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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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.

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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.

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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

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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)

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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!!

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).

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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.

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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.

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

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These are the colors of thread currently on my machine.

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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.

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

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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!