Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Problem Solving With a Laser

Yesterday I finished stitching another saddle pad:

Right away, I wanted to get started, or at least set up to start, the next one.

However, I've recently decided I'm not a huge fan of hoops. 

I like to wring all the use I possibly can out of my supplies and it feels like I waste a lot of fabric in a hoop.  I do try and cut off the edges around the pad and I'm now using those scraps as Stablemate pads if I can. 

A hoop crimps the fabric, which is another reason I'm thinking of moving away from them if I want to use the scraps for stitching too.

If I try to scrimp, and end up not leaving myself enough fabric sticking out to really cinch everything down snug - evenly, I end up with pads that curl:

(they don't curl after they are finished, this is fresh out of the hoop and the extra fabric trimmed away)

I've recently read about stretcher bars, another way of securing fabric for embroidery.  Yesterday I decided to try and cobble something together to use as a custom size set of bars or some such contraption to made my pads.

Then it occurred to me...  I don't need to "cobble"... we have a LASER.

So I grabbed a piece of our scrap wood and did some measurements.  Then worked in the software for about a minute and fired up the laser.  Presto, I had a frame!

The opening is large enough to allow a Traditional scale pad to be stitched. 

The idea on stretcher bars is that you pin the fabric to the edges.  You actually wrap the fabric over the ends of the bars, from what I read, but I decided to pin straight to the frame and see how that would work.

Only problem... this is HARD material.  It's been a while since we bought it, but I think it must be oak.  This is the best I could do with pushing the pins in:

Even with the use of my modeling hammer...

So, I think my idea is sound, but I need to use a softer wood.  I'd also like to use flat thumb tacks, instead of push pins, to secure the fabric.  I'll have to try to stitch a pad on this type of setup and see if the fabric will stay snug.  If not, I'll re-do the design to allow the fabric to go over the edge of the frame.

It is really neat to have the laser to do problem solving in crafty and household things - in addition to using it to start up a business.  I'm thinking if I can get this frame design nailed down, it might even be an idea for a new product to offer as well. 

Today I've got a full day planned, including a trip to town to get some wood that is softer for my cross-stitch frame idea and some thumb tacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment