Home Dec Project

While my mind has been busy working on Ottobre’s jean pattern (5–2007 style 16) which I’m blogging about here, I’ve got the embroidery machine working on a large but simple home dec project: Sheets.

I remember buying sheets expecting them to last and last and last.  It wasn’t unusual to hear one of my many aunt’s saying they finally replaced sheets after 20 or 30 years.  These weren’t pampered sheets either.  These were sheets that were washed in scalding hot water every week and put back on the bed at the end of the day for another week. But today’s sheets don’t seem to be lasting that well. I bought microfiber sheets some 5 years ago thinking they might last to the end of my life. I think I’ve got a number of years left to live, but the sheets do not.  I particularly find distasteful the stains I can’t remove and piling I never experienced with 100% cotton sheets.  I have 2 sets of microfiber sheets, I’m replacing one this month and the other a bit later.  (We’re into flannel sheet season. The cotton sheets will be retired until warmer weather returns.)

Ever since I bought my first embroidery machine I’ve figured home linens to be fair game for embellishment.  The main sheet set is finished.

It is a 7×14 embroidery that stitched out on my Ruby over a 2 hour period of time and then I embellished with gold stars and studs. I edited and  combined two designs from my collection.  I loved the geraniums type leaf in the first embroidery

but didn’t care for the flower. This is a very old ‘free’ design but I doubt that you can find it on the web. It’s that old.  I happen to enjoy this particular digitizer’s designs and appreciate the fact that he was able to minimize jumps.  The leaf design, in blue, stitches without a single jump stitch.  One of the “downsides” might be that the design was distributed before color information could be included in the design file.  Therefore you have blue leaves, green flowers with red centers.  I actually find this color exchange helpful. Yes helpful.  Because I look at the shapes rather than being bedazzled by the colors. When I take it into my embroidery edit program, Embird, I change the colors to suit myself.  In this case, I added the colors I’m using in my bedroom which are rich, sophisticated colors of the Renaissance. So my leaves became the light green-aqua seen in the stitch-out.

I wanted a more noticeable flower.  This design

gave me the flower impact I wanted. I’m not as happy with the digiztizing of this designer.  I deleted the leaves immediately and eventually the flower centers. Without the leaves this file contained 24 jump stitches. At my Ruby this wasn’t a problem. Ruby trims jump stitches.  But I knew that I would be embroidering the pillow cases on the Janome MC9500. No trimming capability is included with the MC9500.  While you can say it’s only 30 stitches, I can tell you that I seam to be clipping like Edward ScissorHands for a long period of time. So after I deleted the leaves, I moved into the Studio portion of Embird and joined all those little flowerets. The result is minimal trimming after the embroidery.

Originally I planned to add crystals to the flower centers. However, I just didn’t like the effect. I started playing with the studs and then tried out the stars just because they were sitting in the same container as the studs.  I realized immediately that the star centers were perfect but I liked the contrast with the studs too.  I decided upon large stars for the central flower mass, small stars for the two flowers closest to the central flower mass and studs for the outermost flowers.  Lovely, IMHO.

I still have to finish the pillow cases.  My sheet set came with 2 pillow cases, we need four. From my stash I found a blue floral that closely matches so that I could make 2 more pillow cases.  When done, in a week or so, I’ll make a short post  containing the pillow cases.  For now, I hope you enjoyed my discussion of my thought process and the lovely pictures of my new sheets.

Oh BTW these are 100% cotton but 200 count.  They may not last 20 years.  Which will give me another opportunity to embroider something.