Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cajun Corner - Vol. 5, No. 43


Cajun Corner – Vol. 5, No. 43 – August 25, 2013


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



Don’t forget to visit us at,, and, often.   We are also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Visit our on-line catalogs at:

Still working hard on this beautiful, large embroidery design.  Wouldn’t you know that right in the middle of working on this fabulous design Clothilde decides to start making this loud noise?  It certainly did not sound healthy.  Pleas went out to our beloved tech who returned the call from Trinidad.  She is so good at what she does that she was able to direct me on taking off the body of the machine and oiling some obscure part in the internal mechanism.  She said she would call the following day to see if it worked.  If it did not work, I was to run the machine and when I heard the noise, I should apply some pressure on a wire that weaves itself throughout the machine. 

The oiling went well and Clothilde began purring like a kitten, again.  Then the noise began.  At first it was low then louder until it reached a crescendo.  Slight pressure was placed on the wire to no avail.  Then more pressure was placed on the wire and the noise went away.  So, there I was embroidering and handling that with one hand while the other hand was holding the wire.  The embroidery was completed and we simply turned the machine off until our tech called the following day.  Visions of large, expensive, mechanical parts danced through my brain all day.  Finally, she called.  “Get a 7mm open end wrench and a pair of pliers,” she said.  George was summoned since I have no idea what an open end wrench is.  I did know what a pair of pliers looked like.  Out of his magic room of tools George appeared with the tool.  Hold the end of the wire with the pliers and give a few turns of the wrench to the nut and that’s it.  That’s it?  She told me that I could purchase a gauge to tighten the wire to specs.  Yes, I definitely want that.  How much is that fancy gauge going to set me back?  $20 plus shipping.  Holy cow!  That’s it?  I ordered my gauge immediately.  Our Clothilde is back in business and George and I are proud as peacocks that we now know how to handle the noise issue. The waiting time was put to good use because we cleaned both houses while waiting. 

Handkerchiefs seem to be big business these days.  I’ve written about the booger hanky several times.  Wedding handkerchiefs are the main handkerchief sales for most embroiderers.  I must say that we’ve sold many men’s hankies and women’s non-wedding handkerchiefs, as well.  Most of our customers say they like that our hankies are unusual.  They certainly aren’t your run of the mill handkerchiefs.  I started out hand sewing the rolled hems around the hankies and then applying the embroidery.  Then I realized that many handkerchiefs these days have serged edges.  I have a serger and it is easy to use, so, why not?  I serged the edges of hankies for awhile and then would apply the embroidery.  When Clothilde came to live with us and we got the big embroidery hoops, I digitized the entire hanky in-the-hoop with a pretty little satin stitch edge.  Tear away stabilizer was used with cloth pinned to the top.  The outline of the hanky would stitch as an appliqué.  The excess fabric would be cut from around the outline.  Then the rest of the hanky would stitch.  In the end the stabilizer was simply ripped off and voila, we had a beautiful hanky.  Hanky in-the-hoop is pretty unique but not as unique as I wanted.  In the meantime, I was all over Pinterest, Etsy, and the internet looking at gorgeous heirloom and antique handkerchiefs.  It still baffles me how these women of old would hand stitch and embroider these elegant handkerchiefs.  Several times I’ve attempted to embroider and/or attach lace to the handkerchiefs.  The problem is that if the lace is embroidered onto the hanky, there is no way that the stabilizer can be removed prior to sale.  It is just too hard and time consuming to remove those little bits of stabilizer.  I did a few hankies where I did the lace separately on netting, cut out the lace and hand stitched the lace corner onto the handkerchief.  The handkerchiefs sold but it wasn’t what I wanted to achieve. 

Recently I digitized a scalloped edged, in-the-hoop handkerchief.  Love, love, love it!  Then I was playing around with different shaped handkerchiefs.  Thing were working out pretty darn good.  I decided that since Christmas is approaching, I should create a Christmas hanky, which I did.  The beautiful, metallic, Christmas design has a very light density.  When I went to rip off the stabilizer I couldn’t get all the little pieces out.  Just like the lace handkerchief.  I had some white organza that I hooped and used like the stabilizer with the cloth pinned to the top for the appliqué.  This worked out well except the end result was that the handkerchief is now lined with organza.  Since I used the organza as the stabilizer, the handkerchief had to be cut from the handkerchief.  And, since organza is shear, little pieces are not seen.  I thought about cutting the organza away from the inside of the handkerchief, but then I had to deal with the embroidered motif.  The motif didn’t have a distinct outline.  I just had to deal with a lined handkerchief.  The two red, Christmas handkerchiefs were taken to a friend’s home where I showed the girls the difference and asked their opinions.  Hands down, they loved the lined hanky and did not mind the fact that it was lined at all.

Never satisfied, the idea of the lace hanging off the handkerchief’s edge continued to entice me.  Finally, I decided to use the organza as the stabilizer; use the scalloped hanky as the appliqué pattern; and, insert an outlined lace design to the edge, partly on the hanky fabric and partly only on the organza.  It worked!  I was able to trim the organza off from the outside of the handkerchief, and trim the organza from the inside up to the outline of the lace design.  Unless I can figure something else out, the light density designs without outlines will still require the hanky to be lined with organza.

One last point on the making of handkerchiefs with an embroidery machine is the use of netting or toile as the stabilizer.  I have used netting as a stabilizer and it does work.  Hoop the netting as the stabilizer and continue as I did with the organza.  Even the off the edge lace will work.  The issue with the netting is if the stitches are smaller than the netting squares, they will just hang there because there is nothing to attach.  The netting itself looks like a part of the lace, which is a bonus.  The netting is pretty easy to trim.  I have not used toile but I think the little squares would be too dense to look like lace and not shear enough to conceal when trimming.  But you never know until you try.

We had a wonderful visit from George’s sister, Kathie, yesterday.  We enjoyed the afternoon at Paradise Bar & Grill and then back home.  It started out a rainy day but cleared up for an enjoyable afternoon.  She only lives an hour away in Fairhope, AL but we rarely see each other.  Since my Mama has passed on and George’s mother has passed away, we are all thinking that we should make a point of getting together more frequently before we can’t anymore. 

A friend of mine called me the other day and said the Gulf Breeze News posted on Facebook asking for someone who does monogramming.  By the time I got to the post several people had posted to use different embroiderers.  In fact, there were wonderful people who even said to call Cajun Stitchery.  I posted simply that I do monograms and how they could get in touch with me.  It became a voting contest with all of the people saying to use me or others.  It was funny, actually.  Not long afterwards I noticed that I missed a call.  I returned the call and it was the Gulf Breeze News.  The lady told me that I probably have the job because I was the only embroiderer to call her back.  Lesson learned.  I’ve given them a quote with references and we are just waiting right now.

In fact, we gave several quotes this week to Facebook friends.

Enough for now.  Let’s see what next week will bring.

Have a wonderful week
If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email and let me know to put you on our email list. 

No time to read Cajun Corner?  Visit our blog at and click the Odiogo button to hear the computer read the blog.

Thank you Amy DePew for the following:

Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter.
The man at the counter asked the older boy, 'Son, how old are you?' Eight,' the boy replied.
The man continued, 'Do you know what these are used for?'
The boy replied, 'Not exactly, but they aren't for me.  They're for him. He's my brother. He’s four. We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do either one.

Thank you to my friend Patrice for the following:

A retired gentleman went to the social security office to apply for Social Security.

The woman behind the counter asked him for his driver's license to verify his age. He looked in his pockets and realized he had left his wallet at home. He told the woman that he was very sorry but he seemed to have left his wallet at home. "I will have to go home and come back later." The woman says, "Unbutton your shirt." So he opens his shirt revealing curly silver hair. She says, "That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me" and she processed his Social Security application.

When he gets home, the man excitedly tells his wife about his experience at the social security office. She says, "You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too."

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment