensational Scarves – Certified Teacher Continuing Education Online Course
  • PLUS: A bonus Free Project for another scarf
  • Great trunk show from our upcoming Sulky Sensational Scarves Online Course
  • A chance to win the Sulky Sensational Scarves Online Course (a $199 value!)
  • If you watch on one of our LIVE dates, you’ll receive an exclusive web-special offer!

We hope you will join us!  Remember, if you can’t make our live dates, you can still sign up to watch at your convenience, plus learn all the great techniques, receive the downloadable instructions, and more!

 




Remembering Nancy Zieman

It was with a heavy heart that I read the news of Nancy’s passing this morning. She was such an important and strong influence on my sewing life. I tried so many new things, techniques, and even machines (she gave me the courage to try using a serger) after watching her on TV. The sewing world will not be the same without her.

For fans and friends wanting to share memories, condolences, and how Nancy impacted theirs lives, please head over to the Nancy Zieman blog. There is also information on suggested memorial gifts, Nancy’s biography, and lots of great Nancy resources.




Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

Sew4Home recently shared a great sewing patches tote tutorial on their blog, which we HAD to share with you guys!  They created two custom machine embroidery patch designs using Sulky 30 Wt. Cotton Thread.  Most people don’t think of cotton when they think of machine embroidery, but, as you’ll see on their tutorial, cotton creates a wonderful matte finish and rich density that you just can’t quite get with polyester or rayon.

Below are the awesome patches:

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

We are honored to have sponsored this project and are in love with how it turned out! Both embroidery patch designs are offered in two sizes as FREE downloads in the six major machine embroidery formats.

 

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

The best part is, you can add these patches virtually anywhere! Such as: a jacket, backpack, t-shirt, hat or beanie, sewing machine cover, caddy organizer, and “sew” much more!

On their blog you can get the free instructions for how to make the bag, plus a pattern. The patches would also make a great gift for a sewist you know!

Sew4Home Sulky Sewing Patches Tote Tutorial

What are you waiting for? Go check out the full tutorial on the Sew4Home website. 

If you do make the bag or the patches, show us your pictures! Be sure to tag us @sulkythreads and use the hashtag #SewBetterwithSulky




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!

 




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:




Fashion Flip: Turn A $3 Denim Skirt Into A $50 Skirt!

Fashion Flip:

Turn a $3 Denim Skirt into a $50 Denim Skirt

Here is another great Fashion Flip! This time we are taking this denim skirt that I got for $3 at a thrift store and using some great thread and decorative stitches to make it into a skirt that could easily sell for $50! Denim and embroidery is all the rage this fall too, so cheers to us sewists who can create these awesome pieces at a fraction of the cost AND ours will be like no one else’s clothes. I just love being unique, don’t you?

If you have read my blog for any length of time then you know I am a huge Florida State Seminoles fan, so it will come at no surprise to you that I wanted a skirt to wear to an FSU party.

I just love my adorable PINK cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

Here is the skirt before I did any stitching. Unlike the Fashion Flip Jeans, I am not cutting any part of this skirt off, so I will have to do my test stitching on a different piece of denim.

I used a scrap from another denim project, but tried to match the texture and color as closely as possible. Not all denim is made alike. This particular skirt is fairly thin and has a decent amount of spandex in it so it is stretchy. I took that into account when I was choosing my stitches.

Stitches look different depending on the stitch width and length so when I found the one I liked, I wrote it in permanent marker on my test piece.

I used a topstitch needle and 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky in the bobbin and Sulky 30 wt. Cotton solid color threads for the decorative stitching.

Because this denim is thin, I used one layer of Sulky Tear Easy Stabilizer under the stitching as well. This kept every stitch nice and even and the skirt moving evenly through the machine.

After I did the three rows of decorative stitching, I felt like it wasn’t quite finished so I added the rows of white stitching.

Tada!

It proved to be the perfect finishing touch!

I love my new skirt, it’s perfect for my upcoming party and I love that I have seen similar skirts for $50 in high-end stores.

Happy Sewing!