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#7 - Make it 3D + 2 Ways to Insert a Zipper

November 20th, 2014

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a "wouldn't it be cool if..." thought? The 7th installment of 8 Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love was one of those thoughts!

The "wouldn't it be cool if..." thought continued with "the Peace Love and Joy flowers could be 3D". 

The Peace Love and Joy Collection (PLJ) started out as a sleeping bag with jumbo flowers on it (16" point to point)...

Peace Love and Joy Sleeping Bag by Sarah Vedeler Designs

When you have jumbo flowers you have to have smaller flowers too...

Peace Love and Joy Quilt by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The medium sized flowers are about 10" diameter while the small ones are about 6" diameter.

What's the secret to making a 3D flower?

In the "It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square" collection, the center flower on the borders is a 3D stumpwork flower.

It's a Sterling Life on Berkeley Square by Sarah Vedeler Designs

To create the stumpwork (i.e. 3D) petals, a wire is attached to the edge of the petal. Since the petals were designed to be 3D, first a wire placement line is stitched, then a tackdown, and then the satin stitch to cover the wire.

The PLJ flowers were not designed to be 3D but the satin stitch has underlay stitching - which closely resembles the tackdown stitching for stumpwork. Can you see where my mind is going here?

How to Create a 3D Peace Love and Joy Flower

Here are the steps I took to create a 3D flower using a Peace Love and Joy design.

First, I isolated one of the medium sized petals using the BERNINA Embroidery Software 7. I loaded the design into my machine and repeated it 8 times to create 8 petals in the jumbo hoop. If you have a smaller hoop, then you can stitch one or two petals at a time.

I loaded a piece of OESD Aquamesh Plus stabilizer. This is a sticky, water soluble stabilizer. Then I stitched the placement line for each petal and applied a petal appliqué shape to the top AND the bottom of the stabilizer. 

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

For the petal that I chose, stitching starts on the bottom right corner of the petal and goes in a straight stitch all around the petal to the bottom left corner. Then it does a zig zag stitch (part of the underlay stitching).

Let the machine stitch the straight stitch, then stop stitching. Place a piece of wire (I like to use a 24 gauge round wire) just inside the edge of the appliqué shape as shown below. Turn the speed of the machine to as slow as it will go. Holding the wire in place (be very careful of your fingers by the needle - you could hold the wire in place using a piece of Scotch tape) start stitching the zig zag underlay. 

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

When you get to the point of the petal, stop the machine with the needle in the down position and bend the wire around the needle. Continue stitching. The underlay stitching is actually a double zig zag stitch, so when it gets to the bottom right corner, the stitching will double back on itself.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Once the zig zag underlay stitching has completed, it will go straight into the satin stitch to finish the edge.

This is where I have a confession to make! On the day that I was working on this project, I had a lunch meeting away from my studio. I left a friend of mine in charge of finishing applying the wires to the petals. When I got back to the studio I was so excited that all the petals had wire, I took everything out of the hoop and trimmed away all of the excess stabilizer...

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

... and then realized that I had not finished stitching the detail on the petals :-( 

You'll see a little bit later that I applied crystals to some of the petals and left the others plain!

To remove the little bit of water soluble stabilizer that is left around the edges of the petals, I used a paint brush dipped in water.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Now it's time to use the 3D petals - to make a quick and easy tea towel pillow. The tea towels come in some really great colors, and I have to say that this turquoise one is probably my favorite! You could use any piece of fabric - about 20" x 30" with the edges finished.

The only thing that will actually stitch onto the tea towel is the center of the flower - a 3" diameter circle. I cut a 4" square of Fusible Polymesh and fused it to the center of the wrong side of the tea towel.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Load the circle design into your machine. Stitch the placement line that shows where to position the towel in the hoop and then stitch the placement line to show where to position the center circle appliqué. 

Now mark North, South, East and West on the circle - I used an extra fine Sharpie Pen, inside the circle since it will be covered with an appliqué shape.  

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Position the petals evenly around the circle so that the edge of each petal is 1/8" - 1/4" inside the circle. Hold each petal in place using Scotch tape.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Now restitch the circle placement line - and then remove the Scotch tape.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Because there were small gaps between each of the petals, I decided to fill these using some ribbon. 

I cut 8 pieces of 5/8" wide ribbon, each 5" long and also 8 pieces of wire edge ribbon, each 3" long.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Fold the ribbon pieces in half and arrange evenly around the circle. Restitch the circle placement line.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

By this time, there is enough stuff going on in the center of the flower that if you were to place only a piece of fabric over the center, there would be a noticeable dip in the center. To fill the dip and create a more pleasing result, I cut a circle of batting a little smaller than the 3" diameter appliqué circles and place this batting circle under the appliqué circles. Note that I am using 2 appliqué circles - one is fused on top of the other - as it gives better coverage than just one layer of fabric.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Finish stitching the circle design and you have a beautiful 3D Peace Love and Joy flower!

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

How to Insert a Zipper Option 1

I finished the pillow with a zipper. It's really easy to do given that the tea towel already has finished edges!

Option 1 uses a 14" long zipper that is applied under the edge of the towel.

Center the zipper on the right hand end of the towel (with the right side up) and align the edge of the towel with the zipper teeth as shown below. Hold in place with pins.

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Now choose a decorative stitch which will be stitched all the way along the edge of the towel. Place the edge of your foot (my favorite is the BERNINA #34 Clear Foot) right on the edge of the towel.

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

My decorative stitch of choice is #711 with a width of 6mm and a length of 3mm (for best results using this stitch, the length is half the width). Position the needle all the way over to the right hand side.

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

With the zipper open, stitch along the edge of the towel...

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

When you get 4"-5" past the top of the zipper, lift the presser foot and close the zipper. Continue stitching to the end of the towel.

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

When you are finished with the first side, fold the towel so that the top and bottom edges are aligned and the left hand end of the towel is butted up against the right hand side of the zipper.

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Move the needle over to the far left and stitch with the left hand edge of the presser foot against the edge of the towel. Open the zipper up for ease of stitching. 

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Keep the zipper closed for the last 2"-3".

Inserting a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Stitch across the ends of the pillow, about 3" in from the edge, and insert your pillow form and hey presto...

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

you have a gorgeous 3D flower pillow! The wires around the edges of the petals allow you to shape the petals to create different effects.

Peace Love and Joy Collection by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The wire edged pink ribbon can also be shaped to create lots of great dimension.

How to Insert a Zipper Option 2

Apparently Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, created a fashion trend with exposed zippers. Exposed zippers are super easy to insert and you can create some colorful effects with some of the chunky zippers that are available.

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

I folded the tea towel (with a "flat" PLJ flower stitched onto it) with the edges meeting in the center on the back and marked 3.5" in from the edge on both ends of the butted edges.

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

I used a piece of zipper tape - the kind where you cut off as much as you need and make sure you have plenty of zipper pulls - cut so that it is 1/2" longer than the distance between the two marked lines. Lay the zipper over the butted edges of the towel so that it is centered. There should be a 1/4" extending beyond the marked lines on each end.

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

In option 1, the edge of the tea towel is butted up against the zipper teeth on the top of the zipper. For option 2, the edge of the towel is butted up against the zipper teeth also, but this time on the bottom of the zipper. Stitch the zipper in place in exactly the same way.

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Remark the ends of the pillow...

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Here's the end with the zipper pull...

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Making sure that the zipper pull is in place closing the zipper, cut away the excess zipper tape.

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

Be careful not to cut the towel at the same time! 

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

The ends are ready... stitch both ends with a straight stitch.

How to Insert a Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

The straight stitch is a convenient way to mark the front of the pillow as well as the back. Center a length of ribbon (about 3 x the width of the pillow) on the front, with the edge of the ribbon against the stitching line.

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

Hold the ribbon in place with Scotch tape.

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

Now place a length of ribbon on the back of the pillow in the same way...

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

Stitch on the top using an edge stitch foot (BERNINA #10) with the needle 2 positions to the left of the center.

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

The ribbon will provide a nice cover for the ends of the zipper tape...

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

The ends of the ribbon can be tied in a bow...

Peace Love and Joy Pillow by Sarah Vedeler Designs

And here the two finished pillows...

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

Which pillow do you like best? The "flat" one or the 3D one? Leave me your answer in a comment below.

Want to make your own 3D flower pillows? Use the designs from the Peace Love and Joy Collection which you can purchase here or ask for it at your local BERNINA dealer.

Really???

I'm going to end with a funny story about these pillows! At Quilt Market a few weeks ago, the two pillows were on display in the Brewer booth. Usually I set up my own space, but this time around I was able to hand over a suitcase full of stuff and let the Brewer staff do the setting up.

To stop the wire edged ribbon from getting totally flattened while traveling, I had used a bunch of rolled up Kleenex to stuff the ribbon loops. Whoever unpacked my suitcase apparently did not realize that the white stuff was stuffing, and not part of the pillow. Look what I found the first time I stopped by the Brewer booth to see my part of the display!

How to Finish a Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know which pillow you like best.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


Category: 8 Elegant & Easy Expressions of Love | Read 15 Comment(s)

#6 - Elegant Thread

November 13th, 2014

Have you ever stitched one of my embroidered appliqué designs without using any appliqué fabric? How about stitching out a design using only one thread color?

In the 6th installment of "Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season" I am going to show you the result of doing both of the above!

The design collection I am using is Sedona Surprise. This is one of my favorite design collections - there are lots of little pieces of the "big" designs that were created when splitting the designs so they could be stitched in the smaller hoops. 

The specific design I am using is Month 6-1x. It is shown below repeated 4 times on a pillow that I created for the  "Embroidered Appliqué for Beginners" class I taught at Road to CA 2014

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Some of the results from that class:

Gorgeous on the back of a denim shirt...

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Gorgeous in blues and greens...

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Gorgeous on polka dots!

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Just in case you're wondering about the strange name for this design, Sedona Surprise is the embroidered appliqué design collection that can be used with the Sedona Star quilt - which was the 2012 BOM quilt for TheQuiltShow.com!

How to decorate an apron

I used the design to decorate the bib of a Dunroven apron (available from your local BERNINA dealer). 

First I applied a piece of OESD Aquamesh Plus, a water soluble stabilizer, to the back of the apron. I love this stabilizer because it is sticky so it can be applied very easily to the back of your project.

I marked the fabric placement line directly onto the Aquamesh Plus using an Extra Fine Sharpie Pen (not to be confused with a Sharpie Marker!). Find the vertical center of the apron. The piece of stabilizer I used was 8" wide and 6" tall. I marked the horizontal center for the design 1 5/8" up from the bottom of the stabilizer. The image shows the apron on it's side, so the bottom of the stabilizer is on the left in the image.

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Here is the finished marking...

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

I used OESD Ultra Clean and Tear in the hoop - it will disintegrate after 2-3 washes, so it is ideal for projects such as this.

The instructions in the Sedona Surprise Design Notes will tell you that the design stitches with the top of the design on the left hand side (so that it fits nicely into the hoop). When stitching onto an apron, this means that the bulk of the apron is going to be on the right hand side of the hoop - i.e. under the throat of the machine.

Wherever possible, I like to have the bulk of any project away from the machine. This minimizes the chances of the excess fabric falling onto the hoop and getting caught while the machine is busy stitching. In this case, I rotated the design in the hoop by 180 degrees. 

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The placement line stitches as shown above. Guide a pin through the center marked on the apron and guide this same pin into the center now stitched on the stabilizer in the hoop. The top of the apron will be to the right of the hoop. The bulk of the (bottom of) the apron will be hanging off the left side of the hoop. Hold the apron in place with a few pins.

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Use the basting function on your embroidery machine to secure the apron to the stabilizer. 

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Stitch using as many colors as you like - or using just one! 

Here is the finished apron! I love the subtle effect that has been achieved by eliminating the appliqué fabric and using only one color of thread. 

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

A close up shows the detail in the stitching.

Sedona Surprise by Sarah Vedeler Designs

What do you think about this tone-on-tone thread only design? What is your favorite color to stitch with? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

If you don't already own it, Sedona Surprise can be purchased here, or ask for it at your local BERNINA dealer. If you'd like to try this one design, there's a special that you can purchase right here.

Until next week, 

Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


Category: 8 Elegant & Easy Expressions of Love | Read 8 Comment(s)

#5 - Wish Upon A Star

November 6th, 2014

It's November already, and the temperatures have dropped all of a sudden here in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona! Waking up to 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) feels incredibly chilly after weeks of highs in the 90s, and before that months of highs over 100 degrees F. 

The good news is that everything you learn here today, the 5th installment of "Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season", can be applied not only to the beautifully soft hand towels as demonstrated, but also to snuggly fleece blankets for staying warm on chilly winter days!

The featured collection for this 5th installment of "Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season" is Stars.  

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The Stars collection contains 35 designs, 10 large stars (9" to 10" diameter), 19 medium stars (5" diameter) and 6 small stars (3.5" diameter). 5 of the large stars can be stitched in multiple hoopings, making them available to just about everyone to be able to stitch!

The Stars were originally presented in the Silk Stars Quilt:

Stars Quilt by Sarah Vedeler Designs

This is actually a super easy quilt to create - squares pieced together in rows and then the whole thing turned 45 degrees so that it is all on-point. Instead of binding it, I applied a facing, which made it much easier to handle the inverted corners!

You can also create a table runner:

Stars by Sarah Vedeler DesignsStars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The Stars designs are perfect additions to all sorts of projects because they are so easy to stitch - purses, totes, pillows, jackets, shirts (especially for the little ones in your life!) and towels. 

Embroidery on Hand Towels

With the Holiday season rapidly approaching, create some gorgeous gifts and decorate your home with Holiday stars on bright white hand towels! The 6 point Stars in blue are perfect for Hanukkah, and all of the Stars in green, reds, silvers and golds are great for Christmas.

Stitching onto hand towels is easy - but there is a stabilizer formula to use that will give you excellent results. The key is to "sandwich" the towel between 2 layers of water soluble stabilizer. This prevents the stitches from sinking into the softness of the towel.

I like to use a water soluble film in the hoop - e.g. OESD Aquafilm. I cut a piece twice the size needed and then fold it in half so that it goes into the hoop in a double layer. 

The small stars can be stitched in the BERNINA medium hoop (on the left) while the medium stars can be stitched in the BERNINA large oval hoop (on the right). 

Water Soluble Stabilizer

Make sure that the stabilizer is nice and tight in the hoop.

Placement lines for 5 point stars

The first thing to stitch for any of the stars is a placement line that stitches right onto the stabilizer in the hoop. This placement line allows you to position the star exactly where you want it on your project - in this case the hand towel.

For the 6 point and 8 point stars, there is only one placement line.

For 5 point stars, it turns out that the center of the star is in a different place when the star is stitched into an on-point square rather than a "regular" square. To accommodate this, all of the 5 point stars have 2 placement lines:

  • Use the first placement line to stitch the star onto a square block (or a towel!)
  • Use the second placement line to stitch the star onto an on-point block.

Embroidery on Hand Towels cont...

I decided that drawing a line on the hand towel to mark the center for the star was not going to be very accurate. Instead, I marked the center with a pin.

For a small star, with a 3.5" diameter, I centered my 14" ruler across the bottom of the towel.

Half of 3.5" is 1.75". I then added 0.5" space between the bottom of the star and the edge of the fluffy part of the towel. So my center was 1.75" + 0.5" = 2.25" above the edge of the fluffy part of the towel.

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Having stitched the placement line onto the stabilizer in the hoop, it was easy to position the towel using the pin marking the center of the star on the towel. I then pinned the towel onto the stabilizer, taking care not to rip the stabilizer while pinning!

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Now it is time to add the top of the stabilizer "sandwich" - another double layer piece of water soluble film. You can hold this in place with a couple of small pieces of Scotch tape.

Then stitch the placement line to show where to position the star appliqué fabric. By the way... I used bobbin thread to match the top thread so that the back of the towel will look good.

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Now place the fusible webbing backed appliqué shape onto the towel in the area defined by the placement line.

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Using a hot iron on the water soluble film is not such a great idea - you'll probably end up with a sticky mess on your iron! Cover the appliqué shape with a teflon sheet - or a piece of parchment paper - and then apply the iron. My favorite iron, especially for small shapes like the small stars, is the Hobbico Custom Sealing Iron. It's small enough to fit into tight spaces, and large enough to give you are really good bond (and it gets really nice and hot!).

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Now you are ready to go back to the embroidery machine and finish stitching as usual.

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

When you are done stitching, tear away the excess water soluble film...

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

...and you will have a gorgeous star shining brightly on the surface of your towel! I use only 2 colors of thread for this star - a solid dark blue, and a variegated lighter blue. As always, I am using AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 weight thread. I love to use the variegated colors for candle wicking as it adds such a great dimension to the stitching. The outer candle wicking on this star uses alternating stitches to give an even more spectacular effect!

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The water soluble film stabilizer used on top of the towel has not only stopped the stitches on the edge of the star from sinking into the towel, it has also stopped the whole appliqué from sinking into the towel, creating a beautiful end result.

For the medium star shown below I also used only 2 thread colors - a solid and a variegated thread. 

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

And here are my two finished towels!

Stars by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Both of these towels came from Target. The one on the left is a solid weave, while the one on the right has a ridged weave. The key to stitching success on both towels was using the water soluble film stabilizer on the top and on the bottom of the towel.

How will you use the Stars designs this Holiday season?

Which is your favorite star - the blue one or the green? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Don't have the Stars collection yet? You can purchase it here or ask for it at your local BERNINA dealer. I also have a special for you if you've never tried my designs before and you want to see how well they stitch - for that you can click here!

Until next week,

Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


Category: 8 Elegant & Easy Expressions of Love | Read 4 Comment(s)

#4 - Express Yourself Monograms

October 30th, 2014

Express Yourself is the featured design collection for the 4th installment of "Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season".

Express Yourself by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Originally presented as a crossword puzzle, there are a gazillion things that you can do with this design collection!

Express Yourself by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The 5" x 6" blocks can be embroidered and quilted in the hoop, with each letter being displayed on 3 different quilted backgrounds.

Background 1...

Express Yourself by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Background 2...

Express Yourself by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Background 3...

Express Yourself by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The letters also come standalone - and these make great monogram letters for all sorts of things!

Create a monogrammed apron for the favorite people in your life!

The standalone letters have a cross hair to aid in positioning built into the design. It is centered vertically and horizontally, which makes it really easy to place a single letter exactly where you want it.

The letters are not quite 5" tall. I placed my letters so that they were about 1/2" below the top stitching at the top of the apron. On the back of the apron, I marked a vertical line in the center of the apron, and then marked a horizontal line 3" below the top stitching - that's half of 5" (2.5") + 1/2" gap.

Express Yourself by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The blue apron on the left (for Jasmine - it's her favorite color!) is a child size Dunroven apron - you can purchase these from your local BERNINA dealer, they come in a variety of fun colors!

The orange apron on the right (for Heather - and yes, you guessed it, her favorite color!) is an adult size Dunroven apron. 

Express Yourself Apron by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Heather was a willing model for showing off her apron! In hindsight, because she is so slim, the apron might have benefitted from a couple of vertical tucks across the bib to give a better fit, but on the other hand it has great coverage.

Express Yourself Aprons by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Jasmine was not such a willing model! She is pretty tall for her age and the child sized apron is sized for a smaller child. A fun addition would be a ruffle around the hemline - using the same fabric as the appliqué.

What other ideas do you have for using the Express Yourself letters? I'd love to hear about them so please do leave me a comment below.

Until next time,

Happy stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


Category: 8 Elegant & Easy Expressions of Love | Read 3 Comment(s)

It's All About The Kids

October 28th, 2014

How are You Encouraging the Young People in Your Life to be Creative?

It's All About the KidsI have been sewing for just about as long as I can remember - and also knitting, crocheting and tatting (off and on).  If it involved fabric, thread or yarn, I wanted to do it. I was lucky in that my Mum was a Home Economics teacher, so she had all the "stuff" that I needed, including the sewing machine that I learned to sew on, a 1964 BERNINA Record that is still going strong today! My grandmother (Mum's Mum) taught me to crochet and knit and Auntie Marie (one of those people who is not a "real" aunt but a great friend of the family) taught me to tat. 

When Heather was born, I decided that she would learn to sew too - on the BERNINA 801 Sport that my parents gave to me for my 18th birthday (Mum was fed up with me disappearing with her sewing machine!). Heather - and her sister Jasmine - had different ideas! Why learn to sew on an old mechanical machine when Mom has lots of fun machines with touch screens and fancy decorative stitches?

Sewing

Jasmine couldn't wait to start sewing! After suffering through a whole week of being left at home with Mom while big sister Heather went off to Kids Sew Camp at Sew from the Heart, our local BERNINA dealer, Jasmine took matters into her own hands. She persuaded Susie, the owner of Sew from the Heart, that she needed to be in the next Kids Sew Camp at age 5 and a half, no matter that the minimum age is set at 8 years old. 

Jasmine Sewing

Having gotten herself into Kids Sew Camp, Jasmine then had to wait until Mom had time to show her how to sew on the BERNINA artista 200 sewing machine that just happened to be sitting in my sewing room. Only it was too long of a wait and she decided to get going by herself.

Jasmine Sewing

The moral of this part of the tale... if you have an interested kid, show her (or him) how to use the sewing machine and let her at it. You may see some remarkably creative projects emerging!

Cutting and Pinning

When you are sewing there are some sharp tools hanging around. The best approach for me was to show the girls how to use them properly - and then watch them like a hawk until I was sure they were following the "rules". 

Girls sewing

Embroidery

In my world, embroidery is the easiest thing to teach a child to do - and you can pretty much guarantee that they will be able to achieve a great result.

Heather at Sarah Vedeler Designs Studio

At the end of 5th grade (for Heather) and 1st grade (for Jasmine) we decided to stitch some hearts for the girls home room teachers. 

The girls had fun choosing fabric and thread colors (with a little guidance from Mom), using their knowledge of their teachers' favorite colors.

Heather at Sarah Vedeler Designs Studio
Is there anything better than seeing the smile of satisfaction on a child's face when they are busy creating?
Jasmine at Sarah Vedeler Designs Studio
Kids these days are super comfortable with all the technology around them - and fearless about using it. Jasmine needed a box to stand on in order to reach the B830 and thread it properly. Once we had the box in place there was no stopping her!
Jasmine at Sarah Vedeler Designs Studio
And there's that smile of satisfaction again!
Jasmine at Sarah Vedeler Designs studio
Nothing is better than showing off a finished project!
Heather at Sarah Vedeler Designs Studio
And Heather had so much fun she stitched 2 hearts.
Hearts by Sarah Vedeler Designs
Mom took over the quilting and finishing...
Hearts by Sarah Vedeler Designs
Creating two gorgeous gifts that the girls were delighted to give to their teachers.

Quilting

Quilting on a long arm machine is another great way to get kids involved (if you happen to have a long arm machine in your life that is!). Again, they seem to be fearless, so show them the basic controls and see what they create. 

Jasmine quilting
The first time Heather used my long arm quilting machine, she was quilting her name in cursive. Did I say that they are fearless? And they aren't concerned with "perfection" like so many adults, they are happy to try and see what happens. Maybe we "grown-ups" could learn something from this free and easy approach. 
Heather quilting

Knitting

Is your home filled with tiny rubber bands and the bracelets made from them on a Rainbow Loom? My home has been filled with them for many months and thankfully the dog hasn't eaten any stray rubber bands yet!

I was watching Jasmine creating on her Rainbow Loom one day and wondered what she would think about replacing the rubber bands with yarn. So I bought her a knitting loom and some chunky variegated yarn and this is what happened...

Knitting
It seems to me that the way to get kids involved in creating is to give them the opportunity and encourage their efforts. They don't need a pattern or detailed instructions, and what they create may not look like anything you've ever seen before, but they are having fun, they are learning new stuff (which keeps their brains active and happy) and they are making memories to share with their children. 

Let me help you get Creative with the Kids in your Life!

Hearts by Sarah Vedeler DesignsIf you have an embroidery machine and children or grand children in your life, tell me what you do to encourage their creativity. Leave me a comment below for a chance to win a copy of my Hearts CD. This works on any brand of embroidery machine - and both you and the kids in your life are going to love the results.

Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


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