I’m having some Winter Blues…..

The winter blues 500I am definitely blue if there is no snow on the ground during Winter… I love love love snow as some of you know from my postings on my Facebook personal page. I often post pictures when we get snow and we’ve now been weeks without some snow, even a hint of it…. nada… We had such a good start to Winter with 4 or 5 snow storms between October and November but then.. BOOM, they just went away…

I’ve never been a fan of the color blue, it does remind me of being down and sad… However, blue is probably the one color I have the most of in my fabric stash next to greens.

I have been busy making bags this month, I use bags at the grocery store in the first place, I long ago gave up using plastic bags opting for fabric bags, and that’s mainly due to living in Germany. In Germany, the stores don’t use plastic. Your actually supposed to bring your own bags to the stores with you. I had to make bags back then to take to the store and just got in the habit of using them. This year, on New Year’s Day, the news was telling Coloradans about the new laws that will start as of certain dates and one of them is about plastic bags. Imagine being charged 10 cents per plastic bag. The state will get 40% and the store 60% and this starts on July 1, 2020.  I won’t worry about this because I have bags, keep them in my car when I’m not washing them, and I remember to take them into the store, and those are the hardest parts about using fabric bags. Remembering to keep them in your car, and remembering to take them into the store. Took me 3 times in Germany to finally get in the habit, the worst was having to put all our groceries back into the cart, take the out to the car, and then having to bring them inside (of course I did go inside and get the bags to make it easier) but it’s still annoying to realize you forgot them.

Fabric bags do wear out tho and they get torn, or handles will fall off from the weight of too many cans in a bag… thus I am updating some of my bags because they are looking at little on the worn side.

Table Runners make a great bag, easily converted by just sewing up the sides, and adding some handles.. That’s a basic conversion, me, I’d add some pockets. It’s nice to have a pocket on the outside of your bag for small things that might get lost in a bigger bag.

Either or, I was going to make a bag for today of my basic bags, but something happened on the way to making the bags. A little burp as I like to call them, but this one I know its not my fault. It is the designer’s fault for not creating a good pattern. I will show you…

Sweet Pea FreeForm 2 largeThis was the start of my bag, it is originally supposed to be a table runner pattern, but I am making into a bag and not a table runner.

This is 3 of the 5 panels that are in this design/pattern.

Some CloseUps

It’s possible you don’t see the issue, but this is a machine embroidery design, done in the hoop for the quilting and piecing. The border and creation are then done by the sewing machine. I’ve done several designs from this designer in the past and never had the issues I ran into with this design before and I do a lot of quilting in my hoop. I love to do it in the hoop so do it whenever possible.

In the images, you may see where there is a “heavy” build-up of stitching in the veins of the leaves, or in the feathers of the design. Each of the different designs has 3 stitchings in that section so that the quilting is close together. The middle stitch is a double stitch and it has been digitized in a way that the digitizer when going back to a vein or middle area of the quilting design didn’t take the time to change her stitch to just a single stitch, so it builds up in those areas because they get stitched over and over again, thus thread breaking starts to occur.  I am sure you know what it’s like just to be stitching along and your thread breaks, or perhaps a needle breaks. Imagine having that happen every few seconds. Normally when I have a thread break during stitching out a machine embroidery design it puts me on the “aware” side, knowing that if it continues my needle probably needs to be changed, but I changed my needle 4 times, rethreaded at least 10 or 20 times and still the thread breaks in this design were so heavily there, I don’t even want to stitch the 4th and 5th panels. Instead. I am going to re-digitize them myself, my way. So my project is unfinished. I’m sorry I was so annoyed last Friday when I did the third panel that I knew then I wouldn’t finish this. I didn’t have time this week to try and come up with another idea, and now I wish I would have just put together a simple bag with pockets as I would have had a finished project, but instead this is a good lesson learned also.

With digitizers, when you buy designs you can’t get your money back even if the design stitches out badly because there excuse is always it’s “my” fault, not there fault.  As a pattern designer, I’ve run into issues like this also, sometimes someone will buy a pattern and not know how to applique. This is not something I add to my patterns as there are too many different techniques to show for applique. Instead, my patterns have a list of sites where you can learn applique, or they lead to my site’s page for a how-to list of applique sites.

I’m not going to name the digitizer on this post, if you’d really like to know, you can contact me privately and I’ll tell you. I just don’t see the need to post the digitizer’s name when I know that in the past she’s always had excellent designs, she’s just recently delved more into doing quilting designs themselves.

Today’s Bloggers for the
Winter’s Blues Blog Hop Are:

For visiting today I have a cute free pattern for you.


Click image to go to download page.
This pattern will be free thru Monday, January 27, 2020
Artwork for this pattern is inspired by Mujka Designs

Twas the Night Blocks 21, and 22 will also be released tomorrow.

Cya Soon,

stbs-2018 sig

I am an affiliate of the above companies when you click one of these links and purchase something, I earn a little bit of a commission with it. I use this money to help maintain my website and offer my free patterns to you. Every little bit helps, thank you so much for clicking and for your support. I don’t just offer up these brands to you I actually use their products and shop at these places. I would never partner with someone whose products I didn’t use.

Please remember it takes 2 minutes to comment, please say Thank You, whether you downloaded a free pattern, read a tutorial, or just learned something new.  It takes time for people to write a post, take pictures, make a project or even write a pattern.
Let them know you appreciate it.

If your comment doesn’t show up after you post it, it’s most likely gone to the spam folder. I will see it and approve it, unfortunately, it just means something about your email address caught my spam filter’s eye. 

51 thoughts on “I’m having some Winter Blues…..

  1. Hi Marian! I find the whole arena of digitalized patterns for embroidery and quilting fascinating. It sounds to me like you are an excellent choice for a tester of other’s patterns before they are released. I hope the designer is taking your comments and issues into consideration and making some changes. While I cannot even fathom how one might create a pattern/program for quilting, I sure would like to. Maybe when I retire – I enjoy coding and assume it must be similar. Anyway, back to the hop! The pieces you shared are lovely, and I don’t see the issues with the quilting. But I’m going to expand them and look closer! Happy Sunday to you. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. Thank you for the cute pattern. Think I will make my granddaughter a pillow with it. And thanks for the idea to use tablerunners for bags- never would have thought of that but it makes a lot of sense.

  3. Thank you for the cute pattern. I understand the frustrations of other designer’s patterns. Especially anything digital or electronic as you can never get a refund if the file is corrupt or whatever.

  4. Bags must be the project this month! I had 3 of my students ask for copies of my bag patterns as they needed new grocery bags. Thanks for sharing your story and the sweet little valentine bear design! 😄 Carol

  5. In South Africa we’ve been paying for plastic bags for a very long time, but we are still working on trying to get rid of the plastic bags altogether. Love the idea of making table runners into bags – thanks for sharing Marian.
    Thank you also for the lovely bear – too cute.

  6. They outlawed plastic bags here a few years ago. I kept forgetting to take them into the store. Just bought items, went out store and put in box in trunk. Now I carry folded plastic bags in my purse. Ready to move to any state that you can still get the plastic!

  7. I totally understand your frustration, Marian. I too love ITH designs. They are so fun! I need to make more bags to carry to the store instead of buying bags to carry. You are also right that keeping some in the car is one of the keys! I’m not very good at that!

    Thanks so much for the cute Valentine bear. I think I will use this to make a new nametag for our February guild meeting!

  8. Table runners into bags is a great idea also. I use the heavy plastic feed sacks and line them with inexpensive muslin.

  9. Your ideas about table runners into bags are awesome. Such a great idea, thank you. I’m sorry for your troubles, I guess you can call it a learning experience. Thanks for joining the Winter Blues Blog Hop, Marian

  10. Thanks for the cute bear, Marian. I’m sorry you had such a problem with this pattern. It looks pretty, and I can see why you initially chose it. I hope you can figure out a way to use the already finished panels to make some kind of small purse or zipper tote.

  11. Thanks for the cute Valentine Bear – lovely as usual.

    What a shame you are having difficulty with the machine embroidery – it looks like it could be lovely, and I can see why it caught your eye. I was doing a project just before Christmas, and was having similar issues – but more the machine needed an adjustment – but I had the machine rip it out of the hoop twice, and had to start again, luckily my machine service guy told me to come out immediately, and he fixed the problem. I hope you do let the designer know, as she may be able to change and update the design – so you can download it again. After all, re-digitizing the design can bring its own challenges. Good luck!! I have my fingers and toes all crossed for you.

  12. Thank you for the Valentine Bear and the great Idea to take table runners for bags. I inherited so many table runner from my parents.
    Did you contact the digitizer? I once had problems with an embroidery design and the designers helped me late at night. I was very surprised when I got an answer that evening.
    If you fnished it will be an awesome bag.

  13. Well…from what I could see, your project was looking very pretty. Sorry it did not go well. I think we all have had that problem at some point. Thanks for sharing anyway and thanks for the cute valentine bear.

  14. Shoot. I hate it when I have a project that doesn’t work out. I made a blouse when I was a youngster, and no one (even experienced sewers) could figure it out. As you can see, I’ve never forgotten the project that ended up being thrown out. 🙁 I’m sure your new digitized design will be wonderful. Thanks.

  15. My experience with embroidery with my machine is limited to making labels for my quilts, but I’ve had thread breaks that are frustrating. Since I only quilt “hand-guided”, I don’t have any understanding of what is involved with digitizing a pattern. I’m sorry you had such a frustrating experience and I am looking forward to seeing your finished bag once you iron out your problems!!

  16. I need to make a concerted effort to use my own bags. I’ve to a trunk full that I never think to take into the store with me until I go to check out. They are so much nicer than the flimsy plastic bags we get anymore. What a sweet little Valentines Teddy. Thanks!

  17. I agree that blue has never been one of my favorite colors, but I do seem to have quite a few of them as well! I hate it when I get designs that I know should stitch right and they don’t and then have to either try to “fix” them in my own software or try to figure out how to digitize it myself. Thanks so much for the cute Valentine’s Day.

  18. Marian, I totally understand your frustration in the design error. I’ve run across a few errors also when I machine applique. I try to email the designer to let them know of the error, but only after I completely examine if it was my fault in the first place. Thanks so much for the sweet Valentine Bear….he’s a cutie!

  19. awwww this is so adorable. thank you so much for sharing this sweet pattern. it will be wonderful for next month.

  20. Oh the frustrations with other designers patterns, I had issues too with a pattern recently. Fortunately I don’t purchase many patterns from others. In Illinois there is a 10cent plastic bag charge as well. The owner of local grocery store said he thought it was ridiculous, you don’t know the number of bags you are going to use before hand and he wouldn’t be charging it. It is snowing here or maybe its ice coming down, still too dark to say this morning.

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