How much thread will my project use

A common question amongst embroiders as we begin a project is “how much thread will I need for this project?”.

I always find it amazing how we will spend thousands on the perfect machine, but when it comes to purchasing threads for that machine, we all baulk a little. Please don’t think that this is me taking a swipe at anyone.  I am exactly the same.  I remember back to one of the first projects I made.  I have a niece who was 10 years old at the time, who really loved Winnie the Pooh.  I got a colouring in book of Winnie the Pooh drawings, and used my basic software to create her a wonderful quilt (this quilt was created for personal use only, and was never sold, nor were the designs shared, naturally, I do not condone the sharing or copyrighting of information).

I was terribly worried at the time however over the amount of orange thread that was going to be used. My biggest concern was that to complete this quilt, I was going to have to go and get 10 spools of the Winnie the Pooh orange thread.

Imagine my surprise when the single spool (1000m) lasted the entire project. I was so impressed.

Since then I have learned a couple of simple calculations. Every metre of thread will stitch approximately 200 stitches.  Now I say approximately because this calculation is based on a standard flat weave fill stitch.

As an example, I created a simple design of a satin stitch line, 2.5mm wide, with 200 stitches in it, and my software tells me that this will use 1.12m of embroidery thread.


I have also digitised a square of weave fill with 200 stitches, and it will use 1.03m of thread.


So these calculations can give you a basic guide to how much thread you will use.

We do need to remember however, that this number is only looking at the thread you will stitch. By the time you add in the 5cm that you cut off as you thread, not to mention the 40cm when you cut the thread at the top of the threading guide so that it does not come backwards, this quantity of thread is now 1.6m.

My best suggestion is to ignore the amount of thread that you will use overall. I definitely like to check to see if I have enough thread to complete a project, and software these days can assist you with this) however don’t assume that it is going to be accurate to any great degree.

If you are looking at purchasing threads for a project, particularly a single colour project, I strongly recommend purchasing the threads all at once, so that they are coming from the same dye lot. I have been in multiple situations where I think the thread is going to last, only to find out that I don’t have enough to complete the last block or so.


Software has also come a long way in the 15 years that I have been working with embroidery machines. My software estimates thread usage for me, allowing me to check my stock and see what colours I need before I begin (when I remember to do this of course).  Having a quick look around at the different software on the market, most of them seem to offer this feature these days, which will make it much easier for you to purchase threads for your project.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ day. Julie.



Sunday Spa Slippers

How gorgeous are these?


I love putting a couple of little things together and turning them into a larger gift basket, and these spa slippers are fantastic for a spa kit. I include slippers, sleep mask, turban wrap and a 3 pack of nail polish, and I have a fantastic gift.

It is so easy to create your own patches/badges (whichever you wish to call them.

All you need is a really sturdy fabric, such as canvas that can be used to create the patch. I like to use a badge fabric (I have had a 30cm roll for the past 15 years and am still going strong). Which is a cotton, attached to a canvas backing.

The important thing to remember when embroidering on badge fabric (which you can purchase from most craft stores), is that you need a satin edge.

A satin edge gives you the ability to trim around the badge area as you apply the badge.

In this instance, I am going to use a high quality double sided adhesive to attach the badges I have made onto the spa slippers. Depending on the item you are embroidering, you can also attach the badge by hand, or by stitching on with a zig zag stitch.

These slippers are being made for my gorgeous Niece Hannah, who needs something for her boyfriends mother and sister for Christmas. I think they have turned out beautifully.  What do you think?



  1. Take your software and create a monogram design. Ensure that your monogram has a shaped satin border of at least 3 or 4mm.
  2. Load your designs onto your machine.
  3. Hoop together TearClean© stabiliser and badge fabric.


    This badge fabric is created using a canvas backing, and drill like fabric on top, adhered together for strength.

  4. Stitch out two of your designs onto the badge fabric (one for each shoe)
  5. Remove the badge fabric from the hoop, and remove as much excess stabiliser as you can (I sit there with a pair of tweezers taking away all of the excess stabiliser)
  6. Using a warm iron, iron a piece of Heavy Duty Bonding adhesive onto the back of the designs – at this stage I still have not cut out my designs.
  7. Once the adhesive backing has set and is cool, use the Cutwork Blade to cut around each of the designs.
    cutwork-blade-trim trimmed-badges
  8. Remove the paper backing from the Heavy Duty Bonding adhesive, and iron onto the top of the spa slippers with a warm iron.


Your spa slippers are now ready to use, and they have only taken 1hr to make (and I made 3 pair in this time).

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

Top 10 Gifts for Stitchers to ask Santa for

The countdown is officially on.

There are 25 days until Christmas.

If like me you are not getting the phone call that includes “what can I get for……?”, then take my advice, and refer your family to the below list for some holiday inspiration.

A New Machine

Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to wake up on Christmas morning and see a beautiful box under the tree with a new machine in it.  Most shops will have special Christmas offers running from now until the new year, so have a look around and see what your money will purchase.


Each year I keep a list of designs that I would like to collect and use, and when my birthday is coming around, hubby finds the list, and purchases the collection for me.  I love this as a gift idea as it is something that I probably would not purchase for myself, but I will use during the year.



Software is almost a necessity with machine embroidery these days, and there are many options and brands of software out there, offering different features.  Think about what you would like software to be able to do, and then have a look around the internet to see what your best options are.

Class Subscription

This one is brilliant.  We all love attending classes, but finding the class fee’s sometime can be a stretch.  Have your loved ones join together to sign you up for a class at your favourite shop/teacher, or online.

Computer Classes

Computers have changed so much over the last few years, and if you would like to keep your skills up-to-date, look around your local area, and sign up for a computer class.  You can focus on social media, such as the internet, facebook etc, or look at using programms such as email and the Microsoft suite.

If you are looking into computer classes, a great place to begin is at your local library, who often run group sessions for a nominal fee.

Tools and Accessories

What have been your favourite gadgets and tools for sewers this year.  From a sales point of view, our most loved Stitch-a-ma-jigs have been the Novelty USB’s , Precision Oiler, Fabric Laser guide, and Thread Brush.

A Service

Treat your machine like the queen it is with a service.  Have your loved ones send your favourite machine away for a spa weekend with a grease and oil change, and it will run like a dream for the year.

Magazine Subscription

Save the hassle of having to go out to the newsagency each month by getting Santa to drop off a subscription to your favourite crafting magazine.


Santa knows what you really love.  Have him bring you a great big chunk of the latest design fabric all ready for your next project.

Gift Cards

For the crafter that has everything.  A gift card can be the perfect gift. Julie Hall Desings/Stitch-a-ma-jigs has gift cards that can be used over the coming years for classes, designs or tools.

I hope this list has given you some ideas on what to ask Santa for – Tell us about what you are hoping for Christmas.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Teacher Appreciation Gifts – 2016

I love my children’s teachers, and I admire those who teach.

At the end of the year, I like to thank those who helped my children throughout the year with a token of my appreciation.

Whilst they have been in primary school, I have been creating cushions for each teacher, highlighting the names of each child in the class that year.  I have found that each year has a reading nook area, and large fluffy cushions are always appreciated and used.


This year, I have decided to create the teachers names from the Periodic Alphabet design collection.  I am hoping that as teachers they will appreciate the science aspect of this.


This cushion is so easy to create, because you can simply use the lettering included with your embroidery machine, and the Periodic Alphabet.

All I have left to do now is wrap them up, and write the Christmas cards.

What gifts do you make for others for Christmas?  Share your ideas with us.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.


What is on your to-do list this week

Over the last few weeks, I have found that when I have a to-do list, I get so much more done.

So this week I would like to share with you my to-do list.


From an embroidery point of view, my goals for this week are…..

  • Finish the colour guide and upload the Roberta Rabbit design.
  • Create my teacher presents for this year.
  • Begin a new design set
  • Monogram 3 pair of slippers for my niece.

What is on your to-do list this week?

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Sneak Peak Saturday – Roberta Rabbit

Good morning all.  I hope you are all having a fantastic sunny day like we are here in Canberra.

Today I would like to share with you a sneak peak at a new design I am working on.  Roberta Rabbit.


Roberta is going to be part of the Jacobean Forrest collection, which are all being released as individual animals.  You have already seen Octavia Owl, and Roberta is her next friend.

I absolutely adore Roberta, she has soulful black eyes, and even through she doesn’t have fur, the way the design is created gives texture and makes you almost want to pet her.


Octavia Owl is the first in the collection.

Roberta is stitched in three sections, with each section linking together to create this beautiful design.

Roberta is going to be available in 3 different sizes, and has a beautiful open work stitch style that I hope you will love as much as I do.

Until next time, have a wonderful Stitchin’ Saturday.  Julie.

Thankful Thursday – Week 6

I love this one – Start each day with a Thankful and grateful Heart.


Such a small thing, but I think the design is pretty, and the sentiment is wonderful.

You can collect your free design HERE for the next two weeks for this wonderful saying.

How is your charity quilt going?  Let us know and we would love to share your pics here.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Thankful, Grateful Blessed Cushion

I need some new cushions for my lounge room, so I think this is a great opportunity to add some brightness to the room, and to give all of the family a reminder of how lucky we all are. So I am making cushions from the Free Thankful Thursday Designs.


This week I have chosen the Thankful, Grateful Blessed Design.

thankful grateful blessed 5x7

To create my cushions, I generally go straight past the cushion fillers in the shops, these will generally run be from between $8 and $15 dollars each. At my local K-mart, I can purchase a cushion for $5 that I will use as the filler.

I like to create a flange pillow cover (which is a piece of fabric that extends well beyond the seam, giving the pillow a soft, fluttery effect), with an envelope opening simply because it is the easiest to create.


  • All seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise stated.


  • 1m bright coloured medium weight cotton drill fabric.
  • Cushion, mine is 42cm square, or 16.5”
  • Embroidery threads 3 bright contrasting colours
  • Bobbin fill
  • TearClean© Stabiliser
  • Thankful, Grateful, Blessed Design from Julie Hall Design – available as a free design for a further 3 weeks.
  • Sewing thread to match your cotton drill fabric
  • Embroiders Felt 49cm square


  1. Measure your cushion (mine is 42cm square)
  2. Add 7cm to your measurement, to allow for seam allowance and the flange.
  3. From the main fabric, cut the cushion top (mine will be 49cm square)
  4. Cut another two pieces of fabric, 49cm x 40cm, which will allow for the overlapping envelope closure.
  5. Take the main fabric, and using your iron, mark up the centre points of the fabric.img_6545
  6. Using your TearClean© stabiliser, hoop together the TearClean©, Embroiders Felt and Main fabric, ready for embroidery.
  7. Load your embroidery design, and stitch out your Thankful, Grateful, Blessed Design.
  8. Once embroidery is complete, press with a warm iron, and remove any excess stabiliser.
  9. Lay the embroidered fabric, with the design showing on a flat surface.
  10. Take the two additional pieces of fabric, and lay on top of the cushion cover. Fold back approximately 10cm of the short side of the fabric, and press.
  11. Repeat step 10 from the opposite side of the cushion, and you should have the entire cushion top covered.
  12. Pin around the edge of the cushion, and stitch using a 1cm seam allowance.
  13. Trim away the corners, and turn right sides out and press, ensuring the edges look neat.
  14. Measure 2.5cm (1”) in around the edge of the cushion, and mark with a chalk marker.
  15. Pin to ensure the flange doesn’t move as you are stitching, and stitch around the chalk markings.
  16. To complete the cushion, take your cushion insert and place inside the cushion cover.


Hoop Size v’s Embroidery Field – What is the difference

I had an email from a customer this week, Maryanne, who is new to machine embroidery, and has come across her first questions. When she purchased her machine, she was told it had a hoop size of 150x100mm, which she believed was suitable to her requirements.

What she has found once arriving home with the machine is that she has an Embroidery Field of 100x100mm – much smaller.

When we are looking at machines and hoop sizes, we need to look not at the size of the hoop, but at the field of embroidery.

On each machine embroidery hoop, you will have an area that cannot be embroidered in (generally this will be 1” or so around the edge of the hoop). The manufacturers do this so that we do not break needles by accidently stitching on the hoop, and so that we have an area that the presser foot can move around.

In the example above, you can see that the size of the hoop with and without the template. The template shows where the actual embroidery area is, and this is the important information to you.

in the example above, you can see that the hoops without the template would give the user the impression they could embroider much larger designs than is actually possible.

These days the most common beginner models include a 4×4” (100x100mm) and 5×7” (130x180mm) hoop. If you are able, look for a model or two above this, which will give you a hoop size around the 8×10 or 12” (200×280 or 300mm) size, which will give you a lot of freedom with your embroidery.

However the important question to ask, is what is the EMBROIDERY FIELD size.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.


New Collection – Periodic Alphabet

For the Geek in all of us, I have a new collection.

The Periodic Alphabet is a collection of 130 designs based on the Periodic Table.  Along with all of the periodic table elements, there are also additional designs ensuring that the entire alphabet is available to everyone.

I am loving this collection, as Emma (10) is a huge fan of the periodic table, and memorised the entire table to be able to tell the following joke.

Are you made of Copper and Tellurium?  Because you are

cu te

So far I have made two of my Christmas presents with this collection – cushions for teenagers


I am also planning on using it for Cameron’s pencil case for next year (hopefully will get to work on it next week).

The Periodic Alphabet is priced at $34.95, and you can get your copy HERE.

You can also download the freebie design for this collection HERE.

I hope you enjoy these designs as much as I do.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.