Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hooping at the Bottom

For those of you that don't know...I have a niece that is almost 9 months old. Up until this sweet girl was born...all the kids in our extended family have been boys so I have been thrilled to make some frilly and pink things for my sweet niece!

For her Christmas shirts, my sister-in-law requested that the designs be at the bottom of the shirt because Camille is always wearing a bib. She is a drooler.  So the top of her shirts are ALWAYS covered up!

Up until now I had only hooped shirts to stitch at the top and center. I have a single needle machine and am sometimes intimidated by unusual hoop positions. Well, I tried it twice this week and I think hooping at the bottom is so much easier than hooping at the top and centered!

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-005

I took a few pictures of my process and thought I would share them with you in hopes that those of you with a single needle machine might want to try a different hoop option for a shirt too!

First, I should mention the shirts. I found these adorable blanks at Carter's on the clearance rack. They were less than $5, I think. I loved how they had ruffles and buttons at the if Camille does happen to be without bib, the top of the shirt would have some visual interest to balance the applique design at the bottom.

When it was time to hoop the shirt, I put it on a flat desk with plenty of working room. Next I put my hoop in the shirt and then started to push it over to the right as far as possible. I wanted to stitch as close to the side seam as possible, so I even rolled the shirt a bit to the left so the right side seam was just inside the hoop. I had to be careful to keep my hoop straight vertically. It was easy for the hoop to become slanted while trying to position in this different be sure to check that you are parallel with the bottom of the shirt before you actually hoop. I hope the below pictures helps explain a little bit more...

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom

One thing I did find with hooping at the bottom of the shirt is that the shirt was not quite as secure as when you hoop at the top. I decided to add a layer of tearaway stabilizer before stitching.

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-001

After the shirt was hooped and stabilized, I attached it to the machine and was ready to stitch. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make sure the excess shirt fabric and sleeves were out of the way. When you hoop at the top/center of a shirt for a single needle machine, I am always afraid a piece of the shirt will end up under the needle! This was so much easier!

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-002

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-003

I did use my Layout buttons on my machine a good bit before I started stitching. Every machine is different, but you should be able to test to see the farthest right your needle will go and the farthest to the bottom your needle will go and so on. If you aren't pleased with the positions, use your Layout arrows to shift the design up/down/right/left until it is placed where you want it to be on your shirt. In this case, I made sure that the bottom-most point was just above the bottom hem of the shirt and that the farthest right point was just inside the side seam of the shirt.

Here is one picture from the second shirt I did. I stitched our Raggy Christmas Tree design on this shirt.

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-004

On this shirt I decided to do all of the fabric cutting when the shirt was completely done. I always like to wait as long as possible to trim because I feel it keeps the shirt as secure as possible when hooped. For raggy designs I almost always wait until the shirt is completely done and cut once it is out of the hoop. I also feel I can cut better when it is out of the hoop. When stitching raggy designs, I usually use flannel or felt as my base layer to add some depth and additional fray...but in this example I used fleece! I think it really made the raggy stitches stand out at the rest of the design have a nice puffy feel.

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-009

So there you have tips on how to hoop at the bottom! Hope it helps!

All Things Applique - Hooping at the Bottom-007

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chalkboard Wall, Painting, Gifting, and Designing

We have been busy, busy, busy designing and listing just as many Thanksgiving and Christmas designs as we possibly can for you guys! Have you seen them all? Take a look...


Do you have a favorite? I think I like the Dinosaur with the Santa Hat...because that one was a special request from my 4-year old. :)

You can find ALL of these designs and MORE at either or

Here are a few baby gifts that I FINALLY mailed this week. I stitched all of these bibs when we were in our temporary apartment this summer. Talk about belated gift giving! Thankfully babies need bibs for a long time and I hope they can still use these.

All Things Applique - Baby Gifts is time to work on the 10+ other new baby gifts I am still behind on. So many new precious gifts to be thankful for this year!

I recently tackled a couple of Pinterest ideas...and I must admit...they were both very fun and easy!

First up...a BIG, GIANT, chalkboard wall!

For those of you that remember our housing saga as we relocated to North Carolina, there was a room in the house we first had a contract on that was going to be PERFECT for it to be painted 1/3 chalkboard, 1/3 stainless steel (magnet) and 1/3 cork board. I had my heart set on it and it was going to be one of the first projects we tackled.

You can see the idea here...


While I do LOVE the house we are now in, there just wasn't a good wall for that type of project. But, as we have gotten settled, I have been inspired by a maps/solar system theme for the boys' playroom. I will share more as it changes (very slow progress around here)but for now we have one giant solar system wall that is chalkboard paint! The idea is for the bottom half to be all kids...and I am going to sketch the solar system at the top...

All Things Applique - playroom chalkboard

The boys have LOVED it and it is fun to see the creations they come up with.

The other Pinterest inspired project was for Halloween...a little late in sharing...sorry!

The boys painted canvases...

All Things Applique - Pinned It Hween Canvas-001

We added footprint ghosts and handprint spiders...

All Things Applique - Pinned It Hween Canvas

And then they wanted to keep painting! It was great and I LOVE their creations. Look forward to hanging these for years to come!

All Things Applique - Pinned It Hween Canvas-002

I will start switching design gears to Valentine's soon...if you have any design requests or ideas...please e-mail me at allthingsapplique (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tracking Thread Colors

I recently learned a lesson the hard way and thought I would share my carelessness with you so you don't make the same mistake I did!

I noticed a few weeks ago that I was running low on several thread colors. When I lived in Richmond, VA, I had a great local shop where I got a great deal on thread and I could just go in and match whatever color I needed.

Now, I am 30 minutes or so from a good thread shop so I decided to try to order my replacement thread online. I found a great site...and the prices were better than what I paid in Richmond. However...several of my low thread spools were missing their identification number sticker! I tried my best to match colors do you think that turned out???

Let me show you...

All Things Applique - Spool o Thread Blog-001

low baby blue on the left "replenished" with silver on the right...

All Things Applique - Spool o Thread Blog

a pretty lime green on the left "replenished" with a more yellowy green that doesn't quite match any of my fabric!!!

All Things Applique - Spool o Thread Blog-002

and look at this...a pretty pink on the left that perfectly matches the pink on the right. You know why???

All Things Applique - Spool o Thread Blog-003

Because the magic sticker was still on top of the spool!!! advice to you is to make a list of your thread color whenever you buy it! You never know when you want to replace it and if that oh so important sticker is still going to be around!

I recommend keeping track of the following information as a document on your computer:

1) Thread Brand 2) Thread Identification (color/code) 3) Where you purchased it 4) Specific Project - if you purchased it for a special project or to match a particular fabric you might want to note that too.

Hope this helps and keeps you from ordering unmatched thread in the future!

If you have any additional thread tracking tips...please leave a comment below!