I got a little distracted on my Christmas decoration project. (See Free Standing Lace 1 and Free Standing Lace 2.) I finished digitizing the Y and corrected the O so they would connect (did you figure it out?), but I haven’t stitched them yet. You can see that I used two different greens. That’s fine since this is just for me, but if I planned to sell the file, I’d probably want to do them with the same color. This is another thing I should have noted.
So, what got me distracted? Someone at work decided we should do a 12 Days of Christmas activity and the reward for participating was to get to wear jeans to work. I’m always up for a casual day. The themes for the first three days were snowman, antlers and gingerbread cookies.
I love extravagant, quirky, totally age-inappropriate earrings. They are the only jewelry I wear, so I tend to go big. Here are the snowmen I digitized for the first day. This one was fairly simple. I overlapped two circles and merged them, created the lace base, then added the details and outline. I learned two things. I knew jump stitches were bad in FSL, but I didn’t understand why until I had to trim them. It’s difficult to do so without clipping other stitches. I could have avoided them by alternating colors on each black dot so the machine wouldn’t try to join them. It would take a little longer to stitch out and would result in more loose ends on the back, but it would be worth it. The exception would be the mouth. Those jumps are tiny enough to leave intact. If I were marketing this design, I’d include the file both ways along with an explanation. The file below has multiple colors to avoid all the jump stitches.
The second thing I learned was that it’s important to trim the loose ends on the reverse side after each color is stitched. Otherwise they get caught in subsequent stitches and may show. You can see a bit of red in the outline of the first snowman. Since the residual water soluble stabilizer (WSS) that stiffens them will also keep things from fraying, it’s okay to trim as close as possible.
Generations has a feature that will optimize the stitching order for you. I tried it on this design. A few things were strange. For example, the bottom button stitched out right after the mouth and then the middle and top ones.
Settings for this design
Density of lace base: 4.0 (in Generations)
Satin outline: 1.0 mm
Two layers of WSS (not the clear kind you use on top of napped fabrics)
Finished size: 1.75″ X 1.125″ including loop but excluding wire
I used white bobbin thread in the bobbin throughout. If I had used white 40 wt (regular embroidery thread), the earring would have been more substantial. Refer to the photo for colors, although you may want to make the nose orange. I think variegated thread would look interesting for the scarf. Resizing FSL is not recommended and may lead to unreliable results.
Trim the stabilizer from the finished item and soak it in warm water just long enough to tear the remaining WSS away from the edges. You want to leave as much as possible in the threads to stiffen the earrings. Don’t empty the water down the sink. I’ve heard it can do bad things to your plumbing.
Here’s a link to the pes file. Snowman Earrings (pes only) Drop me a note if you need other formats and I’ll see what I can do. You are welcome to use this file to make objects for personal use or for sale. You may not resell or distribute the embroidery file.
Dropbox may ask you to create an account or sign in, but there’s a ‘no thanks’ link that will let you proceed to the download.