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Gallery Connection May ’06

As the creator of Designer’s Gallery, I have been privileged with a column in the e-news! This let’s me share with you some of my favorite tips, tricks and techniques. We want to help you get the most out of our products, and join with us in the creative process. To that end, we always welcome questions and suggestions.

 Let’s talk a bit about QuiltWorks, which does far more than its name implies. The idea for QuiltWorks started about eight years ago. We were experimentally embroidering on different fabrics such as sheers, leather and vinyl. We were also looking for a new look; we were bored with the fill-with-outline designs that were so prevalent at the time. These experiments took us to a look that we eventually called ‘open designs’. Basically these are designs that use running and bean stitches. (A bean stitch is 2-steps forward, one step back.) They were sort of pen-and-ink looking, à la Redwork, but with color and geometry. A friend of mine, Jan, showed me how to work with Sashiko – which is a Japanese form of quilting used mainly for garments. Over time, a theme emerged – we were creating a lot of running-stitch designs, but the digitizers available were expensive, complicated and lacked specialized tools for our needs. I determined someday to publish a program to make it all easier. With help, that determination became QuiltWorks. Years later, I still like the look, feel and speed of open designs. Here are a few of my favorite inspirations:

Tip 1: Use fancy threads! You’ll find that many decorative threads fail with regular embroidery, but work well with simple running stitches.

Tip 2: Repeat the design with two colors. Stitch it once. Change threads. Stitch it again. I did this one time with neon yellow and neon orange on black fabric. (I actually nudged the hoop 1 click left and 1 click down between colors.) The resulting stitches, which lay next to each other, gave a hypnotic effect.

Tip 3: Use two threads in one needle. Yes you can! Just thread your machine as if you were stitching with a twin needle. Use a 14 gauge embroidery needle. Slow the machine down. Put both threads through the eye of the one needle. It makes your very own custom blends or twists.

Tip 4: Embroider on leather, vinyl or microsuede. There’s lot of stuff that is ready-to-wear which could use some extra touch. Leather insets look good in lots of garments, etc.

Tip 5: Don’t hoop the fabric. For things like Sashiko, simply use some Baby Lock sticky stabilizer. Here are two ways to use it: 1.) Hoop the sticky with the liner facing up, then carefully remove part of the liner to expose some sticky in the hoop. 2.) Peel off the liner and simply stick the stabilizer to the bottom of the hoop. This makes it so that the quilt can lie on top of the hoop and stick down. If you do get some sticky on your hoop, there is a cleaner, DK5, that will remove the adhesive cleanly. (If you use a general-purpose adhesive remover, make sure it is safe for plastics!)


Until next time, Happy Embroidering!


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Posted in Brian's Articles and News 12 years, 9 months ago at 12:14 am.

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