Formats and tips
All designs come in the following formats: DST, EXP, JEF, PES and either HUS or VP3 (older designs come in HUS, newer one's in VP3), but if none of these work for you, just shoot me a message and I can convert to any format that you need.
Tip #1: Several of the designs, such as the hanging tealights, use "brads" in their assembly. Brads are very useful little metal scrapbooking embellishments that come in a multitude of styles and are available at Michael's, Jo-Ann's, Hobby Lobby, and many other craft-related shops. Here's a photo of a small variety of Brads:
Tip #2: When stitching free-standing lace (FSL), if you are using two layers of water-soluble stabilizer (WSS), layer them with the grain up-and-down on one and side-to-side on the second layer.
In my experience, the fabric-like water-soluble stabilizers (H2O-gone, Aqua Magic, Wet 'n Gone) work much better for free-standing lace then the plastic-film-type stabilizer (Sulky Solvy).
When stitching free-standing lace, it is imperative to hoop the stabilizer tight and even so that none of the stitches become mis-aligned. Some hoops hold WSS better than others. If you find the stabilizer is slipping a bit in your hoop, you can make a lining for the hoop to help hold the stabilizer securely. There are several methods to accomplish this - you can use rubber shelf liner, quilt batting (I also tried felt but it didn't work very well as the hoop can pop out because it doesn't mold as well to the shape); my preferred method is to use paper towel:
- I use three layers of paper towel and stack them with the grain in opposite directions and spray glue the three layers together; then I hoop the paper towel sandwich and cut out the middle (stitching area); then whenever I am hooping wss or any other stabilizer without fabric, I hoop it with the paper towel on top; I use one paper towel sandwich dozens and dozens of times before I need to replace it. Here's a photo of what it looks like:
Tip #3: When stitching with metallic thread, make sure the thread comes of the spool straight, from the side, instead of from the top of the spool (don't use the thread holder built into your machine or a thread stand). My husband put this together for me using two "L" brackets and a pegboard shelf bracket - this solved my issue with metallic thread breaking:
Tip #4: no need to limit yourself to the traditional yellow LED tealight - there's a growing number of options out there! Here's a few that I purchased from either Michaels, JoAnns, or Amazon...