I Can Laugh . . .

I Can Laugh . . .

. . . but I have never figured out the “get rich” part. Today is Laugh and Get Rich Day.

Since I last wrote . . . Yes, I got distracted. Nothing new about that.

The most amazing thing happened. I got distracted by stitching! Machine stitching–embroidery. The machine is running as I type. Barring any problems, I should be able to type through each color. I’m trying to finish a snowman afghan for my sister. So far, so good.

My messy workspace.

Yesterday I got two snowmen stitched, and two the day before. Depending on how fast they stitch, I may get two done today.

Don’t think I ever want to stitch on stretchy (knit?) fleece again. I mean, I probably will, but not if there’s something else that will work. The relatively dense (that isn’t dense at all on cotton) stitching makes it pucker. Two layers of heavy tear away stabilizer…

(WOW! This guy stitched up fast and no problems!! YAY!! On to snowman two for today.)

…two layers of stabilizer and the ‘fix’ stitch (white line of large stitches framing the embroidery) help the most. Not too complex of a design helps, too. On a smooth knit I can use an iron-on stabilizer, but it doesn’t iron onto fleece. Even with extra stabilizer and the fix stitch, it puckers. The pucker remains within the fix stitch. Outside that line, it’s as flat as when it started, as the hoop and stabilizer are meant to keep it.

Later …

The second embroidery didn’t go as smoothly. There is nothing wrong with the embroidery. It’s that stretch factor. Mostly the stitching pulls the fabric just enough so that edges of different colors don’t meet up as they should. Occasionally the thread builds up on the underside to the point where the hoop can’t move. That messes things up. Both yesterday and today I had to turn off the machine to fix the problems that causes. (Standard computer rule applies here, since these machines are computers.)

This is the best shot I could get of what it looks like now (plus one more snowman at the bottom left).

(I need to move my design wall clips to the left enough to get a straight on photo without the table being in the way. Actually, I should make a flannel covered rigid insulation design wall.) )

Somehow, at the beginning I must have mismeasured, because it’s definitely not centered the way I planned. Since both layers are fleece, it won’t have batting. Above the filled snowmen, and maybe also in the center above the line snowmen, my plan is to do snowflakes that will go through both layers of fleece, to be the quilting such as it will be. The big “if” on that is finding some snowflakes that are lightly stitched. I think I have enough. I just need to make sure they will stitch neatly on the back. A lot of knots won’t look good.

I was going to show all the finished snowmen, but it was too dark to get more pictures. At some point before I give it to my sister, I’ll get a photo of each snowman and each snowflake, and decent shots of the whole (both sides).

I would like to figure out how to work on hand embroidery when the machine is embroidering. Maybe with this newfound focus, I’ll be able to do that.

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