Vintage or Simple Stitch Designs

First of all, I seem to have this thing with taking photos of stuff tilted to the right!? I guess straight on can be boring sometimes. Second of all, the new Friends of Applique Cafe Facebook Group is going great! We are up to about 775 members, and I can tell already that creating a group was the right move! Someone commented on my last post that FB PAGES are more for ME to post what’s going on, but other than that, there is not much interaction if no one likes or comments. Basically, you see what I post IF it shows up in your news feed. You rarely actually visit someone’s Facebook page unless you are looking for something. On the other hand, with a group, it’s more like a community. The people in the group are seeing what you post and are actually *liking*, commenting, etc. Very refreshing!!

So… these “vintage” simple stitch (aka redwork) designs are pretty popular right now. I though I would share what stabilizers I use for these, since the first one I did didn’t turn out perfectly. Below are several that we have listed at Applique Cafe, and they can all be found under the Zig Zag | Vintage | Raggy category. I also just sampled a new one which is Stitch the Dog. We haven’t done anything with Stitch in a WHILE. It’ll be listed in the next day or two! vintage

I have found {by trial and error} that Solvy (water soluble) stabilizer should be used on top with these designs. You can’t really see it in the below picture, but I hooped medium cutaway stabilizer underneath the shirt and solvy on top. I am a hooper btw… This is an old Monag shirt someone gave me to sample on and their shirts are pretty thick, so I went with medium cutaway. On a thinner shirt, you might use a thinner cutaway such as polymesh or no show mesh cutaway that won’t show through.  IMG_9505

The stitch time on our new Stitch the Dog is 2 MINUTES. These designs are super fast! IMG_9506

The solvy on top helps prevent the stitches from a) sinking and b) puckering the shirt. IMG_9507

This is the back of the design and you can see the big piece of medium cutaway. I trim around the design when I’m done, getting close to the stitching. For this shirt I also trimmed in between the front and back legs, as well as around the tail. IMG_9508

I had someone ask how you remove the solvy without pulling the stitches. I haven’t really noticed a problem, but for this post I did wet a couple of Q-tips and went over the stitching/outline of the design on the solvy. Since it’s water soluble, the wet Q-tip helps loosen up the solvy so it’s a little easier to pull away.

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There were a few stray pieces of the solvy sort of underneath some of the stitching. You can either pull it off, or squirt some water on it from your iron and it should dissolve. IMG_9511

Here is the finished product! Again, this is a thick cotton shirt so you can’t see the medium cutaway stabilizer through the shirt at all. The red gingham ruffle shorts are from EllieO. These vintage/simple stitch designs are great with simple gingham bottoms! IMG_9512

So here is the first designs I did of this type and I DID NOT use solvy on top. It’s sort of hard to see in the pictures, but there was some definite puckering. I added solvy on the next one and it stitched MUCH better! No puckering and the design and shirt lays flat. The arrows point to the pucker/wrinkles.IMG_9513

You can see the little dimples in the loops. USE SOLVY! IMG_9514

As you can see on the Stitch shirt, the design lays flat with no puckering! IMG_9516 IMG_9517

Here are several of our other designs in this style. The Turkey was done on a Monag shirt as well, so thick cotton and I used medium cutaway and solvy on top. It lays flat perfectly!IMG_9521

The church… I did this one on a flour sack dish towel, which is rather thin. Since it’s a towel, I didn’t want cutaway stabilizer left on the back of the towel, so I used waffle weave tearaway with solvy on top for this one, then removed ALL of the stabilizer. IMG_9522

I did our Pumpkin on another thick cotton Just Blanks shirt I had laying around. I used medium cutaway again as well as solvy. IMG_9523

For thinner cotton shirts, you might try polymesh or no show mesh cutaway such as below. Some people use this type all the time with all shirts. I got mine from Sewingmachine.com and it’s on a big roll. The medium cutaway I use is Sulky Cutaway Plus, or the commercial cutaway from Sewingmachine.com. I recommend 2.2 oz or no more than 2.5 oz for the commercial. More than that is pretty thick. IMG_9525

I also love the waffle weave tearaway that I used on the flour sack towel! IMG_9526

I hope this helps! I think the quality of your shirt also plays a part. The String of Fish design I did above was on a much thinner shirt, but I think the solvy on top would have added a little extra support for the stitches!

Try our Golf Green 2 {vintage/simple stitch} design now for $1.50 ~ our new Digitizer’s Pick!

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Multi-needle Error Message

Multi-needle users… how often do you get this error message? “Check upper and bobbin thread.” Sometimes this message is legitimate and you are out of bobbin thread or top thread. Sometimes you get it and realize one of your needles is not threaded correctly ~ you missed a guide or the thread has wandered around the wrong guide. Sometimes you get this message and everything appears to be FINE and you want to throw your machine out the window because it keeps happening every 7 stitches and you keep closing the error message and starting the machine again only to get the message again and again and again. Hypothetically. IMG_9337
I was having this issue with needle 1 and 6 on my machine recently and had my machine serviced a couple of months ago. I haven’t sewn a whole lot since I got it back, but noticed needle 6 was still giving me trouble. I emailed Steve at Sewingmachine.com last week about it and he sent me a GREAT list of “try this” for this error message issue. I took some pictures today to include and hopefully this will help if you are having the error message problem.

Please note: If you have this problem with needle 4, which has the shortest route from the spool of thread to the needle, wrap the thread around the tension disk twice! I did a short blog post on this – click HERE to read it! It worked for me!!

The following are suggestions from STEVE:

When your machine stops and says check upper and lower thread, it stopped because the machine did not “sense” the tension disc turning. The tension disc is the little (silver) wheel under your tension knob that you wrap the thread around 1-1/2 times when you thread up the machine.

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Tension Disc:
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There are two reasons for your to be getting a “false thread break” error. The first reason, and it is very uncommon, is that the electronic sensors that sense the motion (turning) of your tension discs are bad. We very rarely see that as the problem. The other reason is that your tension discs are just not turning steadily.

The first thing you want to try is to wrap your thread around the tension a second time to see if this stops the error message. The tension assembly is supposed to looped around one time during your threading of the machine – try looping it twice. This is just a test to see if it helps stop the error message. If that works then we know that your tension discs are not turning properly and it is not a sensor. (I tried this FIRST and this WORKED FOR ME! However, you still need to troubleshoot the issue with the following steps. Double wrapping the thread will eventually fail you, but it’s an easy fix to get through a project. RG)

Next if you pull straight down on a thread at the needle on one that is not giving you any issues you will see that the tension disc spins smoothly. (pull slowly) Next pull on one of the threads that is giving you problems and watch – the disc will spin erratically. If the disc was turning smoothly and steadily we would have to check the electronic sensor, but ninety times out of a hundred the disc or the felts, or a threading issue are to blame. Cleaning can also help and I will go into detail on that in a moment.

Disc & Felts:
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Below pics are from a blog post I did on 6 needle maintenance (found HERE):

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Tension can be an issue if the tension knobs are twisted down too tight and not allowing the tension disc to turn steadily. Try loosening the tension a little to see if the discs spin more smoothly.

The most common threading issue is that the little clips (pretensions) at the back and front of the head are not threaded correctly. The thread will only be half way under the clip or not at all and that will cause an issue. These pretensions help to hold your thread taut so that the when you wrap the thread around the tension disc the thread will “grip” the disc and spin it. Incorrect threading of the machine will also cause the error message. If the tensions and threading are correct then it may require cleaning to solve the issue.

Pretension Clips:
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Here are the instructions for cleaning your tensions:

At the back and front of the head are two metal clips you run the thread under, these are called pretensions. Start by cleaning out under them. The space is very small under the clip so what we do is to cut a long skinny strip of fabric and run that under the clips. Soaking the fabric in rubbing alcohol can help to clean out any waxes or oils or dust that is trapped under the pretensions.

Next move onto the tension assembly itself and screw the cap off. Take each component of the tension off and stack them in a row for reassembly. As you take off the tension wheel that you wrap the thread around look at the underside and you will see a round ridge, that is the magnet the machine sense is turning, so that it knows that your thread is feeding and not broken. Clean any lint off of the blue felt disks, take a Q-tip or a fabric strip and clean inside the groove of the tension wheel. Use rubbing alcohol again to clean the tension wheel as you cannot have your thread slipping on this wheel. Be sure that when you reassemble the tension wheel that you put the side with the magnet facing down. After reassembly pull on your thread down at the needle and watch the tension wheel to assure that it is spinning. Pull slowly and the wheel should spin smoothly and not start and stop. If it will do that then you are good to go!

Tension Assembly:
6 needle 1

The blue felts should be replaced every so often – and the tension discs too. But cleaning is a first step to try, if that fails then replace the felts and discs. make sure and clean under the pretensions though as if you do not have adequate pretensions even new parts will not help.

Blue Felts (again) and the one on the right has a piece of lint on it, which can cause issues:

6 needle disk 1

I hope that helps you with this bothersome error message.

Again, check out my blog post on 6 needle maintenance and see how lint can collect and cause problems with your embroidery!

Steve has tons of great videos on their website ~ www.sewingmachine.com! Click on VIDEOS.

THE Mighty Hoop

First and foremost, the master bath-de-Gulledge is D-O-N-E!! I know I got behind in my renovation posting and will try to catch up soon. It’s DONE and we have moved back in, but it needs some decorating before I post my final AFTERS. Here is a little peek at the before/after of the tub/vanity area. Again, nothing has been hung (tv, decor, artwork, etc.) so it’s a bit of a blank canvas right now. We are enjoying it immensely but had a bit of a crazy week last week so I haven’t had a chance to add some color yet! I’m pretty sure HGTV will be calling me soon…..IMG_9267-vert

Totally random, but I noticed a blog comment today that had to do with SCISSORS so I thought I would add that in here! For all these year I have preached about the Gingher 4″ curved embroidery scissors. They sell them at Joann and probably most sewing stores. Well…. maybe it’s my old age and poor eyesight lately, but I’ve started using the 5.5″ double curved scissors (Ginghers also) and I.LOVE.THEM! I think what happened was that my 4″ got dull after years of use so I got a new pair. They are sharp, but a little tighter and don’t trim as easy. It may be that they are not broken in yet? Anywho… I started using the bigger ones and now I like those better! Not sure what it is about the extra curve and 1.5″?? The big scissors below I use for cutting fabric and my big pieces of stabilizer. The blue handle ones are Brother scissors I think (they came w/ my machine in the little tool box). I use those for trimming the stabilizer around the applique (back) when I’m done, and also for when I am trimming inside of a design. They aren’t super sharp, so I pierce the fabric with them at an angle and then cut with my Ginghers.

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I haven’t been doing much work lately b/c of the craziness going on at Casa de Gulledge ~ renovations, travel soccer management and family stuff (my dad was in the hospital for several days last week and goes home tomorrow from the therapy rehab facility). I have a friend in ATL who asked me to do a few baby gift items for her and told me the colors were navy blue light blue, gray and white. I REALLY like those colors together after sewing a few things! It has also been raining here in Montgomery for like the past month, so these pics were taken inside and don’t do the items justice! LOVE the colors! 🙂 Anchors and whales were the theme also.

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Now on to the title of my post…. MIGHTY {magnetic} HOOPS! I recently got the 7.25″ x 7.25″ and finally got around to trying it out! It is SO EASY to use and I’ve taken a few pics along the way for this post!! First of all, they are magnetic and REALLY STRONG, hence the warnings….. I haven’t gotten pinched yet but I can see how it can easily happen! They are STRONG. I like the size of the 7.25″ x 7.25″ also b/c I typically stitch 5×7 designs and it gives me a little extra room for initials or a name. There is also a pacemaker warning on it…..

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Here is the bottom frame. All you have to do is get it in place and the magnets do the rest!

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I did my burp cloths using the MIGHTY HOOP and it was super easy! Burps can be thick and hard to hoop. With the MH, no wrinkling or hoop burn! As you can see, I got the burp cloth on top of the bottom of the hoop. You just have to make sure it’s straight.

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Just hold the top of the hoop frame over it, and BAM it snaps in place. Very easy!

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They go on the machine just like Fast Frames. You just have to make sure you check your boundaries to make sure the needle is not going to hit anything. Unlike Fast Frames – no sticky stabilizer is needed!

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You may notice that Bentley is in navy blue down below. When I did the baby gifts the first go-around, I had navy and gray in my head (which looks great together also by the way…). If anyone knows of a baby boy named Bentley, I have a bib and burp cloth available…..

The MIGHTY HOOP also works great on bibs!

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I also used the MIGHTY HOOP on a Market Tote. I typically use Sticky Stabilizer and Fast Frames, but the MH was easy and worked great and I didn’t have to peel “sticky” off of anything!

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This is Monogram Wizard Plus “MC Center” H (I made it wider than usual) plus some motif ends which are also done in Monogram Wizard Plus!

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I got my Mighty Hoop from Sewingmachine.com (search: mighty hoop) and you can find demo videos on Youtube HERE! They also have some videos at Sewingmachine.com under Product Demonstration Videos – click HERE. They sell a variety of sizes sort of like the Durkees. Anyway, I look forward to using them more as I get time to do more work!

Did anyone get to go to the Everything Embroidery Market last weekend in Chattanooga? I was so sad to have missed it! I realized several weeks ago that with the renovation and our soccer schedule that I was not going to be able to wiggle my nose and appear there for the weekend. On top of all that with my dad being in the hospital, I would not have made it anyway. I have seen tons of pictures and have heard nothing but great reviews, so I hope you all had fun and that they will do it again!

Have a great weekend! OH… I will work on the ORGANIZATION post ASAP with the feedback I got from my last post! I got some GREAT Tips!! One idea I had was to go ahead and get your next project ready while your machine is sewing. DON’T jump on Facebook because you will get sucked in to “15 Ways To Bond With Your Daughter” and then next thing you know 45 minutes has passed and you’ve done 1 burp cloth. Go ahead and iron the stabilizer on the bib you plan to work on next. Go ahead and iron the applique fabric and iron Heat N Bond Lite on it so it’ll be READY! If you have extra hoops, you could go ahead and hoop it! I would get a lot more done if I could discipline myself to think ahead and actually do stuff while my machine is sewing! photo (22)

One more time…. have a GREAT weekend! We have been out of town for soccer tournaments the past 2 weekends, so we are looking forward to being HOME. 🙂