Quickly Add Words to your Projects with Machine Stitching

Sorry Grandma. I just don’t have the time to do much hand embroidery lately.lettuce1

But that’s ok. When I need some words in a hurry like “lettuce” for the this produce bag, I whip them out on the machine.   Here’s how.

1) Draw the word in washable chalk.   My chalk is yellow.  It will wash out.

2) Using small, straight machine stitches (Stitch length 2 on my machine), I sew over the chalk lines pivoting when necessary (which is a lot).  I do NOT drop the feed dogs on the sewing machine like my pals who excel at freemotion sewing.  I’m just not good at that technique.


3) Now I dial up a small zig-zag stitch and go over the straight stitching.


4) Next, I turn around and go back, building up the letters with 2, 3 or 4 layers of zig-zag. I sometimes add new shades of thread here for a denser look.


5) Clip threads and stitch up a simple draw string bag.

Produce bags are a great way to store washed lettuce and more in the frig. The cloth helps keep food fresh, and the words make the contents easy to identify–so this project is a great problem solver.

Another plus–they can be stitched up with bits of white fabric and short spools of thread  you have on hand.  That’s thrifty and green.

A final note: I thought of using appliqué to mark my bags–bright orange carrots and red radishes for example. But I worried about cleaning them. Produce can stain the bags. Bright fabrics could fade in hot water. Color-fast threads seemed the best solution.   Here’s are 3 completed produce bags. What do you think?


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