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  • Corners and Borders

    January 17, 2012

    If you enjoyed doing the Napkin Corners embroidery collection by Anita Goodesign, you most likely will love their new collection called Corners and Borders.

    The collection contains 15 different themes that can be used as 'corners only' for napkins or 'corners combined with side borders' for table runners and table cloths. The most exciting feature of these designs is how easy it is to get perfect placement. The Anita Goodesign tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process to do this easy technique.

    Extract of Directions from Anita Goodesign Tutorial: 1. Hoop a piece of medium weight stabilizer.

    2. Stitch the first step of the corner design. This is the placement line for the corner of your fabric.

    3. Place the corner of your table cloth or napkin so that it is along the placement line. 4. Tape the fabric in place. I used blue painter's masking tape.

    5. The next step will secure the fabric to the stabilizer. 6. The following steps will vary depending on the design you are doing and the number of thread color changes.

    7. When the corner design is finished, remove the tape. 8. Remove as much stabilizer as possible without disturbing the basting stitch. 9. If you are doing a napkin corner, then you are finished and you can remove the basting stitch and all the stabilizer. If you doing a tablecloth corner you are ready to add a border. 10. Hoop a piece of medium weight stabilizer.

    11. The placement line will be L shaped.

    12. Line up the extension line sewn on the corner of the fabric with the upright line in the placement stitch on the stabilizer and the edge of the tablecloth with the long placement line on the stabilizer. 13. Tape the fabric to hold it in place.

    14. The next stitching step will secure the fabric to the stabilizer. The basting lines should line up with each other as close as possible. If they don't, remove the basting stitch and reposition the fabric. (If your embroidery machine has a scan feature, it is even easier to get perfect placement.) 15. The following thread color changes will vary depending on the design you are stitching.

    16. Remove as much stabilizer as possible without disturbing the basting stitch. 17. Repeat this process again for the border design on the other side of the corner. 18. Remove basting stitches and stabilizer. Repeat the same technique for the other corners of the tablecloth.

  • Ten Minute Table Runner

    January 10, 2012

    Need a quick and easy project to add some color to your table? This table runner is just the project for you.

    This project is based on the Ten Minute Table Runner originally designed by LaRae Bunnell Clark from Utah State University.

    Fabric Requirements: 12 inches of  ‘theme’ print (center panel) by width of fabric 18 inches of a coordinating print by width of fabric


    1. With right-sides together, stitch the long sides with a 1/2 inch seam allowance to form a tube.

    2. Press the seam allowance away from center fabric. 3. Turn the tube right-side out.

    4. Position the theme print so the backing fabric creates equal width borders on each side of the theme print and then press.

    5. Trim short ends inside the shortest selvage edge. 6. Fold long edge creases of the tube together with the theme print out. Stitch 1/2 inch seam on both short ends.

    7. Press seams open.

    8. Turn seams inside to form a point. You may want to use a point turner to get a nice point, press.

    9. Edge stitch.

  • Neck Wrap

    January 3, 2012

    This is the time of the year many of us work on our New Year’s resolution list. I finally narrowed mine down to just one item, ‘Sew Moore’. The first item on that list, is a  microwaveable neck wrap.

    Fabric: ¼ yard 100 percent cotton fabric for inner bag ¼ yard fleece, flannel, or any soft fabric for outer bag

    Filler: 3 cups uncooked rice Note: You can use other fillers i.e. feed corn, beans, cherry pits, barley, etc.

    Optional: You can add one of the following for a soothing fragrant heating pad: Lavender, rosemary, peppermint oil or your favorite scent of essential oil

    Mix scented oil with rice, and let sit in a sealed container for a few days stirring occasionally. This helps distribute and set the fragrance.

    These measurements will produce a 6” x 18” finished neck warmer. You can adjust the measurements to make it whatever size you want. The outer bag (pillow case) is cut 1” wider and 2” longer than the inner bag.

    Inner Bag - this will hold the filler Cut two 7” x 19” rectangles from cotton fabric, I use muslin

    Outer Bag - pillow case Cut two 8” x 21” rectangles from fleece, cotton or flannel. The softer and fluffier the better. This outer bag does not go into the microwave, ONLY cotton fabrics are microwave safe.

    Directions: Use 1/2” seam allowance unless otherwise noted.

    Inner Bag:

    With right sides together, sew all the way around leaving a 3” opening on one end for turning and adding filler. Turn right side out and press.

    Find the center of the rectangle and mark with a pin. From the center measure 4 1/2” on either side and mark both of these points with a pin. These are the marks for the four filler compartments. Add 3/4 cup filler to the first compartment

    Sew a vertical line at the first compartment mark. Repeat for the next three compartments. When the last compartment is filled, top stitch close to the folded edge. Outer Bag: With right sides together sew or serge along both long sides and across the bottom. On the top end, fold under 1/2” and press. Fold under again 1” to make a hem.

    Edge stitch. If you are using Minky or fleece type fabric, do not press just pin.

    Place the inner bag in microwave and heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your microwave.

    Slip into the outer case.

    Use CAUTION these bags can get very hot. Shake the bag and feel around to make sure it’s not too hot.

    Note: Before heating your neck wrap for the first time, check your microwave oven instructions for any restrictions or suggestions about heating low moisture content items. Also try to find the power rating (watts) of the unit - low power ovens (500 watt) will require longer heating time then high power (1100 watt) ovens. Some microwave ovens have power level controls. Some instruction manuals suggest putting a cup of water in the oven when heating low moisture content items. Err on the safe side the first time and start with a short time period and low power to determine how hot your neck warmer gets under these conditions.

    Note: I always include a set of instructions when I give these as gifts.

    Hot & Cold Neck Wrap Bag Instructions

    For heat therapy, microwave one to three minutes. For cold therapy store in freezer, and use as needed. Wrap in towel to protect skin from extreme cold.

    Do not use on infants or patients who cannot move the neck wrap off themselves, or who can’t move away from neck wrap. Do not use on areas of the body where heat can’t be felt or where sensation is reduced. Do not use heat with medicated creams, lotions, or ointments. Do not use heat on areas of bruising or swelling that have occurred within the previous 48 hours. Do not use heat on open wounds or damaged skin.

    Outer cover is machine washable. Filling is 100% uncooked rice (or whatever filling you use). The inner bag may be spot cleaned. Be careful to keep inner contents dry to prevent spoiling. Wet contents may cook in microwave. If it gets wet, line dry and then dry in a clothes dryer before using.

  • Facial Tissue Holder

    December 27, 2011

    School closed for winter break - kids around the house? Do you need a project to do with your children or grandchildren? This is a perfect first sewing project.Facial tissue (generic for you-know-what) holders are a great way to use fabric scraps.

    The measurements used for this tissue holder will fit most brands.

    Fabric: 2 pieces  - 7” x 5 1/2”

    Directions: If the front fabric is thin, you can give it more body by ironing a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing to the backside.

    Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together and sew or serge the short edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

    Turn right side out and press.

    With the front fabric up, fold and align the short edges, then finger press to create a crease.

    Unfold, and then fold each short edge to the crease. Pin.

    Sew or serge across the two open ends using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

    Turn right side out and the holder is ready for a package of tissue to be inserted.

  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    December 20, 2011

    The holidays are upon us. If you’re reading this, you are probably taking a break from holiday shopping.

    For the November Sew Fun Club meetings, members brought cookies to share with their friends. The leftovers were taken to the local fire departments and retirement communities. Vickie Carter, a customer from the Huntington Beach store, made her mother’s recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were very popular and Vickie has agreed to share the secret recipe.

    If you don’t know about Sew Fun Club or haven’t attended a meeting yet and would like to attend, check with your local Moore’s store to get details or sign up online here.

    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Cream: - 1 cup shortening - ¾ cup brown sugar - ¾ cup white sugar

    Add: 2 eggs

    Sift together and add to above: - 1 ½ cup flour - 1 teaspoon soda - 1 teaspoon salt

    Add: 1 teaspoon hot water

    Fold in by spoon: - 2 cups oatmeal - 1 6oz package chocolate chips

    Add: 1 teaspoon vanilla

    If cookie dough is too moist, add more oatmeal. Roll dough into a log. Wrap in aluminum foil and wax paper. Refrigerate overnight. Slice and put on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

    To double the recipe use 5 cups of oatmeal and one more teaspoon of hot water.

    Thanks Vickie for sharing it with us.

    While the cookies are baking, maybe you would like to stitch out an embroidery design.

    The new 10-needle machines sure cut down on manual thread changes - - leaving you more time to bake and quality control the cookie results.

  • Mug Rug

    December 13, 2011

    Mug Rug n. – a small place mat on which to place a cup with enough room for a small snack.

    No matter what size you make your mug rug, it is a great way to use those fabric scraps left over from making holiday gifts.

    These directions are for a 9” x 6” finished size.

    Front side: One piece of focus fabric 4” x 6 1/4” Seven strips coordinating fabric - center strip 2” x 9” - two strips 1 1/2” x 8” - two strips 2” x 6 1/2” - two strips 2” x 4 1/2” - Your strips can be narrower or wider and you can cut the strip lengths as you go. One piece of cotton or 80/20 batting 6 1/2” x 9 1/2”

    Back side: One piece of backing fabric 11 1/2” x 8 1/2”

    Making the Mug Rug top:

    1.    Draw a line 3 1/4” from the right edge of your batting.

    2.    Draw a line from upper left corner to the bottom of the line you drew. (Optional)

    3.    Fold the longest strip, right sides together, along its length and place the fold against the diagonal line. Open fabric strip out so it is centered over the line, right side up.

    4.    Place one of the 8” long strips, right side down, on the center strip and stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance. Extend your stitching line approximately 1/4” past the line marking off the 3 1/4” rectangle.

    5.    Flip the top strip over and finger press, or use your wooden iron.

    6.    Continue working towards the corner.

    First half of diagonal strips are now complete.

    7.    Add strips from the center strip and work towards the opposite corner.

    Diagonal strips are now complete.

    8.    Trim the fabric strips and batting on the 3 sides where the fabric sticks out past the batting. The mug rug should now measure 6” x 9 1/4”.

    9.    With the batting side up, fold the batting back onto itself at the 3 1/4” line.

    10.    Trim the strip ends 1/4” from the folded batting edge.

    11.    Place the 4” x 6 1/4” piece of fabric right side down on strips and stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance.

    12.    Flip the fabric over and finger press.  Trim the mug rug to the final measurement of 6” x 9”.

    13.    Center the mug rug on the backing fabric and pin in place, or use kk2000 to hold in place. 14.    Trim the backing fabric so it extends 1” on all sides of the mug rug.

    Binding: 1.    Cut a 5/8” square from each corner of the backing fabric. This will reduce bulk. 2.    Fold a cut edge of the backing fabric to the cut edge of the mug rug.  Fold backing fabric over again to cover the mug rug raw edge. Press with iron. Pin to hold binding in place.

    3.    Turn a corner edge over to form a 45 degree angle, press. 4.    Fold backing fabric as before. Adjust the corner so it forms a 45 degree angle. Press and pin. 5.    Repeat this process on remaining sides. 6.    Top stitch near the inside folded edge of the binding. This is a good place to use one of your machine's decorative stitches.

    Now, sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, pull out your Moore's catalog and make your wish list.

  • Holiday Gift Card Holders

    December 6, 2011

    Still looking for one or more perfect gifts after Black Friday? Gift cards can be a great solution, but they seem pretty impersonal. To make a gift card special, make a card holder for it.

    Holiday Gift Card Holders If you have an embroidery machine, you can create some wonderful last-minute gift card holders. They take less than 15 minutes to complete, and better yet, the entire process is done in the hoop.

    Supplies: Dakota Christmas Gift Card Holders embroidery design CD Floriani Wet N Gone stabilizer One 3” x 6” piece of plain fabric for pocket front. This is where your design will be stitched Two 3” x 4” pieces of fabric for the pocket back Sulky kk2000 temporary spray adhesive or glue stick Painters tape or Scotch brand tape Ribbon or small cord

    The front pocket piece is embroidered first.

    1. Hoop two pieces of Wet-N-Gone stabilizer. 2. The outline of where to place your fabric will stitch out first. 3. Fold the 3” x 6” piece of fabric in half with wrong side together. 4. Spray back with kk2000 5. Lay the fabric with folded edge lined up with the top of the outline. 6. The tack down stitch will stitch out next. 7. Trim the fabric 1/4” from the outside of the tack down stitches. 8. Embroider the design.

    9. Remove from hoop.

    10. Trim the stabilizer close to the fabric.

    Back pocket piece: Hoop two pieces of Wet-N-Gone stabilizer The outline for the fabric placement will stitch out first. Lightly spray the wrong side of the two pieces of 3” x 4” fabric, and place them wrong sides together.

    Place them on the outline stitch and tape in place. The tack down stitch will stitch out next.

    Trim the fabric close to the tack down stitches. Trim out the hole area, I used an awl. The next color change will stitch out the front pocket placement line. With the embroidered side up, tape the front pocket onto the back pocket piece. The next stitch will hold the front pocket in place. Trim close to tack down.

    Top and bobbin thread should match. The last color change will do a satin around card holder. Trim excess stabilizer away.

    Use a wet sponge to remove remaining stabilizer.

    Don't forget to tuck in a 'one-size fits all' Moore's gift card.

  • Serger Napkins

    November 28, 2011

    Dear Santa,

    I have been very good this year, for me anyway, please bring me a new serger.

    If you don't already own a serger, I hope you have one on your wish list for this holiday season. I remember the first one that I bought over 25 years ago. My family and friends received cloth napkins as gifts that year.

    I still give cloth napkins as gifts, but now they come with embroidery designs selected for the recipient. After all, you can only give plain napkins so many times. (Before I had an embroidery machine, I would decorate them with rubber stamps.)

    Making napkins is one of the easiest sewing projects, particularly with a serger, even for beginning sewers.

    You may have heard (or experienced) that changing some sergers from one sewing setup to another is a daunting task. George Moore calls these machines 'closet sergers'. If the thought of changing your serger to do a rolled hem causes you to break out in a cold sweat, stop by a Moore's Sewing Center location and have them show you how easy the changeover is on a Baby Lock serger.

    Supplies: - Serger - 3 cones of thread that match your fabric - Fabric - I use linen, but any fabric will work - Seam sealant

    Serger Setup: Set up the serger to do a rolled hem. Check your machine manual for details. (On my Baby Lock Imagine serger, I remove the left needle and set three selector knobs per the Quick Reference Guide for 3-thread rolled edge. Now my serger is ready to use.)

    Sewing Instructions: 1. Cut fabric into 18-inch squares or your choice of desired size and shape. To make the fabric easier to work with, use Best Press spray starch and iron your fabric before cutting. 2. Place the right edge of your fabric under the presser foot. 3. Serge the rolled hem along the edge, extending the chain of stitches about 3-inches when you get to the end. 4. Repeat on remaining three sides. 5. Cut off thread tails and apply seam sealant.

    Add a design or monogram with your embroidery machine (optional): 1. Hoop water soluble stabilizer. 2. Attach napkin to water soluble stabilizer using either a spray adhesive or a glue stick. 3. Stitch out the chosen design.

    4. Remove the napkin and stabilizer from the hoop. Trim away excess stabilizer. 5. Rinse out remaining water soluble stabilizer. Dry and, if necessary, iron napkins.

    Other than wrapping them up, the napkins are ready to give as a gift... On second thought, you might like them so much that you have to make another set to give to the intended recipient.

  • Fleece Scarf

    November 21, 2011

    Cold crisp mornings... early sunsets... fall must be here.

    Few things feel better than a warm fleece scarf to ward off the cool mornings and evenings.

    Supplies: Basic sewing machine 1/4 yard each of two contrasting colors of fleece Regular thread to match each color Rotary cutter, mat and ruler

    Basic scarf construction 1. From each color, cut an 8-inch wide strip across the full width of the fabric 2. Place the fleece wrong sides together. (Usually, fleece curls to the right side when pulled along the selvage edges, and it curls to the wrong side when stretched on the cross grain.) 3. Trim selvage edges off fleece. 4. Starting and ending about 5 inches from each end, stitch the long edges with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. A 3.0mm to 3.5mm stitch length usually works well. 5. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, trim the long edges to a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

    Make 1/2-inch wide fringe on each end of scarf. To make quick fringe you will need 1 large cutting mat 1 small cutting mat Rotary cutter

    1. Lay the fleece on the large cutting mat. 2. Lay the small mat on the fleece such that 5 inches, or whatever depth of fringe you want, of fleece is exposed. 3. Fold the fleece to be fringed over the small mat. 4. Using a rotary cutter and cutting from the fold towards the end of the fleece, cut 1/2-inch fringe. (You might want to use a ruler to help cut straight and even strips. A sharp blade will make this task easier.)

    Embellish scarf with Reverse Applique I chose a leaf shape, but hearts, trees, squares and other simple shapes all work well. 1. Trace your template shape onto paper. Lightly spray KK2000 on the template to adhere in place. 2. Straight stitch around the template. 3. Remove and spray template again, if necessary, and adhere to the next location. Stitch. 4. Repeat until the project is complete.

    NOTE - If you have an embroidery machine, you can use just the outline portion of an embroidery design in lieu of steps 1 to 4 above. If you have software, you can create your own design.

    5. Trim one layer from the center on one side of the scarf; do not cut the contrasting fleece.

    6. Trim the opposite color at the other end of the scarf.

  • Anita Goodesign Embroidery Party!

    November 17, 2011

    What happens when you put 220 men and women in a room at the Ontario Convention Center, with 70 embroidery machines, and Steve Wilson of Anita Goodesign embroidery designs?

    A lot of fun.

    Steve Wilson brought samples of his current design collections and new collections that will be released in the next couple of months. This month, Anita Goodesign released a new type of collection that will incorporate embroidery and easy sewing techniques. The tutorials have pictures and easy to follow step-by-step directions.

    Attendees learned new techniques as they stitched out seven different projects during the two day event. These techniques and projects included a Folded Fabric Zipper Purse, a Dimensional Flower using Heat ‘n‘ Shrink, how to position a design so it fits perfectly into the corner of a napkin, cutwork, appliqué and more.

    What would a party be without prizes? George Moore and Steve Wilson gave out lots of them. They also had great deals on machines, software, thread, and notions. Mark your calendar to join us next year on November 3rd and 4th.

    Project Collections by Anita Goodesign

    Fashion Clutches

    Three different designs are included to stitch out on your embroidery machine. Heat ‘n’ Shrink will give your clutch a unique texture. After stitching out, apply steam from your iron and watch the magic happen. You’ll finish your clutch at your sewing machine by adding a zipper and handle.

    Holiday Stocking

    Three different techniques are included in this collection. Cowboy Boot, Folded Fabric - in three different  sizes, and  Traditional stocking shape. Eight individual embroidery designs are include to use on the Traditional stocking shape. These make perfect holiday gifts.

    Chic Travel Accessories

    This collection includes 23 individual designs to use on the three travel bag projects.  You’ll be able to not only make a set for yourself, but also for family and friends.

    Sunbonnet Sue in the Kitchen

    Ten individual hand stitched designs in 2 sizes for the 5x7 and 6x10 hoop. Three projects are included in this collection. Tea towel, potholder, and quilt blocks make this collection a must have. The quilt blocks designs have 4 sizes and are compatible with all the Mix and Match collections

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