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 . The SVG files can be downloaded from . 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 Or maybe I will see you at AEC at the end of May!