Link between the “Yolo” bag and the Red Hat Society.

Recently, a number of you may have encountered a file on Sweetpea that can be used to create an ITH (In the Hoop) tote bag embroidery design featuring a wild-hearted gal burning rubber on her rascal. If you did manage to see this bag and thought to yourself

“Wow, it’s like they captured a snapshot of my carefree personality and laissez-fair attitude towards age restrictions, then turned it into a handy bag.” then you may want to head over to and get involved with some of the lovely ladies that requested the bag be made or visit our website to view the bag. Continue reading this blog to find out more about the red hat society and a bit of history on why we decided to make this beautiful bag.

YOLO bag 6x10 8x12 in the hoop.jpg 

The Red Hat Society is a group for women of all ages (but particularly those over 50) who would like to attend activities with other women to make lasting friendships and enjoy some well earned time off! The society is open to women in both an online community capacity and also in the form of social groups that can meet up and enjoy activities together. Some of these ladies decided they would love to be able to make a bag in their colours and so the “You Only Live Once” (YOLO) tote was born. Using your embroidery machine the two panels, including a pocket on one side, are made in the hoop. 


These panels are then joined together using a sewing machine. The bag is named “YOLO” after the quote “you only live once” meaning “expressing the view that someone should make the most of the present moment without worrying about the future” (Oxford Dictionary).

Being part of the red hat society isn’t just about having great taste in applique embroidery designs though. The groups frequently enjoy lunch together, attend movies and plays, get involved in sporting activities and any other social activity you can think of all the way up to huge conventions.

The offline aspect of the Red Hat Society is organised into local social groups called ‘chapters’ which are headed by a ‘queen’, but the groups are a lot more democratic than other monarchies, where every member’s thoughts are valued. The online community is open to all ladies that want to join, as it isn’t necessary to be part of a chapter to become a supporting member. Joining gives a member access to 24/7 emotional support through chats on the website along with access to all Red Hat Society events, including the huge conventions. So even if there are no chapters in your area, or you aren’t ready to dive in with a group of new people yet, there is no reason you couldn’t become a Red or Pink hatter today.

The red hat’s and purple outfits (pink hats and lavender for under 50’s) are shades not often seen together and seem to showcase the women in this society’s ability to break the mould and not conform to social norms. In their pursuit of fun, friends and fulfilment they are giving the acronym YOLO new meaning.

If you wish to see the previously mentioned tote bag in more detail please use the following URL.×10-8×12-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design



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Using Kam Snaps

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery Designs:
KAM snaps are a very quick and easy way to apply fasteners to a project. They can made of a strong and durable type of plastic  or metal. The requirements to make…

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How to insert a zipper in an “in the hoop” machine embroidery zipper purse

“In the Hoop” embroidery designs can sometimes be daunting when inserting a zipper. I know that I thought I would struggle with inserting a zipper in the beginning. At Sweet Pea we strive to encourage more and more people every day to conquer their fears, such as, inserting a zipper into a machine embroidery design such as a zipper purse. We’ve made a few free “learn to do in the hoop” designs that guide you through all the steps with clear instructions on how to insert the zipper and completely sew a fully lined zipper purse.

I thought to myself “Why not write a quick blog to let you in on our Sweet Pea secrets relating to all our machine embroidery projects that include inserting zippers into designs such as purses”.

If you want to follow the steps for an actual design download one of our original free learn to do in the hoop designs on our website×4-5×5-6×6

Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery Designs – how to insert a zipper in the hoop using these simple steps!

  • Have all of your cut pieces of fabric for the zipper panel ready.

  • Hoop tear away or soluble stabiliser in the hoop. 

STEP 1 Stitch the zipper placement line onto the stabiliser.


Place the zipper right side up centred on the line, with the pull hanging past the side of the hoop. The zipper will be too long but this can be trimmed later when you trim the seam


Tape in place with sticky tape or masking tape.


STEP 2 Stitch the zipper to the stabiliser.

Remove the tape.


Fold fabric A in half and iron flat.


Fold fabric B over one inch on one of the longer edges and iron flat.


You should now have 2 pieces of fabric that look like this.


Put the batting inside the folded pieces of fabric A and B.2627

Place the folded edges of fabric A and B (right sides up) meeting on the centre of the zipper and tape in place.


STEP 3 Stitch the fabric down. This will run along the edges of the zipper and will avoid the middle of the zipper.


STEP 4 Stitch again with a triple stitch to strengthen the seam.


(Make sure the zip pull is going to be within your stitching of the border before sewing the outline as shown. Otherwise you won’t be able to open the zip later.) Remove only the first piece of tape and bring the zipper pull into the middle of the panel. Once you have moved the zipper pull, you will need to put a piece of tape back down.

STEP 5 Stitch the border around the block.


Remove the tape.


Before you embroider further make sure you move the zipper pull more towards the right hand side of the panel but away from the seam.


STEP 6 Embroider the words “Owned by this Dog!”


Turn the hoop over so the wrong side is facing up.


Fold fabric C lining over one inch on one of the longer edges and iron flat.


Place on top of the hoop right side up with the fold in line with the centre of the zipper which you can see through the stabiliser. Tape in place so it doesn’t fall off when you turn the hoop back over.

Turn the hoop back over so the right side is facing up.


STEP 7 Stitch the lining to the back of the hoop. When the machine foot gets close to the zipper pull you might have to pause the machine and move the zipper out of the way.



Remove your work from the hoop the side with the zipper is now complete. Easy. Now you can continue to finish your Zipper Purse.


Continue all steps and you will end up creating a cute little zipper purse.


Hopefully this has shown you today that inserting an “in the hoop” zipper in a machine embroidery design is a technique  that can be accomplished using our easily followed simple steps.

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Christmas in July

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery Designs:
? Or just getting organised. There is no better time to do it . We have a growing range of Christmas designs for in the hoop machine embroidery. ?×10-and-7×12-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design This bib…

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Welcome to Sweet Pea ‘s


Fabulous Prizes provided by Echidna Sewing Capalaba Brisbane

Join us for the next 3 months of fabulous sew-a-longs

Each month we will release a new sew-a-long design

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




1st Place winner will receive: From Echidna Sewing . PLUS $100 Sweet Pea gift voucher

2nd Place winner will receive: From Echidna Sewing .PLUS $50 Sweet Pea gift voucher

3rd Place winner will receive: 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)



Instructional Video on how to make this Home Cushion/ Table runner design ( click YouTube image below)youtube-logo-full_color


Each monthly sew-a-long will run for 3 weeks

Each Month’s sew-a-long design will be revealed 2 weeks before the sew-a-long starts.

July sew-a-long Starts July 10-July 31 (Australian time)  NOW CLOSED

August sew-a-long starts August 10-August 31 (Australian time) -this will be suitable for 4×4 hoops

September sew-a-long starts September 9-September 30(Australian time)


August sew-a-long Challenge details


Sweet Pea AUG Sew-a-long Ad Sponsored by Echidna FB×4-and-5×5-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design


This is the sew-a-long for you to let your

imagination go wild.

Everyone one in any part of the World can join in this Sew-a-Long Challenge. You will need a computerized Embroidery Machine to participate.

To join this SEW-A-LONG CHALLENGE we ask that you agree to stitch out the Home cushion or table runner 4×4 and 5×5 in the hoop machine embroidery design within the 3 week time frame starting from AUGUST 10 ( Australian time ) and post a photo of your Sweet Pea entry in the Sweet Pea ‘s 2017 SEW-A-LONG CHALLENGE Facebook group

$5 AUD Discount code

for this sew-a-long design is  : sewhome


This is the sew-a-long for you to let

your imagination go wild.


To be eligible for AUGUST Sew-a-long Challenge judging

  • As long as you use at least 1 of each of the 8 individual design blocks you can make ANYTHING you like.
  • Each of the 8 Individual design blocks MUST BE ABLE TO BE SEEN in the photos of your project.
  • You cannot use any other designer’s blocks/ applique/ embroidery in your project, to do so will deem the project ineligible for judging.
  • You can add any sort of bling or embroidery you do on your own machine as long as it is not another designer’s work.

You do not have to make a cushion/pillow or Table runner. It can be anything at all as long as you use at least one of each of the 8  different design blocks.

  • you can make this project in any fabric you like
  • you can not use any other blocks in the design ( you cannot mix in any other Sweet Pea design blocks or any other design blocks )  This Challenge is to see how creative you can be using  the Home Cushion and table runner design)
  • you do not have to enter in each of the 3 months (July, August, September) to be eligible for the Grand Prize
  • you can enter as many times as you like in each month


Full photo instructions and directions on how to make Home cushion or table runner 4×4 and 5×5 in the hoop machine embroidery design are included with your purchase

This is a Patchwork runner with all the blocks made in the 4×4 or 5×5 hoop.  This is a machine embroidery design.

There are 8 different blocks in this cushion/table runner and they are then joined with the sewing machine. The full pattern for the cushion or table runner is included.  Each block finishes just smaller than your hoop size so the finished article will depend on what block combination you use.

Use the blocks anyway you like in any combination.  You could make anything you like for eg a bag, placemat, quilt, sewing machine cover etc.

They are quick and easy to sew making them perfect for craft market stalls, gifts or for your table.

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 in the market.

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 come in English and German.

Fabric requirements for each individual block






Sweet Pea is based in Australia so all times and dates are in local Australian time….




Do NOT share the discount code nor file with ANYONE, if you know someone who wants to join please send them here to join us.( It is illegal to share or on sell our design files)



proudly sponsored by

machine embroidery in the hoop design sew-a-long

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How to make a Scallop Edge

Scallop Edge Instructions

© by Sandy Kiester USA – April 2017

Photos provided by Mia Swafford


Items used in preparing to mark and stitch a scallop edge. Spray adhesive, pencil or pen, scissors, rotary cutter and cutting mat if you have one, ruler, iron, fabric glue, round plate or cup and fuse-n-tear or similar.1 Supplies needed.jpg

Joining the blocks

It is easier to work with one panel when marking and stitching for a scalloped edge. As instructed in the New-Life Easter Basket lay out the panels as you would like them. Join the 6 applique blocks together as well as the 6 bottom panels. Join those 2 rows together. Add the top border WITHOUT the batting, that will be added after the scallops are stitched. Press all seams so you have a nice flat panel to work with.

Cutting the lining

Place the lining under the top panel.


Trim excess material from all sides making each corner square.


Each edge of the square should have equal sides. Set aside the lining it will be added at a later step. Turn front panel wrong side up.


Marking the bottom corners

I mark my stitch lines with dashes first. I don’t cut away the excess corner material nor center, it is done at a later step. Notice the dash lines in the center of the panel. Since the seam allowance has been stitched in this area the marking will be 1” shorter in width. IMG_20170413_185100.jpg

Dash lines are marked with Sharpie Pen for better viewing. Use a pencil for your project.


Marking the Scallops

Tear off a section of Pellon’s ‘fuse-n-tear’ long enough to cover the length of the border and trim to 5” wide. I keep my roll of this product in this custom made box from Reynolds Aluminum.

3 Tear off 4 inch strips of Pellon's 'fuse & tear'.  I keep my roll in this custom made box from Reyonlds Aluminum..jpg

Press the fuse-n-tear to the top area of the panel. Having the straight edge line up with the top raw edge.


With pencil, mark on top of border seam allowance, then mark ¾” above that.


You should have two horizontal lines marked on your paper like this…


Marking the vertical lines are done next. Line the edge of the rule over the basting line on the right side of the panel.


Move the ruler over the seam allowance of the next block. Mark a vertical another line with pencil.

Continue with each block and the ending baste line on the left of the panel.


Place the curve of a bowl between the vertical lines, matching at the penciled intersections. Draw with pencil along the bowl’s edge. Continue to the end of the panel, include the seam allowance. You will be stitching on these scalloped markings.

( I re marked the curved lines with a Sharpie pen so they would show up better. )


Trim the excess paper on each side of the panel.


Remove the paper, set aside the top panel.


Adding the marked scallop paper

Place the paper pattern on the wrong side of the lining. Aline the top of the paper pattern along the top raw edge of the lining and sides. Press in place.


With RIGHT sides together place lining on top of panel. The bottom of each scallop should match the seam allowance of each block.


Lining should match the raw edges of the top panel. Pin or clip in place.


Stitching the scallops

Take your project to the sewing machine. I like to use a tiny stitch and a open-toe presser foot. Start stitching on the top of the first scallop, leaving a 3 inch gap from the edge. You are stitching on the pencil mark.


Sew slow following the pencil mark.


Detail of scallop turn. It’s a “U” turn not a point. Pivot your machine with the needle in the down position.


Continue stitching scallops, stop at the top of the last scallop, 3” from the raw edge.


Fold the lining back this 3” and clip in place. Repeat on other end.


Place a few drops of Fray Check at the bottom of each scallop. Let dry while proceeding to enclose the panel. Don’t disturb these cuts…let that Fray check dry. No Fray Check? Apply fabric glue to both the panel and the lining, let dry THEN cut this area.

23 Place a few drops of Fray Check at the bottom of each scallop..jpg

Fold top panel over, matching the raw edges.


Closing the panel

Time to stitch together the open end together to create the bag, we are making a tube, the bag itself per se. First the outside seam is stitched. Then the linings side seam. With right sides together match the blocks seam allowances and the top and bottom raw edges. Clip or pin in place.


Stitch a ½” seam allowance.


Press seam allowance open.


Turn the enclose panel inside out. Don’t push out scallops yet, the lining must be stitched closed first.


Pull lining over back over the panel, right sides of lining and panel should face each other.


Fold panel back upon itself so it is out of the way.


Matching raw edges of the lining, Clip or pin in place.


Pull back paper on each side of lining clip it out of the way. Stitch a ½” seam allowance.


Press paper back on lining.


The seam on the lining and panel should match. Press open linings seam allowance.


Clip or pin panel and lining together, to finish stitching the last 6” of the scallops. You may need to remove your sewing machines table and insert, leaving the machine with it’s open-arm feature.


Place the lined panel on the open arm and sew the last scallop closed. You can pencil mark over the opened seam to guide you to the scallop point.


Starting at the seam carefully remove the paper, top section first.


You can use a seam ripper to start tearing the paper under the seam. Set paper aside, you will use the pattern again on the batting filler in a later step.


Fray Check the fabric on this seam and above the lining and panels stitching.


Trim away excess fabric from scallops, leave ¼” from stitch line.


Notch the seam allowance every ⅜” to rid the seam of excess fabric, giving you a smoother top turned edge.


For your scallops to lay flat with no puckers on the bottom portion, you must release the tension in that area. On your cutting mat use an Exacto knife to get to that tight space. Using scissors can cause you to snip the thread line. Using an Exacto knife release the point tension with 2 miter cuts.


Turning the scallops

Pull the lining out exposing its right side.


Push the lining back into the bag.


Smooth the lining on the inside of the bag. Pull on it to match the raw edges of the bottom to the panels raw edge on the bottom.


While using the bone to push out the curve of the scallops roll the seam allowance with your fingers to help straighten and smooth until flat. Press with iron on the edge only.


I will now turn it back outside in.


Press scalloped pattern onto batting. Cut along scallop line. Add shaped batting to the border of the panel using spray adhesive to attach.


Turn bag inside out, adjust batting with fingers.


Baste batting down through all layers of the bag. IMG_20170415_130545.jpg

Turn the bag inside out to finish the bottom seams.


After turning the lining half way up the bag to get it out of the way, mark the bottom boxing cutouts on both the panel and lining as shown.


Cut out the same amount on other side of the bag.



Turn inside out, pull the lining down and cut away the excess corner fabric.


Turn the bag over and repeat on the other side.IMG_20170415_131111.jpg

Turn outside in to stitch the bottom seam and corners of the front panel -the outside of bag. Match bottom block seams. Clip or pin in place.


Sew bottom seam ½” from edge.


Fold corners, matching seam allowances. Stitch with ½” seam allowance.


With right sides together of lining, match raw edges, clip or pin in place.


Next stitch the linings bottom seam, leaving an 6” opening for turning.


Fold the corners….


Stitch the corners…


Turn inside out through the opening and adjust any batting if necessary.


Smooth out panel. Stitched close the linings bottom seam by hand or machine. IMG_20170415_134500.jpg

Push and smooth the lining into the bag.


Press border of bag, top-stitch if you like. Stitch in the ditch at applique block seams.


Stitch in the ditch on bottom panels.


Fold and press the corners and bottom boxing to give the finished bag soft edges.








Posted in How to articles., Uncategorized

Basic Supplies for In The Hoop Embroidery

by guest blogger Rita Wetzel

Whether you are new to embroidery, a long time embroiderer or somewhere in between, having basic supplies at your fingertips will minimize frustrations while working on your projects.  For the most part, these basic supplies are readily available at retail shops, as well as, from online sources.  Once you decide to invest in a machine and designs, be sure to compliment them with a good set of basic supplies.

Embroidery Machine

The obvious is a working, well-maintained embroidery machine along with its bobbins and hoops.  You will also need a computer and storage media, usually a USB drive, to download designs and transfer them to your machine.


Embroidery thread is typically 40 wt.  In the past, rayon thread was popular because of its high shine and the multitude of colors.  However, rayon can break during embroidering and it is not bleach resistant.  More recently embroiderers have turned to polyester thread.  It is stronger, launders well, and the color choices are vast.  There are many specialty tmachine embroidery equipmenthreads on the market too, including metallic, variegated, glow in the dark, and invisible.

Tip:  Your machine may like some brands better than others.  So, while your best friend may rave about one brand, you may have better results with a different one.

Bobbin thread, usually 60 wt, is lighter in weight.  If the stitching on the back will not show, then matching the bobbin thread to the top is not necessary.  Even though bobbin thread can be found in basic colors, white or black bobbin thread will suffice for most projects.  Of course, there are some exceptions!  For free standing lace designs, try to use a bobbin thread that closely matches the top thread or use the top thread in the bobbin.  The same is true when using the embroidery machine to quilt a table runner, quilt, or other item.


Fabric by itself is not strong enough to hold the embroidery stitches so a stabilizer is used to provide support and strength to your fabric.  Puckering and shifting designs are symptoms of stabilizer issues.  Stabilizers can be found in white, cream, and black colors.  Stabilizers are purchased on a roll, by the yard, or in  pre-cut sheets.  They come in different weights (light, medium, and heavy).  While there are many types of stabilizers on the market, 3 basic stabilizers to keep on hand are:  cutaway, tearaway, and wash away.
machine embroidery equipmentCutaway stabilizers are frequently used for In The Hoop projects.  They resist stretching and are machine washable.

Tearaway stabilizers are easily removed once the stitch out is completed.

Wash aways support the stitches during embroidery and is then washed out.  Wash aways are commonly used for free standing lace designs and as toppers.  When used as a topper the wash away stabilizer helps to keep stitches from sinking into fabrics with nap or pile.

Click here for an informative SweetPea YouTube video on stabilizers.

Embroidery and Applique Scissors

Embroidery scissors are small, curvy-tipped scissors that make cutting in small areas easy.  Embroidery scissors with longer handles are helpful in cutting away excess thread, especially when the hoop is still on the machine.machine embroidery equipment

Tip:  When cutting jump stitches, hold the thread taut with a tweezers while cutting both ends of the jump stitch with your embroidery scissors or snips.  This will give you a clean cut on both ends.

Appliqué scissors are also known as duckbill scissors.  These are especially useful when cutting longer edges of appliqué.  Use your small embroidery scissors to trim appliqué curves and small areas.  Click here to view a SweetPea You Tube Video on trimming appliqué in the hoop.


The most common size of embroidery needles is 75/11.  Look for needles that are specific for  embroidery.  They are designed to let your thread move smoothly through the eye during the stitch out.  A smaller needle size may be needed for light weight fabrics and a larger needle size for heavier fabrics.


Painters tape or surgical tape will temporarily hold your fabric in place during the stitch
out, especially if you need a piece of fabric underneath the hoop.  machine embroidery equipmentTemporary adhesive spray or glue can also be used but there is the potential of gumming up your thread or needle.

That’s It…

… so gather up your basic supplies, load your favorite Sweetpea design, and start stitching!

Posted in How to articles.