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

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.  

Tear-Away

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.

Heat-Away

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.

Machine Embroidery Twist on Sashiko Quilting

Sashiko

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.

Purpose

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.

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Image source: folkfibers.com

Material

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.

1

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

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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.

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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

 

Sweet Pea Sew-a-Long Challenge – JULY ‘The Winners’

 

machine embroidery design Tassel bag 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

Machine Embroidery Designs Tassel bag

 

MONTHLY WINNERS WILL RECEIVE

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

Either

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 design Tassel bag sew-a-long

THE WINNERS

 

Machine embroidery design in the hoop sew-a-long winner

 

Machine embroidery design in the hoop sew-a-long winner

 

Machine embroidery design in the hoop sew-a-long winner

 

Machine embroidery design in the hoop sew-a-long winner

 

Machine embroidery design in the hoop sew-a-long winner

 

Machine embroidery design in the hoop sew-a-long winner

Congratulations to everyone who participated in our July Sew-a-Long Challenge, we saw hundreds of beautiful bags created and each and everyone of you should be very proud.

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

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

The Winners Video ( click image to view)

 

 

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

machine embroidery in the hoop design

 

August Sew-a-long starts August 10

The August sew-a-long will start August 10 ( Australia time)

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

Sweet Pea AUG Sew-a-long Ad Sponsored by Echidna FB
Click image to join sew-a-long group

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.

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 redhatsociety.com and get involved with some of the lovely ladies that requested the bag be made or visit our website swpea.com 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. 

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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.

https://swpea.com/collections/tote-bags/products/yolo-tote-bag-6×10-8×12-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design

 

 

2017 SEW-A-LONG CHALLENGE-SEPTEMBER – the WINNERS

Welcome to Sweet Pea ‘s

2017 SEW-A-LONG CHALLENGE

CLOSED

ALL OUR TIMES ARE IN AUSTRALIAN TIME ZONE

https://countingdownto.com/countdown/sweet-pea-september-sew-a-long-finishes-30-september-2017-countdown-clock

 

 

 

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

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MONTHLY WINNERS…..

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

Either

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)

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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 NOW CLOSED

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

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 September sew-a-long ‘ THE WINNERS’

 

Capture

 

 

 

 

link for sew-a-long design :

https://swpea.com/products/rainbow-dresden-cushion-or-placemat-5×7-6×10-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design

 

This is a design for a cushion in the hoop.

Designs for the 5×7 and 6×10 hoops are both included.

The cushion takes twelve 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 – 33cmL x 33cmW x 8cmD (13” x 13” x 3”)

6×10 – 48cmL x 48cmW x 8cmD (19” x 19” x 3”)

To be eligible for the competition

SEPTEMBER SEW-A-LONG RULES

 

INSTRUCTIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEO : https://youtu.be/J2DY3yg-QWc

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

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Discount code for the September sew-a-long design can be found in the pinned post of the sew-a-long group.

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)

prizes provided by

machine embroidery in the hoop design sew-a-long

 

The Winners of our March Easter Sew-a-long

What a wonderful group we have had for our March Sew-a-long.

It is by far the largest group we have ever had at 4265 members.

Thank you to everyone who has participated and posted a photo or many photos 🙂

Thank you to those who joined with the best intentions of finishing their basket in the allotted time of 3 weeks and didn’t quite make it in time, we all know that things come up that way lay our best intentions and that is perfectly fine.

Thank you to everyone who have offered their support to those who have asked for help in the group.machien embroidery design, sew-a-longThe design is on our website:

https://swpea.com/products/new-life-easter-basket-4×4-5×5-6×6-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-design

We will be announcing all up and coming sew-a-longs in our Sweet Pea Facebook group  ( click on image below to join)

machine embroidery designs facebook group

slr_gardenparty_borderTo view the wonderful photos that were posted in our sew-a-long Facebook group

It is easy to view ALL the photos that have been posted in our sew-a-long group all in one place.https://www.facebook.com/groups/171067460064391/photos/

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and the Winners are

machine embroidery designs, sew-a-long

The prizes are

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

 

New sew-a-longs

The Sweet Pea German Facebook group is having an April sew-a-long. This is starting April 5th

You don’t have to be German or speak German to be a part of this group and our instructions come in English as well.

Here is the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/1562714127072015/

 

April Mother’s Day sew-a-long for our Main Facebook group will be later in the month and will be announced here and in the FB group.

Valentines Themed Sweet Pea logo

Happy Valentine’s Day- machine embroidery designs made in the hoop- discount codes ( now expired)

machine embroidery designs in the hoop

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Hawaiian hearts mugrug 5×7 6×10 and 7×12 in the hoop machine embroidery designs

This is a mugrug with lovely quilting detail for the 5×7, 6×10 and 7×12 hoops.

The mugrug requires only one hooping and it is completely finished requiring only a few centimetres of hand sewing to close where the mugrug is turned out the right way.

You have the choice of a raw edge applique or a satin stitch finish.

Discount code for this  5×7 6×10 and 7×12 Hawaiian Hearts Mugrug design is- haw50

http://swpea.com/products/hawaiian-hearts-mugrug-5×7-6×10-and-7×12-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-designs

machine embroidery in the hoop design

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Discount code for 4×4 and 5×5 Hawaiian Hearts coasters is- haw4x4

http://swpea.com/products/hawaiian-hearts-coaster-4×4-5×5-in-the-hoop-machine-embroidery-designs

Hawaiian heart coaster 4x4 5x5 in the hoop machine embroidery design.jpg
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Sewing Kit 1 with redwork girl ITH in the 6×10 hoop

Cute little sewing kit, machine embroidery design to sew in the 6×10 hoop.

Very quick and easy to make.  Requires three hoopings  and is perfect for craft markets, gifts etc.  Full photo instructions are provided. The bag is finished in the hoop with a small 5cm section to hand sew.

Discount code for Sewing Kit #1 is-sew50

Sewing Kit #1 with redwork girl
machine embroidery in the hoop design

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