Archive | March 2013

Embroidery Sewing Machine – which one?????

Like many girls of my generation, I embroidered (by hand) pillowcases, aprons, and tea towels for my hope chest. Unfortunately by the time I married, embroidered things were out of vogue, so all those beautifully embroidered things got little use. Sure wish I still had them, now that they are coming back into style.

Rather than embroider by hand now though, I’d rather have an embroidery sewing machine so that I can work on special projects and get them completed faster! Especially now that we are getting requests at our on-line Etsy store (She & Me Designs) to personalize kids aprons, blankets, pillowcases and tooth fairy pillows!   I’d love to be able to accommodate those requests!  I’d also love to make some special personalized things for my grandkids!  I know they’d love it!

Cute as these are, I’d love to add a little embroidery embellishment!

Easter ApronIMG_5402IMG_4627IMG_3481

I’m in the ‘research stage’ of checking out embroidery machines.  I need to keep the costs down (less than $500) and of course I want as many bells and whistles as possible and the most dependable machine available.   Not asking for much, am I 🙂

So far my biggest requirement is a large ‘field of embroidery’; i.e. the dimensions of space to embroider on.  I’d like to be able to embroider a name about 2″ x 6″ on an apron bib or pillowcase top, so I need to find a machine that holds a hoop big enough to do that.

So far I’ve watched a YouTube video on the Brother HE1 Embroidery-Only Machine, and also read owner reviews, which were mixed.  Although this machine seems as though it would do everything else I want, it only has a 4″ x 4″ field of embroidery, and a lot of comments indicated the embroidery designs were disappointingly small.  So unfortunately that one is crossed off the list, although I sure liked all the features as well as the free designs available to download from the Brother website!

So, before I research a bunch more and just get all confused, I thought I’d ask your advice!   Do you have an embroidery machine?  If so, what type?  Do you LOVE it?  What are the best features?

I’d sure like to hear from you folks that do embroidery and have a machine that you just wouldn’t part with!  HELP!!!   Please!

Thanks a bunch – and have a fun, creative weekend!!

Linda

PS – She & Me Designs  is running an Easter sale on kids aprons through Sunday night, March 17!   Take a look and see if there’s something you’d like!  All prices on aprons include free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 States!

 

A Novice’s Attempt at Reupholstering!!

I’ve always thought that I’d like to do some reupholstering, but hadn’t ever tried it.

I started with what I thought would be an easy project – a side chair. Our daughter-in-law was getting rid of a chair that she no longer had any use for – and donated it to our daughter. Unfortunately the yellow floral fabric wasn’t to her taste. We decided that the chair would be the first reupholstering attempt. Off to JoAnn’s Fabric we went, where she found fabric she really liked, and she was thrilled that it was half-off!!!

Here’s the chair BEFORE I tore it apart – as you can see, it’s a perfectly good chair and in great condition!

Free chair!

Pretty, isn’t it?   Personally I like the yellow floral.

I took about a hundred pictures during the process, but don’t worry, I won’t post them all – just enough for you to get the picture of how the process went.  I was amazed at how many staples had been used – by the time I’d finished taking everything apart I’d removed more than 200 staples!!

We were surprised to find when we turned the chair over, that the ‘lining’ underneath had a zippered compartment!   It was probably there to make it easier to tighten the chair legs, but we thought it made a nifty hidden compartment!

Although I separated the back from the seat,  we were at a definite disadvantage because the original upholstery was put on BEFORE the legs were attached.  Since I wasn’t about to remove the legs from the structure, we had to improvise along the way.

Here’s a few pictures of how everything was taken apart –

Hidden zippered compartment

Hidden zippered compartment

Pulling staples!

Pulling staples!

Removing screws

Removing screws

Removing all the upholstery layers

Removing all the upholstery layers

Separating back from seat

Separating back from seat

Chair back

Chair back

Before we started reupholstering, I painted the chair legs gray, to match the gray in an end table we had painted for Megan several months ago.   (See previous blog titled “Refinishing a Thrift Store Table”. )

After I removed all the upholstery, I marked the pieces before I took them all apart. Although I was able to use the existing back pieces for a pattern , I was not able to use the pieces from the chair seat because it ripped while I was removing it.  You’ll see in the next pictures that instead of a fitted chair cover we  just ‘wrapped’ it and stapled it on.

"Wrapping" the chair seat

“Wrapping” the chair seat

Trying to 'tuck' fabric down around the legs

Trying to ‘tuck’ fabric down around the legs

Seat covered

Seat covered

Chair back covered

Chair back covered

Zippered compartment put back on

Zippered compartment put back on

FINISHED!!!

FINISHED!!!

Megan approves!

Megan approves!

I’m very happy with the way it turned out, but………I must say it was difficult!  I’m not sure that I’ll try anything more upholstered than an side chair in the future.  It was fun doing it with Megan though – we made a pretty good team!

I’d love to hear about your first time reupholstering projects!   Did they turn out as you expected?  And did you enjoy it enough to keep doing it?    Your comments are welcome and appreciated! Have a great week – Linda