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Archive for December, 2008

Hand Embroidery

My Hand Embroidery

I’ve been looking to purchase a new sewing machine, my old one has very few options and a lot of tension problems. I have wanted one that can also do embroidery, but I want to do my own designs. This is not as easy to come by as you would think, especially when you are working on a mac computer. You would think you could use something in adobe’s creative suite to edit embroidery designs.  I have already spent lots of money on these programs and years out of my life learning how to use them.  This is possible, but the software is geared towards having a custom embroidery shop and the cost is astronomical.
After some searching I found Embroidery software for the mac and it just happens to be software for what’s called the “home sewer.” They have  a program that converts files to any sewing machine format. There are a lot of formats. A lot. Unfortunately this software is only for existing embroidery files, i.e. sets of embroidery designs that come prepackaged. While this is certainly a worthwhile program, reasonably priced and something I will purchase in the future, it only gets me halfway there.
I still need a program that I can create embroidery in. Through a process called digitizing you take your artwork and using it as a template, create a digital embroidery pattern. The process involves laying out how the needle will travel through the design, the kind of stitches the machine will use, the direction of the stitches, the color of thread, and I assume some other stuff. The whole process is like drawing without lifting your pencil off the paper.  Affordable software for digitizing on the mac, as of yet, does not exist.
I contacted Embroidery software for the mac, to see if they could answer any of my questions about creating my own designs. They suggested hiring a local embroidery shop to do the digitizing. I really can’t find one, so if any one knows of a custom embroidery shop in south jersey that they like, please let me know.  I will say Brian at www.macemb.com was very helpful with the myriad of questions I had. It is surprising to find such excellent customer service. Someone who takes the time to respond, is knowledgeable, and personable. He is also working on a software program for digitizing on the mac. I would love to hear from anyone who works on a mac using embroidery. Please share your experience.

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Founder of Etsy

Rob, Founder of Etsy

Rob, Founder of Etsy

Backstage Report

Posted using ShareThis

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I have always given handmade items to my family and friends as Christmas gifts. Back when I was starting out on my own I made almost every gift and cards to go with them. I have always wondered just how appreciated my “handmade” gifts have been. So over the years I have a tried to buy more things made by other people or big factories in China, thinking people will like those gifts better.  I still will shown up, at the in-laws, at work, or at my parents with a cache of freshly knitted scarfs for the giving, a platter of fruitcakes (all natural recipe), or the easily made well liked chocolate covered pretzel. Everyone says thank you but I don’t know what they really think, something inside of me compels me to make things by hand and give them to people. This year, Christmas will most definitely be a bonanza of arts & crafts for gifts, finances are tight , and I think the timing might be right for friends and family to appreciate a handmade gift. The current mood seems to be that we all have enough extra stuff already.  A restricted joy in spending. Similar to how my parents have lived their whole lives, which is to say, not only “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, but if it does break “we can rig it up to work for a few more years can’t we?”
Neck Warmer

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Money

Money Under the Mattress Pouch
This pouch is made from heavy duty vinyl.
The painting is machine stitched to the back of the bag.
The front closes with a snap.
http://www.1000markets.com/users/1016/

Money Bag

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Sold!

A few of the bags I sold last weekend- I hope they are enjoying them.
The appliques are block prints made from drawing I did. I cut the blocks  from the new (to me) rubber easy cut stuff. I like the pink kind the best. Each bag is sewn by hand. The zipper pulls are made by printing with the blocks on shrink film and hand coloring.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5630441

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flowertilecrop
I need to make a few more of these before Sunday.  Someone asked me to save 2 floral themed tiles but I sold them to someone else last weekend.
Just getting started here. I hope to post some pictures of what I’m working on as well as some words about it.

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