Hoop Savvy has launched on Craftsy!

Well today is the day – class has launched and I’ve already been answering questions!  You guys are FAST 🙂  For those of you that are interested in taking the class and want to save $20, be sure to use my special sale link.

Hoop Savvy special pricing

Thanks for all the warm wishes and support!


Hoop Savvy Sneak Peek #4 – twas the day before class launch…

I believe that software goes hand in hand with machine embroidery.  Even if I don’t want to change the design at all, I personally need to be able to print actual size templates so that I can mark my fabric and hoop accurately; this is best done in software.  The worst feeling is spending 40 minutes stitching a design on a shirt only to try it on and realize you have a lovely embellished armpit (or worse!)  Using a printed template removes any guesswork as to where the design is going to end up when it is stitched.

So yes, in Hoop Savvy, we will work a bit in software to show you how to do some fun “hoop related stuff” such as watching the design stitch out on screen to help you plan the stitching at the machine.  And what about creating and visualizing repeating border designs without having to print out multiple copies on paper – wouldn’t it be great to preview the border in software when you digitize it?
Of course, we will also talk about creating layouts for multi-position hoops with alignment lines, and how to add a basting box to help with professional stitched results when floating.  Oh yes, we will talk about floating in case you were wondering what that was all about!  And if you have misplaced or never got the plastic grid that came with your hoop – I’ll show you how to create a new one using software so that you can mark your fabrics for accurate placement!
Here come the butterflies again….

Stay tuned – I will have links with 50% off pricing to share with you as soon as the class launches!  I know you like a sale as much as I do 😀

Hoop Savvy Sneak peek #3 – and then there were butterflies….

Remember my comment on “having butterflies” when we announced my second Craftsy class? The pink butterfly on the ball cap is one of the included designs for this class and used in a few of the class examples, so I was trying to be cute and hint at the same time 🙂  So here is sneak peek #3 showing one of the included designs and yes you will see how to stitch it on a hat!
Hoop Savvy Sneak peek #3
This class is going to cover all sorts of hooping techniques from everyday flat fabric hooping to creating a flat stable embroider-able surface on something like a hat that is curved and not quite “hoop-able”.  I can’t give it all away just yet – but class launch is in a few days…eek!  Talk about butterflies!

Hoop Savvy – sneak peek #2

We’re not dreaming, this is sneak peek #2 – learn tips and tricks when using various types of multi-position hoops such as this Pfaff Dream hoop, the three position “clunk hoops”, and more!  And YES, you can use these included designs to make your own all over embellished fabric, borders and more!

Hoop Savvy on Craftsy.com

Bigger hoops let you embroider larger designs which will take longer to stitch. So if you’re like me, you want to start out knowing as much as possible BEFORE you start the project so that you can watch and be prepared for any “bumps in the road”.  I will share with you my experiences so that you can be successful in stitching projects using multi position hoops.

Stay tuned – sneak peek #3 is up next!

And the winner of my 2nd Craftsy class is…..

Congratulations to Ashley for winning the free class giveaway for my second Craftsy class which will be available in a few weeks!  I have sent you an email – so be sure to check your spam and junkmail folders in case my message was misdirected 😦  Yes, it sometimes happens!

Between comments here on the blog post, email messages sent to me and other social media posts, there were buckets of guesses as to what you would like for me to teach!  To the comedians in the audience – no one wants to see what my “royal icing cookies” look like, I’m more of a drop cookie artist 😀

Hoop Savvy titleCard

Here is the official title and yes this class is all about the machine embroidery hoop!  From my first Craftsy class, you know that I have no fear for taking the fabric out of the hoop.  So this class takes one step back and lets us explore one of the key components to machine embroidery and how to become skilled and savvy when using the Hoop!

Check back soon – sneak peek #2 is right around the corner!

A giveaway for my second Craftsy Class!

I’ve got butterflies again!  In less than a month, my second class on Craftsy comes out and I think we should celebrate with some sneak peeks and a giveaway!
Any guesses as to what the class is about?

Register to win before my class is available!

Register to win before my class is available!

Visit this link to register for the giveaway!  Details to follow!!

What to do when the bobbin thread is showing on top of the hoop

So you’re stitching along and your embroidery is looking great in the hoop.  All of a sudden you notice that the bobbin thread is starting to show up on top of the hoop!  Don’t be touching the top tension knob!  90% of the time, the problem of bobbin thread on top of the hoop is caused by a problem under the hoop in the bobbin area.

photo 1-1Here are the first things I run through to troubleshoot the problem:

1. Did you just change the bobbin?  If so maybe you didn’t thread it through correctly OR maybe you put the bobbin in backwards.  Take the bobbin out, make sure you are putting it in following the diagram and make sure that you are threading the bobbin through the path with a little bit of “secure tension” on the thread – kind of like if you were flossing teeth.  Not tight and rough to cause bleeding gums! But you want to “thread with purpose” so that you are sure that the bobbin thread is going into the tension disks securely.

2. Take out the bobbin and the shuttle (the case the bobbin drops into shown to the left).  Use a soft brush and clean in the machine, under and around where the case was seated.  Your machine manual will have great diagrams on how to take out the bobbin, shuttle and most I’ve seen have pictures showing where to clean or where to pay attention to where the fuzz collects!  NOTE: I do not use q-tips to clean this area.  I use a small nylon brush or a mini sheepskin duster (looks like a pencil or chopstick with a sheepskin fur ball glued to the end).  Qtips tend to shed and can snag on sharp edges adding fibers to what you are trying to remove.

3. Next, you need to clean out the tension disks of the bobbin case using a fine pin or business card.  Here is a PDF file that you can download showing you a close up of what I’m talking about:

PDF on Bobbin Case Cleaning

A bright light and a fine pin or business card are the best tools for the job.  The fuzz that you will find may not be seen unless you shine the bright light in there and you see reflections or shadows.

I clean out my bobbin area every time I change bobbins ESPECIALLY if I am stitching with tearaway stabilizer or on fabric that sheds like Minkee or burlap or glitter vinyl appliques!  Felt is another fabric that will fill your bobbin case with schmutz – not the technical term but dust and fuzz do not really describe what you will find in the bobbin area. And yes, I said tearaway stabilizer will create more schmutz in the bobbin case than other types of stabilizer – its the nature of the product.  It tears away so the needle can shred it and down the hole in the throat plate go all the particles.  And yes, some brands will create more or less particles than others.

In other words – for consistently successful embroidery, there are a couple of things you need to work out between you and your machine.  Sounds like I’m giving relationship advice – how many of you are nodding and thinking this doesn’t sound far fetched?  So here’s how to keep the honeymoon going (or getting it started!)  First, you  need to determine what “fiber ingredients” work best for you with the types of designs and projects you are stitching.  What stabilizer, hooping technique, needle, thread in top and bobbin, topping, fabric stitching on, etc – all these make up the ingredients to the embroidery project at hand. How do you figure all this out?  Pay attention to what your machine is doing.  Listen to your machine as it stitches. Look at the stitching results on top of the hoop and underneath.  If you make ONE adjustment, note it and see what changed – on top and on the backside of the hoop.

Part of the “paying attention to see what works” is also to note what is going on in the bobbin case.  If you just finished appliqueing a bunch of burlap garden flags with glitter vinyl floated on a very papery tear away stabilizer – take a few moments to take out your bobbin and bobbin case.  Notice anything different that when you were stitching cotton totes with simple monograms? Make a note.  I bet you see schmutz.

I am definitely NOT saying that the only time you get schmutz in the bobbin case is when you stitch non-cotton fabrics!  Holy smokes! The only time your bobbin case will remain pristine clean is if you don’t use your sewing/embroidery machine!  It can’t be avoided, but if you want to continue successful embroidery, taking the time to make a few adjustments before the next project can save lots of headaches dealing with a problem.  Clean the case.  Change the needle.  Inspect the thread cutter area under the throat plate.  Just do a quick 1-2-3 check of everything and a quick clean and you’ll be more likely to continue successful embroidery.

Until next time – wishing you zero thread nests!