Test sews are an essential part of embroidery. But then, what do you do with them?
It's probably safe to say that, as a designer, I have a lot more test sews than the average embroiderer out there. I have to test prior to selling the designs because I want them to sew out well for you. They might go through three, sometimes even four, tests. It’s not that the tests look bad. Most of them turn out really well. There may be a part that isn’t perfect, but nobody's going to notice so I hate to throw them away.
When I'm test sewing, generally speaking, it's on a nice quilters cotton of some sort. I don't use cheap fabric. I'm not going to sew on something that I don't think you would use. I want to know that it's going to turn out nice on a good quality cotton.
I have packages and packages of my test sews stitched out and stored in gallon zip bags. I put them aside for future projects. It would be a shame to put all of that time, energy, thread, stabilizer, and fabric into the trash.
For example, I tested the Angels designs on a nice, kind of sparkly fabric. My intentions are to make a bed runner for the foot of the bed. That would be really pretty for Christmastime. My idea might change between now and then but that's what I have this pegged for at this point.
You've probably seen my Snow Buddies guy a few times. I stitched it on a nice quality cotton. It's on black because I wanted the design to pop. I think that this is going to be a tree skirt one day when it grows up.
Here is another tote using a test piece from Sea Buddies. I used another one of Michelle’s patterns, Screen It Up. The side panel took up the lower half of the tote, but my test sew was not large enough to fit the entire panel. I put a little bit of batting behind it and did some echo quilting around the embroidery design. I cut it down to size so that it fit, centered, on my panel. Since I had raw edges, I covered them with some complementary bias trim. No one would ever know that this little guy started out as a test sew
I'm sure some of you have seen this from our Spooky Buddies collection. It is made using The Draw String pattern by Sew Michelle. I did the same thing by cutting an overlay for the bag panel. I added echo quilting. Instead of using biased trim on the side, I used ric rac. So, if you didn't want to make custom binding, just use some trims that you have around your studio.
The Jungle Buddies quilt was made from test sews. I cut the embroidered squares straight and added three-inch bindings all the way around with different colors. I took a square ruler and put it at an angle that I kind of liked. I put a line on my ruler so that I would get the same angle, or a mirror of it. The result is cute, wonky blocks. Find out more from the Tuesday's Tips video here.
Test sews also make cute canister wraps.
Keep those test sews. You never know what they might become when they grow up!
See the video here. Have a day blessed with perfect stitches…and GlitterFlex!!