Thursday, June 29, 2017

A verdict and other doings...

Gosh it was nice to read all your comments about my trial with the Sulky Solvi, both from those who had used it and those who have been wondering about it. 

My heart was overjoyed for those of you who love this product and have found it to be exactly what you need.

But for me, it was a completely different experience. Oh, dear. I hate it.    

Honestly, I've taken a couple of days to write this post because I needed to ponder 'why' my experience with this product isn't what some of you described in glowing praise?

First though, let me show you my completed cardie. 
I'm smiling ear to ear, heart bursting with vintage happiness....

Honestly, I can't wait to pop this on and stroll along the Strand by moonlight with my true love tonight. 

But...back to the soluble embroidery stabiliser.

It gummed up more than I though possible, my needles needed to be cleaned every few stitches.

My backstitch is tiny and I think that made the process worse because I had to push through gummy stabiliser and fabric with barely space between each entry and exit point of the needle which distorts the stabiliser and pushes gum into ridges.

The gum is so thick that my hands ached from the resistance war between stabiliser, fabric, needle, thread and Jenny's fingers. In fact, I ended up doing the satin stitch in single strand thread to see if that helped (less thread to pull through) and it did, but only slightly. I think if you have arthritis in your hands this would really aggravate it. 

This design when I originally stitched it on linen with my favoured Weaveline permanent stabiliser fused behind  the fabric took 3 hours to stitch.
On the cardie it took 8 hours and my fingers are still throbbing. 

It's also difficult to get perfect entry and exit for my needle as I am not looking at the fabric, but the Solvy. Not having clean sight on my actual fabric also meant I wasn't able to swap and change thread colours (I do that a lot during the design process as I view my threads working or not working together), and when I needed to unpick a few threads it wasn't easy.

Another issue is that when the Sulky dissolves away after washing the fabric the stitches are loose because that extra 'padding' between stitch and fabric has disappeared. 

For those who missed the last blog post and what the Solvy on fabric looks like before you stitch, I'll show you again...

There's a lot of gum residue on the fabric after you complete the stitching because as you stitch your fingers are pressing the Solvy to the fabric over and over. It did wash away though.

Obviously linen and this thin acrylic cardigan are two very different fabrics, but there was no escaping how thick the gum is on the Sulky Solvi. I shall not be using it again.

Washing out the Solvi after I'd completed the embroidery was fairly easy, although it did take three attempts. I needed to have the water very warm for the Sulky Solvi to break away from the cardie and disperse into 'flakes' through the water. Unfortnately the flakes then settled on other areas of the cardie and stuck, so that's why the extra rinses. I also had to rub the embroidery to remove the Solvi from behind the stitches.

Once I had it all removed I rolled the cardie in a towel and squeezed away the water before laying out to dry.

Honest, I am thrilled with my 'new' $7 cardie now that the embellishment is complete, but it was definitely a labour of love to keep going and not throw the whole thing aside after the first backstitch/blanket stitch leaf.
Sad to say I won't repeat the experience of Sulky Solvi again. 

Some girls asked on Instagram if I fused another stabiliser behind the stitchery and the answer is no. (My heart is beating harder just imagining what a nightmare for my fingers that would have been - very glad I chose not to).

Here's what the back looks like. 

   So away with the Solvy, but I still have the Legacy brand to try. They both feel the same weight, but the Legacy soluble stabiliser 'feels' like it has less gum. 
I'll try that one on cotton fabric, but not for a while as my hands are in need of normal 'Jenny-style' stitching without all the fuss, wear and tear.

You know, I find it SO much easier to trace a design myself, fuse Weaveline behind the design and just stitch. When it's done, give it a press and you're finished. 

A number of girls have told me they find tracing a design tedious and that's why they like using printable soluble sheets like Sulky Solvi. Fair enough, if that's your bug bear and it puts a smile on your face to take that route, bless you! Sewing, in any style, should include a big glass of happiness and contentment, so choose the techniques YOU find work best.

For me, I love tracing a design. I get to examine every little section in all it's prettiness, acquainting myself with the ebb and flow of lines and curves before I stitch them, then when I thread my needle and prepare to make that very first dab of colour I say to myself, "I remember you, little bird, let's bring you to life".

Most important to remember isn't it? 
ENJOY the process, breathe, sigh, smile, create - your way.

My other doings this week?

The breadmaker cover is made and it's brightened my kitchen/dining area.

Now I need to sew a curtain to cover the appliances underneath. 

I'm thinking something like this (from Dottie Angel's blog ) using some of my vintage doilies...

When I thought about Dottie Angel's wonderful use of the humble doily I remembered her book (co-written with Ted & Agnes) which dwells in my bookcase... a good hour was spent inside the pages yesterday while a certain little angel I was babysitting slept by my side...

Cully May and I had special time alone together yesterday while Blossom ran errands and Mr E worked on the Jeep.

When she woke she immediately decided my Dottie Angel book was hers and spent a good 15 minutes turning pages on my lap squealing "Oooo!!" at every pretty thing.

More books...

...inspired baking.

Mr E was most delighted to find a big cookie jar filled with fresh baked Oatmeal, Raisin and Orange biscuits prepared 'just for him'.

Today I'm baking bread and perhaps another Strawberry Shortcake because Mr E requested it.

Is there anything lovelier than homemaking?
I think not. 


I've continued playing with the sewing machine and decided to use two of the big granny square blocks I made last week as a runner for under the telly in our bedroom (we have no tv reception in the bedroom but we can still watch dvds on a lazy weekend afternoon)...

...and I've finally begun piecing my pink and green quilt using the stitcheries from last December's issue of The Stitchery Club.

And did you notice my new iron?

I was given a 40% off voucher at Spotlight by my sweet Blossom and decided this would be perfect as I couldn't afford it otherwise. 
This iron is amazing, truly. 
Even Blossom squealed when she 'played' with it yesterday.

Goodness, you must be parched for a cuppa after this long blog post!  Sorry if I've kept you, but I thought it best to do a big post today as I'm taking a little break for a bit while Mr E's on school holidays so I can continue to potter around the house and bake things for him, sew for our home, and generally amble through these relaxing days until school resumes on July 10th.

The July block of The Love of Home BOM will be shared as usual on the 1st, though.

One last thing.

"Be still and know that I am God." That Scripture came to mind as I was about to sign off so perhaps someone needed to hear it?
We probably all do.
How reassuring, thank you Lord.



Jacqueline said...

Great post. Enjoy your time with your family.

Catherine said...

What a great post with all your beautiful work. The photos of Cully Mae are so cute too. I was wondering whether you might share the recipe for the oatmeal, raisin and orange biscuits please? They sound delicious.

Leeanne said...

Though your experience was not so happy at least you have "vintage happiness'........go forth with your lovely bouquet on your shoulder. Love your breadmaker cover and golly gosh your home is scrumptious! Your wee granddaughter is adorable, almost as much as my two :-) I like the look of the Granny Chic book because I am granny too!

Ondrea said...

Oh dear, I was reliving every moment of your ordeal . You poor thing. I don't think I could be bothered with the process either. Did you clean your needles with eucalyptus oil? It removes gummy stuff and helps the needle slide. I rather like tracing things. Cully May is so sweet when she is asleep and oh so cute when awake. Love her smile. Your bread maker cover is lovely as are all the other things you have made. Glad you still like your cardigan after all that!

Suze said...

Be still and know that I am God is one of my favourites. I use it to calm myself and prepare myself.

YOur darling grand daughter tickles my heat. We have about 12 to 13 weeks until the expected arrival of our little darling. The mum and dad are having a difficult time choosing names, Today I went to Spotlight and bought three baby patterns as you have inspired me to make a dress or two.

Enjoy yourself and have a wonderful break

Jenny Trask said...

I don't like the Solvy either as I found the printer ink discoloured my lighter threads and was more than likely doing the same on the darker ones. Was not happy as it didn't wash out. I used the laser jet printer as instructed. I won't be using it again either!

Unknown said...

Jenny I love reading your blog. Would love to meet you and share a cup of tea. I am going through a season where I need to be reminded frequently of God's peace and the fact that he's got it all in his hands. Your comments help me refocus. Your embroidery is so lovely. Enjoy the time with your husband!

Allie-oops Designs said...

Wow that turned out so pretty - I have a sweater with embroidery and just love it. Wear it with pride girl, it's lovely and sure cost a lot of pain! I'm glad to have your verdict, I do have arthritis in my fingers and there's no way I'd be able to do that. I do use a rubber finger tip on my index finger, to help pull the needle through, and that's on traced fabric!

Your breadmaker cover is darling, and I love the idea of a doily curtain there. I see Cully May sleeping under Loaves and Fishes - that made my heart go pitty-pat!!! That smile is priceless, I think you've another domestic in the making, you and Blossom are teaching her well. Love your new runner, the look of your gorgeous embroidered quilt in the making, and oh your new iron - that's on my someday list! Enjoy your break dear, Mr. E is so blessed to have you!

Sherry from Michigan said...

Hi, Jenny ~

I did also find that my stitches got a little "loopy" after washing away the Solvy. I didn't like the look of the completed project, and actually made it over again with tracing....will not be using the Solvy again. May be just right for some, but not for me. Thank you for your input, and your lovely designs :-) . God's blessings on your time with family and sweet Cully May :-)

Little Penpen said...

Great review! I could almost 'feel'your pain and frustration! But the sweater turned out beautifully! Question: if you don't use a product like that, how would you transfer an embroidery to a dark piece of fabric? Your new iron is lovely! Great pic's of Cully May! She's a sweetie!

Barb H said...

I had 2 different experiences with the soluble product--I don't remember the brand but it wasn't sulky. In humid weather, it was a sticky bear to stitch through, but in dry weather, it was a breeze. I'll use it again when I have another incredibly tiny stitching to do. Otherwise, I enjoy tracing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny awwh your little Cully May is a sweetie ,how cute does she look sleeping.
Love your new breadmaker cover and your cardigan is gorgeous with your sweet bouquet.
I have an iron like yours they are fantastic,hope you have a lovely week my friend xx

Farm Quilter said...

It is so nice to hear of other's experiences with all the different products out there, both good and difficult! Love your cardi!! Cully Mae is adorable and that book was perfect for her to read after her nap. I'm with Catherine...would you share your recipe for the biscuits??

Unknown said...

I love coming to your blog and reading your wonderful posts each morning. I appreciate your review so much!! I was wondering how this would work because I am also in the camp that doesn't like to trace designs before stitching. I just want to get to the colorful "good stuff". I also have arthritis is my hands so I was especially glad for your comment to those of us who do. Even though I've been encouraged to try this from our local Needlework shop, I now will pass with a grateful sigh! I was one of your readers who needed to be reminded to BE STILL today. My husband and I have a family burden that is so hard to bear... and I was reminded this morning that God has it under control. Thank you for listening to that still small voice!

Anonymous said...

I ALWAYS need that scripture reminder, Jenny. I so want to take over when I need to be still. What a lovely post. I feel as though we just had a nice chat. It will be interesting to see what you think about the Legend product after your Solvy experience. I don't mind the tracing, either the light box or the window. I do think the vintage textiles in a curtain under your bread maker will be just lovely. Your iron is wonderful! I see Jenny Doan using one on her videos, and it seems a terrific product. I'm glad you are taking the days off to just BE and share with Mr. E. You both deserve the quiet time together.

Anonymous said...

Sorry this was not a good experiance for you.
Try putting wash-away stabalizer on the back of your project not the front .Then when finished desolve in water overnight.No rubbing needed.
But your end result was stunning.

Unknown said...

The sweater turned out beautifully in spite of the problems. Just curious - how would you trace the design on a sweater? Thanks!

Lin said...

Lovely work on the cardigan Jenny, shame it was such hard work as it seems like the perfect answer to working on fabrics where you cannot trace the design. xx

SandyMay said...

Lovely design on your cardie. Sorry it was work rather than a pleasant task. I hesitated to add my two cents to the opinions of the Sulky product. I had used it and found that getting the needle through the product was so difficult that my fingers hurt afterwards. Didn't have a problem with the gummy needle, just the resistance. I'll continue to trace or iron on. I was excited when it was introduced and so wanted to like the product!

Helen L said...

So you wrote a long post: now you're going to get a long comment! ;-) So sorry for your sticky troubles: I did that once with basting spray (luckily it was only a wall hanging!!) that I hand quilted. It was a nightmare!! I feel your pain!!! Sticky stuff and hand sewing: not a good match!! And your little grand daughter is so sweet: nothing better than a sleeping baby!! And your stitcheries are so beautiful: is there a way to get the December Stitcheries that you showed going into the quilt? They are gorgeous, and I love the way you are putting them into your quilt! Hugs, H

Createology said...

Every bit of this post brings JOY to me. Baking for your hubs, having quality one-on-one time with Cully May, sewing and ironing (lovely new iron!) and perusing books of inspiration. I appreciate your honest review of the stabilizer experience. I do not want to waste precious time with "issues" that can be avoided. Blessings Jenny Dear and may you have the most wonderful days with your Mr. E while he is on recess. <3

Kathleen said...

Oh to be so relaxed in sleep as Cully May!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Anonymous, I already use a stabiliser behind my fabric. The idea for trying this was to be able to embroider on dark fabrics that cannot be traced directly onto.
You can see what I normally use in this blog post -

Glenise Magnano - Gold Coast said...

Beautiful post as usual Jenny. Brightened my afternoon. Little Cully May is such a sweetie. You must have had fun today with her.
Just love your breadmaker cover. it is stunning. You have the most AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS fabric stash. So pretty. So lovely.
Thank you for bringing such delights into my life. Glenise

Bits of Stitching! said...

The cardigan turned out lovely!
It certainly sounds like your first try with the Sulky stabilizer was terrible experience, so sorry it didn't work out for you <3.
I wonder what is it with it that it gums up for some. I've never experience it myself. Well, you mentioned, it is best to stick to whatever makes the process more delightful for each individual :-) or as the wise old saying: "Why fix it, if it is not broken."
Have fun stitching the others using the 'Jenny style' embroidery ;-)!

What a cutie pie of a granddaughter you have! Isn't it tempting to wake her up with kisses on those plump cheeks? I still do that to my soon to be kindergartener ... lol. The bread machine cover turned out beautifully, have fun making the curtain!
My favorite part of shopping is saving money... coupons are the way to go! Very thoughtful and sweet of your daughter to save it for you! Enjoy your new iron!

grammajudyb said...

I hope you will share with us another way to put a design on a sweater or fabric that is too dark or too soft to trace directly onto. I have been disappointed lately with Solvy also. My hand stitching group agrees. We have also had some issues with the printer ink( when fed through a printer) not completely washing out or leaving a stain. So disheartening when you have put so many hours into a project. The cardigan is adorable and I hope your fingers are healing. Looking forward to future fantastic stitcheries.

MissesStitches said...

Cully May looks so much like her mother, doesn't she!! Sorry about your trials with the wash away solve. But you have a beautiful cardigan to show for it. I'm not real fond of the stuff, either.

Unknown said...

Love reading your post even though you thought it was long.  Glad you are amazed by that "Oliso" iron.  I am still not sure it is worth the cost..  My Rowenta, that I caught on sale finally bit the dust after it's second fall from the ironing board.  The older irons did not crap out on you that quick, plus the steam never worked properly in that Rowenta but it did have good hot press.  I finally bought an el-cheap-o Hamilton Beach Durathon steam iron.  I like using the burst of steam instead of full steam, especially when pressing the quilting seams. I have my moms old GE iron, that is considered "retro" now, that still works. I might have to resort to use least if it will take a lickin and keep on working. LOL