Sewing and crafting classes online

Have you heard about Craftsy? If not, be sure to read on. If you have, I hope you’ve had a chance to take one of their wonderful, reasonably priced courses, especially since once you buy a course, you can watch the videos as many times as you want over any time frame. Learn in the comfort of your own home at your own speed. Not only that, but they have free classes you can download to try before you buy.  They also have apps for your tablets and handheld devices so you can learn anywhere.

My favorite way to watch video courses is to watch them all the way through first, then go to my sewing machine and try things out, referencing the video along the way. You may have a different style, which is why these courses are so wonderful; they fit everyone’s learning style in some fashion.

The downside to independent learning, of course, is the lack of social interaction, either with your fellow classmates or with a teacher from whom you would like feedback on that seam you just sewed. Craftsy and YouTube and other sites like this will never completely replace the classes offered by qualified teachers at your local dealerships and sewing machine shops, but they sure expand the range of who can learn and when, making them a fabulous resource!

Go ahead, jump in! The water’s fine! Sewing, cake decorating, knitting, and on and on and on…

Here is what Craftsy has to say about itself:

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Why should I take a class online?
Online education isn’t just for schools and universities anymore. Craftsy courses provide you the convenience of a world-class instructor in your home, whenever you want to learn. Online education, no matter what subject, is a great alternative to in-person classes for a number of reasons.

With many online learning opportunities being on-demand, you are able to learn at your own pace, anytime. Online learning is a fantastic alternative to in-store craft classes for people with busy schedules or who have difficulty leaving the house. It also allows you to watch a troubling section over-and-over again, so you can see exactly how a technique is carried out, or refer back to your class for relevant concepts before beginning any new projects.

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Embroidering lettering to add later

My daughter is a member of a sorority in college. When the girls sponsor a little sister, they make all kinds of stuff for their “little” with the sorority letters on the stuff. In anticipation of my daughter’s “little,” I made her some letters she could add to t-shirts, towels, blankets, and other things later when she was at school. I used large applique letters. Although this can be done with fill-stitch embroidered letters, with a couple of changes to the procedure, applique is much easier.

Set up your embroidery machine with two layers of stabilizer. I used a polymesh cutaway for this, and I will explain why in a later post. There are advantages and disadvantages to using each of the different types for this kind of application.

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I stitched out the first color, the placement line, directly on the stabilizer, then covered the stitches with my chosen piece of cotton fabric. I chose a cotton quilting fabric because I wanted a fabric that would take the heat of an iron later on when I wanted to fuse it down.

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On some applique designs, there is a tack down stitch as the next color stop, but if your letter does not have this, simply go back to the first color and stitch it again. Then I took the hoop off the machine, BUT LEFT THE FABRIC IN THE HOOP, and trimmed the fabric from around the edge outside of the stitches. Each digitized design has a different tolerance for how closely you need to or can trim the fabric, but usually you want to be pretty close, to within 1/8 inch.

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I replaced the hoop back on the machine and stitched out the rest of the design. I again took the hoop off the machine when the stitches were finished, and placed the still-hooped fabric on a glass cutting board. This step is why I chose polymesh stabilizer. I used a heat cutting tool, similar to a stencil cutting tool, to quickly and easily cut around the edge of my letter.

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My final step was to iron fusible web onto the back of the letter. I placed the letter wrong-side up on top of a teflon ironing sheet. If you do not already have one of these, you can also find them as “applique ironing sheets” or something like that in the quilting section of your sewing store. I placed some fusible web, fusible side down, over the letter and fused it down with my iron, following the directions for the fusible web. The extra fusible fused to my teflon sheet instead of my ironing board. I then trimmed the paper from the fusible web close to my letter and it was ready to go. My daughter was able to peel off the paper and fuse the letter to whatever surface she wished when she returned to school. The fusible that was on my teflon sheet just rubbed off with a little finger rubbing.

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All quick and easy. A great way to use up small pieces of fabric to embroider appliques to send to family. Have a nephew who wants an applique on the front pocket of his bib overalls? Send his mom one of these fusible appliques to iron on instead of sending the overalls back and forth through the mail. Your son wants to put his girl friend’s name on something? Embroider the name on a patch shape of fabric, put fusible on the back and send it to him. College dorms will often have irons, even if they don’t have sewing machines. And if the girl friend changes – well, we can make more appliques. It’s better than a tatoo!

Hope Sew HopeYoder.com: FREE Christmas Embroidery Design

I love Hope Yoder’s work, so I wanted to let you all know about her newest free embroidery design for Christmas.  I thought it would be lovely on just about any hostess gift, as well as your own linens for Christmas, and the sentiment is quite clever.  If you have never visited Hope’s site before, I hope you enjoy looking around.

The link below will take you to Hope’s blog, and from there you can go to her site.  The design is on the page of free downloads at HopeYoder.com.

Hope Sew HopeYoder.com: FREE Christmas Embroidery Design.

Photo credits:  HopeYoder.com

Embroidery Professor | Helping machine embroidery enthusiasts get the most from their hobby.

Embroidery Professor | Helping machine embroidery enthusiasts get the most from their hobby..

I just found this wonderful blog written by one of my favorite embroidery people, Chris Murphy.  Chris is the developer of one of my most favorite-est lettering programs, Monogram Wizard Plus.  Although MW+, as it is affectionately called, does have some limitations with what you can do with the letters, what it CAN do it does splendidly.  One of the downsides, in my estimation, is that you have to use the CD as the security key.  That is inconvenient at best.  One of my favorite features is that I can make letters just about any size and they will come out beautiful.  I have created very large and very small lettering, and it was all super.

The company that sells MW+ is Needleheads, and I have never experienced better customer service than theirs.  Any problem is not too small or too stupid for them to help you with.  They are gracious, patient, and knowledgeable.  I cannot say enough good things about my experiences with their customer service.

Although MW+ comes with lots of great alphabets, the Needleheads website has even more downloadable fonts for the program, at reasonable prices no less.  Get on their mailing list for their periodic sales.

So, be sure to check out Chris’ blog and Monogram Wizard Plus software.  Both will enhance your embroidery experience.

When the Kindle update for my pattern will be available

I have learned so much from this publication experience.

My Kindle update is uploaded and available for purchase.  Anyone purchasing the book from today forward will receive the updated version with the proper formatting.  For those of you who purchased already, the update will not be available for you to download for the next 2 weeks.  So, I will notify you again then when it’s available.

Phew!  But learning something new is so much fun, once you get past the challenges involved, isn’t is?

Kindle update complete and uploaded

Thank you to everyone who has bought my serger cover pattern.  I have figured out how to get the pictures included, and corrected most of the formatting problems with the original upload.  I have asked Amazon to send out an e-mail to everyone who purchased the book, when the update is ready.  By Monday evening or Tuesday, you should be able to download a much nicer version; more readable and with pictures and diagrams.

I hope you like the pattern;  there is so much to learn in it.  Please tell your friends about it!

I would also love to hear from you if you are interested in having more patterns written in Kindle format.  I would love to create more of them if there’s interest.

Have a wonderful day!

Serger cover pattern for Kindle

I finally got to see the Kindle version of my serger cover pattern.  The formatting did not come out correctly at all.  I will be reformatting it and uploading a corrected version as soon as I can, so if you buy the book, don’t worry.  I’ll be fixing it.

 

Thank you for your patience.

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