Sunday, November 27, 2016

It Is The Christmas Season Once Again

It Is The Christmas Season Once Again


Where did this year go?  All of my hopes and plans of keeping up with this blog failed again this year.  Guess that means blogging will be my New Years Resolution for 2017.

We have done some absolutely fabulous things on the embroidery machine this year.  Digitizing embroidery for machines has become an integral part of the business, too.  Truthfully, I just enjoy the creating and then watching the creation come to fruition.

I sure hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  With all of that said, let's get down to pictures of embroidery.

I'm an avid Pinterester and love the antique/heirloom embroidery.  This year I decided to create my own alphabet that looks antique.  It took all year but I finally finished.  The alphabet contains 2 Q's.  I couldn't decide which I preferred, so, I just did both.  I call it my "Ancient" alphabet.  I put it on several wristlets that are listed in the Etsy store but these can be embroidered on anything, in any size or color.  It is funny but some alphabets I don't like the style of the S or I or various letters.  In this alphabet I created letter styles that I do like with an antique flair.  What do you think?

My studio has two bathrooms but the largest would be considered tiny in most homes.  Nevertheless, I needed bath rugs.  Something that I can just throw in the laundry to clean but yet still have a rug so wet feet don't have to meet cold tile.  One of my suppliers sells hotel type towels and had those towel rugs.  They are almost too big for one of the bathrooms but still it does fit.  I put a nice, big, 8" tall, monogram on it the same color as the walls in the bath.  They turned out so pretty.  I used my new Ancient alphabet for the H.  One was made for each bathroom but I think I'm going to make 2 for each so that when one is in the laundry, the other can be on the floor.  

The rugs were made and I looked at the bathroom as a whole and decided to do a matching towel and hand cloth.  When we painted this bathroom, I told my husband that I wanted painter's tape blue and that is what it is.  This is the smaller of the two bathrooms and the blue and white makes it look so happy.

 The second, larger (ha) bathroom is done in black and white.  I already had the little mermaid hand towels but they really popped when I put them over the black monogrammed bath towel.
 Okay, so it is now Christmastime.  Here are a couple of Christmas stockings that I made because it is Christmastime and that's what I do.  They are made with red muslin and fully lined with white satin like the cuff.  The total height is about 16".  They are a nice, normal size for a Christmas stocking.  When I look at things like this, I see lots of room to embroider.  Rather than the cuff, a name going vertical down the stocking would be really cool, don't you think?

This next one "Wine a bit you'll feel better" just about says it all.  I did one on a waffle weave towel and the other on a flour sack towel.  They turned out very nice.


 Then on one of our nice cotton hand towels, "Just another day in paradise" in a multi-colorful array of threads.

 Just had to throw in our Krewe of Wrecks Mardi Gras patch because, well, just because :)


Here is one of our fringed fingertip hand towels.  That horse turned out perfect.  I love those colors.  Wish I could say that I did that digitizing but no, that is a purchased design but wow.


 Of course, we are always doing the wedding handkerchiefs.  So many styles, fonts, colors, and messages.  One lady had so much to say to her mother that the message took up the entire handkerchief.  She liked my suggestion of simply framing the handkerchief with the message and did just that.


Until next time ...
Peggy

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cajun Corner - March 16, 2016

One of the most difficult techniques for me to learn in machine embroidery was to embroider with metallic thread.  There have been some very frustrating moments where I had to just walk away from it.  Over the years, thank goodness, I have learned.  The trick is to loosen your upper tension, slow the machine down, and put your thread on a stand or in a cup on the other side of the room.  Yes, you will still get some thread breaks but much less.

All of that said, I have fallen in love with gold work,silver work, and the look of a shimmering metallic design.  In fact, yesterday I made two black shams with gold metallic dragons.  Here are some pictures:



Remember when making shams, make them one or two inches smaller than the pillow insert in order for the insert to fill the sham to capacity for a better look and fit.

Have a great day.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cajun Corner - March 13, 2016

Cajun Stitchery celebrated its 7th Anniversary this month.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around that fact, and I'm still loving every minute of it.

Here are some pictures of project that we did that first year in 2009.  I did not know much about digitizing back then.  Heck, I was still a novice at embroidery but we had a lot of designs.





Here are some of the projects we have done this year (2016).  Over the past seven years, I have learned to digitize and embroider much better.  Many new techniques have been learned, and some were simply created out of necessity.  Cajun Stitchery has well over a million designs and literally thousands of fonts, alphabets, and lettering.







Still stitching and enjoying every minute of it :)

THANK YOU so much to everyone who has helped us through these years by either patronizing Cajun Stitchery and/or being our friend.

Peggy




Friday, July 10, 2015

Peacock Sham Embroidery

CAJUN STITCHERY

Custom Embroidery

July 10, 2015

I just had to embroider this peacock.  The colors are so beautiful.  The peacock is 9" tall.  Well, once again, I've embroidered a beautiful design and what should I do with it?  The answer was another sham, 26" wide by 20" tall, which is the size of an American Standard pillow.




The older shams that I used to make did not include buttons on the back.  Now that I've discovered that the embroidery machine can stitch beautiful buttonholes, well, why not?  I used a couple of the beautiful colors from the peacock.  Not to mention using part of the stash of buttons that I've collected over the years.


The side seams are french seams. They turned out well but I probably wouldn't use french seams on fabric thicker than this.



I think the sham turned out pretty nice.  The old pillow that I put inside was smaller than the 26" by 20", but what the heck.  The sham is gorgeous.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cajun Corner – Vol. 7, No. 5 – July 8, 2015

Cajun Corner – Vol. 7, No. 5 – July 8, 2015


Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.comwww.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook

This has been a very busy year so far.  That is great news for us.  There have also been some really cool embroideries going on here, too.


The following handkerchiefs were quite an effort because there was so much text.  The customer purchased the handkerchiefs elsewhere and brought them to me for embroidery.








The handkerchief for her mom had so many words that we decided to make the handkerchief suitable for framing.

The following customer wanted her handkerchief on a very stretchy, sheer fabric.  It turned out beautiful and the customer loved it.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Cajun Corner – Vol. 7, No. 5 – April 13, 2015

Cajun Corner – Vol. 7, No. 5 – April 13, 2015


Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.comwww.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook.  


Visit our on-line catalogs at:



Ever since I was a young girl in Girl Scouts I've been interested, perhaps concerned is a better word, about the environment.  With that in mind, Earth Day is April 22nd.  One of my cousins posted a very moving video on FaceBook about how everyone should plant a tree on Earth Day.  We are looking into getting a fig tree to plant and join the movement.

That video got me thinking about the environment and wondering if I'm doing all I can to help.  There really are so many things individuals can do or not do to help the environment.  We have a garden and a compost pile.  I'm still driving my little 1995 Geo Metro. Insofar as Cajun Stitchery is concerned, I try to purchase 100% cotton, made in the USA fabric.  Sometimes I can and sometimes I cannot but I sure do work hard searching and trying.  

It dawned on me that rather than throwing away scraps of fabric, which is nearly impossible for me to do anyway, I should make stuff with it.  I do that anyway.  That's nothing new.  As I pondered this, I decided to make stuff from our old clothes, specifically our jeans.  At first I was making some cute dog bones that I saw on the internet.  The dogs love them and they are made out of jeans.  The shape is not perfect yet.  One actually looks more like a wrench than a bone.
Now I'm making plastic bag holder/dispensers. Years ago I made a plastic bag holder/dispenser for our home out of the leg of a pair of jeans.  It really has stood up to time, even when my husband pulls and tugs at it.  It is behind the washer hanging on a hook and you really have to reach for it.  In addition, you simply wash it like you would, well, jeans.
For Easter, I made these adorable fabric carrots from scraps of fabric and stuffed them with small pieces of scrap fabric.
There is a new category in our Etsy Store called "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."  The intent is to sell items reusing/recycling scrap fabric, clothes and whatever else seems applicable.  Your positive comments are always welcome.

If you don't already know and would like to know how to make the plastic bag holder, here are the instructions:

I've found about 13" tall is a good size for us.  Cut off a leg from a pair of jeans.  Give yourself a good 15" or so because of the hems.  Cut off the bottom hem on the jeans.  It's just too bulky.  Sometimes, if the legs flair, I'll simply make them straight by cutting the sides straight (finish the raw edges and seams each side).

Serge or otherwise finish the raw edges at the top and bottom.   If the jean legs flair, simply make them straight by cutting the sides straight (finish the raw edges and seams each side).

If you are going to monogram or embroider anything, now is the time.  Just make sure the embroidery is centered the way you want.  

Turn the finished edges at top and bottom inside about an inch.  Sew the hems leaving enough room to thread elastic through.  Also, leave an opening to insert the elastic.  

Next, insert the elastic.  I thread the thin elastic through, tie it off, and then cut the elastic.  Usually the bottom is pretty tight to allow only one plastic bag out at a time.  The top needs to be tight but loose enough to stuff the plastic bags into it.

The final step is that I cut about a foot or two of that heavy felled seam that runs the side of the jeans.  Just cut it and make a long strip.  Double it up and tack it onto the side of the bag, or wherever you want the strap.

Voila - Finished

If you don't understand any of these instructions, please do not hesitate to contact/comment and I'll be glad to try to help you out.


Peggy Henshall, Owner
Cajun Stitchery

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cajun Corner – Vol. 7, No. 4 – March 21, 2015

Cajun Corner – Vol. 7, No. 4 – March 21, 2015


Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

ΘΘΘΘΘ
Don’t forget to visit us at www.cajunstitchery.comwww.flickr.com/photos/cajunstitchery, and, www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook.  

Visit our on-line catalogs at:




Wow!  This year has been crazy so far.  I've been working on a project that actually began in mid-December.  It was a beautiful bed cover.  We took photographs of a gorgeous 17th or 18th century bed cover.  Then I digitized  some of the embroidery from the bed cover.  We finished the new and improved bed cover last week.  This week we are working on matching shams for this beautiful bed.  I don't usually mention the projects that I create for this customer because she prefers that I not show our creations.  That means I cannot post photographs.  So, you don't get to see.  No fun in that.  So, I usually don't mention it.  But I have been busy.
We have the studio that George remodeled and I decorated.  It is so adorable and I love working on my embroidery projects over there.  It came to my attention a few years ago that I really need to start entertaining in the studio.  I don't really have a store front.  I take orders mostly over the internet.  But I love using our projects to decorate the studio.  Insofar as a store front, Cajun Stitchery is more, shall we say, exclusive, by invitation only.  These projects need to be seen for sales purposes, of course, but for art purposes as well.  My girlfriends have been giving me platters and all sorts of fancy dishes and stuff to assist me in entertaining.  This year the entertainment began in earnest.  
To say that I'm not a great cook is an understatement.  I'm not really interested in cooking and therefore, I don't cook well.  I tend to agree with something my mother told me years ago.  We can sew and wear or use the item for years and have that good feeling of accomplishing something beautiful for a very long time.  When you cook, the dish may indeed be a work of art, but then, people come along and eat it and it is gone.  Or, if no one eats it, it rots and it is gone.  Nope.  I prefer a longer lasting good feeling.
Anyway, I decided to cook chili one night this past winter and told George to come over for dinner at the studio.  Well, I had the ground beef in the skillet and the beans in a pot and everything was cooking pretty much all day.  That's when I noticed it.  I looked at my hands and realized I had broken a nail and couldn't find it.  Visions of the nail in the ground beef or beans was tormenting me.  I searched through those 2 pots for hours thinking whether or not I should tell George.  Maybe the nail wouldn't end up in his plate.  If it did...that was just too disgusting to think.  I searched and searched totally mortified.  Distraught, I hung my head and walked to my embroidery machine.  There on the floor was my nail.  Whew!  So, my entertaining attempt had some stress involved.
Later, I decided to invite my CPA and dear friend over for dinner, wine and taxes.  It was a riveting evening.  Absolutely nothing like wine while doing your taxes.  LOL  That evening we had boiled shrimp, potatoes and corn.  Success!  Both dinner and taxes went just fine.
Last November I invited several of our friends to the studio for shrimp gumbo.  The gumbo was delicious but I noticed one of my friends did not eat it.  I asked why and was informed that even though he lives on the waterfront, and has a big, beautiful fishing boat, he doesn't like seafood.  I had no idea and was, of course, disturbed that a guest would go hungry at my party.  
After Mardi Gras this year, I invited my friend, as well as others, to a Meat-Fest dinner.  Everything was meat and no seafood was allowed.  It was very interesting.  I will tell you that chocolate covered bacon is fabulous and you simply cannot eat just one.  The appetizer was a meat tray of luncheon meat that I rolled into little tubes with little pots of mustard and mayonnaise for dipping.  The main course was pulled pork with barbeque sauce.  Dessert was the chocolate covered bacon and ground beef brownies.  The ground beef brownies were interesting because the recipe said that many people are allergic to nuts and the brownie recipe merely substituted two tablespoons of fried ground beef for the nuts.  Otherwise, it was a normal brownie recipe.  One guest brought hot wings and another brought bacon cupcakes.  The bacon cupcakes were maple flavored cupcakes with bacon on top.  Delicious.  We had so much fun at the Meat-Fest party that some of the guests are planning Meat-Fest 2016.
A week later I had my Mardi Gras krewe over for our monthly meeting and dinner.  Our krewe is an all female krewe.  The girls always bring various dishes.  This dinner theme was Mexican.  I made tacos.  We had a margarita station.  I cannot really tell you what all was served because I spent most of the evening at the margarita station.  We all agreed that we definitely need a repeat of this gathering.

After all of that entertaining, I was tired of cooking.  Guess we'll give the entertaining a rest for now but I definitely am planning a 4th of July shindig.

Peggy Henshall, Owner
Cajun Stitchery
www.cajunstitchery.com
www.cajunstitchery.etsy.com
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