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!




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!




Build Your Collection: New Sulky Thread Packs + 20% off Sale

Build Your Thread Collection: New Sulky Thread Packs + 20% off Sale

We’ve been busy creating all-new thread packs to help you grow your own thread collections.  From names like Favorites, to The Essentials, to Grooviest and Majestic, these 22 New Thread Packs have got it all!

If you are into convenience and saving money, (You save 15-20% when you buy any Sulky Thread Pack versus buying individual spools!) you will definitely want to check out all of Sulky’s Thread Packs: Samplers, Assortments, and Collections.  Let me start by first breaking down our “Packs” for you….

Samplers

First, we have our Samplers, which contain 6 spools of thread.  These are perfect for getting a taste of one type of thread that maybe you haven’t tried yet, or are still testing out. Think of these as appetizer portions.

40 Wt. Rayon Thread

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – Favorites Sampler – 250 yd. Spools (Snapspools)

You may recall seeing these in our popular Cotton Petites Sampler packages, which have 50 yds of 12 Wt. cotton thread on each Spool!

12 Wt. Cotton Petites Sampler – 6 Most Popular Colors – 50 yd. Spools

However, you may not realize that we have now expanded our “Sampler Packs” to include our King Spools (and even our Maxi Spools if you’re looking at Rayon!).  These added spool sizes allow you to create more with our Samplers, so in reality, you’ll be saving more money! (Good job, you)

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – Favorites Sampler – 1500 yd. Spools (Maxi Spools)

 

Assortments

Next, we have our Assortments.  Our Assortment Packs contain 10 spools of thread.  Adding just four more spools to each pack gives you added room for creativity – not to mention, who doesn’t love having more colors…for less money?!  Added bonus: you can also find our Assortment Packs containing 10 Snap Spools, King Spools, or Maxi Spools (again, depending on which thread type you are looking for).

Snap Spools

40 Wt. Rayon Thread Assortment – 10 Most Popular Colors – 250 yd. Spools (Snap Spools)

King Spools

30 Wt. Cotton Blendables Thread Assortment – 10 Most Popular Colors – 500 yd. Spools (King Spools)

Maxi Spools

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – 10 Most Radiant Rayons Assortment – 1500 yd. Spools (Maxi Spools)

Collections

Finally we have our Collection Packs, also known as our Slimline Collections, which consist of two types of thread storage boxes: Sulky Original Slimline Storage Box and Sulky Universal Slimline Storage Box.

Sulky Original Slimline Thread Storage Box Collections allow you to choose from Starter Collections and Complete Collections of pre-filled boxes (Go ahead, get the bigger one, you deserve it!). Each box holds up to 104 small spools (Snap Spools), yet weighs only 4 lb. when filled!

With Sulky Universal Slimline Thread Storage Box Collections you can also choose from Starter Collections and Complete Collections of pre-filled boxes. Each box holds up to 64 King Spools OR 64 Snap Spools (or a mix of both) yet weighs only 6 lb. when filled!

Each spool in both types of Slimline has its own exclusive, patented lifting tab.  All spools are clearly visible and easily accessible, and they won’t fall out! Full Thread Collections are organized and labeled by color families.  The best part? You save BIG over buying these products separately (like a full 20% off buying the thread separately, how great is that!?!)

Each spool in both types of Slimline has its own exclusive, patented lifting tab – shown here.

We’re not Spoolin’ Around!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff…we’ve put together 22 new thread packs (Samplers and Assortments) just for you!

And now, through 6/25 ALL of our Thread Samplers and Assortments – new or old – are 20% off!

Since you are already saving 15-20% just buy buying a pack versus buying individual spools, this means that you are actually saving up to 40%!  How could you NOT take advantage of this great offer?!

 

Here are some of the newest members of the Sulky Thread Pack family:

In Rayon:

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – 10 Most Radiant Rayons Assortment – 250 yd. Spools

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – Favorites Sampler – 1500 yd. Spools

Polyester’s newest members:

40 Wt. PolyDeco Thread – Top 10 Grooviest Assortment – 900 yd. Spools

60 Wt. PolyLite Thread – Essentials Sampler – 440 yd. Spools

Cotton:

12 Wt. Solid Cotton Thread – Essentials Sampler – 330 yd. Spools

12 Wt. Cotton Blendables Thread – Quilter’s Assortment – 330 yd. Spools

Last, but not least, the Metallics:

Sulky Original Metallic Thread – Majestic Assortment – 110 yd. Spools

Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread – Super Star Assortment – 250 yd. Spools

Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread – Heavenly Assortment – 250 yd. Spools

 

Don’t forget!  Our Designer Thread Packs, Perfect Pairings, Seasonal Packs, and Breast Cancer Awareness Samplers are also on sale for 20% off! 

Sale ends 6/25 at Midnight EDT




Machine Embroidery Series: Metallic Thread

Specialty Threads: Metallic Thread

Specialty Threads: Metallic Thread

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!

 

If you have been following the Sulky Blog about “Thread”, hopefully you agree that one of the most important elements needed for stitching exquisite machine embroidery is to have a variety of Sulky Threads on hand to select from!

There is really not a single “perfect thread”, but rather “perfect choices” for different applications. For example, 60 wt. PolyLite is best for lettering, while Sulky 40 wt. Rayon reflects the luster of silk thread. 40 wt. PolyDeco is bleachable, while Sulky Cotton Threads mimic hand-stitching.  All have their necessary place in our thread chest!

Let’s add to our thread chest by exploring why “Specialty Threads”, beginning with Sulky Metallic Thread, must also be readily on-hand.

Sometimes, especially around the holidays, we want to add a bit of “sparkle” to a chosen design. However, the notion of even LOOKING at a spool of metallic thread will generate thoughts equivalent to fingernails on a chalk board!

Yeah! Not Happening!!

 

Sulky has found the solution to allow the terms “metallic” and “user-friendly” to be featured in the same sentence by offering various Metallic thread types – meaning one type is sure to meet your needs.

Specialty Threads: Metallic Thread

  • First, Sulky Original Metallic Thread is created by twisting and bonding a fine metallic foil around a strong polyester core to create an exceptionally smooth, strong, and pliable thread.

  • Second, Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread is a thin, flat, ribbon-like foil laminated with polyester. It vividly reflects light.
  • Finally, Sulky Holoshimmer™ Metallic Thread is also a thin, flat, ribbon-like, foil that is laminated with polyester. However, the difference is that the foil is holographic. The thread filament reflects light differently under different conditions!

Sulky Metallic Threads easily add the ultimate sparkle to any imagined project, including….

A satin top designed for a winter holiday party:

 

I accented with Graceful Embroidery snowflake designs. I used individual snowflakes and several different silvers and whites in Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread, Sulky Sliver™ Metallic Thread, and 40 wt. Rayon Thread.

A pulled-thread place-mat:

Using Sulky Original Metallic Thread to outline every number as well as each corner-flourish featured in Graceful Embroidery‘s “12 Days of Christmas” collection, adds a touch of festivity to the holiday table setting.

Finally, a tote bag:

Sulky Holoshimmer and Sliver Metallics add the “attitude” to a fun bag; perfect for 4th of July events, and every day to follow!

“Fleur de Grunge” designs by Graceful Embroidery. Graceful Embroidery Designs are available at  www.gracefulembroidery.com

To easily and successfully stitch designs in metallic thread, use a Schmetz® 90/14 Topstitch or 90/14 Metallic Needle and reduce the speed of the sewing machine at least by half.

Although it’s always important to make sure that any type of thread comes off the spool in the proper direction (refer to Thread Applied to Machine Embroidery) this is especially true when stitching with metallic thread.

The photo shows how the wrong spool position can cause the thread to come off the spool in tight twists, which could cause it to twist back into itself or eventually break.

The thread in this photo correctly spirals off the spool in a loose wave, and feeds into the machine in a straight line.

The thread should come off the spool flat and remain flat throughout the path into the thread tensions (at least as flat as possible).

One way to insure proper feed-direction for metallic threads is to use “The Thread Director” or  Thread Director 2, which are both now available at many locations, including on the Sulky website.

This device allows the thread to unwind flat, eliminating any twisting, which might cause thread breakage.

Sulky now has The Thread Director 2 – a new and improved Thread Director that holds TWO spools at the same time for added flexibility and creativity!

How about blending Sulky thread types to stitch your embroidered designs in an “originally special” fashion?

Thread a Sulky 40 wt. Rayon and a Sliver™ Metallic (#8040 Opalescent) into the sewing machine following the machine’s manual for “twin-needle” threading. However, put both threads through the single eye of a Schmetz® 100/16 Topstitch Needle. As seen in the photo, just a hint of sparkle radiates throughout this beautiful Sulky Embroidery Club’s butterfly design #1181.

This embroidery design can be found as a free download at www.sulkyembclub.com.

Have fun experimenting with all the wonderful Metallic Threads available from Sulky; and, please, share your experiences and projects! That’s how we all learn!

Sulky, of course, offers other “specialty” threads that inspire creativity, which we’ll explore in a future blog.




Machine Embroidery Series: Rayon vs. Polyester

Rayon versus Polyester Thread

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!

Crayons, oil paints, water-colors, and even chalk are ways in which an artist expresses creativity.

Almost all of us began our machine embroidery love affair by stitching designs in a 40 wt. Rayon or Polyester Thread. Embroidery supplies and techniques tend to be very personal, and we may have, at one time or another, engaged in a somewhat excitable conversation in defending our choice.

Hopefully, after understanding a bit more about both Rayon and Polyester Thread you will agree that not only is there a place for both threads in machine embroidery, but that it is a must to include both thread types within your own thread collection!

Rayon and Polyester are sometimes both thought of as Synthetic products; those which are “man-made”. This is true of Polyester: “poly” (many) “ester” (a basic organic chemical compound). The product of this chemical chain can be made into a continuous, long filament to produce a smooth, yet very strong thread. This filament can also be cut into predetermined lengths, staple form, and combined with other fibers like a cotton/polyester thread (polyester core covered with cotton).

However, Rayon Thread is a hybrid!  It is a mixture of a natural resource, wood pulp, which undergoes an abundant amount of chemical processing. The final filament is referred to as viscose. Many people don’t know that Rayon, sometimes referred to as Viscose, originates from nature! The raw material needed for the production of viscose is cellulose pulp, and the original material for the pulp production is wood.

Cellulose is the natural building material needed by plants for forming their cellular walls. There are only a few wood types where the cellulose develops the properties required for the production of viscose. In most cases, pine or spruce wood, or even well selected deciduous tree types, are used.

The world renowned ENKA plant in Obernburg, Germany produces raw viscose fibers exclusively from these long-chain, consistently high quality cellulose molecules. All Sulky Rayon Threads are made exclusively with ENKA raw fibers, which have been tested and certified to be the highest quality rayon/viscose fibers in the world.

Both Sulky Rayon and Sulky Polyester Threads mirror the reflective qualities of Silk thread, but at a much lower price!

Let’s compare the two types of thread to find our winner!

Many “purists” will state that Polyester Thread always looks like plastic, which is another by-product of basically the same chemical process. However, if the Polyester Thread is of a high quality, such as those found within the Sulky Thread family (PolyDeco™), this thread will beautifully reflect light. Rayon Thread tends to have a luster in its shine, although it sometimes can be difficult to differentiate between a designed stitched in Sulky Rayon and one stitched in Sulky Polyester Thread, especially in photos.

This stitched sample, #1097, Fleur de lis Scrollwork, is available as a free download on Sulky’s Embroidery Club website.  It is perfect for quick stitching when deciding on which thread type, weight, or color to use.  Stitching a sample provides a true visual, allowing any machine adjustments to be made prior to embroidering a project.

Polyester is slightly stronger than Rayon. However, since both threads are being used to “color in” an embroidery design rather than hold a seam together, strength is a non-issue.  And Sulky Rayon Threads have been used on high-speed industrial embroidery machines for over 75 years.

Polyester Thread will stretch before it will break and will wear a needle a little faster than Rayon.  Although the tip of the needle dulls by repeatedly penetrating a fabric, friction causes any thread to wear out the eye of the needle. This causes thread to break, fray, and bunch up on itself.  If this occurs, sometimes just changing to a new needle solves the problem.  This stretch factor is a mixed blessing.  It does add some strength, but it can also cause thread pull-ups because of the stretch, and may create tension issues not found with Rayon.

Both threads wash and wear equally well, even in hot water.  If an item will be subjected to chlorine bleach or constant sun exposure, then the Polyester Thread is recommended. Having said that, how often is chlorine bleach used on colored fabrics or items with color accents?

When embroidering onto fine fabrics, such as Batiste or Handkerchief Linen, Rayon Thread has a slight advantage over Polyester in that the filament is smoother, softer, and less abrasive on tender skin with a more natural fabric feel.

Embroidered letters, especially complete phrases, will show more detail if stitched in a lighter 60 wt. Polyester thread – Sulky PolyLite™.  Switching to this thread for small elements within a design will also allow the finer details to be noticed, as seen on this tea-stained family tree wall hanging:

Even the most expensive sewing machine pulls up an occasional bobbin thread.

Matching top and bobbin thread when embroidering a design does take a bit more stitching time, but it truly is well worth the effort in eliminating these “blips” in our embroidery! Sulky PolyLite is also perfect for this purpose.

Sulky produces both Rayon and Polyester 40 wt. threads in a wide range of colors and shades to include variegated and multi-colors.  Both can be purchased in small or larger spool sizes with a convenient snap-end closure, with very little price difference between filament content. And most are available on Jumbo Cones.

So far, it seems like the two threads are totally equal.  But there are times when one thread may have a slight edge over another.

Rayon 40 wt. Thread is by far the most popular thread for computerized stitching; especially since most digitizers space their stitches within a design to accept this type of thread/weight.  Also, virtually all sewing machines digitize their decorative stitches for 40 wt.

This magnified section of a single element demonstrates that a professional digitizer will space thread placement differently for various thread filament. This does not mean one thread type or weight cannot be successfully substituted for another.  Polyester 40 wt. can be readily substituted for Rayon 40 wt. However, if a different weight were to be used, it would be wise to stitch a sample to evaluate results prior to attempting a final project.

The sample stitched is design #130, Mumm with Butterfly, which is available on the Sulky Embroidery Club website. It was digitized to accept Sulky PolyLite, a 60 wt. Polyester thread.

The same design was then stitched in part with Rayon 40 wt. Thread and PolyDeco, which is also a 40 wt. thread, but has a polyester filament.  Can you tell which part of the design was stitched in which filament?

When the stitch-outs are compared side-by-side (left, 40 wt. and right, 60 wt.), one design appears denser than the other.  The difference in coverage is due to the thread weight, not the thread content.  If you could hold this sample, you would feel that the design on the right even feels heavier.  Thicker thread is being placed in the same holes that were intended for a lighter thread, making it necessary for the 40 wt. threads to overlap.

The design on the right stitched the outline on the lower large leaf in 40 wt. PolyDeco, while the rest of the design used the finer, 60 wt. PolyLite for the outline.  If you can see the difference in the outline, then you will begin to understand how thread weight affects an embroidery design.

As far as reflective appearance…

If you can tell that the butterfly on the right was stitched in 40 wt. PolyDeco while the rest of that design was stitched in 40 wt. Rayon thread, and you have a preference as to which look you like better, then you have come up with your winner!

However, it does look like a draw as far as thread content in reflecting light, with Rayon filament having a slight edge for some applications while Polyester filament has small advantages in others.

There is a definite winner for thread weight!  But even that winner changes with types of embroidery currently being stitched.

The real winner is you when the thread on the machine is from Sulky.

Then it is a Win-Win!!

rayon versus polyester

 




Rayon Thread: It’s Beautiful and It’s Earth Friendly

Sulky Rayon Thread is, and always has been, a favorite in the machine embroidery world because of its soft, warm feel and natural-looking luster. What many people don’t realize though, is that Rayon (sometimes referred to as Viscose) originates from nature!

It is made from ENKA Viscose, which is 100% biodegradable; and the availability of the renewable resource, wood, is virtually unlimited.

The raw material needed for the production of viscose is cellulose pulp, and the original material for the pulp production is wood. Cellulose is the natural building material needed by plants for forming their cellular walls. There are only a few wood types where the cellulose develops the properties required for the production of viscose. In most cases, pine or spruce wood, or even well selected deciduous tree types, are used.

One of the special features of cellulose is that the molecules are connected with each other in chains, and the length of the chain is critical for producing the highest quality raw viscose fibers. Long-chain, consistently high quality cellulose molecules are absolutely necessary for reprocessing cellulose into a perfect viscose product.

The world renowned ENKA plant in Obernburg, Germany  guarantees that the majority of the needed raw materials to produce the highest quality Viscose in the world can be almost completely reprocessed and recycled into the production process (closed loop). Any additional wastewater and exhaust air is treated and cleaned with due diligence and and according to strict European environmental regulations (among the strictest in the world). That’s why Sulky Rayon Threads are made exclusively with ENKA raw fibers, which have been tested and certified to be the highest quality rayon/viscose fibers in the world!

The trees that ENKA’s raw viscose fibers are produced from are substantially and consistently better because ENKA strictly controls every working step from cultivating the right trees on plantations with optimal climatic and geologic conditions, to reprocessing only the highest quality long-chain cellulose fibers. Cultivating trees on carefully controlled plantations is the agricultural use of a permanently regenerating source – wood.

Because ENKA knows that only consistently high quality, long-chain cellulose guarantees a perfect viscose product, they make sure that every single step is subject to their strict oversight, from selecting the seeds from healthy trees to keeping a data sheet on which the entire life story of the tree is written down.

Furthermore, the growing speed, ground and climatic conditions play an important role. It takes about 20 years until each individual tree has the inner structure and ripeness to meet ENKA’s high quality demands!

That’s why you experience less breakage with Sulky/ENKA threads even when using high-speed embroidery machines. And why everything you make using Sulky/ENKA threads lasts longer and looks better years from now. Granted, all this extra quality and care may not be apparent when you’re just looking at a 40 wt. rayon thread with the naked eye, but put Sulky/ENKA fibers, along with any others, under a microscope and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

Electron microscope cross section photo of the ENKA viscose shows regularly toothed and lapped cross-sections of the filament that are always the same size.

This photo is of Asian viscose and shows different shapes of the filament and strongly jagged outlines.

So what does all this mean to you?

Not only does it mean that you can feel good about buying and using Sulky Rayon because it is sustainably sourced and processed, but it also means the thread itself is going to produce better results! Because ENKA fibers have a more even form and structure, they can be dyed more evenly. ENKA fibers also have more perfect optical refraction and cleanness of yarn to make Sulky Rayon threads appear glossier and more brilliant. That’s why embroidery connoisseurs prefer the softer, warmer, more natural look of Sulky Rayon Thread. It’s no wonder Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Threads are the strongest, most brilliant rayon threads available.

Sulky Rayon Thread

Sulky Rayon Thread

To celebrate Earth Day and to highlight our Eco-Friendly Sulky Rayon Thread, we are offering 25% off all of our Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon Thread!

 

Happy Earth Day!




Environmentally Friendly: Sulky KK 2000

As Earth Day approaches, we want to highlight our environmentally friendly KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive. Read on to learn what Sulky KK 2000 is, how it’s safe for you, AND how it’s safe for the environment!

What exactly is Sulky KK 2000?

While Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive was developed for applique, it is a must-have for machine embroidery, as it also helps provide drum-tight hooping for stretchy fabrics when sprayed onto the stabilizer. This allows these fabrics to be placed in their own natural lie. (This is particularly useful when dealing with large hoop areas!) That’s not all! It is also great for “unhoopables”, such as collars cut on the bias, pocket flaps, cuffs, etc – even socks!

KK 2000 helps reduce warping of knit rows during embroidery and is also ideal for temporarily mending holes by spraying the damaged area together along with a suitable backing. The great thing about Sulky KK 2000 is that it is a temporary glue, which does not make fabric permanently stiff as other spray adhesives can.  Bonding will disappear within 2 to 5 days without any stain. To dissipate earlier than that, iron the sprayed fabric with a warm dry iron.  (KK 2000 is not water soluble, so you want the tackiness gone when you launder.)  BONUS HINT:  If you want the bond to last longer, store your project in a zip-lock bag with all the air squeezed out.

Safe for you…

Sulky KK 2000 is the only SAFE Temporary Spray Adhesive on the market that contains NO dangerous flammable gas propellants. KK 2000 uses a totally different non-flammable propellant that is heavier-than-air. The lighter-than-air, highly-flammable, petroleum-based competitive products require a much larger can to contain the propellant. Sulky KK 2000 is, therefore, significantly smaller with virtually the same amount of usable product! Adhesives with lighter-than-air propellants come out with such a forceful burst that you must hold the can 10 to 15 inches from your target. This can cause the glue particles to float up and disperse all over your room, making it easier to inhale these potentially dangerous propellants.  Our small can has a great directional spray nozzle, which makes it easier to target smaller areas precisely.

The force of Sulky KK 2000’s non-flammable, heavier-than-air propellant is considerably less. When you hold the can 6  inches away from the target and spray in light, spritzing bursts, it falls away from your face, onto your fabric, and is very accurate. This means very little is lost to over-spray and there’s little to no clean-up after.  Hint:  If you do get KK 2000 on your hoops it comes off very easily with rubbing alcohol.  All of these components make Sulky KK 2000 very safe to use indoors.

Safe for the environment…

Sulky KK 2000‘s highly concentrated material and heavier-than-air gas propellant makes it the only non-flammable, safe, non-toxic, ozone-friendly, temporary spray adhesive on the market today!  KK 2000 is considered safe for the environment because it contains no CFC’s or HCFC’s, which are harmful organic compounds that eat away at Earth’s ozone layer.

For us, it’s a no-brainer that Sulky KK 2000 is a must-have! See for yourself! Shop Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive here.

Be on the look out for more Earth Day blogs posted throughout the week!

 

 




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!




Our Big Announcement! Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky

You may have heard by now what we announced at Spring Quilt Market:  We are doing a brand new thread line! It will be Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky!

candsthread

This thread will be available for independent retail shops only! They will be able to order it at the 2016 Fall International Quilt Market in Houston.

Pennie

We are very excited about this new collaboration. Go to the Cotton + Steel Blog to read how this all came about.  “Pennie Pendleton Pants” the cat is loving it!

thread pic 1

The thread will be 50 wt. cotton and will come in 100 beautiful colors that will perfectly complement all your quilting, sewing and piecing projects, especially when using Cotton + Steel Fabrics.

thread pic 2

If you haven’t already signed up to get our e-mail newsletter, Go do it now! We will be keeping all our newsletter subscribers up-to-date on all the latest news about this new thread, so sign up here.

Happy Sewing!




Sulky KK 2000 – The Only Earth Friendly Temporary Spray Adhesive

Perfect design for this bag!

Happy Earth Day!

Sewists and quilters are ecologists by nature. As a general rule, we can’t help but save every scrap of fabric, every piece of clothing that we may be able to make into something else, every wool sweater with a hole because one day we will felt it and make one of those cool bags.

At Sulky, we take being a friend to the earth very seriously. Yesterday, I talked to you about our Sulky Rayon and the ENKA Certification process. Today, I want to tell you about Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive.

KK-2000

You know how most things that come in a can like this one smell horrible? Well, you are smelling the butane which is horrible for our world. Sulky decided a long time ago that destroying our earth just to spray some temporary glue was not okay, so the propellant in KK 2000 is ozone friendly (No CFC’s or HCFC’s), odorless, non-flammable AND non-toxic. To top it off, it also takes up less room so we can put more usable product in a smaller can (which is also better for the environment).

eblankie 7

I use KK 2000 for lots of things: When I need to add some extra stick to a bulky item I want to machine embroider,

Spray KK 2000 on the back

When I am holding several layers of a small project together,

IMG_6199

For applique,

stocking 1

To stick the paper down for paper piecing,

sandwich

I don’t use KK 2000 on this sandwich, that would be yucky.

And to baste the layers of a quilt sandwich together.

How do you use KK 2000? Let me know in the comments.

kk 2000 sale

In honor of Earth Day, KK 2000 is on sale! You really should buy some because this stuff never goes on sale!

Happy Earth Day and Happy Sewing!