Monday, March 9, 2015

Stabilizer Savvy 101

One of the first ‘must-haves’ after you purchase an embroidery machine is stabilizer.  Not only do you need stabilizer for every single one of your embroidery projects, but using the correct type of stabilizer will make the difference in having a successful project, instead of one that's destined for the trash bin (or worse yet - the seam ripper.) Despite its importance, stabilizer may be the most confusing thing to purchase! Let's go over the most common types of stabilizers used with "in the hoop" projects to help clear up some confusion...

I've tried many brands of stabilizers over the years and firmly believe Floriani stabilizers are the best. I like them so much we started carrying this single brand on our website last year! In addition to having a superior product, the folks at RNK, the sole distributors of Floriani products, are some of the nicest people in this industry! Floriani offers a fabulous beginner's kit with several basic stabilizers to get you started, plus a bonus set of their gorgeous embroidery thread.

Click HERE to shop for more Floriani Stabilizers.

Here is a quick guide to help you as you navigate the wonderful world of stabilizers!

Tearaway Stabilizer

This type of stabilizer describes the fact that once your embroidery is stitched out, the stabilizer is easily torn away when you are ready to remove it. Because it is (usually) lightweight and less dense, it is best used with designs with lower stitch counts, and woven fabrics like cotton that can withstand being pulled. It is ideal in many in the hoop projects and the type of stabilizer I use most of the time.

Click HERE to shop Floriani Tearaway Stabilizers

Cutaway Stabilizer

Like the name states, cutaway stabilizer must be trimmed using scissors. It is dense and strong, so it can support heavy embroidery designs. The resulting design will also be less likely to distort or pucker with normal wear.

My go-to cutaway is Floriani's No Show. This type of stabilizer can be used on knits, such as t-shirts and stays soft and flexible under the fabric. I also use it in my in the hoop projects, such as purses, hot pads, coasters, and more. It is available in fusible and non-fusible varieties.

Click HERE to shop Floriani No Show Mesh Stabilizers

Sticky Stabilizer

Sticky stabilizer is a paper-backed product in which you peel part of the paper away after hooping to expose a sticky area that will hold your fabric in place. This stabilizer is perfect for items that are difficult to hoop.

Sticky stabilizer is also available with wet-to-stick activation where instead of peeling away paper, you spritz the stabilizer with water when you are ready to place your fabric on the hoop.

Both types of sticky stabilizer can be used in conjunction with a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer for added stability. I use Floriani's Perfect Stick Stabilizer along with Fusible No Show Mesh when I embroider T-shirts.

Click HERE to shop Floriani Perfect Stick Stabilizer 

Water Soluble Topping

This stabilizer is used on TOP of your embroidery project, in conjunction with tearaway or cutaway stabilizer. Water Soluble Topping helps keep your stitches from sinking down into the fabric when you're using a knit or high-pile fabric such as terry. It's also helpful to use over 'in the hoop' projects that have many layers which may get in the way of your presser foot.

Click HERE to shop Floriani Water Soluble Topping

I hope I've given you a nice overview without all of the overwhelm that often comes with trying to select stabilizers for your embroidery projects! Feel free to email us with any stabilizer questions at

Happy Stitching!


Monday, January 19, 2015

How to Participate in our Facebook Flash Sales

If you've wanted to join in during our weekly Facebook sales, but wondered how they work, this post is just for you! 

Every Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST, we throw a little party, offering you the chance to scoop up fabulous finds & deals, right on our Facebook page! Some of the fab items you'll find...
  • Specially priced 'In the Hoop' Embroidery Designs
  • Embroidery & Sewing Notions
  • Fabulous 'In the Hoop' Project Kits
  • Embroidery Thread Kits
  • Fabric Sets
            ... and more!

There is a limited number of each item on sale - act quickly so you won't lose out!

Here's a peek at some of the items previously featured in our Facebook Flash Sales...


To participate in our sales, just follow these easy steps...

  • Register here:”.  You only ever have to register once!
  • Visit our Facebook page each Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Flash Sale items will be posted every couple of minutes! If you see items you'd like:
    1. Cick "Comment".
    2. Type "SOLD" as your comment.
    3. Watch your email for our invoice. Follow the link to checkout on our website. 
Here's an example of a Facebook Flash Sale post, with steps 1 & 2 highlighted...

Checkout soon! 

Please be sure to checkout soon as you're only guaranteed to get the items until after you've completed the checkout process. Items are be limited and if they sell out before you checkout, they will no longer appear in your shopping cart.


Shipping is a flat rate of just $5 for everything you order, so go ahead and add more thread, stabilizer, or other items from our website and take advantage of the flat rate shipping! Please note: if you checkout then later that day decide to buy more, our system will not know that you've already paid shipping and you will be charged another $5. Never fear! Just shoot us an email to, and we'll be happy to refund the additional charge. so you'll only pay $5 shipping for all orders placed on the same day!

I hope this clarifies our Facebook sales process. Visit us every Thursday night to see the fabulous deals we have in store for you! See you next Thursday at 8 on our Facebook page!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Check out our Facebook Flash Sales each Thursday at 8 p.m. EST!

If you love shopping for designs, fabric, and notions at great prices, as much as you love machine embroidery, then you'll adore our weekly Facebook Sales!

Every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST, we offer up a bunch of designs, kits fabric, thread, stabilizers, and other nifty embroidery and sewing goodies, right on our Facebook page. It's a fun, first-come first-served shopping frenzy that you don't want to miss!

Here are some recently featured items...

Visit us this Thursday at to get in on the fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Congrats to the winner!

Congrats to IRedS, who was randomly chose as the winner of a Beautiful frame from!  We hope you enjoy stitching something pretty to place inside your frame!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Applique 101

Here, we give you the basic recipe for whipping up an applique. It’s easy as pie!   If this is your first time stitching a machine applique, get ready for a new addiction! Appliques are oh-so-easy and tons of fun! Stitch them on anything your heart desires – t-shirts, dish towels, bath towels, bibs, and more. 

I stitched our pretty Curlz Split Applique Design on fabric and framed it to hang in a little girl's room.  The adorable frame was custom made by our friends at (Read on to see how you can win one for yourself!!)

Supply List: 

Stabilizer to suit your fabric type 
Fabric for applique 
Item to be appliqued, such as a t-shirt, dish towel, etc. 
Applique scissors 
Fusible web 
Thread to coordinate with your fabric 
Water soluble topping, optional 
Temporary spray adhesive, optional 

Let's get started! 

Press a piece of fusible web to the back of the fabric you are using for your applique. Set aside.

Hoop your stabilizer and the item you are embroidering. 

The first set of stitches creates the “placement line”, which is an outline that shows you exactly where to place your applique fabric in the next step.

Take your applique fabric and center it over the placement line. Tape the fabric in place along the edges to hold it steady during next step. As an alternative, you can use temporary spray adhesive on the back of the fabric before you place it over the placement lines.

The next set of stitches creates a “cutting line” which shows you where to trim off the excess fabric.

At this point, you’ll want to remove the hoop from your machine. Trim around the cutting line, getting as close as you can to the outline without cutting through the stitches.

Replace the hoop on your machine. The next set of stitches creates a zigzag around the applique. 

The final set of stitches creates a satin outline, giving your applique a beautiful finishing touch!

When you're finished stitching, remove the project from the hoop and remove the stabilizer. Cover the project with a pressing cloth and press with an iron to fuse the applique fabric down.

I hope you'll give appliques a try - they're a great way to fancy up just about any project and they're SEW easy to stitch with your embroidery machine!

Would you like to win a beautiful, custom-made Pink 8x10 Frame from Leave a comment below telling us about your experience with appliques for your chance to win! Winner will be chose at random and announced on our blog on March 2, 2014.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Featured Artist: Susan Allen Abbe

We recently discovered an amazing customer of ours when she posted photos on our Facebook page of 18 fabulous bags she made with our Sew Trendy Cross Body Bags design. We were thrilled when she agreed to guest blog for us! Please meet our featured customer, Susan Allen Abbe..."I Love to Sew!"

From the time I was just five years old you could find me sitting near my mother while she sewed.  My mother and my grandmother were both wonderful seamstresses.  Mom started me with simple embroidery on tea towel type material as a child.  I loved it.  Then I graduated to my mother’s treadle sewing machine where I began sewing very simple doll clothes.  I loved to sew and gradually I graduated to more difficult projects.

 LittleGirlDressesLate80'sIn junior high school I took my first sewing class and I just LOVED sewing.  I had finally found my niche.  I excelled in making the required garments and did extra.  I was able to peer tutor students who needed more help when the teacher was busy.  By the time most students had struggled through making the required items I had gone on to make another.  At the end of the term we had a fashion show and I remember that I modeled the dress I had made and my little sister was able to join us and also model the dress I had made like mine, for her.  So fun!

In high school I continued to enroll in sewing classes and learned more of the basics and took every class that was available.  I excelled.  In fact, I enrolled in all the home economics classes and just loved them.  At the end of my high school years I had earned the Betty Crocker Future Homemaker of Tomorrow award.  I was thrilled.

Off I went to college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from California Polytechnic University.  I had decided I wanted to teach Home Economics but I met a special someone and married (making my own wedding dress) shortly after college and settled right down to family life.

We quickly had 5 children, 3 boys first and then 2 girls and I was a very happy full-time homemaker using all the skills I had learned in school on my own family.  I made many garments, toys, and quilts for my children.  One year, I even had time to enter some dresses in the fair.  I was pleased to walk away with some blue ribbons.  In one category “Party Dresses” I took both the blue and the red ribbons.1985ComingHomeFromFairWithRibbons

 Eventually, I went back to university for a Master’s Degree and earned my “Master in Teaching” degree.  I was hired at my first interview and began teaching junior high and high school.  I taught what is now called “Family and Consumer Sciences”.  For almost 18 years I taught and in 2006, I was named the Washington Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Educators, “Teacher of the Year”.  What a thrill!

In 2012 I retired from teaching which gave me more time to sew.  I joined the Sun Bonnet Sue Quilt Club in Sequim, WA to give me more time to see my mother and sister who are members and to give me more experience and expertise in quilting. FlowerOfTheMonthAppliqueQuiltInProgress
 FSL SnowflakesFSL BirdOrnamentsThen it happened.  I attended the 2013 Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA.  I had been thinking about buying an embroidery machine for some time.  I thought I would probably really enjoy it because of how much I love embroidery.  I bit the bullet and purchased a new Baby Lock Ellure Plus.  It is a “starter” machine and I thought if I loved it as much as I thought I would I might just have to upgrade.  So I spent much of 2013 testing the waters and LOVING the additional capabilities of an embroidery machine.  I discovered free standing lace and made dozens of snowflakes for Christmas ornaments and gave many of them as gifts.  I discovered Martha Pullen and her heirloom-type styles of embroidery.  I have always loved sweet little girl and boy items so I have joined her Internet Embroidery Club and have access to new embroidery designs each month.  Then I discovered “in-the-hoop” designs…oh my goodness…I was hooked!

Pickle Pie designs has a youtube video where I watched Lisa Archer create a thumb drive case.  It took about 5 minutes.  I was so impressed!  I thought there must be other designs that you can make in the hoop.  I visited the Pickle Pie Designs website and was excited to find the Sew Trendy Cross Body Bags.  I ordered right away and got started.  I made 18 bags either 5x7 or 6x10 for friends and family over the holidays.  Everyone loved their personalized bags!  I used many miscellaneous scraps of fabrics and trims that I had saved through the years.  I tried using suede-like upholstery fabric and gold metallic thread with wonderful results.  I bought special fabric for my granddaughter’s bag with bright colors and used peace symbol ribbon across the front and Converse tennis shoes ribbon for the strap…all things she loves…and she loved it!  They were so much fun to create that they have become my new favorite.  Purses and bags are a challenge and a joy to create.  I have made many.  I like making things that other people love and are personalized just for them.

[caption id="attachment_220" align="aligncenter" width="348"]1538010_10203115352554753_912611321_o Pickle Pie Sew Trendy Cross Body Bag[/caption]
A MonogramPurse

Now I knew it was time to upgrade my embroidery machine.  I moved from my Baby Lock Ellure Plus to the Baby Lock Ellisimo.  I have a larger hoop that has 8x12 capabilities and a machine that is much more sophisticated.

Samantha Dress1

What else have I made lately you might ask?  I just finished a hand towel for my mom’s bathroom, a work apron of denim for my husband, a watermarked taffeta purse for my granddaughter, and 2 doll dresses for another granddaughter’s American Girl dolls.  The first doll dress features a Martha Pullen embroidered bodice and sleeves and the second has a smocked bodice.  I am also hand quilting a hand applique quilt that has been in process for some time! Husband'sWorkApron

Retirement is never boring.  If you can’t find me, try knocking on my sewing studio door…you just might discover me at home, very happy, and very busy sewing! -Susan 

If you'd like to be featured on our blog, please contact us at customerservice (no spaces). We'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gift Ideas Week 4 – Gifts for Friends and Co-workers

Embroidered Gift for Friends and Co-workers

 If your holiday gift giving list seems to grow each year, don’t be discouraged.  Pickle Pie Designs has a wide variety of gift giving ideas perfect for friends and co-workers.  We are here help you make great, yet inexpensive, gifts in a jiffy!

One of my favorites, is the Chic not Geek Ipad/tablet case.  With this, your friends will be carrying their tablet in safety and style.  These are sure to get a lot of use!