Tuesday, August 20, 2019

5 things I've learned after 3,650 dates

It's hard to believe that these DIY fabric calendar kits have been a part of SeptemberHouse for ten years but it's true! The first calendar panels were for 2010 and wow, have they come a long way.

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

2020 DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

Without a doubt, this is a design project that I look forward to every year. It's also one, however, that has not been without it's challenges. There have been years when I could not keep these on the shop shelves, they sold so fast. But there were also years that I gave away leftovers after the new year passed because I could not sell my inventory. I'm so glad I didn't give up after one of those slow years because I have learned so much. Today, I thought I would share just a few of the lessons about these calendar kits over the years. (warning: my photo taking and editing skills have thankfully improved over the years too so please excuse the poor quality of my older photos)

Oh yeah, I'm also sharing three secrets about these kits at the end of this post!

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

1. Check and RE-CHECK the calendar dates before you send a file to the printer. Have I purchased multiple yards of fabric only to find out that it all had to be tossed because May 22 is actually on a Wednesday and I put it on a Thursday? Um....maybe. Just kidding - YES - I have definitely done that - and more than once. Those mistakes hurt and thankfully, it's been several years since I've done that.  

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

2. May is not too early and January is not too late. This is one that took a few years to sink in. In my mind customers would only be interested in a project like this between September and November because of course that's when you would be working on a project for the new year, right? 

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

Wrong. Everyone is different and everyone has a lot on their plate. It's better to make these more widely available and let customers decide when they want to add this to their "to-stitch" list. 

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

3. Stitchers wanna stitch. As these kits evolved I realized I need to try harder to make it as easy as possible to get started on this project right out of the mailbox. Offering pre-printed designs and including skeins of floss in each kit was something I could do to eliminate a few steps in the process for customers, and it really caught on. 

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

Once in awhile I still get a request for a panel that only has the dates like those early designs from 2010 - 2013 (and I can do that too - let me know if you are interested) But for the most part, customers seem to love getting a jump start on their calendar.

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

4. Step outside your color comfort zone. Did you know that choosing colors for these kits is just about the hardest part for me? I tend to settle into a blue and green rut and have a hard time pulling myself out. When it comes time to choose colors I do a lot of online research about what the trending colors for the year are. That way, even if I am not a fan of pink or purple - if they are trending, they are in. 

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

I like picking one of my "out-of-my-zone" colors for my example calendar too - it forces me to make bold new color combination choices - you know, the ones that are usually scary. But you know, I am never disappointed - and am often quite thrilled - with what the color wheel tells me to do. Geez, I love that tool! 

 DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

5. And finally, it never ever ever gets old seeing customers' finished calendars. I LOVE it. People share everything online these days so it might not seem like a big deal to post a photo of a finished embroidery project but let me tell you, that little post has truly made someone's day. That someone is me. 

DIY Fabric Calendar kits for embroidery

It can be very isolating running an independent online business out of a tiny corner of your home. Seeing those photos makes me feel connected to customers and drives me to create new and better things for them. So thank you to everyone and anyone who has shared their project online!

Okay, I promised three secrets so here goes:

1. These calendars are the most difficult product in my shop to photograph. The long tall shape, the vast amount of white space, the struggle to get them crisp and wrinkle-free before a photoshoot - good grief, its amazing get enough shots to create a product listing. 

2. I love calendars of all types, shapes, sizes, materials. I don't know why, I just do. These were a natural fit for me and this is probably one of the main reasons I keep these going year after year.

3. I have actually only completed a few of my calendars. Maybe 4 out of 10 have been completely finished. The rest get far enough to be photographed and maybe get a bit more love after that shoot. Maybe. Not long after that it's time to get ready for the holiday season and, sadly, it often gets abandoned. I hope you don't think less of me as an embroiderist after learning that!

A huge Thank You to everyone who has tried out this project over the years. I am so happy to have been a part of your year!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Free Embroidery Pattern for Fall

Free Embroidery Pattern for Fall
Happy Fall, Ya'll! The Autumn colors have been in their prime around here lately and all that gorgeousness has definitely influenced my design choices for the latest free embroidery pattern from SeptemberHouse.

If you would like to get free patterns delivered to your inbox then sign up for the SeptemberHouse newsletter and enjoy patterns, news, discount codes and more!

Stay cozy everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Needle Cases are here!

Modern Needle Cases for embroidery and cross stitch
Just in case (hahaha) you have not seen them yet, I am here to share something brand new from SeptemberHouse - needle cases!

Modern Needle Cases for embroidery and cross stitch
I loved designing these and I am thrilled with how they turned out. 
Modern Needle Cases for embroidery and cross stitch
There are currently three designs available: a fox, a rabbit and a vintage-style floral design. These cases have a slider top and a helpful cutout for your thumb so you always slide from the correct side. I just love the satisfying "Click!" I hear when I open or shut my needle case. 
Modern Needle Cases for embroidery and cross stitch
Admittedly, the fox design is my favorite and yes, I was inspired by some friends who came to visit us this past Spring. I still miss those guys!
Modern Needle Cases for embroidery and cross stitch
There is a magnet inside these but it's not glued down so if you don't want a magnet to hold your needles, or maybe you want to store something besides needles, it's easy to convert this to a sweet little trinket box.

Modern Needle Cases for embroidery and cross stitch
Thanks for taking a peek at these new little goodies from SeptemberHouse!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How to Transfer Embroidery Patterns

 Transfer embroidery patterns with stabilizer

These days I am all about the updates. So, I have a few to share with you all today starting with a new series of short videos about transferring embroidery patterns to fabric.

Because these methods are pretty straightforward, these how-to videos are short and sweet but provide enough information to get you going on your project.

Transfer Embroidery Patterns by Tracing

To take a peek at these videos just click the images shown here or use the following links:

 transfer embroidery patterns with water soluble paper

In other update news, SeptemberHouse digital downloads on Etsy are all getting a face lift. The files now have clickable links so it's easier to get answers to questions and to find additional resources. If you have purchased a PDF pattern from SeptemberHouse in the past you will be able to access the newest version by visiting the "My downloads" section in your Etsy account.

New products are in the works too and I cannot wait to share those with you all soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2019 Calendars are here

2019 DIY Fabric Calendars for hand embroidery by SeptemberHouse

I could not be happier now that Spring has finally made it's way to Minnesota. I wish I could stay frozen in this time of year for at least six months. Which is why it pains me just a little to start talking about the end of the year.

2019 Fabric Calendars for hand embroidery by SeptemberHouse

I'm going to do it anyway though because it's good news that I have to share today. The 2019 calendar kits have hit the store shelves and are ready to be embellished with all your favorite embroidery stitches! There is a brand new floral design on this new calendar that I think will be really fun.

2019 DIY Fabric Calendars for hand embroidery by SeptemberHouse

One of my design goals for these was to incorporate lots of spaces that could be easily filled with whatever filling stitch was chosen (or would stand up on their own even without filling them in). 
I know from my own experience that I sometimes shy away from filling an area that seems to large for filling (I can never get my satin stitch right if my stitches have to span more than 1/2 inch, I swear). Somehow having those spaces broken up a little helps me keep them tidier and I like that.
2019 Fabric Calendars embroidery kit by SeptemberHouse

So, while this calendar that I am stitching is still a work in progress, I feel like I have enough time to get it finished up before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. If you are thinking about taking on this project too, you can check out these kits at SeptemberHouse on Etsy or on Amazon

Thursday, March 29, 2018

It's a Beautiful Day...

Mr Rogers Embroidery Pattern Hand Embroidery by SeptemberHouse

Well hello there! It's so nice to see you on this lovely day. As you can tell, I am taking my cues from a hero of mine - Fred Rogers. He just makes you want to be nicer and more thoughtful, doesn't he?

Mr Rogers Won't You Be My Neighbor Embroidery Pattern Hand Embroidery by SeptemberHouse

If you are a newsletter subscriber then you have already had a chance to see and download this pattern. I don't always stitch up the patterns I give away in my newsletter but this one was one I could not resist. I had so much fun working on this and thinking about how much we need Fred Rogers in our world today.

Mr Rogers Won't You Be My Neighbor Embroidery Pattern Hand Embroidery by SeptemberHouse

Even though he is gone, we can still watch him in action as he guided both children and adults through life's challenges. Thank you Fred Rogers!

If you would like to stitch this up too here are some guides for the stitches I used. Just click to enlarge them. 

I placed my finished embroidery in a painted 6 inch hoop. Even as I embroidered this I thought of other ways this pattern could be approached so please keep in mind that this is just one of many ways this could be done. Just have fun!
If you would like to download this pattern it can be found in the SeptemberHouse Spring Newsletter.
Join the SeptemberHouse Mailing List and be the first to get your hands on free patterns, coupon codes and shop updates.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Painless Patterns are Out of This World

Solar Flair Hand Embroidery Modern Space Patterns by SeptemberHouse

Okay, so I know these may not look like something new from SeptemberHouse but I swear these have just hit the shop shelves! Yes, these are the patterns from the Solar Flair Pattern Collection

Space Embroidery Hand Embroidery Modern Planet Patterns by SeptemberHouse

But, these were all stitched up on pre-printed fabric panels.

Embroidery Kits Space embroidery from SeptemberHouse

Yep, if transferring patterns is a part of the embroidery process that you dread then these might be just the thing for you. Each design is centered on a 12 x 12 inch cotton panel. I wanted to make sure there were extra inches around the edges to accommodate any project they might be used for - pillows, wall hangings, quilt squares - or anything else you might dream up.

Embroidery Kits Space embroidery from SeptemberHouse Space Nursery Embroidery

Each panel is sold separately and includes a full color stitch guide.

Rocket Embroidery Pattern Space patterns for hand embroidery SeptemberHouse

I was unsure about whether or not to include floss in these kits. On one hand - many people who embroider already have a huge floss stash (it's okay to admit it, I swear) so they most likely already have many of these colors. Or, they may want to come up with their own color combinations instead of using the colors I used.

Astronaut embroidery Pattern, Space Embroidery by SeptemberHouse

On the other hand, it's kind of nice to just have everything you need ready to go when you start a project and not have to worry about gathering up all the colors for these panels. 

Astronaut embroidery Pattern, Space Embroidery by SeptemberHouse

So, I decided to offer both. These panels can be purchased with or without floss, yay!

Space Ship embroidery Pattern, Space Embroidery by SeptemberHouse

Thanks for taking a peek at this new option! When you are ready to blast off with a new embroidery project check out these pre-printed panels on Etsy or Amazon.