Friday, May 27, 2011

Dad's Embroidery Project

Next month my Dad celebrates his 80th birthday.  So rather than the usual gift card, I thought "Hey,  how about creating a card.  I'll try embroidery."  Here's what I did:

First I selected a favorite photo.  Ok, Mom's eyes are partially closed, but this project is all about Dad.

You may know that I'm an embroidery novice, but am learning.  I brought the photo into Creative DRAWings.  Over 330,000 stitches!  By the time I was done with it, the stitch count was 27,000 - still a lot, but certainly more manageable.

I love all these beautiful colors of thread.  To avoid color confusion, especially the various flesh tones, I labeled the spools with thread change numbers on sticky notes.  One nice thing about the software was that it solved one huge mystery by suggesting the stabilizer.

You know that sinking feeling - "Oh no, do I have enough thread?"  Well about now I'm holding my breath hoping I have enough thread.  That spool is from my stash with no label - little luck finding the exact replacement in a day.  . . . .  Ok, I was able to exhale with thread to spare for another small project.

At 10:30 last night I had to stop as the next day was another work day.  This project is not done, in fact I may start all over again.  Stay tuned... I still have another week to finish this project, but shhhhhhhh . . . . if you know my Dad, don't tell him about this little project.  :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oprah's Surprise Spectacular . . . A Giant Love Hug

Have to bump my Salt Lake City International Quilt Market update with OOOOOprah!  Yes, I got two tickets through the Oprah on-line lottery.  And spectacular the show was indeed.  Over 20,000 well dressed heart filled Oprah fans gathered to celebrate Oprah's 25 years.   The evening was well orchestrated and star studded - well there were a few blips, but who cares!  A few edits and the evening will be documented perfectly for TV.   The evening was memorable starting with Oprah signage outside the United Center. 

Fans were excited to be photographed and interviewed by the media.  Lindsay of The Hollywood Reporter interviewed my husband and I outside the Chicago United Center.  We talked about recognizing "a ha" moments, while kudos to my husband talked about being a fan of me, his wife, an Oprah fan.  It's so easy to adore my husband!

Fans with signs, portraits and even an Oprah look-alike paraded before the electrified audience.

I did abide by the rule of no photos during the performance, well not really.  Our seats were just too far away - only 2 rows from the roof, so the best photo I offer is me holding a gift issue of Oprah's magazine.  I'm wearing a black skirt and top with a beautiful sheer vintage floral embroidered shawl.  Thanks Rita!

Oprah is the ultimate communicator and educator.  Her dedication to education allowed over 62,000 young people to obtain their dreams of a better world through education.  The evening included a candlelight parade of seemingly hundreds of fine young men from Morehouse College who dedicated themselves to higher learning and now contribute to their worlds with service and knowledge.   The big show surprise for Oprah was audience participation in an organized book donation.  Over 20,000 books were donated for libraries across the country.

Who were the memorable performances?  Jackie Evancho, the 10 year old girl with the other-worldly operatic voice that won the hearts of America's Got Talent, Christine Chenoweth, Jerry Seinfeld. . . . And who brought the house down?  It's tough to decide Michael Jordon, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin singing Amazing Grace, Beyonce.  The evening was fabulous!  The United Center rocked!  What a night!  . . . . Loved Oprah's beautiful full length plum dress with aqua and turq bejeweled neck and waistline.  And for those tears of joy moments, every row in the United Center had a box of Kleenex - how's that for knowing your audience?!

Last night, two of the three final shows were taped.  They will air on Monday and Tuesday, followed on Wednesday with her final studio show.  I wonder if Oprah sews?  Seems like she should have time now. . . .


Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's In Your Spring Wardrobe?

Last week, Soni Grint, Creative DRAWings Director, and I spent 2.5 days embroidering nearly non-stop.  We created samples and promotional items for upcoming sewing shows using Creative DRAWings.  I have always dabbled in machine embroidery, but after this last session, I must say I'm hooked.  Creative DRAWings made it so simple!  I didn't struggle with stitch parameters or even stabilizers.  Creative DRAWings set the parameters for my fabric and suggested the stabilizers.  Whew!  Two mysteries solved right there.

These were our major projects:  I took a nice, but boring ready-to-wear suit on the left - a $200 suit marked down to $19.99 - don't you love a good sale -  and gave it some zip with embroidery.  Soni took a coat she had made and added embroidery also. 

 I wanted to do fully embroidered black lilies, but decided that doing just an outline was more intriguing - and faster too.

Soni combined milk and dark chocolate Ultra-suede to her appliqued trio.

 She choose earth tone and sky blue threads that created a lovely embellishment.

Here are our projects - not yet done, but at the end of our session.  I don't know what additional work Soni has done on her coat, but over the weekend I added even more black lilies to the back, front and sleeves and added satin dots, just to punch up the coat even more. 

Soni and I are meeting next week in Salt Lake City for International Quilt Market.  I will be promoting SCHMETZ, while Soni will be promoting Creative DRAWings.  We'll both be wearing our outfits and I'll take more pictures.

Here's the link to Creative DRAWings, a graphics based software for machine embroidery: