A Huge Thank You to Pottstown Sewing
for generously donating 3 sewing machines in top shape to the Gallery School sewing room!!!
To think I felt nervous to ask… Ron and Barbara had 2 machines on the sales floor in mind for us. As we were gathering up the accessories Ron brought a 3rd machine fresh from the work bench. “We love to give back to the community” they are known to say often. And they do. They were awarded the Baby Lock President’s Award in 2009/2010 for community service.
Pottstown Sewing is a destination for quality sewing machines, sergers, computerized embroidery machines and software, quilting frames new and used. Also high quality notions, quilting supplies and tools, specialty threads, and a lot more. They even service machines, which is a must!
I’ve been fooling around with “thread painting” for quite some time. Thread Painting is simply embroidering using the sewing machine. It’s called thread painting because you fill in color with thread like you would with paint or a crayon. It’s completely controlled by the machine operator. A lot of machine embroidery today is computer generated. This is not.
How it’s done
Like free-style or free-motion sewing or quilting, the feed dogs are lowered on the machine. The stitch length is set to zero. A special foot, usually called a darning foot, is attached. It moves up and down with the needle allowing the operator to move the fabric in any direction. Imagine if you had a pencil being supported standing straight up while you move the paper under it to draw an image. And finally, setting the stitch width to zig zag helps fill in the spaces much better. Just remember to check that the needle will clear the darning foot before you put the pedal to the metal!
Thread Painting requires stabilizer and sometimes a hoop. If you skip these very important tools, your project will pucker up to half it’s size, will be lumpy and wrinkly and a waste of thread.
This stabilizer is water soluble Sulky Super Solvy. You can even draw guides on it with a Sharpie marker. It’s useful because when the embroidery is finished, I soak it in water until it dissolves away.
For Jewelry like the flower collar, I used tulle and a double layer of water soluble Super Solvy and a hoop. It still needed even more stabilizing. The water soluble is fabulous when you don’t want any material other than the tulle and thread to remain. This stabilizer is made of some kind of starch material. I just soak the embroidery in water until it dissolves away. Amazing stuff!
For projects that wont show the stabilizer, I like to use a heavier, iron on stabilizer that is more like paper. With this type of stabilizer, I don’t need a hoop and I can draw my design on it, if I want a guide. To make the edges clean and neat, I use and overcast foot and satin stitch the edges. This requires planning because if the piece is too small or curvy, it will be a mess!
Check out the Sulky website for lots of information and tips for using stabilizers.
It takes a lot of practice to get used to free-style sewing. You must remember to breath, relax your shoulders, and take frequent breaks to release tension in the body. It can be exhausting when just learning this technique.
Keep a look out for new listings at my Etsy Shop.
*Sketchbook Portfolios (photo above)
*Embroidered Jewelry and….
***I’m working on something special just for the Guys on your shopping list!***
Sewing Class News
Tessa’s “Rapunzel Costume” dress.
She just texted me with the photos this morning. She completed the finishing touches after our last Halloween Costume Class session ended.
My younger Princesses made matching costumes.
All three girls made princess dresses. They drew up the design, we made basic patterns, rolled up our sleeves and got to work. In four 2 hour sessions they learned to set a zipper, make puff sleeves, facing, made a sweetheart neckline, hems, a belt that fakes a fitted bodice, capes and a treat bag! All of the materials used were donated fabrics. The white satin was actually a roll used for a bride to walk down the aisle on!
Kids Sewing II is coming in the new year.
When scheduling is finished, I’ll post dates.
- A Pin Cushion: Because it’s high time these kids get the pins and needles under control! The kit will include pins and needles for use at home.
- Fleece Hat and Scarf with felt and embroidery floss embellishments.
- A Big Sleep Over Bag: Because kids need a lot of stuff at a sleep over! A pieced bag in a stripe design big enough to carry a sleeping bag, pillow and whatever they can stuff into it. It will have a long strap for slinging over the back and shoulder.
- Friendship Bracelets: a simpler form of embroidered jewelry using a snap closure.
4 Weeks, 2 hour sessions. And now we have 5 machines in good working order with decorative stitches!!!