Saturday, January 25, 2014

D-I-Y Framing Class Winner

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Alas, our first winner has not been in touch, and we do not have contact information for her, so back we went to the hat with all the numbers.

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner is...


Steve Wells


Congratulations! Steve, I'll be in touch.

Everyone Wins!

We know that learning to frame your embroidery is important and rewarding. It can save you heaps of money (for your next stitchy projects!), and it's oh-so satisfying to complete a needlework project on your own from start to finish. We want to help, so we've got a special deal for you.

Sign up for the class and use the code STITCHINMOOSE for 10% off!

Sign up now!

Psst! The coupon code also works with the already discounted Finish It In '14 package that includes the following four classes:

  • D-I-Y Framing
  • Soft-Edge Finishing: Hemstitching
  • Piecing (Wall hangings, table runners, etc. Quilting without the actual quilting!)
  • Pillowpalooza
This offer is good through 2/3/2014. Happy Finishing in '14!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Making of a D-I-Y-er

I blame my parents, my father in particular. As a kid, when I wanted something, his stock answer was, "Make it."

How I despised that answer! Maybe I didn't think I could make it; maybe I didn't want to take the time to make it. Whatever it was, I didn't want to make it even if I could. I wanted it new, from the store, now.

But guess what: That "make it" answer stuck. I heard it so often it grew into me. It was reinforced by my parents' crafty natures. My mother made our clothes. My father could whip up a Halloween costume like nobody's business. Our dining room table became Craft Central while we made holiday ornaments for neighbors and friends.

It can surprise no one that I became an extreme D-I-Y-er. When something needs to be done, my first thought is, "How do I do it?"

Move three tons of dirt and gravel with a shovel and 5-gallon buckets? Okay.

Build a house? Of course.

Wire it for electricity? Sure. Let me read this book first.

Grow food for a year? Uh-huh.

Frame this cross stitch piece? No problem.

In the Beginning

After designing and stitching Termination Dust and The Great Outdoors, I asked my mother to help me frame them. She'd just taken a framing class—she had artwork of her own to frame—which gave her access to a framing studio with tools and supplies. We spent a long time choosing colors, cutting mats and glass, cutting and assembling the frames. It was great fun and a great learning experience. I love the results, warts and all.

When I began selling cross stitch patterns, I continued to finish my needlework myself...most of the time. I have taken a few pieces to professional framers. It's all good! Over time, I developed my favorite techniques (I prefer lacing my embroidery to the mounting board), but I also love to experiment and learn new things. I think my priorities are

  1. Do it myself
  2. Do it differently; i.e., in some interesting or unique way

When Problems Arise: Get Creative

Let's be honest, things don't always go smoothly in D-I-Y.

I once stitched a birth sampler with the fabric turned the wrong direction. The long side of the fabric should have been horizontal, and I had it vertical. I was well into the stitching before I discovered my mistake. (Yeah—du-uh!) You know the choices: I could stop stitching and start over, or I could deal with it. I chose the latter.

There wasn't enough fabric to frame the piece "properly." This isn't a unique problem—be honest, have you ever skimped on the amount of fabric you left around the border of your needlework? The fix for this is to sew a fabric (muslin is a good choice) border around the edge to provide enough fabric to work with, so that was my plan. In the end, I skipped the plain muslin and chose a quilting calico that could double as the mat. I added ribbon on the seam just for fun.

D-I-Y Framing Online Class

I've always enjoyed finishing as much as stitching, whether it's framing, edge stitching, quilting, pillow making, or something else. The more I stitch, the more I want to explore different finishes and uses for needlework.

I asked fellow stitchers what they need most help with, and the answer was, overwhelmingly, finishing. Well all right then; let's do some finishing!

The first Finish It In '14 class is D-I-Y Framing, and it begins on February 3, 2014. We will learn the following:

  • How to clean, block, and press embroidery
  • How to mount embroidery to a backing
  • How to choose and/or make a mat—or not
  • How to choose and/or make a frame
  • Whether to use glass or not
  • How to finish the back side and add hardware

Four written lessons will be delivered weekly, giving you plenty of time to read and execute them. You can download the pdfs so you have them for future use. You'll be able to ask questions and share photos in a private Yahoo! group, so you can get help with your particular projects. We'll discuss creative mat and frame options and get tips from pros.

Did I mention we'll have some fun, too? Of course we will!

Win a Free Front-Row Seat in the Class!

Want to win a spot in the class? We're giving one away!

Leave a comment with your most pressing question about finishing embroidery.

The random number generator will pick a winner on January 25th.

A Word of Caution

Lest you think my father's repeated suggestion to "make it" was a brilliant idea that you're tempted to adopt, I think you should be warned. In general, I'm grateful for the self-sufficiency my father instilled in me with his annoying answer, but in the deep recesses of my adult being, there's still a little girl who feels deprived. She says, "Just wait, Dad, until you need surgery for something. Surely there's a how-to book or tutorial online for that. Give me a sec, and I'll be right with you."

Proceed with caution.


Don't forget to leave a comment with your most pressing needlework finishing question for a chance to win a free spot in the D-I-Y Framing class!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

To Market To Market and back again!

After that Artic Vortex Winter Blast we had, it was an absolute JOY to leave my shop for 6 days to attend the TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) Winter Trade Show in sunny warm San Diego California!
A full day of meetings, an afternoon of business and technique classes, an evening of fun shopping at The Sample It (where we were able to purchase "some" of the new items that would be shown during the Trade Show), eats and drinks at the Needlepoint Showcase (where I WON a drawing and received a crisp $100 bill!!), and then off for some off-site fun with friends.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday I shopped the trade show convention floor, viewed the New Product Showcase, watched a needlearts Sand Castle being built right before our eyes (over two days!), and met with old and new friends within the industry .. shop owners and designers!


It was an exhausting time, but profitable .. in seeing what color trends were, seeing display ideas, seeing design ideas, finding new goodies to bring back to the shop, networking with other shops and talking with everyone from this fantastic industry that were there!  I know shop owners who says they cannot afford to go to Market ... I say that I cannot afford NOT to attend Market! It's where you learn, it's where you are inspired, it's where you find ways to advance your business, it's where you are exposed to ALL of the Needlearts, seeing how they inter-relate, discovering the excitement of and the people who love them!
It just a few weeks I leave again .. to attend another Needlework Market, this time in Nashville.  A