Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Your Shamed Machines

First of all, let’s just stay straight up that we do love our machines. They help us create wonderful projects, they’re always there to stitch out the next design, and they keep us creative. But anyone who has sat and worked with a machine for too long knows that after awhile all those quirks and odd behaviors start to look suspiciously like a personality. Like an odd little robot pet, these machines seem to have a mind of their own. And they aim to misbehave.

After my post yesterday about machine shaming and my subsequent sharing on facebook, you guys decided your misbehaving machines needed a little public shaming too. Just so they know we’re on to them. You sent in all kinds of photos and comments, and I just had to share some them here for all of us to enjoy.

*EDIT – More shamed machines added for your enjoyment!*

So know this machines. You have been warned. Just cut it out already…

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“I reject your tension settings and substitute my own!”

“Objects sewn are not as they appeared in the magazine.”

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“Oh…you wanted me to catch the bobbin thread? But the bird nest under the needle plate looks beautiful! It keeps me warm.”

“I like to behave like demon in front of my owner but like a little angel as soon as you take me in to be repaired.”

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“I demand a regular lubrication/oiling. And will then stain the next project at a random moment.”

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“I though you wanted inconsistent thread tension throughout your project!”

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“Oh I’m sorry, I completely forgot to tell you I’m out of bobbin thread…3000 stitches ago.”

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“I love it when my bobbin thread shows on top of the pretty design!”

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“I like to mess up on commission projects. Especially when there is a deadline. I thrive on my owner’s stress.”

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“Super Solvy is my favorite snack! OM NOM NOM.”

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“I pretend to be a bird and make huge nests under your projects.”

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“I make horrible loud noises only when the baby is sleeping in the next room.”

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“I love not cutting the thread when I change colors!”

“I like to fool you and tell you that you have enough clearance around the hoop.”

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“I like to stop stitching at odd and totally unrelated times to keep my owner guessing.”

“I reset my thread tension the minute you put me away.”

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“I love eating metallic thread and always will manage to do so, no matter how hard you try keeping me from doing it.”

“Oh, you wanted me to stitch there? Over here looked like a much better spot.”

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“I broke the last needle only after the store had closed and the project I was working on had to go out the next day.”

“I break the thread the moment my owner leaves the room.”

Want to join in? Remember, machine shaming isn’t just for embroidery machines! Sewing machines, sergers, quilting machines… all can be shamed. Post on our facebook page or share a photo in our flickr group and let your machine know you’re on to its tricks.

Machine Shaming

Maybe you’ve been seeing the particularly hilarious meme of Dog Shaming, where owners add signs recounting the shameful misdeeds of guilty pets. Well, on a day where my machine was being particularly difficult, I thought it time for a little public payback…

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What is your machine guilty of? Post a captioned photo of your machine’s worst crimes on our facebook page or upload it to our flickr group and we’ll collect the best! 

*UPDATE – You have responded. Your machines have been shamed*

For The UT Addicts

 

For the Urban Threads addicts...

 

Nature’s Curiosities Quilt – Free Pattern

It’s about that time again, don’t you think? Time for what, you ask?

For another crazy Lab project dreamed up by the UT team! This quilted creation is once again the product of artist Caitlin’s crafty fingers and a design collection created by me, your resident Evil Genius. This new project features the lovely and light-stitching Miniature Menagerie machine embroidery designs. These pieces were created in the popular style first debuted in the Parisian Love Letter series (which you can buy here) but in this case were inspired by nature’s tiny wonders and the world of entomology. Butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and more enchanting insects were framed with light-stitching accents and elegant baroque style borders to bring the beauty of nature to life.

Once the designs were completed, Caitlin took them into her capable hands and crafted a pretty, naturally inspired quilt perfect for a picnic in the great outdoors, or just a splash of summery home decor. Below Caitlin talks a little bit about the process of creating the quilt, and then shares a very special bonus…

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I had been wanting to make another quilt using our fabulous embroidery designs for a while, ever since I created the Celestial Quilt at the beginning of the year. Recently I stumbled across a beautiful 1950s vintage baby quilt, featuring little applique flowers, and it inspired me to start a whole new project with the new entomology-inspired designs.

I loved how the nine-piece blocks framed the applique designs on the vintage quilt, so I designed my own larger quilt pattern to feature the new Miniature Menagerie series in a similar fashion. I imagined a big bright quilt that you would want to lay out for a summery picnic!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I liked the idea of creating a soft place to spend time eating savory snacks and enjoying good company.  In this world, beautiful insects lived only as gorgeous embroidery on the quilt (and not as uninvited picnic guests), and there was always a sweet smell of flowers in the air. I wanted a quilt that evoked the warm days of summer!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I tried to keep these summery feelings in mind while I worked on the project. I got a few helpful pointers from my quilter-extraordinaire mom about how I could accomplish the effect I wanted with the quilt blocks and embroidery, then I went to it!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I took inspiration from everywhere while researching the quilt, but I especially liked this entomology illustration as color inspiration for when I went fabric shopping. I loved the weird greens and purples together with the cream and tans, but I wanted to keep the colors as soft and muted as possible so the embroidery designs could really pop.

I really like bright and bold color, so I put as much in as possible!

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

What I love most about this pattern is its versatility. You can go through your fabric stash and easily start cutting squares out of your favorite colors to create the quilt blocks. If you want more structured, geometric color design, you can just as easily do that too!

The quilt fits the versatility of the embroidery designs themselves. They can be layered and grouped and sewn in so many different arrangements. For instance, in the photo above, the butterfly design is layered on top of the baroque corner, to make a larger, more delicate and detailed design. I really love the effect of the moon corners under the insect features. I was also really excited that I could extend the baroque corners using the baroque features, making a big and beautiful extra large embroidered corner. It’s so fun to create such embroidery effects through the magic of layering.

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

Of course, no project like this is without its challenges. I ran into some trouble with my triangles and setting the quilt blocks on point. There are some more practical quilting techniques that I learned after I had already pieced my side triangle blocks together. Mainly that you should cut triangles using a particular math formula, so you have the appropriate 1/4 seam allowance on the diagonal. Quilting is very mathematical. We’re always learning new things with these projects! Sometimes the best way to create is just to dive in and experiment. It all turns out in the end.

All the same, next time I’ll be sure to do a little more research before I cut a million wonky triangles…

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

Experimental crafting and quilting is always so much easier with a little help. I wouldn’t have been able to put this all together without the skills of my mom. My home is filled with amazing quilts she has made, and being able to call her and ask random quilting questions was a real lifesaver. She’s even working on her own version of this quilt pattern! It’s always great to pull a personal history of crafting into new projects like this.

A new project from the Urban Threads lab, featuring a gorgeous quilt with new Entomology inspired embroidery designs. Includes a FREE pdf pattern to make your own.

I am really excited about how this project turned out. It’s exactly the warm and summery kind of quilt I was hoping for, and really helps bring the Miniature Menagerie designs to life. Don’t be afraid to dive into a big project like an embroidered quilt. It’s not as hard as it looks, and the results are so rewarding!

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Caitlin! Feeling inspired? Well, now for the best news. You may remember the last time Caitlin took to quilting, SO many of you requested a pattern of the quilt she created, and we thought there might be mutiny if we didn’t do it this time around. So today for the very first time, we’re offering a FREE downloadable pattern of a Lab project for you recreate in your own home.

To get your very own downloadable instructions to make your own summery quilt, click here, and of course, don’t forget your new Miniature Menagerie embroidery designs. Have fun, crafters, and as always if you make one of your own, be sure to share it with us!

 
This project is part of The Lab, a UT initiative to experiment, collaborate and innovate to see just what can be done with the art of embroidery.
 
Check out our other projects by searching for the UT Lab tag.

WOO BIRTHDAY!

It’s our birthday, it’s our birthday YEAHYEAHITSOURBIRTHDAY!

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Today is officially our 5TH BIRTHDAY and we are so so grateful to YOU for making it happen!

As a show of our appreciation for supporting our weird and wacky idea that skulls and alternative designs had a place in the embroidery world, we’re offering everything in our store HALF OFF for a limited time. You can also enter to win a limited edition Urban Threads tee, take part in a rocking coloring contest where you could win a $100 gift certificate, or just browse the newly updated Urban Threads 5th Anniversary Lookbook for all kinds of cool ideas and tutorials to get your crafty mind going.

It has been such an amazing journey with you all so far. We can’t wait to celebrate another 5 years with you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY URBAN THREADS!

Free 5th Birthday Celebration Downloadable Wallpaper

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Your free May wallpaper has arrived! We thought it extra fitting to continue celebrating our 5th Birthday celebrations by using this month’s free design and contest freebie as our wallpaper design. You can also win this design on a limited edition Urban Threads T-shirt!

So, lots of ways to get your hands on this baby for free. As a design, as a tee, and now as a chic wallpaper available in the usual formats for your computer desktop, iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, or Android phone.  Just click the buttons below to download and load onto your device. Don’t fret if you have a different kind of phone or device, one of these is sure to work :)

Enjoy, and be sure to help us celebrate 5 wonderful years of alternative embroidery by shopping the STOREWIDE sale!

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UT’s Very Own Pirate Crew

I got this brilliant email in my inbox the other day, and it was just too much of a gem not to share.  Nancy sent me these photos and explained:

I am a professional costumer, and just completed a youth theater production of Peter Pan. We used the UT logo all over the place- pirate hats, stage crew do rags ,and costume crew bandanas. Parents of the younger kids especially liked it because it was piratey without being too scary.

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I also wore the vest emblazoned with my “personal motto”, which you so kindly turned into an embroidery design. It gave many opportunities to plug your website. Keep up the great work!

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Check it out… Urban Threads has its very own pirate crew! Well, not exactly, but that’s how I’m going to tell it. All those skulls and crossbones and swarthy looking swashbucklers. Seriously, you helped us take over the world with an army of tiny bunnies, now we have a whole crew of buccaneers to boot! We’ll be unstoppable.

Thanks so much for sharing Nancy, it looks like you guys had a blast!

P.S. We actually already have a pirate captain. I wonder if she’s looking for a new pirate crew?