Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Keeping lists

One of the difficulties I've had with using this blog is being able to have a coherent listing of embroidery sites, great books, etc. Well I think I've found an answer for that problem. Check out Gailete Sews at Squidoo. It was easy to set up and is much easier to update embroidery sites as I find them. I don't know about you, but HTML isn't my first language! Let me know what you think. If you want your own Squidoo spot, click here!

The Secrets of Embroidery

The Secrets of Embroidery is another must check out site. It is a portal into a large group of talented machine embroidery digitizers. I have found some lovely designs at this site. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter as it will clue you in to when new designs are added and when new freebies are added.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Responding to a Comment

“I have a singer 306 given to me by my grandmother. She took a great deal of care on this machine and I follow in her footsteps. My machine sews through delicate laces and into hard thick denims with a beautiful stitch! I still use it today as the machine is better than modern ones in many ways. It is in the original cabinet, additional feet, manual and even 30 extra fashion disks to go with it. There are so many variations with these disks that I could consider it also as an embroidery machine. Currently I am on a quest to find a book on using these additional fashion disks. Why can't they make sewing machines like this anymore? This is perfection!”

That is a good question to ask about a lot of things! My mom’s Singer broke down years ago although I still own it. The Singer I got last summer is still waiting to be repaired, so in the meantime I use my Janome 6500. I am hoping that once I get the old Singer repaired to use a vintage sewing pattern, vintage style fabric and vintage trims to make something on the machine just to see how it sews. With my old Singer I was very impressed with the manual as it taught me some things my manual for my new machine didn’t have.

I think that is the point of my comment. Just about every sewing machine that is for sale currently has decorative stitches and/or utility stitches. But the manuals never tell you what they are supposed to be used for! It is a case of trial and error and hopefully running into a good book or magazine article that sheds some light on the topic. I think that is why I have been so impressed with Jenny Haskins’ and her son Simon’s books. Even though they use lots of machine embroidered designs, they base most of their designs on stitch building—using all those decorative stitches together in unique ways—that makes their projects a work of art. I also like the book All About Machine Arts: Decorative Techniques from A to Z, which has a glossary of different decorative stitches with suggestions for usage.

Of course the best way to learn how to use those stitches, is stabilize a chunk of fabric and sit down and start sewing! I did that the other day and ended up with a decorative stitched pocket and front bands for a sweatshirt jacket. Since I used variegated threads of colors I usually wear, this jacket goes with most of my clothes.

Still I too, continue the quest to learn more about those amazing stitches! Anyone with suggestions, please post. If possible, I will get a copy of the book and post a review here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Embroidered checkbook cover

I used to sew large projects and found great satisfaction in finishing a king sized quilt or having a marathon sewing session that resulted in an entire wardrobe at the end of the week. Well my strength has ebbed and yet my desire to create is just as strong. I have found great delight in reading about others accomplishments, looking at sewing patterns and dreaming of how I would make it (if only I had the figure for it!), or reading books about sewing and telling you about them. But nothing equals actually sitting down at the sewing machine and making something.

After years of always getting a new tacky plastic checkbook cover with every new batch of checks, I’ve discovered that this isn’t happening anymore now that all my checkbook covers have completely worn out. This gave me a perfect excuse to make my own checkbook cover. I discovered a couple of things along the way so that the next one will go a little smoother, but for now this one is good enough and gave me a lovely sense of accomplishment. I used some blue and white stripped fabric that I had around the house and the design is from Janome’s Victorian Rose designs only I changed the colors. This was my first attempt at machine embroidering a design on a patterned fabric. Might not be the right mix of colors, but my next try will be better. I hate wasting good fabric and thread when I’m just experimenting.

I also wanted to share and machine embroidery link that I’ve come upon, it is Sew Swell. Most of their designs are a mix of machine appliqué with machine embroidery. The mix of the two makes your embroidery time go a bit faster. They have designs that fit up to a 6” x 10” hoop. They also have a lot of free samples so you can judge for yourself whether or not their designs and instructions are right for you. When you visit the site, be sure to sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out on their special deals and newest freebies.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Email & Newsletters

I’m sure everyone out there with an email address gets their fair share of junk mail and spam, so it is always fun to get emails about things you are truly interested in. Today I got several. First I got a newsletter from Kenny Kreations about a new quilt design they have for purchase. It is called Time for Bed, Ted and it is adorable. It features an Irish Chain style quilt with Ted (a teddy bear) in different poses under his blanket. Ted can also be converted into a girl bear too. The Ted design is partly machine appliqué, and partly machine embroidery. A sew in the hoop bear also comes as part of the set. This would make an awesome gift for a baby or toddler. To see Ted and also to get links to the other creations at Kenny Kreations, click HERE.

The other newsletter I got was from Hatched In Africa. The designs these girls make are absolutely awesome. Many of them are heirloom quality and most of their design sets have a freebie to go with them. With their newsletter today came a link to a Mother’s Day gift of an entire free alpha-bet for immediate download. Also there were links to their two newest design sets—both with freebie designs. When I get to the Hatched in Africa site, I get mesmerized and could look at designs for hours as they are so beautiful. But of course that doesn’t leave me any time for sewing myself or any of the other things I need to do. If you would like to visit Hatched in Africa, click HERE.

Both of these machine embroidery sites have newsletters that you can sign up for and I encourage anyone who likes a particular site to sign up for newsletters from the site. You never know what kind of goodie you will get such as the free alpha-bet that I got today (sorry I’m not allowed to post it’s link) or notification of special sales, and of course notification of the newest designs.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Machine Lace Embroidery

Mother's Day is coming and even though we don't make a huge deal about it in our family, we do acknowledge our mothers and like to give them a little something. I knew I needed something flat that would fit in a card to mail as I won't be able to visit my mom this year. It is a sad state of affairs when the daughter feels more decrepit than the mother. Thankfully she understands and I'm sure she will appreciate something 'handmade' by me.

For once I didn't procrastinate! Last month I found some enchanting Machine Lace Embroidery Bookmark designs and sewed them out. I used variegated orange thread for one and pink for the other. Using heavy duty Solvy stabilizer, they were a breeze to stitch out.

I love the look of machine embroidered lace. It seems impossible that it would hold together, but it does. It is great when you need to coordinate the lace with a project, as you can pick out thread to use that matches or compliments the project.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dollar Days

From May 10 – 16, 2006 Embroidery Library is having a Dollar Days sale on some great new designs. Quick to stitch with only three-color changes these designs will make quick work of decorating your summer wardrobe. You can buy each design separately or in design packs. There are design that would be great on children’s clothes and best of all a lot of designs for guys including playing cards, motorcycles, cars and musical instruments.

If you don’t do machine embroidery, our store Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, has just uploaded lots of new counted cross-stitch kits, needlepoint kits and needlepoint canvases. We also made a huge purchase of almost 6000 patterns this week (about 4000 more than we were expecting) and so over the next few months look for great New, Uncut patterns in our store, including formal wear and LOTS of costumes and new craft patterns.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New in the Store

Just wanted to update everyone about some new items in our store. We were fortunate enough to get some brand new counted cross stitch kits, needlepoint kits, needlepoint canvas, and embroidery purse kits. We have them uploaded and in the store now. One of the items I'm really excited about are the embroidered purse kits. These kits include a completed purse, pearl cotton embroidery floss, needle, plus instruction for completing a design. These would make great gifts for teen girls to introduce them to the fine art of embroidery with an up-to-date fashion accessory when they are finished with the simple embroidery. You can see and purchase the purses here.

Tomorrow we will be picking up a new bunch of sewing patterns. We will have them uploaded as soon as possible. We are very excited about being able to add more sewing patterns to our inventory to offer our buyers the best selection possible. Don't forget, we can packaged between 6-8 patterns in a Priority Mail envelope for $5.50 shipping and handling!