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Gallery Connection Jan ’07 – Finishing those UFOs

Ah, January! White sales, full parking lots at the gym, and New Year’s resolutions! Let’s take a moment and see if we can get the sewing year off to a good start, too. For me that means taking time to complete some UFOs, organize those designs I’ve been downloading, and finally get around to monogramming those shirts that I’ve been meaning to. Here’s how I’m going to do all this:

First, my wife Tonya and I have gotten started on several quilt projects. And the ‘starters’ seem to outpace the ‘finishers’ 12 to 1. So first thing is to see what can be finished quickest and get that out first. Around here, the ‘inspiration’ part of the top is usually done – it was first and most enjoyable (and probably assembled in class). But that leaves a bunch of top pieces to assemble, and then the whole quilt needs to be put together! We can take turns assembling the top. It goes quickly when you can get someone else to help. If you need more pieces, here’s a cheat: use Interactives #5, Decorative Quilting. It has a lot of design possibilities that can make a panel or square. You can even start with a single-color patch if you want to, letting the thread add new dimension, pattern and color.

When you’ve got a quilt top ready, it’s easy to get the energy needed to pin it together on the floor, because you want to see what it’s going to look like. It seems we can get to this point easy enough. It’s the final topstitching that we usually think about forever. Do we hire someone else? Do we force ourselves to finish this before starting another top? (Never!) It’s at this point that you wonder: How much time is this going to take? Answer: Less than you thought! Stitch-in-the-ditch can take awhile, so in some places I’m going to skip that by embroidering a small tack. This is similar to what traditional quilts have with ties of wool or ribbon. It’s a nice look, too. To get a tack design going, I’ll use the Decorative Quilting again, or maybe make something up in QuiltWorks. Float the fabric over the hoop and stick it down (I use carpet tape.) Then embroider away.

We get a lot of designs – from digitizers or just surfing the net. I generally let them pile up, and when it gets too bad I’ll put them in folders on my second hard drive, which I just use for storage. Once they’re in folders, it takes only a moment to catalog them with Studio. Just click on the ‘Browse’ tab and click on the folders you’ve added. Then Click the ‘Catalog’ tab and you’ll see your categories. Drag and drop the designs from the right screen into the categories, making new ones as necessary by right clicking in the Catalog window. It takes longer to describe it than it does to do it, believe me!

As many of you know, I sometimes will give a seminar on Designer’s Gallery. When I do, I make an effort to look professional, and one of the ways to do that is to monogram a shirt. I like to monogram a cuff. (F.Y.I. the correct placement here is to put it on the right-hand cuff, showing up and toward another person shaking your hand.) Now for the design itself: I have a LetterWorks file that I use; it started as one of the many fonts and I adjusted the size and corners a little for an even more customized look. Remember to heat-set the embroidery so it doesn’t gather the fabric later.

Well, Those are some ways to get the sewing room cleaned up and into action after the holidays! Now if I can actually get to the Gym…

… Who am I kidding?

-Brian

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Posted in Brian's Articles and News 11 years, 9 months ago at 12:30 am.

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