Glitter Vinyl: Red, White and Sparkling

Next to Angelina fiber, glitter flex vinyl is becoming my new favorite applique embellishment. Bonnie Welsh from Sew Inspired by Bonnie introduced me to this new product and I can see so many uses for it. She did extensive testing with several similar products and chose Glitter Flex Ultra and Glitte... [More]

Cathedral Windows, Rag Quilt Style

The shabby chic appeal of rag quilts is gaining in popularity. Their strong, but soft-worn comfort make them an ideal choice for fabric workhorses like quilts and placemats. And they couldn't be easier to make than with the AccuQuilt GO! cutter. Instead of having to clip all of the edges, the... [More]

Pattern Variations: Getting the Colors Just Right

Much about creating, whether it is sewing, quilting, embroidery, or any other artistic form, depends on having the ability to visualize the project in your head. I don't know about you, but it is getting harder and harder for me to do that every day. Sometimes, it is easy to bypass a pa... [More]

Threads vs. Backgrounds: Contrast or Blend?

  Because they resemble hand quilting, redwork embroidery designs work great as a quilting motif. Finding the correct amount of contrast (or not) is the key to an embroidery project that pops. Using a fabric sample called Elm Creek Quilts: Sarah's Collection by Red Rooster, I want to sh... [More]

PMS Thread Colors

You may have had a friend or client ask you to stitch their company or school colors on apparel using PMS colors. Typically, the mere mention of PMS strikes fear in the hearts of many. Here, PMS refers to Pantone Matching System and how it helps with color consistency in embroidery thread. Panto... [More]

Free Basting Stitches

Here is something no embroiderer should be without: basting stitches. Especially when they are FREE. Overall, basting files place a running stitch around the outside of the design area, temporarily securing the hooped fabric and stabilizer together. Some machines even have a basting feature bu... [More]

Bobbin Basics

Bobbins are the cement that holds embroidery stitches together, so they play an important role in the outcome of every machine embroidery design. Here is an overview of what you need to know about bobbins. Bobbins are not one-size-fits-all. They are available in three basic sizes for home embr... [More]

Tear Away or Cut Away. Which Stabilizer Should You Use?

Lightweight tear-away stabilizer (top) and heavy cut-away (bottom).   Like the foundation of your home, stabilizers support the stitches you place upon them. If the foundation is not good, the structure isn't either. With all of these different weights of stabilizers, which do you use? ... [More]

Embellishing Embroidery

  Machine embroidery is so versatile it becomes a palette with enormous possibilities when you add simple embellishments. Embellishments add interest by making embroidery three dimensional, introducing textures, and adding sparkle. Hot fix crystals are one way to accentuate embroidery designs... [More]

Pinteresting Embroidery

  Pinterest is probably the greatest digital scrapbook ever created. Essentially a collection of images linked to websites, Pinterest is a one-stop way to connect to whatever your interests may be. With more then 25 billion pins, the site is a treasure trove of ideas, but for the purpose of th... [More]

Free Key to My Heart Valentine

I'm going to share the love with this free Key to My Heart Valentine design. It stitches very quickly on felt and tucks neatly in a card or attaches easily to a hanger for display year-round. Start with a four-inch felt heart. I cut mine with my AccuQuilt GO! machine using the 2", 3... [More]

Easy Stitch Fix

  It's happened to all of us at one time or another. A project is stitching just fine then, out of nowhere, a glitch with the stitches. It isn't just the waste of materials that we mind, but the loss of time invested. In the sample above, I got almost to the end and ran out of th... [More]

Taming Metallic Threads

  Metallic embroidery threads adds a touch of class to any project—if you can stand to use them that long! Here are some tips for avoiding pitfalls typically associated with metallic threads.   Although this design is beautiful stitched in rayon, the metallic snowflake is exquis... [More]

Choosing the Right Stabilizer

With the multitude of choices now available, choosing a stabilizer can be daunting. Cut away. Tear away. Fusible. Melt away. Wash away. Which do you use? There is no iron-clad, 100 percent, always-work option. It depends on the stitch count, fabric used, and sometimes the thread, machine, or stabil... [More]

Quick Gift Bags

Create quick and easy gift bags with fabric scraps and a wonderful fusible by Allstitch. This is a fun activity for kids, doesn't involve any sewing, and can be adapted for any occasion. I've made matching gift tags and you could use the same techniques to create cards. Fuse-n-Bond is ... [More]

Quilting with Embroidery

My eldest favorite daughter (I also have a youngest favorite daughter) decided she wanted to make a rag quilt. They are shabby chic, typically created with muted colors, fringed all around and stitched with ragged edges showing on one side. The more they are washed, the more comfortable they become.... [More]

Adding Sparkle to Embroidery

In the words of the late Andy Williams, "It's the most wonderful time of the year," and it's never been easier to add sparkle to embroidery designs than with hot-fix crystals. Christmas embroidery begs for embellishment. Crystals are easy to apply with a heat tool like the DalWan... [More]

Learn Basic Applique

Applique has become one of my favorite techniques in machine embroidery. Designs are now so inclusive, that even the least experienced among us can easily create beautiful applique their first time out. I created a Basic Applique video showing just how easy it is using the Applique Quilting Hearts ... [More]

Get Variegated!

Much like pigments of the master painters, threads create pallettes for machine embro [More]

Design Organizing Basics

  With so many embroidery designs available digitally, and countless free designs offered online, it helps to have a plan when it comes to organizing them all. The task can seem daunting, but getting started is really the hardest part.  Make a Structure Remember when you had to create a... [More]

Faith, Hope, Love Hanger

If you are attending a wedding any time soon, chances are this scripture will be included. And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.Corinthians, 13:13 So what better gift for the new bride and groom than a testament to their love? Certainly, they will not re... [More]

Applique Santa Ornament

It's easy to create unique freestanding ornaments using applique designs. Much like freestanding lace is constructed on water-soluble stabilizer, freestanding applique is made stable from the applique base. With satin stitching all around, they can stand alone. Thi... [More]

Unique Uses for Test Stitchouts

Ever wonder what to do with all of those test stitchouts? Bonnie Welsh from SewInspiredbyBonnie.com has put hers to some of the most uniquely versatile uses I've ever seen and, fortunately, has given me permission to share them with you. I just adore this tote bag. It uses mylar in the de... [More]

Hot Iron Carrier

I originally created this project for my daughter, a cosmetologist, so that she could take her curling irons and flat iron home before they were cool enough to handle. Then, I decided it would be perfect for transporting mini irons when traveling or taking classes.It is very simple, particularl... [More]

Journaling for Embroidery

When I first started embroidering, one tip I often read was to keep a record of details as they relate to embroidery design stitch outs. I thought this was supposed to be fun. A lab manual; what's the use? You just press a button and stitch, right? I didn't see the importance then, but ha... [More]

Needle Knowledge

Here's something I didn't know. Quality needles are made to break. Really. Klassé needles, an industry standard for a century and a quarter, are designed to break in the event of a problem. Why? A bent needle does a lot of damage to expensive equipment and hooped fabrics. Normally,... [More]

Avoiding a Major Stabilizer Malfunction

 My name is Debbie and I was a victim of a stabilizer malfunction. I have been doing this long enough to know better. Remember this reversible applique project? It's one I won't forget any time soon. At the time, I didn't tell you about the huge blunder on my part. What I thoug... [More]

Tips for Applique Using AccuQuilt for Machine Embroidery

Hopefully, you took advantage of the AccuQuilt sale. These tips were written for embroidering applique shapes cut with AccuQuilt dies, but are just as valuable if you tack and trim your applique designs by hand. New Addition, Just in Time for Wedding Season Great news- Ann has added the AccuQuilt ... [More]