odds and ends

One thing I love about Christmas- among many things- is th eopportunity to handcraft little goodies to give as gifts. Little hand-made things don’t take a long time and they have a little something special about them.
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These little fellows are to hang in a tree, or just a hook or nail to briighten up the place for Christmas.
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There’s no pattern for them; I hand stitched a variety of stitches in bright-coloured wool thread on the bright green felt.
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Then just cut the shape out- I like birds!-, add in a loop of ribbon and some stuffing, then close with black free-motion stitching to add to the naive look.
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And on another thing I’m working on, I figured out something that was interesting. This is not really rocket science, but it has added to my background knowledge on how my machine works with different threads.
If you were stitching a line that you wanted to stop and turn a right-angle- don’t you stop with the needle in, lift the presser foot, turn the work, put foot back down and continue stitching to get the perfect right-angle? Well I did that. but kept getting this:
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when I wanted this:
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This was straight stitching- feed-dogs were up and with a walking-foot. I tried it a few times over and over on some scrap, but still the same
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Now I know to look at it, you think it is a tension problem, but the straight stitching looked to have perfect tension; the top thread and the bottom thread were meeting togther in the formation of the stitch. But as soon as I tried to turn a corner, the top thread was pulling up the bobbin thread.
So after fiddling around trying this and that, I figured I would have to loosen the top tension after all. I loosened it to about 2 (Auto is 4 on my Bernina), and there it was: worked fine! Happy now.
It must have been because the thread I was using was an embroidery-weight thread with a sheen to it, not a standard cotton, and while my machine seemed to be sewing beautifully on the straight line, once we got to the corner was a different matter!
And just one last thing to show- this work is by Meryl, from Gatton Quilters. A lovely piece that she designed herself to utilise some beautiful Liberty fabrics- I love how she has used the small print for the background.
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Hope you have had a good weekend!

One thought on “odds and ends

  1. Love the embroidery on your birds! Thank you for the tip on the tension. I’m sure that happened to me too. I’ve been told to fix a safety pin on the top right hand corner of my Bernina, put the shiny embroidery thread in a cup on the right of the machine and pass the thread through the circle of the safety pin (and then thread it normally). It does work, avoiding tension problems. I don’t know if this is any help for your problem.

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