Jacqueline’s Towel (Pocket ) Topper

From Jacqueline:

My first draft of a kitchen towel using the pocket topper – top is a quilted black, the plaid is cloth, and the backing of the plaid is black terry cloth. The second one will be better – i make something for the Bell Choir at church every year for Christmas

Great idea jacqueline!  I never thought of anything other than pockets. 🙂

BFC31353 Ho-Ho-Ho-OOPS

Linda’s Peacock, Elephant and Unicorn!

Linda has done 3 fantastic projects and shows how a little embellishment can add do much to a finished embroidery!

The first is her Peacock:

from Linda:

I’m sending a photo of my latest finished wall hanging, your art deco peacock.  As you can see, I did a bit of editing and added a double swirl to the inside area of the peacock where there was a large, open space.  I used the same color thread as for the first swirl, Your thread number 2852, Light Green Amber, which looks like a soft, golden beige, and I love how it blends with the background fabric, yet still shows up and doesn’t compete with the Peacock.  Thanks for the lovely design. P.S.  I forgot to say I “crystalized” the peacock, using three colors of Swarovski crystals, Lt. Turquoise, Topaz and Crystal Meridian Blue.  They went so well with the colors of the design.

BFC1476 Large Decorative Peacock

Next her Bull Elephant:

Look what I did with your Indian Elephant design, BFC 1545.  I found a use for all that fancy beaded fringe I bought, on sale, and had no idea what I was going to do with it!  This design was really fun, and only 6 colors were used!  I gave this elephant a name- I call him “Bull-E”, my sad play on words, but it can stand just for bull elephant.  Thank you for the joy.  Laura

BFC1545 Large Decorative Indian Elephant

And her Unicorns:

Just finished this.  It’s for my 10 year old granddaughter for Christmas.  It turned out almost glowing! For whatever reason, using the mottled, royal blue background, seems to make the unicorns almost look 3D.  FYI, when the embroidery was finished, because of my choice of thread colors, there wasn’t as much definition as I wanted.  Guess what!  A number 2 common pencil worked great to get the details to stand out.  Thanks for the great design.

Yep, it is eyelash yarn.  A good number of years ago I found 2 hanks of it in the remnant bin at Walmart.  One was green and the other aqua.  I believe I had one of your mermaid designs I wanted to do and the yarn reminded me of seaweed.  Once I embroidered the design I then couched the yarn on to make an underwater scene.  Since then I have used that yarn a number of different ways and as hangers on 4 different wall hangings.  It adds a bit of unexpected texture.  It also proves there is a reason we are confirmed stash builders! We never know when we will use a treasure we have stashed.

BFC1749 A Mother Unicorn’s Love

Renee’s Rose Window

Renee made the Jumbo size of our Rose Window.  That is an accomplishment!! – especially with 6 Grandkids helping!!!!!! 🙂

From Renee:

I am so happy with it and it is hung up behind my embroidery machine. A new machine Babylock Pathfinder, that really was put through it’s paces.

Feel free to share on your blog, I hope it helps others. I have used the Command hangers in my kitchen to hang items on the tile was hoping they made what I was needing just had to do a search.

I babysit 6 of my Grandkids so was a little slow in getting this done 3 year old triplet boys for one of my daughters, and then a 6 year old granddaughter and her 2 brothers who are 3 and 1 for my other daughter. Life sure is busy 😊

My idea worked! I used a Command hanger and handstitched a thread loop to the back.

Thank you  so much for another beautiful design

Renee

BFC0879 QIH and Regular Rose Window

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

 

 

 

In Memory of…

Our Beloved……

BRONKO BILLY

7/8/2008 – 12/7/2020

7/8/2008 – 12/7/2020

12/14/2020     Bronk – we can’t believe you’re gone.  You have brought so much joy and light to every part of our world.  Just three weeks ago you were tearing around the house, voicing your opinion on everything and snuggling tight with Duma.  You got sick so quickly and we couldn’t let you suffer.  The way we stared at each other right before, I know you understand.  You looked at me like you are looking in the picture right above.  Your stare always went right through me.  About a year ago you learned how to communicate.  Food was a big part of your life – you loved to eat.  You would come and bounce around in front of me until I thought to ask if you were hungry.  You would then go running to the kitchen.  Then one day you looked up at me and made a different kind of meow sound than you had before.  I asked if you were hungry and staring right at me you meowed again.  My trip to the kitchen had you rubbing around legs in circles as I walked.  You were never much into touching your people and i was thrilled.  We learned to *talk* to each other.

Being very close to your wild ancestors, you had many wild characteristics.  You were always on alert, checking for the predators hiding behind the chair and the things that only cats can see.  You were taking care of us.

You did one thing I never had a cat (or other animal) do.  I called it your Room service.  I started noticing your favorite ball in an empty food dish.  If there was more than one empty dish it was in the flavor you liked best.  I started hiding the ball to see if it was coincidence or you were putting it there on purpose.  Sure enough, you started using the ball to let me know to fill it up just about all the time.  The next place I found the ball, was near the litter box.  The routine became you would do your thing, place the ball near the box and then let out a jungle cry that could be heard throughout the house.  The only thing I could come up with was you wanted me to clean it.  When I went back to *obey* you sat watching me and turned as soon as i was done and went about your day.  A couple of years ago your ball was replaced with toys, feathers, any of your properties.  This was because you ate one of your balls.  This required a trip to the vet hospital and surgery which neither of us liked.  We hated to remove all the balls, but we had no choice.  You used to put them in your food dish and eat around them.  That is how one accidentally ended up as lunch.

Duma really misses you too.  You’ve been together for 12 years and it’s hard for him to know what to do with himself.  I wish I could see you both like this again:

Bronk – this is one of the hardest things we’ve had to go through.  I will probably return to talk to you again….Suz

 

12/18/2020  In some ways I feel I just saw you…in others it seems the world is going so slowly.  I know time will help the hurt and I want to get past this point!  I miss you so much.  I wake at night and listen for your howl as you patrol your territory.  Or I hear a slight noise and turn to look.

I think Duma is finally really feeling you aren’t going to return.  He’s been sleeping way more than usual, eating too much or too little, following us and chirping at us constantly when he’s awake.  I feel so bad for him.  I will reach out today to find ways to help him through this.  There must be something I can do.

Losing you as we did made me realize the vagaries of life will never settle down.  We have to learn to shift with them…this is where true strength is.  I am going to concentrate for 2021 on how i can best give back to the life I’ve had and how to reach out to others to offer help.  And Bronk, you will always be in my mind and heart.

 

12/19/2020  I came across this picture and I had to share.  Typical Bronk!

 

I’ve been working on an embroidery design of you, Bronk.  Here it is to date:

12/31/2020  It is finally the last day of the year, Bronk.  So much of this past year has been so difficult, but not seeing you any more is the worst for me.  I love looking at the picture above that I’m using to create a design.  It is so much your personality- always looking up for the next best thing you can find.  The picture above has you standing on the ironing board looking up and out the sky light.

I love you….

1/7/2021  It’s a new year Bronk – I so wish you were here to explore and play and enjoy life.  I received a very special gift from a special friend today.  He sent it to me because of you and it means so much.

We’re trying hard to take special care of your buddy who misses you very much.  It’s so hard when we can’t explain why you aren’t here to snuggle with him.   Both of you boys are so beautiful and so special.  I’ve been gathering all the photos we have of you and Duma on our computers and there are hundreds!  I’ll post really special ones here.

Our sweet innocent kitties:

Good bye for now, my furry little person.

12/17/2021  Many  people have expressed how much you will be missed.  One lady has saved all the pictures posted of you and Duma and loves to look  at them.  I still look through your photos every day.

Bronk – I still can’t believe that you aren’t here anymore.  I thought by now I would at least have accepted that.  But I haven’t.  Duma is missing you so much too.  I can’t make up for the brotherhood and attention you gave him.  Everything happened so quickly we had no time to prepare ourselves.  I thought of you as still very young the way you tore through the house, leaped to the top of the huge cat trees, and learned new things every day.  I can’t believe my two beautiful boys are only one beautiful cat now.

I will always love you.

02/07/2021  Two long/short months since we saw you.  You are with me every day.  I went to look at the pictures from the first day you arrived on the plane.  You ended up behind the TV that day and we had to move everything to get you out.  But….we learned after that when you looked at something with such intent!  We also heard your real wild jungle cat roar when you got stuck somewhere.  LOL

Duma was not quite a year old and he couldn’t keep up with that day!

I still can see you exploring everywhere – you never lost that lust to see what is on the other side or on top of something.

03/29/21  It will be four months next week since I’ve seen you.  It’s still like it was this morning.  I still go around the house expecting to see you somewhere.  Or hear you.  One of the tasks i had set for myself this coming year was to record all your sounds.  Now they will only remain in my and Rick’s memories.  He still misses you as much as I do.  And I don’t know what to do to sooth Duma.  He was always so clean and shiny when you were here and cleaned him everyday.

IMG_2200

This was you and Duma playing with new catnip fish that had just arrived. Until I can figure how to play it here, our visitors will have to download this and watch it.

I miss you….

4/6/21  Tomorrow it will be 4 months.  I was hoping by this time I would feel a little more settled, but not yet.  Every once in awhile I think Duma might be getting a little better, but he is still lost without you.  If anyone has any suggestions for Duma I would love to hear them!  We can’t get another cat though.  And Duma is very particular – we could go through 20 cats until he found one he likes.

I found some more pictures.  This is where you would often sit while I’m working.  It’s the chair next to mine.  I could never get over how shiny you were in the sun!

Here is how close you and Duma were – the last few years you were inseparable.

I just came across this picture.  Carol wrote me a nice message and mentioned Angels with Whiskers.  Below is truly a little Angel with Whiskers.

The spirit behind those eyes will never die – it lives in the hearts of all who knew him.

Suz

 

5/11/2021  Five months – and I still can’t believe it or accept it.  I’ve been thinking about the difference between you and Duma.  Duma is a regular full Bengal and you  were an F3 – Foundation Bengal.  This means you were the third generation from the Asian leopard cat.  You were much closer to the wild in many ways than to domestication.  Duma has the Bengal spirit and craziness.  But at heart he is a domestic cat that depends on his humans for food, love, every part of his life.  He may show it differently than other breeds – for example he hates to be held – but he is just as loving and fun as any domestic cat.  Duma lives with us in our world.

Bronk was totally different.  I always said we lived in Bronk’s world.  He claimed his territory and patrolled it, protected it, defined what was good and bad.  He only wanted interaction with us on his terms.  No touching, though he was getting to let us pet him around the head and neck.  Occasionally we could pet his belly as he lay upside down in the sun on a window perch.  Of course, you were risking being attacked by the *bear trap*.  He watched us intently.  Sometimes while I was working I would feel his eyes on me.  I hadn’t heard him come up the stairs – he could easily avoid disturbing you.  During his early years he would bring me his ball to play fetch.  He loved to play fetch.  He would run and bring back the ball maybe 10 times.  Then he would run and sit right next to the ball and stare at us.  When we finally gave in and got the ball he was all happy and bounced back to where I was sitting waiting for me to throw it again.  We would do a few of me fetching, then we would go back to him fetching.  He often would disappear up here.  He had several ways to get inside the mountains of fabric. He would never come when called, but when he was ready, he would appear from *no where* stretching and yawning, looking at me like *what’s your problem – I’ve been here right along*.

I will return to write more of your adventures.  Maybe someone else will enjoy them too.

I love you.

Customer Projects from 2004

I’m just going to show the photos in a list with the link to the site and the name of the person who stitched it.  That is if i have the name!  If you spot one of your projects and I don’t have your name posted, please let me know!

Joan Warr

BFC0185 Lace Bowl & Doily – Wild Rose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lia’s Wild Rose Bowl

BFC0185 Lace Bowl & Doily – Wild Rose

Nancy’s Scarf

BFC0205 Oh! Those Fifties Ladies

 

 

 

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.

Agnes’ Stitches for her Church

From Agnes:  They brought tears to Monsignor Mitas’s eyes and I never expected that reaction.  When I gave him the Easter one in Holy Thursday, the reverence with which he held the parament was something to be witnessed.  That is how powerful these designs are.

 

BFC1144 Window-Christ Resurrected

BFC0495 Window-The Nativity