Blog

Article Archive

#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


Read 30 Comment(s)

#3 - Easy to Make Hostess Gifts for Thanksgiving

October 23rd, 2014

With 5 weeks to go until Thanksgiving, there is still plenty of time to make gorgeous hostess gifts if you are celebrating away from home with family and friends - or make something to decorate your own kitchen and table!

This week, the featured design collection for Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season is "A New Leaf". 

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The "A New Leaf" collection includes instructions to make a table runner in two color ways (Spring and Fall)... 

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

and a table topper in two color ways (Winter and Summer).

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Each season has 4 placemats to go with it - 2 different designs, each in 2 color ways.

The collection uses the AccuQuilt GO! Rustling Leaves dies.

AccuQuilt GO! Rustling Leaves

There are 4 different leaves, each in 2 sizes.

What if you had a project that only needed one leaf stitching onto it?

How about tea towels that match your decorations, so that when you need to carry a hot dish to the table, you can do so in style?

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

These tea towels feature a single large leaf each - a sweet gum leaf on the left, an oak leaf on the right. 

Let's take a closer look:

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The appliqué shapes are Kaffe Fassett fabric - the Paperweight Collection. When you look at the fabric colors all together, you don't really get "Fall colors" staring at you!

Paperweight by Kaffe Fassett

But when you look at each piece separately, and start to isolate single colors from the fabric, "Fall colors" start to emerge. Thread color choices really help here too - as does the background that the appliqué sits on, in this case a cream tea towel. 

Here are some keys to success when doing embroidered appliqué onto a tea towel - especially one that will be put to good use in your kitchen!

- Apply a water soluble stabilizer to the back of the towel. My favorite is OESD Aquamesh Plus - a sticky water soluble stabilizer that is really easy to apply and will wash away completely when the embroidery is finished. It doesn't need to be much bigger than the appliqué shape being applied - so if the shape is about 4" x 4", use a piece of Aquamesh Plus that is 5" x 5".

- Use a water soluble stabilizer in the hoop. Having said that, I used my favorite OESD Ultra Clean and Tear in the hoop. This is a tear away stabilizer that disintegrates over the course of 2 or 3 washes. The benefit of it over a "true" water soluble stabilizer is that it is much less expensive, and I usually have lots of it in my studio :-)

- In the bobbin, use thread that matches the satin stitch around the outside of the shape. If you really don't care how the back of the tea towel will look - after all, everyone is going to be so impressed with the front that they won't think of looking at the back! - you can always use your standard bobbin thread. My favorite - that I use for nearly everything - is Superior Bottom Line Tan #619. I purchase this on 3,000 yard cones which can go quite a long way!

- Draw any placement markings for the appliqué shapes onto the back of the towel, on the Aquamesh Plus water soluble stabilizer.

When marking your tea towel to specify where the leaf will sit, bear in mind that the placement line for each leaf is not always a symmetrical +. For the large leaves, placement will be as follows:

Sweetgum (Large Leaf 1) - If you were to stitch the leaf onto a square, the horizontal line in the + marking the placement of the leaf would be 3/4" down from the center.

Poplar (Large Leaf 2) and Maple (Large Leaf 3) - If you were to stitch the leaf onto a square, the horizontal line in the + marking the placement of the leaf would be 1 3/8" down from the center.

Oak (Large Leaf 4) - If you were to stitch the leaf onto a square, the horizontal line in the + marking the placement of the leaf would be in the center of the square.

What about Napkins featuring the smaller leaves?

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

When I was making the napkins, I completely forgot that I had purchased some ready made napkins for the A New Leaf photo shoot (you can see them in the first photo up above). The ones I purchased came from Crate and Barrel.

It's actually incredibly easy to make your own napkins - cut a square of fabric, hem it and then apply an embroidered appliqué to one corner. 

As you can see from the photo above, I ended up with 2 different sizes of napkins. The smaller ones are abut 15" square, the larger ones about 18" square.

I stitched the leaves onto the napkins so that the stem of each leaf was pointing towards the center of the napkin. So when you are placing the napkin on the hoop, the bulk of the napkin will be hanging off the bottom of the hoop.

A New Leaf by Sarah Vedeler Designs

What do you think about the complete finished ensemble of tea towels and napkins? Who will you be making a set for this holiday season? And which season will you choose? There are after all 4 to choose from! Leave me a comment below and let me know!

If you don't already own a copy of A New Leaf, you can purchase it here. I'm looking forward to hearing about what you create!

Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler


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

#2 - From Jewels in Chocolate to Jewels in Kaffe!

October 16th, 2014

Are you ready for "crazy gorgeous"?

Do you remember "Jewels in Chocolate"? This is the featured design collection for the 2nd installment of "Eight Elegant and Easy Expression of Love for the Holiday Season"!

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

This is the quilt that got me started as a quilt designer back in 2009. Can you believe it's been that long?

Then there was "Jewels in Silk", the same quilt made in gorgeous Silk Taffeta from DellaQ. 

Jewels in Silk by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Now we have "Jewels in Kaffe" adorning a super simple, ready made apron and tea towel, the second project in the "Eight Elegant and Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season"!

When I first told my friend Alice what I was planning on doing - stitching a Jewels in Chocolate circle with Kaffe Fassett fabric for the appliqué, she thought I had gone ever so slightly crazy!. When she saw the result, she thought it was "crazy gorgeous"!

Here's a photo of the finished ensemble... an apron and coordinating tea towel.

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

And here's a full view of the apron. The Jewel in Kaffe was stitched front and center on the bib part of the apron. Then, the same Kaffe fabric was used to "decorate" the apron pockets.

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

One pocket was taken completely off and replaced with Kaffe fabric. The other pocket had a band of Kaffe fabric stitched to the top.

The new pockets were top-stitched back on to the apron. My favorite foot to use to do this is the BERNINA #34D foot. This foot is the same as the BERNINA #1 foot, only the foot plate is clear plastic instead of metal, and there is a red line running down the center of the foot. When doing top-stitching, place the red line on the edge of the fabric, in this case the new pocket, and then move the needle one or two positions to the left. I find it much easier to follow the edge using this foot than using a "proper" edge stitch foot (the BERNINA #10D foot).

BERNINA #34D foot

Check out the tea towel before stitching...

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

I used fabric from Kaffe Fassett's Millefiore collection

Now look at it after the "Jewel" has been stitched...

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

I have to say I went into this project with very little idea of what would happen. I kind of thought that the fabric would dominate completely, and the embroidery would get totally lost. But I was hopeful that something magical would happen. And it did! The embroidery shows up beautifully, and the fabric shines through, all at the same time!

This is the "Jewel" stitched onto the apron..., exact same design, same fabric, different thread colors. 

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

As always, the thread that I used is AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 weight. I chose colors that matched the colors in the fabric. 

I loved the results so much that I decided to stitch a second color way, this time a white tea towel and a black apron. 

The appliqué fabric is still Kaffe Fassett's Millifiore Collection, but a different, much lighter color. 

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

This is the "Jewel" on the black apron...

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

An interesting thing happened with the thread on the lighter colored fabric when I chose shades of AURIfil Cotton Mako to match the colors in the fabric. The thread sort of disappeared - in blended in way too well! So the thread colors on the lighter colored background are a fair bit more intense than the colors in the fabric.

Here are a few notes to help you create your own tea towels and aprons using the "Jewels in Chocolate" designs"

  • Cut a 5" diameter circle of appliqué fabric. A couple of great tools you can use are the AccuQuilt GO! cutter with the Circle 2" 3" 5" die or the Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter. 
  • My favorite fusible webbing to use on fabric being cut with the above tools is Shades Softfuse. If you are going to cut your circle using the Silhouette Cameo digital cutter, then be sure to use Heat N Bond Lite as the fusible webbing on the back of your appliqué fabric. 
  • I stitched my circles so that they are 2" up from the bottom of the towel. Mark the center for the circle 4.5" up from the bottom of the towel (a 5" diameter circle has a radius of 2.5" plus the distance from the edge of the towel).
  • For the apron, the circles were stitched to be 0.5" down from the top stitching at the top of the bib of the apron. Mark the center of the circle 3" down from the top stitching
  • The "Jewels in Chocolate" designs do not have a fabric placement line built in. If you haven't already done so, be sure to download the cross hair that is available here. When you are ready to stitch a "Jewel", first load the 5" crosshair design, then add the "Jewel" design. 
  • Place a 6" square of Aquamesh Plus on the back of the towel so that it is centered over the position that the "Jewel" will stitch. You can mark your placement lines (a big + sign) on this stabilizer. Aquamesh Plus is a sticky, water soluble stabilizer, so when you wash the towel, it will all disappear! But it will give the towel the support that it needs while stitching is happening.
  • Use OESD Ultra Clean and Tear in the hoop. When you are finished stitching, tear away all of the excess stabilizer form around the "Jewel". I did not know this until recently, but Ultra Clean and Tear will disintegrate over the course of a couple of washings. 

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Here's me modeling the finished black and white ensemble... very elegant, don't you think?!

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

If you don't already own the Jewels in Chocolate collection, you can purchase it here.

If you would like to try out the design that I used on the aprons and tea towels, you can purchase that here.  

Jewels in Chocolate also comes super sized!

The Jewels in Chocolate collection contains 3 circle designs that finish at 5" diameter, as well as complete instructions on how to make the quilt.

In addition, the 3 circles are also available in designs that finish at 9.5" diameter. So if you have a nice big hoop (i.e. the wonderful BERNINA Jumbo Hoop!) that can accommodate a design of that size, you can have a super sized ton of fun with this collection!

Here are the 3 big designs...

The first one is stitched onto Fairy Frost fabric with no appliqué fabric underneath the design.

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

I also stitched this design onto silk...with eye popping AURIfil Cotton Mako thread colors!

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The second design is also stitched onto Fairy Frost - both in the background and as the appliqué fabric. 

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

And again onto silk with AURIfil Cotton Mako thread really popping the design! Just in case your are wondering what color the neon green thread is, it's actually 1147 (my favorite AURIfil green). The turquoise is 2810 and the pinks are 4020 and 2535. The silk fabric throws the light around all over the place so getting true colors in a photo is incredibly difficult! (At least for my photographic skill level!)

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Here is the third large "Jewel", the large version of the one stitched onto the tea towels and aprons. 

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

And also on silk. Isn't it amazing how different they look with the different colors?

Jewels in Chocolate by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Since I was playing with Kaffe Fassett fabric, I decided to do an experiment and put the Kaffe in the background with some solid colored fabric as the appliqué. This is the result...

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

This is two fat quarters of Kaffe Fassett Millefiore fabric stitched together, with the appliqué circle created out of two colors of Kaffe Fassett's Shot Cottons. The fat quarters gave me a piece of fabric that measured 22" x 36" - which I hemmed. Then I stitched a 1" wide bias strip to each end, 4" in from the edge, to make a casing for threading some ribbon through. Then, with right sides together, I stitched the long edges to create a tube when turned right side out. The bolster pillow was created by stuffing the tube with a roll of batting and then tying the ends.

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Because of the way the casing was stitched on, the ribbons emerged at the back of the pillow, so they were cut long enough to wrap around to the front and make a very pretty bow.

Jewels in Kaffe by Sarah Vedeler Designs

All done!

Now it's your turn to go do some stitching! As always, I'd love to see photos of what you create. Leave me a comment and let me know which color combo you like the best... green and turquoise, or black and white? And what do you think about the Jewels in Kaffe... crazy gorgeous - or not so much? 

Until next time,
Happy Stitching!

Sarah Vedeler Designs


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

#1 - Finding Hearts in Unexpected Places

October 9th, 2014

Eight Elegant & Easy Expressions of Love for the Holiday Season

Welcome to the first week of an 8 week long series that will help you to create gorgeous gifts for the holiday season - and beyond! Each week will feature a different design collection - and show you how you can use a small "piece" of the design collection in a totally new way to decorate an apron or a tea towel. The finished project will make a gorgeous gift for you to give away to a friend or family member, or maybe keep for yourself.

The featured design collection for this week is Jazzilicious. The project is a pillow - created from a linen-look tea towel. Make sure you read all the way to the end to learn how to:

  • mark the towel to ensure correct placement of the design.
  • finish a tea towel pillow with a zipper closure.
  • finish a tea towel with button closure.
  • create perfect button holes in the hoop using your embroidery machine.

Jazzilicious by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The main Jazzilicious quilt is a 64" diameter circular quilt. The center circle is 36" and the applique filled points are 12" tall.

There are lots of hearts on the Jazzilicious quilt - most of them obvious, but there are a couple that are not so obvious - hence the finding of hearts in unexpected places.

Jazzilicious by Sarah Vedeler Designs

Do you see the heart created by the two spiral shapes? Check out what happens when you take the spiral heart and the feathers at its base, and center it on a tea towel with a reflection... 

Jazzilicious Pillows by Sarah Vedeler Designs

And now check out what happens when you turn the tea towels into gorgeous plump pillows - with a built in flange. The white pillow contains a rectangular pillow form, the pink pillow contains a square pillow form.

Jazzilicious Pillows by Sarah Vedeler Designs

To save time on cutting, and to ensure the spiral hearts are the center of attention, the spirals are the only shapes that contain fabric. The feathers are thread only stitched onto the background of the tea towel. 

Jazzilicious Heart by Sarah Vedeler Designs

The pink on pink is a lot more subtle.

Jazzilicious Heart by Sarah Vedeler Designs

I used two different techniques to finish the back's of the pillows. The pink/square pillow has a zipper to close it.

Zipper by Sarah Vedeler

The white pillow has buttons and snaps (there's a story behind the lack of actual buttons to go with the button holes!). Did you know that it is really easy to create button holes in the hoop using your embroidery machine? The key is to measure the girth of the buttons you are planning on using - not just the length!

Button Holes and Snaps by Sarah Vedeler

Let's get started with some details on how I created the pillows!

Marking the tea towel for embroidery

The tea towels I used (available from your local BERNINA dealer) are about 20" wide and 30" long. Just in case you're wondering why I decided to use tea towels:

  • they are available in a bunch of different colors.
  • I love the weight of the fabric and the linen look it has.
  • They are already hemmed and ready to go! This saves a whole lot of time.
  • They are readily available and affordable. The Dunroven tea towels that I use are $3.99 each.

To give the finished pillows a bit more body, I applied a piece of Pellon ShapeFlex to the wrong side of the towel, about 14" wide and the length of the towel. Mark the ShapeFlex using a Sewline pencil as follows, making sure that the pencil you use will not show through the white towel:

  • Draw a vertical line through the center of the towel (about 10" long).
  • Draw a horizontal line through the center of the towel (also about 10" long).

Stabilizer Marking by Sarah Vedeler

  • Draw a vertical line 3" to the right of the vertical center (shown in blue below)
  • Draw a vertical line 3" to the left of the vertical center (shown in blue below)

Stabilizer Marking 2 by Sarah Vedeler

The design I used is "Point Fill 1-2 Bottom". If you don't own the Jazzilicious collection, you can purchase this one design here. The design is 4.9" x 7.75" so you will need a BERNINA large oval hoop or something larger. The complete design collection does contain this design split into two pieces to allow it to be stitched in a smaller hoop. 

Stitch the design twice. Each time, load a piece of medium weight tearaway stabilizer into your hoop. My favorite is OESD Ultra Clean and Tear.

  • The first time you will match the intersection that stitches out onto the stabilizer in color #1 at the point marked A (see below).
  • The second time you will turn the towel 180 degrees and then match the intersection that stitches out onto the stabilizer in color #1 at the point marked B. 

Stabilizer marking by Sarah Vedeler

If you own the CD and you need a refresher in how to achieve perfect placement, refer to the document "Jazzilicious Pillows.pdf" in the Instructions folder. Start with #1 at the very bottom of page 5. If you are purchasing the individual design, perfect placement instructions are included!

Now that you have completed the embroidery, you need to decide if you will finish the pillow with a zipper closure or some buttons and button holes.

How to install a zipper in a tea towel pillow

Installing a zipper is easy - when you know how!

The edge of the tea towel is already finished and this makes installing the zipper not just easy, but super easy! I used a 14" long zipper. 

  • Mark the center of one short edge of the tea towel.
  • Mark the center of the zipper.
  • With the two centers matching, and the zipper open, place the edge of the tea towel next to the zipper teeth as shown in the photo below.

Inserting a zipper by Sarah Vedeler

  • I used the #34D foot on my B880 to stitch the towel to the zipper. Place the right hand side of the foot against the zipper teeth. Move the needle as far to the right as it will go. Start stitching about 1/8" before the zipper teeth start - marked by the pin in the photo below. Be sure to secure your stitches either with a few very tiny stitches, or by stitching forward 2 stitches, back 2 stitches and then forward again.

Inserting a zipper by Sarah Vedeler

  • When the first side has been stitched, close the zipper.
  • Fold the tea towel as it will be when it is finished. 
  • Make sure that the ends of the towel are aligned as in the photo below.
  • Place the edge of the towel next to the zipper teeth as you did for the first side and stitch. I find it easier to open the zipper while starting the seam. When you get to about half way down the zipper, close it up again. This ensures that the zipper pull does not get in the way or cause ugly bumps in the stitching.

Inserting a zipper by Sarah Vedeler

With a 14" zipper, there is about 3" of open towel at each end of the zipper. I butted the edges up against each other and used a wide zigzag stitch to hold the edges together. 

Fold the towel so that the zipper is centered. Draw a line 3" in from the edge of the towel. This should just about line up with the end of the zipper! Stitch along this line to close the ends of the pillow. If desired, you can add a decorative ribbon on top of this stitching line.

Jazzilicious Pillow by Sarah Vedeler

Now all you have to do is insert a pillow form!

How to create button holes in the hoop using your embroidery machine

First of all you need to measure your buttons - not just the length, but the girth as well! I was intending to use polymer clay buttons that I had made a while back. Only thing is, they are quite thick - a fact that I did not take into consideration when measuring them to make the button holes. Snaps came to my rescue!

To make the button holes in the hoop using your BERNINA embroidery machine:

  • Load a piece of heavy weight tearaway stabilizer into your hoop.
  • On the embroidery home screen, select the machine stitches folder - the 3rd form the left.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • Then choose the button hole folder - 4th from the left.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • Choose a button hole. I used #2. If you are planning on stitching out a lot of button holes using your embroidery machine, it might be a good idea to stitch a sampler so that you know what each button hole looks like.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • The default settings for a button hole are 16mm long. 
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • I determined that I wanted my button hole to be 1" long. It's handy to know that 1" = 25.4mm, so I needed to increase the length of the button hole. To do this, I clicked the "i" button and then used the stitch length knob (the bottom one) to increase the length of the button hole.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • I wanted to stitch 3 button holes - all perpendicular to the edge of the tea towel. I used the rotate feature to rotate the button hole by 90 degrees.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • The default hoop for a button hole is the small hoop. In order to fit 3 button holes, I changed the hoop to the Large Oval Hoop.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • I then used the duplicate button to create a second button hole. This is the 4th button down on the left hand side.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • Then I moved the new button hole up in the hoop. I always need to remember that when "move" is selected, the stitch width button moves the design from side to side and the stitch length button moves the design up and down in the hoop.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • When I duplicated the second button hole, it was automatically evenly spaced with the two existing button holes.
  • Buttonholes in the hoop by Sarah Vedeler
  • Now you are ready to stitch the button holes onto your pillow!
  • I stitched my button holes so that they were 1.5" in from the edge of the towel.
  • If my buttons were the correct size for my beautiful button holes, they would have been stitched 1.5" in from the edge at the other end of the towel.
  • When the buttons are in the button holes, there should be a 3" overlap of towel. Make sure that this is centered. Draw a line 3" in from the edge of the towel. Stitch along this line to close the ends of the pillow. If desired, you can add a decorative ribbon on top of this stitching line.

All done!

Jazzilicious Pillow by Sarah VedelerI hope you have as much fun with this project as I did! I'd love to see photos of what you create. If you receive my email newsletter, you can hit reply to that and attach photos. 

Leave me a comment below and tell me which pillow do you like best - the pink one of the white one? Who will you be making tea towel pillows for this holiday season?

Happy Stitching,

Sarah Vedeler


Category: 8 Elegant & Easy Expressions of Love | Read 7 Comment(s)
1 2 3 4 5 6 next