Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend Quilt Retreat

An Embroidery Retreat was the order of the weekend. Compass Centre in Mt. Calm, Texas was the setting and a wonderful time was had by all. We laughed and laughed and the whir of all the machines was music to our ears. We learned from each other and from doing. I have had my embroidery machine for many years, but have not focused on learning to use it to it's full capasity. I get confused when I think of all the stablizers and thread color choices.
I sat by a lady who had all her embroidery laid out for all to admire. I talked to her about t shirts. She loaned me the stabelizer that she felt was right and helped me hoop my shirt. I chose a Loralie Design (You know, the ladies?)
and got started. This was about 9 Friday night and I did not realize this design would not stitch out until midnight or after. I went to bed at 2 am and it was almost finished, but the thread kept breaking. I HAD to go to bed. The next morning Annale told me to loosen the tension a little and put in a new needle. I got it finished, but barely.
I tried another on a tea towel. It worked better. My most successful design of the time was a baby bib. I hooped a piece of sticky stablizer, scored the inside of the hoop and removed the paper to reveal the sticky paper underneath. The area where the design would actually stitch was cut away and covered with a medium tear away. I sprayed the bib with 505 spray and stick it in place. I then added a thin paper cover to keep the stitches on top and basted them all together. The design stitched out beautifully. The needles of choice (says Annale) are Janome topstitch 90/14 or Smhmetz Microtex sharps.
The Loralie Designs are so dense that they are just a chore to stitch on anything, but well worth the effort. After reading and reading, I found one thing I plan to try and that is to enlarge the design. This will give the stitiches more room and should make the design easier to sew out. Annale uses Saran wrap on top of any fabric that has a nap to keep the stitches on top and visible.
Annale and I were so cold during this retreat that our teeth chattered. When one lady unzipped a case full of sweatshirt jackets, we were the first ones to purchase one. They are really nice.
One day was really stormy and the electricity went out a couple of times. This is not a good thing when you are in the middle of embroidery. You probably heard the oooohhhhs and aaaahhhhhhs at your house. I was about the convince Debbie to help me smoke my one grape cigar when "there was light".
I finished my Wackie shirt and I embroidered "Crusin Wackies" on the bottom left. Lime green, too. Totally out of my box!
This book was studied by several. We discovered that the tips and tricks are awesome!
One more really neat thing I discovered is this: Using two thread in the same needle makes the buttonhole stitch so much more prominent and covered the edge well. Here is the collar cover that I fused to my Wackie shirt and I used two strands of fushia pink for the stitch. Looks really great if I say so myself.
The food at Compass Centre was great. I am on a diet, but totally blew it as I had to have their "to die for" cookies. On salad day, the ingredients were served on beautiful trays. My camera battery went dead or I would have a picture for you. Delona did a wonderful job organizing everything. Little "Fairy" gifts were provided by some attendees. The time passes so fast that I can barely believe we were there 4 days.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

I have an embroidery machine sitting in a cabinet (hopefully not collecting dust) that I'd love to use. Unfortunately all the stablizers and such leave me in confusion and anxiety so I just avoid the whole thing. :-)

Your projects look wonderful.

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