Beth’s method for finishing embroidered pictures.

Beth has been so kind and generous to write out directions on how she makes such beautiful finished embroideries that she displays on easels.  You can see some of them here.

Thank you so much Beth!  Download in PDF form:  BethPictureFraming

Procedure steps and tips for creating embroidery pictures using Pellon 71F ultra firm one sided fusible and Pellon 926 extra firm non-fusible stabilizers.

FINISHING EMBROIDERED PICTURES

It is best to use either an 80/12 or 90/14 topsitich needle.

Basic directions
1. In software combine embroidery design and border (frame) design. It does not matter which of the two designs is chosen first.
a) If more than one embroidery design is to be combined before adding the frame design, it is helpful to sequence the order of stitching in the software but moving forward and back through color stops in the embroidery machine to achieve the correct stitching order works as well.
b) It will be necessary to move forward and back through color stops to stitch the frame for the embroidery picture.
c) Edit the size and dimensions of embroidery design and border/frame design independently as necessary before joining them. Once combined as a new design, the dimensions can be adjusted further as desired.

2. Hoop one layer of water- soluble nonwoven fabric- like stabilizer.
a) The best success stitching on fusible pellon is achieved by opening the bottom hoop enough that the stabilizer can be hooped smoothly without pulling it at all. Just smooth it by hand before tightening the frame. The stabilizer should be straight in the hoop, not pulled “tight as a drum,” however, tighten the hoop frame as much as possible. Pulling at the
stabilizer to smooth it after the hoop is tightened only serves to make it crooked. The stabilizer may seem to be too loose, but it will work better stitching on pellon.

3. Stitch the first color stop, used for the border, for the placement of the fabric fused to pellon. a) Cut the pellon, front and back fabrics at least 1.25 inches bigger that the dimensions of the finished border. This will allow a little more than ½ inch to hold on to while trimming the outside away. More allowance may be preferred.
b) Pellon is not 100% uniform. It does have a little loft. This is not usually a big problem. Just be aware that as the design is stitched the pellon will often flex in the hoop. It is a good thing to have the stabilizer a little loose and not stretched tightly in the hoop, especially with densely stitched designs. Ugly creases will be avoided. Let the pellon become wonky. The design has
not been ruined. The action of additional stitching will often smooth everything out. Attaching the back will also help flatten everything. In any case the picture will press flat when completed.
c) Lightly fuse the fabric to pellon. Works better with dense stitching.
d) It is better to use fusible pellon for both the front and back fabrics if the designs are large or
when a very firm picture is preferred. Attaching the back using non-fusible works well for small designs. Quilt blocks using trapunto or quilting stitches look good using non-fusible pellon on the front and fusible on the back. With non-fusible the fabric may noticeably “float” around
stitched designs. Experience and every design will dictate pellon choices.

4. Center the fabric fused pellon in the placement stitching. Stitch the second color stop to tack it down to the stabilizer.

5. Move to the embroidery design and complete the embroidery. Remember that it is better to allow the complete design to stitch without interference. It will probably be wonky, but not to worry. After the stabilizer is washed away and the picture dries, it will iron flat.

6. After the embroidery is completed, remove the hoop from the machine. Turn the hoop over, center the back fabric over the placement stitching and secure it to the stabilizer with pins. If non-fusible pellon is used with the back fabric, it is helpful to pin the two together in the center for a smoother fit.

7. Return the hoop to the machine and stitch the border design color stops one and two to secure the back fabric.

8. Remove the hoop from the machine and on a flat surface trim away the excess fabric/pellon From the front and back.
a) Start with the back.
b) Very sturdy double curved applique scissors are extremely helpful. Pickle Pie Designs sells an excellent pair on their website www.picklepiedesigns .com.
c. Trim carefully as close to the stitching as possible. Avoid cutting the stitching or the stabilizer. If you do cut the stabilizer at bit, pin another piece of stabilizer over the cut to patch the area. The remaining color stops need something to stitch on.

9. Complete the remaining border design color stops.

10. Remove the beautiful, embroidered picture from the hoop. Place it in warm water to dissolve the washaway stabilizer and rinse the excess away. Stand the picture on edge (like in a dish drainer) to allow the water to drain. Do not worry if it is wonky but take care not to bend the wet pellon. After the picture is dry, steam iron it flat using a pressing cloth to avoid damaging the embroidery. Any noticeable wrinkles can also usually be ironed away.

Enjoy many pictures displayed on an easel. Another option is to tack one side of a small metal ring to the back and hang these pictures on the smallest wire “Command hooks”.

 

Beth’s Embroidered Pictures

Beth has developed a wonderful way to finish large picture embroideries!  She has given me permission to include her method and i’m sure a lot of you will appreciate being able to do this too.

From Beth:

I finished the BFC580 design and thought you might like seeing what I did.  I combined the six sections in software, added an  edited design to create the inside window frame to complete the look of a window.  I have a Babylock Destiny and Designer’s Gallery software. This software gives me the ability to combine designs very well.  Also attached is a jpeg of design BFC1601.  Zigzagging the sections together did not appeal to me so I combined them into one design.  Added together there were 305506 stitches and I wasn’t sure it would work, but you can see that it did, and computers didn’t crash.

I am embroidering pictures like this on fusible pellon. For large projects I also fuse the back fabric (usually black) to pellon and then sew the front and back together along the edge to make it very sturdy to put on a table top easel. After the front and back sections are sewn together and trimmed to size, the edge is satin stitched to finish.

I am an experienced embroider and I have made many embroidery designs into pictures to display on an easel. My limitation is only the size of my magnetic 9.5 x 14 hoop.  For the tabletop easel I wouldn’t need something to be any bigger.  I like your designs very much.  I also like the thread you sell so much I bought every color. Your “Blue Study with Birds” would not have been possible without all of your blue threads.

I have not been bored sequestering at home during the pandemic.  I am blessed to be able to enjoy a creative hobby like machine embroidery, and talented people like you are included in the blessings.  I am not talented, but I have learned a skill. I can thread a machine, step on the gas, and thoroughly enjoy being creative.  I retired in 2011 and I don’t think there have been many days that I haven’t spent time at my machine.

It made me smile when I read that you would like to put my embroidery pictures on your blog.  It’s not often that you can show off something creative that you love to do to kindred spirits who would share the same creative interest. This technique for making embroidered pictures to display on an easel began just before the world was told to sequester at home to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Surfing Youtube in December 2019  I came across a New Zealand web site, www.kreativekiwiembroidery.co.nz.  Heather calls herself a machine embroidery addict enabler and she digitizes large ITH table mats and mug rugs using pellon and water soluble stabilizer. I was intrigued, bought a design, and quickly realized that the very sturdy edge she created for these designs would work, with a little editing, to make frames for embroidered pictures.  The sturdy edge would hold up with lots of handling and abuse. and the pellon would be sufficient support on an easel.  I have been collecting designs that would make beautiful pictures for decades and now with a few inches of fabric, pellon and water soluble stabilizer, Heather has enabled me to be able to make many pictures to display and enjoy in my embroidery machine.  At this point I have made over sixty pictures using quilt blocks, applique and embroidery designs.  They don’t take up very much room to store and I can change pictures to display quickly and as often as I want to.  Seasonal designs have become a focus decoration, but I display something all of the time.

For frames I use Heather’s 8X10 ITH rectangular coaster (ITHRC).  I edit out everything but the edge which has a placement stitch thread run, tack down thread run, and a third thread run for extra security that is stitched before the face fabric and back fabric are trimmed away.  Then a zigzag stitch and final satin stitch topped with the decorative stitch is sewn to finish.  The witch and Christmas bird are examples of this framing.

This framing design has rounded corners and being circular is resized easily without distortion.  I have not been able to find a framing design with 90 degree corners that will resize very much without noticeable distortion, meaning the width of the top and bottom of the rectangle may be wider or more narrow than the sides depending on how dimensions are altered.  If a picture requires a square corner I manually stitch the satin stitch edge.  The attached Ladybug design is an example of my manual edge.

In the software the edited frame design is added to a selected embroidery design.  The frame dimensions are adjusted to fit with the embroidery design and the two combined and saved as a new design. Resizing the embroidery design is also works.  I usually use one layer of water soluble stabilizer and I only use the nonwoven fabric like wash- away stabilizer.  I prewash my face fabric and back fabric to avoid possible shrinkage causing problems.  Pellon cut from a bolt will usually need to be ironed flat using a non-stick applique pressing sheet.  I found it’s best to use a light fuse, no steam, to fuse the face fabric to the pellon to avoid hard wrinkles.  Very dense designs can cause distortion if the fabric is bonded too tightly.  Any problems can usually be steam ironed away as the design is pressed flat after drying.

The embroidery is completed before the back fabric is attached.  To make the back of the picture look the best I prefer to pin the back fabric to a piece of non-fusible pellon before securing it to the back of the hoop.  I use 4 flat head pins to secure corners of the back fabric, not tape.

I re-run the placement, tack down and securing thread stops to attach the back fabric.  The hoop is removed from the machine and the back fabric is trimmed away first. After the face fabric is trimmed, the hoop is back on the machine to complete the zigzag stitching and satin stitching. The stabilizer is dissolved and thoroughly rinsed. away and after drying the picture usually requires a little steam ironing to flatten.

Your Stained Glass daisy design was easily adapted for displaying on an easel.  After centering fused fabric with pins all of the colors were sewn except for the black stain glass stitching.  To be able to add the back fabric I just had added a color stop in the software at the point where the black stain glass stitching moved to the edge.  By moving to and repeating the added color stop, the back fabric could to be attached and secured before the fabric was trimmed away and the edge completed. Depending on how designs have been created or combined it is often necessary to move forward and back through color stops as necessary to achieve goals for creating a picture.

I hope this information is helpful and clear.  Please use and edit as much of it as you see fit in your blog.

BFC1204 Ching Chou’s Barn Owl

BFC1567 Ching Chou’s Stained Glass Ladybug

 

BFC1202 Ching

BFC1202 Ching Chou’s Hummingbird

BFC0580 Blue Study with Birds

BFC1005 Fantasy Ladies – Fairy Witchery

 

BFC1481 Stained Glass Floral Squares

 

 

 

SAVE YOUR DESIGNS!!!!!!

A customer wrote to me today with a heartbreaking story. I will let her tell you:

Dear Suz, I just finished re-downloading ALL my orders since #521. I had a severe power surge here in August that caused me to lose my stove, refrig., furnace, air, PC, water softener and elec. fireplace. I thought I had everything backed up on CDs and memory sticks, BUT Murphys Law was in total control and I had NOTHING. I am SO GLAD that I could salvage my favorite designs and can only say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU that I could. I remain FOREVER a loyal customer,

Suz, feel free to  use  my tale of woe. I thought I  had taken the proper precautions but I  never checked to make sure. I just  assumed that I  had copied everything.  NEVER ASSUME anything.  That’s  my  new motto. I should have known better.  Since the love of my life (husband of 55 years) died of cancer in 2014 it seems like Murphy’s Law has been hanging over me big time. Thank God my 4 daughters have been here to keep me going.  Thanks again for your kindness.

_________________________

Designs represent not only a big monetary investment, but many of us are very attached to our purchased designs  – we plan for them, think about them, and we expect them to be there when we want them.  But unless we take some precautions we can’t be sure this will be the case.  PLEASE make sure all your design are backed up and that the sites you deal with maintain your purchases so you can re-download them.  If you have a lot of designs from many places you might want to consider a cloud service that will back up the files you want them to every night.  I have been doing this for years and I have had to use the backup files often enough to feel the service has been a bargain.

My Mixed Media Experiment

DOWNLOAD TUTORIAL

TUTORIAL: MY EXPERIMENT IN MIXED MEDIA

I’m fascinated with mixed media art but have little time to delve in the way I want to.  But I decided I would just do one!  It has a steampunk theme since I had a lot of things I could use in my stash and I really love steampunk.  LOL

I had some canvases that sat sadly alone by my desk waiting for me to use them so I used one for my project.  I was happy with it as it had depth (its canvas stretched on a wood frame) but wasn’t as heavy as a piece of wood would be.  Its 9.5 inches by 10 inches so not so big that I might not finish it but still enough to put lots of things on it.

My next task was to find things to put on it.  I searched every drawer that might have screws, bolts, etc.  I also checked my jewelry pieces drawer.  And the thing I really wanted to see if I could incorporate was Free Standing Lace (FSL).  I have quite a few pieces – you can use any leftovers, even pieces that might not be *perfect*. The FSL can add a lot of texture to your project.

I hope you will have fun following along and creating your own one of a kind masterpiece!

 

I have since done a more *flowery* mixed media. .  It made of a canvas board as my first project, Lace, beads of various kinds – the flowers are acrylic beads, mother of pearl – charms and beads, acrylic leaves, Czech crystals for flower centers.  I painted everything when done with a clear acrylic paint, with fine iridescent glitter.

Tutorial – Fairy Wildlife Quilt – Part 1

This quilt uses the three Design Sets of the Fairy Wildlife Series.  I am making a lap size quilt, but you can easily adjust the sizes.  My main purpose in this Tutorial is to show you an easy way to create a unique and fun design.  This first part does what I call the Ocean slice.

DOWNLOAD TUTORIAL PART 1     Tutorial- Fairy Wildlife Quilt Part 1

Here are some images from this Tutorial:

 

 

 

 

A change of pace….

Hello everyone – I  know most of you are as busy as I am and always trying to figure out how to accomplish all that life brings PLUS all our crafts.  Since I’ve had this business, I’ve dropped my other crafts one by one as they just seemed too much work to do.  So I’ve been looking around for a craft that is different from embroidery (to give me a break) but that is easy to work on.  I think I’ve found the perfect craft!  Polymer Clay.  It doesn’t need any special containers – in fact it can be left out in the air just about indefinitely.  You can work on it a little and just sit it on the shelf.  It’s very easy to clean up after and really a lot of fun.  I set out to make something – I really didn’t care how it came out.  I just wanted something that I could pick up for 15 minutes or a half hour to refresh my mind for embroidery.  I’ve finished my first piece.  In addition to the clay, I used shells, beads, even Angelina fibers!  I looked on the net to see if anyone had used polymer clay and Angelina and couldn’t find any so I experimented.  This little project has made me wonder if small FSL embroideries could be incorporated.  Has anyone tried this?  So here is my Under the Sea jewelry box.  It’s certainly not a piece of art but it was so much fun!!!  It now sits on a table under my Under the Sea Fantasy in my Bathroom.

I just put clay on the cover of the box – I started with a thin layer.

Photo isn’t that clear, but you see a couple of shells.  The *beads* are just small balls of clay.

More shells and some Mother of Pearl Buttons.  I painted the sides of the box and covered the top with a couple of coats of glaze.  You can see the Angelina Fibers on the dark blue water.  I first pressed them into the clay – many times (LOL)  They still were mostly just sitting ont he surface, but I was determined to get them onto the project.  I just put some thick costs of glaze on top of the fibers.  They look great in person!  They have the shimmer and shine of Angelina, but also add a great texture to the surface.  My final touch was adding crystals  – his eye, on his fin, and among the bottom shells, rocks and beads.

I painted the inside with a copper colored paint.  I cut a piece of cardboard the size of the bottom of the box and added a layer of batting.  I then covered it with a metallic fabric.

How best to dry Free Standing Lace

“Hi Suz,

Attached is a pic of how I do flat FSL.  This is the plastic that we use for needlepoint. I cut it to the size that I may need, put the embroidery in it and clip it down.  I can rinse and hang it to dry without ever touching the lace till it is dry.  Find out that nothing ever stretches this way.

Thought you might be interested.

Marge ”

Cat Tent

I’m sorry I didn’t take any photos as I was making this, but I will try to explain best I can. I took a piece of fleece and cut out the base. I had a small memory foam bathmat and I used this as a pattern so I could put it inside when the tent was done. I cut two pieces of the fleece. I took some high loft poly fill and laid this in the center of one of the base pieces. I stitched all around the base about a half inch in from the edge.

I thhen measured around my base for the length of the next piece of fleece I would cut. I hung my tent from a hook in the wall in the arch over the alcove. It will also hang and work fine from a hook on a flat wall ( I had tried that just to move it around). I used one of those no mark hooks and so far it hasn’t budged! I decided how high I wanted the sides of the tent and used this for the other measurement on my piece of fleece. So I cut one piece:
length around the base by the desired height.

I stitched this piece around the base I had made. I placed the wrong side of the base along the edge of the side piece and stitched. The seam was inside the tent and doesn’t show. And by using fleece, there was no reveling. I started and stopped the stitch at the center of the base as this would be their flap.
I folded over the flap and pinned it. I then took some big pleats along the top edge to make it small enough to add a hanger. I stitched these pleats from the inside and trimmed the seam allowance.
I then folded the tent together and stitched across the top. This could be done from the inside so the seam won’t show. I stitched a heavy ribbon to make a loop to hand from my hook.

After sprinkling a little bit of catnip in the center of the tent it was ready for its occupants. They spent a LOT of time in this during the winter! I’d often see two little faces at the doorway.

You can of course add some cute cat designs to really make this a custom tent!

Please feel free to ask any questions as I know it’s hard without picture as I went along!

Suz

 

Sheer Tulip

“I was hoping this would work as an applique using glitter.  It was very hard to trim away the excess glitter.  For me it works fine and I will have to clip several of the friskies showing in the photo.  Can hardly see them in person.

What I did was fuse fabric to the back of the glitter then went on as usual.  I assume if I had used the design on something, trimming would be easier.In person, it really is a lovely design and glad I tried it as an applique.

Joan”

 

BFC1651 Sheer Tulips

Large Embroidered Tote

From jc:

“I made this 24″ x 36″ 4 compartment tote to transport my wall hangings.

The handles are over 5 feet long and have a continuous embroidery design on them — Both the top and bobbin threads are continuous; no cuts or pieces.”

I LOVE Tote bags and use them for many things.  (that will be a tutorial later on) but I hadn’t thought of making one large enough for wall hangings.  I think this would be a great way to store our embroidered pictures when they aren’t gracing the walls.  You could hang them on hooks int he back of a closet or a similar space.  It would keep them clean and neat.  You could even make totes for different types!  I might add a zipper if I was going to use them for storage to make sure the embroideries didn’t get dusty.

This would be a great way to practice doing large designs too!  If there is a little *boo-boo* somewhere it wouldn’t matter and you would have very interesting Embroidery Tote bags!

Great Project jc!!!!