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Laura’s Book Nook

Free-Standing Fringe Puffs

FP2T600

Occasionally the argument pops up about just how creative one can be when using stock embroidery designs from ones “stash”. After all, you pick a design for whatever apparel item you are embellishing, make a few color choices from your thread stash, take a quick look at your Joann’s coupon to see if maybe you ought not make a thread run, hoop your project, load your machine, and a few thread changes, band aids and colorful epithets later you are a rock star in the world of thread art. How cool is that? Of course, even rock stars do improv.

While quality designs, a reliable machine, and a good selection of threads and notions make for hassle-free execution of your project, at the end of the day it is all the little decisions you have made leading up to that first stitch that truly define whether your embroidery machine stitches out some beautiful thread music or merely plays the scales. I for one like to jam when I sit down to sew and I would like to encourage anyone reading this to do the same.

When I got my first spool of  YLI  water-soluble thread, I had already been tinkering with how to make fringe, using my embroidery machine. However, loading the water-soluble onto my bobbin really kicked it up a notch and from that came many machine embroidery fringe designs.

There are a few things you might want to avoid should as you improv your way through your own Fringe Puff art project. First, I don't recommend sewing my fringe designs directly onto any knit fabrics. Seems that when you release the fringe loops all the needle penetrations in the knit continue showing! There is a better way to deal with knit fabrics, which I'll show you in a moment. Second, my fringe designs are completely inappropriate on anything that will be worn or otherwise regularly accessible to unsupervised infants, toddlers or cats. While I have sequenced my designs to be as durable as possible, even steel eventually yields to irresistible forces. Sadly those three previously stated irresistible forces will, with time, unravel my designs as they suck, chew and tug on the delicate fringe. Now that you've been sufficiently warned, it's time to try stitching your own Fringe Puff project at home. Key the music, please.

As you might have noted with the picture of the t-shirts, my Fringe Puffs are right cute when sewn and arranged in multiple colors. The same is true with Fringe Puff arrangements in all the same color, as well as, tone on tone projects. I embellished simple t-shirts, but you can make a whole variety of arrangements onto just about anything - just as long as you keep them away from small kids and cats of all sizes.

Fringe Puffs is a single design in three separate machine embroidery files. Use Design TONF01 to sew a single Fringe Puff, to create a single boutonnière or round out a pile of puffs for your project. TONF02 is an arrangement of 16 Fringe Puffs (inside a 4x4 hoop), should you opt for an entire orchestra of thread art music. Finally, TONF3 is an arrangement of a Fringe Puff Flower Head. With this latter design file, you will want to pay close attention should you want to stitch the flower, as it requires a slight change in procedure. What’s more, should you decide your Fringe Puff project require stems for its flower heads, you many use either decorative stitches or purchased trim for the stems and vines to use with these fun designs.

TONF_files400

Sew these designs onto two layers of heavy water-soluble stabilizer like Vilene (aka Aqua Magic, aka Wash-Away). No fabric required!  You can of course sew these directly on the fabric, if you want - unless that fabric is knit.

  • Use water-soluble thread in the bobbin for color #1.
  • Use regular bobbin thread in the bobbin for color #2.
  • Use poly, rayons, cottons, metallics, variegated, etc embroidery threads in the top of the machine.

Loosen or tighten the top thread tension of your machine just a little, so the top thread will wrap around to the backside some - just not too much, as this gives a bit more length to your fringe. Yours should look similar to the illustration shown. This is the backside of the embroidery. Here I use black bobbin thread because I want to sew these onto something black. The white bobbin thread is water-soluble thread. The darker gray thread is embroidery thread. The lighter gray is the water-soluble stabilizer.

TON_puffParts_bottom
TON_puffParts_top

So, what does it take to make finge puffs?

  1. Color 1 - Sews the fringe - use water soluble thread in the bobbin (If you use regular bobbin thread for Color #1, use a contrasting color to the bobbin thread than you will use for color #2). 
  2. Once sewn, clip thread jumps on the front side.
  3. Color 2 - Sews the tack down to the fringe - use regular bobbin thread.
  4. Clip thread jumps on the front and backsides before washing out the water-soluble stabilizer.
  5. TON_singlePuff-5_finshedOnce these designs are sewn- except for design TONF03 - put them in the sink to soak out the water-soluble thread and stabilizer. You will need to soak them in fresh water 2-3 times. I prefer to let them soak all night to get all of the water-soluble from out of all those stitches.

As promised, here is what do with Design TONF03 to make it easier to sew onto your project. Wait until after you sew it onto the project before washing out the water-soluble. After you have rinsed out most of the stabilizer and thread, you can toss the garment or project in with your regular wash. Just remember to turn the garment inside-out before you do.

With the water-soluble thoroughly removed, pat dry your newly minted Fringe Puffs on a thick terry towel. Lay them individually flat to dry. However, don’t stretch or pull on them. If there are any unruly threads, take this opportunity to clip them off, even with the length of the fringe. Once dry, you can sew them onto whatever garments, linens, etc.

TON_singlePuffPinned_illustratedIf sewing them onto garments, place a medium size rotary cutter mat or piece of cardboard inside the shirt or beneath the project. Pin the individual puffs on using  straight pins at least 1 1/16th inches (2.7cm) in length, in order to catch both sides of the fringe puff. Pin into the center open area only, creating a bridge to hold the puff in place.

Note: If you are sewing your Fringe Puffs onto knit fabrics, don't forget to use ballpoint pins and needles. I do not recommend sewing my fringe designs directly onto knit fabrics with your embroidery machine, because when the fringe loops are released the needle penetrations continue to show. Better to stitch as instructed above then stitch your finished puffs to the knit fabric..

TON_stitchingOnPuff

Stitch them using free-motion stitching. Lower or cover the feed dogs, use a free-motion foot (I use my regular embroidery foot) and a straight stitch. Use the same color thread as the fringe puff. Move the fabric around to sew each one on. There is no need to turn the garment around with each one. Stitch around the outside edge of the center satin stitch two times. Unless there is a problem, keep each pin in place until you have sewn around it at least once. Cut the threads after sewing each one.

  • Note: If you are uncomfortable doing this on your garment, practice first by sewing some fringe puffs onto a scrap of similar fabric.
  • Hint: Articles with these designs stitched on will do best if washed and dried turned inside out.
  • Hint: If you sew these onto white natural fabric, use polyester or other colorfast threads in the top of the machine. White fabrics turn yellow over time. If you use colorfast threads they will not fade if you need to bleach the fabric.

In the illustrations shown, I use decorative trims for the flower stems. Depending on the trim you choose, stitch the trim on before sewing the fringe puffs. Do this with a straight or zigzag stitch using a thread that matches the color of the trim. The ends of the trims can be turned under and stitched down, knotted, fray checked, or any number of finishes that you desire.

See examples of my trims below.

TON_tShirtRainbow-11
TON_tShirtRainbow-21

TON_trims-2

The most effective way to do it is just do it.” - Amelia Earhart

If you like fringe designs, visit me online and sign up for my email notification Yahoo group. You can then download this free fringe trim design from the group files along with other FREE embroidery designs. This fringe comes in two widths and three lengths. It was made to fit my Molas Nouveau 4x4 and 5x7 designs, but has seen a lot of use with many other projects. You can make as many pieces as needed for your project the length it needs, then simply cut off any excess.

LSSFRNGEX200

See my other fringe designs here

Terms for Re-use and Redistribution

If you would like to share these instructions with your friends, please be fair and send them to this website to read it.

Laura Waterfield

www.LaurasSewingStudio.com

Laura@LaurasSewingStudio.com

If you have any words of wisdom to add, please email me. I am always open to learning new ideas and better ways to sew.

If you want to use my tutorial in a group or part of a class instruction, please send your students to this website to print the directions themselves. If you must print it for them, then please print it in its entirety, including my copyright and web address. Thank you for your integrity!

Copyright © Laura Waterfield 2017

 

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COPYRIGHT STATEMENT

SOFTWARE LICENSING AGREEMENT

Laura's Sewing Studio embroidery designs are for personal use. Designs and copyrighted images are intended for private, non-commercial use. Laura's Sewing Studio entitles the purchaser only to make projects for personal use. The embroidery designs are the copyrighted property of Laura M. Waterfield. No design, documentation, or associated graphic distributed as part of this collection may be shared, re-sold individually, re-packaged, or used in any commercial endeavor or instructional presentation without the written consent of Laura's Sewing Studio. Any modifications of these embroidery designs are for the personal non-commercial use of the purchaser only and may not be sold or distributed under this licensing agreement.

If your friends want these designs, please send them to this website. .Both your integrity and patronage allow us to continue with new product development, while keeping down cost and maintaining quality support.

Thank you for your patronage and happy sewing.

Laura Waterfield

Copyright Laura M. Waterfield 2002-2017

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Once you join, check for more FREE Designs in the Files section of the Yahoo group.

View some of the Yahoo Group free designs here

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