Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Is an "embroidery coma" a thing?

I think I may be in one, but it's a happy coma.  Kind of like a post-Thanksgiving food coma.  Lots of gluttony, then lots of satisfied lounging about afterward.

After hosting two themed parties in one weekend (I'll share some pictures later), I was exhausted and needed a break.  Since the house was still clean from prepping it for guests, I took Monday easy and thought I would knock out some embroidered book titles.  Thanks to Susan over at The Bored Zombie, this was me for about 12 hours more time than I care to admit:

A few months ago I borrowed my mother-in-law's Brother PE-700ii to embroider my PoD titles.  (I knew if I hand-embroidered them, it was a project that would never be finished.)  It's a fabulous machine, and I would love to own one someday.  I've been shocked at how many projects I've been able to use it on, both in my quilting and in other areas.  However, we are moving in just over a month, and I will have to return it.  I'm in a bit of a panic because I'm only a small way into my quilt, and I'm stitching up as many book spines and fun things as I can so I can intersperse them throughout  PoD blocks after we move.  I hope there will be enough, but many of my book spines will be made up of busy fabric and have no titles, so I think there will be.

All but two of the patterns come from Susan.  I won't share the individual posts where I found them because I'm picking and choosing from many different weeks, but you can find all of her Harry Potter blocks here.

Please forgive the poor photos; I did a quick snip of any long threads but didn't do a thorough job, and I haven't trimmed the stabilizer and ironed the spines so they appear wonky.  But here's the progress I made yesterday:

The butterbeer label was digitized by Kelly H. over at the Project of Doom Facebook page.  It was meant to stitch up in different colors and probably looks beautiful that way, but I wanted sort of an old-fashioned label that would look kind of like it was etched into the glass so I went with a single brown color.  This fabric is actually going to be the butterbeer in the mug, and I'm really looking forward to stitching up that block and seeing how it turns out.

This is such a fun book.  I cannot wait to piece it the way Susan has, and I also embroidered the "Cram it!" for the top.  Her attention to detail on making books that appeared in the movies is absolutely phenomenal.

"Moronic Muggles" cracks me up.  When I saw it over in the Facebook group, I knew I had to have it on my quilt.  This one was digitized by Sami H.  I went for a sort of "stately" fabric and colors, to contrast with the funny title.  I used dark browns and a gold-tone accent.  The first brown thread I chose was great, but ran out halfway through the "s."  Mmm hmmm.  That went over super well with me.  I ended up restitching over it in a new brown, so it is nice and thick.

This one is a simple book, but I loved the fabric and had set it aside to make sure it made it in my PoD.  I thought I would add a mushroom-themed fabric to the top, but couldn't find one that matched without competing.  I did find a beautiful grey mushroom fabric that will end up being a non-titled book right next to this one.

I love this book even more than I thought I would when I started to embroider it.  I don't feel like I have a good eye for knowing what color embroidery thread will show up best on each fabric, but this one turned out great.  I love that batik and have had it stashed away for a while.  However, I didn't realize how many prints I have that contain lines in them that would drive me nuts when they don't line up with my text evenly.  I'm just going to have to let it slide and hope I won't notice when the whole quilt is put together.

Another simple stitch, but I like it.  There's definitely a place for this on my bookshelf.

THIS BOOK.  It was the bane of my existence, but that's no fault of the file or the designer.  This was actually the first spine I embroidered yesterday, but I was having all kinds of machine issues.  After lots of rethreading the top and bottom threads, I spent some time researching it and learned how to open the top of the machine to check the mechanics.  There it was: a giant wad of thread from when my mother-in-law had used the machine.  Taking that out solved most my problems.  Then I had to learn how to set the tension on the machine for the new thread I bought 40 of, which apparently my machine hates.  Finally, I made three versions of this, and couldn't figure out why it was ending up so perforated around the edge of the embroidery.  Turns out I had accidentally put a larger needle in, which was puncturing the fabric.  It was an exercise in patience and a steep learning curve.  However, I am super happy with how it ultimately turned out.  Also, I love this fabric.  It reminds me of reptile skin, and seems perfect for this book.

The last one is a Snitch for a Quidditch book.  Not sure how I'll incorporate it yet, but I love it.

Related side note:  I found a fantastic free program that I can use to view, resize, and convert embroidery files.  It is called TrueSizer, and you can download it or use it on the web here.  There is a paid version for 50$, but the free version does everything I need it to do.  This will come in handy as I work on my PoD, because some of the Doomers who are creating the files share them in formats that won't work on my Brother machine.

I would love to see your book spines and PoD progress as well!  Feel free to leave your blog address in the comments.  :)

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