Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Loft

I have a custom machine embroidery business. It is called Deanna's Designs. But I often refer to it as The Loft. The reason is because several years ago my menagerie of equipment became more than the space available in the downstairs of our house could accommodate. After much cussin and discussin we decided to turn the unused upstairs of our garage into my business. Thus The Loft was born.

This first picture is of all of the hoops and backing that I use for the various projects. I've found that peg boards are great for organizing stuff. The walls are lined with them. The hooping station on the table is a god-send. It makes hooping things very easy. You just set it up, put your hoop and backing in, pull the item over the "station" and pop in the top hoop. No more guess work on whether something is lined up straight or in the right position. See my rocking chair? We bought it at an auction many years ago. I rocked many a baby in that chair and now I use it as I sit and snip thread off the finished projects.

This picture is of my commercial embroidery machine. It is a Tajima Neo. It allows me to have up to 15 threads ready to go at any given time. Once I program the machine, it does all the work. My programming tells it what threads to use and where to stitch. This machine is considered a "one head" machine because I can only embroider 1 item at a time. Believe it or not, they have machines that do up to 15 or so items at a time (well actually more than that, they link them together). I have over 100 thread colors and yet it seems a new project always calls for a thread I don't have. The job running at the moment is a shirt for a ball team. I am embroidering a name and number on the back. The window looks out onto our house. Every once in a while I stand up and wave at Jim if he happens to be looking out lol.

This picture is of my trusty computer where I create all of the designs using special software. Once I get a design ready to go, I save it to a disk (definitely old school) and transfer it to the embroidery machine. Sometime soon I will invest in a cable where I can send the design directly to the machine. Next to my computer is a serger (I use it for other non-embroidery projects) and across from it is a Bernina home embroidery machine that got me started in all of this.

Many years ago I worked for the Governor of Missouri in the State Capitol Building. They happened to be replacing all of the windows in the Capitol while I was working there and I sweet talked the contractor into letting me have one of only 4 oval windows that were being replaced. Once I got it I had no idea what to do with it! But I couldn't pass up a piece of history. Shortly after I got the window we built the garage and the window was put in the loft. So, as luck would have it, now when I am working, I can look out that window and see the sheep we raise. The machine off to the side of the window is a quilting machine. I shamefully admit that I have been too busy with the embroidery side of the business to get into the quilting. But I swear one of these days I will!!!!! (I hope...)

And last, but not least, here are some of my creations. The flowers are part of a series of quilt blocks that I will be donating to our quilters at church. The blue shirt is the project I am presently working on, names on the back of ball team shirts. The MU logo is probably the design I am most proud of simply because of the effort it took to get licensed to embroider for them.

So now if I am in chat and say BRB I have to hoop something, or I am working.... you know what I am doing!!!!!!!


ChicagoLady said...

Very fascinating! I never knew it was that detailed and involved! It's nice that you have something you love to keep you busy.

LadyStyx said...

Wow! How awesome is that. I wish I had a big ole workstation like that for my painting. Shoot, who we kidding, I wish I had the business to WARRANT a big ole workstation for painting!

Intense Guy said...

Wow! It's so nice and clean too! I find the machinery and programming aspect to be really intriguing being a "techy".

I really like what you did with the window. It really looks great and it's really neat it has such a story!

Also - shameless plug here - for those of you that haven't seen any of Deanna's work in your own hands, she does marvelous work. My dad loves his Captain Bob caps that Deanna did. I'm going to have to order more hats soon, he wears them out quickly! - end shameless plug here.

Punkn said...

lol iggy. Thanks for the shameless plug. The hats did turn out pretty good, if I do say so myself! Just let me know when you need more...

AliceKay said...

Very nice, Punkn...very nice indeed.