Brillo Workout!

Here is a short video about the Aurifil Metallic Thread, Brillo that I used in my Christmas-present-in-minutes blog post. I wanted to show you how reliably this thread performs without altering my machine settings.

I know many of you will adjust your machine’s tension and use a special Metallic or Embroidery needle with metallic thread. The metallic and embroidery needles (available from have a deeper cut away in the scarf at the back of the needle and a bigger eye. This keeps the thread from becoming overheated whilst stitching.

With all these particular instructions in mind, I wanted to use Brillo without changing a thing! Brilliant results!

Just what every summer traveller needs.

A personalised luggage tag is just what every traveller needs. I know you can buy a huge range of colourful luggage tags these days, but nothing beats the hand-made, customised, tag …. no one else will have exactly the same tag!

Make your own customised luggage tag and make identification easy.

The summer holidays set me thinking about travel, and the annoying problem of identifying your luggage from amongst the hundreds of bags doing the rounds on the airport carousel.

My solution is to make a set of matching luggage tags in my own funky fabric design. This way I can instantly identify MY suitcase as soon as it appears through that little window in the wall.

Luggage tags are very simple to make, using the shapes from the pattern page (see the pattern download box to the left of the screen).

For each tag:

Cut 2 x tag shapes from chosen fabric:  each 4 1/2″ x 7″ (12cm x 18cm)

Cut 1 x plastic window shape from heavy-duty, clear tablecloth plastic:  4′ x 2 1/2″ (10cm x 6.5cm)

Cut 1 x loop strip from chosen fabric: 11′ x 2″ (28cm x 5cm)

Cut 2 tag shapes from interfacing: each 4″ x 6 1/2″ (10cm x 16.5cm)

Stitch with Aurifil Cotton Mako’ of course!!

Making up the tag:

  1. Make the loop by folding right sides together and stitching a seam 1/4″ from the raw edge to make a tube. Turn the tube so that the right sides are out. Press flat with the seam running down the centre of the tube.
  2. Stiffen the tag fabric by ironing  interfacing to the centre of the wrong side of each tag shape.
  3. Place right sides together and stitch around the shape, 1/4″ from the raw edges, leaving an opening at the  shoulders so that the tag can be turned out to the right side.
  4. Turn tag to the  right side.
  5. Press the raw edges of the “shoulders” into the wrong side
  6. Fold the loop in half and insert the raw edges in to the “neck” of the tag.
  7. Stitch all around the edge of the tag, very close to the edge, to close the shoulder and create a sharp finished edge.
  8. Position the plastic label “pocket”  in the centre of one side of the tag and stitch into place. Stitching can be straight or a decorative design.
  9. Print a sheet of address labels, cut to size, and insert one into the window.

Ta da!

One luggage label completed.

This is an easy project for playing with the decorative stitches on your machine.

Repeat as many times as needed.

Christmas Stitcheries

Beginning the embroidery

One of the sewing groups to which I belong was recently involved in making items to sell for charity.  I decided to make some stitchery Christmas decorations. I used Aurifil Cotton Mako 12 and chose some Christmasy colours that appealed.  There are lots of suitable colours in the range, but I selected 2870 (green),2265 (red) and 5022 (gold).  Cotton Mako 12 is thick enough to be able to use as a single thread for the effect I aimed to achieve.

The finished hanging.

To save time I bagged out the hanging and machine quilted 1/4 inch from the edge.  I discovered that the top was not sitting as straight and firmly as I wanted (grrr!) so I inserted a wooden kebab skewer (trimmed to size) along the top.  This did the job beautifully!!

An inserted skewer made a firm top edge.

I also made some hexagonal decorations.

Hexagons too!

All these stitchery patterns and lots of other ideas are in the book Christmas Truffles by Hugs ‘n Kisses.

If you enjoy hand stitchery you might like to take a look at Lynette Anderson’s blog where she has a free Christmas pattern you can download.

Hopefully these little stitcheries will bring cheer to those who purchased them.

Christmas Present in Minutes

These cute coasters only take minutes to make. I found this fabulous video and in a matter of minutes I had a finished present ready to wrap.

I decided to embellish one of the fabric pieces using Aurifil Brillo Metallic Thread and a variety of my fancy stitches on my sewing machine.

The Aurifil Brillo Adds some BLING!

Brilliant Brillo

I then decided to use my ‘Christmas Red’ Aurilux and created some holiday swirls.

Aurilux makes my swirls glisten

I have used Aurifil Ne-50wt thread in the bobbin with the Brillo AND the Aurilux.  This combination makes sewing these fancy stitches tangle free!

Christmas presents finished in a flash
If you had fun making these coasters, you might enjoy using the embroidery stitches on your machine to transform a plain cotton sheet set into a special gift.  
Find out more about how to use decorative stitches at “Sew4home“.