Cold Hands, Warm Heart: Cutwork as Applique

This project combines two designs, applique and cutwork used as applique, and is created in the hoop. Add some wording with Alphabet Express and it becomes a unique decoration you can leave up through snow season. Start with Dakota Collectibles MI2021 heart applique as the base. I resized it to fit ... [More]

Cutwork Snowman Gift Bag

I've had the idea for this design since this time last year, so it's well overdue! The design is part of the Christmas Cutwork Collection by Dakota Collectibles. I added two variations on this design. Originally, the thread colors were shades of blue and plum, but I had a piece of... [More]

Snowflake Window Ornament

Applique designs are so versatile. They can be used as a traditional applique on apparel or a quilt and they can also be used as a stand-alone piece, much like freestanding lace. The Window with Snowflakes ornament (XM1791) from the Merry Christmas Ornaments set by Dakota Collectibles features ... [More]

Happy Haunting October Fest

Don't be afraid to change up the colors in your embroidery designs. Just because it shows up as an o [More]

Painted Embroidery

Like to color? Add a new dimension to traditional embroidery with fabric painting. I first read about fabric painting in an Anita Goodesign newsletter. The idea is to stitch an outline design and color it, giving it a watercolor appearance. They used Copic markers and a Copic blending tool wh... [More]

Freestanding Organza Leaves

I am fortunate to live in an area where I am surrounded by autumn's brilliance this time of year. With some water-soluble stabilizer, an applique design, and organza in shades of red, orange, and gold, fall leaves can be enjoyed well beyond their typical lifespan. Using the same Amazing Design... [More]

Reversible Applique Towel

Take your applique to the next level by making it totally reversible. It is really easy to do with m [More]

Embroidered Notebook Covers

Make this from this    and this! It is almost back-to-school time and this embroidered notebook cover is a quick and easy project using a standard 50-cent composition book. It takes about a half-yard of fabric, or two fat quarters, and a few scraps for the applique. Best of all, you c... [More]

Cutwork Poinsettia Napkin or Basket Liner

Cutwork is so very elegant, and it looks much more difficult than it really is. This project creates a holiday napkin or a gift basket liner or dinner roll cover. The poinsettia is part of the Christmas Cutwork Encore embroidery collection by Dakota Collectibles and it is available from Ann the... [More]

Christmas Cookies—in July!

Christmas in July had to be invented just for me because I need all the time I can get when it comes to making holiday gifts and decorations. This Cookie Cutter Christmas collection from Amazing Designs stitches up quick and easy on felt. It is so adorable you might want to start making them ea... [More]

Heart Wedding Favor, Gift Tag, and Ornament

Wedding season is upon us and this project is very easy to make as a wedding shower or reception favor. Stitch using wedding colors. You could also hang it on a gift as a tag and it could be used later on the Christmas tree. I used a Gunold heirloom design QHL01060 available through Ann the Gran an... [More]

Caring for Antique Linens

Beautiful embroidery goes hand in hand with beautiful linen, and this is the perfect time of year to find antique linens at flea markets, estate sales, and yard sales. There’s nothing like the feel of antique linen. It could be that it’s pure nostalgia. More likely, it is because it is ... [More]

Crazy Patch Heart

A couple of blogs ago, I wrote about crazy quilt stitches. Now, we'll put them to use making a basic [More]

Great Gifts for Mom

Mother's Day is just around the corner. Don't panic if don't have any good ideas. Here are some great gifts any machine-embroidering mom would appreciate: Thread A thread stash is a good thing! Like fabric, you can never have too much thread. Especially good thread like Robison An... [More]

Decorative Crazy Patch Embroidery Stitches

Embroidery machines revolutionized hand stitching. What once took days or weeks to prepare now varies from minutes to hours. Embroidery designs aren't the only things you can stitch out. Some of the easiest embellishments are made with decorative stitches. Regardless of your embroidery mac... [More]

Monograms Made Easy

Monograms are the oldest form of identification in the world, dating back to Greek and Roman times. First used as a form of currency in the barter system, monograms served many roles from indicating social status to serving as a signature for royals and artists. Perhaps most obvious, they identifie... [More]

Tips for Getting Inspired

It's the time of year when it's easy to get in a creative rut. Winter is almost over. Spring is almost here. You are tired of being inside, maybe even tired of sewing the same old stuff. There are many ways to get inspiration, most of which, can be done from the comfort of home at little or ... [More]

New Quick Font Lettering Eliminates Guesswork

Ever want to add a line or two of text to a project but didn't because it's just too much of a pain? Don't want to invest in alphabet libraries? Hate lining up letters? Tired of stitching fonts that don't turn out regardless of how well they are stabilized? Afraid to install (and lea... [More]

It All Comes Down to Color

Color plays such an important role in our lives from what we wear to the vehicles we drive. As embroiderers, we have artistic license to experiment with color. The possibilities are virtually endless when you mix fabric and thread combinations. I'm using the same design in several different way... [More]

Ann's Sweetest Heart Collection: Perfect for Your Sweetheart

Ann's Sweetest Heart Collection makes it fun and easy to create a variety of special valentines you can't find in any big box store. And, for a limited time, purchase the small, large, or full collections, and get a Valentines Sayings pack absolutely FREE. Intricate, yet delicate, the des... [More]

Get Organized and Save Money Doing It!

It's just a number on a calendar, but the new year usually brings with it a desire to regroup and reorganize. Tired of looking for designs you know you have but can't locate? It just isn't any fun anymore. With the sheer number of embroidery designs amassed, the task of organizing them... [More]

Thinking Out of the Block: Embroidering on Pieced Fabrics

Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of machine embroidery is its versatility. Embroidery can easily stand alone or, when combined with pieced blocks, become a personalized second-dimension embellishment.   The Blocks I fussy-cut four 6.25-inch blocks from a striped fabric (I used Jackie... [More]

Great Gift Ideas for the Creative People in Your Life

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Stumped as to what to get your favorite quilter, embroiderer, or craftsperson? Hate the idea of Black Friday chaos? Shop from the convenience and comfort of home, 24 hours a day, any day of the week, on AnntheGran.com. Here are some suggestions. (If fri... [More]

Merry and Bright: Christmas Embroidery with Lights!

The new Merry and Bright collection from Amazing Designs incorporates blinking lights with embroidery for an adorable holiday accent unlike anything I've ever seen.   Ten eyelets are embroidered within 14 different designs. Eyelets are then cut out for placement of 10 LED Fabric... [More]

Quick and Easy Gift Card Holders

Christmas is just around the corner and gift cards are the perfect one-size-fits-all. Who couldn't use a gas card, grocery card, movie card, or restaurant card? This quick and easy project can be individualized for each recipient to add a personal touch. Materials Needed: Pattern (download) ... [More]

Halloween Applique: Not Just for Clothing Anymore

Applique is usually reserved for embellishing clothing or quilted items. Unfortunately, that doesn't allow for much face time. Holiday applique is especially vulnerable to a short shelf life. But by it's very nature, applique is perfect for holiday decorating where it can be v... [More]

Battenberg Lace Tree Skirt Makes a Unique Wedding Gift

Typical gift ideas for newlyweds include linens, fine china, or kitchen wares. But if you are looking for a wedding gift unlike any other, consider a monogrammed Christmas tree skirt. Ann's Battenberg Lace tree skirt looks quite elegant and is perfect for beginner ... [More]