Mug Cuddler with Embroidery

A quick gift to make - under 3 hours including the embroidery

A quick gift to make – under 3 hours including the embroidery

No, i have not forgotten my February messenger bag project, I just needed a break and wanted to start and finish something quickly 🙂  I found this adorable coffee mug wrapper project while I was browsing around Facebook the other day with my cup of coffee.

If you check out their project, they use a fun print fabric with a matching covered button.  I decided to embroider my decorative band and use a funky button that I have in my collection.  Oh I know I am not the only out there with a bunch of onsie twosie buttons that you just couldn’t get rid of!

So first I cut all the fabric per the instructions EXCEPT, I made the band 2.5″ wide instead of only 2 and this was based upon my PERSONAL experience.  I know I will use wash away adhesive stabilizer (Floriani Wet & Gone Tacky is what I used today) and just in case I did forget to prewash this fabric or there is extra pull in the lettering — it’s only a 1/2″ and I feel better knowing I have that cushion.

So first I needed to figure out the height for my lettering.  Based upon the original measurements of 2″ wide -fold that in half and subtract the 1/4″ seam allowance and you get 3/4″ tall is how tall that band is going to be.  So you would want your letters to be LESS than 3/4″ tall and however much smaller they are is how much of a border top and bottom you will have.  I wanted my lettering to be pretty big so I first gave up this whole funky math thing and switched to metric.  I gave it a try, but when you start trying to figure out margins in something that is bigger than 1/8″ but less than 1/4″ — oh that is just not my idea of a good time!

So I got out my hand metric ruler and decided to work with the maximum height (edge to edge) of 18mm.  I’d like a 2mm margin top and bottom so that means my letters need to be 14mm tall.  SEE HOW EASY THAT WAS?

Choose Grid settings from the Properties page in Essentials

Choose Grid settings from the Properties page in Essentials

So now we just need to set up the software with this value and we are good to go.  I opened by Embrilliance Essentials and chose the properties page and clicked on Grid Settings.  This is where you can choose the background color that you would like to use as well what grid distance you would like.

So here is a handy trick to remember, and this is from that geometry class we all LOVED in grammar school and asked “when am I ever going to need to know about the X and Y axis in real life?”.  Wonder how many of you just flashed back to chalkboards and math class?  ANYWAY, the X-Y axis crossed at 0,0 or the direct center.  It went positive in one direction and negative in the other along each of the axises.  So guess what?  The grid for your embroidery hoop works the same exact way! The center of your hoop is (0,0) – zero zero. OH NO she’s bringing math into my embroidery!  First it was the metric system and now it’s the X-Y axis…..and if you were sleeping during grammar school math and have no clue what I’m talking about, google “geometry x and y axis” and you can read all about the Cartesian coordinate system and have Sister Theresa flashbacks like me 🙂

So after that “fun trip down memory lane” what does this mean?  It means that you can now plan your embroidery layout!  The 0,0 is the center of your hoop… of the design page…..the line above is 14mm above the center line.  So you can put whatever you want between these two lines – the center horizontal and the one 14mm above it and it will fit in that fabric strip we are going to embroider.  I know, with all this math and preparation I too almost forgot what we were doing this all for!

Type in your text and Set, choose font, change to metric and type in 14.

Type in your text and Set, choose font, change to metric and type in 14.

So here is my workspace set up and I can click on the lettering tool which puts an ABC in the center of my hoop — not gonna stay there for long.

First I change the ABC to Valerie and click on SET.

Next change the font to what you would like – I selected Comedy.

You have a choice now – you can size the selection on screen by dragging the corner handles so that the stitches fit inside the grid lines.  But of course there is another way that some people might find easier.

Now look at the menu bar of information at the top.  Yes, you will want to change from inches to mm.  For the Height value type in 14 (and if you are on a Mac you need to hit ENTER on your keyboard to set it).

Yes, we could have avoided that whole conversation about the Cartesian coordinate system and grammar schools flashbacks by just skipping to this step.  But you know what?  One day you will find that information useful 🙂

So if this is all you wanted to do – boom you are done!  Save the file and stitch!

butterflyBut I wanted to add some little funky flowers and I didn’t want to digitize them myself.  I knew I had seen something similar recently from a friend’s website –  Bonnie has created these cool butterflies that stitch like a dream even with the tight curls in the run stitches.

Once you start customizing designs, you really start looking at them in a whole new way.  When I saw the butterflies I knew they were gorgeous as a whole, but I also saw the swirls and tiny flowers as future components to my projects.  And this is why I support digitizers who create designs that stitch well and sell them.  When I saw this design and stitched it out, the tiny details were exactly what I could use for a simple project like this.

So, I opened this design in Essentials – do NOT close the other one just yet!  We are going to take one of those green flowers, copy it and paste it into the other design.  Its easy, honest!

So we have the butterfly open in Essentials. We just want ONE of the green flower things and we can see that this is the third color in the design, so they stitch last.

color stopSwitch to the Stitch Simulator and move your cursor along the color bar at the top until you get to the last color.  Do you see you are “sewing” out the design on screen as you move that slider?  That’s kind of cool, no?  I just like doing that, its really cool to watch.  If you just single click on the color bar twice you will get right to the start of the third color – that’s another trick that you might not have known!

Use the right and left blue arrows to the left of the color bar to advance the simulator.  You will see the flower show up on the screen.  You will also see the crosshair move – this is the needle.  You want to move it using the arrows until you finish stitching the flower and move one stitch over to the next.  You only want to move off the flower so double check you don’t get one too many stitches.  The software will do what ever you tell it to, so if you say you want one more stitch, that’s what its going to give you.

Once you get to this point, hit the stop sign to insert a stop and choose a new color.

copyWe need to switch out of the stitch simulator (black arrow) and click on the triangle to expand the objects of the butterfly in the object pane.  If you look at the colors there are now 4 and you can see that object number 3 is that one flower.

Click on that object so that it is highlighted and hit the copy button at the top of the screen.

Switch over to the first file you were working on – its the first tab above the butterfly and when you click on it you will see your text.

Hit Paste and poof you now have a little flower in your design.

Now its easy to copy and paste and move it around.  Just make sure that you stay within that 14mm area with all your little flowers.

Valerie doneI would recommend adding a basting stitch from the Utility menu just to make sure that this piece stays attached to the stabilizer during the stitching process.

I hope that you have found this little project educational and entertaining!  Please feel free to comment and share the link for this post with your friends.  I welcome new ideas and love to learn something new each and every day!

Until next time!



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