Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tea Towels

Hi everyone. I hope that your absence from the blog is because you are swamped with fun projects, not because you aren't enjoying it anymore.

Today I wanted to share with you these tea towels that I made at the last sewing group. These were really easy and I was very excited about how they turned out. I bought a packet of 3 giant tea towels that I cut in half to make them more normal sized. I finished off the unfinished side with coordinating fabric and a fabric loop so that it can hang, fastened with a decorative button.

The blue one with the bird, whale and snail were all done with an iron on applique process. The whale has a bit of hand embroidery. The green one is a cute little pair of hedgehogs that were done with my machine embroidery.
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  1. Lovely.

    Talk to me about this machine embroidery. How on earth did it create those hedgehogs? A program or something?

  2. To do machine embroidery you 1) need to have an embroidery machine (my machine is a sewing/embroidery machine). And 2) need to have embroidery files. You get these files 3 ways: when you buy a machine it typically comes with a few dozen free designs; you can buy machine embroidery files; there are tons of free designs on the internet; and you can make them yourself. That's right, 4 kinds of robot dances.
    You do not need any fancy programs to use your files. However, they do come in handy. For example, say I find the perfect image of a rabbit that I want to put on some napkins I made, but the image is way too big. 7"x7". I need them to be 2"x2" for it to look good on my small napkins. It is also just one color and I want the eyes etc. to show up differently. The only way I can change this is if I have a program.
    There are typically 2 kinds of programs. There is one that costs a few hundred dollars and you have limited creative freedom. The other is closer to $2,000 and creatively the sky is the limit.
    For example, I have the program that is only a few hundred and it came free with my machine. With it, I can take that rabbit image and make it as small or large as I like (with a few limitations). Since the rabbit is only one color, the machine will not stop until the image is complete. To get the machine to stop every time I want it to change colors I can open up the file in the program and assign each body part a different color. Now, when the machine is done embroidering everything that is brown, or the first color, it will pause allowing me to change colors for the eyes, etc.
    With the more expensive program, I don't even need to begin with an embroidery image that I've obtained. I can use any image that I want. For example, I can go outside, take a picture of my pet rabbit, import that into the program, hit digitize and the number of colors (basically how detailed you want it to be) you want and I can embroidery my very own pet bunny on my napkins. Ok? This is when sewing and fabric crafts just got cool. :)
    end of longest comment ever.