Monday, August 31, 2015

ARRRRR .... It's a Pirate's World

Bobbi and Sybrina over on Words2ScrapBy asked me to design a card for the month of September. I've known Bobbi a very long time - wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for her pushing me along ... She knows my birthday falls on National Talk Like a Pirate Day – September 19 - so the subject became AHOY MATEY. I’ve had to learn to speak pirate – but I admit my 6 and 7 year old grandkids are better at it than I am.

I wasn’t sure where to begin. I design appliques not cards. I have added an electronic cutter supposedly to help me cut fabrics for my designs but mostly because I love gadgets! I have collected a lot of paper but fabric still wins so I decided to stick with my passion – fabric applique. And here she be ...



I had a lot of fun creating Cap’n Pegbeard, my pirate persona. ARRR! is a pirate exclamation fitting most situations. ARRR, how ye be doin? ARRR! Blow me down and shiver me timbers! ARRR! Be it ye birthday??? So this card can be used for many occasions.

My favorite embroidery software – Embird – made it really easy to take this design from an embroidery design file to a cutting file. I actually "draw" my designs in Embird Studio. I created an applique design in the style of my Peggy's People designs. I used a line of topstitching around the edge instead of a satin stitch. I also made each piece separate so I could layer the pieces of the card, giving it depth. I exploded them to make separating them in the cutting software a lot easier too.


Embird now allows me to create SVG files in Editor. I created SVG files in Editor. I created one for the pirate pieces and one for the background, which also has topstitching around the edges. I imported the SVG files into MTC! What is really great is the shapes come in at the exact size I need for my embroidery machine – no fussing around with size.

I cut fabric shapes for the background, body, head, and scarf from quilting weight cottons backed with HeatNBond Lite. The eye patch is pleather and the hat is actually flocked fusible vinyl.

I cut medium weight cardstock for the background, body, head and hat and fused the fabric pieces to one side.

Then I hooped tearaway stabilizer and stitched the applique pieces to it, much like I would a patch. The stabilizer pulls away easily afterwards.

Then it was just a matter of gluing everything together onto a black card base. My favorite adhesives are Beacon FabricTac and my Scotch tape runner with permanent tape.

I used yarn for the hair and a large silver jump ring for the hoop earring. 



The letters are cut from a glitter paper I got in a DCWV collection called What a Trip! (I love it because the glitter does not flake off.) I used a font called Ravie and created it in MTC!


The finishing touches were a pink bow and stick-on jewels – no self-respecting pirate would be seen without either. 


The stitch files/instructions for the Cap’n Pegbeard appliqué can be downloaded from http://www.pegboardcrafts.com/Zips/CapnPGBRD4.zip . The SVG files can be downloaded from http://www.pegboardcrafts.com/Zips/SVG_CapnPBRD.zip . I hope you enjoy them! Cap'n Pegbeard will make her appearance in the Peggy's People collection one of these days! I can't say when.... she might make we walk the plank.

And don't forget to make your way over to Words2ScrapBy or I might have ye swabbin' the decks!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Zipper Bag Extras

I've been working on quite a few new designs for in-the-hoop zipper purses. These will be introduced at the American Embroidery Conference at the end of May and then added to my website the first part of June. Some of the little extras I use in these purses can easily be added to my current in-the-hoop designs so I thought I would share some of my ideas with you.

The Beth purse (released summer of 2014) and the new Kateydid are wristlets. I used a piece of 3/8" elastic to make a loop holding a d-ring. The loop is sewn into the side seams of the bag with the ring already in place. You can then make a wrist strap and clip it to the ring. You can also clip your keys to the ring making them easy to find.


You can find the directions to make the wrist strap in the instructions for The Beth which are downloadable from my website.



Another idea for elastic - I used 1/2" wide elastic to make a loop at the top of one of my regular bags. I slip a key ring (the type that opens up) into the loop. I can put my phone, id and a little money safely inside the zipper bag and clip the ring to a belt loop while I walk. An instant pocket. And if you don't have a belt loop, you can make a quick and easy removable adjustable strap to clip to the ring. You can sling it over your shoulder, or better yet, put it around your waist. My new Sunshine bag will have this feature, but will also have a little credit card pocket inside. It is just the perfect size for an iPhone 6+. It came about because my phone is too big to put in my pocket.


Removable adjustable straps are easy to make with the right hardware. I cut 3/4" or 1" wide webbing extra long and use a tri-glide slider (metal or plastic) to adjust the length. I run the ends of the webbing through the rings on two gate (snap) clips. I like the lightweight poly webbing best. My favorite suppliers are now listed on the Links page on my Pegboard Crafts website.


You can turn some of the larger zipper bags into purses by adding shoulder straps to them. For smaller bags, I like using cording to make loops.


For larger bags, I make fabric tabs. Add them just before you sew the fronts to the backs. The purses I design that include shoulder strap directions add some extra stitching at the points where the tabs are placed, but you can sew a few extra lines across the tabs on regular bags using your regular machine. This will help keep them from pulling out. 

Directions for making the loops are available in the instructions for The Granny. Directions for making the tabs and adjustable straps are available in the instructions for The Terri, The Katey, and The Denise. All are downloadable from my Pegboard Crafts website. 
All of my new in-the-hoop purses will be available the first part of June. I hope you will check them out at www.pegboardcrafts.com. Or maybe I will see you at AEC at the end of May!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Embroidery Conferences ... More Than Just Learning

What, it is June already? Where does the time go? Well, I know I spent a lot of my time  getting ready for the AEC (American Embroidery Conference) since I last blogged. It was held in sunny Palm Beach Gardens, Florida the last week of May. Not that I got to see a lot of that sun as an instructor and a vendor. We were kept very busy inside. Here is a shot of my Pegboard Crafts booth.

I was busy teaching Embird classes too. There were lot of other instructors and vendors with all sorts of expertise and wares. I love these smaller, topic specific conferences. At this one, everyone there owns - or soon owned - a computerized embroidery machine so we had 100+ people all with something in common. That makes for some great learning opportunities as well as the opportunity to make life-long friends. Here I am with two of my very best friends.

I met Beth at my very first embroidery conference in Indiana. She was my best customer that year but it just seemed like I had known her all my life. I met Terri at another AEC a few years back. She is the famous Terri Hanson of Terradon Embroidery and I was just Peggy. I was sooooo terrified of meeting her. But we clicked instantly and have been BFF's ever since even though she lives in Minneapolis and I am in Ohio. I can't forget Denise who I happened to meet, along with Granny on the way to AEC, in the Georgia Welcome Center along south-bound I-75. She and her friends were headed there too.

And of course, it is more than just fun too. The classes are great and there is a nice variety. You will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the instructors in person. A lot of our learning takes place online and I think it is much easier to converse with, and learn from, someone you have actually met. You will learn about and be able to see and feel lots of new products as well. There are just some things you need to see before you buy. Here one Pegboard Crafts fan is just thrilled with the two little coin purses she sat down and made for her two granddaughters. Her face says it all, doesn't it? It cost $2 to sit down with Beth and make a little coin purse, but the $50 we raised all went to Kids in Distress. Thank You!


Thanks Jeannie and Pudding for putting the whole thing together. This was their first year at the helm and they did a great job! Dave and Laura from Laura's Sewing and Vacuum were the supporting machine dealers this year. They had some great deals for all of us, and were a lot of fun too.  I really look forward to next year's AEC when it is back in Marietta, Georgia. And while my boot definitely made me a stand-out this year, I am happy to announce that is now going to be relegated to planter status. BTW, I used Applique Fuse & Stick from Terradon Embroidery to apply the fabric before I zigzagged it on the Velcro strips.

I can tell you that my life and career has taken some very interesting twists because of the people I have met along the way. I wish I could name them all, but hopefully you know who you are and how much I appreciate your help. You really just never know where one little thing may lead. Next time you get a chance to attend a conference, or just a class, I hope you will decide to go. Even if you travel alone, think of it as going to meet all those wonderful new friends at the end of your journey and see where life leads you.

And I am still Just Peggy .... 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Putting it Together

I really am bad at this blogging thing. Has it really been that long since I posted??? I will try to do a bit better.

Today I thought I would share a tip for those of you who do in-the-hoop embroidery designs. The instructions with many of my in-the-hoop designs tell you to line up the front to the back matching the corners of the placement lines on both pieces. Easier said than done, right? What I don't show you is how I get them to line up really well - and it is really easy too. You can even call this a recycling tip.

My secret is a thick piece of Styrofoam. Not the kind that crumbles but the kind that they put in boxes with electronics and other fun stuff. The piece to look for is one large enough that will let your hoop lay flat  and thick enough to let quilting pins push into it all the way to the heads. I scrounged through my boxes and found the perfect slab - it was in my laptop box....



Now, when I am ready to put two pieces of a project together, I lay the hoop on top of the Styrofoam. Here I have my zipper bag back ready for the next step.

 
Next, I lay the piece I need to 'match' right on top. In this example I am sewing a prepared front to the bag back. I push quilting pins down though each of the four corners of the front piece right into the matching corner on the bag back. See the yellow pin heads in the corners?
 
 
The final step before putting it back on the machine is to tape it down really well so it doesn't move. I use blue painter's tape for this part. Don't be stingy with it either. Remove the pins from the corners and put the hoop back onto your machine. Easy Peasy, right???

 
 
This method works for all of my in-the-hoop designs. Coin purses, purses, mug rugs - wherever you need it to line up perfectly to put it together, I've included the placement lines in all the designs that require you to match front to back.  
 
 
 
Here is my finished project. It is a Kindle case with one of three pocket options that are available. It wouldn't have been quite so easy to put together without having that piece of Styrofoam handy! You can check out this design and lots more at www.pegboardcrafts.com.
 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From Applique to Paper to Cupcakes

I love to do different kinds of crafty things. My studio downstairs is divided into two rooms. One is for my embroidery, and one is for papercrafting. The lines are always being crossed. Here is a really good example. I created a set of 6 animal appliques for my grandson. They were used on bibs and the largest version became wall art for the nursery.


Then I discovered that my embroidery software, Embird's Studio, will export in SVG format. With a little tweaking, I was able to turn Lincoln Lion into a cutting file. Here is a table decoration I created, using my Black Cat Cougar. Wouldn't it be cute on a table at a baby shower? It would make a really cute card to go with that quilt you are giving the new mom too.


My daughters were decorating cupcakes for a baby shower. They needed some baby animals to put on them. I edited the applique file in Studio a bit more. I had to simplify the design for such small decorations. They used their Cricut Cake to cut the shapes out of fondant or gum paste. I can never remember which. Their cupcakes turned out so cute, didn't they? Try cutting those out by hand.


You will find the Jonathan's Room applique designs on my website - Pegboardcrafts. I purchased my Black Cat Cougar at KYCuttersClick HERE for the Lincoln Lion cutting file. Everything you need to make the free-standing card, and more, is there. You just need to get creative. If you enjoy using it, let me know. If I receive enough interest I will make cutting files for the rest of the set. You can view more of my daughters' handiwork on Facebook. Look for Katey Kim Cakes. Their cakes taste just as yummy as they look. Sorry, but the cutting files for the cupcakes belong just to them.
 



Monday, May 21, 2012

Key Fob Project

I have been loving the early spring we had. It has been really busy though. I had a lot of fun at the American Embroidery Conference in Marietta at the end of April. I taught a few classes on Embird and one on fun ways to use applique designs. I introduced a few  new sets too. Granny helped a lot of people make a zipper bag at our table. We collected $100 which we donated to Kids in Distress.

I've been seeing requests for simple shapes to make patches on a lot of my mailing lists. So I created Patches - Basic Shapes 1. It is a set of 7 basic shapes in 2 sizes, that all fit in the standard 4x4 hoop. They are basically done like my regular applique designs, but I've added another step and instructions for making free-standing patches with them. These are like blank canvases where you can add your own design and/or your own text to make patches. You can also use them to make key chain fobs and magnets. These are available on my website, Pegboard Crafts and also at The Stitchery Mall.
Here is a key chain I made using the design Patch_OvalB (the larger oval) in my set. It is really easy and takes a minimum of supplies. You can use scrap fabric and scrap stabilizer. It has pretty fabric on the back of the key chain and is stiffened with a heavy stabilizer like Timtex or Stitch N Shape.  Instead of putting matching thread in my bobbin, I used a permanent marker and colored in my white bobbin thread on the back. I purchased the key fob and key rings from eBay. Another option would be to add a grommet to one end instead of the metal key fob and insert your key ring through it.You can download a PDF file with full instructions from my website on the Patches - Basic Shapes page. 

My daughters, Kim and Katey, are making key fobs to help raise money for their ride in Pelotonia in Columbus, Ohio. Theirs will look something like this one. You can use the design Rounded Rectangle 1B from the same set to make a similar one. This ride benefits the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. They have a common interest in riding this year as their aunt was diagnosed with uterine cancer at the end of 2011 and has been undergoing treatment at James.  If interested in donating to their ride requirements, here are their links. Kate is at https://www.mypelotonia.org/riders_profile.jsp?MemberID=63816. Kim is at https://www.mypelotonia.org/riders_profile.jsp?MemberID=112032.

I also showed how to make magnets using these shapes. They are basically done the same way. Instead of a key fob or key ring, I cut business card sized sticky backed magnets to the back side when finished. I will be adding a project sheet for one of them next month.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fun with New Fashioned Paper Dolls

I used to spend hours playing with my paper dolls when I was a kid. Here is a new twist on them for your favorite little one. They are made on a computerized embroidery machine using fabrics, not paper. I've been working on this technique for a few years and am finally pretty happy with the results. Its pretty neat how you can make your embroidery machine do most of the work for you. These are from Jonathan and Allie's Winter Duds, my newest creations.


I start with tearaway stabilizer in the hoop. It makes it easy to remove the excess stabilizer when the dolls and their clothing are finished. I then place Timtex or Stitch N Shape on the tearaway and stitch a special outline on it. This outline is slightly smaller than what the doll will be. Take it out of the hoop and cut out the shapes, right on the stitching line. If you have a large hoop,  you can do fill the hoop. If you have a small hoop, you'll have to do singles.


Rehoop another piece of tearaway stabilizer (washaway will work too). After sewing the placement stitching, I put the piece of Stitch N Shape I prepared right in the center of it. There will be a tiny gap between the placement stitching and the shape. Hold it down with a bit of temporary spray adhesive or glue stick. Then stitch the next outline. It will hold the stiffening piece in place. The clothing skips this step. I use a piece of scrap cutaway stabilizer underneath the fabrics instead. My instructions tell you when and where to place everything.


Next comes the fun part, choosing the fabrics. You won't put these in the washer so you can get a bit more creative than you might with applique designs on clothing. Keep in mind, they will need to be hand washed now and then though. Go for varying textures as well as color. I used vinyl scraps left over from cutting with my Cricut (or eCraft) for the snow boots. Pleather works really well too. The hood is lined with Warm and Natural. If your fabric tends to ravel, back it first with a fusible interfacing. I like velveteen and satins, Warm and Natural, laces, ribbons, as well as quilt weight cottons. Start digging through your scraps!

Apply Aleene's Tack It Over and Over on the back of the clothing. They'll cling right to the doll. Reapply when they loose their tack. I keep them stored on poly page protectors when not in use.
You will find the Jonathan and Allie Paper collection on my website, www.pegboardcrafts.com, under Kids > Peggy's People. They come in 2 sizes, 4" and 5". I like the larger set best for little hands, but the 4" is great for those with smaller hoops.

Hope you've enjoyed my latest project....

Peggy