Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 23 – December 20, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 23 – December 20, 2014

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:



Wow!  I haven't posted anything in awhile.  We've just been so busy.  We've made a lot of beautiful thing and monograms, oh the monograms.  I think I'll just post pictures today.  Well, I can't just post pictures, either.  Every picture has a story that apparently I must explain.










The above pictures are items in our Etsy Store that are on sale.  Oh yes, there is a sale in our Etsy Store of items that I've seen around the studio way too long and I'm tired of looking at them.  Whatever I don't sell from the sales items are going to be gifts for my girlfriends next year.  I think we have something like 78 items remaining.  Once they are gone, they are gone, because they will then be gifts.


I love this little beach Santa.  There is a set of beach Santas but I'm pretty partial to this on and again this year put him on a tea towel and he's for sale in, where else, our Etsy Store.  Of course, the Christmas items will come out of the store once Christmas is over.


These lace handkerchiefs have been our best seller this year, by far.  People have purchased other handkerchiefs but these have out sold everything in the store.  They really are pretty and I thought they deserved a picture in the blog.


The baby bibs are new items this year.  I think in past years I may have listed one or two of the rectangular bibs but this year we increased our baby bibs with several new styles, as well as baby tee shirts.


This scarf is not only beautiful but soft as a cloud.  I may have written about these scarves earlier, so forgive me if I am repeating myself.  The scarves are listed as poly chiffon.  They feel just like chiffon and did I mention how soft they are.  I was so pleased to find that I can hoop them and monogram they.  So, they are in our Etsy store now, too.  In fact, I need to change that listing a little because now we have these scarves in ivory, gold, peach, and I think white.  I'll have to double check the white.



A young lady asked me to monogram these leg warmers.  I wonder where she found them.  They are so pretty.  Well, I was looking through all of my fonts and found this really nice monogram font.  She liked them and I liked them.  As much as I do not like to use washaway topping, I did use it on these monograms.


If you  have been watching this blog, and of course you have, you will know how tickled I get about people purchasing our "You have a booger" handkerchiefs.  This year I stopped listing these handkerchiefs.  I figured that their day was done and I should move onto nicer items.  Oh but NO.  A lady convo'ed me on Etsy with the above picture and asked if I would make one for her husband for Christmas on white fabric with green thread.


This is the handkerchief that I made for her and she loves it.  Perhaps I should include this listing one more time.





My daughter-in-law never ceases to amaze me.  This year she graduated with her bachelor's degree in nursing and is now a RN with a bachelor's degree.  What else should I have given her for Christmas but a white nursing jacket and a set of scrubs in her favorite color, purple.  And her name embroidered on the items.



All of my grandchildren get money for Christmas but my 2 year old great granddaughter is too young to care about money.  We did get her a cute educational toy but, hey, she's my great granddaughter and needs embroidery.  I had these tiny little totes that are a perfect size for a 2 year old.  I think the monogram is cute and she is like a big girl and has her own purse.  What I don't understand is why I have such a hard time photographing purple?  It either turns out blue or in this case, every photograph is a different shade of purple.




Here is another example of the problem photographing the color purple.  But didn't this market basket turn out nice?  I used gold poly thread but outlined the name in gold metallic thread.  It turned out beautiful and the customer is very pleased.



Same customer wanted this apron.  I used the same gold poly thread on the lettering and the center of the crown.  The bottom of the crown and the dots, etc., at the top are in gold metallic.  It is also  outlined in gold metallic.  Sure turned out pretty.








I saw this on the internet and thought it would make a great embroidery design.  I wanted to list it in our Etsy Store on something and decided to put it on a white tee shirt.  Yes, it is listed in our Etsy Store.  Photography just isn't my best suit.  I put the completed tee shirt on my hoop-it-all and those holes and buttons and labels and thingamajigs all showed through the white tee.  I ended up folding the tee shirt and taking the pictures that way.  Then I gave the tee shirt to George as an early Christmas present.  Such a good wife. LOL.



A young gentleman brought over a Thermos lunch bag and wanted me to embroider his sister's initials on the straps for Christmas.  My instructions were a script monogram with pink thread and very girly font.  So, I did exactly as instructed.  Today he came by and said he cannot read the letters and wants me to embroider printed letters on the other side of the straps.  I'll do as the customer wants.



A young fellow in an Air Force uniform brought over a lovely robe he bought for his wife for Christmas.  He wants her monogram in white.  It turned out so nice.



Just browsing through many monograms, lettering, and fonts that I have on my computer, I saw that I actually put this font together for a sampler but never stitched it out.  The reason, I'm sure, is because the whole thing is about 150,000 stitches.  Nevertheless, I did this today.  The letters are 2" tall and I'm completely blown away by the beautiful detail in these letters.

Have a very Merry Christmas :)

Cajun Stitchery
(850) 261-2462

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Young People of Today

To say I am addicted to Pinterest would be an understatement.  Sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time scrolling from one picture to the next is my usual activity in the evenings.  Of course, my favorite is looking at embroidery and sewing.  Frequently, I will "visit" the various web sites.  It just amazes me the amount of information available.  And I'm not talking about junk.  There is some really good information.

I learned to sew by watching my mother.  Most of my childhood she would make my clothes.  When I began high school she would ask my sister and me if we wanted her to make our new school clothes or go shopping.  My sister always went shopping for her clothes.  I always asked Mama to make my clothes.  We would go to the various sewing and fabric stores and sit for hours going through pattern books.  Once we found the patterns we wanted, we would shop for the fabric.  At home Mama would start cutting out the pattern pieces and we would pin and cut the fabric.  Then away she went stitching everything together.  Nothing looked home made.

Eventually, I left home and got married and began my own life in another state.  One Christmas my husband bought me a new sewing machine.  That was in 1975 and I am still using that sewing machine today.  However, I stopped sewing for many years because I couldn't figure out how to get the tension right.  Once the internet became available, one of the first things I looked up was how to set the tension on a sewing machine.  A website popped up and voila, the article answered my question.  Wow!

Now there are people who never knew a time without the internet.  That is so amazing to me.  They have had answers to all of their questions for their entire life.

It is refreshing to see on Pinterest so many young people interested in self-sufficiency.  Reminds me of the 1960's and 1970's.  Young people interested in sewing, whether it is on a machine, by hand, crocheting, knitting, embroidery or tatting is just wonderful.  So many people today don't know even how to hem their pants.  It fills my heart to see so many young people today using their creativity to make things they need.  They are using their inquisitiveness (not sure that's a word) to find out how things were done in days gone by and using that knowledge to apply the practices to today.  I love all of the items they can make out of pallets and even empty toilet paper cardboard.  I applaud each and every one of those young people.

Let me make a little contribution here, for whatever it is worth.  One of the first things my mother taught me to make on a sewing machine was pot holders.  Pot holders are a great first project.

1.  Take 2 pieces of cloth.  Cut them together (one on top of the other) in the shape you want your pot holder.  Square is the best choice.  Trust me on this.

2.  Find some scrap material and place the scrap fabric, flat and smooth, between the 2 pieces of cut fabric, as though you are making a sandwich.  However thick you want your pot holder is the deciding factor in how much scrap material to place between your fabric.

3.  With your fabric sandwich together, pin the entire thing together using straight pins.

4.  Cut off any of the scrap fabric sticking outside the top and bottom square (or whatever the shape is) so everything has a nice edge.

5.  Now you are going to sew on the machine.  Choose your thread and fill your bobbin.  Sew diagonal lines evenly spaced across the fabric sandwich.  If you have too much fabric filling, you may have a tough time sewing through all of the layers.

6.  Turn the pot holder-to-be to the opposite angle and sew diagonal lines evenly spaced throughout the fabric sandwich.  This should create a cross hatched look.

7.  Now sew around the edges, not too close to the edge, probably 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch.  Just a straight line around the edge.

8.  If there is fabric sticking out, trim it off.  If your pot holder got a bit out of shape, square it up, again.

9.  At this point you need to finish the edges of the pot holder.  You can hem around but that might get too thick.  Ideally, you should apply bias tape which you can get anyplace that sells sewing notions.  Open the bias tape, which is folded over 4 times.  Match the edge of the bias tape to the edge of the pot holder with the folded portion toward the inside of the fabric.  Pin in place all the way around leaving extra at the beginning and end.  Fold a length, any length, of the bias tape onto itself so the end edge has a hemmed look, then sew all the way around on the first crease of the bias tape.  You will sew through the bias tape and through the edge of the pot holder.  At the end, leave a length, long enough for a loop.  Just let the end hang out there for now.

10.  Fold the bias tape over onto the back of the pot holder.  The middle crease on the bias tape will be your pot holder edge.  If the middle crease isn't reaching the edge, then trim the pot hold closer to the seam until the middle crease of the bias tape can fold and create the edge.  Turn the bias tape onto the back of the pot holder.  Leave the last section of the folded bias tape folded to give a pretty hem like edge to the bias tape.  Pin around the pot holder.  Sew the bias tape just on the inside of the last edge of the bias tape.  As you finish sewing the bias tape around the pot holder, continue onto the last length of tape that is hanging out there, sewing it closed.  Leave enough to turn the end onto itself for a hem look and tack the end onto the pot holder.

Clear as mud, right?  Okay, not the best tutorial in the world but it is what I can do.  Maybe someday I'll add photographs.  The whole point is this is a first sewing lesson kind of thing.  Don't even expect to get it right the first time.  As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.  Keep doing it over and over until you get something you would call a pot holder.

Until next time,
Peggy


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 22 – October 7, 2014



Cajun Corner – Vol. 6, No. 22 – October 7, 2014

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.
 
ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.com, www.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 
Visit our on-line catalogs at:

Did you miss me?  Hopefully the computer issues are now totally resolved.
It has been an entire month since the last Cajun Corner went out.  A lot of stuff has happened.  We’ve lost a few friends.  We’ve gained a few friends.  Summer has turned into Fall.  This weekend the time changes and we fall back an hour.  Don’t forget to set your clocks; although, with all of the technology, the clocks pretty much change themselves.
It is time to look forward and imagine some fabulous embroidery.

Chenille is the topic today.  Do you remember times gone by when you would drive down the road to see chenille bedspreads hanging on the side of the road for sale in little mom and pop roadside stands?  Chenille has a pretty interesting history. 
There is some controversy about the beginnings of chenille.  Some believe it began hundreds of years ago with the French knot technique of embroidery.  Chenille is French for caterpillar.  Move forward to the 1700’s.  Alexander Buchanan is credited with introducing chenille to Scotland by weaving a leno fabric (a strong, sheer, weaved fabric) and cutting that fabric into strips to create chenille yarn.  This chenille yarn was then made into soft, fuzzy shawls.
This technique was refined over the years.  In the 1890’s Catherine Evans of Dalton, Georgia revived the chenille and candlewicking embroidery technique into hand tufted bedspreads which she sold locally.  She used strips of cotton sheeting to make her tufted bedspreads.  Her little cottage industry took off.  In order to fill her orders, she hired women in her community and taught them to make the chenille bedspreads.  They would stamp designs onto the sheeting and fill with the chenille tufting.  By 1918 her business grew to such an extent that she took on a partner and sold chenille items to retail stores up and down the east coast.  Many families in this area survived the Great Depression by making and selling chenille bedspreads by setting up roadside stands and offering their bedspreads for sale.
The popularity of chenille has been revived several times since the days of Catherine Evans.  Eventually, the chenille process in Dalton, GA became carpeting.  In fact, 90 percent of worldwide wall-to-wall carpeting production is done within a 30-mile radius of Dalton.
You may be asking what this has to do with Cajun Stitchery and custom embroidery.  The answer is that Clothilde has learned how to make chenille.  The “micro” chenille created on the embroidery machine is the chenille found in varsity letters.  In fact, Clothilde can make varsity letters.  Let’s not limit Clothilde to just varsity letters, though.  Many monograms and letter styles, as well as other designs, can be digitized into chenille stitches.  The beauty is that chenille provides a texture to the monogram or design and the little yarn tufts do not pull out like they used to do on the bedspreads.
Cajun Stitchery’s Etsy store is having a big sale.  These items have been slashed up to 50% off.  Once they are gone, they are not coming back.
There are also some adorable new baby bib designs available in our Etsy store. 
HAVE A GREAT WEEK

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Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S.  You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.