Monday, September 16, 2013

Angelina Film Beads

I love using Angelina Film for machine embroidery.  It gives a glossy, sparkly texture that is different from anything else.  And, always being thrifty, I like to save every little piece of leftover film.  Now I’ve discovered a fun way to use up those scraps and add another layer of texture and sparkle to my embroidered designs – beads!
These beads are so special!  They only take a tiny bit of Angelina Film, make a ton of beads, and look like carnival glass.  The best part is they can be cut with scissors to any size, can be washed and dried and no matter what you do to them-won’t break.  Perfect to add to machine embroidery!
So go gather your equipment and let’s make some beads.  Here’s what you’ll need:
1.     Heat Gun – you can use the embossing tool you bought when you were doing stamping OR they are also available at any hardware store for a minimal price OR ask a man in your life if he has one, chances are he does.
2.     Wooden Skewer – you can get these at the dollar store or the grocery store.  Basically they are a thin wooden stick used for kabobs.

3.     Angelina Film – you will need about a 1 ½” x 3” piece – you don’t need to be accurate (this makes it easy to use your scraps) 
Loosely wrap your Angelina Film around the wooden stick.  Turn on the heat gun and aim it on the Angelina Film.

The Film only bonds to itself so it will shrink down on itself and you will begin to see it crinkle and form kaleidoscope colors as it does.  As soon as it shrinks down its done, don’t apply too much heat or it will lose some of its glossy sheen.  
Slide off the skewer and cut into pieces with scissors.

Now you can stitch or glue to any of your creations.  You can even stitch through the beads without harming them, and you still get the look of carnival glass.  

Try all of the 18 different colors of Angelina Film, as each will give you a different look – I especially love the pink, purple, clear and copper shades.  And the best part is when you buy a roll of Angelina Film it is 4” x 3 feet, so if each skewer takes only 1 ½” of Angelina Film and cuts 10 to 20 beads, imagine the millions of beads you can make!!  So here’s to easy beading!  For more information on Angelina Fibers and Film (including great deals, ideas and tips and tricks) check out my website at and my friend Betty Blais’ website

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How to make an Awesome Quilt Label

I am going to be doing a class on quilt labels - so I thought I would share my handout with you.  It's amazing how many Quilt makers don't label their quilts.  You have created a piece of art.  That art is infinitely more valuable with your signature on it.  That quilt will be handed down to generations to come and they will want to know the year it was created and better yet see your handwriting.  I have created a collection of Awesome quilt label stamps which are super easy to use - to see them, visit my website:  They are only $10 per stamp and are so easy to use (my favorite part).  Here is my handout, feel free to use it or share it with any fellow quilters.
 Tips & Tricks for making Awesome  Quilt Labels
A quilt is a work of art, but so many quilts lack the most important thing any piece of artwork should have –the signature of the artist!  Or in this case, a quilt label.   After reading these tips and tricks, you’ll be inspired to include a quilt label on all your quilts. 
             WHY LABEL?  he first reason to label is to preserve, document and share the history of quilts and their makers.  It’s even more meaningful if that documentation includes some of your handwriting (don’t be afraid it won't look perfect, it’s you and your family will love it!)  A quilt is an important part of any family’s heritage.  Think of grandma’s or great-grandma’s quilt…hopefully they are labeled, if not when they are passed down that history will be lost.  I have several quilts that my grandmother made in the 1920’s.  How I would love to have had her document the year and her signature on those quilts.  I treasure pieces my great grandmother pinned a tag to which included her signature and the date. It’s so interesting, the handwriting from the early 1900’s looks quite different then the handwriting of today. The second reason to label is to protect your quilt and allow it to be returned to you if lost or stolen.
The Basics: 
1.      If your quilt is washable, your label should be too.  Chose a smooth-surface, high quality, 100% cotton fabric.  Permanent ink pens perform better on all cotton fabrics then blends.  Prewash the fabrics to remove any sizing which could act as a barrier to ink penetration.
2.       Select a color that allows the ink to show through.  White on white fabric is not recommended as the design is usually painted over the white fabric and the paint acts as a barrier to the ink.
3.      Use fabric markers or a Gelli Roll pen (available at Office Supply Stores) in non-metallic colors.  When ironed to heat set, these inks become permanent and can be washed and dried. 
4.      Stabilize the fabric to create a smooth writing surface.  This can be done in two ways:
a.      Fusible:  Use your favorite brand of paper backed fusible and iron to the back of your fabric.
b.      Freezer Paper:  Cut a piece of freezer paper large enough to cover the fabric's writing area. Iron the freezer paper waxed side to the fabric's wrong side with a hot, dry iron.
5.       Write on your label a bit more slowly and with a lighter touch  than you normally do.  This allows  time for the ink to flow into the fabric.
6.      Heat set your label.  Iron on cotton setting for one minute (this is a long time) – or put into the dryer on the high setting and let run.  This will make your ink permanent so you can wash and dry.
Stamping your Label:    The easiest way to create a label is to use a quilt label rubber stamp.  Stamplates Label Me Grand has five different styles to choose from. The pictures here show 2 of the 5 styles.  It shows the rubber stamp face and what the stamp looks like when it is stamped on fabric.  Here are my tricks to get a great stamped label every time:
1.      Prepare your fabric for your label, following the tips above.
2.       Use Pigment Ink:  The two most successful inks are Color Box Pigment Ink and Staz-on Fabric Ink.  I tested over 16 different types of ink and these two consistently perform the best.  Dark colored ink always works best:  use black, brown, Hunter Green , dark purple or red.
3.       Place the stamp on a flat surface, design up.  Hold the ink pad between your thumb and fingers and pounce the ink over the top of the design.  Now stamp the design on the fabric.
4.       Iron for one minute to heat-set. 
5.       Write on the fabric with the Gelli-Roll pen – use your regular handwriting even if not perfect – your descendants will love to see your actual writing and comments.  Again, iron for one minute to heat set and make permanent.
6.       Have fun with embellishments.
a.         Use the foiling and glitter pen to add foil or glitter highlights.
b.       Use fabric markers to add color
c.        Add sequins, beads and charms
d.       Encase a coin from the year you made the quilt between 2 pieces of  Angelina Film and iron and sew the coin "package" to the label or next to the label.
e.  Cut a motif from the fabric and add it to the label by fusing and stitching.
7.       Cut out your label and fuse and top stitch onto the back of your quiltIf you’ve used the freezer paper method of stabilizing, remove the freezer paper, turn under the edges and blind stitch to your quilt.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My new Chicken Quilt

We just started keeping Chickens!  My how fun they are.  They're a hoot to just watch, especially when I feed them.  Each one has his or her own personality and so I decided to represent them in a quilt.  Here are two of them I did.  And of course since I love embellishment I had to add sequins and beads for her necklace and a monocle for him made from a large sequin, with a hole punched into it and then made his chain from metallic thread hand embroidered in a chain stitch.  I fused the pieces on first, then  used the button hole stitch to go around each piece (of course you could use machine top stitching instead).  I also have dressed my chickens in other outfits too, which I'll show you in my next blog post.  I am trying to decide how to package the patterns.  With so many different chickens, it gets bulky for patterns - maybe a book.  Or maybe I'll do these two as a separate pattern.  I'm always interested in input - so if you have any ideas let me know.  Oh so some more about our chickens: we have 4 hens in our big chicken coop (which is a chicken wire covered horse stable) so they love it - plenty of room to roam.  We have two bantam hens and a rooster in a smaller coop next door to our house.  We get between 3 - 5 eggs a day and pretty soon it is almost overwhelming.  I'm always looking for new ways to use eggs!  Lately I've been making crepes for breakfast - and filling them with Fage Greek Yogurt sweetened with Sugar free Butterscotch flavoring.  Yum!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Scissors Rubber Stamps

As some of you know, I design and manufacture deep etch rubber stamps that are especially designed for fabric stamping and creating Angelina Appliques.  I'm so excited with my new stamps a mini (1.25") and a regular (2.25") Scissors stamp.  They are fantastic!  I've been busy at work creating a project to hare at the Road to California Roundabout and used the Scissor stamp as part of the project.  I love it and it was so easy to make. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Angelina Film better than Mylar for machine Embroidery

Angelina Film:
The most exciting thing about Angelina Film is the 18 fantastic colors it comes in.  It is similar to Mylar, and can be used in Mylar suitable designs, but also can be used in any of your designs to give an exciting new effect.  Back to the colors, which include shades that look like copper and gold metals, pink and green carnival glass, irridescent purples – each one will give a different effect to your design.  The film comes in rolls of 4” x 3 feet each.
Technique 1 – Mylar suitable designs:
 The idea behind Mylar-suitable designs is to have a design with open stitches that will allow the film to show through them bringing out the sparkly effect between the stitches, giving that lovely metallic effect from all angles.  Since Mylar only comes in one color that is colorfast (white/clear) it only adds a sparkly touch to the threads you are using.  When you use Angelina Film, you add a second element of a background sparkle color.

1.     Prepare your Angelina Film.  You can use the Angelina straight off the roll, like mylar, for a glassy finish.  But even better, you can up the refractive quality of the film ten-fold by using this quick and easy method (I call it my High-Tech Texture Trick").  Cut the film to the size of the hoop area, and then take the Angelina Film in your hand and crumple it into a ball, now straighten it out.  Put it on your pressing sheet “book”, cover with the top of the pressing sheet and lightly tap down with the iron to press the crinkles into place.
2.      Place the fabric you will be embroidering in the hoop together with the right stabilizer for the type of fabric you are using.  Put your piece of film down and hold it in position with some small pieces of magic tape.
3.      Stitch the design.  When the embroidery is completed, remove the hoop out of the machine. Carefully pull or cut away the excess Angelina film. Trim any jump stitches.  If there are any small pieces of the film left behind, these pieces can be removed with tweezers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Machine Embroidery - Angelina Fibers instead of Metallic Thread:

Angelina Fibers instead of Metallic Thread:
Using Metallic threads in your machine embroidered designs can be a real hassle.  They are expensive and temperamental.  Metallic threads tend to break, fray and bunch up.  As a result I started using Angelina in place of all Metallic threads in any design and I love it (I think you will too).  The look is a little different than metallic thread, but I really like the look.  It is textural and sparkly.  It saves tons of time, thread and frustration, and best of all it’s super-easy to do.
1.     Pick out the design you want to embroider, look at it to determine which color of thread you would like to leave out to have the Angelina show through instead. 
2.     Select the color of Angelina you would like to use.  Lay the Angelina on your pressing sheet “book”.  Using you fingers, spread it out to the approximate size of the design area you want to cover.  You are making a thicker sheet of Angelina so you want to keep the fibers fairly close together.
1.     Cover with the top of the Pressing sheet “book”.  Using your Iron on silk setting, no steam – swipe the iron across the pressing sheet twice.  Check to see if the fibers are bonded.  If it still looks furry , flip the pressing sheet “book” over and swipe once on the other side.  Check to see if bonded.  If your iron is too hot or you press for too long, you might dull the Angelina.  It helps to remember that you are not melting the Angelina, only bonding it to itself.
2.     Put your piece of Angelina between two pieces of water soluble stabilizer (if you are making a stand-alone design) – if you are going to use on a garment layer as follows: 
a.     Your favorite stabilizer
b.     Shirt (or whatever you are embroidering on)
c.     Pressed sheet of Angelina Fibers
d.     Water Soluble stabilizer favorite stabilizer
3.      Hoop and embroider your design, leaving out the fill stitches or those colors of thread where you want the Angelina to sparkle through.  Trim any excess Angelina away from the design using embroidery scissors or a hot knife.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mule Quilt Pattern now available

I just have to show you my newest pattern - Portrait of a Mule.  I have also created a pattern for a packing mule as well.  Surprisingly there are little to no quilt patterns for Mule Lovers.  I had such fun creating him and even did my own quilting(very new machine quilting beginner)!  I think you'll love him too.  The two tiny crystals on the eyes, bring him to life!  Here is a little information about mules. 

A mule is the result of the mating of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse(mare) to produce a hybrid. Mules are anatomically normal and show normal breeding behavior unless gelded (castrated) early in life.  Mules are sterile due to an uneven chromosome count. The mule's body type and temperament depend on the breed of mare and jack used. Mules come in any horse or donkey color or combination of both. A mule is easily distinguished from a donkey by looking at the tail. A mule's tail is haired all the way to the top like a horse’s tail; a donkey’s tail has a tuft on the end like a cow. The mule has the patience, endurance, sure footedness, sense, and drought tolerance of the donkey, combined with the size, speed, strength and courage of the horse. He is so new I haven't even put him on the website yet - you can email me at for more information.  I leave in a few hours for the Houston Quilt Festival - Maybe I'll see you there!!