November Blog

Darlenes Thread

Hello Sewing Friends,
The cool air has blown in and we’re off to the races of finishing projects in time for the Holidays. Felting is once again the star referee uniting crafters and sewers from all walks of life. We will continue to carry the felting machine on Singer® Felting and Embellishing Machine with Value Pack Item: 375-473 . You can punch yarns, silk ribbons, feathers and lightweight silks into almost any apparel to add surface interest and a unique design element.
This month I received many e-mails asking about free-standing lace designs and you’ll see how easy it is to whip up a personalized, embroidered Lingerie Laundry Bag as a last minute gift. Be sure to also check our projects section.
Many of you brought it to my attention that the 4700 Font link is no longer active. I can suggest that you use your search engine to look for “Font Bonanza” to find a new downloadable site. While we’re on the search engine topic, you can also type in “Free Clip Art” or “Free Embroidery Designs”, or “Free Standing Lace Designs” etc. to access a menu helping you locate whatever it is you are looking for.
Be sure to take stretching breaks from sewing. It is never a good idea to stand or sit in the same position for too long… matter how much fun you’re having! So get up, bend backwards, sideways, forward and S-T-R-E-T-C-H! Remember to stretch your face too


When you are using the Auto-Cross Stitch or the Auto-Punch, don’t neglect to rearrange the order that the colors stitch out. You can click and drag a color block on the bottom bar to reposition thestitched before color order. The order of the colorsstitched after stitched will affect the look of the results. You’ll notice in the first Auto-Cross-Stitch design that the dark green was stitched last leaving a cross-stitch trail on the topside. In the second stitch out, you’ll notice that the green was stitched before the white back ground so most of the jumps were stitched over and hidden. The angel is bronze in the first example and gold in the second.
color panescolor panes
Click and drag the color panes on the bottom of your screen to change places in the stitching order. Notice windows 1 and 6 in the above photos and you can see how first stitching the green foundation with all its linking jumps will be covered up by the back ground stitching overlapping it in the second example on the right.

Free Standing Lace Designs

Free Standing Lace Designs make beautiful ornaments for Tree Decorations, flourishes for gift packages, home accent bowls or unique additions for floral arrangements, appliques and even hair accessories. The designs have been specifically digitized to stay together on their own after all the stabilizer has been washed away. The threads overlap each other and are stitched in a way that keeps all the threads attached to one another filling the spaces with what looks like a cross mesh of lace making them “stand-alone”. There are a few tricks to ensure good results.
1) Use two layers of light or one layer of heavy water soluble stabilizer, 2) Match the bobbin thread color to the upper thread,
3) Use specifically digitized ‘free standing lace designs’ in your embroidery machine’s format
4) Use only designs that fit your hoop size— not too small or it could stretch the stabilizer and ruin the design.
5) When the sewing is complete, simply unhoop, wash away all of the stabilizer and dry flat.
a very light fine weave tule In the downloaded examples below, I used a heavy water soluble on the bottom, a very light fine weave tule in the middle and a lightweight soluble on top. That sandwich gave me great results! By using a fine tule or organza sandwiched between the two layers of wash away stabilizer, you do eliminate actual cut-out work but you’ll gain a more stable free standing lace. The air-light tule will help to hold the design together by eliminating any holes between stitching lines after all the stabilizer has been washed away. Simply trim away the excess tule from around the edges and display!
trim away the excess tuletrim away the excess tule


new Embroidery CD’s This month we are offering six new Embroidery CD’s presented by DarStar/Bertina Studios. The Design CDs come in 9 popular formats and will work with all the embroidery machines available on HSN. Also included is a printable placement template and a thread color conversion chart that includes Melrose. Look for Elegant Christmas , Elizabethan Black Borders, Victorian Quilt in the Hoop, Snow Cute Christmas Snowmen, Merry Christmas Train and Deco Ornaments on dot com today!


Q: How do I simplify having to remove the hoop for each color change?
A: Embroidery machines are set to pull the top thread down under the fabric so there is no need to match the bobbin thread to the top thread every time you have a color change as you would in regular sewing. Most of the time you can use a bobbin of white for lights or black for darks unless the backside of the embroidery will be seen (as in a napkin or scarf) for which you would match the threads.
Q: What size needles do I use when I’m embroidering?
A: Your FUTURA comes with an assortment of needles for both wovens and stretch. I have the best success with the 14/90 for most embroidery, including those done with my Melrose thread. When you are embroidering a knit, use the ballpoint needles to avoidd piercing the fine elastic threads. Remember to change them when you change projects or fabric types.
Q: My thread is shredding. What am I doing wrong?
A: If you’re using a  40 weight tri-lobal polyester and are experiencing shredding, loosen the tension a bit. I often embroider with my tension all the way to ‘O’. It doesn’t HAVE to be on “E”. I have to admit that when I use rayon thread on the FUTURA, I am also frustrated with shredding and disappointed with the results. Rayon is not as strong for high speed embroidery and the FUTURA really hauls butt when embroidering. If you’re using the size 11/80 needle, move up to a larger size such as the 14/90 or even the 16/100 if your fabric is extra heavy or the stitches are very dense. You may want to try my Melrose Polyester thread. It is a commercial grade thread available for home use in value packs.
Q: I have Windows Vista. How do I load the 3900 design anthology disc?
A: We have not encountered any issues using the 3900 disc on Vista.  This disc cannot be loaded into your computer as it would use up too much memory.   The pop-up screen that comes up when you place the CD in the tray may be a little confusing.  The following are step-by-step instructions for you to view and use this CD.

  1. Open the Futura software
  2. Place the CD in the drive tray.
  3. A pop-up screen will appear that prompts you to install or run this program.  Close this pop-up screen by clicking on the red X in the top right hand corner.
  4. Click on File from the top tool bar.
  5. Click on Design browser.

Sew Your Holiday Dreams,
Darlene Cahill

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