Inside all of us is a Wild Thing

I have always loved the children’s book, Where the a wild things Are. I remember hearing the story read aloud when I was on school, and as a teacher myself, I found any excuse possible to read the story to my students. When I found out the book was being made into a movie, words cannot describe my excitement. My husband and I went opening night and watched in awe as the story was brought to life on the big screen. I seriously wanted to name my son Max in honor of the book. At one time my husband felt the same, but when it came time to name our son he changed his mind because we have a Zac not a Max, but that’s a whole other story…

I love having a boy. I love the world of trucks, dinosaurs, and monsters. My son loves books and that’s a great thing considering we have hundreds from my days as a kindergarten teacher. I remember the first time I read, Where the Wild Things Are aloud to him. He made me read it again and again and again. My heart was so happy.

I had the opportunity to go fabric shopping alone this past weekend- a rare occasion. While browsing the aisles at Jo Ann’s I came across this-

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I had to have it. At the time, I had no idea what I’d make, but I was not leaving without it. My child has more blankets than he knows what to do with. He has lots of pillows too, but that’s what I decided to make. I sketched this out in my mind, then hit the internet searching for the perfect embroidery fonts and appliqué designs.

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This morning I skipped grocery shopping to go to Hobby Lobby for fabric for the appliqués, and at naptime I got to work. I am so super excited about this project. The pillowcase fits an 18″ pillow. For kid stuff, I prefer pillowcases because, let’s face it, kids are messy and cases can be removed for washing. I used a 7.5″ quilting square for the individual squares and a 2″ border. I plan on listing these in my etsy shop this week.

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Toddler Towels

In my quest to find things to embroider, I came across a tutorial to make hooded towels for kids. My son is about to turn 2, and we were still using towels he received as a newborn. Bless his heart, I needed two to get him completely covered and dried off after a bath. I decided it was time for an upgrade. Like my previous experiences with the embroidery machine, there was some trial and error involved. Making the hooded towels myself makes it loads easier than embroidering on an existing hooded towel, because I can lay the top flat inside the embroidery hoop.

Hooded towels are one of the new items I plan to offer in my etsy shop starting in January. I purchased some basic designs for kids, a butterfly, owl, sailboat, whale… and then came across the mother-load of Yo Gabba Gabba designs. To help build my portfolio, I offered to make some of these for friends if they provided the materials. I’m still waiting on some, and I’ll add those photos once they’re complete.

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The Embroidery Machine

What? 2 days in a row!! Get ready readers, because I plan to blog tomorrow too. I’m not sure what exactly pushed me over the edge to bite the bullet and purchase the embroidery machine, but I am kicking myself now I didn’t do it sooner. I remember that it was a Monday and I just decided that I wanted one and had to have it. My friend Jenna did embroidery for me when I had something a customer wanted personalized, so I knew a little about them- especially in regards to hoop size. I knew I wanted one with a 5×7 hoop, and I went from there. For those who don’t know, the hoop is what locks your fabric in place and what you attach to the embroidery machine, so it can work its magic. A 5×7 hoop means that you have a 5 by 7 inch rectangle in which to embroidery a design. Unlike sewing machines, there aren’t a ton of different embroidery machines on the market, making it pretty easy to make a decision once you set your price limit. When my husband got home from work that afternoon, I laid out my plan and explained how this machine would quickly pay for itself. To my amazement, he bought it, and let me place the order.

That’s the history, here’s what happened next. The machine was scheduled to arrive Wednesday. UPS usually is at my house around lunch time. Wouldn’t you know it, that day they didn’t come till 5:30. I seriously spent the entire day peeking out the window, and when the big brown truck finally drove up, I ran to meet the driver. I was able to get the machine unpacked and set up before dinner that night. As soon as my son went to bed, I was ready to attempt my first practice project.

My machine came preloaded with some fonts and designs, but I spent the day before purchasing and downloading some things, and experimenting with two different editing programs on the computer. I was ready, and knew just enough to be dangerous. My first attempt, I hooped my fabric incorrectly, used bobbin thread instead of embroidery thread, and broke 2 needles. The second attempt went much better!

I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing, but it hasn’t. I knew there would be a learning curve involved, but honestly thought that since I knew how to sew, I could pick this embroidery thing up quickly. Overall I have, but there have been some bumps along the way. Like the time I had the machine too close to the wall and the arm bumped and messed up the design. Or, when I thought I could use my husband’s great great grandmother’s Singer sewing desk as a spot to keep the embroidery machine and the shaking caused my thread to fray over and over and over again. Kinda embarrassed it took me an entire day and a half to figure that one out. Seriously, I was one mistake away from throwing the whole thing out the window, but we’ve reached an understanding and are on good terms again.

Once I made nice with the embroidery machine again, I went crazy embroidering things. I put a monogram on our bathroom towels, a throw pillow, and did a scarf for a friend to practice embroidering on jersey knit fabric (that could be it’s own post, but *think* I have that figured out). Perhaps the most fun thing about this machine is the new world of possibilities it opens up with things I can create. I have done a few hooded towels for my son and his friends and plan to add those to the etsy shop in the new year. I’ll blog about them soon. If you’ve made it through this post, thank you!

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