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Monthly Archives: August 2013

  • Cutting Vinyl On Your Silhouette Cameo

    August 27, 2013

    100_6684 Creating your own label with vinyl is a fun way to personalize an otherwise plain container. You might  create one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your gift list by adding text and/or graphics to many different objects. The container used in this project is from the 99 cent store. I peeled off the labels, and used Goo Gone to remove the remaining residue. The surface where the vinyl will be applied must be clean and free of residue from the Goo Gone, so I washed the surface with hot soapy water and dried with a lint free cloth.

    Supplies and equipment: Silhouette Cameo cutter and software Orcal 631 vinyl (3 year, low tack adhesive) Application tape Container

    Summary of the process: 2013-08-25_182253 1. Use your Silhouette software to create your design.100_6666 2. Load vinyl into Silhouette Cameo and send your design to the cutter.100_6668 3. Trim the vinyl and backing slightly larger than the design.100_6670 4. Carefully remove the small areas that are completely surrounded by a continuous cut. This process is known as 'weeding.'100_6671 5. Remove the background vinyl, leaving only the design pieces. Pay attention to any parts of the design that must remain on the backing sheet, but are lifting off because a separation cut is not deep enough for complete separation.  100_6674 6. Cover the design with application tape.100_6675 7. Using a squeegee, rub the application tape to remove air bubbles and to adhere the design to the tape.

    100_6676 8. Carefully remove application tape making sure all parts of your design are securely attached.

    100_6678 9. If you are putting your design on a curved surface, the design will be easier to position if you trim excess application tape.100_6679 10. Place design on the container.100_6680 11. Rub the design with the squeegee. If this step is done poorly, parts of the design will remain stuck to the application tape rather than sticking to the destination object.100_6682 12. Slowly peel the application tape away. Check the design for missing parts. Attempt to get any missing parts properly positioned and stuck to the object. When the design is complete, place the slick side of the vinyl backing sheet down on the design and burnish the design parts with the squeegee. The design parts need to be firmly adhered to the object. 13. There is an experience factor that cannot be taught – it must be experienced. Start with flat surfaces and avoid objects made with 'slippery' types of materials until you have developed some skill with the process and know when your project choice will fall into the harder-to-complete-successfully items category.100_6683

    What will your message be?

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  • Cord Keeper

    August 21, 2013

    100_6663 All of us have them – those power cords that are needed to charge our battery operated electronic wonder items – phones, mp3/mp4 players, small and medium text devices, portable/laptop computers and the list goes on. For years, many of us have used empty toilet paper tubes to store our  power cords. Let's face the facts, those paper tubes aren't particularly attractive and they disintegrate if they get wet. And they don't hold up to much handling even if you can keep them dry.  As practitioners of sewing, we have scraps that are so precious that we just can't toss them. So, we save them, and save them and save them, until they fill a shoe box, then a large storage container. Yes, I also suffer from scrap-a-holicism, and have decided it's time to take control. This project is perfect to use some of that scrap fabric.

    Supplies: Fabric – 2 pieces 4” x 6” Medium weight fusible interfacing – 3” x 5” Velcro – 2 small pieces

    Directions: cropped 1. Fuse medium weight interfacing to the backside of one piece of fabric. 100_6640

    2. Stack and cut both pieces of fabric to 3” x 5”. 100_6641

    3. Round the corners - optional. I just took the scissors and rounded the corners, but you might use a half-dollar coin or other flat round object as a pattern if you want to draw cutting lines. 100_6642

    4. Place the fabric pieces right-sides together and sew with a 1/4” seam allowance around the rectangle leaving a 2” opening for turning. 100_6644

    5. Trimming some of the fabric at the corners reduces bulk in the corners. 100_6646

    6. Turn right-side out and gently push out the corners. 100_6647

    7. Press. 100_6648

    8. Top-stitch 1/8” from the edge to secure fabric and close the opening. 9. Attach one Velcro piece to each side of the rectangle, but on opposite ends. 100_6652

    10. Note - one Velcro piece on the front. 100_6653

    11. Note - one Velcro piece on the back. 100_6655

    12. Wrap the cord keeper around your cord so the Velcro pieces will attach to each other. Isn't that nicer than the empty toilet tube style?

    Customize the Size: This project is easy to customize to the size of your cords by changing the width and length of the fabric you use.

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  • Make Your Own Headband

    August 15, 2013

    Why make your own headband? 1. Headbands can be used to keep your hair off your face or to add some sparkle on a special occasion. 2. The fabric can be cotton, velvet, lace, or almost any other material. 3. You can make it any width you want. 4. Best of all, you can use scraps of fabric.

    Supplies: Fabric – 3 1/2” x  the length needed (see instructions) Elastic – 3/8” wide x 3” long



    1. Determine the position where you will wear the headband. Measure the entire distance around your head  for this position. Subtract 2 inches from the measurement and cut a rectangle of fabric the calculated length by 3.5 inches width. For example, my head is 22 inches around, so I subtracted 2 inches from 22, and I cut a rectangle of fabric 20 inches x 3.5 inches.

    100_6615 2. Sew right-sides together with a 1/4” seam allowance.100_6617 3. Turn the fabric right-side out.

    100_6618 4. Press with the seam in the middle of one side. 5. Turn in each end approximately ½” so the raw edges are on the inside and press.100_6622 6. Insert and center approximately 1/2” of the elastic into one end of the flattened fabric tube.

    100_6623 7. Fold the extra fabric on one side of the elastic over the elastic and pin or hold with your finger.

    100_6624 8. Fold the extra fabric on the other side of the elastic over the elastic. Pin the stack of layers of fabric and elastic.

    100_6625 9. Sew across ALL the layers, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the securing stitching.

    100_6626 10. Taking care not to introduce a twist in the fabric sleeve, repeat the process to attach the elastic at the other end of the fabric sleeve.100_6657 11. At both ends of the fabric sleeve, sew across the top of all the layers again.

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  • Embroidering on Terrycloth Towels

    August 7, 2013



    It is the time of year when we are deluged with input (store displays, magazine ads, emails, etc.) that suggests we should start working on projects for the holidays. A popular gift is a set of towels with an embroidery design. This blog is for readers who have had problems with embroidery on towel materials.

    The design that I used for this towel is one of a set of 10 new designs from Floriani. Pictures of two wall-hangings that include all ten designs are at the bottom of this blog. Would you like a set of these designs for FREE? – At the Tech Parties that will be starting the week of August 12, 2013, George Moore will tell you how you can get the designs. Call your local Moore's Sewing Center to tell them what session you prefer to attend – the morning from 9am to noon or the afternoon from 2pm to 5pm session.

    Supplies: Towel Needle – 75/11 sharp Stabilizer – cutaway (2.5 ounce) and a topper Design choice – avoid Redwork or running-stitch designs on terrycloth

    Terrycloth has a high loft and a loose weave. Three primary things you have to consider are:

    Stabilizer: There are three main types of stabilizer – cutaway, tear-away and wash-away which is  sometimes referred to as water-soluble.

    I know that most of you think that you should use wash-away stabilizer so you won't see the stabilizer on the backside of the towel. However, terrycloth comes in loose through dense versions and the fabric usually is not very stable size-wise over the life of the towel.

    Cutaway stabilizer is the best choice. The cutaway stabilizer minimizes size change of the terrycloth under the design and reduces stretch or contraction in the design as the towel ages. The embroidery design will stitch out better and the stabilizer will also support the design for the life of  the towel.

    Topping: When working on fabrics with a high loft, such as a terrycloth towel, a topping usually improves the final result. The topping is placed on top of the towel and hooped to keep the stitches from sinking down into the pile.

    There is a variety of different items that can be used as topping.

    Water-soluble topping is a good choice for designs that have many open spaces within the design and/or a very irregular perimeter. No cutting or tearing around delicate stitching or in many small areas is needed.

    Tulle or netting can serve as a topping when the design stitching covers all the area within the design's border. After the embroidery is finished, tear the tulle or netting away.

    Hooping: It's time to get down to business.... 1. For best results, the towel should be hooped with the stabilizer and topping. If the towel is not hooped, sections of the design may become misaligned during the sewing process. Towel fabric is NOT a good candidate for basting to the stabilizer.100_6593 2. To help secure the hoop from moving on your work surface while you are wrestling with the towel, cover an area of your work surface larger than the hoop with rubberized shelf liner. You can reroll the shelf liner for reuse on a bigger project if you don't cut the shelf liner. Just unroll an amount with some extra area around the extreme dimensions of the hoop.

    100_6595 3. Place the outer hoop on the shelf liner and loosen the hoop screw.100_6596 4. Place a piece of cutaway stabilizer on the hoop. The stabilizer must be large enough to be clamped by the hoop on all sides.

    100_6597 5. Place the towel over the stabilizer.

    100_6598 6. Add a piece of topping that is large enough to be clamped by the hoop along all edges. Tulle is being used for this project. The topping helps to stabilize the loops on the towel. Tulle does a good job of stabilizing because the tulle has very little 'give' or stretchiness.

    100_6599 7. Place the inner hoop ring over the 'sandwich' and gently snap into place. 8. Hold the hoop 'assembly' down with one hand as you tighten the screw. 9. After the sewing has finished, remove the towel from the hoop and tear the excess topping away. 10. Turn the towel over to access the back side of the embroidery. Trim away all excess stabilizer along the outer edge of the design. Trim as close to the design as you can without cutting any of the embroidery stitches or the towel loops.

    Floriani Design Set 100_6613


    Be sure to ask George how you can get these ten Floriani embroidery designs FREE when you attend the Tech Party at your local Moore's Sewing Center.

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  • Continuous Prairie Points

    August 1, 2013

    I am confused now and we are only starting! – Prairies are mostly flat, possibly with waves of amber grain, and we apparently go from purple mountain majesty to the prairies – according to the songs 'God Bless America' and 'America, The Beautiful'..... so how can the blue mountain shapes above be prairie points, which should be pale yellow-brown and flat? If anything, those are blue waves on the ocean, white with foam.

    Prairie points are traditionally made from squares of fabric. But, if you want a row of prairie points,  using individual squares is not a very efficient way to proceed. The technique described in this blog can be used to make a continuous row of prairie points any size and length that you need, and both alignment and spacing are easier to achieve and more accurate.


    1. Cut a strip of fabric 6” by the width of fabric (selvage edge to selvage edge). Two or more strips can be sewn end to end for longer runs of continuous prairie points.100_6564 2. Fold with right-side out, align the cut edges and press. Unfold and place on the cutting board with wrong-side up. If you have problems seeing the center line fold, mark it with chalk.

    100_6566-rotated 3. On one side of the fold, mark from the outside edge to the center line fold/mark every 3”.

    100_6565-rotated 4.  On the other side of the fold, start 1 1/2” in from the end. Then  mark from the outside edge to the center fold/mark every 3”.100_6568 5. There will be excess fabric that must be cut away on both ends of the long strip. Keep only the fabric that will make complete 3” squares.

    100_6570 6. Create the 3” squares by cutting on the marks from outer edge to the center line fold/mark using scissors or a rotary cutter.100_6572a 7.  Fold the 3” squares the way you would fold traditional prairie points. Fold left-hand corner down and to the right to the center line fold/mark, creating a triangle. Finger press.

    100_6573a 8. Fold the right-hand corner down and to the left to the center line fold/mark, creating a smaller triangle. Finger press. Notice the opening on the left side of the prairie point. The next triangle will fit into this slot.

    100_6574a 9. Make the next prairie point from the first 3” square on the other side of the center line fold/mark.

    100_6576 10. Tuck this prairie point into the flap of the previous prairie point. You can pin these if you like, but it may not be necessary. Continue working with the 'far' and 'near' squares until you reach the end of the fabric strip.100_6584 11. Trim excess fabric. 12. For convenience, you can baste the continuous prairie points in place using an 1/8” seam, but this is not mandatory. 13. Attach the prairie points to your quilt using a 1/4” seam allowance.

    By now, you may have memorized all the words to one or two of the most patriotic songs of the USA.

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