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

Picture This! DIY Photo Frame Mat

Picture This - DIY Photo Frame Mat

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!

Picture This!

DIY Photo Frame Mat

It’s hard to find a Valentine’s Day gift that can be used all year long.  Candy is great, but in this household it is gone almost as soon as it is opened!  Love those flowers and I do wish they would last forever, but sadly they don’t. But picture this… A photo frame mat!

A framed picture of a loved one does last forever, and machine embroidery makes it easy to customize a photo mat, making it all the more special.

Instructions given are for personalizing an 8”x10” mat displaying embroidery designs of choice, including an area for a 4×6 photo insert.


10”x12” frame with a 7-3/4” x 9-3/4” opening

12”x14” piece of tightly woven fabric such as Denim, Duck-cloth or Osnaberg


Fusible web, such as The Warm Company‘s Steam-a-Seam2®

Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread

90/14 Topstitch needle

Embroidery Designs from Sulky Embroidery Club:

Scrolling Hearts Collection #1641

Love Flourish Medium #770 (free download)

Photo insert template

Cardboard – from a cardboard box is fine and an optional piece of card stock

Plan a customized mat:

Open the photo template in a software editing program. The design shows three color stops.


The brown, color stop #1, is not intended to be stitched out, but rather to define the available stitching area for an 8″ x 10” mat during the planning process. The opening for the photo insert has two color stops. Color #2 – blue – bastes the oval shape showing placement. It is then covered with a 5” x 7” piece of Sulky Soft ’n Sheer Extra™.  Color #3 – green – stitches the stabilizer in place with secure small stitches. Both color stops should be stitched in a thread that matches the foundation fabric.

Bring several designs into the working area of an editing program and begin to create your mat.

Planning a layout is truly a “trial and error” effort.  Choose designs that have potential and begin to move them around.  Two choices were eliminated immediately as being too large.  The two remaining were positioned around the opening.

Once satisfied with the layout, combine the designs and check the stitching order. The embroidery designs must stitch out before the oval.  If need be, change the stitching order in the software.  If combining colors, make sure no design thread color is found in the template.  If there are matching colors, change the template, allowing it to stitch out independently.

The oval can be selected and moved within the brown framework. Although design edges can touch the framework’s sides, keep the oval at least 1/2” inside the boundary.

Planning a mat can be done directly on the embroidery machine, providing the machine offers some basic “editing” features. Since there are so many embroidery machines available, it would be hard to state definitive steps.

It is the same thought process of bringing in designs, experiencing the trial and error process and then combining them. If you’re unable to change the order of colors, ensuring that the oval stitches last; individually select which color stops to stitch during the embroidery process.


With paper still intact and facing up, Secure a piece of Sulky Sticky+ in the hoop. Lightly score the paper with a pin, and remove the paper exposing the sticky surface.

Mark the center of the fabric. I hand-baste the intersecting lines. When the hooped stabilizer is placed on a quilter’s cutting mat, the grid lines are visible underneath the stabilizer, which helps in placing fabrics straight and on grain in the hoop.

Once satisfied with fabric placement, firmly press into the sticky surface, keeping the fabric wrinkle free.

Transfer your creative combination to the embroidery machine.

Stitched example uses the flourishing word “Love” and design #1608 from the Scrolling Hearts Collection, omitting the word “love” from its design.

Match machine needle and design centers,

remove hand-basted threads, and stitch out the accent designs before the oval.

Helpful Hint:  Slow the speed of the machine down by half.

After the accent designs are finished and the oval’s first color has basted in the shape of the oval, center the piece of Sulky Soft ’n Sheer Extra over the oval with the fusible side (rough-to-the-touch side) facing up. Stitch the 2nd color, keeping the top stabilizer wrinkle-free and taut.

Remove from the machine and release the hoop.  Do not cut the excess Sulky Sticky+ Stabilizer from the back side. Instead, remove the remaining paper and press the full fabric piece onto its surface, keeping the fabric wrinkle-free.

Helpful Hint: Sticky+ does allow for fabric to be gently lifted off its surface and repositioned if need be.

Trim jump threads.

Cut inside the oval 1/4” away from stitching, through all three layers; Soft ’n Sheer Extra, fabric, and Sticky+.

Clip into seam, up to, but not through, the small securing stitches.

Pull the top stabilizer through the opening to the wrong side. Carefully press around the oval, fusing the stabilizer in place to form a nice oval shape while keeping the fabric wrinkle-free.

Finish Framing:

“Crop” the photo:

Lay the photo, facing up, on a flat surface and apply scotch tape to each side, with the sticky side of the tape facing up as well. Hover the oval opening over the photo, selecting the desired portion of the photo, and press the fabric down into the sticky scotch tape.

Cut the fabric piece to size:

Laying the glass insert on top moving it around until the area you wish displayed is under glass. With a fabric marking pen, mark a 1” margin around all four sides. Trim the fabric mat along these lines.

Press 1” margin hem on all four sides.

Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the frame by tracing the glass insert. Cut a piece of Steam-a-Seam2 the same size as the cardboard:

Fuse material to the cardboard keeping the paper side facing up and paper intact.

Lay the cardboard inside the fabric’s turned up edges:

With glass back in the frame, place the unfinished mat in place to check the fit of the mat; turning over to look through the glass, confirming placement of photo insert and embroidery design within viewing area.

Helpful Hint: If you’re pleased with the results, continue with directions. If not, remove from frame, iron fabric to remove 1” creases and/or reposition photo. 

If the corrections moved the embroidery design in a different position, the hemmed sides may not be a uniform 1” all around, but that’s okay.  The margin allows room for change.

Return the mat to the frame, check once again and continue. Peel the paper backing away from the Steam-a-Seam2. Gently tug up on the fabric as it is pulled over the edge of the cardboard and pressed into the sticky surface.  This will keep the fabric wrinkle-free and as taut as possible.

Allow the fabric in each corner to stand upright by smoothing adjacent sides together until they meet, mitering the corner.

Once all four sides are secured to the cardboard, remove the mat from the frame and press corners flat. Press each corner individually to keep the iron away from the sticky surface.

Return the finished mat to the frame.  If the frame has a full backing, simply add it.

However, if the customized mat will not be covered by a pre-made one, cut a piece of card-stock, lay it in place and seal the back.

Get ready to proudly present your special Valentine a lasting gift made with love!

Use this template to celebrate other holidays, special events, friendships…

Designs: Spoolie 5 #870 from Sulky Embroidery Club – Accents: both Quick Express Embroideries from Premier+2


or simply a special photo.

Remember, the oval can be moved within the framework’s work space to change the available space for accent designs. The oval shape also accommodates horizontal photos and layouts.

Designs: Cowboy Bear 830 from Sulky Embroidery Club – Accents: both Quick Express Embroideries from Premier+2



Stabilizers and Thread available at

Designs available at

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!

Make it Personal! Machine Cross Stitch Journal Cover

Make it Personal

Machine Cross Stitch Journal Cover

Finished book size: 8-3/8” x 6-5/8”

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!

When my girls were little, I volunteered in their classrooms.  I remember an elementary school project, which I was so fortunate to participate in:  Helping young authors turn pages of their original stories into a book!

Together, we wrapped cardboard in gift wrap, folded the story pages in half, and hand-stitched down the center to bind these precious thoughts into history.  To this day, I have my daughter’s book and she is now 35 years old!

Preserving thoughts…documenting events…capturing expressions…are well appreciated by us in simply remembering special times.  However, it is invaluable for our future generations in understanding the lives of the loved ones who came before them.

Sulky’s new “Wordplay” designs unleash a flood of inspirations!  These whimsical word-play designs, created by Ursula Michael and digitized by Marcia Manning of Lickity Stitch, manage to capture the best expressions within each theme!  And there are usually a couple of designs to choose from within a theme.  Plus, the designs are applicable for a variety of projects besides the featured book!

Tote bags:

Throw pillows:

Or every design can stand on its own as a framed picture!

Even though I chose to do a “Christmas Book” – tis the season – many other designs offer unique book cover ideas to document a variety of notable occasions.

So let’s get started!

Gather Supplies:

17” x 13” piece of Osnaburg fabric – Osnaburg is a 100% cotton utility fabric resembling coarse linen, is a perfect canvas for cross-stitch.  Place the fabric on true grain by pulling threads, until one fiber travels the full length of the piece.  This establishes the “straight edge” to begin straight cutting.

8-1/4” x 13-1/4” of Christmas themed cotton fabric

90/14 Topstitch needle



#1348 Christmas Tree Word Play Word-Play Design 16.4 count – Available at

Cardstock folded in half like a folder for the cover, along with paper for inside pages.  Paper can be computer paper, specialty paper, card stock, or themed scrapbook paper.

Jute thread (optional)

How to make it happen:

Fold the piece of Osnaburg in half, and hand-baste along the fold, establishing the fabric center.  From the fabric center, hand-baste a vertical line 3-1/2” to the right.  From the bottom edge, hand baste a horizontal line 6” up.  The intersection of the two lines is center design placement.  (Shown above.)

Hoop a piece of Sulky Sticky+ Stabilizer, with the gridded release sheet side facing up, and still intact.

Lightly score the paper inside the hoop and remove it, exposing its sticky surface.

Smooth the fabric, right sides together, along the vertical center, matching the intersecting basted lines with center markings on the hoop. Helpful Hint:  If the hoop is squared on a quilter’s mat, the grid lines will be visible underneath the Sticky+, making it easy to keep the fabric straight in the hoop.

Firmly press the fabric into the stabilizer, keeping it taut and wrinkle free.

Secure the hoop on the embroidery machine, matching the center needle position to design center.

Remove the stitched basting lines.

Slow the machine down by half, and stitch a “fix box” (basting box) around the design.  Although this step is optional, a basting box serves as a second method for checking that the fabric is straight in the hoop, and that the design placement is acceptable. 

Once you’re satisfied, stitch the design.  Cut the jump threads after each color change, before proceeding to the next color.

When the embroidery is finished, remove the hoop from the machine.  While the fabric is still hooped, use a pin to score through the stabilizer outside the fix box and remove the piece from the hoop.

Using the fix box as a guide, fold the embroidered fabric in half, wrong sides together, 1/4” to the left of the fix box.  From the fold, measure 8-5/8” to the right, and straight cut. From the bottom of the fix box, measure down 1-1/4” and straight cut.  From the bottom cut edge, measure up 10-3/8” and straight cut.  Press under a 1” hem on all four sides.  Miter corners. 

Cut the cardstock 6-5/8” wide x 8-3/8” high and fold it down the center. Check that the fabric cover fits the cut cardstock.

Cut a piece of Steam-a-Seam2 Fusible Web the same size. Fold the fusible web in half, leaving the protective paper covering on one side and removing it from the other to expose one sticky side.  Tuck the cardstock folder inside.  Keeping the folder folded, first fuse one side and then turn it over and fuse the other side.  This permits the fusible enough “give”, allowing the book to close.

Remove the release sheet from the folder’s front cover section. Position the folder behind the wrong side of the embroidered tree using the creased hem lines as a guide, but don’t fuse yet.

Turn it over to confirm proper placement. Helpful Hint: If you’re not pleased, gently lift the fabric from the sticky surface and re-position it. Once satisfied, smooth the front in place, keeping it taut and wrinkle free. Iron it to fuse in place.

Turn the unit over and continue to cover the back.  Once again, keep folder folded.

Turn under a 1/2” hem on all four sides of the lining fabric, mitering corners.

Cut a piece of Steam-A-Seam2. Peel the paper away from the sticky side, and cover the back of the cardstock folder.  Helpful Hint:  Expose only half of the sheet, securing it before removing the other half.  Keep Osnaburg hems free.  Secure the Osnaburg hems to the stabilizer making sure that the iron only touches the 1” fabric hem allowance.  Center the lining inside the cover and fuse. 

Using Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky, hand stitch the edges of the lining to the Osnaburg hem with a slip stitch.

Cut the inside paper to size.  Use as many sheets as desired.  On the fold, cut 6” x 7-3/8”.

Align the folded paper inside the folded cover.  Open the book, and machine stitch with Cotton+Steel Thread, using an elongated straight stitch (about 8 stitches per inch).


Wrap the bound edge with a piece of jute and tie into a bow.  Pages can be left blank for the receiver to fill in, titled to encourage thoughts; or, if talented with a computer (which I am not), pages can be first printed and then bound into a holiday Christmas book.

Machine Cross Stitch Journal Cover

Online Class: Upcycling with Denim!

Upcycling with Denim

A Start-Anytime Online Class

With Kelly Nagel, Creator of Opportunities

Sulky’s newest Online Class: Upcycling with Denim is all about denim! For only $39.99, you will learn how to upcycle your favorite pair of old jeans, jacket, or even thrift-store finds. In addition, learn how to deconstruct denim into wonderful use-able elements, and show you some great techniques for making denim easier to sew in several great projects!

Your Instructor:

Upcycling and redesigning are passions for Kelly Nagel. She has been sewing and upcycling for almost 40 years and in that time she has created lots of fun projects and upcycling techniques.

Kelly says, “For as long as denim has been around, we have found ways to reuse it and upcycle it! Denim is such a great fabric for so many things, and I especially love it when it has been ‘worn-in’. That is when denim has the most character. It can, however be tricky to work with because of the thickness and the stretch. In this class, I will show you how to use both of those properties to your advantage!”

In this class, she will share with you the tricks she has learned for working with denim, stabilizing denim, and choosing the right denim items to upcycle. She will go through step-by-step how to make a cool backpack and a pillow cover. You will get full instructions and videos for these projects, as well as a fun and inspiring trunk show that will give you some great ideas on other denim upcycles you can do.

BONUS: Kelly is giving you a free pattern of her upcycled denim journal cover.  It makes a great gift!

Benefits of this course:

  • Learn the basics of denim and how to choose the right denim for your project
  • Learn how to stabilize denim to make it easier to sew
  • Learn how to deconstruct a pair of jeans.
  • Learn the proper tools to use to make all your denim upcycling projects easier.
  • Get step-by-step instructions for two great upcycled denim projects and the bonus journal cover project.
  • You can sign in and read the materials, watch the videos, DOWNLOAD THE MATERIALS AND VIDEOS TO KEEP FOREVER, and work at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want to. We’ll be here every step of the way to help you with any questions or problems during the course.  You can submit photos of your projects through the course for our input and suggestions, too.  Share ideas, questions and comments with fellow students within the course, if you want to.
  • Instructions include videos and step-by-step written and full-color photos of the process for:
    • The Upcycled Denim Chevron Pillow cover
    • The Upcycled Denim Drawstring Backpack with a front pocket (with a hidden secret and zipper
    • Bonus instructions for the Upcycled Denim Journal cover
    • An inspiring trunk show by Kelly to show you lots the ways you can use the techniques you learn in this class in a variety of different projects.

What you will you make:

Upcycled Chevron Pillow

People have been saving used jeans for projects ever since jeans were invented. We’ll show how to deconstruct a pair of jeans so you can reuse the denim, and show great uses for all the different parts of the jeans, jeans jacket, or skirt. We’ll discuss using threads and stabilizers on denim, needles, and combining denim with other fabrics. We’ll do some hand stitching and machine stitching on denim, too! This denim pillow is a great way to use denim pieces especially when mixing different denim colors.

Upcycled Back Pack

This versatile and trendy little backpack is cool, sturdy, and you would never know it was made from old jeans until you peak inside. Check out that super pocket-surprise inside the zipper!

& more!


This online course is designed to fit into even the busiest of schedules! The course has no set meeting time. It is available to you anytime from the day you sign up, day or night, for one full year! And because we include full-color, step-by-step downloadable written directions, and step-by-step downloadable videos to accompany each technique, too, you can practice the techniques again and again anytime in the future, long after the year is over (And the price point is unbeatable!).

So sign up today! We promise you won’t regret it! 🙂

Machine Cross Stitch – Christmas Place Mats

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!

Whether you are looking to add something beautiful to your Christmas table or looking for a great gift, these machine cross stitch Christmas place mats are perfect!  They are elegant without the elegant price because they are made with Osnaburg fabric. Osnaburg is a loosely woven utility fabric.  It resembles coarse linen, but at a much lower price point.  The thicker fibers, which are woven in a simple basket-weave pattern, make it easy to create the “run” needed for weaving ribbon into the fabric.

Osnaburg is 100% cotton and must be washed, dried, and pressed prior to using.

It must also be square-cut, on-grain, not only for the pulled runs to appear straight, but also to achieve more of an authentic, hand-done cross-stitched effect.  To place the fabric on true grain, pull threads across the width of the fabric until one fiber travels the full width of the fabric, from selvage edge to selvage edge.  This establishes the “straight edge” to begin straight cutting.

Gather Supplies:

Osnaburg fabric for each placemat:

  • 19” x 13” front
  • 16-1/4” x 10-3/4” back

Note:  1-1/2 yards of Osnaburg fabric along with 4 yards each of two ribbon colors will yield 4 placemats

1 yd each of 2 complementing colors of 1/8” wide satin ribbon

Sulky® Soft ’n Sheer™ Stabilizer

Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive (optional)



  • 80/12 Schmetz® Topstitch
  • 70/10 Microtex (optional)-fixing function
  • 100/16 Wing Needle (optional)-hemstitch

Rotary Cutter, Quilter’s Ruler, and Cutting Mat (optional, but very helpful)

Lickity Stitch™ Cross Stitch Embroidery Designs by Marcia Manning

There are ten designs available in this exclusive cross-stitch exhibit of Christmas trees, and each one is available in various stitch-count formats.

In other words, each individual design is available to be stitched in various sizes and density depending on the chosen stitch count.  Additional stitch-counts are available for each design other than the ones shown. To better understand the stitch-counts and sizes, check out the tutorial on the Sulky Embroidery Club site.

Osnaburg’s weave is about 25 threads per inch. Design #5, count 22-2 has been chosen for this place mat, lending the design to a petite-point, cross-stitch look.

How to make it happen:

Begin by pulling threads on the 19” x 13” piece of Osnaburg fabric.  Measure over 2” from the left side of the rectangle.  Select one vertical thread and “catch it” with a pin.

Gently pull up on this thread, noticing that the fabric begins to gather.

Pull this single thread out of the woven fabric – the entire 13″ height of the fabric piece.

The first fiber removed from any “run” is the hardest to remove.  It will break…and it will break several times.  However, the continuing thread length is easy to spot further down in the run since the initial weave of the fabric has been distorted.  Use a pin to pick up the frayed end, and continue to gently tease the gathers along this same thread line.

Remove adjacent vertical threads until an 1/8” wide run has been created in the fabric.  About four or five threads will need to be removed.  However, since the woven fibers of Osnaburg are not uniform, sometimes you may have to remove more or less threads. It is important to do a reality check on each run before moving on to create the next run.  Start to weave a strip of ribbon into the run.

The run should easily accept the ribbon, allowing the ribbon to lay flat.  Use a yarn needle or a dental floss carrier to make weaving easier. Magnifying glasses may also be helpful.

Once the width of the first run has been established, measure 1/4” from its side towards center of the place mat.

Pull a thread and begin the process of creating a second run.

After the two vertical runs have been made, repeat the process in creating two horizontal runs.  Begin by measuring up 2” from the bottom edge and selecting a horizontal thread to “catch” with a pin.

Pull the proper number of threads for the first run, measure up towards center 1/4” and pull threads for the second run.

Once the four runs have been created, press the fabric keeping all runs straight and perpendicular.  Steam may not be your friend here.

Mark the design placement on the fabric by basting lines to indicate the design center.  Please Note: Measurements for the design center will vary, dependent on the chosen design and also on the chosen stitch count.  

Check the design’s height and width, and divide that number in half.

Measure from the edge of the run closest to center.  Since the design measurements are very close to 5” x 6”, and the stitches should not contact the open fibers of the run, divide 5” x 6” in half and even add 1/8 to 1/4” to those measurements for a bit of extra space.

Printing a template true-to-size is another method of ensuring proper placement of a design.

Hoop the fabric….(technically, only the stabilizer will be hooped).

Secure a piece of Sulky® Soft ’n Sheer™ Stabilizer in the proper size hoop making it as “tight as a drum” as possible.

Fold the fabric back exposing the basting lines on the wrong side. Match the intersecting basting lines to hoop center. Viewing a grid underneath the stabilizer will help to keep fabric straight in the hoop.  (Hint:  The center marks on your hoop may not be a true-center of the hoop.  Use the marks on your hoop.)

Attach the hoop to the embroidery arm, and begin the process of matching the design center to the center needle position on the embroidery machine.

If an exact positioning function is available on your machine, check the lower left corner of the design to ensure that the stitching will clear the pulled thread runs.

Fix the fabric to the stabilizer (a basting function found on many embroidery machines).  Use a 70/10 Microtex needle for this step.  Although it will require changing to a larger needle for embroidery, this fine needle will make smaller holes when fixing.  The fixing box will also serve as another check-point, not only that the design clears the runs, but also that the fabric has been hooped straight.

Change to the Topstitch Needle; slow the machine down to half-speed and begin to embroider the design.

Monitor the stitching process, and cut the jump threads as they occur.

Once the embroidery is complete, remove from the hoop, and clean up the back by trimming long jump threads and excess stabilizer.

Press the top, keeping the runs straight and perpendicular to each other.

Begin weaving the ribbon through the runs starting with a length of ribbon several inches longer than the run. Use a simple basket weave of going over six threads and under six threads, or however many threads you choose, for the full length of the run.

The first run is the hardest to weave since the fibers need to be counted.  The second weaving goes much quicker since you just match the in and out spacing of the first run, alternating the up/under pattern of the two ribbons.

After the four runs have been filled, press the piece once again.

Re-cut the front, beginning 1-3/4” on the outside of the first run on the left.

Measure over from this edge 18”, and straight cut.

Measure 1-3/4” down from the outside of the first run on the bottom, and square cut.

Measure up 12-1/2” from this cut edge, and square cut the top.

Press under 3/4” on all 4 sides.  Open back up.  Fold and press the raw edges in to meet this 3/4″ crease.

Cover the back of the place mat with the 16-1/4” x 10” piece of Osnaburg inside the hem lines.  Lightly spraying the back side of the smaller piece with Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive will help to keep it in place, smoothly behind the front.

Fold the hem over the back piece, mitering the corners.  Pin the hem in place, and secure it with a machine stitch of your choice.  This can be a straight stitch, or any number of decorative stitches.

This method of finishing a place mat allows the back to look as precise as the front.

machine cross stitch christmas place mats

Handmade Gift Ideas from “Trash to Couture”

Hi there, Laura here from Trash to Couture!
Need some inspiration and ideas for your handmade gifting this year?  No worries, Sulky and I have got you covered. Not only are handmade gifts a sentimental gesture, they’re also fun to create.  Below we have 4 DIY gift ideas you can make for just about everyone in your life.
Get the details below :

DIY Ornament:

  • Hoop using Sulky’s Fabri Solvy – I usually do 2 layers.
  • Use a free standing ornament design. I used a star from my Brother SE machine.
  • Use Sulky’s Metallic Thread and metallic needles.
  • Embroider away!
  • Place in water and let the magic happen as the stabilizer disappears.
  • Once it has dried, tie a string to hang.
DIY Free-standing Jewelry:

DIY Monogram Beanie:

We monogram just about anything in the South and it’s the perfect way to customize a gift like this essential winter beanie. 

Other ideas to try:

Monogrammed Camera Case

Handmade Gift Ideas From Trash to Couture

DIY Hoop Art:

I love embroidered hoop art, it’s such a fun and cute way to add some artwork to your walls.  It’s also easy to customize, which makes it a great gift idea – like this cactus design here. It’s perfect for hanging right above my sewing machine!
Check out this DIY Embroidered Wall Art for more.

Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps


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

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

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

So I wanted to try it out for myself!


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

New Blendables Petites

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


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

spooky solvy spider web

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

spooky solvy spider web

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

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

Cork Bottom Tote in 14 Easy Steps

DIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

in 14 Easy Steps

Whether you need it for the beach, going to class, a game-day tailgate party, or to carry your latest sewing project, this tote is a perfect size and is always in style. I have made several of these as gifts and the recipients always love them. They always comment about how the cork bottom gives it just the right touch of sophistication. The best part is they are so simple to make!

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag


4 Fat Quarters or 1 yard of fabric

2 pieces of cork fabric cut to 18″ x 4-1/2″

2 straps, each 57″ long

Clover® Wonder Clips

Fabric Marker

Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™ or Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer for extra stability

Cotton+Steel® Thread by Sulky or Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread

Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread for the machine embroidery

Sulky Cut-Away Plus™ Stabilizer

The Monogram –

  1. I used Interlocking Vine Satin & Filled Alphabet from I made sure the center of the monogram was 9″ in from the edge, and about 7″- 9″ up from the bottom. That is your preference; you decide where you want the monogram to sit on the bag vertically, but centering it horizontally is pretty important.
  2. I used Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread in the top and bobbin and I used Sulky Cut Away Plus because the this design is pretty dense (heavy and thick).

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag


  1. Cut 2 fat quarters 18″ x 15-1/2″ for the outside fabric (be mindful to keep the monogram centered); and cut the other 2 fat quarters 19-1/2″ x 18″ for the lining. The 2 cork pieces should be cut 18″ x 4 1/2″ DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  2. Pin the straps in place, 3-1/2″ in from each of the sides. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  3. Use the Clover Wonder clips instead of pins (you can’t pin the cork because the holes from the pins don’t go away); and with right sides together, sew the cork piece onto the bottom of the fabric (the 15-1/2″ bottom) with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  (Hint:  Place the flat side of the clips on the bottom, as shown below, for easier stitching.)DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  4. Press the seam towards the fabric. Surprisingly, the cork fabric acts very much like regular cotton fabric. I did use a medium temperature on my iron but I probably could have used high heat and been fine. As always, test before you ruin a project!
  5. Topstitch the two sides of each strap, and leave 1/2″ unstitched at the top. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end of each stitching line.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  6. Place the front and back pieces right sides together, and sew the sides and bottom together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  7. Box the bottom corners by laying the corner out, match the side seam with the bottom seam, and measure in 2″ from the corner.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  8. Mark the line and stitch. Be sure to backstitch.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  9. Now for the lining! I stabilized my bags by fusing Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra to the lining pieces of the bags. For extra stability, use Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch. Sulky Soft 'n Sheer Cut-Away embroidery stabilizer is permanent, textured, non-woven nylon that is ultra-soft next to skin. Sulky Fuse 'n Stitch Embroidery Stabilizer is a firm, crisp, heavyweight iron-on permanent stabilizer that is ideal for projects that need extra stiffness and retained support.
  10. Sew the two lining pieces, right sides together, along both sides and across the bottom, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Box the bottom the same way you did with the outside pieces. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  11. Fold and press 1/2″ down on the top of the lining (folded over so the wrong sides are touching). DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDo the same with the outside piece (this is why you didn’t sew the strap down that last  1/2″ at the top).  NOTE: If you bought Nylon straps, be careful with the iron, they could melt (ask me how I know 🙂 ).DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  12. Turn the outside of the bag right sides out, and put the lining inside.
  13. Carefully clip the top edges together matching the sides seams. This is also your chance to do a reality check – the lining with the outside – and adjust if one is bigger than the other.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  14. Topstitch the lining to the bag about 1/8″ from the folded edge. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

You are done! Enjoy your new cool bag.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

DIY Clear Vinyl Bag – A Game Day Essential!

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial – A Game-Day Essential!

Professional sports stadiums have required them for years, and now a clear vinyl bag is required at all college football stadiums as well. Don’t put your things in a zip-lock bag! Here is how to make an easy and adorable vinyl bag that shows your team pride!


Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial

Awesome pink cutting board by Havel Sewing!

Clear Vinyl – cut 1 piece 22″ x 15″

Fabric for the top – 2 pieces 6″ x 15″

Fabric for the bottom insert- 13″ x 8-1/2″

Cardboard for bottom – 12″ x 3-3/4″ (You may have to adjust this to fit – fair warning)

17″ or longer Zipper

38″ Strap

Hot glue or small strip of fusible webbing

Sulky® Tear-Easy™ (these can be scraps left over from machine embroidery projects)

Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in a matching color (You can also use Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread or Cotton Blendables® Thread if you want the stitching to stand out a little more)

Tips for using vinyl

A note about clear vinyl:  This is a tricky thing to work with. You can’t iron it and you can’t use pins. It also sticks to the bed of your machine and the bottom of your presser foot. All in all, it is not my favorite thing to sew through; but I was determined to make some cute vinyl bags to carry to football games, so I figured out some tricks that make using the stuff bearable.

  1. After you have purchased your piece, open it up flat and let it relax. Tug on it some so the wrinkles and creases will release. This won’t get them all out, but it will help.
  2. Measure twice, cut once. Seriously. If you cut it wrong, you will have to cut a brand new piece since sewing pieces together would be way too obvious.
  3. Use clips, not pins. I prefer Clover® Wonder Clips
  4. When sewing, sandwich the vinyl between two pieces of Tear-Easy Stabilizer. The Tear-Easy won’t stick to the sewing machine bed or the presser foot and once you are finished sewing, it will tear cleanly away as if it was never there. This is probably the tip that will help you keep your sanity when it comes to sewing with vinyl.


  1. Fold the two 6″ x 15″ fabrics in half, lengthwise, and press; so you now have two 3″ x 15″ pieces.
  2. Sew the raw edge of one of the folded fabric pieces to one 15″ side of the vinyl with a SCANT 1/4″ seam (scant is important). 
  3. You are now going to do a french seam (otherwise this edge would look very messy inside the bag). Fold the fabric over the top of the seam and sew a full 1/4″ seam. Just one side. You will sew the other side on after you have the zipper sewn in. 
  4. OPTIONAL: Take a small fussy-cut square of your team’s logo or symbol. Put a piece of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ Stabilizer on the right side of the fabric, and sew around all four sides. Trim seams to about an 1/8″ or cut the seam allowance with pinking shears. Then, cut a small slit in the Soft ‘n Sheer only and turn. This turns down all of your edges and gives the little piece some extra stability. Top stitch it to the center of the front of your bag.  (I did mine about 2″ down from the fabric and centered on the vinyl). You may need to put a little strip of Tear Easy on the top and bottom hear too – just to keep it form sticking to the foot or the machine bed.

    (Go Gators!)

  5. Time to add the zipper. Pin the zipper into place with the zipper pull moved in about 1/2″.
  6. Put a zipper foot on your machine and topstitch on either side of the zipper. 
  7. Now add the second piece of fabric to the other 15″ side of the vinyl and do the french seam on this side, too. Be sure that you first sew the fabric to the inside of the vinyl, and then the outside, so the seam stays on the inside of the bag.
  8. Sew the sides up with a 1/4″ seam and be sure to backstitch over the zipper at the top. I used clips to hold everything in place and put a piece of Sulky Tear-Easy on top and bottom of the bag.
  9. When tearing the Tear-Easy away, tear toward the stitches on one side; and the second side of the stabilizer will pull right off after you tear the first side.
  10. Box the bottom of the bag by forming a triangle with the corner and drawing a straight line 2″ in. (Note that the seam allowance is in the middle of this triangle.) I used a Sharpie® marker to draw the line so I could see it through the Tear-Easy when I sewed. Don’t trim the extra vinyl. It will fold under your bottom piece for extra stability.
  11. Now the strap: If you bought a nylon strap like I did, you can use a candle to singe the edge. Now simply topstitch the strap on each side. I did a square with an X inside for extra reinforcement. 
  12. For the insert in the bottom, cut a piece of cardboard 3-3/4″ x 12″. Do a reality check and test this in the bottom of your bag. Adjust the size as needed.
  13. Fold the 13″ x 8-1/2″ piece of fabric in half with right sides together (folded it will measure 13″ x 4-1/4″ ); and sew on the long side and one short side with a scant 1/4″ seam.
  14. Turn and put the piece of cardboard inside.
  15. You can use hot glue or fusible web to close the other short end.
  16. Put this inside the bottom of your bag and you are done.
  17. Enjoy the game!Clear Vinyl Bag TutorialClear Vinyl Bag Tutorial