5 Quick Tips for Using Cotton Thread!

Happy Friday Embroidery Enthusiasts!

shutterstock 86501308 300x200 5 Quick Tips for Using Cotton Thread!The weekend is just hours away, are you gearing up for a few days of sewing and embroidery? Consider using cotton thread to finish a project this weekend and use the following tips for stitching success!

Make it Matte-r! Cotton thread will create a matte finish, bear this in mind when selecting an embroidery design and fabric.

Buy it Right! Purchase long staple thread as it is stronger and of higher quality than other types. Also check the spool label for the term mercerized, which means that the thread has been treated with chemicals and heat to create a smoother finish.

Lint Patrol! Cotton thread will create more lint than other types of thread. Always clean out the bobbin case after using cotton thread and every time you have to change the bobbin.

Watch Your Speed! As cotton thread doesn’t provide stretch, it is liable to break more often. To avoid unnecessary breaks, use a fresh needle (and check the needle often to see if it has dulled) and set the machine to the slowest possible stitching speed.

Upkeep! Cotton thread will fade easily in the sun and bleach will remove the dye. Care for cotton thread as you would any fine cotton fabric.

Now go forth and stitch something delightful using cotton thread!

CMEFORESTFRIENDS 5 Quick Tips for Using Cotton Thread!The forest friends collection available at shopsewitall.com is 20% off this month (just enter the code EMBR20 during checkout before Feb. 28th). Consider stitching these folk-art inspired animals on a set of linen napkins using cotton thread for a fun project this weekend.

nature tote 200 5 Quick Tips for Using Cotton Thread!



Use the free template to make the “Ode to Spring” tote from the Mar/April ’14 issue of CME. Then grab some cotton thread and embroider a delightful design for a subtle look.




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Wednesday Giveaway: Win an Embroidery Thread Pack

Welcome to another Wednesday Giveaway! To help you get through the week, today we’re giving away a Madeira Potpourri embroidery thread pack.

ptpk10 w315 300x300 Wednesday Giveaway: Win an Embroidery Thread Pack


Get twenty 220 yard Polyneon spools for FREE! That’s 40,000 stitches per spool of top quality quilting and embroidery thread. The silky finish of this strong, colorfast 100% polyester thread adds brilliance and reduces breakage.

Use this free thread to stitch some free designs! Check out cmemag.com/freebies for a host of great free designs from the current issue, such as the adorable pie, lion and in-the-hoop pocket below! These designs are only free for a limited time, so get them now! Then check out shopsewitall.com for many more exclusive CME collection designs to purchase.bibs 300x200 Wednesday Giveaway: Win an Embroidery Thread Pack

pocketembroidery 272x300 Wednesday Giveaway: Win an Embroidery Thread Pack

Download this free in-the-hoop pocket design!

All you have to do to enter to win this great thread pack is answer the following question in the comments section below: “How much thread do you have in your stash?”

Be honest. Dozens of spools? Hundreds? Lucky ladies! How do you organize it all? Just remember, once a thread spool gets old, it begins to deteriorate and may cause stitchout problems, so toss it out.

One lucky winner will be contacted via email! Good luck!

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FREE Ladybug Embroidery Design

BugFreeDesign 200  FREE Ladybug Embroidery DesignGet a this cute ladybug design for FREE. Use the design on children’s clothes, tote bags, or a fun backpack for the kids. Click HERE to download the design and get started on making your own fun project.

Plus read guest blogger Annie Liebenberg from embroiderydelight.com Diaper Bag Tutorial.  If you have any questions on the the diaper bag tutorial please email Annie at annie@embroiderydelight.com. Be sure to check out her website for fun designs and projects!

Materials Needed

  • 1m x 150cm wide main fabric
  • 70cm x 150cm wide fabric for lining
  • Scraps of coordinating print fabrics for interior pockets
  • 50cm open end zipper
  • Batting or padding
  • 25mm bias binding
  • 2 packages of single fold bias binding
  • Marathon embroidery thread
  • Normal stitch and tear 2layers
  • Schmetz Embroidery Needle 75/11
  • 100% cotton quilting fabric for applique
  • Satin Ribbon 1cm thickness

1.     First do your embroideries on four pieces of fabric for pockets on outside (25cm x 25cm)

2.     Cut  x 2 pattern pieces of front and back from main fabric, and transfer all pattern markings on pattern. Then cut 2 pattern pieces of front and back from lining.

step 11 300x235  FREE Ladybug Embroidery Designstep 2 300x240  FREE Ladybug Embroidery Design

3.     Cut 1 main fabric for the bottom and 1 lining.

step 3 300x119  FREE Ladybug Embroidery Design4.     Cut 4 pieces for sides (2 main and 2 lining) Quilt through same as for front and back with lining.

Untitled 5 390x1024  FREE Ladybug Embroidery Design5.     Cut batting/padding for each pattern piece.

6.     Quilt/stitch each pattern piece through as per picture (1 batting/padding and main fabric)

7.     Finish pockets of embroideries with a lining and binding on top of pocket.

8.     Cut 2 pieces of fabric 10cm each for handle.  You can add batting for stabilising your handle, join together to form a 3m strip. Fold and stitch

9.     Sew together back and front to bottom remembering to place embroidered pockets on front and back attach handle/belting over pockets

10.  Attach embroidered pockets to the sides pieces of the bag, trim to the shape of side.

11.  Cut a piece of fabric from contrasting for the pockets inside bag (75cm x 40cm) fold in half. Mark 2cm from folded edge to attach elastic. (see fig ?) Attach to one side of lining.

12.  Attach lining to inner part of bag on top with zigzag stitch. Finish top of bag with bias binding.

13.  Stitch zip in on top of bag.

14.  Make two epaulettes and place on the front and end of zipper.

step 4  FREE Ladybug Embroidery Design15.  Close zipper and set in the sides of the bag,  remember  to snip in the rounded corners for easy attachment of sides.  Stitch, trim seams.

16.  Finish edges with a bias binding.

diaper bag 125  FREE Ladybug Embroidery Design




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Wednesday Giveaway – Enter to Win A Free Prize

bead book 500w Wednesday Giveaway    Enter to Win A Free PrizeMiddle of the week means it’s Wednesday Giveaway!

If you would like to give your embroidery projects a splash of color and shine the book Bead Embroidery will be a perfect addition in your library. Written by Yasuko Endo and the CRK Design company the book offers beautiful ways in which you can embellish your  embroidery projects with bead embroidery. With just simple beads and thread  you can set your embroidery projects apart with fine details and stunning beauty.

This book has over 100 different designs that will give the beginner easy challenges as well as give the more advanced embroiderist lovely and complex patterns to work on. There are step-by-step instructions that will guide you in your embellishing.

Answer the question in the comments section below to be entered to win today’s FREE prize.

Have you ever done bead embroidery? Do you use bead embroidery in your machine embroidery projects? How do you work with beading and embroidery? Do you use a light with a magnifier on it? What are some tips you would give to someone new to bead embroidery?

And, the winner from our totally silly February 5th Wednesday Giveaway is….Becky T!

She said about veggies and fruit -

I can’t really decide what my favorite fruit/vegetable would be. I love them all!! I guess I do have a least favorite and that is cauliflower. It’s just so plain to me. I have to smother it in ranch and that’s deleting the purpose of healthy. This designs are too cute!

I will be in touch with you shortly Becky!

Thanks everyone!



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Free Embroidered Fabric Card Tutorial

With Valentine’s Day this weekend, you don’t have to scramble for a last-minute gift. Why not make a cute embroidered Valentine’s Day card using fabric scraps and a FREE design?!

First, download these adorable LOVE letters designs from CME. Hurry, because they’re only free until the 15th!

Next, grab some cute Valentine’s fabric from your stash. Cut one rectangle large enough to be hooped and at least 8″x13″, keeping print direction in mind for a 6″x7″ vertical card.

Cut a rectangle of stabilizer to the same size. Hoop the fabric and stabilizer, centering the right half of the fabric in the hoop.

photo 11 225x300 Free Embroidered Fabric Card Tutorial

Open the LOVE letters onto the machine screen and arrange as desired. Embroider.

photo 21 225x300 Free Embroidered Fabric Card Tutorial

photo 31 225x300 Free Embroidered Fabric Card Tutorial

Remove the fabric from the hoop. Leave the entire stabilizer rectangle intact. Trim the rectangle to 8″x13″, if needed, centering the design on the right half of the fabric.

From the same or coordinating fabric and stabilizer, cut an 8″x13″ rectangle each. Or use lightweight fusible interfacing and fuse it to the rectangle wrong side.

With right sides together, align the fabric rectangles. Place the remaining stabilizer rectangle over the fabric sandwich. Stitch the rectangle perimeter using a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a centered 4″ to 5″ opening along the lower edge for turning.

photo 41 300x252 Free Embroidered Fabric Card Tutorial

Clip the corners, and then turn the rectangle right side out. Poke out the corners using a point turner; press.

Edgestitch the card perimeter, closing the opening with the stitches. Stitch along the widthwise centerline; press.

Write a personalized message on the card inside. Or, machine or hand embroider a message before attaching the rectangles together.

photo 12 300x183 Free Embroidered Fabric Card Tutorial

photo 22 260x300 Free Embroidered Fabric Card TutorialEveryone loves a handmade card. Make it extra special by using cute fabric and embroidery designs! Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!


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9 Valentine’s Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air! Luckily there’s still lots of time to stitch up a gift for someone special or a make cute decoration to brighten up your surroundings. Here’s a round-up of irresistible Valentine’s Day embroidery designs, six of which are free right this very minute!

1. CME Buds & Blossoms Alphabet: FREE LOVE letters until Feb. 15 

Spell out a special message with this adorable alphabet adorned with flowers. Get the letters L, O, V and E here for free just in time to stitch a love note!

LOVE Embroideryx 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!


2. Urban Threads Stuffed Conversation Heart Design

Make this sweet in-the-hoop stuffed heart for all your favorite people!

Urban threads 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!


3. Sealed With a Stitch FREE Enchanted Love Chocolate Box Design

Download this pretty design from our friends at Sealed with a Stitch, don’t miss the entire beautiful Enchanted Love Set of 13 designs!

Enchanted LOVE SWAS 600 300x266 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!

4. Designs by Juju FREE Sew Beary Sweet Design 

This free little teddy bear design is just too cute, perfect for a tea towel or kids T-shirt. Check out the entire Sew Beary Sweet Collection here, on sale until Feb. 28th.

beary 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!


5. Sew Timeless From the Heart Design, FREE until Feb. 28

Kandi Christian of Sew Timeless designed a beautiful heart-adorned table runner featured in the Jan/Feb issue of CME, and you can download this lovely FREE design to make it!

heart detail 200 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!


6. Embroidery Library Butterfly and Roses Design, FREE until Feb. 28th!

Download this beautiful free butterfly embellished with romantic roses.

butterfly 300x228 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!


7. OESD Cupid with Bow Design 

What’s a more classic Valentine’s Day motif than Cupid and his famous arrows? Find the entire Cupid and Hearts Floral Collection of 23 designs here.

cupid 300x300 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!

8. 2 FREE Designs from Bernina Design Studio Collection: Antique Roses and Rose Bouquet Designs  

Kay Hickman wrote a fantastic article in the Jan/Feb issue of CME about embroidering on paper, and what better time to try it out than with a Valentine’s Day card for your sweetie? Download the 2 FREE Design options here!

paper 200 9 Valentines Day Embroidery Designs, 6 Freebies!


So many beautiful designs to choose from! Which one is your favorite and what will you be stitching up this Valentine’s Day?


Posted in Free Designs | 5 Comments

Tips for using heavyweight thread in embroidery projects

 Tips for using heavyweight thread in embroidery projects

Image from www.myembroiderythreads.com

Machine embroidery thread comes in a variety of colors, weights and fiber content. The three most common machine embroidery threads used are rayon, polyester, and cotton.  Sometimes wool and silk are used in embroidery projects as are specialty threads.

There are  different types of weights of embroidery thread.  Heavyweight embroidery thread can be used to give added dimension and other effects to projects.

Light and airy threads are often used for heirloom sewing and embroidery projects. Using heavyweight thread can easily change your design with little hassle.  Here are a few points to consider when using heavyweight thread in your machine embroidery projects.

  • Thread weights are numbered  12 – 80 with the lower number being the thicker thread.  A 12 weight almost is like yarn it’s so thick. Whereas a higher number like 80 would be the finest thread often used in delicate heirloom projects.
  • Some weights are suitable for use in sewing machines and embroidery machines
  • The thicker, heavier embroidery thread will need to pass through the needle freely.
  • Use a large needle when working with heavyweight embroidery thread. A 110/18 is a good size for heavyweight thread.
  • Watch speed settings on your machine.  Start out with a slow speed and keep an eye on the design. Going at a slower speed will prevent broken threads.
  • Use the proper fabric to support a heavier thread.  Don’t use a slinky silk with a heavyweight thread.
  • For a softer, pliable design reduce the density.
  • Use heavyweight thread only in specific areas of the design to bring out texture or for added dimension to an area.

Use heavyweight threads in the bobbin for additional design opportunities.

  • Open work designs for bobbin work do especially well
  • If using a specialty thread like metallic, glow-in-the-dark and similar hand wind it onto the bobbin.

As always whenever starting a project do a test before doing it on the real deal!

What are your favorite tips for working with heavyweight thread?

And, be sure to check out Creative Machine Embroidery’s eBook Library for more great projects, tips and techniques. Check the out HERE!

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Wednesday Giveaway Win An Anita Goodesign Collection

produce party front  Wednesday Giveaway Win An Anita Goodesign CollectionNeed to bring more fruit and vegetable in you diet? No, well how about more fruit and vegetables in your embroidery?

For Wednesday Giveaway up is the Anita Goodesign Mini Collection Produce Party! 12 unique designs that each come in two sizes for 24 designs total. Each collection includes file formats for ART, PES, HUS, XXX, JEF, EXP, DST, VIP, PXF and tutorials and a re-sizing program, plus a catalog and design sheets.

produce party back  Wednesday Giveaway Win An Anita Goodesign CollectionIf you need more carrots, grapes, cheeky cherries or elegant eggplants answer the question in the comments section below and you’ll be entered to win.

One winner will be announced next Wednesday Giveaway!

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable and how do you like it prepared. Or, what is your least favorite veggie or fruit.

And, the winner from last week is Karen P! Yippee! I’ll be sending you an email asking for your lovely address so I can get the book Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine right on out to you.

Thanks so much,


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Beautiful embellishments for embroidery projects

silk ribbon book1 Beautiful embellishments for embroidery projectsI love hand embroidery, especially silk ribbon embroidery and it’s a beautiful way to embellish garments and accessories like tote bags and purses. It’s also lovely on heirloom projects.

Susan Schrempf’s Simple Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Machine is a fantastic book for lovers of hand and machine embroidery. With this book you can create intricate silk ribbon embroidery that looks completely hand done. Silk ribbon embroidery by machine offers all the beauty but at half the time. Schrempf shows you how with easy techniques that will work with any machine, not just embroidery machines.

What types of ways do you like to embellish your projects? Are you a fan of silk ribbon embroidery, have you done it by hand or machine? I would love to hear the details of your experiences with silk ribbon embroidery!

And, for the winner last week of the quilt block a day calendar it is Kathy! I will be contacting you shortly for your mailing address!

Thanks for entering and commenting!

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9 Quick Tips for Sewing Oilcloth

Material World 200x 9 Quick Tips for Sewing OilclothOilcloth is such a fun fabric to use in sewing and embroidery projects. As a waterproof fabric it is quite durable and perfect for outdoor projects. Learn how to successfully sew and embroider oilcloth using the following tips.

Problematic Pins - Avoid pinning oilcloth. Pins will create permanent holes in the oilcloth which cuts down on the water-resistant nature of the fabric. Instead of pins, use transparent tape and pattern weights to keep fabric layers together.

Needle Know-How - When sewing light- to mediumweight oilcloth use a 90/14 sharp needle, upgrade to a 100/16 sharp needle for heavyweight varieties. Always install a new needle before sewing oilcloth and check regularly if the needle has dulled.

Savvy Stitches - Increase the stitch length when sewing oilcloth. This will prevent excess needle penetrations.

Fancy Feet - Use a PTFE (or Teflon coated) presser foot when sewing oilcloth. If you don’t own a PTFE foot cover the underside of a standard presser foot with transparent tape.

Mark It Up - Always mark oilcloth with chalk or an air-soluble fabric marker, other methods may create permanent marks.

Seam Finishes - Oilcloth won’t fray, so seam finishes are not required.

Pressing Matters - Do not iron oilcloth as it will melt. Finger-press seams as needed.

Wipe it Down - Instead of washing oilcloth in a washing machine, wipe oilcloth with a damp cloth to clean. Should a stain be especially persistent, soapy water and a sponge can be used.

Storage Solutions - Roll oilcloth and tie the rolls with a scrap of ribbon. Avoid folding oilcloth as this will create creases. Should the oilcloth become creased lay it out on the floor and allow it to relax for 24 or more hours. If the creases are severe, use a blow dryer on low heat to warm the fabric and hopefully remove the crease. Be careful not to melt the fabric!

Use these tips to create a fun oilcloth project today! Here are a few to get you started:

Material World 200x 9 Quick Tips for Sewing OilclothDownload a free oilcloth tote project featured in the March/April 2012 issue of CME.

Create a friendly wind chime using oilcloth scraBrake For Lunch 200 150x150 9 Quick Tips for Sewing Oilclothps.

Stitch up a fun oilcloth lunch sack from Sew It All vol. 2.

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