Embroider Buddies

I love to embroider… and there’s nothing I like to embroider more than Embroider Buddies. I make lot [More]

How To Hoop Onesies

  I get lots of questions about embroidering onesies. I see lots of embroiderers floating them on self-adhesive stabilizers, but most projects will have better results if the onesie is hooped in a hoop with cut-away stabilizer. Watch this video to see how I like to hoop onesies. I demonst... [More]

Hold towels for embroidery the easy, loop-free way

If you have ever used self-adhesive stabilizer to hold a towel for embroidery, it may have seemed easy at first. But when you have to remove the self-adhesive, the going gets tough. After removal, you have pulled loops on the back of the towel that look terrible. In this video excerpt from my video ... [More]

Fix Loopy Threads

When you remove your embroidery work from the hoop, here's something that ranks up there with crooked embroidery - loopy threads from poor tensions. I have two methods to repair them. In this video exceprt from my video "Repairing Embroidery Mishaps", I show you two ways to secure tho... [More]

Big and Beautiful...Embroidering Large Letters That Last

I love embroidering towels - they're my favorite monogrammed gift, and this past Christmas I really kept the machine humming with monogrammed towels for just about everyone. The challenge is that large letters have very wide satin stitches that can snag. In this video, I show you how to cre... [More]

All Tear-Away is Not Created Equal

      There are differences in tear-away stabilizer besides their weight. I find that most embroiderers are very familiar with "firm" or "crisp" tear-away. But a wonderfully supportive tear-away is "soft" tear-away. Crisp or firm tear-away is made fr... [More]

Hooping T-Shirts for Embroidery

Hooping and embroidering garments that don't open down the front, such as T-shirts and sweatshirts, can be challenging. Even when you get them hooped, it can be hard to get them on and off the machine. Watch this video for tips on how to do this more easily and take at least half the work ... [More]

Holding the Tough-to-Embroider Items

If you think that you can't embroider items that you can't get into a hoop, or hold with self-adhesive stabilizer, think again. There's another method that will let you hold big, bulky items under the embroidery needle. I embroidered this tote bag on my single-needle home embroide... [More]

Amazing Lace Bowl from a Doily

Untitled Document When is a doily not a doily? When you make it into a bowl! Start with the Lace Doily collection from Dakota Collectibles. http://www.annthegran.com/Product.aspx?t=1&i=42329 First, create the butterfly doily shown here as a bowl. It's pretty neat the way this in-the-... [More]

All Water-Soluble isn't Made Equal

All Water-Soluble Stabilizers are Not Created Equal   That’s right – there are three main varieties: Lightweight (about 20 microns) – used for topping on lightly textured fabrics Mid-weight (about 35 microns) – used a topping on more deeply textured or plush fabrics,... [More]

The Skinny on Small Lettering

  Working with small letters can be frustrating. Chances are that you think your small lettering looks distorted, bunchy or just plain amateurish. The truth is, is probably not your fault. That’s right. Your good technique can only go as far as the data allows. In other words, if the fon... [More]

Best Stabilizer for Stretchy Performance Knits? It’s in the Bedroom!

I just want to pass on the latest trend in stabilizers that is actually a blast from the past! The new thin and stretchy performance knits with brand names like Under Armor and DriWick have given commercial embroiderers fits. After trying all available sources, they have turned to an “old sc... [More]

Finish it Like a Pro - Trimming Tips

Have you ever wondered whether it matters if you first trim the top or the bottom of your machine embroidery work? It’s best to trim the top first, so that when you trim the back, you can gently pull on the bobbin tails to secure the trimmed thread end inside the fabric for a neater appearanc... [More]

Metallic Thread Tips

Working with Metallic Thread At this time of year, we seem to have more need to use metallic thread than any other time. If you find that you struggle with this thread type, try some of these solutions. When shopping for metallic thread, buy the largest spool you can afford. The larger the spool di... [More]

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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...

          Do you ever embroider small lettering that seems to disappear completely in to the fabric? Sometimes it seems that there is more thread on the underside of the material than on the top! There are some simple things you can do to make sure that your small lett... [More]

Bobbin Tails

There are many kinds of bobbins available to us for embroidery, but and there is no single answer to the best bobbin type for every embroiderer or every machine. There are metal, plastic  disposable, plastic reusable,  cardboard and sideless. Bobbins also come in colors. Colo... [More]

Yarn Threads

  This fall, you will be seeing lots of thicker threads – yarn-like in appearance – in retail stores. On my current trip East, I have seen tons of this decorating method on everything from sweatshirts to bags and even on the back of woven menswear shirts.     Industry su... [More]

The Hot Retail Look of Reverse Applique - You Can Do It Too

You don't need a $100,000 embroidery/laser cutting combo machine to create the reverse applique look that's so hot in retail stores right now. And it's the perfect time of year to put this impressive technique on sweatshirts. You can put this technique on lots of fabrics, but I particula... [More]

Stabilizing Super Stretchy "Technical" Fabrics

Fortunately, manufacturers have developed wonderful, lightweight, moisture-wicking materials to keep us dry and comfortable in this record-setting heat. Unfortunately, stabilizing these materials is not as simple as other knits. In addition to being very thin, they also have more stretch than typica... [More]

Quick and Easy Sample Book

   Wouldn't it be great if you could turn your sew-outs into a well-presented sample book? One that you could use to seel from, or just to show off your workmanship? You can! It's easy, inexpensive and quick to use some of your existing stitch-outs that had been relegated to ... [More]

Holding the Slippery Stuff

Slippage and marring are the two biggest challenges when hooping satin. Because of its soft hand, it is necessary to hold it securely without damaging the delicate surface yarns. Hoops may have nicks, splinters or burrs that can catch and damage these long delicate warp threads. I prefer that the ho... [More]

Embroidering for Pets

  Identify your pet and add fun sayings to pet bandanas. Make a patriotic one for the 4th of July - and then keep it rolling, making a new one for each holiday or mood. Rather than regular tie-style bandanas, you might want to make a slip-ver-the-collar bandana. This type of ban... [More]

Pucker-Free Quilt Squares

Because quilt fabric is usually lightweight, embroidered quilt squares are often puckered. To avoid puckers on your squares, fuse a piece of ShirtTailorÒ by PellonÒ to cover the entire back of your square. It will not be removed after embroidery. Rather, it adds body to the quilt squar... [More]

Computerized Embroidery of Yesteryear – Well Sort Of!

  Did you ever wonder how embroidery was done before computers? During the 1960s automated embroidery was done using machines that operated by coded instructions on a 3”punched card, called a jacquard. The concept of operation is similar to that of a player piano. The card was transporte... [More]

Loosely Woven Fabrics ? Control Them with Ease

  Fear No Pashmina! One of my favorite newer stabilizers is the self-adhesive wash-away mesh type. This stabilizer can be pricey, but it stands alone when you need the unique advantages offered by this highly evolved specialty product.The item being embroidered must be compatible with wate... [More]

Multi-Media = Major Fun!

As exciting as standard embroidery is, you'll reach a creative crescendo when you add other elements. When you incorporate everyday elements with even the simplest embroidery, the result is almost always a pleasing surprise. In this example, "The Busy Bride" from the Circle of Life des... [More]