Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 13

Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 13 – April 7, 2012

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


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This week I’ve been able to do a bit of catch up work and try out some techniques that have intrigued me.

The first technique was embroidering scalloped edges on a tee shirt.  Using the appliqué technique, I digitized a simple scalloped placement line, then a tack down line, then the satin stitch.  After sewing the tack down line, I was able to trim the excess fabric as in appliqué.  When the satin stitch sewed out the fabric was trimmed and left a very nice scalloped edge.  I used a tear away stabilizer.  The only problem with the tear away stabilizer is that when you tear it away some fuzzy cotton residue remains.  That’s not so bad if you are embroidering with white thread, but the darker the thread the more obvious the fuzz.  There are a couple of ways to deal with the fuzz.  One is to trim the fuzz that you can and then using a magic marker the same color as the thread, cover the fuzz with the magic marker.  Another method is to singe it off, but only if your thread is a poly-type threads that will melt.  The final method is to just leave it.  Most people won’t even notice.  Another technique is to hoop plastic or wash away, instead of the tear away.  It was my tee shirt and I used tear away, trimmed away any noticeable fuzz and let it go.  It looked good enough for me.

Next, I wanted to begin practicing some continuous hooping a/k/a multi-hooping.  This is where you embroider a design that is larger than your hoop.  After embroidering the design in the hoop; un-hoop and re-hoop the design in such a way that the embroidery will begin in the new hoop where the previous embroidery stopped.  I used the scalloped edges of the previously mentioned tee shirt.  Paying close attention to where the first stitch is placed and pinning the fabric in place, the continuous/multi hooping project proceeded without a hitch.  The end of the multi-hooping, when doing a continuous hooping that meets at the other side, i.e., table cloth edging or scalloped edges on a tee shirt, should match perfectly with the beginning.  In other words, the last stitch of the last hooping should meet with the first stitch of the first hooping.  Alas, mine did not.  The tee shirt was very stretchy and I ended up with a space of about one scallop, which I kind of slid into place.  That is not the most professional method but it worked in a pinch.

The scalloped edged continuous hooping was very simplistic.  This technique can become quite arduous with more complicated designs.  Therefore, I need to practice, practice, and practice.

My mama loved scalloped edges.  She thought they were very feminine and had a professional look.  Hand embroidered scallops require drawing and cutting the scallops; then sewing a running stitch near the depth of the scallop satin stitch; and finally, tightly and evenly sewing the satin stitch along the edge.  That is much too time consuming for me.  On a sewing machine there are a couple of techniques.  One is just like the hand embroidered satin stitch, except you use a tear away or wash away stabilizer after the edges are cut.  Good luck getting those to look right.  The simpler way is not to cut the fabric but sew the scallops and come back and trim the excess fabric from the scalloped edges.  This is especially nice if you have a scallop stitch on your sewing machine.  But you have to be very careful not to accidentally clip a satin stitch.  This method is used frequently on items at stores.  The embroidery machine method, explained above, gives the best of both worlds.  The end result is a satin stitched scallop without the clipped fabric showing and no snipped stitches.  Of course, scalloped edges can be done easily on a sewing machine by using a facing, but that isn’t embroidery and embroidery is what I do.

Scallops are not the only thing done this week.  We had an accident at the house.  One of the burners on the stove was left on and a pot holder somehow was on the burner.  The pot holder burned.  Don’t worry.  There was no damage other than a ruined pot holder.  The pot holder is one that I made several years ago and was our favorite.  Pot holders were probably the first thing that Mama taught me to sew.  They are a great way to use scrap fabric.  The nice thing about making pot holders is that they are not as thin and flimsy as most store bought pot holders, and they are large enough to be useful.  The ITH (In The Hoop) designs for pot holders all seem to be too small and too flimsy.  Awhile back I did design and made some pot holders ITH but they were not exactly what I wanted.


1.      Find the fabric you want to use for the pot holder.

2.      Embroider the design you want on ½ the fabric for the pot holder.

3.      Cut the fabric, leaving enough around the edges for your seam.  This step can also be done before the embroidery process as long as you have enough fabric to hoop.  I cut mine on a fold.  I like a pot holder about 6” wide and 8” tall.

4.      With right sides together, sew a seam around 3 sides, leaving one side open for stuffing.  Turn.

5.      Take some scrap fabric, or whatever you want to use for stuffing, and place inside the pouch.  Lay the pouch down and spread the stuffing evening throughout the pouch.  Do not fill tight, just enough to give a nice, thick, quilted pot holder.

6.      Turn the open end inside and pin closed.

7.      Run your sewing machine over the entire pouch a few times, creating the quilting and sew the end closed.

8.      Trim your threads and voila!  You have a pot holder. 

Of course, this pot holder is very simple.  There are all kinds of pot holders and designs for pot holders.  Mama always taught me to save scraps of fabric and keep a bag by my machine for the trimmed off thread and little bits of fabric and lace.  These come in very handy on many sewing occasions.  I’ve been teased a lot about saving all of my scraps but when I was making those little letter pillows to spell “Cajun Stitchery”, those scraps came in very handy.  When making Evie a soft pillow those scraps came in handy.  There are numerous uses for scraps.

Our new puppy, Sammy, is acclimating to life at our home.  We searched online about how to introduce a puppy to an older dog and found several articles.  Basically, you just let them alone and they will handle it.  Make sure the older dog gets lots of petting and attention.  One article specifically addressed a male and female dog and said, “The bottom line is that the bitch rules.”  It is obvious that Evie rules in this situation.  However, I liked the sentence so much that I told George it is now my mantra.

Tonight George and I continue our tradition of Easter Egg Dying. 


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A little shimmer never hurt anyone! Add some metallic or glitter stripes you your Easter eggs to give them a super glam look! Easter just got super stylish!

Found this at:





o                                1

Add vinegar as a mordant. A mordant prepares the fiber to accept and hold the dye. Vinegar is safe to use on eggs because it can be ingested. You need 1 to 2 Tablespoons per batch of dye that you make.

o                                2

Make homemade dye with produce or pantry items. The outer layers of an onion make brown dye, spinach or dandelion leaves make green dye and celery seed, ground turmeric or orange peels make yellow dye. Use crushed blueberries to make blue dye, crush cranberries or raspberries to make red dye and beet juice or chopped rhubarb to make pink dye. Put enough water to cover eggs, produce or pantry item and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.


o                                3

Use drinks to dye your Easter eggs. Add vinegar and hard boiled eggs to coffee or tea to dye them brown. You can make unsweetened Kool Aid into dye. Or you could use vibrant juices like grape juice or cranberry juice.

o                                4

Mix food coloring for dye. Add 20 to 40 drops of food coloring to a cup of water and vinegar. The amount of food coloring determines the shade of the color. You can mix different amounts two or more colors to create a variety of shades.

Tips & Warnings

·         Use gloves to prevent your hands and fingers absorbing your homemade dye.
·         Put newspaper under the area where you are dying Easter eggs to protect surfaces from dye.
·         Always allow your eggs to boil and then simmer for at least eight minutes.


C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S.  You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

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