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 Kim is at

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,, 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....