Everything Embroidery Market WINNERS

Happy Friday folks! I did a ticket giveaway on my last blog post for the Everything Embroidery Market coming up next month. You all commented up a storm and I LOVED reading all of the resolutions and ideas for the new year! On Tuesday I used random.org to generate 2 lucky numbers and counted down the comments to find our winners. Of course, both people who commented only left a first name, and I didn’t think to even ask for an email address or SOMETHING on the comments! So far these 2 have not contacted me, so I thought another blog post might do the trick! If you are my Megan or Renee and are interested in attending the EEM, please email me at rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com!! If for some reason you aren’t interested and just commented for fun, shoot me an email and let me know so I can chose another winner! Hope to hear from you and thanks to everyone for commenting! blog winner 2 blog winner

Here are 4 new designs I just listed, and since our SALE ended this morning, I’ve listed these at the sale price which will be good through the weekend! $2.40 through Sunday, and don’t forget our Digitizer’s Pick which is $1.50 (on our home page)! Check out these new designs at Applique Cafe! Again, HAPPY FRIDAY!!

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Everything Embroidery Market Chattanooga

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Happy 2015 from Applique Cafe!! It’s 1:52 pm and I am still in my pajamas!! We toasted the New Year with the NYC ball drop with some friends and our 15 kids last night, then came home with 20 minutes to spare in bringing in the central time zone New Year here in Alabama! What are your “resolutions” for 2015? I never really make any or keep any, but have a few things in mind for this year. I was texting with friends yesterday discussing wrinkles, waistlines, gray hair and talk of root canals, crowns and needing braces. :P There’s a hefty resolution or two in there I think! Business-wise, I would love to blog more (HA – we have all heard that one before…), somehow come up with more new designs (how.else.can.we.do.a.bunny??), and utilize different social media outlets more in our business (since Facebook has become a total joke). Follow Applique Cafe on Instagram, Pinterest and even Twitter! We are still on Facebook, but lately negative 3% of our followers even see what we post. So, BLOG, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST & TWITTER! Got it? Good!

Is anyone going to the Everything Embroidery Market next month? Anyone want to? It’s February 20-21st (Fri-Sat) in Chattanooga, TN and Applique Cafe will be there! I have some tickets to give away, so who wants to win a couple of them???? All you have to do is comment on this post with your NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION(S) and I will chose 2 winners randomly on Sunday! That’s this Sunday, January 4th, 2015! Be sure to FOLLOW EEM on Facebook to keep up with announcements and everything else you need and want to know!

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Applique Cafe news ~ ALL DESIGNS ARE 40% OFF through next Thursday, January 8th! Time to think about Valentines and Easter for sure, and SUMMER will be here before we know it.

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Also, check out our Valentine’s Digitizer’s Pick featured on our home page! We are working on several new designs to kick off 2015, so stay tuned for those! One more time…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Remember….COMMENT – RESULUTION(S) – GIVING AWAY 2 TICKETS TO EVERYTHING EMBROIDERY MARKET – SUNDAY, JANUARY 4TH.

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Merry Christmas 2014

First of all, I would like to wish everyone reading this a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! If you are like me, it has really snuck up fast this year. I say that every year, and you’d think I didn’t know that Christmas was on December 25th every.single.year!! It’s not like Easter or Thanksgiving when you are never really sure when it might fall. It’s always December 25th, and it always sneaks up on me! I just mailed out my Christmas cards today, and a couple of hours ago I was still out at Hobby Lobby buying last minute gifts. I think I am done! Anyway, from these kiddos of mine to you, MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM APPLIQUE CAFE!!!

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I am done shopping, and I am also done monogramming!! I monogrammed my last 5 or 6 items today, and other than monogramming a thing or two for my own children, I am D-O-N-E!!! Below is my “work organizer” that I got from Hobby Lobby. It’s EMPTY!!! Woo hoo!!!! I’m kinda hoping it stays that way until 2015…

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Earlier today, this was my dining room table with everything DONE on it. Most was picked up today. I’ve been monogramming like crazy for the past week or two! Based on the likes on my Instagram photo, I’d say some of you are in the same boat! p.s. don’t you just love Emoji??

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Lastly, December has been a hot month for Sew What-Pro software!! A lot of you are either buying or receiving (or both) SWP software for Christmas this year! So far it’s our TOP SELLER for the month! For more info on Sew What Pro, just search Sew What Pro or look for the TAG on the right column of my blog!

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Again, Merry Christmas and a big THANK YOU to all of our customers and blog readers out there! I know I don’t blog as much as I should, but I appreciate my readers and will try to do better in 2015!! :)

Road Trip!!

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I am super excited about a SHOPPING EVENT coming up in February 2015! The Everything Embroidery Market will take place in Chattanooga, TN on February 20-21st. Check out their Facebook page to keep up with who will be there and everything you need to know! The website is www.everythingembroiderymarket.com to register, find hotel information and much more. Who all will be there??

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ME!!!! ……. I missed the Applique Conference this year so I’m excited to be there to see everyone and get to shop, network and learn some new things! Best of all, I WILL have a display table but won’t be teaching or anything so it’ll be a stress-free and fun trip! Not that teaching is stressful but you know what I mean… :)

Who else?

Sassy Kid Blanks, Southern Home Blanks, Sewingmachine.com (my favorite!!), Monkey Tails Blanks, All Stitched Up by Angela/Angela’s Fabric and Trim, web designer Strafire.com just to name a few ~ LIKE their Facebook page to find out who else is coming. There are other applique/embroidery website friends coming too! I hope to see you there!

Widening Satin Stitches!!

I taught a class last Thursday night at Beth’s Heirloom Sewing in Wetumpka, AL. I’ve taught a couple of “intro to embroidery & applique” classes before but this time she asked me to teach Embroidery Software. Since I use Monogram Wizard Plus and Sew What Pro, those were the 2 I chose to teach. I took 3 pages of notes (front and back) and ended up spending a good hour on Monogram Wizard Plus and the last hour on Sew What Pro. We didn’t even take a break! People really ARE interested in software!! Check out Beth’s website ~ they are now selling fabric online and she said they were still in the process of adding all of it! If you are in the area, you can also sign up for their newsletter and hear about upcoming classes. I need to take my notes and put them in a good outline form ~ I will work on that in my spare time!

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One of the most impressive features of Sew What Pro is that you can adjust PULL COMPENSATION, or in other words, you can WIDEN YOUR SATIN STITCHES on your appliques and fonts! Say what???? I posted a picture of a demo I did on Facebook last week and got a huge response!

I will walk you through the process, and also include a link to a video from the Sands Computing website so you can also watch the process. It’s SUPER easy to do!

Here is your Sew What Pro workspace screen and I did my demo using our Mini Satin Circle Applique Design. There is an icon up top for adjusting your density and PULL COMPENSATION. Click on that button (which says “Adjust Density”). I don’t mess with density by the way. I found this when googling Embroidery Density ~ “Density is the distance between individual stitches in a satin column or rows of stitches in a fill. The closer the rows are to each other, the more dense an area of stitches is.” You can read more about density here. Again, I typically don’t mess with density!

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On the bottom you will see Pull Compensation and X.1mm. You can adjust your PC up to 20, which would be 2mm. You can also go -20 which would make your satin stitch 2mm thinner. Basically, 5= 1/2 mm, 10=1 mm, 15 = 1.5 mm, and 20 would be 2 mm. You will see my examples down below.

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This is what my adjusted design looks like after changing my PC to 10. This, I thought, was a good increase for PC and it didn’t make it too thick.

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Here is the demo I did! As you can see, 20 is almost too thick unless you just like super duper thick satin stitches!

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Here is a shot of the back of each applique. As you can see the bobbin distribution looks great (about 1/3, 1/3, 1/3)  so adjusting Pull Compensation does not mess up how the design stitches.

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And now, here is the video you can watch from the Sands Computing website: http://sandscomputing.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/PullComp/PullCompensation.swf

There are also other helpful videos on their website! Let me know if you have any questions! This is just one of the cool features of Sew What Pro, which you can find at Applique Cafe! There is a 30 day free trial if you are interested in trying it out, and it’s only $65 to purchase. Well worth every penny!!

Check out our new Digitizer’s Pick for Christmas. This is a great design for the BOYS and it’s $1.50 for a limited time!

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Sewing Room Organization

Hello AC Blog readers!! A while back (like in July) I solicited blog post suggestions on Facebook (or maybe it was on a blog post?) and I got some great suggestions. Sorry it has taken me 3 months to address some of them! I thought I would share a few pictures from my sewing room and show you how I (try really hard to) stay organized!! I think organization is a good thing or else your work space may feel chaotic and stressful. Luckily I have my own sewing room (that I share with my husband – he gets a corner and a shelf or two!). Before this house, my dining room was my sewing room and we all know how crazy that can be.

This is an old photo, but you get the idea. The furniture is from Home Decorators – Martha Stewart Living Craft Space Furniture.  It comes in a few colors and bunch of different options and has really held up well. My desk is dinged up from hitting it with hoops and such, but overall it is sturdy and we like it!

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This is an old photo as well. This is my Expedit cubby system from Ikea, which I LOVE!!!! This thing is heavy and sturdy and comes in a few other configuration options. I was told that Expedit has changes names to Kallax at Ikea, and I am not sure if this 25 cubby system is being offered, but I looked online and see the 16 cubby system and a few other options. There are also lots of basket options, doors, drawers, etc. All 15 of the bottom baskets are filled with fabric, and are organized by style. For example: fat ginghams, regular ginghams, microcheck fabrics, chevrons, polka dots, solids, floral prints, etc etc etc are in a basket together. They are wadded up and thrown in the baskets haphazardly, but they are organized!!

Thread — I have 4 standard sized thread racks hanging on the wall. You can buy them at Hobby Lobby, Joann, etc. I also have a large spool (5000M) rack that I bought at Sewingmachine.com at their West Point location. I think this is it — 30 Spool Thread Rack.

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Here is more recent photo I took while laying on the floor doing hip exercises! Pretty cool huh (not the hip exercises…)? I use mostly Isacord and Exquisite thread. I get my Isacord from Sewingmachine.com and my Exquisite from Kenssewingcenter.com! I do have some random spools of other brands, but those are my 2 go-to brands for embroidery thread.

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Another picture I posted on Facebook recently of my now-8 year old! He was peering over my shoulder the other day while I was doing a newsletter and asked me, as seriously as he could, “Do you have a website? Wait… do you own your own company?” WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN SON????? :)

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Another old photo! I bought this 1 2 3 4 wall cubby thing at Hobby Lobby a year or two ago. I believe it was on clearance and I thought it would be perfect for my TO DO stuff! Be on the lookout for things like this at Hobby Lobby, World Market, etc. when you are out shopping! They are great for getting organized!

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This photo was today, and luckily my TO DO pile is small!

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I have posted may times before that I used to use a Craftsman Tool Chest as a machine stand. It worked great! When we bought this house and I got a sewing room, I bought the 1-drawer piece of furniture seen in the first photo, but I kept the tool chest and I love it! I use it as my hooping station, and the drawers are great for all of my STUFF (hoops, extra stabilizer, etc.). As you can see below, when they have a sale at Joann I stock up!

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Drawers are great for all those hoop pieces! The top is great for hooping too. I bought this at Sears for less than $100 and it has 4 drawers.

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Above the tool chest I have a couple of peg boards I got at Michaels and a craft rack I also got at Michaels. It holds some of my stabilizer! This hangs above my tool chest so everything is handy when I’m hooping.

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I bought this utensil caddy at Southern Homes & Gardens here in town. It spins around which comes in handy! My only complaint is that my stuff falls through the holes of the chicken wire and often gets stuck, but you get the idea! Any utensil caddy would be great for scissors, pens and all those other “things” you use (seam ripper, marking pens, etc.) in keeping them organized.

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I am also lucky in our house to have a closet for all of my STUFF! My husband had some stuff in this closet and I kicked him out. It’s just a small closet under our stairs. As you can see below I have a dress form and some other smaller “props” which I use when doing classes or events. I bought the dress form from a local store that was closing, and the other smaller props all came from Hobby Lobby. You can find dress forms on Ebay also!

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I have tons of blanks and samples and I love that they are hung up and organized! I keep blank bibs and burp cloths in the plastic drawers underneath. It looks a little messy but it’s really organized!

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I hope that helps as you think about organization!!

Have you been on the website lately? Hopefully you’ve noticed our Digitizer’s Pick! We change it out randomly so be sure to grab it when you see it! Right now our Rudolph 3 is featured! Also, ALL DESIGNS ARE ON SALE THROUGH 10/14/14!

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Lastly, I am teaching a class at Beth’s Heirloom in Wetumpka next Thursday night, October 16th from 6-8 pm. I will be showing you the software I use (Monogram Wizard Plus and Sew What Pro) and we will talk about using software in designing with embroidery and applique! Here is a LINK to the class!

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Basic Blanks

Hello readers! It has been a while since I last posted! School started. Soccer started. Homework started. Did I mention that school and soccer started? And homework? It has been a busy few weeks settling back in to school and homework X 3. The first couple of weeks were ROUGH, but I think we are settling in and getting in to a good routine. All 3 of my kids play soccer also, so that’s another story. Oh, and now Football Season has started. I feel like we JUST watched football like a month ago (from last season) and now it’s on my TV again. Happy Fall! 

So….. I have posted in the past about hats (just search “HATS”). I have also posted about blanks and have a nifty list on my blog – look under LINKS. I wanted to elaborate on some basic blanks that I’ve come to love. When I say basic, I mean hats, visors, Comfort Colors t-shirts, pigment dyed stuff, etc. The hats below are Adams Brand and can be found at Apparel N Bags. These are “pigment dyed” which is super popular right now. I have posted these hats before this summer and these designs are from Applique Cafe of course (Anchor Patch & Mini Dog).

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Another item I just got and LOVE – see below! This is a Comfort Colors long sleeved t-shirt from Apparel N Bags also. The color is Neon Red Orange, and when I first got it I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I dug through my fabric bins and honestly didn’t have ANY neon fabric to match for an applique. So… I decided to go with a classic monogram. This is Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle”, which is my GO-TO monogram font for like everything under the sun for girls. After much debate on thread colors, I went with Isacord #4240 which is a pretty blue color. My monogram is 4.88″ X 4.96″ so kind of big. This is a YXS sized shirt, and believe me, the color is NEON! I love the colors together and am happy with the way it turned out!

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These pictures don’t really reflect how bright the shirt color is, but it’s a great color!

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This is my sweet precious daughter, and this is what she wears like every day after school. Nike shorts are a staple, and any t-shirt she can find. Doesn’t have to match! Another reason I will be ordering some of the CC l/s tees is for her! At least I can monogram the shirt and it may look a little cuter?!? Maybe I should match ALL of her Nike shorts?

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A few more pics!

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What do you think? Check out Apparel N Bags for other cool “BASIC BLANKS”!! They sell everything from duffle bags to t-shirts to infant blanks!

Have you visited Applique Cafe recently?? If so, you may have noticed our “Digitzer’s Pick” on our home page! We now have like 800+ designs on our website! So…. we thought it might be a great idea to showcase some of our older designs so you don’t forget about them!  Our PICK right now is actually a design from last year I think, but it was too cute not to *pick*!! Click HERE to check out our Joy 4 design! The way it works is that we will randomly pick a design to showcase and feature it on our home page. We might leave it up there for a week, or it may be 3 days. I didn’t want to set a schedule (like a design of the week) because we all know how busy everyone is and how forgetful I am and I wanted to be able to change it out when I have time and feel like it! We hope you enjoy our PICKS! p.s. I am working on a cute graphic to feature the chosen designs on for my website! For now you get my Pic Monkey graphics.

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Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!!

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!!