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Instagram made me do it.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I started a new hobby this year:  Instagram.

You’re probably thinking, it doesn’t count as a hobby.  But let me explain.

It’s eye-opening to see how many talented people there are on Instagram.  There are so many varied interests and skills all in one place.  It used to be I would admire someone’s work – whether in magazines, on Facebook, Pinterest, or even museums or craft shows and think—gosh, what amazing talent.  I wish I had their talent.

But this is 2016.  Times have changed—or rather, I’m making a deliberate effort to change.  Now my reaction is:  Gosh, what amazing talent.  I feel inspired and now I will try my own version!  Instagram is inspiring me to do.  To try.  To push myself to new heights.  And it’s my hope that you’ll do the same!  You may discover you can do more than you realize.  

One of my first attempts to try something new was the result of admiring hair accessories on Instagram.  My goal was not to make the exact project I saw—just to make my own “Denise” interpretation – based on my skills and available resources.

To help execute my creative vision, I downloaded the FSL Flourish Flower from EmbroideryOnline.  When you see the price – it’s a no brainer.  You need this design because you can develop many skills from using it.  I hadn’t ever stitched lace embroidery but I felt confident I could do it.  If you have never tried lace, you are invited to try it now! It’s a small design and very little risk is involved and the benefits to you are many! EmbroideryOnline has such a large selection of high quality designs to support my many whims and I think you’ll feel the same way as you browse their website.

The other item I used is also from EmbroideryOnline – AquaMesh Wash Away Stabilizer. Keep this stabilizer in stock in your sewing room.  It comes in very handy for lace – not to mention, it’s fun to watch the cloth-like material vanish once placed in water!  (You can wow your friends with the amazing magic trick!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Project 1:  Lacy Blue Beauty!
tulle, monofilament thread

I chose a couple blue shades of thread and off-white for my flowers.  I used matching bobbin thread for each flower.  After stitching, I trimmed the petals away from the stabilizer.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Then I soaked the flowers to remove the water soluble stabilizer.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I placed the lace on a towel to dry.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Look at the pretty lace just waiting to be turned into a finished project!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I am not an expert sewer in real life and I barely play one online – but I decided to try.  I knew the goal was to sew my pieces together.  I layered the petals on a piece of blue tulle. Then I used a zig-zag stitch and monofilament thread to secure the petals.

After I finished sewing I realized laying a piece of water soluble stabilizer on top might have made it easier to hold the petals down while sewing.  The water soluble stabilizer would be dissolved after stitching.  You are invited to use your favorite technique!  

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Once all the petals were attached I trimmed away the excess tulle.  The end result is a very soft and flexible piece of lace.  I decided not to attach a barrette or clip.  I like having the flexibility to adapt the piece to my hair style so I will attach this piece with bobby pins.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Project 2.  Lace Hair Clip
Supplies:  Hair clip, brads (or crystals, sequins), linen ribbon, hot glue gun

I didn’t have any sequins or crystals at my home studio but I did have tiny brass brads that were the perfect size.  I opted for subtlety but add as few or as many embellishments as you wish.  I covered the hair clip with linen ribbon then attached the flowers.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Simple, yet attractive!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Project 3.  Bold Color
starch, balloon, hair clip or pin, scrap piece of felt

Next I expanded my lace making enterprise by stitching the flowers in bold colors—pink and orange.  I made sure the bobbin thread matched the top thread (when I remembered!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
I wanted the flowers to be layered and somewhat shaped on my final piece.  I dipped each flower into a bowl of starch.  Then I placed the flowers on a balloon to give a subtle concave effect.  I let my creation dry overnight and carefully removed the now hardened flowers from the balloon.  I placed a piece of felt on the underside along with a hair clip.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Just one lace design, some water soluble stabilizer and the decision to try!  Imagine what you can do and take action!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more photos of these lace hair accessories in action. Also be sure to follow our friends at EmbroideryOnline!  They have plenty of ideas to keep you inspired.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Your fun assignment for the week:  EmbroideryOnline is your source for embroidery designs as well as supplies!  Visit the EmbroideryOnline website and tell us which embroidery supplies you most need in your sewing studio.  From threads to stabilizers and accessories they’ve got what you need.  Tell us what you need…. and you might just receive it!  FIVE random people who comment will each receive a $25 shopping spree to the EmbroideryOnline website.  Take action!


Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog



The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:
I’m sure Rita’s not the only who likes to scour auctions, resale shops and antique stores. Do you like to do that? If so, are you looking for anything in particular?  Leave a comment and a random winner will receive a $25 shopping spree coupon to the DIME website.

The winner is:
Michelle Hall:  “I have a couple of hand crochet coverlets and an appliqued quilt that my grandmother made.  I love to shop at garage sales and thrift stores to see what I can find and repurpose.”

Congratulations, Michelle!  Thank you for commenting!






  • Clem

    I love doing fsl….I make book marks and after washing away most of the stabilizers they look very pretty. Leave enough to keep them stiff.

  • Diana Hensley

    I have made several baby bonnets and booties using the FSL. I love the wash away stabilizer, it is really neat to wash it out and you have something so neat.

    • Denise Holguin

      Oh, I bet the baby bonnets and booties are cute!


  • Gail Beam

    Stable stick tear a way and stable stick cutaway and some very sharp curved embroidery scissors would be a great addition sewing room.

    • Denise Holguin

      What are you stitching when you use the Stable stick tear away and cutaway? I’m intrigued!


  • Sandy

    I would love new scissors and one can never have enough stabilizer.

    • Denise Holguin

      I thought I had a well stocked sewing room with scissors and stabilizer, but you are so right! Not to mention, with my addiction to lace, I’m going through AquaMesh Wash Away Stabilizer like there’s no tomorrow!


  • Joanne Banko

    Denise you outdid yourself. Wow, wow, and triple wow!!!Lovely little lace designs and great ideas for hair ornaments and more!

    I think these would also be pretty added to crazy quilt blocks. One of my favorite uses for pieces like this is to attach them to custom stitched greeting cards for a 3D effect.

    As for supplies, Target Stickers come in really handy. I find that they’re the best way to mark for perfect placement, especially in classes where we are using machines with the laser pointer. And I love the fact that they are removable and don’t mar delicate fabrics.

    • Denise Holguin

      Thank you so much!

      I’m so glad you mentioned crazy quilt blocks. I have not combined lace with crazy quilting — and now I’m eager to try that. Eileen’s book, Today’s Crazy Quilting has just the right quilt blocks to try this technique.

      I’ll be posting more shenanigans on Instagram soon!


  • Linda

    What a fun idea. Count me in to try it!

  • Eileen Ryan

    Wash Away Stabilizer always comes in handy

    • Denise Holguin

      I’ve unofficially decided it’s my favorite stabilizer. 🙂


  • Shirley Clark

    I would love to get some more duck bill applique scissors. Those little ones make trimming appliques so much easier. Of course, I can always use stabilizers and needles! This hobby can get expensive!

    • Denise Holguin

      I met a woman last year that hadn’t ever used duck bill applique scissors. It hadn’t occurred to me that there are embroiderers who haven’t experienced the ease of cutting applique with those scissors. They are a must-have in every sewing studio. I meant to write a blog on the scissors as a public service announcement but alas, time is always a premium! I might have to revisit that topic soon!

      Thank you for commenting.


  • Karen Poole

    I also love Fla, I’ve made tons of lace designs. Once a friend and I made a bunch of fuel flowers and butterflies and hot glued them onto hats for a quilt guild challenge. We didn’t win but had a ton of fun doing them. I find I need lots of threads and stAbilizers. You can never have too much of either.

    • Denise Holguin

      That project sounds beautiful!

      I have a couple friends that LOVE butterflies and I’m sure they’d like to receive a project from me similar to yours.


  • Karen Poole

    I have to correct the auto spell correct mistakes in my post! It should say FSL, not Fla. Also instead of “fuel” flowers that should also say FSL!

  • Laraine Lewis

    The USB drives that are designed like sewing accessories are my hearts desire. My machine will only read 3 designs off of a USB drive. I load 2 drives at a time with designs that I will be working on during the week. Since they are generic in design, I get them mixed up with thumb drives that have other non related items on them. Cute sewing themed ones would solve the problem!

  • Audrey from UK

    Hello Eileen I follow your Blog and have bought some if your crafty courses. I am from Wiltshire in the United Kingdom. Many of the items you recommend would be very useful to me. I have tried to find them here. But can’t seem too. Do you know of any suppliers in Europe or UK. it is often difficult to order things from USA because of import duty etc

    • eileenroche

      Hello Audrey, Thank you for following the blog and taking my Craftsy classes. You’ll glean a ton of information from both resources. We do have one distributor in France:
      Visit their website to see what they offer. Also, feel free to contact them directly and inquire about specific products. They order on a regular basis and may be able to accommodate your request fairly quickly.

  • Karen S

    I also love to do FSL. I could use more wash away stabilizer.

  • Janet Rochon

    I am fairly new to your blog as well as embroidery. I have seen others lace designs and enjoyed them. I may try adding lace onto the bottom of a blouse or shirt. I have some wash away stabilizer that i used once but it did not wash away. Maybe a different brand would be better.

    • Denise Holguin

      Hi Janet,
      As long as I’ve been at the magazine, I’m the perpetual newbie. It takes me awhile to try new things! The lace design I featured was stunningly easy to stitch. I think it only took 3 minutes.

      The AquaMesh Stabilizer from Embroidery Online was so simple to use, it was a non-issue. All I did was soak the lace for a few minutes and the stabilizer vanished. Embroidery Online’s stabilizer includes instructions on the packaging – I encourage you to give their product a try.

      My motto is, if I can do it with no frustration, you can too!


  • Donna G.

    I could use sharp embroidery scissors, and there’s some new stabilizers I’ve not tried. The hair accessories are a cute idea!

    • Denise Holguin

      I too need some sharp scissors. I can never have enough on hand.. they seem to walk away…


  • Sheri

    FSL was one of the first projects I tried, so much fun! I can always use new needles and a small pair (or two!) of applique scissors would be nice.

    • Denise Holguin

      Gold Star to you for trying FSL as one of your first projects! In retrospect, I’m not sure why I waited so long!


  • Pam

    I have never used the AquaMesh Wash Away Stabilizer. Would love to try it. Love the hair accessories ideas!

  • Carolyn

    I love doing FSL! I discovered Embroidery Online in your July/August 2014 issue with there FSL Patchwork Quilt Birdhouses on the cover. I’m making wind chimes with them. Their Alligator clamps are a must, and the AguaMesh Wash Away Stabilizer, and well as Vilene’s is the best for FSL.

    • Denise Holguin

      Oh my goodness, yes! Those birdhouse designs are so charming! I’m excited to hear you made them and have moved on to wind chimes. Their new Freestanding Fabric Bowls caught my attention the other day…


  • Donna Fecteau

    Those are lovely, thanks for sharing. I am a little low on supplies at the moment so I need adhesive, water soluable staplizer and I’d like some hoop springs.

    • Donna Fecteau

      stabilizer! sorry typing with a broken wrist.

      • Denise Holguin

        I think you get extra credit for typing with a broken wrist!

        Hope you recover soon. Wouldn’t want you to miss too much time from your embroidery machine!


  • JEAN


  • Erin Murphy

    This is a wonderful message in this blog post. I am always trying to learn from others who are one, two, a thousands “steps” ahead of me. This post is a perfect example of learning from others who have the same passions and interests that I do. Thanks for sharing and opening up a new area of machine embroidery that I had not considered!

    • Denise Holguin

      Oh wow, thank you! Your comment is the type that will keep me going.

      I’m excited for both of our journeys this year!


  • Frances Powell

    Sharp scissors with thin blades that will make cutting tread tails and small jump stitches easier. Also, I can always use good quality stabilizer.

  • Debe

    I do a lot of FSL so can always use more WSS & like Isacord thread & 505, but it would be nice to have some of the Yenmet metallic thread to work with. There are some gorgeous colors.

  • Beckie

    I also find social media to be very inspiring! The talent that is shown is incredible and much can be brought back to the sewing room. I could sit on the computer for hours getting inspired! The key is to balance “inspiration” time on the computer and time at the machine to get projects done!!!!

    • JD

      Boy, I can relate to that. I get caught up looking at everything everyone else is doing and don’t make time to do what I would like to do. Need a time management schedule. It’s nice that we can have a computer close at hand. While it is stitching we can be browsing.
      Never have enough supplies with an embroidery machine.

    • Denise Holguin

      Balance is so hard! I usually stay up into the wee hours of the morning in my sewing room. I just can’t stop playing!


  • Beckie

    I need thread and stabilizer in my sewing room!

  • Maureen

    I make tons of FSL and I do a lot of craft shows and it never sells well for me at shows but whenever I make FSL earrings someone always comments and when I tell them I made them I usually always make a sale. Sometimes two! I rarely use tulle so I can always use more stabilizer, scissors and new needles in my sewing room.

  • beth daniels

    I would want the aquamesh stabilizer in my sewing room for embroidering lace. I have not done lace yet, but would like to try.

  • Sara Redner

    The hair flowers are beautiful. I love fsl and have even learned that a design not intended to be fsl can be stitched on wss and tulle. So I am always running out of stabilizer.

  • JD

    Your hair creations are beautiful. FSL is very pretty but it does take a lot of thread since you have to use same on top and in the bobbin. So yes, thread is very much needed in large supply and of course never enough stabilizer of any kind.

    • Lesa

      BS low – ratilnaoity high! Really good answer!

    • http://www./

      Hey Jerry,That’s a rockin’ GLT collection, is that pink Lurtle about to Teebo?Do you mind if I post your pic on the new GLT facebook page?In related news, the GLT Reissues have been well received (except for some grumbles about the lack of neon colors), and will hopefully be joined by a resurrected set of 1970′s Tim Mee dinosaurs this fall. I’m looking for feedback on colors.Thanks to everyone who picked up a set!

  • Constance Angeline

    I need double sided tape for floating.

  • JudiC

    Fabulous ideas for hair accessories, I am always looking for pretty hair clips, headbands & etc. I just purchased the FSL snowmen debug pack from Emb Online & really could use their bent scissor clips to complete the snowmen ⛄️

    • JudiC

      Sorry Design Pack not debug (instant fill gets me every time )

      • Denise Holguin

        Instant fill and autocorrect get me too! Oh the crazy words I end up typing!


  • Deanna

    I love and use OESD stabilizers all the time. Also have bought a lot of their designs and thread. And I also enjoy stitching fsl designs.

  • Lou Ann Brach

    You’re not the only one hooked on FSL as I’ve been hooked on it since Christmas when I made nearly 50 gifts. Now, I wonder how many also like to wear things in their hair. I would have made 50 valentines, but the digitizing was wonky.

    • Denise Holguin

      Lou Ann,
      Start by making one hair accessory for yourself and note the reactions! (On second thought, let’s be realistic. They are all going to want one! Better start stitching!)


  • Brooke McAvoy

    Your designs are so pretty! I have never done this type of embroidery, but I think I’d like to try it now. I agree that it is such a fun and worthwhile hobby to pick up. Do you have any tips about digitizing embroidery designs in order to preserve them or create a better outline? This is something else I’ve heard about and always wanted to try.

  • Bruce

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.


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