Brenda Jeschke is my hero!! I've been learning to digitize and she has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! She is so knowledgeable about machine embroidery and has helped me avoid so many errors and problems in the new designs I am creating.
Here's why I decided to learn digitizing...
So many of us just want to do the fun embellishing part of wool. Well, that's not entirely true. I like to do the work by hand as well... but sometimes I just want to get started adding beads, different threads, and ribbons. Not to mention that I have this beautiful machine that has an embroidery module and I realized there are a lot of people out there that have the same. Also, there are times I need to get something put together and I need it done quickly. But I still want that hand made look...
Used to be that the designs for stitching out embroidered images was what I considered not very sophisticated. It didn't really excite me. In the past few years there is a bigger interest in stitching out embroidered designs by machine. I think it is because the new designers are so incredible and the designs are intricate and gorgeous. It boggles the mind.
Anyway, I love working with wool. It is so soft and pretty and luscious. and did I mention colorful? Not all of it is dark and traditional anymore. Hand dyed felted wool is readily available now. It's amazing. The dimension it gives to fiber art makes you want to reach out and touch it.
So I thought, why not stitch out some of the wool designs by machine? You can, of course, do it by hand, free motion. Or try to maneuver around those curves with a blanket stitch, staying close enough to the edges to not leave an unsightly gap. But that is a whole new learning curve on it's own.
Wool is not cheap. Trying to learn on wool, which has it's own individuality, would not be cheap. You just don't want to have to toss even a small scrap of wool just because it looks like ka-ka.
What if you could stitch it down to a base fabric by using the embroidery module? What if after you did that you simply trimmed the wool to the stitching line and then popped it in a bag along with the fun embellishing items you want to add and brought it along to where you were going so you could play? Then all you would have to do is add cool things to it to make it uniquely your own. Or not add anything, because, really, it looks pretty awesome on it's own!
So I did that. I made some mug rugs. These are approximately 5" squares you use for coasters. The leaves and pollen are stitched to the wool by my embroidery machine. Then I added the different types and weights of thread by hand.
I didn't use any stitches while experimenting with this that were particularly difficult. Most of this is stab stitches, running stitches, colonial knots and fly stitches. It's the different threads and colors and weights that make them fun.
See where I stitched the wool to the background by machine? This is just a bean stitch, and because it repeats the stitch 3 times it anchors really well. I think I am going to make the stitches a little longer to see if it makes them look more like hand work.
After I get the embroidery page on the website up and running I will be offering this as a free download for a limited time. You can try it out and see what you think. The design is small enough it should work on even the entry level machines.
CHECK FUTURE BLOGS. I WILL BE STARTING A NEW, FREE BLOCK OF THE MONTH IN JANUARY. Information will be revealed in a future post. Let your friends know it is coming!