Rise Above the Ordinary with Silk Flower Embroidery

It’s great to find a new embroidery effect, and it’s even better when it’s as easy as the silk flower technique. Jackie Woods of www.greatnotions.com introduced me to the concept, and I found it absolutely stunning.   Jackie u... [More]

Keeping It simple - Frosty the Minky Pink Snowman

One of our granddaughters loves Frosty the Snowman.  We sing the song daily - even when it is 100+ degrees here.  We read the book almost as often.  So I decided to create a Frosty sweatshirt for her even though winter isn't here yet.  When I asked her what color sweatshirt s... [More]

Spooktacular Halloween Projects

I really enjoyed locking myself into my sewing room and creating these Halloween projects.  I think the color combinations of Halloween must be very pleasing to me, so I tend to collect lots of designs and fabrics for that holiday.  It was easy to dip into my stash of designs and work up a... [More]

Back to School, TGIBTS

[View:/cs/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/avid-embroiderer.Back+2+School+2010/A-Haunted-Moon.zip]It may be true that in the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.  However, it is autumn that has a parental dance called, Thank Goodness... [More]

Hooping from the Inside Out

 Bag from www.embroiderthis.com Have you ever tried to embroider something and thought you would have to crawl inside it to hoop it?  Well, sometimes that is exactly what we have to do! Many items that have small openings are challlenging, but they can indeed be embroidered with a l... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Tags All in the Hoop

I went to have lunch with my granddaughter this week.  It was fun but one thing that amazed me was how many lunch boxes looked just alike.  And they were all jumbled together in huge tubs so it took the kids some time to find the one that belonged to them.  So, this week we made In-th... [More]

FREE: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on Sky Drive and Catalog Xpress Tip #6 Multiple Sorting

It seems like it was very recent when we were learning computers, the Internet and cell phones.  I am on my sixth computer and I cannot remember how many cell phones I have had.  Change is inevitable; stand still and you will be run over.  Sky Drive, a program by Microsoft, is one o... [More]

Fancy Jumbles Diaper Changing Pad

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets canbe found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available in packs, as described inthis blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs available in multiple size... [More]

Keeping It Simple Embroidered Magnet Mania

Kids love to display their art on the fridge.  Adults too seem to stick up lists, reminders and notices where they can be easily accessed..  So, many marketers send information to us printed on these soft magnets in hopes that we will put them in this often viewed place in our homes.  ... [More]

Freebies, Dead Links and a Puzzle, and Catalog Xpress Tip #5, Recoloring and Backgrounds

If you have been online more than 1 week, you probably have a lot of "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" that you have accumulated.  I am a collector of links.  If I think I may be interested in something, but don't have the time at the moment and I create a Favorite. Beca... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Big Kid Hooded Towels

The girls are growing fast.  They love their baby towels with the hoods but are outgrowing them now.  When they complained about being cold after their bath the other night mom and I decided to make them larger "big girl" hooded towels for Christmas.  Then we remembered that... [More]

Free Artwork Software and Catalog Xpress, Tip #4, Conversions.

Drawing and designing is usually limited to those who have talent, I am not included in that group.  However, I did find a method of creating interesting designs that is fun and amusing for me.  I hope you like it too. Livebrush, is a fun way to create some interesting effects.  If y... [More]

Summer is super busy with African Folklore Embroidery

It was such an honor being invited by the South African consulate to exhibit my art-quilt, BEADED AFRICAN VILLAGE, for the hosting of the final game of the world cup soccer.  I got to meet and spent time with the delightful Vice Consul general as well as other African consulate members who were... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Sewing for Sunday

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Our youngest has a baby girl now overdue.  But for several weeks she was put on bed rest - mostly due to extreme swelling.  So the rest of the family shared taking care of the other two (five years and two years old).  We kept them at our hous... [More]

Free Taskbar Calendar and Catalog Xpress Tip #3, Resize

This is absolutely my favorite computer clock and it includes a calendar!!!  I am not happy with a calendar that is on my desktop because it seems like it is always in the way.  In the Taskbar (lower right hand corner of most screens) is perfect because it shows me the day of the week, dat... [More]

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 th... [More]

South Africa, soccer, art and culture.... African Folklore Embroidery Exhibition and Competitions

In the next few weeks’ world attention will be focused on South Africa as a million visitors arrive for the FIFA 2010 world cup soccer. Not since the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 has so much attention been given to this country of forty-eight million people at the southern tip of... [More]

Keeping It Simple- Lampshade Makeovers

Our oldest grandaughter is getting a new room.  This has been in process for some time since her parents are updating their house at the same time.  So new trim, new doors and flooring were needed as well as paint and décor.  Papa will paint the trim next week end and... [More]

Hanging Zipper Caddy

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

Great Photography and Catalog Xpress Tip #2, Search

  If you enjoy good photography as much as I do, you will love this freebie.  National Geographic is one of the most outstanding photographic presenters of the world and I believe it will remain so for eternity.  Others may come and go, but some things are enduring.  Check this ... [More]

The Ultimate Baby Basket

Hello Fellow Embroidery Lovers!I am so excited to be writing my first blog entry at an Institution among us long-time embroiderers – annthegran. I have known Ann for many years and I can tell you that she is the real deal – what a treasure she has been to all of us who love embroidery a... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Keeping It Simple - Keeping Track of the Camera Lens Cover (and more)

My daughters and I love to take pictures.   With digital cameras  we take lots and lots.  However with three little ones almost always in tow one big problem I now encounter is keeping  track of the lens cover.  And Andrea is always looking for hers, digging i... [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]

12 Household Tools for the Machine Embroiderer

By Eileen Roche We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog Digital Camera– best design tool in the house (besides pencil and paper). I use a digital ca... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents : Traveling Made Easy

Vacations & traveling can be fun!  What isn’t so fun is all the hoops you have to jump thru to get to your destination though.  With all the heightened security since 9/11, going thru airport security can be an adventure. Making sure everything in your luggage complies with all... [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]

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. https://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]

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 [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]

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]

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]

Keeping It Simple Storage Cubes Big and Little - Part 3

Tired of boxes yet?  I'm not.  I am hooked for sure.  This one is VERY simple. I made a bunch of these little ones in no time at all. Some for me and some for the girls schoolroom.  But this is the last one,  Here is my smallest storage cube: What you need: One 15&qu... [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]

Keeping It Simple Storage Cubes Big and Little - Part 2

This sewing room organization may take all year at the rate I am going.  It's a great idea to give everything a "home" but I had no idea that I has so much stuff.  Anyway I said I would do a tutorial on different ways to make those little fabric cubes. I have to warn you that... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Storage Cubes Big and Little - Part 1

Organize, organize and organize some more.  I decided to give my sewing room a makeover of sorts.  The goal however, is to repurpose as many items as possible without spending much money.  Well, this could take all year -that is how bad my room is.  But as it comes along I will s... [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]

Embroidery Advisor Presents: Unique Sports Applique Alphabets

Sporting events have been around for a long time and as a parent you are more than likely going to be attending some of these events as your children are growing up.  Whether they win or lose the most important thing is how you look at these sporting functions.  To help you look as sh... [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]

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]

In-the-hoop Cookies

The girls love to play with the kitchen that their dad made for them.  Their play kitchen isn't [More]