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

Stabilizers:

Threads:

#1348 Christmas Tree Word Play Word-Play Design 16.4 count – Available at  www.sulkyembclub.com

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).

Optional:

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




Why You Will Fall in Love with Machine Cross Stitch!

Why you’ll fall in love with Machine Cross Stitch

(like we did!)

 

Guys… we still can’t get over how amazing Machine Cross Stitch embroidery designs are!  We recently added two new designers to the Sulky Embroidery Club (where you can find hundreds of unique downloadable designs!).  These designers are Marcia Manning of Lickity Stitch Designs and Ursula Michael.

We adore Marcia’s whimsical Christmas tree designs, her adorable Monster Alphabet, and her most recent camping and Christmas designs are too funny.  And wait til you see Ursula’s fun word play designs! There are tons of designs to choose from and we could rave about them for days, so why don’t we just show you a few!

Monster Alphabet Designs:

Aren’t they adorable?!  You can purchase all 26 letters or buy them individually!  HINT: $195 if sold separately – combo price $90 – now only $54!  

Each Monster Alphabet Letter fits 4×4 and larger hoops.  Designs come in 10 size/densities. 22-2 count, 18-2 count, 18-4 count, 16-4 count, 16-6 count, 14-2 count, 14-4 count, 14-6 count, 11-6 count, and 11-10 count.

Monster Alphabet Pillow:

Ellen Osten stitched out a few letters from Lickity Stitch’s “Monster Alphabet” onto a pillow, which gave us a chance to really capture the amazing detail in Machine Cross Stitch designs:

Wine Word Play Machine Cross Stitch:

 

Wine Word Play Design

Thankfully, Ellen also recently stitched up a couple of wine bags (blog tutorial coming soon!) using a couple of word play designs.

You can also buy this design in a collection (and save money!) “Vibes and Embibes”: $76 if purchased separately – $60 combo price – sale price now only $36!  

Original designs by Ursula Michael and digitized by Marcia Manning of Lickity Stitch Designs.  Designs come in multiple size/densities.

Hug a Teacher Word Play:

Ellen stitched up one more awesome project (blog coming soon!) for us – a journal cover using one of Ursula’s wordplay designs “Hug a Teacher Word Play”:

Buy the Work Word Play Collection!:  $90 if sold separately – $72 combo price – now only $42! 

There are so many more designs to choose from!

Right now all Machine Cross Stitch combos are 40% off the combo price, making them up to 60% off if purchased as separate designs! 

We’d love to see what you create!  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and share your projects with #SewBetterWithSulky for a chance to be featured! 🙂

Happy Sewing!




Let’s Make It Waterproof! Plus the Giveaway winners! (We All Love Free Stuff)

When it comes to gifts, monogrammed items are always a favorite. Here in the south, we monogram everything from shirts, purses and jackets to shoes, lunchboxes and umbrellas.

The problem is, once you have embroidered anything that is supposed to be waterproof, like a rain jacket or umbrella, the holes that were made by the needle for the embroidery are no longer waterproof.

Have no fear! Sulky Stitch ‘n Seal is here!

Stitch ‘n Seal is a wonderful cover-the-back stabilizer that you apply after the stitching is finished to reseal the holes made by the embroidery.

Monogram Your Lunchbox

To show you how it works, and show you how to embroider on a waterproof item, here is a little tutorial on how to embroider on a lunchbox (BTW – it’s super easy).

  1. Grab some Sulky Sticky +, Sulky 40 wt. Rayon thread, and your machine embroidery hoop.

  1. Hoop the Sulky Sticky + with the release sheet side up (It even says ‘hoop this side up’ on the release sheet).

  1. Use a pin to score the paper release sheet and then peel it off to expose the Sticky +.

  1. Stick the lunch box (or whatever you are embroidering to the Sticky +. Be sure to measure and center the lunchbox so you get your monogram in the right place. Press it firmly to the stabilizer so it is secure and won’t come up during stitching.

  1. Secure the hoop in the embroidery machine and stitch away!

As a side note, this is the exact same process I used when I monogrammed this umbrella (above).

  1. Once the stitching is finished, remove the lunchbox from the Sticky + and peel away any excess. If you can’t get it all peeled off, it’s okay. It will be secured under the Stitch ‘n Seal anyway. Position the Stitch ‘n Seal over the embroidery, being sure to cover all the stitching holes.

  1. Because of the material the lunchbox is made of, I used a pressing cloth to fuse the Stitch ‘n Seal in place. You don’t have to use a pressing cloth usually. With the umbrella, for example, I just pressed directly onto the Stitch ‘n Seal.

And you are done!

The Contest!

12/12/17 Update: Thank you all for entering in this contest! You all have great ideas for how to use Stitch ‘n Seal. Our winners are Roxanne Sposato and Adrian Renee Brown. I can’t wait to see your finished projects!

What waterproof item would you like to embroider? Tell me in the comments and I will pick a couple random winners and send some Sulky Stitch ‘n Seal. Share this post on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with the hashtag #SewBetterWithSulky to increase your chance of winning!

Happy Sewing!




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.





DIY Tote Bag: Kraft Tex Paper

DIY: Kraft-Tex™ Paper Fabric Tote Bag

 



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!

Tote Bags have become a lifestyle necessity. In fact, we depend upon this casual bag for everything from carrying groceries home, to heading off to the beach!  Bags embroidered with specific themes can even help us stay organized by knowing which bag to grab when heading to a music lesson or off to the gym.

The birth of tote bags began with being environmentally conscientious. To embrace this concept, let’s create a bag which is strong enough to withstand repeated usage, yet pretty enough to make a fashion statement!  For this tote, renewable materials such as 100% cotton fabric and thread will be used, along with Kraft-Tex™, a plant-based, hybrid material. Kraft-Tex is not only “earth friendly”, but this product provides an exciting new outlet for creative expression.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Kraft-Tex is a paper product that performs like fabric on many levels! The paper can be kept stiff, much like a light-weight cardboard, or softened by washing it.  Although it must be treated as a “non-forgiving surface”, Kraft-Tex feeds through the sewing machine effortlessly and can be enhanced with machine embroidery.

Tote Bag Directions

Preparation:

Note:  Read through the directions and assemble the materials prior to beginning the project.

Pre-wash, dry, and press all material, including Kraft-Tex – although you may want to pre-cut the necessary pieces, making it easier to put into the washing machine.  Cut pieces slightly larger than the required final sizes.  Re-cut to the true measurements after washing.  Both 1/2” and 1/4” seams are used throughout this project and are specified.

When stitching bias strips together, press seams prior to laying the unit on top of the template to mate with the next segment.

When joining the patchwork pieces, depending upon your sewing/cutting skills, it may be necessary to re-square the joined pieces.  Take the time to check, and if necessary, take off the minimal increments needed to square the piece.

If you’ve never worked with Kraft-Tex, please take the time to review Sulky’s recent blog post Kraft-tex Paper Fabric for this material.  It will afford a wealth of information!

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Supplies:

100% cotton fabric 45” wide:

  • Fabric A:  1/3 yd.
  • Fabric B:  1/3 yd.
  • Fabric C:  1 yd.

Kraft-Tex:

  • 2 pieces:  5” x 12-1/2” – top panels
  • 1 piece:  7-1/4” x 9-1/2” – embroidered square
  • 2 pieces:  1-1/4” x 15” – strap accents

Thread:

90/14 Topstitch Needle

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer

Sulky Embroidery Club design #1048: Poppies – (Download for free here)

Download the free Pattern Templates here.

Painter’s or Masking Tape (optional)

Quilter’s cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter (optional)

 

Prepare Patchwork Segments:

  1. Machine embroider the 7-1/4” x 9-1/2” piece of Kraft-Tex:

To mark the design placement on the unforgiving paper surface, begin by drawing a “+” on a small piece of painter or masking tape. Place the tape’s crosshairs centered on the width of the Kraft-Tex piece, and 4-3/4” up from the bottom edge.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Hoop Sulky Sticky+ Stabilizer directly in the embroidery hoop, with the shiny, paper-side facing up.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Lightly score the protective paper with a pin and peel it away, exposing the stabilizer’s sticky surface.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Firmly press the paper onto the sticky stabilizer, matching the tape’s crosshairs with the hoop’s center markings.  Note:  Hoop centers may not be actual true centers.  Make sure your hoop is assembled with these marks showing correctly.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Transfer the embroidery design to the machine.  Match the needle center position to the design center.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once satisfied, remove the tape and embroider the design using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread. Slow  the machine down to at least half-speed.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Gently tear away the excess stabilizer from the embroidery.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  1. Decorate both 5” x 12-1/2” panels of Kraft-Tex:

Establish a 45° diagonal line with a quilter’s ruler.  Lay a piece of painter or masking tape along the ruler’s edge.  It is not important where the initial line is established within the rectangle; only the angle is important.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Choose decorative stitch(es).  Your creative thoughts may travel to using just one, or a combination of two, as shown; or possibly including many different stitches.  It’s all good!

For the first row of stitching, guide the edge of the presser foot along the edge of the tape, which establishes the 45° angle.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

There is a wealth of aids available on the market to assist in uniformly spacing rows of stitches.  Feel free to use any of these aids. I chose a quilting bar guide.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

The bar travels down the middle of the existing stitched row, placing the next row of stitches on the same angle, and keeps rows equally distanced from each other.

Cover the entire surface of the Kraft-Tex panel.  The example shown alternates stitches #31 and #46, Mode 2 on a Janome Memory Craft Professional 6500, spaced 1-3/4” apart.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Since the front and back top panels are separated at each side by a fabric panel, mirror imaging or matching rows is not a consideration.  The only criteria when stitching the second panel is to maintain the same stitching pattern and angle.

  1. Cut cotton fabrics referring to Fabric Key graphic presented:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  • Fabric A:

Cut two strips:  3” x 12-1/2” – accent strips

Cut two pieces:  5-1/2” x 12-1/2” – bottom panels

Cut two pieces:  4” x 16-1/2” – side panels

  • Fabric B:

Cut two strips:  4” x 23” – straps

Bias panel patches:  Refer to the template for required lengths.  Cut 5 bias strips each 1-5/8” wide, and longer than its placement position on the template.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  • Fabric C:

Cut two panels:  12-1/2” x 17-1/2” – front and back lining

Cut two strips:  4” x 17-1/2” – lining side panels

Cut one piece:  8-1/2” x 14” – inside pocket

Bias panel patches:  Refer to the template for required lengths, and cut each strip longer than its placement position on the template.

Cut four strips:  3-3/4” wide – upper right and lower left corner strips for both front and back panels

Cut three strips:  2-3/4” wide – middle strips of front and back panels

  1. Stitch Fabric B/C bias strips together to form both front and back panels:

Lay the cut strips out in their proper places on top of the template.  Starting at a corner, stitch strip B to C – right sides together – making sure that edges extend well beyond the rectangle’s border.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once seamed, press open, and position the piece on top of the template to mate with the next segment.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Continue in this same fashion until the entire rectangle has been stitched.

Place template on top of pieced fabric rectangle.  It is not important to match the actual seams, but rather to match the 45° angle of the bias strips to the template.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Cut the rectangle for the tote bag back panel.  Repeat the process for the smaller front panel.

  1. Make the straps:

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together.

Stitch the long side with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving both ends open.

Press the seam open, and turn right side out.

Press the strap with the seam running down the middle of the back side.

Re-shape the ends of the Kraft-Tex 1-1/4” x 15” strips, using the provided template.

Center the Kraft-Tex accent on the fabric strap, both in width and length.  If needed, hold in place with painter/masking tape.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the Kraft-Tex accent to the fabric strap with Sulky 30 wt. Cotton in any chosen decorative stitch. (The example shows a Triple Topstitch, Mode 1, stitch 5; Janome Memory Craft Professional 6500 stitched 1/8” in from edges).  You may want to choose a very simple stitch though, since you need to make that curve.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Leave a long thread tail at the end, and pull the top thread to the back side.  Hand-tie a couple of knots, and then thread the tail into a sewing needle and weave the ends under a few stitches

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

before cutting to make a neat underside.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

 

Construction –

Front Panel:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the bias square to the embroidered Kraft-Tex using a 1/2” seam allowance. (Using the numbers in the above diagram, stitch 1 to 2)

Fold one fabric A accent strip in half to create a flange, and baste it to the top of the joined squares within the 1/2” seam allowance. (Stitch 3 to the newly joined 1 and 2)

Stitching with 1/2” seams, add the top decoratively-stitched Kraft-Tex panel and then the bottom fabric panel. (Stitch 4 to the top and 5 to the bottom)

Back Panel:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Fold the remaining fabric A accent strip in half, and baste it to the top of the pieced bias rectangle, within the 1/2” seam allowance.

Stitching with 1/2” seams, add the top decoratively-stitched Kraft-Tex panel, and then the bottom fabric panel.

Side Panels:

Using a 1/4” seam allowance, stitch the side panels to the back sections on both sides.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the front and back panels together at the side seam.

An optional, but suggested step, to reinforce seams:  Press the side joining seams towards the side panel center.  Topstitch 1/8” from the seam on the side panel, using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Fold the bag at side panels, matching the front and back seams.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch a 1/2” bottom seam.

Make bottom gusset:

Inside the bag, push a finger up into a bottom corner.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Flatten the bottom seam into the side panel,

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

matching the seam to the center of the side panel.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Work the fabric to make an isosceles triangle; a triangle which has two equal sides.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once satisfied, pin in place and stitch along the seamed line at the base of the formed triangle. (That’s the top line in the picture above)

Press the triangle flat and then crease along the seam, pointing the triangle in the direction of the bottom seam.

Repeat for other side.

Optional:  Tack corner triangles into the bottom seam with a few hand stitches.  This keeps the bag’s shape during repeated washing cycles.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Add a strap to the front and back panels:

With right sides facing each other, and raw edges matching, place the outer edge of one strap 1” away from a side seam towards bag center.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch twice: 1/8” and 1/4” down from top edge

With the length of the strap hanging down into the bag, bring the other strap end up to stitch to the other side of same panel.  Make sure the strap is not twisted.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Attach the remaining strap to the other panel in this same fashion.

Leave the tote bag inside out.

Lining:

Make a pocket:

  • Fold the pocket piece with right sides together, making it 8-1/2” x 7”.
  • Stitch three sides with 1/2” seam, leaving an opening on one side for turning.
  • Cut the corners on a diagonal, and press seams open.
  • Turn right-side out and press.
  • Topstitch the pocket to one panel. Folded side of the pocket is 6” below panel the top edge and centered in width.

Attach the side panels using 1/4” seams joining front and back pieces.  Leave an 8” opening in the middle of one side seam for turning purposes.

Press seams open.

Stitch 1/2” bottom seam checking that the pocket opening is facing to the upper edge of the fabric tube.

Make the bottom gussets as described above. (Note: the long line is the stitching line). Since seams have been pressed open, stitch “in the ditch” at the base of the triangle.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Press the triangle towards the side panels.  Optional tacking was done by machine for the lining since it will not be seen.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Put it all together:

With the tote bag inside out and the lining right side out, drop the lining into the bag, matching side panel seams.  Right sides of each unit will be facing each other.  Have the pocket panel (lining back) facing the non-embroidered bag back panel (although it’s not crucial where the pocket is inside the bag).

Keep top raw edges even, and pin at fabric sides to hold in place.  If needed, use clips or masking tape to hold fabric to the top Kraft-Tex panels.Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch along top edge using a 1/2” seam, keeping the straps straight down inside bag, so only the top-edge of the strap is caught within the seam.

Pull the lining straight out of the bag.Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Reach into the lining through its side opening, grab the tote bag, and begin to pull it out through this hole.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Don’t be afraid to bend the Kraft-Tex.  Once the bag begins to emerge, it becomes easier to pull the remaining fabric through the opening.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

When the bag is completely freed, the entire bag will face right side out.  Close the lining slit with hand-stitches.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Tuck the lining down inside the bag, pushing into the bottom.  Push the lining gusset into tote bag gusset – squaring up the bottom.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Allow the lining to roll over the stiff Kraft-Tex top edge, enhancing the overall bag design with a fabric “binding”.

Press lining around the entire top, creasing the edge.

Stitch “in the ditch” on the fabric side-panels.

DIY: Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric Tote Bag

Kraft-tex Paper Fabric is environmentally friendly, useful, fashionable, plus extremely versatile!

Be creative!  Select your own fabric colors, mix or match thread choices, and experiment with decorative stitches available on your sewing machine.  Just have fun and enjoy the process!




Root for Your Favorite Team!

How to Root for Your Favorite Team

Embroider Buddy Edition

Football season is upon us and it’s never too early to get your kids rooting for the (obvious) winning team!  Whether you’re a “Cheese-head”, a Dawg, or a Gator, it’s time for your kids to be a part of the tradition – and what better way to get them in the team spirit than with Embroider Buddies?!

 

It’s the best of both worlds – they get a soft cuddly new stuffed animal, and you get the pleasure of knowing they’re headed in the right direction in life!  Embroider Buddy stuffed animals are not only adorable, but are extremely simple to customize.

Plus, if you’re like me (yes, I can still appreciate a nice stuffed animal – especially if it has my team’s colors on it!) you can just embroider one for yourself!

How to Root for Your Favorite Team

Tutorials

We’ve got free tutorials on the blog for how to embroider on these fun guys – like this Christmas-themed tutorial here.

You can also download an Embroider Buddy Tutorial here.

Share your Projects!

Can’t wait to see what you all create (and what teams you root for!).  Be sure to tag us with #SewWithSulky or #SulkyThreads.  If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook and our other Social Media platforms for more inspiration, helpful tips, & to always be in-the-know about all our great sales!




Free Webinar: Holiday In-the-Hoop

Free Webinar: Holiday In-the-Hoop

Embroidery Quilt Block Projects & More

with Lisa Archer

 

Join us for this FREE webinar: Holiday In-the-Hoop!  Lisa Archer, Owner & Creative Director of Pickle Pie Designs, will teach you how fast, fun and easy it is to make machine embroidery in-the-hoop projects. Lisa is the master when it comes to in-the-hoop projects, and she will share her tips and tricks for success.

She will explain the purpose of each step of an in-the-hoop project as she walks you through the process of making a whimsical Snowman Coaster entirely in the hoop. That’s right, no machine sewing required!

 

Get the details:

Title: Holiday In-the-Hoop

Date: October 10, 2017

Time: 9:00 pm EST

Duration: 1 hour

Special Guest: Lisa Archer of Pickle Pie Designs

You will learn:

  • All about in-the-hoop designs
  • The best way to trim appliqué while it’s in the hoop
  • How to hoop a baby bib
  • Tips & techniques for perfectly trimmed appliqués
  • How to turn our whimsical quilt blocks into 9 different projects

You’ll Receive:

A free Snowman Quilt Block from the Baby It’s Cold Outside CD Set by Pickle Pie Designs – AND a free Ducky Applique design from Lisa’s book: Modern Machine Embroidery.

Dont forget!

Great kits and items will we be on sale following the initial webcast, for 24 hours ONLY – so be sure to check those out at www.sulky.com!

Can’t make it? You can still sign up! After the initial webcast, it is available as a Start-Anytime course – meaning you can watch it at anytime at your own convenience!

 

free webinar: holiday in-the-hoop

Register today!

 




Introducing Machine Cross Stitch to the Sulky Embroidery Club!

Introducing: Machine Cross Stitch

to the Sulky Embroidery Club

 

Machine cross stitch gives you the unique look of counted cross stitch with the ease and versatility of machine embroidery. We have added over 100 machine cross stitch designs to the Sulky Embroidery Club from two of the most popular cross stitch designers: Marcia Manning of Lickity Stitch Designs and Ursula Michael with her famous Word Play Designs.

If you like the look of Cross Stitch designs, especially Word Play, but do not have the patience or desire to hand stitch them, then you will love these Machine Cross Stitch Designs from Ursula Michael.  Here are some of her Word Play Designs:

And for you cat lovers… you will adore Ursula’s “Cats on Quilts” series:

We have also fallen in love with Marcia’s monstrously cute alphabet designs:

 

Here are some things you need to know about these new designs:

  1. With each design you purchase, you will receive anywhere from 5 – 12 different size/density design files. These means you do not have to pay more for the same design if different hoop sizes. All hoop sizes come with the purchase of the design.
  2. You can treat this like any other Embroidery design and put them on lots of different fabrics. You are not limited to counted cross stitch fabrics.
  3. When it comes to words and fine detail, Machine cross stitch is crisper and words can be read more easily. This is really noticeable in Ursula Michael’s Word Play designs.
  4. There is a tutorial that includes a free machine cross stitch design to try and gives you lots of details and hints about stitching out these fun designs. Get the Tutorial here: sulky.com/mxtutorial.zip

We know you will fall in love with these designs like we have! Can’t wait to see what great projects you all come up with!

Happy Sewing!




Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric


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!

 

Kraft-Tex™ Paper

All artists relish finding new methods in expressing individual creativity. Machine embroidery is not exempt from craving new inspirational materials. Welcome, Kraft-Tex™, an exciting product certain to stimulate the imagination.

kraft-tex paper fabric

What it is

Kraft-Tex is a paper product that performs like fabric on many levels.  Seriously! At least take the time to read about it, because it is amazing!

Available in several colors, Kraft-Tex can be purchased by the roll, bolt, or in sample packages of multiple colors.  It seems to be more easily available on the Internet (such as on C&T Publishing), but do check local craft or fabric stores.

Directly out of the package, Kraft-Tex looks and feels like a light-weight, sturdy cardboard. In this original state, Kraft-Tex offers many creative outlets such as block printing, drawing, painting, dying, etc..

Taking Care of Kraft-Tex

Since Kraft-Tex is a natural, plant-based product, much like cotton and linen fibers in cloth, it is WASHABLE!  I literally threw several large pieces into a washing machine, electing to use cold water. I then threw it into the dryer, setting it to the next to the highest heat. Pre-washing and drying softens the feel of the paper. Plus, the process gives Kraft-Tex a slightly crinkled texture, resembling leather.

Over time, Kraft-Tex continues to soften, stretch, and mellow with use – which are also leather-like properties.

This product cuts easily, but since it is paper, it will dull needles and scissor edges. So, it is best to designate a rotary cutter blade and needle specifically for working with Kraft-Tex.

Although Kraft-Tex does accept machine stitching, it needs to be treated as a non-forgiving surface.  Just like any paper or leather surface, every hole made by a needle or pin will remain…forever!  If necessary to secure straight edges while stitching, hold joining sections with clips rather than pins – or at least make sure that the pin holes are within the seam allowance.

Putting it to the Test

Since Kraft-Tex is advertised to “function like fabric”, I decided to put it to the test by stitching a seam in 100% polyester utility thread with a 90/14 Topstitch Needle, lengthening stitching to 8 stitches per inch. Contrasting thread was used for samples for ease in evaluating tension.

The sewing machine handled the material beautifully. Even seen from the wrong side, the seam looked perfect.

One question was: Would the seam hold under duress or would the perforated paper tear along the seam? Stress was applied to the stitched seam by pulling the paper apart and, I must admit, not too gently!  I really pulled at the seam!

Although the holes stretched (not surprising if you knew how hard I pulled) and became a bit more apparent when viewed up close, the stitched seam remained strong, secure, and held no matter how hard I tugged!

So, if nothing else, this material has already proven to be potentially valuable for all kinds of projects – from belts, wallets, coin purses, book covers, luggage tags, tote bags, coupon organizers, bookmarks, and even a key fob!  It would also be a valuable resource for Halloween costumes or theater attire, where a “leather” garment/accessory was required, but now could be made at a much lower price point.

What about machine embroidery?

Because I love to machine embroider, the big question for me is… Is this a suitable canvas for machine embroidery?

Considering most modern machines are capable of “machine embroidery” to some extent by employing the often overlooked decorative stitches built into sewing machines, I thought that was a great place to start.

The silky look of Sulky® 40 wt. Rayon provided a striking contrast to the faux leather, while the heavier Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables® – #733-4108 complemented the rugged texture of a Kraft-Tex canvas.


Decorative stitches with space between entry points, or those which re-used the same hole, seemed to work best. Satin-filled stitches shouldn’t be automatically ruled out. However, remember that the closer the needle penetrations are to each other, the weaker the paper foundation will become.

Choosing the proper machine embroidery design for non-forgiving foundations is very important. Not only must every stitch matter by being part of the actual design, needle punctures cannot be too close together or the paper will tear.

 

Red-work, stippling, and line designs may prove to be a good choice. However, avoid line designs that include closely placed stitches.


Look at designs specifically digitized for paper or choose a line design that reuses the same holes to boldly define its shape.

You can find the entire Jumbo Fabulous Fern collection here.

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer is the natural choice for Kraft-Tex embroidery since paper cannot be secured directly in the hoop.

Secure Sticky+ in the frame with the release sheet (shiny, gridded paper side) facing up.  Gently score the paper with a pin.  Peel back the protective paper.

Press Kraft-Tex firmly to the exposed sticky surface.

Never having embroidered on this material, it was important to do a test sample. Fern design #26311 was a perfect choice.  The machine was threaded, both top and bobbin, with Sulky 40 wt. Rayon.  The machine was put to its slowest speed and a 100/16 Topstitch needle was used.


Knowing that this was just a test, after a short segment of stitching, the large 100/16 Topstitch Needle was changed out to a smaller gauge (90/14 Topstitch) to reduce the size of the penetration holes.  The speed of the machine was then increased to its next level.  The final experiment switched the rayon thread to Sulky 30 wt. Cotton.

Evaluate your test sample, noting what worked and, if necessary, what didn’t. Label and save test stitching-samples, referring to them for future project input.

The Results

Results: Both Sulky thread types stitched equally well, but each offered a different appeal for the design. The smaller needle gauge (90/14 Topstitch) was preferred.

The testing sample already inspired my first Kraft-Tex project. It will be a tote bag featuring a Poppy design from the Sulky Embroidery Club, stitched in Sulky 30 wt. Cotton, #733-1119. Three fabric prints will be used in a patch-work style bag, accented with additional Kraft-Tex panels. I can’t wait to share this project with you!




The Very Best Way To Ruin Your Machine Embroidery Project

When I first started doing machine embroidery it was with a machine that I had borrowed from my mom. I didn’t take any classes and I didn’t read the manual that came with the machine (sound familiar?). I just started pushing button and trying things out.

Needless to say, almost everything I tried came out looking awful. So to give you a good laugh (and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes), here is my list of how to ruin your Machine Embroidery Project.

  1. Don’t change the needle. A dull needle that has already sewn several thousand stitches is one sure-fire way to ruin your project and cause you great frustration in the process. You could get a lot of thread breaks and thread shredding with an old needle. Using the wrong needle size for the thread and fabric you are using can also ruin your project. Schmetz has a great guide (check it out here) that gives you a guide for which needle is right for your project. Sulky also gives needle recommendations for our threads on sulky.com and on the end of many of the spools!
  2. Just use whatever thread you have laying around. Not all threads are the same. Shockingly, the thread you can get 3 spools for a dollar at the checkout of a big-box store is not going to be the same quality as the ENKA Certified Rayon that is sold by Sulky.
  3. Don’t do a test sew out.

    Picture courtesy of dzgns.com

    I know you paid good money for the embroidery blank, t-shirt, or bag that you are planning to embroider on. If you like messing up and having to re-buy your blanks, by all means, just go for it without testing the design, the stabilizers, or the positioning of the design on the item.

  4. Don’t use the right stabilizer. This is probably the best way to ruin an embroidery project. If you just throw any old stabilizer in, no matter what type of design you are stitching or what type of fabric you are stitching on, I can all but guarantee you will screw up the project. Need some proof? check out these pictures of designs that were not stabilized properly compared to the ones that were.

    Embroidery with the wrong stabilizers.

    Embroidery with the right stabilizer

     

    If you want to know the right kinds of stabilizer to use, check out the Sulky Stabilizer Selector Tool.
  5. Heck! Don’t use any stabilizer at all! Once again, it’s probably the quickest way to screw it all up.

Truthfully, I don’t want you to have to make the mistakes I made so, please, change your needle! Use good quality thread, and by all means, use the right stabilizer. If you aren’t sure what stabilizer to use, check out our Stabilizer Selector Tool. 

Happy Sewing!