Category Archives: Machine Embroidery FYI

In-the-Hoop Project: Square Coasters – Free Design from StitchinJenny!

Design Option 1:Plain Square 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster


I’ve been kind of quiet for a few days because I’ve been busy behind the scenes with creating and testing a new embroidery design that I am giving away….

If you are new to machine embroidery, I just want to take a minute to let you know that no matter what make & model embroidery machine you have, it can sew out this project as long as you have a 4×4 hoop and you download the correct design format for your machine.  (more on design formats later)

Read on to see more pictures, how to make these, and to access the link for your free download….

I recently posted a blog tutorial for a Round In-the-Hoop Coaster.  Since then, a member of my StitchinJenny Yahoo Group has inquired about a Square 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster.  Now, she was just seeking a plain square coaster as seen in the photo to the left.  I was able to digitize and create this one in short order and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Design Option 2: Square Deco 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster

If you know me, you know that once I get started on something creative, it’s hard for me to stop.  So, I decided to make a few more options for this project.

Here is option #2:  A lovely coaster that is nice as is or would look great with a monogram in the middle.

There are so many fonts to choose from that I’m not including letters a-z this time, but I do provide instructions later in this post so you can know at which step to import your own monogram into this design.

Next is option #3:  If you follow this blog, you may recognize this fun fabric from my Pot Holder Tutorial.

Anyway, option 3 happens to be my personal favorite of the square coasters.  You can use this design to add a diamond applique to middle of your coaster or, you can leave out the applique fabric and just have the nice geometric shape as an accent stitch.

Design Option 3:  Diamond Applique 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster

So, I’ve shared the pictures of the three versions of this project along with my happy little roosters…

Now, I get to show you the steps to make yours!

If you are in a hurry and want to skip to the designs download link, just click the link to join my StitchinJenny yahoo group.

Joining is free and once you are a member, you can access and download these free designs!  If you do not see your machine’s format in the designs folder, please email me your machine’s make and model and I will upload the coaster designs in your needed format.

(NOTE: Different brands of machines require embroidery designs in their specified format.  For instance, Janome machines use JEF files. Babylock and Brother machines use PES files and so on and so forth…)

In-the-Hoop Square Coasters Tutorials For Options 2 & 3


  • Self-adhesive wash-away stabilizer -or- Self-adhesive tear away stabilizer
  • 1 can of temporary spray adhesive
  • for all coaster design options, you will need two 5″x5″ fabric remnants per coaster,  one for coaster front and one for coaster back
  • for all coaster design options, you will need one 5″x5″ scrap of cotton, low-loft batting
  • for the applique option, you will need a 4″x4″ scrap of fabric for the diamond
  • 1 spool of embroidery thread (be sure to use matching embroidery thread in your bobbin)

The first tutorial is for the Option 2 Coaster:  Square Deco Coaster

NOTE:  This design is broken down into 6 thread colors to allow the machine to stop in between steps.  You can stick with one color of thread for the entire project.  (Be sure to use matching thread in your bobbin.)

Step 1: Peel away the protective paper and hoop your self-adhesive stabilizer so that it’s tight like a tambourine and the sticky side is face up in the hoop.

Step2:  Place the hoop on your embroidery machine and stitch color #1.  (This is the coaster outline.)

Step 3:  Place your coaster front fabric right side up on top of the coaster outline stitches.  Smooth out your fabric so there are no wrinkles and stitch color #2.  (This stitch will tack down your coaster front fabric.)

Step 4:  Remove the hoop from the machine, but do not un-hoop your fabrics.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 4

Step 5:  Spritz one side of your low-loft cotton batting with temporary spray adhesive. (When spraying, hold the can about 8″ away from your fabric.  The fumes are strong so you may want to do the spraying outdoors.)

Picture of Step 5

Step 6:  Turn your hoop over so that you are looking at the back of the hoop.  Lay the sticky side of your spritzed batting on the back of your hoop.

Step 7:  Place your hoop onto your embroidery machine.  Stitch color #3.  This stitch will tack your batting in place.

Step 8:  Remove your hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess batting, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 8

Step 9:  Place the hoop onto your machine.  Stitch color #4.  This is the decorative stitch.  After this stitch is sewn, you could also import a monogram and stitch your preferred letter before moving on to the next step.

Picture of Step 9

Step 10:  Spritz the wrong side of your coaster backing  fabric with temporary spray adhesive.

Step 11:   Remove the hoop from the machine and turn it over so you are looking at the back of the hoop.  Lay the sticky side of your spritzed backing fabric on the back of your hoop.

Picture of Step 11

Step 12:  Place your hoop onto your embroidery machine.  Stitch color #5.  This stitch will tack your coaster’s backing fabric in place.

Step 13:  Remove your hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess backing fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 13

Step 14:  Place the hoop on your machine.  Stitch color #6.  This stitch is the border of your coaster.  Once you’ve stitched your coaster’s border, you can remove the hoop from the machine and you can un-hoop your project.

Picture of Step 14

Step 15:  If you used wash away stabilizer, trim away the excess stabilizer and lightly rinse the edges with warm water to dissolve any leftover stabilizer.  -or- If you used the tear away stabilizer, just tear away the excess stabilizer and you are done.

Back View of Deco Coaster

Option 3 Tutorial:  Applique Coaster

See supplies list at the beginning of the option 2 tutorial.

NOTE:  The applique coaster design is broken down into 8 thread colors to allow the machine to stop in between steps.  You can stick with one color of thread for the entire project.  (Be sure to use matching thread in your bobbin.)

Follow steps 1 through 8  from the option 2 tutorial above.

Step 9:  Place the hoop onto your machine.  Stitch color #4 of the applique coaster design.  This is the outline stitch for the diamond applique.

Step 10:  Spritz the wrong side of your coaster applique fabric with temporary spray adhesive.

Picture of Step 10 – Applique Coaster

Step 11:   Lay the sticky side of your spritzed applique fabric on the diamond outline stitch.  Smooth the fabric to remove any wrinkles.

Step 12:  Place the hoop on the machine.  Stitch color #5.  This stitch tacks down your applique fabric.

Step 13:  Remove the hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess applique fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 13 – Applique Coaster

Step 14:  Place the hoop on the machine.  Stitch color #6.  This is the satin stitch border around your applique.

Picture of Step 14 – Applique Coaster

Step 15:  Spritz the wrong side of your coaster backing  fabric with temporary spray adhesive.

Picture of Step 15 – Applique Coaster

Step 16:   Remove the hoop from the machine and turn it over so you are looking at the back of the hoop.  Lay the sticky side of your spritzed backing fabric on the back of your hoop.

Step 17:  Place your hoop onto your embroidery machine.  Stitch color #7.  This stitch will tack your coaster’s backing fabric in place.

Step 18:  Remove your hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess backing fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Step 19:  Place the hoop on your machine.  Stitch color #8.  This stitch is the border of your coaster.  Once you’ve stitched your coaster’s border, you can remove the hoop from the machine and you can un-hoop your project.

Step 20:  If you used wash away stabilizer, trim away the excess stabilizer and lightly rinse the edges with warm water to dissolve any leftover stabilizer.  -or- If you used the tear away stabilizer, just tear away the excess stabilizer and you are done.

Back View of Applique Coaster

Thanks for reading!  If you would like to download these free embroidery designs, just click the link to join my StitchinJenny yahoo group.  My group is a place where members can download my free designs, share their creations, and network with other crafty people.


Jenny Gabriel alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Ruffled & Embroidered Burp Cloth Tutorial

Ruffled & Embroidered Burp Cloth

I’m hoping I will get to see my beautiful sister and her new baby girl over the Christmas holidays.  If so, I’ll have this sweet little burp cloth ready just for her.

Here is a tutorial for making the Ruffled & Embroidered Burp Cloth:

For anyone who is new to machine embroidery, let me take a moment to say that any embroidery machine with a hoop size of 4×4 or larger can do this project.  You will need:  your sewing machine, your embroidery machine, some fabric, self -adhesive tear-away stabilizer, embroidery thread, regular sewing thread, a burp cloth, and an embroidery design that you want to put on the burp cloth.  I chose to do an applique, so you’ll get to see how that works if you read this tutorial.

By the way, feel free to post any questions you have about projects of all kinds.  I’ll do my best to answer you in short order!

#1 Making Ruffles: Cut 2 strips of fabric, 20"x5". Fold one of them with right sides together lengthwise and stitch a 1/2" seam along the short ends. Clip the corners. Repeat for the other strip.

#2 Turn the long strips of fabric right side out and press.

#3 Set your machine for a 4mm stitch length to baste 2 parallel lines next to the long raw edge of your fabric strip. Leave long thread tails at both ends of the strip.

#4 Anchor one end of the thread tails by winding them around a pin in a figure 8.

#5 Pick up the 2 thread tails on the front of your fabric strip and pull the threads to gather. Ease in the fullness of the ruffle to match the width of your burp cloth.

#6 Pin ruffle to bottom edge of burp cloth, adjusting gathers as needed.

#7 Stitch a 1/2" seam along the raw edge of the ruffle. Remove pins as you go. Then, zig zag the raw edge to prevent unraveling.

#8 Press your ruffle away from the burp cloth. Repeat steps 3-8 for the other strip of fabric at the other end of your burp cloth.

Next, comes the embroidery!  I chose to create a monogrammed applique for this project.  I got to use my new Monogram Works software for this and it was very easy to do!  You can get this software online or locally at Humble Sewing Center.  (Locally tends to cost a little less since most shops will meet or beat online pricing.)

First, find and mark center front of the burp cloth.

Decide where you want the design. I used a placement template from The Perfect Placement Kit. It's an easy way to get things just where you want them.

Once you know where you want the design to end up, you can use the grid template that came with your machine to help you with centering your project in the hoop.

I hooped a piece of self-adhesive, tear-away stabilizer and laid the burp cloth on top of it, placing as needed. Then, I stitched the outline of the circle applique with my embroidery machine.

Next, I laid a piece of fabric on top of the circle outline that I had just stitched and my embroidery machine stitched the circle again. This step tacks down my applique fabric.

Then I used my applique scissors to trim away the excess fabric around the circle. I was careful not to cut the burp cloth.

Lastly, I snapped the hoop back onto my Janome 350E and finished the satin stitch around the circle and stitched the monogram onto the fabric.

I hope my sister likes it!

The baby's name is Mikaelah. This is a font that comes with Monogram Works. LOVE IT!!!

Well, that’s all for now.  Except that since you hung in there and read the whole post, I’ll show you a picture of the 2nd thing I made with my new software…..

A monogrammed towel for my mommy! This font also comes with Monogram Works.... I hope she likes this!

Thanks for reading!

If you haven’t signed up to follow us via email yet, go ahead and do it!  This way you will be the first to know when we launch our next gift give-aways and contests!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

In the Hoop Wallet & Nifty Gift Wrap Idea

Janome 350E Stitching Out In-the-Hoop Wallet

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in my family, December is a time for back-to-back birthdays.  I have an uncle who’s birthday I just missed, so I stitched out this quick project for his belated gift.  This is the in-the-hoop wallet design collection that we just held a prize drawing for a few days ago.  You can get your own copy of this collection at Humble Sewing Center.

In the Hoop Wallet Close-Up

The wallet collection comes with a blank wallet and also wallets with the alphabet featuring the Curlz font from A-Z.  As you may have noticed, the G I’m using is not the Curlz font.  Since this wallet is for a man, I decided to use the blank wallet and imported a font from my Digitizer Jr software.  Note:  This project requires a 5×7 hoop.

Once, I had his wallet all stitched out, I removed it from the hoop, trimmed and rinsed away the remaining wash-away stabilizer.

Then, I decided to package it up for his gift….

I used a can opener to open the bottom end of a pop-top can of soup. After I ate the soup (LUNCH!), I washed the can and lid. I peeled off the original paper and re-wrapped the can with gift wrap.

I inserted the wallet into the can....

What a nice fit!

I put the bottom of the can back. (You can use a hot glue gun for this.)

All done! It's fun to see the person's reaction when they open the pop-top and your special creation is inside. "How did you get it in the can?" That's for me to know & you to find out!

Thanks for reading!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

In the Hoop Coasters

Coaster Front (Matches those Place Mats from the video tutorial…)

Coaster Back 

If some of you are new to machine embroidery and the term “In-the-Hoop” is a mystery to you, here’s a brief explanation and a photographic tutorial/demo of an “in-the-hoop” project.

“In the hoop” is a phrase that usually means the entire project is done within the embroidery hoop and does not require any sewing machine steps at all.  However, sometimes, the majority of an “in the hoop” project will be done in the hoop and just the last steps will be done with your sewing machine.  Either way, I think these types of projects are FUN!

Coaster Tutorial:


  • front & back coaster fabrics
  • embroidery thread (use matching embroidery thread in bobbin, too)
  • Fusible Stabilizer
  • Self-Adhesive Wash Away Stabilizer
  • 1 Can of Temporary Spray Adhesive

Cut a piece of fusible stabilizer to fit your hoop and fuse it to the wrong side of front coaster fabric.

Hoop the stabilized fabric. Attach hoop to embroidery machine. Stitch the coaster outline onto fabric.

Un-hoop the fabric and cut out the circle. Use this template to cut our your remaining coaster pieces – fronts & backs.

Peel off paper backing and then hoop the adhesive sew & wash stabilizer with the sticky side face up. Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the coaster outline just as you did before.

Place your pre-cut coaster front onto the coaster outline that you just stitched. Press gently with fingertips to stick in place.

Stitch the next step of your coaster. It will be a zigzag outline around the coaster. Next it will stitch your monogram or any design you choose to insert in the coaster.

I chose to stitch out our family monogram for this one.

Spray the wrong side of your coaster backing fabric with temporary spray adhesive. Remove the hoop from the machine.

Don’t un-hoop your coaster! Turn the hoop over and lay your sprayed coaster backing onto the back of your hooped coaster.

Make sure the coaster backing is aligned with coaster’s front and gently finger press into place.

Then, you’ll put the hoop onto your machine again and finish stitching out the design.

First it will be a zig zag outline.  Last it will be a satin stitch border around the entire coaster.

Once the stitching is completed, remove coaster from the hoop. Trim away excess stabilizer. Lightly rinse the edges of the coaster to dissolve the wash away stabilizer. Let dry and enjoy!

If you would like to try this project, I have digitized the coasters with a single letter from A-Z on each.  I have uploaded the files to my StitchinJenny Yahoo group.  All you have to do to access the designs is click the link and  join the group.  Once you’ve joined the group you will be able to access and download the files.

Thanks for reading!

Let’s get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Machine Embroidery Hooping Tips

Christmas Stockings! Designed by:Jenny Gabriel Sewn Out by: Liz Taylor

Sometimes achieving perfect placement for machine embroidery can be tricky.  So, here’s a few tips that may help you with your next project:

Placement is usually easiest if you can decide exactly where on your fabric that you want the design.  The green fabric shown is going to become an embroidered Christmas stocking cuff that says, “Daddy”.  Placement is key for a nice project.

We made a stocking cuff pattern piece/embroidery placement template to make sure we get this right.  Our pattern piece has an embroidery design placement cross hairs marked on it to help us see where the “Daddy” will end up.

Hooping & Placement Tips:

Step One:  Use a design template whenever possible

Step Two: Place the template on your fabric

Step Three:  Place your plastic hoop grid (that came with your machine) on your template and align the center cross hairs of the hoop grid with the template’s cross hairs.  We do this just to make sure we’ve got enough of a fabric border around the hoop grid (at least 1/2″) to be able to hoop the fabric.  (see picture above)

Step Four:  Place embroidery stabilizer under the fabric.  (Make sure the stabilizer is beneath the area that will be embroidered.)

Fabric Marking

Step Five:  Use a placement sticker or use a fabric marking tool to mark the design’s cross hairs onto your fabric.  We folded the paper back along the cross hair vertically and marked the vertical line.  Then we folded the paper back along the cross hair horizontally and marked the horizontal line.

Embroidery Placement Mark

Step 6:  Once your fabric is marked, place your plastic hoop grid in your inner hoop.  Lay the inner hoop on top of your marked fabric aligning the hoop grid cross hairs with your marked cross hairs.

Step 7:   Now, everything is perfectly aligned and if you can just snap it into your outer hoop without the fabric shifting, you’ll have everything aligned as needed.  To prevent shifting, we like to wrap the stabilizer and fabric around the edge of the inner hoop and grasp firmly as we position it and lay it into the outer hoop.

Step 8:  Next, tighten the hoop screw.

Step 9:  If the fabric is loose or kind of ripply in the hoop, you can gently tug it (be careful not to tug harder on one side than the other) to help it spread out evenly and tightly in your hoop.  (Be careful how you tug the fabric or you’ll pop it right out of the hoop and/or possibly mis-shape it).

Step 10:  Snap your hoop onto your machine.  Remove the plastic hoop grid.  Align the needle with your marked cross hairs and embroider your design.

Step 11:  Once your design is stitched out, remove your fabric from the hoop and press if desired.

Step 12:  The neat thing about using templates is that they also help you know where to place your pattern piece to cut out your fabric.  After we embroidered, we then laid our cuff pattern piece onto our fabric again and used the template cross hairs to make sure we had “Daddy” in the right place before we pinned the pattern to fabric and cut out the cuff.    After that, we assembled our stocking according to the pattern instructions.

I hope you found this useful.   These are my “go to” steps for successful embroidery placement in projects.

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I have created the pattern and typed up illustrated sewing instructions for these stockings.  The first 3 people to request a free copy of this project can have it!  Just post your comment here and I’ll leave it for you at Humble Sewing Center.

1. Tina Tran

2. Evonne Cobb


Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Quick Gifts: Fleece Pocket Blanket Tutorial

Brrr!  All that snow is making me want to snuggle up on the couch with a big fleece blanket and some cocoa!  And, that’s what this post is all about.  Welcome to a quick tutorial on a fleece pocket blanket.  Enjoy!

Instead of a tree, we like to put up a snow village and a manger scene.

One of these days we're going to add a train set!

Fleece Pocket Blanket Tutorial  ( 58″x50″ blanket):

One of these pillows is also a blanket!


1 & 3/8 yard of fleece, 1/2 yard fleece for contrast pocket, 1 spool of coordinating thread, 1/2 yard of water soluble stabilizer


Trim away the selvages from the bigger fleece and set aside.

Cut a 15″x28″ rectangle from the contrast fleece.  Fold in half and mark center.  The folded edge will be the top edge of the pocket.  Unfold the fleece and embroider with your preferred design.

Close-up of embroidered pocket

I used a design from Dakota Collectibles’  Embossed Embroidery Variety Collection.

Tip:  Usually, when embroidering on fleece,  I use a water soluble topper to prevent the stitches from sinking in.  But, if you are using an embossed design, the stitches are supposed to sink in so, I didn’t use a topper in this instance.


Fold the pocket in half with embroidery showing.

Center the pocket along the bottom edge of the blanket.   Align the raw edges and pin in place.

Stitch the sides of the pocket and the bottom edge of the pocket.

Close-up of blanket stitch and stabilizer.

Cut your water soluble stabilizer into strips that are about an 1 1/2″ wide and as long as possible.

Select a blanket stitch or other decorative stitch on your sewing machine.  Lay a strip of stabilizer under one long edge of the blanket and stitch along the edge.

Pivot at the corner.

Lay another long strip under the next edge of your blanket and repeat steps for all 4 edges.

Trim and rinse away the stabilizer to remove.

Enjoy your blanket!

Pocket Pillow/Blanket Folding Instructions:

1)Fold the blanket into thirds, the same width as the pocket.

2)Flip the blanket with pocket side down and Fold the blanket once....

3)Fold the blanket twice....

4)Fold the blanket until it's down to the size of the pocket.

5)Turn the pocket inside out. This will tuck the blanket inside of the pocket.

6)TaDa! You can embroider the pocket on both sides so it always shows, but I decided to just embroider one side.

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Machine Embroidery Tips for Perfect Applique

Sew Crafty Ladies!

The Sew Crafty Houston Ladies! Photo By: Laura Burlton

Ok!  I know I posted this picture just a few weeks ago, but I have a good reason!

#1 I’m really missing my time with these gals.

#2 Don’t we look great?

#3 I promised to talk about how I made this applique banner in a future post.

Remember?  Well,  we are presently in the FUTURE!

So, here is a “General” Tutorial for how I did this and also some great tips for making machine embroidered appliques!

Machine Embroidered Banners 101

  • Decide how wide your finished banner will be.
  • Decide how large your letters will need to be.
  • Select the appropriate font and size from your favorite embroidery designs collection.  (I purchased an applique font online and chose the 5×7 hoop sized letters for this project)
  • Using your embroidery software, print out a template of each letter in your banner.
  • Using see through tracing paper, make a triangle template that nicely frames your letters.  Mark center on this template.
  • Using Embroidery Machine:  Hoop a 10″x10″ or larger piece of background fabric and applique a letter to it.    (see applique tips) Make sure you place the letter carefully so that you’ll have enough room to cut out your triangle!
  • Un-hoop the fabric.  Press if desired.  Lay your triangle template on top of your fabric, centering the appliqued letter within the triangle.  Pin the template to the fabric and cut out the triangle using pinking shears.  (If you don’t have pinking shears, you could just use regular scissors and hem your triangle to prevent unraveling.)
  • Repeat for all the letters in your banner.
  • Sew your appliqued triangles to a ribbon (I used 1″ wide grossgrain) and make sure you leave long tails at each end so you can hang your banner.
  • Enjoy!

A blurry closeup of one of my letters!

Machine Embroidery Applique Tips:

Recommended Stabilizers:  Floriani Appli-Kay Wonder or SewVac Outlet’s Fuse ‘n Stick

These stabilizers are fusible on one side and sticky on the other.  This allows you to hold applique pieces in place while you stitch.  I love it because it prevents shifting and bubbling in my applique and my needle doesn’t get gummy!  An alternative to the stabilizers would be a temporary spray adhesive that you use to spritz the back of your applique before you place it on the fabric.  This works, but I find that the stabilizer gives me more consistent results.

Seven Steps to Perfect Appliques:

Step One:  Hoop the fabric that you will use for your applique letter.  You don’t need a stabilizer beneath it – unless you’re using stretchy fabric.

Step Two:  Stitch the outline of the design.  Un-hoop the fabric and press if needed.

Step Three:  Lay your fabric with the design outline wrong side up so that you are looking at the back of your design.  Lay a piece of the Fuse n’ Stick or Appli-Kay Wonder on the fabric with the fusible side touching the back of your design.  (The fusible side is the shiny side.)

Step Four:  Fuse the stabilizer piece to the wrong side of the decorative fabric using a medium to high temperature setting on your iron.  (No Steam).  Start at a med. temperature and slowly increase until you get a good fuse.  Hold the iron in place for at least 3 seconds and then flip the piece over and press again on the fabric side.

Step Five:  Once cooled, cut out the appliqué design using the trace lines/ stitched lines.

Step Six:  Peel back the protective sheet to expose the sticky surface. **It is very important to let the applique cool before removing the paper.

Step Seven:  Hoop your backround fabric (use a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer behind it!)  and stitch the design outline one more time.  Now, position the sticky appliqué piece over the design outline and finger press in to place. *Press on the appliqué side and the fabric side for maximum bonding. Finish by stitching out the rest of your embroidery design, changing thread colors as needed.

Gift Give-Away Contest Update:

We only need 2 more winners!!!  Click the link to enter to win and find out what you get!  Contest Link

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

One Step T-Shirt Makeovers

Designer Necklines

Today’s post is one of True Confessions.  True confessions about things I buy and then take forever to get around to using.

I bought this design package at the BabyLock event that Humble Sewing Center hosted last April.  What a fun event!  Nancy Zieman came to town and this was one of the items she showcased during her presentation.  Well, I just had to have it!

So, my confession is that it is now the end of November and today is the first time I even opened the package.  But, I am happy to say that not only did I open it, I actually used it, too!

This design package is loaded with all the needed designs, step by step instructions and a 30min video tutorial.  (If you’d like your own copy, Humble Sewing Center can order this item for you.)

I’m posting a short video demo here, but before that I have just a few pictures to share!

My Shirt Before

My Shirt After!

Close-Up of Shirt Using the Placket Option

This project was so fun and VERY easy!  I plan to make more of these and use the other design options.

Here’s a short video demo from our favorite seamster:  Nancy Zieman!

ATTENTION:   The contest for the freebies is almost over.  Click here to get in on some goodies!  Gift Give-Away

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

What does Hockey have to do with Sewing? Not much, but…..

What does Hockey have to do with Sewing?  Not much, but….  I just found some cool Hockey fabric today.  This occurred when I went to High Fashion on a Fabric Field Trip with friend, student, and blogger – Stacie, of

Look!  This is a close-up of the fabric I found! I plan to use it in one of those embroidered mugs as a gift for my husband.

My husband plays goalie....

What else does Hockey have to do with Sewing?  Well, I used my Janome Digitizer Jr., a purchased applique font, and my Janome Giga Hoop to embroider his player number on the back of his jersey.  See?

Can you guess what his favorite number is?

And, if you really want to know the truth of why I feel compelled to talk about hockey on a sewing blog,  Sunday night was the play-off game for his Hockey league.  Guess who won the Championship?

(Team Name: Bad Company) My husband is the one wearing blue gloves. He's 6'6" and almost as tall as me when he's on his knees. Photo By: Cameron Hagen

This victory is a big deal.  He’s been competing and shooting for a championship for a few years now.  Way to go, Gabe!!!

And, now for an update about our on-going Gift-Away:

We still haven’t reached 25 winners!   Hurry up and follow the “steps to win” so you can be in the 1st 25!!!

Steps to Win:

  • If you’re not already following, register to follow this blog by clicking on the link in our side-bar.
  • Then, contact me through making a comment on this blog post
  •  Let me know which item you want to claim – the key fob or the koozie
  • Let me know what name or letter you’d like me to custom embroider on your item
  • -Or- let me know if you want to receive it as a blank.  (A blank is an item that is ready for you to embroider yourself. )

I bet you want to see what you get, right?

Well, I decided to give you a choice between the two items pictured here.

As we add to our list of winners, I'll get these stitched out and make an announcement when they are ready for pick-up at HSC.

Click the Contest Link to see the updated list of Winners!  

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

SUPER Fun Embroidery & Digitizing Software

Custom Super G Capes

Custom Projects are Fun!

Yes, my last name is Gabriel but, no, these aren’t my capes.  I recently custom made them for a client.

Once they were done, I proudly showed them to my teen daughters who both put in special requests for their own Super G capes.  I think they plan to wear them out and about on random shopping errands.  Like I’ve said before, I am enjoying raising these girls and I find their teenage ways very entertaining.  I really can’t point fingers at them, considering some of the crazy things I wore in public when I was their age.  We won’t go there!

Digitizing Software is Cool!

Anyway, it was so much fun to create these specialty appliques with the help of my Janome Digitizer Jr, that I decided to post about it here.

And before I go on to share a few creation details, I just wanted to mention that if you have an embroidery machine, you may want to consider purchasing some Digitizing Software.  I’ve personally found it very useful in a number of ways:

  • View & edit designs on my laptop before transferring them to my embroidery machine
  • Delete unwanted portions of designs & combine designs during the editing process
  • Print out actual size design templates with cloth setter marking (this comes in handy when deciding where to place designs on a project and helps with accurate hooping)
  • Create your own custom designs by scanning in images and converting them to stitches (very cool)

There’s an ocean worth of different software on the market and shopping can be overwhelming.  I feel most comfortable buying embroidery software from my local sewing machine dealership, Humble Sewing Center.  They are always willing to answer my questions, steer me in the right direction, and help me find out what I need to make an informed decision.

Creation Details:

First I searched for a free SuperMan logo and downloaded it.  Then I printed it out to use as a template and to give me a size reference for my letter G.

Then I used my digitizing software to customize & resize an applique G that I had purchased and downloaded from the internet.

Janome Digitizer Jr

Template w/ Cloth setter marking

Next, I printed out a template of my customized letter G with the cloth setter marking for help with design placement.

Template & Test Sew Super G

I over-laid the G on top of my SuperMan template and used this to help me hoop my fabric and stitch out a pink, leopard print, experimental “Super G” with my embroidery machine.

I think I’ll put it on a black apron for my Grandma!  SHE is a super G!

Once I had a successful test, I proceeded to sew these out for each cape in their respective colors.  I then made the capes using McCalls pattern 2853 as my guide.

These capes are fully lined, so before I attached the lining, I fused and appliqued the super G diamonds to each cape, using a 7mm wide satin stitch with a .3mm stitch length and matching embroidery thread to outline the diamond.

That’s all for now!
Let’s get sewing!
Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny