The Avid Embroiderer Presents – World's Second Oldest Profession and an Easter Freebie

I have recently discovered the world's second oldest profession. We need many things and have our own jobs to do, but these jobs are more "self-appointed" careers. Without these people holding these very responsible positions, how would we ever know when we are doing dumb things?

I am talking about the critics. They may or may not have participated in the particular body of work, but they do participate in the portion where we tell the creator what we think of their creations. What is interesting about the critic is that they often fail to really give us complete information on why the situation is in good or poor condition.

For several years in my working career, I was a teacher. Because I taught Computer applications to adults in a workplace environment, I was critiqued almost on a daily basis. That situation tends to make you feel like a pin cushion.

At any rate, I was looking for a design on the Ann The Gran site, and I noticed the ratings information. ATG's system is an interesting and good reflection of the average rating system. There are 1 to 5 stars with 5 being the best and a place for any comments you want to share.

I advocate learning in as many venues as possible. Believe me, a rating system, used correctly, can be a great place to learn new things. Are you a skeptic? Well, here is my take on reviewing someone's work.

Criticism, like its cousin, discipline, have come to generally mean negative activities. The facts are that these words mean both sides of a situation. Criticize means to positively appraise, assess, and make commentary in addition to objections, zapping it or finding flaws or inaccuracies.

Discipline means to educate, practice and prepare in addition to being strict and incurring rules that come with consequences. 

And don't forget constructive criticism wherein something might be better served by an alternative approach. I usually use such phrases as "may I suggest . . . " or "a possible alternative might be . . ." so I am attempting to be less unpleasant and more helpful.

All of my suggestions can go with any rating system. Here are some ratings that educate, apprise and even inspire. And, as an added bonus, if you decide to reproduce your project in the future, check back to those ratings/tips to remind you of special tip or trick.

Make sure that your ratings have some benefits for others from your own experience. You don't need to be a professional writer to do this, just write as you would relate information to a friend over coffee. Use words like "I noted . . . " or "I felt that there could be . . . " or "use of this item can . . . "  If negative issues have occurred, use phrases such as "in my personal experience. . . " or "your results may differ from mine . . ."  None of these suggestions makes a bragging or gloating comment, rather, it expresses a first-hand opinion.

You already know that in embroidery, situations can vary. One person can feel very strongly about a stabilizer and another person may feel it is a totally unworthy product. But that is how we learn and grow. Here is to expressing yourself today!! You could even leave a Comment rating this blog.

Lastly, here is your freebie Easter Design -

Easter bunny 2017 from the avid (227.7KB)

Side note (a little off topic) - Did you know that there is a Critics Pulitzer's Prize? That prize is $1,000,000!  You may remember Roger Ebert from the movie reviews a few years ago. Two little known facts about him are - #1 In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. And, in his personal life, he was a longtime friend of, and briefly dated, Oprah Winfrey, who credited him with persuading her to syndicate The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Comments (1) -

My last few freebies were my own creations. I am still learning to digitize and this one was very challenging for me.

I am not particularly impressed with what I did, I know I need to understand more about the various methods. If you would like to make suggestions, please do so right here in the Comments area. They will be here for me and others to learn and improve.

I truly hope you enjoy embroidery and its challenges as much as I do.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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Wedding Handkerchiefs - Stitch Out and Touch Someone

Wedding Handkerchiefs - Stitch Out and Touch Someone


It's summer and wedding season is in full swing! I still get lots of requests to make keepsake wedding handkerchiefs. These are very personal and are the very best gift for the bride or groom to give to the special people in their life on the special day. Many people like to give them at the rehearsal dinner so they can be put to good use at the wedding!

This all started with the original poem intended to be given by the bride to the mother of the groom. I have now made others for the groom to give to the mother of the bride, and for each to give to their own mothers or a special friend.

The wording for the original goes like this:

Your son is such a special man

And I know that it is true

He would not be the man I love

If it were not for you.


So if upon our wedding day,

You shed a happy tear,

Just save it in this handkerchief

And know I hold you dear.

Once I made one of these for a bride-to-be named Cynthia. When I saw her after her wedding, I asked her how her new mother-in-law liked her handkerchief. She said, "Honey, I could rob banks and she wouldn't care." I took that to mean it was a hit!

Here are my instructions on making the handkerchief. I buy my blanks from various sources, including, and

Embroidering A Keepsake Hankdkerchief
Step 1
Select a nice quality cotton handkerchief with a suitable embroidery area. I use a size 13” square for most of my handkerchief embroidery. It is best to use a handkerchief of at least this dimension so that it can be secured in the hoop on all edges. This helps prevent dips or wavy lettering on this lightweight fabric.

Step 2
Print a template of the wedding poem from your embroidery software. Cut off the excess paper margins. Use this as a guide to help position the handkerchief in the hoop. The poem versions almost fill the hoop for which it was composed, so it is not possible to include a dedication or closing to stitch with the poem in a single hooping. The personalization portions require additional hooping steps. While it would be possible to hoop the handkerchief in a larger hoop and include the personalizations, the resulting embroidery will not be as high-quality. It is important to hold the handkerchief securely in a two ring hoop for best results.


If you will add a dedication and signature line to the poem, leave more margin above the hoop than below the hoop. The dedication (Dear _____ ) requires only one line, but the closing requires three lines of text (Love, Name and Date). For best results, print separate templates for the dedications as well as the poem.

Hoop the handkerchief with mid-weight water-soluble stabilizer below the handkerchief, secured in the hoop along with the handkerchief. Aside from suitable lettering, this is the most important key to your successful project. There are three weights of water-soluble stabilizer in most complete stabilizer product lines. For example, in the Sulky product line, the three weights are:
Solvy – Lightweight
Super Solvy – Mid-weight
Ultra-Solvy – Heavy-weight

Step 3
Load the poem into your machine. Rotate to the direction that you have hooped your handkerchief. Place the hooped handkerchief in the machine and use your trace function to trace the design or lettering area for your lettering or design.  If your machine does not trim between lines of lettering, stop the machine at the end of each line and clip the thread before beginning the next line. This will prevent thread from becoming trapped under the next line of stitching.

in machine

When the poem is complete, remove it from the hoop. The handkerchief should lie flat, without puckers. If your handkerchief is puckered, loosen your top tension before stitching another. Work with your tensions and hooping technique to achieve a pucker-free result.

Pull away large pieces of stabilizer. Use the tips of your embroidery scissors to release the stabilizer between the lines of the poem. You do not need to wet the handkerchief to remove the small bits of stabilizer because they are transparent.

remove stabilizer

After you have removed the stabilizer, press the reverse side of the handkerchief using a warm iron and a pressing cloth. If you add personalizations, rehoop with a smaller hoop, using the midweight water-soluble stabilizer.

Present in pretty tissue wrapping and gift box.


You can find five versions of wedding poems available for sale at my website,

You can purchase them for download or as a kit with three handkerchiefs. I hope you will enjoy stitching these poems for your family and friends on their special day as much as I do.

May embroidery always bring you joy,

See you in a couple of weeks,


Comments (7) -

What a lovely idea,something special to treasure and unique to the person

Very sweet poem and gift idea.

I have been a big fan for a long time.  I am delighted you are blogging here.


Love it!

What a great idea... love it

Love this idea. However I am new at this so I was wondering what Machine you use and what type of software? I have brother project runway sewing machine and embroidery machine in one

Thank you,

Love your font. What is it? I am doing 4 Handkerchiefs in the next week and I am looking for a good font to use.

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