Still here…..

I got an email from my husband today. He noticed recently that I had not posted anything here since May.
Then he typed up a few paragraphs for me to post!! Yay! I also just approved a few recent comments and one was “I don’t even know if you still have this blog….” LOL
I AM STILL HERE…
When school started over a month ago I was thinking ‘we finally get to slow down from being on the go all summer’.  I am now realizing I had completely forgotten about all the activities that come with school and fall!  I never considered football practice, Monday night football games, weekly soccer clinic, Wednesday night church activities, volleyball practice, Saturday morning volleyball games, homework or helping kids study. Sigh. Throw all of this in with the normal work week (still have my side hustle 3 days a week) and it is no wonder I feel like a walking Zombie by Wednesday. While it is a lot of fun watching my kids in each of their activities, it is by no means a “slow down”. Did I mention I was down for the count Saturday with a stomach virus? I’m still recovering from that one.
First day of school 2017: Garrison 5th, Mallory 4th and Browder 8th
My oldest made his debut as a kicker last night at his 2nd middle school football game.  This is a big deal because he is the first Gulledge in multiple generations to strap on the gear and get on the field.  Neither Jeff or his dad ever played football.  Browder has been a soccer player since the age of 4 and has been working very hard on his football kicking, so it was great to see him get the opportunity to play {for 3 seconds}! He has mastered the “hands on hip” stance. p.s. How is he this big? Photo creds to my friend Karen who actually brought a real camera to football. 
 
We lost the game but it was fun seeing him finally play!
In Applique Cafe news…
Halloween will be here before you know it so be sure to check out our fall Halloween and Thanksgiving designs. We have listed a bunch of new Vintage Stitch (aka Bean Stitch aka Redwork Stitch) designs which are super easy and require no fabric. I always use a water soluble stabilizer on top when doing these designs. It helps the shirt not to pucker. Check out a blog post I did a while back on Vintage or Simple Stitch Designs – click HERE. Here are some pics of our recent designs:
The above is a shirt I did for a precious little sister who’s big brother plays with Browder. He’s #13. How cute is that!
Have a great week!

Monogramming Waffle Weave Stuff

Back in February I did a blog post reviewing a Craftsy class I did on monogramming textured items. You can go back and review it HERE if you missed it! Today I’m monogramming 7 lavender waffle weave short robes which are bridesmaids’ gifts. If you’ve ever monogrammed waffle weave, you know that sometimes your monogram can turn out a little “waffley”. Yes, all those little squares can show up in your monogram. I’ve done it in the past and ended up running the monogram twice just to get a pretty result. One thing I learned in the Craftsy class I mentioned on monogramming textured items (terry cloth, towels, waffle weave, etc.) is that it’s best to 1) use a water soluble topper on top and 2) apply an underlay stitch underneath your monogram. I use Monogram Wizard Plus (Master Circle font shown) and there is an option to add underlay, which is extra stitching beneath your letters which helps the monogram stay on top of the texture and turn out pretty! It takes a little longer (these are averaging 18 minutes each at 4.25″ tall) but the result is worth it. Adding underlay adds a few thousand stitches to my particular monograms. Note: I used a waffle weave tearaway stabilizer on bottom.

Here is what the underlay stitch looks like:

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Here is the finished product! Both are the same color robe by the way … lighting! See how nicely the monogram lays on top?

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I wanted to share this because this is what I’m working on today, and because CRAFTSY is having a 50% off top classes sale through tomorrow (Saturday, 4/23). Here is my affiliate link if you want to check out any of their classes – click HERE. I’ve reviewed several on my blog and have found them all fun to watch and very helpful! Just search Craftsy or click on the Craftsy tag.

Have a great weekend!

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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