Christmas is nearly upon us and everyone's busy creating something special for this year's festivities. We love the beautiful burlap Christmas ornaments Meryl has been selling on her website Meryl Makes, so we asked her if she could contribute to our blog by sharing a tutorial on how to make them.
I also wanted to find out a bit about Meryl, so asked her a few questions.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’ve sewn clothing and soft furnishings (or home décor as they say in the States) all my life. Throughout my business life I have always run a sewing business on the side, making curtains, chair covers and table skirts for restaurants and hotels. My business life involved commercial photography and graphic design but I originally trained as a ballet dancer and then turned to teaching yoga. But I always wanted to use my sewing skills more creatively and the opportunity presented itself when I moved to a thatched cottage by the seaside in rural Devon (south west England). I bought an embroidery machine and was hooked. I started testing for various designers and began to understand the difference between good and bad designs.
So I became a sponge and spent hours stitching and learning, doing on-line courses and learning to digitize. Eventually, last year I started selling designs and set up a website of my own. I love Wilcom programmes (I have MBX and now Hatch Embroidery) and happily recommend Hatch Embroidery as being the best on the market.
I spend every day digitizing as I am addicted. A lot of my work has been custom digitizing, and then creating designs for my own site. I have a helpful band of testers and group members who give me ideas.
What inspires you?
Things around me. I live by the seaside in a rural part of Devon, England. I love being able to step outside and use a fallen leaf as a pattern, or a flower from the garden. My local beach huts and seaside inspire me and my dream is to spend my time digitizing on the beach.
What do you like best about Hatch Embroidery?
That it’s logical. I think almost anyone with basic computer skills can find their way around hatch so that they can create designs. It’s an intuitive programme so you can use it whether you know a lot about it or very little.
What are your favourite tools and features?
It would have to be applique with it’s built in choice of fabrics. When I digitize applique it is so quick and simple and the images are great for showing to customers.
And I love the player. It’s a great way of checking a design, making sure it is properly optimised, so it sews out in the most economical fashion.
Another fabulous feature is the auto fabric which will give the right underlay for a design. At the click of a button you can turn a design from being suitable for cotton, to stitching perfectly on Lycra or even silk. I could go on and on about features. Hatch Embroidery is just awesome.
What advice would you give to beginner digitizers?
Best advice when starting out with digitizing is practice. Don’t be afraid to play around with the software and create designs. Then stitch them out. Watch whilst your machine is stitching to see if there is anything that could have been done better. Don’t be afraid to edit the design but always stitch it out again. And watch designs from other digitizers stitch out and compare them to your own creations. I think this is the best way to learn.
And now over to Meryl...
Hello, I'm very excited to be here showing you how to create your own ITH Christmas decorations. It is simple in Hatch Embroidery and is a project that can be digitized and made whatever your level of experience. Once completed you can use different fabrics to change the style of decoration and add embellishments like sticks, beads, bows or buttons. The shabby chic style is very popular and making in the hoop decorations with burlap and plaid gives a nice Christmas feel to the design. But you can easily change the feeling by using satin and lace for a wedding, blue or green fabric for a baby shower or just match the fabric to your décor.
I originally introduced a set of Christmas designs from artwork by Helen Turvey, which included a Scottie Dog, Stocking, Tree, Bird and Heart. A second set was created from my own artwork which included a Reindeer, Wreath, Bell, Angel, Star and Pine Cone, and after customer requests I created the House.
These ITH decorations are digitized using simple runs and motif stitches and combine the use of raw edge applique so that plaid detail can be added. With the choice of either stuffing or leaving unstuffed in the same design, these are both quick to make and a great way to personalise your tree this year. What I love is that by using the built in buttonholes, you can easily turn your favourite designs into bunting too.
Watch this video to learn how to create this 'Christmas Present' ITH ornament
Hatch Embroidery software products are in popular use in over 100 countries. It is time to join the global trend and give Hatch a try! The 30-day Free Trial grants you unlimited use of all the amazing features and the 30-day Money Back Guarantee ensures that there is absolutely no risk involved.
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