I have had a busy week at the machine. I wanted to finish all the burp cloths I intend to make for
Sophia, and I almost made it. I just have one more in mind, so that's pretty good I think. These last seven I made were all quilted with different decorative stitches, and clipped on the sides to create a ragged fringed look. These are by far the quickest and easiest to make, so that helped getting so many done. Every one of them was made with scraps and flannel I already had, and honestly I am trying really hard to clean out all of my "scrap" and left over fabric, as I am really out of room to store any more. It felt good coming up with something to do with all the left over fabric, and serves a good purpose at the same time, and let's face it, FREE is always a good feel, lol. Like I said, don't think you can ever have enough burp cloths. Let me show you these.
Then, a couple of weeks ago I came across a free standing lace design that was for making a Valentines banner. It attracted my attention almost immediately, as I thought it was just darling.
After thinking on it for a while, I decided that I would just go ahead and make it up for myself, and even entertained ideas of making one for my daughter and daughter-in-laws. The design for the whole banner was only 5 dollars which seemed very reasonable, and of course they can be used forever once they are purchased. Free standing lace for those of you who don't know, are designs that are made on an embroidery machine using only a water soluble stabilizer and thread. They are super easy to do and are how I created a lot of the lace ornaments I made for Christmas this year. Anyway, I had white thread and plenty of stabilizer still on hand from Christmas, so I decided to give it a whirl. Well I got the design purchased and downloaded and transferred to my machine, and everything hooped up and ready to go when I noticed for the FIRST time how long each design took to do. Two WHOLE hours of stitching time! Just in case you don't know, that is ridiculously long for a single design. Most of the ones I did for Christmas took around 20 minutes or so with the exception of the nativity scene one which took around an hour. Anyway, not to be deterred, I pressed on and turned the machine on. I got it going and busied myself with other little chores around the house periodically checking, or at least listening, to see that everything was going alright. Suddenly towards the end the machine stopped and I realized that an entire bobbin of thread was NOT enough to even finish the design....so I reloaded and continued on. When it was finally done and I went to remove it I realized that some of the lace was coming undone on the edges. Wondering what on earth had caused this problem I got online and began searching for some answers. Not really finding any answers, I decided to try on my own, double hooping the stabilizer, thinking maybe it needed a little more. I will admit I considered throwing in the towel on the whole project, but that would go against my stubborn side, so ever onward I went. The first design I had done by the way was pretty much useless and I tossed it into the trash. Two hours later ANOTHER design was completely finished and it was GORGEOUS! The double stabilizer solution had worked perfectly. I quickly got the next letter going but when the machine stopped around 30 minutes later I realized in horror that I had used up all the rest of the thread on that spool! You might wonder when I knew it was taking over a bobbin of thread per design, that it didn't occur to me that I was going through thread at an alarming rate as well, I can't be sure. I don't use the same kind of thread for the bobbin btw as I do for the top, so I wasn't really watching the top thread is all I can offer as an excuse. Of course this now meant I had to get in the car and drive the 20 minutes to the only store I can find that carries the kind of thread I use, and PRAY that they had the color I needed. I headed out, and much to my delight they did have the thread, and I bought two spools just to be sure I got through the whole project. I got back home and got the machine going again and started in on supper. Hubby got home and was admiring the finished design and we sat down in the family room to eat and I relaxed as I knew the machine had to be close to finishing the design by then. Suddenly, the machine made a very strange LOUD noise and as we glanced over in shock we saw that it had actually come UNHOOPED! That has NEVER happened to me! I ran as quickly as my arthritic legs will let me, and quickly stopped the machine realizing that yet another design AFTER two hours of time, two pieces of stabilizer, and a bajillion miles of thread was again RUINED. Truthfully I wanted to burst into tears. I didn't of course, but I simply switched the off switch on the machine and thought to myself, I will think about all this tomorrow. The next day I began AGAIN, and determined that I WILL MAKE THIS BANNER! Well I am happy to report by being a little more attentive, and watching closely, design after design finally finished, and by 3:30 Thursday afternoon it was done! It did take every last little bit of stabilizer I had, but I do have a little thread left. As you finish a FSL design, you soak it in a bowl of warm water and let all the stabilizer disappear, and then you lay it flat to dry. I let it dry overnight and then this morning I ironed them using a little starch, and strung a ribbon through them and hung it. Honestly? I LOVE IT! But! there is NO WAY I am making another, so sorry girls, lol. And truthfully when you factor in the amount of thread it took, the stabilizer, and the ribbon it wasn't nearly as inexpensive to make as I had hoped for. But it is pretty and I am super glad now that I pressed on. Let me show you.....
|THERE IS THIS HEART BLOCK AT THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF THE WORD LOVE|
|ONE OF THE LETTERS...NOTICE THE LITTLE HOLES AT THE TOP TO STRING THE RIBBON THROUGH|
|THE WHOLE BANNER|
|I REALLY LIKE IT HERE BUT THIS IS NOT A VERY GOOD PIC. DOESN'T DO IT JUSTICE|
|LOOK AT THESE GORGEOUS BLOOMS ON MY AZALEA BUSH ON MY FRONT PORCH. I GET THESE A COUPLE TIMES OF YEAR....HOW MY MOTHER LOVED THIS!|
|SWEET LITTLE CODY TURNED 7 YEARS OLD ON WEDNESDAY. THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN BY HIM BY HIS DADDY AS HE LEFT FOR SCHOOL. GRANDMA AND GRANDPA WILL CELEBRATE WITH HIM HOPEFULLY NEXT SAT!|
|MY BEAUTIFUL CLAIRE....HOW I MISS HER SWEET LITTLE SELF...SHE FINALLY CUT HER FIRST TOOTH TODAY!|
|AND SWEET LITTLE VINNY FELL ASLEEP STANDING STRAIGHT UP, LOL. NONE OF MY KIDS EVER DID THAT. SITTING STRAIGHT, AND EVEN ON A ROCKING HORSE, BUT NEVER STANDING. HE WAS ONE TIRED LITTLE BOY!|