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.

mags

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!

carbonite

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.

PRINT2

And Monogram Wizard Plus.

PRINT

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.

photo (17)

photo (18)

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.

photo (16)

Here’s the finished towel! Looks great!

photo (19)

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!

web page

Sew What Whaaa???

Today I have been dreaming of summer. The weather has been glorious and I long for the days of NOT getting up at 6:30 to get the kids off to school. I dream of no homework, packing snack or lunches, waking up with no where to be, and taking the kids to the pool every other day if they want to go.  6 weeks!!! I’m taking bets of how long it will take me to complain about the 100+ degree temps and the fact that the kids are driving me nuts! :)

If you were on Facebook today then you hopefully liked my post of this A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E t-shirt from Sassy Kid Blanks. This is our Lollipop Trio design with bright, fun and adorable fabrics! Melissa does a great job with the blanks, but she also sends me photos from time to time of my designs that she has sewn! Love….skb-tile2

Y’all…. I have been pushing Sew What-Pro for YEARS!! It’s simple to use and it’s affordable (ONLY $65). What else do you need to know? While dreaming of summer today, I’ve also been working on my website and blog and newsletter trying to tweak things here and there to make shopping and browsing easier but also helpful and informative. Well…. I stumbled upon some videos from the S & S Computing website and my life may be changed regarding Sew What-Pro. Helllooooo TUTORIALS!! I watched a few of them, and the 2 that caught my eye were…..

Adding “fabric” to your applique design on screen. Granted there aren’t a ton of choices and it looks like digital fabric of course, but it’s a pretty cool feature if you are trying to pick out colors or visualize fabric.

swp fabric

Also… I knew about the View Album Icons feature, which shows your font folder and what’s inside on the right as shown below. BUT… what I did not know is that if you add the first letter and move it to the left of your work area, THEN click the ICON button on the toolbar, AND click Alphabet Mode in the font folder on the right… you can click on the rest of the letters you need and SWP will place them in a row for you! You still might have to arrange them and space them a little, but the old way I was doing it, it piled all of the letters on top of one another and then you’d have to separate and arrange them! GENIUS!!!! This is a huge time saver! After you’ve arranged them, then you can go in to EDIT, and JOIN THREADS to make it all 1 step and thread color.

alphabet mode

Check out the VIDEOS and I will too, and let’s all figure out what else is FABULOUS about Sew What-Pro!! I am so glad that I have started selling it and have enjoyed answering questions and sharing this great and inexpensive program!! It’s perfect for beginners and old timers like me! Now I have even more reasons to recommend it to my applique friends! Update: I forgot to mention – watch the Pull Compensation video FOR SURE!! I had no idea… 

Are you on Instagram?  I love IG for many reasons. I used to love Facebook, but scrolling through all of the ads and blog posts people want me to read (not to mention the cray cray things people post), I love IG more. Granted I still like Facebook and spend wayyyy too much time on there, but IG is great for JUST photos! I like to post on there the random things I’m working on in my sewing room! It’s not all Applique Cafe designs. I still take customer orders, so I monogram a lot and do all sorts of things. Here are a few photos of what I did today….

This is a C-U-T-E picnic blanket from none other than Target. It folds and zips up so it’s easy to tote. This is for a friend for her friend’s wedding gift. Hopefully these people are not reading my blog. I used our Paw Prints design (4×4 on each side – right one I flip flopped for a mirror image in SWP). The font is Monogram Wizard Plus “Library” font and I narrowed up the letters so they would be tall and big. These folks are Auburn fans! #wareagle

picnic

I also monogrammed this HAT today and I used my fast frames. Several followers on IG asked for a blog post or tutorial on how to do this, so I will work on that asap! Font: MWP Cotillion (Fishtail)

hat

I also had a friend bring me a couple of shirts to do, and for this one she wanted to match both of the shorts shown. I happened to have the orange fabric, so I used that and tied in the green with the accents of the FISH design. This is actually our Two Fish design, and I used the 6×10 file and deleted the top fish! That left a fish that fit nicely in my 5×7 hoop and I did enlarge it a little after I put it ON my machine. {Most machines will shrink or enlarge 10-20%} We may offer this as a single fish design and might come up with a girly version too. Did I mention that I edited the design in Sew What-Pro?

fishshorts

Lastly, my friend asked me to do the Cool Dog on this gray t-shirt. She specifically said use red and navy, so I pulled these fabrics together and it turned out cute. I love red on gray!

cool dog

In case you missed it, I will be at Ruthie’s Notions down in Baker, FL on Friday/Saturday May 2-3. I rode down there yesterday and spent several hours with Ruthie and am excited and extremely nervous about this class! Ruthie is a Babylock dealer and sells tons of “notions” and all of the fabulous Babylock machines. My machine is a Brother PR650 and it was basically the same as the Babylock. I believe they are manufactured by the same folks. Anywho, if you are interested in learning about applique and embroidery and are in the area or willing to travel, check out the details HERE!

ruthies

If you have suggestions of topics I could cover, please comment or email me! My target audience is a beginner, or someone who’s just learning about embroidery & applique. I plan to also discuss starting or growing your embroidery business (which I have never taught before). This is the longest class time-span I’ve ever taught, so I have a lot of work to do! I’ve already had someone email me with ideas so if you have any, please let me know ~ rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com or comment! THANKS!!

Pic Monkey

Happy Monday-post-Spring-Break! I have actually gotten a lot done today. Another quick post I wanted to share with you about photo editing software. I’ve shared before and most of you know I use Photoscape for photo editing (resizing, brightening up a photo, cropping, adding my watermark, etc.). It’s free and super easy to use. I also use Photoshop Elements 10 to remove the background of my photos. See THIS POST for more on that. I have also been using Pic Monkey lately and I love it! It’s how I jazzed up the following few photos. Yes, it’s a lot of photo software! I like each of them for different reasons, so why not!

Here I combined 4 design photos using Photoscape, but I added the lime border in Pic Monkey. baby bottle 300-horz

My favorite thing about Pic Monkey is the scallop borders (“craft scissors”) you can add!

carrot 2 300-horz christmas tree 9 plain 500

They also have lots of cute font options to add text!

zig zag hope 300-tile birds 300-tile

Here is just a smidge of font options you can chose from.

pcfonts

There are lots of border options, but I love the craft scissor options!

pcframes

You may not have noticed the link on the right side of my blog, but that’s the best way to get to Pic Monkey! You can use it for free and look around. I paid the $33 for a year of “Royale” which gives you lots of options! You can use Pic Monkey to edit photos from your computer, create photo collages and also design stuff from scratch. I use digital paper a lot I find on Etsy and add photos and borders.

pcpage

Anyway, there’s the scoop on that! Click the link on my blog shown above to take a look!

Upcoming Classes

Just a quick post to let you know I’ll be in Baker, Florida on Friday & Saturday, May 2 & 3 at Ruthie’s Notions. Ruthie is a Babylock dealer and holds LOTS of classes! Check out her website if you are in the area. I plan to make a trip down there in the next week or two to check out her store and get an idea of what all I will need to bring for my class. I’ve only taught in 1 hour and 2 hour increments, so if you have suggestions of topics, comment or shoot me an email ~ rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com! I plan to teach my usual “basics of applique & embroidery” and will also expand in to starting or growing your embroidery business. Stay tuned!

ruthies

We have been on Spring Break this past week, so I hope to get back to work this week with new designs and I have a blog post idea or two. I’ve been gone for 9 days so it’s going to take me a day or two to get back in the groove!

Embroidery Software and Fabric

Happy Thursday Friday! Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get a post up…  I am so excited to post about a “new” product I am now selling on the website!! No, not all of the cute and simple applique designs even though I AM excited about selling those too. I am now selling the wonderful, affordable, not really new, but easy-to-use embroidery software I have been recommending to anyone who asks or will listen for the past several years. SEW WHAT-PRO!

What do I use it for? Mainly I use it for merging a name or initials with an applique design. An example is below. I formatted the name “andrew” in Monogram Wizard Plus (font is Kazoo). I save it to my computer. I open SWP and OPEN the new fish design and then MERGE in the saved name. I then arrange it all and center the whole design and then put it on my machine to sew! There is a lot more you can do with SWP, but that’s my main use for it.

ALSO, I use it even when I’m just sewing an applique design with NO NAME. I like to *SEE* what I am sewing on my computer screen, so I open all of my files in SWP so I can see them. You can click on the thread chart on the right and see which step is next! You can also use SWP to delete parts of a design. A lot of people also use it to merge bought embroidery fonts together. When you buy embroidery fonts on the internet (NOT using a monogram software such as Monogram Wiz Plus), each letter is it’s own file, so you have to merge the letters together to form a name or initials. SWP can do that!

Please check it out on my website (Sew What-Pro) if you are looking for software such as this! It’s only $65 and it’s the best $65 I’ve ever spent. There is more info on the listing and also a manual you can download to look over.

swp4

I had several people ask me where this Footprint design came from from a previous post. I did this design on some burp cloths for a local ministry so the design was sent to me. Thank you to my blog reader who reported where the design can be found! It looks like it’s part of a set, but maybe you could email the website and just get this design? You can find it HERE. (ps designs are a little pricey compared to American sites?)

photo (5)

Now on to FABRIC! Last weekend the fam traveled to Destin, FL for a soccer tournament for my middle child. We normally take a route which leads us through Troy (AL), around Elba and someway here and there we end up at the beach. Well, there was road construction somewhere near Elba and we ended up NOT going the way we had planned. When I realized we were heading towards Opp, AL, I got excited b/c TJ’s Fabrics is in Opp! I had not been through there in a long time and was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful fabric that has now taken over the store! Last time I was there 1/2 the store was fabric and 1/2 was gifts and drug store type items. This time, fabric was everywhere!! Everything is arranged by colors and chevrons and I could have spent all day there had the kids and hubs not been waiting in the car. Lucky for you, they have an awesome website so if you aren’t in Alabama or traveling through the area, you can order online. If you ARE traveling to the beach (Destin, Panama City Beach, Seagrove/Seaside, etc) then DETOUR!! Plug it in the GPS and stop by, and tell TJ I said “HI”!! :)

My selfie for 2014! I will let the pictures speak for themselves…..

photo 4 (1)

photo 1 (1) photo 1 (2) photo 1 (3)

See what I mean? This is just HALF of the store! They also have a studio room (right side of photo) where they do classes and quilting and all that. Oh, you can still get a prescription filled there too! ;)

photo 2 (1)

I’ll take one of each….

photo 2 (2)

Chevron for days…..

photo 2 (3)

Here’s what I left with! I can NEVER have enough polka dots! These are Michael Miller “Kiss Dots”. I may have kissed them…

photo 2

Sissy with some other pretties!

photo 3 (1)

Fat quarter bundles ready for you to grab and go!

photo 3 (2)

More chevrons….

photo 3 (3)

These are Susybee Bunny Dashes & Carrots. Easter is a little over a month away!

photo 3

Our Jellyfish 2 design! I believe they are also sewing and doing appliques & monogramming for customers!

photo 4 (2)

photo 4 (3)

Michael Miller Diddly Dot Primary! So cute!!

photo 4

They also have gobs of blanks!

photo 5 (2)

More pretty colors…

photo 5 (3)

I’ve had my eye on these since I saw them on Facebook! These are Riley Blake, Summer Breeze.

photo 5

Again, if you are traveling to Florida this summer and coming anywhere near South Alabama, stop by!

I hope to get a more detailed post up soon on Sew What-Pro and how I use it! It’s been a busy week so stay tuned…

One last thing, because there is nothing more disheartening to post something and get no love!!

LIKESblog

Fix the Loop!

Don’t you hate when this happens? You are doing an embroidery design, or a monogram, or even an applique and your thread “loops” up on you. I’ve struggled forever with this and what causes it. There have been times where I’ve totally blamed the spool of thread. It was a bad spool or the thread was not twisting off the spool correctly. Recently I did some knit toboggan hats and my monogram looped on every.single.one.of.them. I emailed my sewing machine guy and he said it was a density issue. For example, knit hats + dense monogram = the thread/needle does not penetrate the knit properly and therefore loops. Sometimes I think my machine is dusty or dirty, so I change all my needles and clean the bobbin area to get rid of any dust or pieces of thread.

Below is a “Footprint” embroidery design I’ve recently sewn on 3 dozen burp cloths for a local ministry, Footprints Ministry. As you can see by my arrows on the photo below, the thread looped up on me in one spot. If this happens, don’t cut it! That may cause your design to unravel. What I USED to do was stick a regular needle or straight pin through and then try to pull the thread to the back by pulling on my bobbin thread in that area with a needle. It worked most of the time. Now if your monogram loops terribly and you’re looking at 15 places where the thread is loopy, then you might need to remove the monogram and back up and sew it again. But, if it’s just a loop here & there, I have a great tool for you.

photo

It even has a cute name ~ Dritz brand Snag Nab-It!! I got mine at Joann and it looks like this. It’s basically a needle (just shy of 2.5″ long) with 1 sharp end and the other end resembles an emery board. It’s jagged like sandpaper. They are $2.99 and are considered Notions, so catch them on sale or use a coupon. I also found some on Amazon.

photo (6)

So here’s how it works! You stick the Snag Nab-It in to your garment where the loop starts or finishes. You may notice the needle is pretty thick, so it can be a little tough to pull the needle all the way through (especially pulling the jagged end through). If it leaves a hole, then spritz a little water on your garment and it should be fine.

photo (1)

As you pull the needle through, the rough end grabs the loose thread and pulls it through to the back of your item (back there with the bobbin thread). You could then apply a little Fray Check on the back of the item or leave it as is. The thread would have to be pulled to come back through to the top which is unlikely.

photo (2)

Here’s a closeup of the end.

photo (21)

As you can see below, the loop is gone! I successfully pulled it through the burp cloth to the back of the design. Yay!

photo (5)

Here is another example! I monogrammed this bib today and the thread I was using is an off-brand thread that I never use. As you can see, it didn’t “loop” too terribly bad, but the monogram is not as tight as I would like.

photo (8)

Again, I stuck the Snag Nab-It through the bib where the loose thread was (on the very edge of the satin stitch) and pulled it through.

photo (9)

As you can see, it tightened that loose thread by pulling it through to the back side of the bib. Ironing also helps “set” the monogram. I keep my iron on medium heat, no steam. I have heard that rayon thread can melt, but I use 100% polyester embroidery thread so ironing it quickly only “sets” the monogram. I typically use Isacord (www.sewingmachine.com) or Exquisite thread (www.kenssewingcenter.com) which are almost identical.

photo (7)

Hopefully this helps with that frustrating looping problem! Do you have any other cool tools you use? If so comment and share!

Covering a Monogram

Just a quick post this Sunday! One of my longtime customers brought me a little jon jon last week and asked me to cover up the monogram that was originally on there (that she had picked out). The photo below is very light so you may not be able to see it all that well. She did a good job of removing the old monogram, but did cut the jon jon in one tiny place. She patched it, so I just needed to cover the monogram with an applique as best as I could. Her suggestions: our Sailboat or Sailboat Patch (I chose Sailboat 2) or our circle patch with new initials. All good choices!

IMG_8814

I decided to give our Sailboat 2 a try, and to make sure it would cover the monogram, I printed the 4×4 design on paper in Sew What Pro using the PRINT feature. It basically prints an image of each step and a final stitchout of the design. I cut around the design and even in between the sails and the bottom of the boat. I was then able to place the “design” on to the jon jon and SEE if any of the old monogram would show through. It covered it pretty well, and I got the design in the right position to cover up the monogram while being centered on the jon jon.  The jon jon had a center seam going down the front of it, so I used that as my horizontal center.

IMG_8815

Gridlines also printed on my design, so I was able to get the sailboat in good position and stick a pin through where my center should be. I then lifted the paper away and marked my center using an air erasable marker. You can see the mark on my first photo above.  I hooped the jon jon and lined my needle up with the center mark and sewed the design. (As you can see below, my pin is slightly right of the center mark on the grid. I wanted the center seam of the jon jon to line up with the center of the pole of the sailboat so I lined it up that way.)

IMG_8816

It turned out perfect, and the monogram was covered!

IMG_8817

My customer has 3 grandsons, so it’s great to be able to re-use custom made outfits such as this!

IMG_8821

Here is another blog post on covering a monogram: click HERE or on the photo below! Sometimes you are able to remove an old monogram cleanly and just re-monogram over it. If the monogram is too small or tight and impossible to remove (or if you cut a hole in the garment like I’ve done many times), then I suggest you take out what you can, and cover it with an applique! We have tons of PATCH designs that work well.

fish

 

Stay tuned for my next post on a new discovery I found!! If your monograms or appliques get “loopy” every now & then, you will want to read the next post!

Applique Cafe on YouTube!

Good afternoon! I’m sampling new designs today {which you can always catch on Instagram} and finally getting around to a blog post from September 2013! Jeff & I have some friends who have been telling us for years that we need to do more with video, so one sunny day back in September, I decided to do just that. I had a new design to sample and on a whim, I videoed it with my Iphone. For the record, I hate my voice on video just as we all do. Also, I am an A-M-A-T-E-U-R videographer person-with-a-phone. Lastly, I have yet to master splicing 6 videos together, so there are 6 videos in this segment to watch. Lastly again, I was taking the video solo, so that’s why I had to stop and start so many times so I could actually sew the design. My phone doesn’t seem to have a “pause” button. Lighting is so-so and there is a part where I’m talking over my machine and you can’t hear me. Overlook all that and MAYBE you will learn something?

This series of videos might be helpful if A) you have a multi needle machine and aren’t quite sure how to use it or B) you are new to applique and want to understand how it works. I supplemented the video with a few photos too so I will try to explain the process and get you through this post!

Background: I am sewing a simple 1 fabric zig zag design (Zig Zag Moose) on my Brother PR650 6 needle machine. I like to assign thread colors to my machine and here I explain how and why I do that. This is a sample for Applique Cafe, so I sewed it on 2 layers of medium cutaway stabilizer in my 5×7 hoop (PES format).

zig zag moose 500

Here is video 1!

Just a closeup of the colors of thread on my machine, which I “assign” to each needle so my machine knows what colors it has to work with. I mention in the video that 1 needle out of my 6 is always free and you can’t “lock in” that color. It can be any needle, and I usually allow my free needle to be white or black. So if black is on needle 1, then that’s my free needle and there is no anchor by it on the screen.

IMG_8336

Closeup of my HOME screen. The top 2 rows are built in designs and fonts. I use a USB stick which is the button I pointed to. Side note: I have a USB cord that connects from my computer to my machine, but for some reason it takes forever to send something to my machine, so I just use the thumb drive (see Sewingmachine.com stick). I think there is something wrong with that USB port on my machine, but I have not wanted to part with my machine long enough to get it checked out! The checklist looking button is where you go to assign colors.

IMG_8337

IMG_8338

IMG_8339

I changed needle 6 from Khaki to Light Brown using Reset and Set buttons! “Set” assigns light brown to needle 6.

IMG_8342

These are the colors of thread currently on my machine.

IMG_8343

Here is video 2 and video 3.

There is a pause between them because my thread broke! I left off after video 3 with fabric prep, which is below. I cut my piece of plaid fabric for my Moose.

IMG_8344

I iron my fabric to get any wrinkles out. Generic Target Shark iron and I keep it on mediumish (not high) with NO STEAM.

IMG_8345

I’ve cut a piece of Heat N Bond Lite and I’ve ironed it on the back side of my fabric. If you don’t know what HNBL is, check out this post. It’s a fusible product which will fuse the applique fabric (the plaid) to my garment. Or in this case, my stabilizer!

IMG_8346

Don’t forget to peel away the paper! It will leave a shiny layer on the back side of your fabric.

IMG_8347

I’ve placed my HNBL-ed fabric down after the marking stitch, so now it’s time for the tackdown stitch and

video 4.

After video 4 I trimmed around my design (around the tackdown stitch) using my Gingher 4″ curved scissors. These are great for trimming and makes it easy to get up close to the tackdown stitch. Havels has a tiny curved scissor as well.

photo

Here is video 5

…after I’ve trimmed my fabric and I’m ready for the zig zag FINAL stitch. I tried to say something at the end of the video but you can’t hear me over the buzz of the machine. Sorry ’bout that!! Sew sew sew and lastly there’s

video 6 which wraps up this design!

I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment! I hope to do some more videos in the future, and you can find them on my YouTube channel!  New designs coming soon to Applique Cafe!

Monogramming Nike Shorts

So…. it has been raining here for 2 solid days. All of the snow and ice is north of us, so all we have had is rain and cold and cold and rain all.day.long. yesterday and today. I’m over it and ready for SPRING! and Nike shorts! I had a customer bring me some Nike shorts to monogram this week, and after asking around to see if anyone had done them before, I “figured out” which stabilizer to use. After I was done, I realized it might be handy information for those of you out there who haven’t done any yet.

I used water soluble “solvy” on top. Yes, it’s water soluble, but I just pick and pull it off when I’m done.

IMG_8781 IMG_8782

I used Waffle Tearaway on the bottom. As you can see, I hooped it all together and also used a little Sulky KK2000 spray adhesive to “stick” the tearaway to the underside of the shorts to keep it in place. This type of tearaway is a little thicker than the standard iron on tearaway, which is like paper, which I normally use on towels and bibs. Nike shorts are made of a thin polyester type material, and I wanted to avoid any puckering with the weight of a monogram. I considered using cutaway (medium) but went with the tearaway and it did fine.

Do you notice anything “off” on my monogram below? There is no bobbin thread showing, which means my tension is off. This doesn’t affect this particular monogram, but it might if you were working on another project. I will show you in a minute how to check your tension on a 6 needle machine.

IMG_8783

Before I actually did the monogram, I wasn’t sure what size I should do. I looked around on Pinterest and saw a bunch of monogrammed Nike shorts in a variety of fonts and size monograms. I was between a 2.5″ and a 3″ monogram, so I printed both and cut the monogram out to see which size looked best, and also it helped with placement. I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” as my font. MWP has a print option which comes in handy when you are deciding size and placement.

IMG_8784

I went with the 3″ monogram after consulting with my customer!

IMG_8785

Here’s the finished product! As I mentioned, if you search “monogrammed Nike shorts” on Pinterest, you will see all kinds of fonts and placement. I love the way these turned out! These are navy with a turquoise monogram. Hot pink would have been cute too!

IMG_8786

Now on to my tension issue. I have a Brother PR650 6 needle embroidery machine, which comes with a handy dandy tension test feature. On machines such as mine, your tension is controlled by knobs on top of the machine.

IMG_6970

Looking at your Home screen, select the button with the bird on it.

IMG_8788

It will pull up some embroidery designs built in to your machine. Go to page 2 and you will see the tension test.

IMG_8789

6 color bars or lines = 6 needles = 6 thread colors.

IMG_8790

I go in and program each step according to the colors of thread on my machine. Huh? I assign black for needle 1 because black thread is on my machine for needle 1. Etc…

IMG_8791

As you can see below, I’ve assigned my colors and it shows the 6 steps with needles sewing in order to test each needle, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

IMG_8792

Here are the results of my first tension test. Again, no bobbin thread showing. Since all 6 rows are lacking in bobbin thread, I have to assume there’s an issue with my bobbin! Had it been only 1 needle, then I could assume there was an issue with that 1 needle and the rest were fine with no bobbin issues.

IMG_8793

After taking my bobbin case out, I quickly found the culprit. It looks like the thread is caught and is balling up before it can come out of the bobbin case.

IMG_8794

Bingo! I removed the “knot”, re-threaded and put my bobbin case back in. I use Magna Glide Prewound L bobbins.

IMG_8795

Tension test #2 results are below, and you can see the bobbin thread. A good rule of thumb per Steve at Sewingmachine.com, is 1/3-1/3-1/3. 1/3 colored thread, 1/3 bobbin thread in the middle and 1/3 colored thread on the other side. Mine is not exactly 1/3 each but it looks much better and I can work on the tension up top!

IMG_8796

I hope that was helpful ~ both the stabilizer with the Nike shorts AND the tension test! You can find more helpful videos regarding 6 needle machines at Sewingmachine.com!

Before you go, check out Whimsical Fabric’s latest blog post! I had the pleasure of being their “Featured Customer” for February! Find out more about me and running my own business! WF has great fabric, shipping supplies and sewing patterns for those of you who sew. She also hosts a “Sew Along” each month so check out her blog to find out more. She’s also on Facebook and has a sew along Facebook group if you are interested in joining! Basically she picks a pattern to sew each month and blogs about each and every step. There are discussions on Facebook and lots of photos!

wf

Lastly, all of our designs are on sale through Tuesday, February 18th at Applique Cafe! Below are a few new ones listed last week.

feb sale

I’m off to snuggle with my Maggie. She is scheduled for surgery in the morning to be spayed!! She has already begun her first heat cycle (eeek!!), so the timing was perfect and we’re anxious to get through tomorrow. Have a great rest of the week! We are hoping for some sunshine tomorrow!

photo (58)

Let it Snow!

Happy Tuesday! As I type this post, it’s 51 degrees in Montgomery (AL). This time last week we were awaiting SNOW. Snow doesn’t happen here very often. The last time it snowed was February 2010. I actually found on my blog that it also snowed a little in March of 2009. Thank goodness for blogs! Anyway, last week it snowed and the kids were out of school for 3 days. We were back in shorts and t-shirts Sunday! Here are some of the photos I took. I think these were taken Wednesday after it finally snowed Tuesday evening (after the kids waited allll dayyyy Tuesday for some flakes). You may have seen or heard of how horrible things were in Birmingham and Atlanta (traffic, people sleeping at work and in schools, etc), but in Montgomery all was well and we were basically stuck at home for 3 days (but all safe)!!

Maggie didn’t mind the snow. At first she tip toed around quickly to do her thing, but seemed to enjoy it.

IMG_8726

The kids had the most fun on the trampoline. As you can see, we here in Alabama don’t really have snow clothes. What you see are layers of clothes on them which got soaking wet and all had to be washed 18 times.

IMG_8727

A little action shot of Mags.

IMG_8728

This is our garage. The icicles came before the snow!

IMG_8732

In the south, we also don’t have sleds or sleighs. These are boogie boards we usually take to the beach every summer. They worked pretty well! Where I live is also pretty flat, but we ventured across the street to the golf course and found a few hills.

IMG_8734

This would be a snowed over sand trap.

IMG_8738

Of course everyone in the state of Alabama made a snow angel!

IMG_8741

Even though all the laundry and mess made me a little crazy (and being cooped up inside for 3 days), I know the kids loved every minute of it and will probably never forget the snowball fights with Jeff or “sledding” on the golf course. Yes, that is snot running down Mallory’s nose.

IMG_8744

“G”

IMG_8745

Browder

IMG_8746

All is back to normal now and the snow is long gone! Not a lot else going on around here other than school and the usual stuff! Valentine’s is next Friday, so we put our Valentine Designs (as well as Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day) on sale. Check them out at Applique Cafe! Have a great week ~ new designs coming soon!

vday designs 400