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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Are you still coming by??

Hopefully you've found my new blog,! I didn't move all of my photos over so you could very well still be visiting here. Please check out my NEW blog (I love it!), check us out on Facebook ( and we're also on Twitter (!/AppliqueCafe).

AND... today is the first day of Spring so we're having a huge 50% off SPRING SALE at! We'll be listing more new designs this week!

If I'm on your BLOG LIST, please change the URL to! See you there!

Monday, February 7, 2011



Please change me on your blogroll to so you don't miss anything!

I'm still working out a few kinks and am in the process of going through old posts and categorizing and tagging them, but I will no longer be posting here! All of my posts and comments have been moved!

Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quick Post...

I've gotten TONS of response from the HNBL post and I'd like to follow up on some questions (quickly, before I head to church). I can go in to more detail later if need be! 

Mainly, "what kind of stabilizer do you use?"

You can check out this post to see where I went over HOOPING:

I use medium cutaway on all shirts and I hoop all shirts. Well, I did use a fast frame, sticky stabilizer and added medium cutaway on ONE SHIRT recently, but that's a different post. 99.9% of the time I HOOP. Shirts, that is. I buy my cutaway from - 2.2 or 2.0 oz precut squares and the 15" x 25 yard roll. They call these type stabilizers "commercial" and they are super cheap! I highly recommend checking them out!

The other main question was on the Comfort Cover. There are several brands of them and I included links in my post last week. I USE Comfort Cover from I have used Floriani Dreamweave before too, and Sulky makes a version of it too. It's basically a protective add-on to your shirt. It protects the thread and it protects sensitive skin from the back of the applique and thread. You've probably seen it on the back of Carter's clothing with appliques and I noticed it on a J. Khaki (Belk) dress Mallory has that has an applique on it. It does come off in the wash sometimes, or it does come loose I should say. But... I think it's a nice touch and it has come off of my Carter's stuff before, so I think it's just the nature of the product and your washing machine! Not that it comes off every time and is a waste of your time and money, but I have heard that it eventually comes off and that's fine. It's really personal preference as to whether or not you want to use it. I'm sure if you had a heat press you could fuse it on there better than my Shark iron!!

We showed our house this week (for the umpeenth time) and I took a picture. 

This is our dining room when I'm in the thick of WORK:

This is our dining room when the house is shown! The machine stays, but the rest of the thread, iron, ironing board, fabric, stabilizers, trash can, computer, pens, scissors, shirts, football?, etc etc etc is PUT AWAY!! You can imagine how old this gets!

For this reason I'm not doing a whole lot of customer work right now. It's really a matter of timing and if I happen to have a little bit of work to do and I think it's possible to take more in (when you call). Right now I have 4 shirts to do for this week and I've had a couple of  people ask about bringing stuff. My goal is to NOT let 50 shirts pile up. A, I have no place to put them (my closet is full), and B, that is added stress with the house for sale AND if for some reason it sells and I've got 50 shirts piled up to do. When we do sell the house I would imagine I'll be out of commission for a while!

If I continue to get Q's about the stabilizer and such I'll try to do a better post! I enjoy all the comments and have gotten tons of comments and questions on Facebook!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The SECRET to a Better Applique!

I'm calling this a SECRET because I see and hear every day that there are people out there, embroidery people nonetheless, who don't know about this product.

It's called HEAT N' BOND LITE!! Add it to your get-it list!! It will change the way you do applique and rock your world! It will IMPROVE your applique and make all the difference in a good looking shirt, and maybe a so-so looking shirt. (I'm not an employee of Therm-O-Web nor do they pay me to promote this product. I get nothing from this product but great looking appliques!)

Did I mention I love this product? That's why I have a drawer full of it friends (see below)! I buy mine at Joann (without an 's'). When they have SEWING NOTIONS at 50% off, I go in and stock up. I also get 50% off coupons all the time in the mail and on my phone (Iphone App is available) so I always take advantage and stock up! You can also buy it at some Walmart stores (although I have never seen any in ours), and by the yard at Hancock Fabrics. They may sell it off the bolt at Joann but I've honestly never asked or looked for it. I've also talked to Steve at about this product and I used it when I did my little class there in October. They will hopefully be selling it soon. Anyway....

It comes in this package and is simply a roll ~ one side is paper and one side is shiny and a little textured.

 Make sure you get LITE and not ULTRAHOLD. I've been using HNBL for a long long long time and it has never gummed up my needle.

First... you've sewn your marking stitch for the applique you are working on. Mine is the zig zag tiara. HNBL works especially well with zig zag designs because without it, your fabric will most likely fray.

 I cut my piece of fabric large enough to cover the design.

 I iron my piece of fabric. Notice my iron is on about medium heat.

 I cut my piece of HNBL so that it's about the same size as my fabric. As you can see mine hangs over a bit which is why my ironing board looks the way it does. Notice the HNBL is paper side up.

Iron the HNBL light with the shiny side down. Again, you are ironing on the paper side.

 Peel the paper away, and your fabric will now have the HNBL on it. Throw the paper away! It now appears shiny and is like a coating on the fabric which the camera didn't quite capture.

I lay the fabric shiny side down on the marking stitch and now you're ready for the tackdown stitch. (I do not use any type of spray adhesive to stick the fabric to the shirt at this point. Some people do but I do not.)

 Now it's time to trim around the tackdown stitch. You might be able to see in this picture that the fabric underside is shiny. That's the HNBL. It also helps in this trimming process ~ there aren't any loose threads, as the HNBL is like a coating on your fabric. (Notice my Gingher 4" curved embroidery scissors - love them!)

The applique is ready for the final stitch, and in this case it's zig zag! As you can see the cut is very clean!

 Here is the applique after the zz stitch. You might notice the fabric is a little bubbled up. I'm not done yet...

Again, the applique is finished, but now it's time to FUSE the applique.

 Iron over the applique. I keep my iron on medium heat. I iron over the applique and also let it sit on it for a second or two. If the applique fabric doesn't seem like it's fusing (still bubbly), I spray it with the iron water and then iron over it again. The applique fabric will "harden" a tad and you will be able to tell that the fabric is "set".

 You might see a difference here ~ the applique is FLAT. The fabric is fused to the garment.

 Lastly, I finish the back side of my applique with Comfort Cover, aka Floriani Dreamweave (there are a variety of different brands of this product, including Sulky).

 Here is your finished product! 
Does your applique look like this??

I recommend this product all the time to people and no, I am not getting paid to do so! I have found it works great so I recommend it whenever possible! If you're appliques are bubbly, you need this! If your appliques sometimes come loose after washing, you need this! EVERYONE NEEDS THIS!! Get some if you don't have some and see how much better your appliques turn out!

Valentine Designs and more FABRIC!

This week I have still been working on setting up my *new* computer. It took me until yesterday evening to get it right! I THINK everything is now on it and it's functioning with my embroidery machine and software like it should. In case you didn't know, Windows 7 is so cool, but a little bit of a headache for the older programs and software! I've been doing a few shirts here & there and have like 5 to finish up today. After those are done it's CCE time. I haven't gotten the first thing out for consigning. I have until Monday to get it all together. Plenty of time!

Here's a cute Valentine shirt I did with the AC OWL. The customer wanted "owl be yours" or "hoo loves you" below the design. CUTE!

I also did this shirt yesterday on one of the Just Blanks shirts for one of my carpool peeps' little sister. I have done this design twice this week and it's from Embroidery-Boutique

 This is a great Valentine's Day design! Who doesn't love pink & purple!

Lastly, I got a goodie box this last week from TJs Fabric. What day is it today? I've blogged about TJ's before and it's a Pharmacy/gift/FABRIC store located in OPP, AL! It's right off Hwy 311, so I always say if you are heading to Destin, FL or any beach near there and you travel 331, FIND THIS PLACE! GPS was invented for this reason! This past summer we stopped on our way to the beach and I only had about 30 minutes to shop (as Jeff and the kids were left in the car). Every now & then I get a surprise package from them and it's like CHRISTMAS! I hope to make another trip down there with my camera. The good news is.... they are now selling a lot of their great fabric online! I believe their goal is to offer every fabric they sell online, but as you can imagine it's quite a task to get it all listed. CLICK HERE to view the online store! Thanks to Teresa for the surprise and I hope you got my e-mails!! :)

You can imagine my squeals when I opened the box and found this!!!!

These are from the Riley Blake Quite Contrary group and it is even more precious in person!! My grandmother always loved strawberries so this reminds me of her! LOVE LOVE LOVE the bottom 2 on the right side too!

 More cute fabric. This grouping is Riley Blake LOVE BIRDS. So pretty!!

 The dots below are Oval Elements by Art Gallery and the chunky looking ginghams are Michael Miller. The top right circle fabric is from Riley Blake. All cute and I can't wait to use them!

By the way, what a great website ~ ~ I'm always trying to figure out the name of Riley Blake fabrics so this is a great site to keep in mind. It's so *pretty* too! There is a RB Blog too! How awesome! Why have I not found this before??

Today is a yucky rainy nasty day where I live and a good day to do nothing! But, I must sew (or applique)!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Studio Tour...

The Pleated Poppy is one of my favorite blogs! A friend of mine turned me on to it maybe this summer, and while it's not embroidery or applique, I LOVE IT! It does have to do with fabric and sewing and blogging. She did a post this week ~ Studio Tour ~ which inspired me to do my own studio tour! Try not to be to jealous and try to contain your snickering...

I think we all know I work in my dining room? This actually looks pretty good! It's usually a complete and total mess, moreso than below! Notice the football in the chair. 2 computers because I haven't taken the time to move my new one in to the old one's spot. This is why our house is for sale! While I LOVE being connected to our den and the kids *know* this is Mommy's work area and they really don't bother it, I long for the days of my own room (shared w/ Jeff and his computer) with at least *A* closet. Did I mention that since my house is for sale, all of my drawer bins (5 of them) are in my closet, so when I sew anything I have to make the trek to my closet. It's a lot of back and forth. AND... when our house shows, all but the machine and computer (when I don't move it too) have to be removed. The lighting is also pretty horrible and yellow!
 Still loving my new computer! I also downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements on it. I just opened a picture in it and got scared. Looks pretty complicated? I currently use Photoscape and it's so easy and free.
Need to do a shirt and can't find just the right fabric? A plaid shirt from Walmart will do! I've cut and used shorts before but I thought the shirt was clever! Happy B-day Tate!
I also did this onesie for a customer. She explained that the little boy who will wear it was born with some health problems I think, and ever since he was born, Auburn has won all their games (they actually won all of them). SO... my customer wanted to give them this onesie and it turned out cute! It's the AC Paw and I did the wording in MWP and then merged it all together in SWP.

This is the *fanny* of the onesie!

Have a great weekend! 30% off at ends SUNDAY

P.S. Not much wordpress news! Chris is working on it but I decided to change my web design so he is waiting on that to happen before he can proceed! I'm SO excited about it and thrilled that I can change it up when I feel the need! The new one is so cute and Boutique Mama has been fabulous! I've e-mailed her about 27 times with questions about this and she's been great! Chris has also been fabulous, as I have e-mailed him 54 times and he's been great! Hopefully something will happen next week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Sample Owl

I've had 4 e-mails today about the JUST BLANKS shirts I mentioned in yesterday's post. I thought I said that I had a sample (the owl) available, but I guess it sounded more like "I have a box of Just Blank tees to sell". As I replied to the e-mails, I really haven't decided what to do with them yet. I bought them from a clothing line that was not going to use Just Blanks anymore. It was one of those 'friend of a friend hook-up deals' so I took advantage. At some point I will get the box out and take inventory and THEN decide if I have any to spare!? I honestly don't know what all is in the box, what sizes, or what style (I think she sent short and long sleeved tees). Anyway... I DO have this sample Owl shirt in a size 4/5. The tag says "shrinkage is expected" but the shirt appears to be a good 5 to me? Here is a closeup of the OWL, which is not available yet on! This is a brand new design that will be listed possibly tonight.
And here is a picture of the shirt. It's very soft thick cotton and has the ruffle on the sleeves and bottom. Again, size 4/5 and I' willing to part with this one for $18 plus any shipping. 
Just e-mail me if interested ~

**As noted on the top of my blog, wheels are in motion to switch over to a WORDPRESS blog! The domain has been picked and will CHANGE to I had a really hard time deciding whether or not to change the domain from my name, and even asked some friends what they thought. This was my one chance to make the change so I decided to go for it! In hindsight, on that April day in 2008 when I decided to start a blog in the first place, I probably should have come up with something more cute or clever than my name! It's worked for all these years (and who really cares?), but I figure why not take my name out of the equation while I have the chance! HOPEFULLY, all of my many posts, comments, pictures, etc. will all migrate over the new blog with little trouble. HOPEFULLY there will be little down time. I will keep everyone posted as best I can. If you aren't familiar with wordpress, then check out some of the blogs on my blog list ~,, and My goal is to *organize* my blog better and spend more time on posts, maybe pick up some sponsors and still have links to the other important stuff (instead of it all being on the same page). 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More. Fabric.

First of all this is one of my lovely assistants this morning. I like to take sample photos outside, preferably in good sunlight. Not so sunny today but better than inside. I had her hold the hoop up so that what little sunlight there is would shine on the applique! Don't you love her pigtails
 My other lovely assistant (note For Sale sign above G's head...sigh...see previous post). Owls are IN! We have 2 already and both are great designs. I'm loving this new one too which will be listed this week at! I also did this sample on a size 4/5 Just Blanks long sleeve ruffle tee (it has ruffles on the sleeves and bottom). If you're interested in the shirt let me know! I have a box of these shirts (some short sleeves too) so I'm going to try to do samples on them when I can. Not sure what is in G's mouth? Part of a cheese stick I think.
And now to my very (unplanned) trip up to Beth's on Friday. I met a friend for coffee and then had 2 hours to kill and needed wanted some Spring-y Easter-y fabric, so I drove up and just happened to have my camera on me because I was heading to a Grandparent's Luncheon at B's school at 12:30. Perfect! Beth's is sort of in Montgomery and sort of in Wetumpka. I'm really not sure and have not even noticed the address. I like to go there and also Caffco Floral Outlet all in one swoop. I get my clear bags from Caffco.
You may need to click to enlarge the photos to see the fabrics more closely. You don't need to click and enlarge to see that Beth's has EVERYTHING!! It is by far the best fabric store around these here parts! If you want ginghams, polka dots, Fabric Finders or basically any type of cute fabric, this is your one stop shop! Lots of dainty cute florals and as you can see (upper left) they also have all of the cute Fabric Finders team prints.
 Polka dots and ginghams for days.... You can fill your fabric collection with every kind of floral or print fabric you like, but you cannot beat good ole ginghams and polka dots. I always tell people that appliques deal with such small spaces, so try to think that way when shopping. I have some BEAUTIFUL floral prints in my collection, but I always go back to polka dots, stripes and ginghams! Small florals work too!
 These are NICE solids ~ (can't think of the name/type fabric right off the top of my head).
 Ginghams in every shade, color, size, price range you can imagine...

Fabric Finders team prints ~ Auburn and Alabama
 I picked out a few dainty little florals, and then they told me about "upstairs"!! I had no idea upstairs existed, but evidently this is where the good stuff is! They have so much fabric that they can't put it all downstairs ~ the lighter spring-y-er stuff was up here and I picked out several more... They also hold classes up there!
 Click to enlarge if needed...
 Did I mention they have fabric for days?
 They also sell TONS of patterns, notions, buttons, blank bibs and burp cloths and other things, and if you look at the "cart" on the right side of the photo ~ in the bottom drawer they have tons of scraps which sell for 50cents each! It's fun to dig through and see what's in there! There are also a couple of classrooms to the right of this picture. They hold tons of classes. AND... Beth told me Friday they are also going to start selling  EMBROIDERY THREAD and some stabilizers! One stop shop!
Here are the fabrics I came home with ~ I've had my eye on this ric rac stripe!
 I've never been a huge lavender or purple fan (except for that plum phase I went through about 12 years ago where I decorated my bedroom in all plum). Now that I have a girl I'm appreciating it more and these lavenders are so dainty and cute! I also like lavender with green.
 Here are the floral prints I got and I just did the new owl in the paisley and it turned out CUTE! Again, appliquesmall spaces so the small florals work.
 I thought these were both Spring-y and Easter-y. I saw the pastel tricheck on Facebook the other day so I was so glad when I found it! 
I long for the day (hopefully soon) when I have a SEWING ROOM and I can organize all of my fabrics. I'm putting it off until then. 

AC News: everything is 30% off (excluding gift certificates and "design on a dime" designs) until Sunday. I am working to sample a couple more new designs also so they will be listed ASAP. Reasons for this sale: everyone was buggin me asking for one, Auburn won the National Championship and we have EXCEEDED 3,000 Applique Cafe fans on Facebook! 

Blog News: I spoke to a "guy" yesterday about the Wordpress blog migration. I also got a quote from a guy who hosts one of the blogs on my list that I love. I'm hoping to work on this project and that the transition will be smooth with little "blog down time". I'll keep you posted...