Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

FREE Printables with Ghost Baroque Collection – Through 9/21/14!

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The new Ghost Baroque collection of embroidery designs celebrates all that we love about the spooky season. The dark elegance, the gradual fade into fall, the swirls of the midnight wind. Lots of decor focuses too much on the cute side of Halloween, but we always prefer the spooky. There’s nothing better than an excuse to glam up the house for a seasonal celebration, and fall is no different! These designs are perfect for adding that gothic touch all year ’round, but just in case you really wanted to prep for that masquerade party, we’ve got some Halloween printables FREE with purchase of the design pack, to help you make a night to remember — available through Sept. 21 only!

FREE Halloween party printables with purchase of the Ghost Baroque Pack - only though 9/12/14!

Through Sunday, Sept. 21, when you buy any size of the Ghost Baroque design pack on sale for $13, you get these Ghost Baroque Printables for FREE! The printables collection includes cupcake wrappers and toppers, treat bag toppers, gravestone placecards, and of course, spooky invites to that amazing party you’re going to throw.

Ghost Baroque machine embroidery collection - haunt your home in style this fall

The whole collection together makes a stunning dinner set. Embroider some plain black napkins for an elegantly spooky dinner accent, and top off each place with one of your printed graveyard placecards so each guest knows where they’re “resting” for the evening.

FREE Halloween party printables with purchase of the Ghost Baroque Pack - only though 9/12/14!

Start the night off right with a few spooky treats. These treat toppers fit standard 4-inch wide treat bags. You can often find these in the baking section of craft stores. Just fill your bag, fold your label over the top, and staple in place. You can fill it with your favorite candies or even home-baked treats.

FREE Halloween party printables with purchase of the Ghost Baroque Pack - only though 9/12/14!

Speaking of treats, what party would be without the ever-popular cupcake? Print up these little wrappers and toppers, and wrap them to fit your own spooky cupcakes. Just attach the topper to a toothpick and add it to the top for a flourish that ties it all together.

Ghost Baroque machine embroidery collection - haunt your home in style this fall

The cupcakes look extra delicious when accompanied by some chic-looking spooky placemats. Just saying.

Ghost Baroque machine embroidery collection - haunt your home in style this fall

With the dinner set, throw a few spooky items around the house for an elegantly glam look. Pillowcases are quick to embroider and easy to change out for the seasons. Plus, skulls really look good any time of the year. Or so we hear.

Ghost Baroque machine embroidery collection - haunt your home in style this fall

If you’re looking for some super quick home decor ideas, just look to your craft stash! In a pinch, embroidery hoops and a little bit of ribbon make excellent frames for some spooky embroidery. Hang them up on the wall for an instantly chic gothic look.

FREE Halloween party printables with purchase of the Ghost Baroque Pack - only though 9/12/14!

Of course, the party isn’t happening without some glam invites to send your guests! These invites work for any kind of spooky occasion, from a gothic dinner party to a full-on Halloween bash.

A few embroidered items add instant glam and gothic appeal to plain black home accessories, and a few customized printables pull the whole thing together. Getting your home ready for the season is easy and elegant with simple ghostly designs, and especially awesome with free printable packs. Get these printables with purchase of the Ghost Baroque design pack on sale, only through Sept. 21!

Happy fall crafting!

Diving Into Digitizing – A Newbie Digitizer’s Experiment

As Urban Threads grows, now and again we get to add to our talented team of digitizers and artists. Our most recent addition is our pink-haired digitizing queen Bonnie. She came into this with a lot of artistic talent to begin with, so her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of digitizing as an art is a fascinating one. The rare peeks into the world of digitizing often come from those who have worked in the industry for awhile, but what’s it like facing this unique technology as a total newcomer?  

Bonnie gives us that peek by sharing a fun personal experiment she embarked on when she first started, and shares her insights as to what it was like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

New UT digitizer Bonnie

New UT digitizer Bonnie

When I first started digitizing I felt overwhelmed and amazed by the beautiful designs that were on the Urban Threads site. How was it even possible to paint with stitches? I was learning the science of the process, but I wanted to experiment with the art of embroidery. My dogs Hopscotch and Possum were my first choices to work with as inspiration, but the design needed to be as unique as they are…

It was obvious that embroidered dogs in space suits were the only possible thing I could do.

I found some great photography references for space stuff and started looking through the painterly designs on the Urban Threads site to see how the light-stitching effect was created. I wanted to plan how I was going to create shading, and I studied how the filled areas were layered to create subtle regions of color while keeping the stitch count low. The trick seemed to be finding the right density so that there were enough stitches to visually fill the space, but few enough to leave the fabric and layers of color beneath peeking through.

This really is an artistic process and it felt like learning a new medium. Technically, I was not officially doing this advanced type of work at the time, so this was all about fun experimentation!

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

Early sketch ideas

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

The most important part of course – dogs in spacesuits

I created a few loose sketches of how I wanted the cockpit of the spaceship to look. I decided I was going to flip the first design and just change some details to save time and make them look symmetrical. Then it was time to turn them into stitches…

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

The on-screen digitized designs in Wilcom

I had to first choose a few shades of gray to work with so that I could blend them from dark to light, just like painting. It became quickly apparent how difficult this is to manage while keeping the number of color changes low. When you are painting, it doesn’t matter how many times you go back and forth between colors to add more shading. When embroidering, the progression from one color to the next needs to be planned out so that as much of each thread color is stitched out at once as possible before moving on to the next. The freedom of moving from place to place within the embroidery design as you would with a painting is also lost, because each time you move from one area to another it creates a trim. This requires planning as you move throughout the piece, making sure each area of color has a way to connect to the next. This was difficult for me because my artistic style is extremely spontaneous. Creating the painterly style of embroidery was more like building a complex puzzle than pushing color around with a paintbrush.

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

After digitizing a few layers of open fills (the same technique used to create the painterly designs), I added touches of lighter colored satins to add shine, and imply a light source outside of the window. That is usually my favorite part of working on any piece of art — making things look shiny! In addition, by choosing a dark fabric to act as part of the design, I was able to leave the stitching light, and work mostly on the highlights.

Not everything worked exactly as planned, but it was amazing to use my traditional art skills to blend colors and layers of embroidery. It felt awkward and challenging, but the excitement of the potential outweighed any problems I ran into.

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

The final stitched versions

During the sewing out process I witnessed firsthand why we work so hard to limit the number of color changes and trims and why we make sure that there are not more stitches in a design than necessary. The best part was learning why people enjoy embroidery so much — it’s incredible to hold the finished product in your hands and love it!

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

I learned so much more than I was expecting to during the creation of these designs. Drawing and digitizing them gave me a whole new respect for our artists and digitizers here.

UT digitizer Bonnie shares her experience of diving into the strange and technical world of machine embroidery digitizing as a total newcomer with a fun experiment. See what it's like to work through the weirdness of how machine embroidery really works when you’re totally new to the medium…

Plus, the little astronaut approved!

If you want to see more about how we experiment with the medium of machine embroidery in often totally weird ways, you can also check out another project that our head digitizer Danielle and art director Niamh teamed up to make happen, called the Crane Wife. You’d be surprised how many techniques and new art styles we’ve discovered with off-the-wall experimentation like this!

So This Happened… Giving Bunny IN SPACE

Urban Threadster Valarie and her team at ARAWR went above and beyond and literally got a Giving Bunny up into the edge of space.

So awhile back on facebook, we were messing around after seeing an awesome video of a gal who shot one of her toys into space. It inspired us to post a joking challenge to invite someone to try and get a Giving Bunny in space, complete with cheesy photoshopped space-bunny image. If you don’t know what the Giving Bunny Project is, it’s basically a worldwide collaborative effort for crafty folk to make tiny plush bunnies and leave them all around the world to spread a little joy. You can read all about it in the original post. Since it’s creation, the Giving Bunnies have spread literally around the globe, landing on every continent including Antarctica. We never imagined it could go father than that…

Well, what we’ve learned is that we should never, ever underestimate the awesomeness of Urban Threadsters. Because Valarie and her team at ARAWR took it upon themselves to help the bunnies conquer (near) space, and it is every bit as awesome as you could imagine. The flight into space involved a 1200 gram balloon, and that tiny bunny made it to an astonishing 101,000 ft. That little plush is practically a little Felix Bunn-gartner now.

Urban Threadster Valarie and her team at ARAWR went above and beyond and literally got a Giving Bunny up into the edge of space.

Urban Threadster Valarie and her team at ARAWR went above and beyond and literally got a Giving Bunny up into the edge of space.

And yes, there’s video of that majestic bunny floating above the world, in his tiny little scarf. Good thing too, it’s probably pretty cold up there…

You can check out more details, photos, and video, including take-off and landing, over on the ARAWR website. A HUGE thank you to Valarie and her team for making the office seriously go into excited meltdown today. We are reminded again and again that we really have the coolest customers ever. And I suppose now, we’re going to have to update that google map. Anyone know how to add a bunny in space?

And the Winners Are…

Thanks to all of you who joined the party and crafted your own highly official Urban Threads shirts!

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A little sample of some of the awesome entries. See all of them in the slideshow below!

Seeing all your creative takes on the U-Tee was pretty much the best 6th birthday present ever. Congratulations to Dar, Kara, Katherine, Rita, Vanessa, and Wanda, randomly selected winners of a $30 Urban Threads gift certificate each. Winners, you’ve been emailed. Check out all the entries in the slideshow below (or see them here) … and remember, should you ever find yourself in need of an Urban Threads tee, grab a free skull-and-cross-needles design and go to town!

Urban Threads Is Six Years Old – RANDOM GIVEAWAY!

*Comments are now closed! Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Congrats to winner Britt, #393!*

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I know right? Six! Like we’d be an adorable over-talkative glitter covered child by now. Six awesome years of embroidery shenanigans with the finest bunch of crazy crafters we could ever ask for. That’s right, it’s because of YOU that we’re here to celebrate six happy years. So grab your self a free slice of guilt free cake if you haven’t already, and be sure to treat yo self to your faves list with the STOREWIDE SALE, because you know these big blow ups only come around so often.

To really ring in this happy birthday, we need to do one special thing today. So today only from now until 11:59pm tonight, leave a comment here wishing Urban Threads a happy birthday, and we’ll pick one lucky commenter to win a $30 gift certificate! That’s right, just comment below today only for your chance to win. Good luck!

P.S. – Want to double your chance of winning? Just enter the DIY Urban Threads t-shirt contest before the end of this month for another chance at a $30 gift certificate. Check out details on that contest here.

Make Your Own Official Urban Threads Tee and WIN!

UPDATE: Winners have been announced!

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size!

A lot of you have been asking about official Urban Threads swag for awhile now. Buttons, stickers, even tees. Well in honor of Urban Threads’ 6th birthday (!), we’ve come up with a distinctly Urban Threads way to let you get your hands on an official Urban Threads tee. Not only that, but you can use your awesome new tee to enter for a chance to win one of 6 gift certificates. How is this all possible? DIY it! That’s right, you can have your own official tee. The only catch is you gotta make it yourself.

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size!

With this awesome new free embroidery design, you can make a Urban Threads tee just like the one above, no matter your embroidery machine’s hoop size! Want to know how to make your tee? Check out this easy step-by-step tutorial. So what about this whole WINNING thing? Well, to enter, grab the new design, embroider it onto a shirt, and dress it up as you please. Then email contest@urbanthreads.com with either a photo of your shirt (bonus points if you’re in it!) or a link to your photo in the Urban Embroidery flickr pool.  Enter as many shirts as you like, but you can only win once. At the end of the month, 6 lucky winners will be selected at random to win a $30 gift certificate each! You know what’s extra fun about this “official” shirt? Well, that’s there’s no real “official” way to do it! As long as you have the name and logo stitched somewhere on your shirt, your own crazy touches make it as officially Urban Threads as anything else. Because really, Urban Threads’ hallmark is not a logo, but your creativity! Sure, we loved playing with the “splat” motif that often accompanies our logo, but as you can see, the Urban Threads team went all over the place in how they decorated theirs.

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size! See all the different styles the UT team made with theirs.

Bonnie is our newest digitizer, and adorably quirky. She has a thing for big shiny eyeballs, so she added her own unique stamp to her tee with felt, along with a little felt “splat.” Don’t be afraid to add your own unique touches. Bonnie’s certainly not!

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size! See all the different styles the UT team made with theirs.

Caitlin opted for a lighter tank top for the warmer months ahead. She also tried playing with applique, and added sparkly fabric underneath her logo!

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size! See all the different styles the UT team made with theirs.

UT artist Dani decided on some unusual placement for her design, putting it instead at the bottom front of her tee. If you look a little closer, you can also see she did a cool double layering effect with the logo, stitching it just offset in a slightly different color.

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size! See all the different styles the UT team made with theirs.

Danielle too kept her tee simple, but gave it a fashionable touch with a side stitched logo. It’s a nice placement idea if you want your logo tee to be a bit more subtle. She also used the small logo as a front tee accent. Simple but chic!

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size! See all the different styles the UT team made with theirs.

UT marketing wizard and ringmaster Karline decided to put her main design on the back of a hoodie instead of the front, and also accented the front with the logo.

Make your own official Urban Threads tee, no matter what your hoop size! See all the different styles the UT team made with theirs.

Taylor kept this simple, with a jaunty offset logo and type, but accented his shirt with a stitched “splat” design.

Make your own UT shirt with a free design and WIN. Contest now through the end of May 2014.

There’s no wrong way to do it. Just make sure “Urban Threads” is stitched legibly, and your shirt/hoodie/tank/jacket  includes the name and logo. You can add bleach, paint, stitches, your own favorite Urban Threads designs… anything! Make your official tee as stylin’ as you want it, and send us a picture of it for your chance to win. Go grab your FREE design right here, check out this tutorial for how to make it, and then send us your picture at contest@urbanthreads.com before 11:59 p.m. Central time on Saturday, May 31 for your chance to win one of SIX $30 gift certificates.  Get stitching!

Canine Couture & Furry Fashions

Urban Threads is full of embroidery designs to bring your own closet and decor to new levels of awesome. Why should your dog be any different? Here’s a brand new collection for pups to make them as unique and stylin’ as you are!

The new Canine Couture collection features light and open designs that are still full of awesome detail — perfect for jackets and hoodies, pet beds, and more. These chic new designs are modeled by non other than official UT office pups, owned by two of our digitizers! The little black pit Jaxie is owned by Danielle, and the two little Chinese Cresteds, Possum and Hopscotch ,belong to our newest team member Bonnie. They modeled like champs, (and we love having them visit!) and whether your pup is a proud alum of Barkington University or is just Bad to the Bone, you’re sure to find the perfect designs for all your four-legged friends.

Check out how stylin’ our resident pups look rocking them…

love_and_dog

Jaxie knows what’s up. With a little bundle of furry love in your life, what more do you need?

spoiled

Got a little prima donna? Trust me, you’ll know if you do. Might as well rock that look loud and proud.

bad_to_the_bone

Maybe your dog has a little more of an attitude. Let em be bad to the bone. Heck  little Possum is practically rocking a mohawk. That punk little hoodie suits him well.

adopted a human

All our office pups are rescues! Or more like, they rescued us. Where you adopted by a dog? Let people know with a cute design and spread the word to help more dogs find their adoptable humans.

free_kisses

Jaxie is all about giving out free kisses. Anytime, anywhere. Now she can advertise it loud and proud.

barkington

Got a pup that’s got that chic attitude? Let them prance around with class, they graduated top of their class at Barkington University. Maybe you can both rock your college sweaters out on a walk like proud alumni.

If you love the look of these cute little dog hoodies, you can make your own! There’s an easy-to-follow tutorial to sew your own right here, featuring the original blog dog Norton.

Sew your own embroidered dog hoodie with this easy to follow tutorial.

Craft some pawsitively stylin’ threads for your pup with these new designs. Check out the whole Canine Couture collection, and feel free to send photos of what you make to support@urbanthreads.com — we’d love to see!