It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — HALLOWEEN!

Yup,

Halloween is my all time favortist (I know, made up word, deal) of fave holidays.

1005141054cThe past few years I’ve been slacking a bit, with kids and all (they think Halloween is only for them). But, this year I really wanted to do something creative. I used to always make elaborate costumes for parties, but since I am now relegated to The GIVER OF CANDY AT THE FRONT DOOR while my hubby takes the kiddos around the neighborhood I have been thinking a lot about door decorations.

I don’t have any for Halloween. My door is a blank space. PERFECT!

I’ve been playing around with the embroidery functions on one of my machines and trying to learn some new tricks. My machine can only embroider 4 X 4 (Brother SE400, if you were wondering), but when I was looking for some Halloween designs online all the ones I adored I needed a 5 X 7 hoop.

Bummer.

But, not to be dissuaded, I figured there MUST be software out there to help split designs so I could embroider a 4 X 4 section at a time.

After a quick Google search and some review reading, I found Embird. They have a free 30 day (or 100 uses, whichever comes first) trial. Whoopie!

I downloaded the free trial, bought my fave Halloween designs and GOT BIZZAY!

Embird has really nice visual tutorials that walk you through using their software. So, in no time at all, I was able to enlarge and split this design. (50% off right now)

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Originally, it was meant for a 5 X 7 hoop, with dimensions 1.34″ x 4.92″. I enlarged it to roughly 3″ X 11″ and then split the design based on my hoop size.

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I also changed a few of the thread colors to go better with the bright lime green background I chose as my background.

Look how gorgeous it came out.

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SOOOOOOOOOOO in love. But, I really fell in love with this design (also 50% off right now)

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SWOON!

Eve though they specify you need a 5 X 7 hoop for this, the final dimensions are 3.93″ x 3.77″, so I was actually able to stitch this on my machine without any splitting. But, what I realized was it very stitch dense. That purple background is actually stitches, as is the yellow. And there is a thick black frame all around it. It was so dense it was a patch when completed (handy – but not for what I wanted it for).

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I also loved all the lovely texture details on the design and I really wanted it enlarge it to around 8″ X 8″. Embird allowed me to do this quite simply (I may have to buy this program when my free trial runs out). But, Embird also allowed me to tweak the design.

I removed the purple stitches and the thick black border. I changed a few of the thread colors on the program (instead of just threading a different color for a specific step, which is what I did for the first design. This design had a lot more intricate details and changing the colors on the computer allowed me to split elements that were now different colors and combine others together. Saavy).

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The last change I made was to duplicate the moon stitches. If you look closely at the design you’ll see that the sparse orange stitches are on top of the dense purple stitches. I loved the effect, but after removing the purple stitches the moon was too light. So, I duplicated the stitches and then moved them over a click or two to offset them and made the second set of stitches yellow. I love the end result.

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I also really wanted a Haunted house design and was able to pick this one up for free (a special they run. You can choose two Pinnacle designs for free for every design you purchase. However, I could not find this design on the site anymore).

I enlarged this one as well and stitched in 4 quadrants.

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After I finished the three embroidery designs I had to decide what I wanted to do with them. I knew I wanted to put them together somehow. I started digging through my stash and found a solid orange and purple fabric that matched my stitching and a few yards of Michael Miller’s Nevermore print I picked up last year. I was going to make a dress with it, but since I almost exclusively wear knits (noooooooo, I’m not Sensory Defensive, why do you ask???????) I knew I would never wear the dress. But, isn’t it perfect for Halloween decorations??

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I framed each embroidery design in 1.5 inches of purple and then orange (turning under and pressing 1/2 inch, leaving a 1″ border of each color around the designs) and attached them using my saddle top stitch. I then decided on placement on the Nevermore fabric and stitched them in place with the same saddle stitch.

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Since I plan on hanging the door flag in between the glass storm door and the front door, I wanted to finish the back as well. When the front door is open for the Trick or Treaters  I will be staring at the back of the decoration. So, I cut an identical sized piece of Nevermore and stitched it to the back (RST), leaving the top open. I then turned it right sides out and gave it a good press. I turned under a 1/2″ on the top and then topstitched around the entire perimeter, thus sewing shut the top, and adding a final design element. I wanted to attach the flag to the door using some 3M hooks I had, so before I stitched the top closed I added a 1″ square of twill with some glue to the inside where I wanted to put two grommets on each top corner (hammers, YEAH!) for reinforcement.

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The final door flag is about 23″ wide and 50″ long. It looks awesome and you can see it from the road too.

Here’s it hanging on the door with a nice reflection of me holding the camera.

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So, I am all ready for Halloween, y’all! Who else is making (slash made) Halloween decorations this year? Add a link in the comments, I’d love to see your handiwork.

Happy Sewing!

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