Catching up!

Hello Friends! Let me start out by saying that I just logged in to do a quick post, and had 27 comments waiting to be approved. I. am. so. sorry!! Normally I get an email when anyone comments and it gives me the option to approve it or spam it right there on the spot. I swear I haven’t just missed 27 emails in the past month!? Not sure what happened there! I replied to a few, but if I didn’t reply to yours and you STILL need help, comment again, or shoot me an email at rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com! I didn’t want to assume you still needed my help a month later…..

It’s been a while since I posted last. We had a great Christmas and low and behold it’s already almost February!? How in the world?? It’s going to be summer again before we know it. I say I had a great Christmas (and I/we did), but let me just tell you how fun it is (not) to have laryngitis for 3 weeks. I am just now getting somewhat back to normal. I woke up hoarse on December 19th, just as the kids were getting out of school. It went from bad to worse to ok-i-am-so-tired-of-this over the course of 3 weeks. I got several shots in my booty and made a couple of trips to various doctors. Finally after 3 weeks I went to see my ENT, who stuck something down my throat (gag!) and told me I had nodules on my vocal chords. Evidently this is pretty common with people who sing. I only sing in church with the rest of the congregation, so whatevs. Fast forward to today after 3 weeks of steroids, and I am finally (pretty much) back to normal. It could come back, but hopefully it WON’T!!! If anyone ever suffers from this, let me know and I can give you a list of helpful hints that were shared with me by friends who have experience with nodules!!

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In other big news, I decided this week to return to the “real world” and will be returning to WORK next week *super* part time. Before I “retired” in 2007 to be home with my kids, I worked for a fabulous company for 10 years. They contacted me this week about coming back to work! I immediately declined because I have the craziest schedule with 3 kids in 2 schools, and wasn’t looking for a real job. However, after some back and forth and a lunch meeting on Thursday, I decided I was going to be an “adult” again. I start on Tuesday, and will be working 3 mornings a week from around 8:00 until 1:30. Not a bad schedule!! I will still have my Mondays, and my Fridays, and my afternoons, and library duty, and weekends, and I WILL STILL HAVE APPLIQUE CAFE!! I am actually hopeful that being structured again after 9 years of complete freedom and chaos will be good for me and I will probably get WAYYYYY more done with Applique Cafe than I do now. We will still come up with new designs! I will still do blog posts! I will continue to monogram and do appliques for my longtime local customers! I will still keep up with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all that! Nothing is going to change here, other than the fact that I get to put on real clothes and go somewhere a few mornings a week to work with adults. It’s super exciting and also scary! This will be a huge adjustment for me and my fam, but since I worked at this company before (for 10 years), I hope to pick back up where I left off! Stay tuned!

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Speaking of new designs, I just listed these earlier today! Y’all. It’ll be Easter before we know it! I’ve also listed more new stuff since my last blog post, so check them all out at Applique Cafe! We hope to work on a new batch of designs over the weekend as well! Have a great weekend!

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Applique Cafe Christmas List!

Just a quick post to share with you all the things we offer at Applique Cafe that should be on your Christmas list! 🙂

  1. GIFT CERTIFICATES!! We sell them in $10 increments and they can be printed and mailed to you or to your mom/friend/cousin/neighbor. If time is of the essence, I can also fill in the info and email it to you to print!

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2) Monogram Wizard Plus!! I’ve sold 2 this week, so a couple of people are getting new font software for Christmas! There is an actual installation CD for MWP which is shipped to you. I usually mail same day, so it will arrive in your mailbox within 2-3 days (we ship USPS Priority Mail). If you are new to embroidery and are frustrated with the fonts that came on your machine, or with merging letters together, then check out MWP! It’s a GREAT investment for your embroidery business. Below is an example of your screen and it’s super easy to use!

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Look at all the possibilities! It comes with all of the font options you see below, plus you can add to your font collection with a few clicks at the Needleheads store.

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3) Needleheads Store Gift Cards!! You bought or already have Monogram Wizard Plus, and you want to add to your font collection? We sell $25 Needleheads gift cards for $19.99, so you’re saving $5.01 off the bat! Needleheads often runs sales and specials too, so you can save more by using our gift card on top of their sale! We have physical gift cards we can mail you, OR, most people just want the code to get the discount (which we can email to you). Needleheads gift cards are redeemed at the Needleheads Online Store.

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4) Sew What-Pro Embroidery Software!! SWP is a top seller at Applique Cafe month after month. Not only is it super affordable ($65), it’s easy to use and honestly I couldn’t survive without it! I use it for merging (adding a name to an applique design), minor editing (deleting a part of a design) and for the most part, just to SEE the applique design I’m working on. It shows me the size I’m working on, each step in the process and I can play around with colors (thread) to help me choose my fabrics!

Here are a couple of workspace examples, and I just updated my SWP last night so the screen now looks a smidge different! By the way… the names you see are done in Monogram Wizard Plus, then merged in to Sew What-Pro!

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5) Durkee Cap Frame!! OK so we don’t sell cap frames, but if you saw my recent post on the “new” Durkee Cap Frame, then you might want to add it to your list too! Check out my blog post from earlier this week to learn all about it – HERE. If hats are on your product list, then consider investing in a DCF to make life easier! 🙂 They have frames that are compatible with multi AND single needle machines!

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6) Mighty Hoops!! Again, not something we sell here at Applique Cafe, but again, check out my recent blog post on the super easy magnetic Mighty Hoops! The hoops can be used alone, or with a fixture to help with centering and easy hooping. Check out that blog post HERE. Below is the 6.5″ square Mighty Hoop and Fixture, and I’m giving it a workout this week monogramming towels!

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And here is my 7.25″ square Mighty Hoop that I use without a fixture! It’s great for items like bibs and bags that are a little harder to hoop.

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7) Applique Cafe Christmas & Holiday Designs!! Lastly….. all of our Christmas & Holiday designs are 40% off, so if you are still working on Christmas shirts, towels or even winter (this category includes snowmen, ice skates, mittens and other winter designs), then they are on SALE!

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Shower Curtaingate 2015

Happy Friday Y’all! It’s been a wacky however-many-weeks since school started. I think I said in my Back to School Post …and I quote….  “Now I hope to have more time again to work, blog, get organized, monogram stuff, clean out closets and all that other stuff we put on our to-do list for when the kiddies go back to school!” Blah blah blah yeah that was a joke. Me thinking I would have more time sounded like a good idea! I forgot allllll about laundry, bible study, library duty, recess duty, morning runs to Target, 12:30 carpool, 3:20 carpool, 5:30 soccer, 7:00 soccer, 4:00 soccer, 5:15 soccer, etc. I haven’t really had time to organize or clean out anything. But, I have had time for Shower Curtaingate 2015, which consumed a week or two of my embroidery life.

I have a sweet customer that I’ve been doing monogramming for for YEARS. She dropped off this cute Pottery Barn Kids shower curtain for me to monogram, and since I’ve done a shower curtain or two in my career, I had little no worries. I formatted the humongous “B” in my Monogram Wizard Plus software (Library font) and made it as big as I could get it to fit my 11.8″ x 7.9″ hoop. I *carefully* hooped the shower curtain and put it on my machine to stitch. I even took a picture and put it on Instagram! The first attempt was 84 minutes and 42,852 stitches. About 10,000 stitches in, I realized that part of the shower curtain was being SEWN in to the B on my machine from underneath!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was SO CAREFUL in making sure the machine would not sew the shower curtain, and yet it did!!!!

Below is a photo AFTER I had to cut the shower curtain loose from my hoop. Even Jeff tried to “cut out” the monogram from the back/bobbin side, but people, you can’t merely cut out 10,000 FILL stitches. I gave it a day, and then scrounged up a 10% off coupon from PBK and ordered a replacement. I won’t tell you how much that set me back. I almost drove to Birmingham to buy another one, but it’s a new shower curtain and they didn’t have them in stores. So I ordered. Then I waited.

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So friends, about a week later, I got the replacement shower curtain in the mail and attempted to monogram it AGAIN….. This time I made SURE the shower curtain was all free from the sewing arm underneath. It wasn’t until I was about 50,000 stitches in that I realized that for some reason, the weight of the shower curtain was causing the edge of my hoop to ever-so-slightly bump the arm of the machine where the bobbin stays. Therefore and henceforth, my B got *off* on the right side, left about 1/2″ gap in the middle and I finally just stopped the machine {and cried a little}. 2 Pottery Barn Kids shower curtains. 2.

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Here’s a closeup of my wonky B. There was no salvaging this B. However, the shower curtain itself was still in tact (no hole cut in it) so I came up with a plan!

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I decided to create a patch using the white canvas material from the 1st shower curtain (with the hole in it). I cut out a huge square of it and proceeded to stitch a new B in it with a frame around it (outline stitch only). This time I used the MWP Pharmacy B which is not as thick, and I had Jeff digitize a custom sized Frame Patch 2. Again, I only stitched the outline stitch of the frame plus the fill stitch B. I would use this “patch” and applique it in to the 2nd shower curtain. Hang with me! I know this is hard to follow….

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Once it was done, I removed the stabilizer (solvy on top) and trimmed closely AROUND the frame outline stitch. The outline stitch would be use as my placement guide on the 2nd shower curtain.

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Sorry this photo is fuzzy, but I hooped the 2nd shower curtain with the messed up B on it, with the messed up B centered in the hoop as closely as I could get it. I then stitched another outline stitch of my frame patch, and then REMOVED the fabric and messed up B inside. I trimmed inside that outline stitch and closely. After I cut it out, what was left was medium cutaway stabilizer inside the frame patch outline which was also hooped with the shower curtain (stabilizer, that is).

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Next… I placed my outlined *new* B “patch” that I stitched alone and lined up the outline stitches of the frame. I used some temporary spray adhesive to stick the patch down and made sure the outline stitches of the frame patch lined up with one another. I then stitched a tackdown stitch, which tacked the patch in place.

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Lastly, I stitched the satin stitch around the frame patch, which created an applique patch of the new B! Did I lose you?

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Here is the finished product! I think it turned out great and saved me from buying ANOTHER shower curtain! So 2 shower curtains and $$.$$ later, I think I have decided that I am retiring from the shower curtain monogramming business. UNLESS… it’s something like a 3 letter monogram or something not quite as huge as this B. In hindsight, I should have sewn an applique “B” using red fabric, instead of an 80,000+ stitch count fill stitch letter. Live and learn.

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Thank you to all of my Instagram followers who liked, commented, prayed and cried with me over this saga of an embroidery job. By the way, I let my customer know what was going on all along the way. She was super sweet and felt super sorry for me. I honestly like how the {B inside the frame} turned out better than just a plain B!

In other news, here are several new designs I listed a couple of days ago! We haven’t done a “Stitch” the dog design in a long time, so I was excited about the Halloween Stitch! I also adore this Puppy and love the fast and easy “vintage” redwork stitch designs (Footballs & Megaphones)! You can see all of these at Applique Cafe!

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What’s your “Shower Curtaingate” story? We all have at least 1!!