My New Favorite Blog!

Y’all… it’s back to school time. All school supplies have been purchased (and some returned), but not a single one has been labeled or sorted by kid….. I DO have them stacked neatly in my laundry room….

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All uniforms have been tried on from last year and new sizes bought. Bright new “highlighter” colored tennis shoes are ready for Monday. We found out who is in what class today which is always exciting! My kids have even read a few books this summer. The countdown is on!! ARE YOU READY?? My to-do list is long for when-they-go-back-to-school. I can finally read that summer book I ordered off Amazon and clean out closets. YAY!!

Now on to the topic of this blog post. This has nothing to do with APPLIQUE, but everything to do with friendships and how God puts people in your path for a reason. When we were at the beach back in July, my sister in law casually mentioned her-friend’s-sister-in-law who was a blogger. I had known ‘the friend’ for years from the beach, but didn’t realize her SIL was a fellow blogger. Of course as soon as I heard her name, it clicked and I knew I had read some of her posts. You know, those posts that continually pop up on your Facebook news feed that are must reads!! Anyway, the week went by and “the blogger” arrived at the beach I think the day before we left. I never met her but did meet her husband (and dog) in the elevator the night before we left. Ironically, we were staying in the condo directly above hers, but I never got a chance to stalk her and say “Hey”. :)

Fast forward back to Montgomery, and I was able to go to her website and read and re-read several of her blog posts or articles, some of which I had indeed read via Facebook! I decided to send her an email and she was so kind as to reply, so we exchanged a few emails. While I was reading one of her posts, I immediately thought of another friend that God had recently put in my path and I just knew these 2 had to meet. Fast forward again to last Friday, and the 3 of us got together in Birmingham for a fun couple of hours at Starbucks (my favorite place)!

Below is L-Amy Smith, who has a heart for middle school girls and has a ministry in Montgomery, Enterprise and soon to be Auburn (Alabama) called Girl Talk Ministries. My Mallory is only 6, but I’m starting early and am so thrilled to see what Amy is doing and to see how her ministry is growing! In the middle is Kari Kampakis, who is the blogger/writer of www.karikampakis.com. Kari wrote a blog post about a year ago called 10 Truths Young Girls Should Know. This post went viral (like 70,000++ shares on Facebook alone) and on November 4th Kari will release her first book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know. Her audience for this book is teen girls and their moms, but I believe her Truths can also be applied to boys and even us as adults.

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 Kari also wrote a post this past June on Why Women Need Their Girlfriends. It’s a great read if you didn’t catch it on Facebook already! Check out her website, follow her, and catch up on some of her posts! You can also pre-order her book on Amazon and a few other places! AND GUESS WHAT? Kari has offered to give away a signed copy of her book to my Applique Cafe readers so be on the lookout for that GIVEAWAY! I can’t wait to get my hands on it after reading her work! Amy and Kari both have a heart for young girls and I am so thankful our paths have crossed and that I got to spend time with them both last week. I look forward to doing it again soon! Friends are so important and I crave quality time with them, which can be hard to come by with 3 busy kids! :)

I’ve been feeling inspired by Kari and her blog in regards to my own blog. I know I have been a slacker this summer (and here and there this past year). After a while it’s hard to know what to write about but I’m feeling inspired to get back to it (when school starts…….)

HAPPY BACK-TO-SCHOOL!!!

Scenes of Summer

Sometimes I’m not sure what to title a blog post! Today I have random pictures from my phone to share, so Random Scenes of Summer seemed fitting. Sometimes I have no idea what to blog about. Today is really one of those days so bare with me. I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks so I’m due.

For the past few days I’ve been working on VISORS. I have 25 to do in all and am working to finish those up today. The visors are for my friends at Lake Martin Crazy.com. Anyway, check out my recent post on doing Visors using a cap frame. I was able to knock these out in 2 days (the front logo). Now I am working on adding the web address to the side panel of each visor. I think I’m halfway done!

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We spent another week at the beach earlier this month. Each summer we spend a week in the Seagrove/30A area of Florida with my entire family and a week in the Perdido/Orange Beach area with Jeff’s family. Love them both! I just love the beach. Here are a few photos from that trip! Below are my 5th, 1st and 2nd graders (in a couple of weeks)!!!

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Isn’t the water beautiful??!! It was smooth like this all week, like a lake, with sandbars every day! It was awesome!!

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I wanna go back!!!! TAKE ME BACK…..

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The day after we got home from the beach, we dropped the oldest off at sleep-away camp for a week. Browder went last year, and this year he was so excited and talked about what they would be doing for 2.full.days. Nonstop “Last year we did….. and …….”

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Fast forward to when it came time for us to leave him, and the tears started flowing! I guess it’s good for your kids to NOT want you to leave them? The key to camp drop off, we have found, is to throw their stuff on their bed, shove their bag in their cubby and then LEAVE. Do it quickly so they don’t have time to think about you leaving them for an entire week. We left and he was fine 20 minutes later and had a blast all week, but it was heart breaking to leave him looking like this!

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I told you these were random pics from my phone! Maggie got a good hair trimmin while Browder was at camp! She’s been a little self conscience this past week but I think she’s coming around to her new do.

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Who’s ready for back to school? NOT ME!!! 3 weeks from today, my kids will be back in school. Back to homework. Back to carpool. Back to backpacks and uniforms and calendars. Back to the afternoon battle of reading and correcting homework. Below are my school supply lists. 1 school supply list is kind of fun. I used to love going to Target and spending an hour trying to find the exact supplies listed and checking each item off my list. Times 3?? Not so much. I am DREADING this!!! TAKE ME BACK TO THE BEACH!!!!!

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What do you want to hear about on the Cafe Blog?? Give me some ideas for this fall. I struggle to find a balance between embroidery embroidery embroidery and what’s going on in the Gulledge household. Comment or email me ~ rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com! I’d love to hear any and all suggestions! Have a great rest-of-the-week!

The Year of Hats

I am declaring the summer of 2014 The Year of Hats, or the Season of Hats, or the SUMMER OF HATS? I’m doing hats every week and this will be my 3rd blog post this summer on doing hats. Check out the first 2 HERE and HERE. I’ve also done 2 posts so far on VISORS, so check them out HERE and HERE.

I have mostly done monogramming on hats, but recently did our new Anchor Patch (which comes in a “small size” great for hats).

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This week we listed a new Mini Dog Applique AKA “Stitch” so I sampled it on a hat as well. It was a little trickier because I had to trim around the small legs of the dog. I typically use Gingher 4″ curved scissors to trim my appliques, but busted out the “Snips” for this hat. I used my 5.5″ X 6″ Fast Frame + sticky stabilizer and pinned the front of my hat to the frame. I use the seam on the front of the hat for my center and it’s best to get the front of the hat as flat as possible and pinned down securely. I also use chip clips to clip the bill of the hat (which is flattened) to the frame.

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Here it is after I’ve unpinned. I not only use a layer of fabric, but I fuse it to a layer of medium cutaway stabilizer with Heat N Bond Lite so that the seam doesn’t show through my fabric. Fabric alone would probably work, but adding a layer of stabilizer keeps it firm and you can’t see the hat color or seam through the fabric.

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Finished product! Please note that the dog polka dot fabric is not wrinkled. For some reason the camera captured the dots weird and it looks that way, but it’s flat and smooth!

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More hats. These cute seersucker striped hats came from the J. Crew Outlet and were about 6 bucks each. My sister in law bought all they had and I have 3 more to do today. Again, flatten the bill, chip clip it to the fast frame and smooth and pin the front of the hat.

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I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle font and this is roughly 2.75″ tall. I think I increased it a couple of times once I got it on my machine and saw that I had a little more room.

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This is what it looks like from the bottom. Most hats come with a “lip” or mini liner (the white part) that folds down – I usually pin it back before I pin the hat to the frame. The chip clips keep the bill flat and in place on the frame.

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Finished product!

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Here is another type of Fast Frame that I was told worked great with hats. It’s a 6″ thin radius frame and this one is from Ken’s Sewing Center. I believe you can also get a 4″ thin radius frame which might also work great for hats. Make sure you get THIN. Most 7 in 1 Fast Frame sets come with a regular radius frame, but I believe the thin will allow you to get closer to the bill on the front. They also sell these frames at Sewingmachine.com, but are currently not on the website. I was told they should be available next week online. Again, I don’t have one yet, but was told they work great for hats!

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We listed a few new designs this week and are having a quick little July 4th SALE at Applique Cafe.

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Here are our new designs for this week, which include a couple for BACK TO SCHOOL!! We also added a new “Patch Applique“. I love the TOOLS and these new patch designs are only 1 fabric and super easy to sew.

 

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Have a safe 4th of July!!

Simply Classic!

Good afternoon! I am back to work full steam ahead today after having been on vacation all last week at the beach with my whole entire (party of 17) family. It’s good to be home! We missed Maggie and it’s always good to get back to reality and turn my machine on again! Here are a few pics from our trip. This was our 9th year going to the Seagrove/Seacrest area of Florida (which is near Seaside in between Destin and Panama City Beach). It’s BEAUTIFUL!!

Sissy sporting her MONOGRAMMED visor I did for her! I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Camp” font with motif SySerif 26 dots in between. Check out my recent blog post on doing VISORS.

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Here are all the cousins minus one that is older. All boys but Sissy!

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My 3 at a concert at Alys Beach. G lost one of his front teeth the 1st night we were there!

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My oldest teaching little brother how to skim board. The sand is gorgeous and the water is beautiful! We had red flags a few days but overall it was a great beach week!

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Before I left we listed a couple of “new” designs, meaning they were new to the website, and sort of a “new” style to Applique Cafe. These are 1 FABRIC PATCH DESIGNS. The base fabric is done in 3 steps just like any applique designs (marking, tackdown & satin). After that, it’s all thread and super easy and fast to stitch. As you can see, I’ve used a lot of old school ‘good ole’ gingham fabric on these designs. There’s much controversy over whether or not CHEVRON is here to stay or (some hope) heading out of style. Gingham is both CLASSIC and SIMPLE!! Polka dots work too and even stripes.

This is our Ice Cream Cone Patch & Fire Truck Patch, both of which are available on our website now.

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This Train Patch is a new design and will be listed hopefully sometime tomorrow.

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Did I mention it was PATCH WEEK? We are already thinking of BACK TO SCHOOL. Here’s a quick and easy APPLE PATCH that will also be listed this week. I used seersucker striped fabric on this one.

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Also new is an Anchor Patch which will come in our regular 4×4, 5×7 and 6×10 sizes + we are including a smaller size (2.70″ X 2.70″) which is great for hats. This is an Adams brand pigment dyed hat and I stitched it this morning using my Fast Frames. You could also hoop a piece of sticky stabilizer I believe and do the same thing on a single needle machine (or any machine with no fast frames). The key is to get the bill of the hat flat, and also to get the front part of the hat where the applique (or monogram) will go flat and straight. *Check out my other recent post on doing HATS! I used chip clips to keep the bill of the hat flat and attached to the frame. I also smoothed the hat fabric and pinned it down. The seam of the hat is a great marker for your center.

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This is what it looks like from underneath.

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I used a red gingham fabric, and I applied Heat N Bond Lite to the fabric and fused it to a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer. I also applied HNBL to the stabilizer. Why did I use stabilizer? I was afraid the cotton gingham would be too thin on its own so the stabilizer makes it thicker and more stable for the applique.

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Finished product!

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I also sewed the Anchor Patch in the 5×7 size. It is new and will also be listed this week. anchor patch 5x7 500

One more new design for this week ~ Pencil Patch. This is great for BACK TO SCHOOL (yikes!!) and I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Kazoo” font which is for idea purposes only. Be on the lookout for a Crayon Patch similar to this!

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Hats are really popular right now as well as visors. The “pigment dyed” is also super popular!

I wanted to mention that I would not be at the Everything Applique Conference in Atlanta this weekend. I was leary about committing to do it back in April because I knew it was going to fall right after my first summer vacation. I thought I could swing it, but then realized it was going to be too much to get back from vacation and then leave town again for a long weekend with half of my sewing room. Summer is so short so I’m enjoying spending time with my kids and just having fun! Have a great week, and check Applique Cafe in a day or two for our new designs (and maybe a summer SALE).

Visors, Part 2

Another post! 2 in a row. This is a follow up to my previous post on MONOGRAMMING VISORS using a CAP FRAME. Check out that post if you are just tuning in. A friend brought over several youth visors today so guess what I did all afternoon? My original thought was that the 6 year old daughter would love a monogrammed visor this summer. This thought came after she wore mine at the pool yesterday. It didn’t take long for my niece to claim one (and want it monogrammed right then and there) and the boys to claim theirs too. So that’s what I did all afternoon, and I figured out a trick or two I wanted to share!

First, when using your CAP FRAME, your machine (multi needle) knows you’ve installed the cap frame on there and assumes you are monogramming hats or caps. A) When “hooping” your cap or hat on a cap frame, the hat is actually upside down on your machine. SO…. your machine automatically flips your monogram upside down. B)When “hooping” a visor using your cap frame, the visor is actually right side up. This creates a problem when your machine flips the monogram upside down. Today I found myself rotating the design to right side up several times while editing my design on my screen (selecting and assigning colors, etc.)

LIGHT BULB!!!! After the 2nd visor, I formatted my monogram in Monogram Wizard Plus and saved it on my computer. I then opened the saved monogram in Sew What Pro, rotated it upside down, and saved the file to my thumb drive to stick in my machine. Are you confused yet?? Now, when I put the upside down monogram on my machine to stitch on my visor, when I’m done editing, it will flip it upside down for me, which makes it RIGHT SIDE UP for my visor!

Here is my MWP screen and I used Camp font. I also inserted dots in between my letters using SySerif Motif 26 so I could use 2 thread colors on my lime green visor. If you have MWP and don’t have the free motifs (punctuation), go to the Needleheads Sewing Studio and download them for free. So I saved this file on to my computer just like this.

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I then opened the saved file in my Sew What Pro. I couldn’t figure out a way to rotate a design upside down in MWP. If there is a way, let me know!?

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I rotated the design and saved it as upside down!

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Another LIGHT BULB moment…

If you check out my last post on VISORS, I explain how when hooping a visor on the cap frame, the clamp that folds over barely grips the top of the visor. Here is a pic:

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Today I found that this gives little room for your monogram on the visor. You are limited to like 2″ in height anyway, and with the visor up that high on the frame, I was having to shrink my monogram to make it fit and centered. So…. I decided to instead “hoop” the tearaway cap stabilizer strip and then pin my visor lower on the stabilizer on to the frame. It worked!! Below you can see where I clamped down my stabilizer on the frame. You can buy tearaway cap backing in pre-cut strips from sewingmachine.com.

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I then pinned the visor to the stabilizer to keep it in place. You have to be gentle and careful, but it works.

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The little lining strip is folded down on the visor and I pinned that to the stabilizer also.

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Here is what it looks like underneath. 

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Here is a shot of the visor on the frame on my machine. I will line up the needle with the center mark on my visor before sewing.

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First I want to assign colors to my monogram. As you can see below, I put the design on my machine and it’s upside down like I saved it  in SWP  and it will stay upside down for thread color editing.

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I’ve assigned my colors, hot pink letters and turquoise dots. 

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When I click Edit End, my machine automatically flips the design upside down thinking it’s a cap. For me, it flips it right side up for my visor since I saved it upside down. I line my needle up with the center mark on my visor and now I’m ready to sew!

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Here it is when it’s finished sewing. I unpin and remove all of the stabilizer.

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Here is my lovely assistant modeling Mallory’s new visor!

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And here are my 3 kiddos in their summer visors!! I used MWP Natural Circle font on the boys and MWP Happy on Mallory’s other visor.

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Comment or email me with any questions! If you are familiar with the cap frame and visors then hopefully this will make sense and help! Recap: save your monogram upside down for visors AND clamp the stabilizer on your cap frame, then pin the visor to the stabilizer!

Summer

It is officially summer at Applique Cafe! My kids finished school on Friday and we spent the weekend at the lake through Monday. Yesterday was officially the first day of our summer, and today we christened the neighborhood pool for the first time. For some reason it doesn’t really feel like summer to me? Other than NOT having to get up early, pack any snacks or get anyone dressed for school, it doesn’t feel like summer. I think this past school year flew by so quickly that it hasn’t hit me yet!

After doing about 24 graduation towels in the past couple of weeks, here are a few things I’ve been working on. Below is an outfit I did yesterday (the shirt part of the outfit) for our cute little neighbor who is turning 2. She loves fish, so I went with our Girly Fish design. The top and knit shorts, which are adorable, are from Monkey Tails Blanks. MTB is based out of Montgomery, so when my neighbor asked for recs on a cute top or dress to wear, I sent her to their website. When ordering, you can also order a swatch of fabric to coordinate your appliques with your bottoms. I honestly wasn’t sure how the stripes would look on a fish design, but I love how this turned out! Knit is suprisingly easy to work with and I use Heat N Bond Lite on it which fuses the knit to my shirt and the outcome is a clean crisp applique. Font: Monogram Wizard Plus “Happy” (my absolute fave for girls).

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I do monogramming for a local gift shop, and today on the machine I had a semi large cooler bag to do. My machine is typically on a 1 file drawer piece of furniture, and this is the second time in years that I’ve needed a real multi needle machine stand. The cooler was a bit too bulky to cram under the machine, so I straddled my machine on my stand and my tool chest. It worked! I watched it the whole time holding my breath, believe me!

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Yay! (Monogram Wizard Plus “Curly Q” font)

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Other than the above, I have a short list of old designs that I’m re-sewing. Sometimes sewing a design with new fabric brings it back to life! Here’s our Sea Turtle, which is like our 113th design (we now have close to 800 designs on our website).

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Our Simple Turtle, #102.

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Slide (#140)

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Our Snail, #91!

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I have a few more I’m working on, doing a couple each day. The above multi dot fabric used in the Sea Turtle and Snail is from Alfie & Bettie, Gumballs Pink. It’s super cute and I’ve been asked several times what it is.

Here are several cute new fabrics I got from TJ’s Fabrics. The small quatrefoils are from Fabric Finders. The larger quatrefoils are Riley Blake! I really like the colors on the larger quatrefoils and can’t wait to use them! Someone asked if these were replacing CHEVRONS! Not sure, but they are cute!

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I will close with several pics of the kids, including MAGGIE, from this past weekend and the end of the school year! Yes, those are real ducks. Our neighbors at the lake bought and raised them in St. Augustine, FL and brought them to the lake this past weekend to release them. They were fun to watch! Have a great rest-of-the-week!

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Almost Summer!

Good afternoon! We are counting down to Summer around here! My kids get out of school next Friday, May 23rd! A couple of weeks ago I made the trip down to Ruthie’s Notions in Baker, Florida to teach a Basics of Applique class (my usual topic). I was there for 2 days, and managed to snap 3 whole pictures. Below are some samples that I have sewn (or appliqued or monogrammed)  and took to show. Everyone just LOVED all of the blanks! These are all Applique Cafe designs of course. I believe all of the monogramming is Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” font.

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More monogrammed and appliqued items! I am obsessed with the colors in this bag!! It’s a coral-y peach color monogram (Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” font) on a “spa” colored jute bag, which came from a local store that I do monogramming for. The towel and bag were both Mother’s Day gifts for my mom! :)

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I also took lots of awesome blanks that I did not get a chance to stitch! Again, everyone went crazy over all the blanks! There is a list of blanks suppliers here on my blog – click HERE (in LINKS).

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Here are several new designs we will be listing later today! I love Bird designs! You could also put fabric under the nest stitching and make it raggy (fabric + flannel). blog birds closeup blog birds

This is a great one for the boys! We live near Lake Martin (Alabama) so we spend a lot of time on a Pontoon Boat! These are my favorite colors for summer {after the spa/coral color combo}!blog boat

This Pontoon Boat was sewn by Glenda at That’s 2 Cute. Find her on Facebook! She added some ric rac for the water which is adorable!!

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This is our new Mini Raggy Oval Patch, which can be sewn on anything. I typically use a layer of flannel (white or any color) underneath my fabric for raggy designs. You simply trim, leaving about 1/8″ around (give or take) and then scrape with your scissors to create the raggy effect. For this VISOR, I stitched the patch on a medium weight tearaway stabilizer. I hooped the stabilizer, then sewed the patch on to it just like any applique (fabric + white flannel). I then trimmed around the patch, pulled away the stabilizer and glued it to the visor using Fabric Fusion fabric glue. You could also stitch this on using a cap frame/cap hoop if you have a multi needle machine. blog visor

Here is the same patch on a pair of cute lounge shorts. These were sewn by Glenda at That’s 2 Cute (custom monogramming and appliques). Precious!!!!!blogthats2cute

This is Whale 4 stitched on a Blanks Boutique onesie. Their onesies snap up the back, which makes it super easy to monogram and applique! I was able to get a 5×7 design on this onesie.

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Again, here’s That’s 2 Cute’s version on a cute pink Monag dress. Remember my post about Pic Monkey? That’s what she used to add the “water” overlay on the photo!

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We are working on getting these listed as I type! In case you didn’t know, all designs are on sale through tomorrow, Wednesday, May 14th! www.appliquecafe.com Have a great day!!

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Umbrellas and Hats

Good afternoon friends! Yesterday I opened the mail to find a copy of Creative Machine Embroidery magazine and was pleased to find that my BLOG was noted in the magazine as “One to Follow“!! While sometimes I struggle to find the time to blog, or struggle to come up with anything to blog about, it has always been my passion to share what I’ve learned with all of you! I know sometimes it’s boring (WAKE UP!!!) and sometimes I go a month 2 weeks with nothing posted, but please know I’m here and hope to bring you helpful info as often as I can!! Thanks for reading and thanks for the comments and encouragement! ;)

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Now, as promised…. I monogrammed a hat Friday using FAST FRAMES and took some pictures to show you. I posted the other day about doing a visor on my BROTHER PR650 using the cap frame. You can do hats with the cap frame also, but if you don’t have a cap frame or want to unpack it from the box, you can use fast frames. I’m not promising this will work on all hats, but the ones I’ve done have been NOT-stiff and easy to work with.

I used the below frame, as the monogram for my hat was around 2″ tall and wide. You could always do your monogram bigger. I did this hat for myself. A) I rarely wear hats but thought it might come in handy this summer {I typically wear a visor if anything on my head}. B) Being someone in the business of monogramming, I never wear anything monogrammed!!! As you can see I’ve used sticky stabilizer on my fast frame and wrapped it around the edges. Am I the only one who stares at my frames to determine which side is the top and bottom….

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The first thing I did was get the liner out of the way so I don’t monogram it. I simply pinned it out of the way! As you can see, this is one of those cute “pigment dyed” hats that are so popular right now (like the Comfort Colors tees). It’s ADAMS brand and I got this from a friend, but have recently discovered Apparel N Bags website where you can buy the Comfort Colors tees, these hats and other cute things!

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I flattened the bill of the hat out so that I could attach the face of the hat {where the monogram will go} to the fast frame and sticky stabilizer. As you can see below, I pinned my monogram area in place and tried to line up the center seam of the hat with the center of the fast frame. This takes some practice and I had to adjust and move the hat several times to get it right. As I said, my monogram is only around 2″ so I didn’t need much space.

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This is what it looks like underneath. My lining is pinned down, and the face of the hat is also pinned in place.

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My hat is on the machine now ready to sew. Just make sure the excess hat is out of the way on all sides! Also, since this is a FAST FRAME and my machine doesn’t recognize it as any particular hoop, I checked my borders to make sure my monogram would fit INSIDE the area on the face of the hat. You don’t want your needle to hit the frame on either side!! I lined my lead needle up with the center seam on the hat.

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My monogram is complete. I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” font.

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When done I remove the hat and frame from my machine, unpin it and remove the hat from the sticky stabilizer. I then remove any sticky stabilizer from inside the hat, unpin the liner and it’s ready to wear! Again, some hats have seams like the one below which shows you where to center the design!

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Here’s the finished product!

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I am a little obsessed with the color of the hat and the below T-shirt, which is Comfort Colors Bright Salmon! The hat may be Poppy or Nautical Red (Adams brand)? These are all samples for my upcoming class at Ruthie’s Notions {this coming weekend!!}. In lieu of initials, I put our 3″ Mini Embroidery Anchor on the below Comfort Colors tee. I’m also using my vinyl backdrop I got recently from Bubble Gum Backdrops on Etsy! This is a 36″ X 36″ pale wood vinyl backdrop. It really makes the t-shirt pop!

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Also this week, I monogrammed a few UMBRELLAS! EEEekkkk!! Scary I know! They were really pretty easy to do and I took pictures along the way! First of all, I did use my 4×4 hoop as opposed to fast frames. The material of an umbrella is so thin that I was afraid sticky stabilizer would not come off easily or cause the umbrella fabric to tear in the process of removing it. I used waffle tearaway and water soluble “solvy” stabilizer on top.

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Here’s what it looks like from the inside. I love the waffle tearaway when I need a little more substance than regular iron on tearaway! I “stuck” it in place with a little temporary spray adhesive (Sulky KK2000).

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I put the hoop on the machine and rotated the design upside down so it would sew correctly. Again, I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” font.

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As you can see below, the handle of the umbrella simply rested underneath the arm. I kept an eye on it so it didn’t hit anything causing the machine to mess up.

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This is what it looked like when I was done. I did 3, so these pictures have different initials on them. I removed the hoop and stabilizer from both sides, including inside the letters.

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The waffle stabilizer is very easy to pick off. {I think I need some lotion!!!!}

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Finished product! This would make a great personalized gift!!

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I hope this is helpful! Please have a blessed week and live each day to the fullest!

Visors and Cap Frames 101

Well, I said I was going to do a post on monogramming hats with fast frames (as opposed to a cap frame). I have 1 photo of a hat I did recently and I also have a real {cute} hat to monogram. I plan to post photos of the process, but visors came first today. I do monogramming for a local store and on tap for today were several logos on shirts & visors. I tried and tried and even asked on Facebook how to monogram a visor WITHOUT the cap frame, but I could.not.figure.it.out. I think it has to do with the size of the monogram (or logo in my case) and how flimsy the visor is. So…. I dug out my cap frame after not having used the thing in at least 2 years. I was dreading it and cursing along the way, but it ended up not being as hard as I thought! Lucky for you I took a gazillion cell phone pics along the way….

The cap frame consists of 3 parts and the sewing field is typically 2.5″ X 5″ if you get the cap hooped perfectly. The part below is the CAP HOOP HOLDER FRAME. I got my cap frame from Sewingmachine.com, which has a GREAT video on how to use your cap frame. I watched the video to refresh myself on the process, and I remembered from my training with Steve that you hoop visors upside down. WATCH the VIDEO!! I will explain the upside down thing more later. The holder frame attaches to a table or any surface ~ I attached mine to my Ikea Expedit shelf.

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This is the mechanism that helps you get the cap or visor hooped.

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Here is a photo of the actual CAP FRAME or CAP HOOP clamped on the holder. As you can see, there is a piece hanging down which is what secures or clamps on to the visor or hat. This part is hard to explain! Hopefully the photos will help, and again, WATCH THE VIDEO!

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There is also a DRIVER which fits on to your machine. You take the arm of the machine off by loosening the small screws and removing them and the arm. You then put the driver on which fits around the bobbin case area of the machine.

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This is what the driver looks like when it’s attached. Screws are tightened. There are 2 small screws on top and 2 bigger ones on bottom.

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This is what it looks like from underneath. I know this is a bit confusing and hopefully you may know how to install the cap frame already. This is the bigger screw tightened on the bottom, and there are 2 of these.

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Your machine came with a handy dandy tool box, and you must insert this RISER. Since the cap or visor is curved, this helps the cap or visor glide back and forth as it is monogramming. The photo below also shows you how the drive fits on to the machine.

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Now it’s time to get my visor ready. I’ve marked the center and am ready to get the visor hooped.

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I use cap backing stabilizer and lay it across the hoop {which is on the holder}.

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Most visors have a little bit of lining ~ fold that down.

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Try to line up the center mark on the visor with the center line on the cap hoop/holder.

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The huge silver piece you see below usually clamps down on the bill of a hat. We are doing a visor, so we hoop upside down and nothing goes inside that clamp. Pull the clamp over that was hanging down in a previous photo, and what you want to do is barely grip the top of the visor to keep it in place. There are teeth on the clamp that hangs down, so they will easily grab and secure the top of the visor. You want to clamp down as close to the edge as possible. If you don’t, you lose some of your sewing area.

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You are now ready to put the hooped visor on the machine. As you can see below, the lining is out of the way.

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The hoop is locked in place and secure on both sides.

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With the CAP FRAME on the machine, your machine knows it’s on there {as opposed to the regular machine arm and standard hoops}. As you can see on the screen, it shows an image of the cap frame and it shows an upside down cap/hat. The logo is also automatically turned upside down so that it will stitch correctly on the cap. We, however, are doing a visor! That visor is hooped the opposite way so you have to rotate the logo or design to stitch normally and not upside down.

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Double check to make sure it is right side up! Mine flipped upside down again in editing so make sure it’s rotated the right way.

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I’ve assigned my colors and am ready to line up my needle and sew. I line up the lead needle and make sure it is lined up with the center mark on my visor. That way the logo will be centered on the visor.

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The visor is now stitching, and you can see below how everything looks.

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Here is another photo of how the cap hoop/frame is locked in place (on both sides).

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Here are 2 photos of the visors after I’m finished. I did a white and khaki one, both with the same logo. I trimmed the jump stitches in between the letters.

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I’ve taken the visor off the frame and will pull away the cap stabilizer which is tearaway and comes in strips.

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I usually pull away all of the stabilizer inside the letters.

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Flip the lining back up and your visor is ready!

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Here are the finished products!

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Are you either thoroughly confused, or scared to death?? It’s really easier than it seems, and I highly recommend the video! I have not used my cap frame in like 2 years, but it only took me 15 minutes or so to get it all set up and the visors embroidered.

I will work on my blog post ASAP on monogramming a regular hat or cap using FAST FRAMES! Stay tuned!!

Print it!

It’s a rainy day in Alabama. I love a good ole rainy day, but we seem to have them every Monday which gets old because Mondays are hard enough. That, and the fact that little Maggie does not like to go to the restroom out in the rain, which makes for an interesting day when it’s raining and the back yard is flooded. Who can blame her? Here is a photo of her last Friday on a dry day. She’s a Lab trapped in a little furry body. She loves to dig and bark at every bird, squirrel, bee and mosquito she sees. This was taken 5 minutes before we were to leave town Friday…. Needless to say we were delayed.

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Blog readers…Pay attention to the “ad buttons” on the right! These are a few of my favorite places or products. I blogged about Pic Monkey recently, which is a fun editing photo program I use a lot. “New” to the blog are Southern Homes & Gardens, which is a fabulous home & garden store here in Montgomery. SH&G is owned by some family friends (or some friends’ family) and they are selling a lot of items found in their store online now. Check it out! I’ve been discussing a giveaway with SH&G so stay tuned for that too.

Now, pay close attention to the CARBONITE button! Being in the web business with digital products, if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it 2,356 times {and usually on a weekly basis} from customers…. “MY COMPUTER CRASHED AND I LOST EVERYTHING!!!!!!!” Most of these emails are urgent and dramatic b/c said customer has just lost thousands of dollars worth of digital embroidery files! Applique Cafe now has the Your Account feature where you can log in and access any purchases you’ve made since 11/8/11. However, this system is not foolproof! There are also like 2,356 applique websites out there now. It may take you a while to email them all or to log in to access those designs you spent your hard earned money on!

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There are a variety of options depending on how many computers you have and if you are a business or just a home user like most people. Click on the link and check it out! You can also try it free which is always good. We’ve been using it for years! It’s money well spent.

PRINT IT!! This is not rocket science and I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. However…. I have been using this feature a lot lately so I thought I’d share. Old age maybe?? Do you ever wonder how big to make a monogram or where to put it? As you all know, I use Monogram Wizard Plus and Sew What-Pro software and both allow you to print what you are working on which is GREAT.

Below is Sew What-Pro.

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And Monogram Wizard Plus.

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I’ve done several “polo” type shirts this week, so I formatted the monogram in MWP as best as I could (meaning I guessed on size), then printed a copy of it and cut it out to lay on the shirt. This helps me to see if my size is right, and it also helps with placement! Sorry these pics are a little fuzzy. I guess all the rain has my camera fogged up.

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I’m also doing 5 towels for graduation gifts. These are for guys going off to college, so we decided to do their initials straight across and I used MWP “Library” font. I wanted to make sure this was going to look right, so I guestimated the size of the initials and printed it so I could make sure it would look right.

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Here’s the finished towel! Looks great!

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Again, not rocket science, but I thought I’d share in case you ever get in a bind or are undecided on a monogram or design! I also discussed recently how printing your design when trying to cover an old monogram helps out too. You can read that post HERE!

Have you noticed anything new on Applique Cafe? Yes, Easter designs are 1/2 off! There are also a few new buttons on my website. I am constantly looking over my website and making sure it’s as user friendly as possible, and not confusing, and “neat” looking. Like my designs, I like to keep things SIMPLE. I added a few buttons to help better navigate to those important areas ~ YOUR ACCOUNT (your purchases saved under your email address), GET NEWS (subscribe to our newsletter which goes out usually once per month with new design and sale info) and of course MY BLOG! That’s where you are now! Check it out!

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