What are these books about anyway?
They are about creating a background with cotton fabric, printing some stylized motifs on to printer fabric and then using customized embroidery designs for creating a realistic landscape from fiber.
What makes these books seem like the new wonders of the creative world?
It’s all the neat stuff you can do with them. First of all, let me tell you what is contained in the books and the CD-ROMs.
- There are many background scenes to choose from.
- All the patterns are included on the CD…you can print them out yourself on your computer printer.
- Also, there are what I call placement patterns. These are the complete background scene in two pieces. After printing, you tape the two pieces together, lay a pressing sheet or a Teflon sheet over them and assemble your scene on the pressing sheet. This allows you to create the background scene with a minimum of effort.
- There are many hand-painted motifs or pictures that are to be printed on to printer fabric. Items vary depending on which book you have. There are things such as cottages, gristmills, koi ponds, waterfalls, bridges, and lighthouses. Lots of beautiful rocks, lanterns, houses, oriental ladies, trees, pathways…the list seems endless.
- The motifs are in a high-resolution JPEG format so you can print them large or small to suit your needs.
- Also, the motifs complement each other. You can mix and match things from all my new publications and create scenes that are uniquely yours.
- Oh, I almost forgot…there are six printable skies for that special touch. You can either print them for a portrait style wallhanging on the ready made printer fabric or, for a landscape style wallhanging, you can make your own printer fabric using the Bubble Jet Set 2000 liquid with the step by step directions in the books.
- There are printable guides for help in picking out your fabrics. Just print out the scene and take it with you to the store. Then you will be sure to get the right shade of fabric.
- There is also a full color picture on the CD of the finished scene so you can either print it off or blow it up very large on your computer screen so you can see every detail of my work. That’s better than any picture in a book can be.
- Each of the books comes with totally different embroideries. Oriental has 10 designs; Secluded comes with 23 embroidery designs that are in two sizes. Landscaping ‘N’ Lace comes with lots of different kinds of flowers and a beautiful tree.
- Then there are the additional Cactus Punch Signature series designs. Signature #52 has 20 shrubs, flowers and trees, and #60 has 10 beautifully realistic trees. All the embroidery designs are different. It’s great to have all these elements to work with.
Where did this concept come from?
This concept all started because I like to create landscape art. I want a basic background, not too much stuff on it so that I can add my own stitching and details to it. I like my work to be dimensional. As a result, my new methods of creating with printer fabric, beautiful embroideries, pretty batik and cotton fabrics and lots and lots of shiny embroidery threads were born.
How did you come up with this idea?
In May of 2001, I was talking to Theresa Robinson of Viking…she mentioned the Colorfast Printer Fabric Sheets that they carried as a means creating pictures on fabric. I wasn’t too thrilled because I felt the 8 ½” x 11” size was very limiting. As we continued to talk an idea came into my head about creating the background with beautiful cotton Batiks and then adding the focus features with printed motifs. Aye Carumba! What an idea!!! See what happens when two creative minds get together? Thanks Theresa!
I don’t want to make quilts or wallhangings. What else can I do with your products?
These are wonderful for making one of a kind garments or use them on home decorating items. Look at my sample section for more ideas.
Are these books for only one brand of sewing machine?
The CD’s that come with the books are all multi formats, which means that any kind of embroidery machine can use the designs. All formats are included except the new VIP format from the Viking and Pfaff software. But one of the best things about this software is that it too, is multi formatted. Which means it reads everything.
Do you have to have an embroidery machine to do these scenes?
If you don’t have an embroidery machine but would still like to use the books for the wonderful landscapes and gardens and all the exciting printable motifs, then yes, you can use them. If you are asking if I have directions on how to create the embroidery designs with the use of decorative stitches, then the answer would have to be no. Before I began putting CD’s in my books, I created a line of books for the Pfaff machines utilizing the decorative stitch capabilities that their machines have. Those books have exact directions for all the models from 1471 to the 7570.
Does that mean that all of your former books are still available?
Yes, everything I have ever published is available. Click on my home page and look for the Create with Pfaff button and you can view all the products.
Can people who have four inch hoop machines do these scenes?
Most definitely! Almost all the embroidery designs will fit in the four-inch hoop size. There are a few on the Secluded Serenity that are a little too big but on that CD, there are two sizes of all the designs. So they can use the smaller of the two. And…they can get the great sizing software from Echnida called Easy Sizer. It does a phenomenal job of resizing designs both smaller for the four-inch machines and making things huge for the mega hoop machines.
I’m not very computer literate, are the directions hard to understand?
I know what it’s like to have to wrestle with hard directions and I hate it. Most sewers are great at doing things if they see someone do it once but have a more difficult time reading the directions. I know because I am a sewer too.
When you throw a whole bunch of words together, it gets confusing. That’s why I give you one step at a time and then stop. The comment I hear more than any other is… “I can’t believe how easy to understand your books are. Usually, I can’t read sewing books and create anything from them. But when I saw yours, I thought, ‘I think I can do this.’ They are so step by step. Thank you for writing them. ”
I’ve never printed on fabric before. It sounds scary. Can a novice do it?
Anyone, including a novice can print on fabric. It’s all in knowing the proper way to set up your printer and I give you great, easy to follow directions. I even included many screen captures of my own computer screen while I was printing.
What about some of your new Cactus Punch embroidery designs…aren’t they too big for the smaller machines?
Anyone can use the designs when they work with Easy Sizer from Echidna. Just open the software and import a design to size. Move the mouse to the right makes the design larger, move the mouse to the left the design gets smaller. That’s as hard as it gets. One little thing you need to remember if you want to save in your format…be sure to ask Easy Sizer to export, not save, unless you only want to save in DST format.
I’ve heard that you have a book out that lets you crochet by machine. Can you describe what you can do with it?
Yes, I do and I am so excited about it. It has directions for creating more than twenty projects and gift ideas with just thread. Crochet utilizes the new Sulky Cotton 12 weight and the Perfect Quilter thread from Superior Threads for the projects. Aqua Magic stabilizer and Ultra Solvy for the machine work. The book comes with a multi-format CD with all the embroidery files on it for creating all the projects. There are also full color pictures on the CD so that you can zoom in and get a close up of each project. There are instructions for creating lace edges with decorative stitches.
How have people responded to the “Crochet” book?
It’s only been out since April 2002 and it has already become my best selling book. It’s been so much fun to see how people have taken off with it and created all kinds of things that aren’t even in the book, just by using the embroideries that come on the CD-ROM. I got an e-mail from someone who said she had taken three of the pocket design and made a baby hat and then Debra Green of Husqvarna Viking took several of the small flower motifs and made a crocheted belt.
How do you say the name of the Crochet book?
Well, it’s Cru – Da – Tay. It’s really a fancy name for the small pieces of vegetables we find on snack trays at parties. I liked it because it means small things...like the projects in this book. So...we have Crochet Crudités...Lots of small gift ideas and I must tell you, just a couple of large ones too.
Why do you think Crochet Crudités is so popular?
I think people haven’t given up the desire to be creative even though our busy, demanding schedules won’t permit us many hours to sit and do hand work. They still like the idea and feel of crochet and the beauty it has…they just don’t have the time for traditional methods.
I saw you at a convention and you had a beautiful Antique Linens quilt that was made with your Cactus Punch Antique Linens CD-ROM, #62. Any chance we might get the directions for this quilt?
The directions for this quilt are in my book called...Antique Linens Quilt...and More. It contains all the patterns and templates to make the quilt on the CD that is included with the book...you will be able to print everything and then create the quilt. You still have to own the original CD in order to get the designs because they will not be in the CD-ROM that comes with the book. There are 99 other antique designs on the CD, just not the ones from Cactus Punch.
For more information about the Antique Linens Quilt...and More book, please see the More Info page.