Friday, July 22, 2011

My Sister's Birthday

My youngest sister Jodi just turned 40. My brother-in-law Scott informed me that he would be having a blowout for her birthday. The invitation stated "No Gifts" but I couldn't pay attention to that since this was my sister's party. I had to put on my thinking cap and try to figure out something different and something useful.

Jodi had mentioned in the past that I should make a family crest. I haven't learned how to digitize (taking a piece of art and converting it to embroidery stitches).  So that didn't sound likely. However, one of the fella's at Sew Forum started to digitize family crests. That's Tom's specialty. I decided to email him and inquire about commissioning him to digitize the Kennedy family crest. I sent Tom a couple of examples. He told me that he doesn't like to look at other art due to copyright infringement issues. But what he does is to read the information on the family and the crest and come up with his interpretation of the design. So in a matter of a couple of days. Tom sent me the artwork to approve and I had my embroidery file in about 24 hours after my approval. The good thing is that I now have the design and can use it for so many things.

So, the gift was starting to take on an Irish theme. I already have lot's of Irish and Celtic designs in my possession so I didn't need to purchase any. I opted to make a few bar mop towels with these Celtic knotwork designs from Embroidery Library. They stitch up pretty quick since there aren't too many thread changes.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have seen a couple of pictures of casserole carriers. People really like them. I did a similar theme for my friends Yvonne and Tim for their 25th wedding anniversary. I swore I would never do another one again. It literally took hours to stitch out. Well, I must have softened somewhat to do this for Jodi. Job one is finding two placemats in the color that you want. The placemats have to be large enough. They tend to shrink so I have to be careful and read the dimensions before washing. I found these at Kohl's and they did shrink a little more than I would have liked.

I liked the Claddagh design that I used on Yvonne's. That came from Embroidery Library. I decided to try a different design for the border. I had to buy four designs before I settled on the right one. I bought three designs that were too large. I had over two hours just in computer work getting this to look like I wanted it too and to fit the embroidery hoop.

Apparently, I had difficulty getting this centered in my hoop. I say apparently because as far as I know, it was centered. Most of what I do is called the "hoopless" technique. I hoop my stabilizer then use KK2000, an adhesive spray and either pin or baste stitch my item to the stabilizer. I don't put it into the middle of the hoop. With thick towels and placemats, it's near impossible anyway. I tried to hoop but the hoop kept coming undone. My placemat was marked. My stabilizer was marked. All my registration lines were matching but the design became off center anyway. There was no way I was going to start over or try to rip out all the threads so I just left it and gave it too her.

Embroidery project from hell finished. Really, I'm not going to make another one, ever.

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