October Sew-a-Long- Christmas Ornament table centre , in the hoop machine embroidery design



sew-a-long in the hoop machine embroidery design Christmas ornament Table centre


Welcome to Sweet Pea’s OCTOBER

Sew-a-long  – 3 weeks…

10th October to 31st October ,2017  (Australian time)




To join this sew-a-long we ask that you agree to stitch out the design

Christmas ornament table centre 5×7 6×10 7×12 in the hoop machine embroidery design

within the 3 week time frame and post a photo of your Christmas Ornament Table centre in the Sweet Pea ‘s OCTOBER Sew-a-long group

NOT share the discount code nor file with anyone.

The design is usually $10 AUD and with a $3 AUD discount

This sew-a-long will cost 7 AUD.

The sew-a-long code is in the ‘pinned post’ on our October sew-a-long Facebook group page.


The design is on our website:   https://swpea.com/products/christmas-ornament-table-centre-5×7-6×10-7×12-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design

Please enter the code at checkout. The file is an instant download from the website.

This is a table centre for Christmas that is made in the hoop.

Designs for the 5×7, 6×10 and 7×12 hoops are all included.

The placemat takes six hoopings and the blocks are joined with your sewing machine.  The backing is then attached with your sewing machine.  There is about 8cm of hand sewing or gluing required.

Finished dimensions are –

5×7 – 35cm (14″) diameter

6×10 – 47.5cm (19″) diameter

7×12 – 60cm (24″) diameter

They are quick and easy to sew making them perfect for craft market stalls, gifts or you own Christmas tables..

Full photo instructions and directions are included with your purchase.

It is our intention to offer you the best service always and for our designs to be the highest quality.

Designs come in all formats except ART. Bernina’s can use EXP. Formats pes, hus, sew, xxx, jef, vp3, vip, mit, dat, dst, exp etc. All formats are included with your purchase.

Instructions are included in German and English!

Join our sew-a-long Facebook group- click image below

machine embroidery , in the hoop, sew-a-long

Great instructional YouTube video

machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winners YouTube video

Discount code available on this design for our Sew-a-long  Facebook members-

facebook symbol



We will be judging the best photos

For your photo to be eligible for judging, you must have used the design without omitting any part of the design.

. the design cannot be changed nor the block used in any other way.

.there is to be NO ADDED embellishment of any kind, THE ONLY THING THAT WILL BE PERMITTED IS A BUTTON/BEAD or similar in the centre.

The prizes

1st Prize x3 ….  2 FREE Sweet Pea designs of your choice PLUS 50% off your next Sweet Pea order

2nd Prize x3 ….. 1 Free Sweet Pea design of your choice PLUS 30% off your next Sweet Pea Order

3rd Prize x3 …..  1 Free Sweet Pea design of your choice PLUS 10 % off your next Sweet Pea Order

Previous sew-a-longs to check out

machine embroidery design in the hoop

July, August and September Sew-a-long Challenge:   https://swpea.me/2017/09/03/sweet-pea-sew-a-long-challenge-august-the-winners/

machine embroidery design, sew-a-long, sew-along.
New Life Easter Basket 4×4 5×5 6×6 in the hoop

March Sew-a-long: https://swpea.me/2017/04/01/the-winners-of-our-march-easter-sew-a-long/

machine embroidery design, in the hoop, patchwork


February sew-a-long :    https://swpea.me/2017/02/04/february-sew-a-long-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery/

Halloween : Easy and Quick ‘ in the hoop’ Machine Embroidery designs

machine embroidery design in the hoop Halloween

Halloween is more than costumes and candy

In this modern world we live in, it is very easy to become complacent to tradition and merely accept the consumerism that is thrown at us.

Do we ever stop to question why we follow the traditions that we do?

Do we become outraged at the sight of Easter Eggs and hot Cross buns  on our supermarket shelves as soon as Christmas is over?

Here in Australia where Sweet Pea is based we don’t observe the tradition of Halloween, although our children are becoming more aware  and willing to embrace the chance to dress in costume and collect bucket loads of candy. In fact here in Australia we don’t celebrate the Fall / Autumn season as our friends particularly in the US do nor do we celebrate Thanksgiving, boring I know !

Halloween did not originate in America.

Although Halloween is probably celebrated the most in the USA it has it’s origins  on a completely different Continent.

Halloween has evolved from an ancient Celtic Festival in Ireland that paid homage to the end of the harvest and the beginning of Winter. This probably one reason why here in the Southern Hemisphere we don’t celebrate Halloween as much because we don’t have the cold Winters.

The Celts all those centuries ago also believed that this time between Fall/Autumn and Winter was a bridge to the world of the dead (hence the ghoulish costumes).  Halloween was a somber pagan ritual . The Celts believed that there were Spirits  that needed to be appeased in order to survive the coming Winter. So in order to appease these Beings offerings of food and drink were left outside for them. The people often dressed in costume to deliver these offerings.

So it is easy to understand how the tradition of Halloween has evolved into one of dressing in costume and delivering treats.

 Not just costumes and candy

Nowadays Halloween has become a time for socializing and keeping in the ‘spirit’ of Halloween many people now decorate their homes as well as dressing up in costume.

Sweet Pea has a wide range of Halloween themed machine embroidery designs which can be made quickly and easily in the hoop.


machine embroidery design in the hoop Halloween

What about a fun colour in Halloween themed mugrug. Perfect as a gift with or without candy. The boy and girl mugrugs come as a set and can be coloured in with the most ghoulish colours of permanent marking pens.



Halloween Boy and Girl Coloring In Mugrug Set

machine embroidery design in the hoop Halloween

   Halloween Quilt Video

( please click image below)


Spooky, creepy and kooky Bat Wings made in the hoop

A spooky set including a bat wing to attach to a hairclip or hairband and a set of bat wings to attach to your shoes. This is a machine embroidery design done ‘In The Hoop’.

The hair clip is made in the 4×4 hoop and the shoelace bat wings are made in the 5×7 hoop. The hair clip requires one hooping and the shoe lace bat wings require two hoopings. The bat wings get threaded onto your shoelaces to attach.

Perfect for your Halloween costume or dress up party.

Full photo instruction and directions are included with your purchase.

machine embroidery design in the hoop Halloween

Halloween Quilt


This beautiful Halloween quilt comes in four different sizes –  for the 5×5 6×6 7×7 and 8×8 hoops .  This is a machine embroidery design and both sizes are included in your purchase.

There are nine different applique blocks and one redwork blocks in this design.  The blocks are sewn in the hoop and then joined and backed with your sewing machine.

Instructions are provided to create your own quilt of any size.
Full photo instructions and directions on how to make the quilt are included with your purchase.


Other spooky Sweet Pea designs


Sweet Pea Halloween Collection      http://swpea.com/collections/halloween-in-the-hoop

History of Thanksgiving

Please click any image to see the design details

thanksgiving scarecrow machine embroidery design
Scarecrow Placemat / Table runner design


It’s the festive season and its opportunity to celebrate with family and companions. Thanksgiving is coming up and Sweet Pea thought it would be enjoyable to peruse up on the historical backdrop of Thanksgiving. We know our American and Canadian Sweet Pea companions will observe Thanksgiving soon so we trust that your day is loaded with sustenance, family, companions and giggling.


In 1621, the Plymouth pioneers and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest that is recognised today as one of the main Thanksgiving festivities in the provinces. For over two centuries, individual provinces and states commended days of thanksgiving. It wasn’t until 1863, amidst the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln declared a national Thanksgiving Day to be held every November.

Pioneers held their second Thanksgiving festivity in 1623 to check the end of a long dry spell that had weakened the year’s gather and provoked Governor Bradford to require a religious fasting period. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on a yearly or occasional basis got to be a tradition in other New England settlements also. Amid the American Revolution, the Continental Congress assigned at least one day of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the principal Thanksgiving proclamation.

thanksgiving machine embroidery design in the hoop
made by Dena Thomason-Whitesell‎

In 1817, New York turned into the first of a few states to authoritatively receive a yearly Thanksgiving occasion; each praised it on an alternate day, Sarah Josepha Hale propelled a campaign to set up Thanksgiving as a national occasion. Abraham Lincoln at long last regarded her demand in 1863, request that God ” commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife ” and to ” heal the wounds of the nation.”

thanksgiving machine embroidery design in the hoop
made by Penny Mueller Brown


• Centres on cooking and imparting a plentiful supper to family and companions
• Turkey a thanksgiving staple
• Other customary nourishment; stuffing, squashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie

machine embroidery design pumpkin mugrug thanksgiving
made by Pat Hester Grahl‎

• Volunteering is a typical Thanksgiving Day activity – food drives host supper to the less fortunate.
• Parades including the New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade, which is the biggest, and most acclaimed, with around 2 to 3 million onlookers along its 2.5-mile course and drawing a tremendous TV gathering of people.
• Marching bands, entertainers and elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
• President of the United States has “pardoned” a couple of turkeys every year. Saving the birds from the butcher and send them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

made by Jeannie Clark Horton


Modern thanksgiving

Today’s festivity is a blend of conventions from the New England custom of celebrating a harvest, in the view of New England; and the Puritan Thanksgiving, a grave religious recognition joining prayer and feasting.

Thanksgiving is gathering together to express gratitude a feast with prayerful thanks and nostalgia for a simpler time. Thanksgiving is a deeply meaningful and comforting annual ritual to most Americans. The national memory of a moment in Plymouth, nearly 400 years ago, when two distinct cultures, on the brink of profound and irrevocable change, shared an autumn feast.

Celebrate your thanksgiving this year by creating one of our beautiful fall quilts and show off your fall bags made with designs from  swpea.com

geometric tote bag machine embroidery in the hoop
made by Ellen Hanraads
geometric tote bag amchine embroidery design in the hoop
made by Tammy Singletary Kozior
machine embroidery design
made by Jackie Panos
made by Dianne S Paxton-Pringle
made by Pat Thomas
made by Sandy Gee Hulbert

more Thanksgiving machine embroidery designs at http://swpea.com/search?q=thanksgiving

Choosing the Right Stabiliser

When tackling a new machine embroidery project it is always important to have the right equipment and material on hand. We have already discussed the importance of choosing the right needle, but now we are going to delve further into the use of stabilisers. For those of you who have done a little bit of research online, you will have seen a lot of advice leaning towards using test samples to zone in on the right stabiliser for your project. The overwhelming number of stabilisers on the market however, may make this an impractical starting point for those unwilling to kick their families out to make room for machine embroidery supplies. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use test samples of material and stabiliser once you have a better idea of which kind to use. Using test samples is also a great way to find out if stabilisers work well together as sometimes using a single heavy duty product is less effective than using two lighter products.

Different Kinds of stabiliser

There are essentially four kinds of stabiliser that that can be used for in-the-hoop and hooped machine embroidery designs. These are cut-away, tear-away, heat-away and wash-away. These are all best suited to certain kinds of designs or materials, and will usually have usage advice on the packet.

machine embroidery equipment


Cut-away stabilisers are only partially removed once a machine embroidery design is complete. The excess stabiliser is as the name suggests, cut away, leaving a section over the design to aid in holding it together. This is a great stabiliser when the material being used is particularly loosely stitched or hand-knitted. It may also be a good idea to use this type of stabiliser for designs that may be subject to daily wear and tear like clothes or bibs. The big drawback for cut-away on some designs however is that the stabiliser may be visible and therefore not ideal for every situation.  Another variety of cut-away stabiliser available is a soft mesh stabiliser.  They are great where the stabiliser will remain but you want a soft finish.  An example of this would be a quilt in the hoop design.  


For machine embroidery designs where it is undesirable or impractical to have any residual stabiliser on the finished item, a tear-away will be preferable over cut-away. Once a design is finished, these are carefully torn from around the stitches. It is very important to test this style of stabiliser before use, as certain brands and heavier duty products don’t tear as easily as others or tear while in the hoop. The last thing you want to do is create a beautiful design only to have stitches come loose when removing the stabiliser. It may also be a good rule of thumb to use multiple lighter gauge sheets than one heavier gauge as they will be easier to tear and can be removed individually. We use tear- away stabiliser in most of our zipper purse in the hoop designs as the stabiliser needs to be removed from the zipper opening.


Essentially heat-away stabilisers should be used when the other three kinds wouldn’t be effective (If the material isn’t washable and too delicate for tear-away or cut-away). It goes without saying that this method isn’t usable for materials that will be damaged by heat, although most won’t be damaged by an iron. There are two kinds of heat-away stabilisers, one that will be removed completely and one that will offer extra support to the project while losing any excess visible stabiliser. Both kinds are removed with an iron, and it is important not to use steam in the removal, as the stabilisers can be water soluble once melted and may embed in the material. We have another blog which explains this process in more detail here. Also a youtube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7covxAfbPws&feature=youtu.be.

machine embroidery, machine embroidery designs, in the hoop, christmas, bauble, mylar

Wash-Away (soluble) 

Finally we have wash-away stabilisers, which can be used effectively for a wide range of machine embroidery designs and are perfect for delicate and mesh fabrics. There are a number of wash-away stabilisers that come in the form of a spray that can be applied to a material and hardens like a resin. These can be great for uneven materials that would leave gaps with a sheet style stabiliser. They can also be some of the most versatile stabilisers on the market. The big drawback for wash-away with certain projects is of course their method of removal makes them completely impractical for any design that will need continued support post-wash. We use this type of stabiliser for all our ornament type in the hoop designs.  It is preferable to use over tear-away in this situation as tear-away can leave a fine edge of stabiliser remaining which may be seen on the completed project.

machine embroidery, machine embroidery designs, in the hoop, christmas, bauble, mylar

Try it Out

I hope this has shed some light on the different kinds of stabilisers available. Remember to always read the usage advice on the packet and try test samples before beginning any machine embroidery design project.

Sweet Pea Sew-a-long Challenge -August The Winners

machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long

Each month we will choose a 1st Place , 2nd and 3rd Place winners ( plus 4th, 5th and 6th)

At the end of the 3 sew-a-longs we will have a total of 18 monthly winners.

We will put the 18 winning entries to public voting on October 1st, 2017

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be the entry that receives the most votes by 5pm October 3rd 2017.

Grand prize winner will be announced on the website, Sweet Pea Facebook groups and notified by email.

machineembroidery design in the hoop


1st Place winner will receive: http://www.echidnaclub.com.au/shop/echidna-embroidery-thread-boxed-sets/H-STARTER-Thread-Set From Echidna Sewing . PLUS $100 Sweet Pea gift voucher

2nd Place winner will receive: http://www.echidnaclub.com.au/shop/echidna-embroidery-thread-boxed-sets/H-15BONUSSET From Echidna Sewing .PLUS $50 Sweet Pea gift voucher

3rd Place winner will receive: http://www.echidnaclub.com.au/shop/embroidery-cutaway-tearaway-washaway-topping From Echidna Sewing .PLUS $25 Sweet Pea gift voucher

4th, 5th and 6th place winners will receive a Sweet Pea design of their choice.

All place winners will be judged on the best photos submitted. Judges decision is final. This is a competition of skill.

All place winners will be announced on the website, Sweet Pea Facebook groups and notified by email.

And the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win


A BROTHER /F440E- embroidery Machine valued at $1499 AUD (Australian winner only – due to shipping legislation)

OR $1000 (Australian Dollars ) Sweet Pea gift voucher (for non Australian grand prize winner).


machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winner


machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winner


machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winner


machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winner


machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winner


machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winner

Congratulations to everyone who participated in our August Sew-a-Long Challenge, we saw hundreds of beautiful creations using our Home Cushion, Table Runner design and each and every one of you should be very proud.

Winners please contact us at sweetpeanash@gmail.com and let us know your mailing details. Thanks 🙂

The Winners Video ( click image to view)

machine embroidery in the hoop sew-a-long winners YouTube video

The Fantastic prizes supplied for this sew-a-long are from the wonderful people at Echidna Sewing.

Check out their great range of Brother Embroidery Machines and online shop at

echidna banner logo

September Sew-a-long starts September 9

The September sew-a-long will start September 9 ( Australia time)

The Sew-a-long will be held in the same group as we had for the AUGUST Sew-a-long.



machine embroidery design sew-a-long

machine embroidery design in the hoop

Sweet Pea’s favourite beach trips in Summer

Beach trips

 Summer is approaching fast and it’s already getting hot in Queensland. This is the perfect time to start planning some beach trips and why not read about some of Sweet Pea’s favourite summer holidays.  We hope this will inspire you to take your own relaxing holiday vacation soon!


Sunshine Coast  – Mooloolaba

 Mooloolaba is just over an hours drive from Brisbane and is the perfect place for a day trip in summer. Along the beach there are delightful little restaurants and cafes. We love to grab a spot in the park and have a picnic at sunset after a long day spent at the beach in the waves.



 Stradbroke is an island about an hour’s boat ride from Brisbane and is the perfect family getaway destination. You can either rent out a house or stay in a hotel. Even better grab your caravan or tent and stay right on the beach. Stradbroke is the perfect place for people who are more adventurous and love to get away from the city.  The Sweet Pea family love to camp right on the beach far away from the city lights. There are so many stars in the sky and it’s a great time to spend the day and night right on the picturesque beach. But watch out in the water because there are SHARKS! Typical Australia.




Gold Coast – Coolangatta

 Many people have heard about the Gold Coast when they think of Australian beach destinations. However all the Sweet Pea family love to escape the crowds at Surfers Paradise and enjoy a relaxing weekend at Coolangatta instead.  The beach at Coolangatta has soft white sand and beautiful blue waves that the kids and even adults can enjoy spending the day in.

peter-and-poppyannette-robbie-gold-coast2Moreton Island – Tangalooma Dolphin Resort

Lastly our family favourite beach destination in summer is Tangalooma Resort which is located on Moreton Island just a 75-minute boat ride from Brisbane and is the perfect place to spend the day but we stay for a whole week instead. One day is just never enough for us as there are so many activities for the grandchildren, children, adults and grandparents. Our whole family stays there together and we love seeking adventure, relaxation and nature. But the must see attraction is the dolphin feeding every night where you will never miss a sighting of the dolphins.


Sweet Pea loves the beach


The perfect essential for your beach trips are our beautiful, fun and easy to make beach bags. Other beach visitors will be jealous of you and your very own uniquely designed bag.


machine embroidery design in the hoop beach bag


Hawaiian reflections bag –




I Don’t Date Fish Beach Bag



Hawaiian Leaf beach bag





Machine Embroidery Twist on Sashiko Quilting


Sashiko was a style of functional embroidery developed in Japan and used as early as the 17th century, which was very popular with the peasant class. Traditionally the style features geometric white patterns on darker, usually indigo cloth.

Japanese Folded sashiko - quilt.jpg

(sashiko pictured here recreated “in the hoop” using an embroidery machine) https://swpea.com/products/japanese-folded-sashiko-quilt-4×4-5×5-6×6-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design.


The Sashiko style was used predominantly to mend clothes with patches. The quilting of the clothes made them more durable and warmer for the harsh winters peasants would have to deal with outside of estates and castles. It could also be used to turn clothes beyond repair into bags, hats and cloths for cleaning. If necessary it could be utilised to quilt an entire outfit, changing it from indoor summer-wear to winter-wear.  It was important for the working class to repurpose material in this way due to its scarcity, as textiles could not be mass produced, and even once they could be, were often too expensive. In this way, the poor in Japan could get the most use out of cloth very valuable cloth as possible.

The other purpose behind Sashiko was, of course, to make the clothes more aesthetically pleasing. It is an example of a group using their limited resources to best effect, and creating beautiful patterns without using the expensive new silks that the ruling class of the time had access to.

Design Aspects

Sashiko which means little stabs, was usually created using white thread on top of dark indigo cloth traditionally. This was due to the fact that dyeing cloth brighter colours was more difficult and more expensive than darker shades. Laws were eventually brought in stopping any lowborn individual from wearing bright colours, further restricting the colour choice along with a superstition that indigo deterred insects and snakes. When designing modern Sashiko of course it is possible to use any colours but for those wanting to stay traditional white thread on dark blue is the norm. As previously stated the designs created using the thread were geometric shapes used to make peasant clothes more aesthetically pleasing while still serving a purpose. The designs are created using a plain running stitch.


Image source: folkfibers.com


The material used was loosely stitched and originally made from hemp and linen. Eventually peasants gained access to cotton which was better quality but still loose enough for the embroidery. The thread used was strong cotton whenever possible and hemp before this was available.

Sweetpea Embroidery Design

We are able to replicate these beautiful 17th century designs with our embroidery machine these days, rather than painstakingly with a long thin sturdy needle like the Japanese who originally designed them.

Here’s a quick sneak peak on how the sashiko quilt is recreated “in the hoop”.

Embroider the Sashiko.


Take your second piece of fabric and fold it in half length ways wrong sides together.


Place your Fabric onto the hoop, matching the fold up with the little indication marks we stitched earlier and the raw ends towards the bottom right corner of the block. Tape your fabric in place and stitch down.


Now use that same stitch down line as your placement line for your third piece of fabric. Lay the fabric wrong side up on the hoop with one edge crossing the placement line by about 1cm (1/2”) and with the excess towards the top left corner of the block.


Stitch Fabric down.


Continue following the full instructions provided with the download from swpea.com and the final result will look like this. To find the design click on this link https://swpea.com/products/japanese-folded-sashiko-quilt-4×4-5×5-6×6-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design.

Japanese Folded Sashiko Quilt5x5 6x6 7x7 in the hoop.jpg