Halloween Costume – A Dancing Princess

  This week I finished putting up my Halloween decorations.  I made a few new ones this year, since my old ones were simply falling apart.  Instead of the scarecrow on the front door I made a wall hanging that is interchangeable for each holiday.  But that is a project I will sh... [More]

The Extinction of the Professional Digitizer

In today's market the true professional digitizer who knows how to create crisp small letters, make your sewing machine sing through a 200k stitch design without a thread break and create some of the best looking embroidery you will see on material are becoming extinct.  Those who are becom... [More]

I have no idea what this is going to look like?

Fall is my favorite season. I love how the weather changes from brutally hot to just perfect! I love being cozy and taking out my current stitching project, curling up on a chair beside the fire and watching how my African Folklore Embroidery design takes on a life of its own. My parents are current... [More]

Public Domain-Freeware and Uninstall Programs

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista. When you think about the amount of money you are spending on your PC and related items, it might make you feel like you have spent more than the benefits warrant.  With a PC, buying the initial equipment is just the start.&n... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts, Spuds in a Bag

It’s Chilly here in Alabama today.  That is to say, rainy 70 degrees feels cold compared with 90+ degrees.  This has been a frustrating day.  I have a little project that I wanted to talk about this time.  However, I’ve lost the special ruler I need for the project.&n... [More]

Keeping It Simple – Halloween Masks for My Pumpkins.

OK, I admit it.  I despise making jack-O-lanterns.  The carving is OK but in my mind cleaning out the pumpkin guts has never been fun.  Yuck-O!  And because it gets so cold here before Halloween these hollowed out orange decorations many times look like little old men by Trick or... [More]

Speed Test & Copyrights

The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista. Speed Testing Your PC If you are among the more progressive computer users, you may just be using ‘wireless' computing.  There are so many advantages to that networking, not the least of which is the fact that many peop... [More]

Life's a Beach

Well since the last time I wrote I have celebrated my birthday in style and had a nice vacation to boot!  My husband worked so hard to give a me a "Surprise Birthday" party and he really succeeded.  It was a surprise party with a beach theme at a seashore restaurant.  One of... [More]

Be Productive

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

Growing Your Business

Hi again. Well it has been a great week!   Thank you for all your questions and energetic comments regarding frames.  The response has been so overwhelming that we have put together a Webinar regarding frames, their Uses and were to get them.   Join me as I present "Hoo... [More]

Quick Launch Toolbar and Password Tips

  I enjoy working with computers and the software that runs them.  I will try to have my tips cover both XP and Vista when possible.  I know that so many of you are really MAC fans, but I do not have MAC tips, sorry. If there is something I love more than machine embroidery (and I r... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Buttons and Bows

Being the "Meesy" to two beautiful granddaughters I am always on the lookout for cute things that I can make for them or with them.  They are very girly girls and love fancy ribbons, barrettes and bows.  Last weekend I went on a getaway with a friend and we browsed through shops ... [More]

Creating a Niche with Embroidery Frames

Hello, My name is Scott Phillips and I am happy to have you here with us at Scott's Corner. I have been in the embroidery industry for 20 years and my family has nearly 30 years experience in production embroidery and monogramming. I believe that being an informed embroiderer on the latest te... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts EXPERIENCE, not best teacher

Hello there, everyone.  First, I want to tell you the reason for the title of this BLOG. Monday, I did exactly what I’ve been telling you all this time NOT TO DO.  I cut MY finger with the rotary cutter.  Yup!  I did it.  I am glad to say that it’s not very ba... [More]

Monogramming your own Wedding Gifts !!

So, in the last year, I was lucky enough to get engaged, survived the familiy phone calls asking me about her, made it through an engagement party, a bridal shower, meeting her family and more people than I could ever hope to remember .. and, tomorrow is the rehear... [More]

Threads are not all the same and neither are the methods to embroider towels

Threads for Thought: Two New Lines for Your Next Project Experienced decorators know that quality lies stitch deep. With so many thread options to choose from, embroiderers can customize the look and feel of every project they produce. Further expanding its line of quality threads, Brother Internat... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Halloween Costumes

Halloween is closer than you think! I always get excited now that I have two granddaughters to watch. It makes the holiday so much more fun.  I love listening to the older one tell me what she wants to be and deciding for her sister. Last year they were invited to a party. We had a great time c... [More]

Sewing in the kitchen with NS40 Project Runway machine!

You just never know who is going to be on the other end of the phone line when you get a call these days!  Just the other day my phone rang at 4 pm on a Friday and it was the "Rachael Ray" show calling.  Honest!  An associate producer of the show was wondering if I had ... [More]

Keeping It Simple – Mouse Pad Revival

This was not the original project that I planned for this week but was inspired out of necessity.  I am forever trying to do more than one thing at a time and this morning was no exception.  I was going along answering emails, downloading some items that I needed and eating break... [More]

LaRueSews-Your Wish Is My Command

Hi Everyone.  It’s been a few weeks since I met you here at LaRueSews-Quilts.  I’ve taken a little time off to re-group, rest and plan.  Now as you asked, it’s time to announce the LaRueSews Block of the Month.  I will go along with the government and provide an... [More]

Fleece Neck Roll Cover with Contour Cut-Outs

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 sizes,choose the size you wan... [More]

It's HOT!!!

It's HOT!!! Here in NJ it has finally passed the 90 degree mark...now it's summer for real.    It's HOT!!! Remember that I promised that there would be great new machines introduced at the annual Brother convention?  When our dealers convened in Memphis last week the... [More]

The embroidery business in today's marketplace ..

"Hello, yeah, it's been a while / Not much, how 'bout youI'm not sure why I "blogged" / I guess I really just wanted to talk to you" ~ hmmm, that sounds familiar .. OK OK .. I've taken some time off, but wedding plans are really eating up my free time ..I long f... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Strap Covers and Handle Wraps

Well, it's August and the "Dog Days of Summer" have finally arrived here.  That means it is hot, hot, hot and when the temps get up around 100 degrees it is time to let the garden go and sew.  I am done putting up corn, beans, berries and peaches.  I do not wish to see a... [More]

Using Up Those Embroidery Test Sews

I would have to call myself a fabric junkie. I love solid colored fabric and prints and buy it even when I have no earthly idea of what I will do with it. I have so much fabric that my daughters always come by and "shop" in my sewing room before making a trip to the fabric store.  And... [More]

A Challenge, A Surprise, and A Win

Yesterday was a day of fun and prizes for the members of the Memory Makers Quilt Guild.  At the first meeting in 2009, I gave the members of my guild a Challenge.  The Challenge was to make a quilt that fit all the requirement sets out in the rules of the challenge.  The challenge was... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Zero calorie cupcakes

When I was a little girl growing up in South Africa, Fridays were always special baking days and cupcakes were my favorite thing to bake with my mother and sister. Even better than baking the cupcakes was the frosting and decorating of them afterwards. My mother would decorate each cupcake with twir... [More]

New Contour-Cut Outs Alphabet from Fancy Jumbles

     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]

LaRueSews-Quilts,1/2-Square Triangles, Easy?

This blog could be considered as an Anniversary Blog, since it has been a year and seven days since I posted my very first Blog.  I didn’t think it would last this long.  But thanks to all of you and your faithfulness, I’m still here.  Also, I’d like to give a lot of... [More]

Girl Friend Get Togethers

As it happens I have 2 daughter in laws who are quite entrepreneurial!  This week Kendal was invited to bring her Pampered Chef product to an event that had 50 attendees who also got to look at other wares that included aprons.  As it happens a local gal has begun a business making aprons,... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Binding Isn’t the End

The subject matter this time is probably one of the “testiest” that I have approached.  We are nearing the end of making a quilt from start to finish.  Adding the bind is the best part, right up to stitching down the binding on the back.  The photos I am using were ma... [More]

Keeping It Simple with a Quick Casserole Carrier

If you are like me, you subscribe to more than one embroidery and quilting magazine and scour them all front to back when you finally get the chance. Sometimes I'm inspired by the projects in the magazines but many times I'm overwhelmed. And any time that I sit down to sew I'm likely... [More]

The Prom, the Purse and the Lady

Last time we met here, I left you with two photos that I said I would Identify when I came back from my little sojourn from the BLOG.  Here’s some answers for you.  Several months ago, my granddaughter told me that she planned to make her prom dress.  Since she was a senior... [More]

How a computer stopped an embroidery business ..

Computer repair can be costly, I don't just mean out of pocket cash .. but, cash that doesn't reach your pocket because your computer issues are halting business.  As you can probably tell, I have been MIA for the last 2-3 weeks.  Blame the computer .. I spent hours of my time tryi... [More]

Flag Day Celebration

Did you know that Flag Day is this Sunday?  It is nice to take a moment and remember how gratef [More]

Tea for two

Some people are surprised by our African tea cup designs... Why tea cups? What do tea cups and teapots have to do with Africa? Good question. What many people do not know is that South Africa used to be a British colony. For many years the British ruled South Africa and as a result many of the Briti... [More]

Where exactly did I put that? You mean I could make money tagging other people's precious items?

Every month is Start Your Own Business these days, but Brother has gotten serious about this concept.  Infact if you go to our website you can see a great financial opportunity that we have for you all.  You can actually save lots of money if you buy a PR-620 NOW!  Whether you are an ... [More]

Twitter - An Annual or Perennial in Your Social Media Garden?

Inspirational PlaceMy family is very fortunate that our home has been blessed with a beautiful garden in spite of having nary a green thumb in sight. When my wife and I first saw this property two-and-a-half years ago, it looked like something out of a magazine - the inside was pristine and the outs... [More]

June Brides...Old and New!

Did you hear me laughing this morning? I was reading an email from Quilter's World magazine and they were recommending that you re-purpose a wedding dress into a christening gown.  Not a bad idea, but for me that would never have worked because I had a mini-length wedding dress! I rem... [More]

A new roommate, a new niece and a new quilt!

You may remember my January 17 post "What is all this stuff and how did it get into my house?" Well, the situation has worsened. There is now 3 people's stuff in a house that was already overstuffed with 2 people's stuff. How in the world can this have happened? I was just beginnin... [More]

It seems the art has 100 colors, what is a digitizer to do??!!

I just had one of those embroiderer and 'can't make up her mind' customer interactions. The antagonist of the story, played by the customer, is a great water color painter -- if you don't believe her, just ask her -- and, she brings in 3 water color paintings.  Well,... [More]

I get by with a little help from my friends

Although I haven't posted in my blog for more than 10 weeks, you all have always been close to me in my thoughts and I've felt your warm collective hug. With the help of your prayers, warm thoughts, words of condolence and encouragement I've been able to somehow get through the dark days... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts- Quilting and ME Working Together

Yes, friends of Ann The Gran, Quilting and Machine Embroidery are great partners.  They can be used in ways other than making a quilt with machine embroidered blocks.  The two following photos are the first of a number of photos what will appear on LaRueSews-Quilts in the not too distant f... [More]

Digitizing Training ~ The RUN Stitch

Sorry for taking the week off .. I really like to prep for Mother's Day .. after all, my Mom is THE Queen and I really like to dedicate the whole weekend to her .. cooking, cleaning, taking her shopping and and out to a nice dinner and maybe a movie (though there isn't much at the movies her... [More]

A Social Media Star is Born - The Many Facets of Facebook

Celebrity GossipThe prevailing wisdom of our celebritized culture seems to tell us that, when everyone has an opinion about you, you know you've done something right. Facebook is a celebrity, a big star. It's a cultural phenomenon. Everyone has an opinion on Facebook. And just as the tabloid... [More]

Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung in New Jersey.  Everyone is out and about walking and enjoying the beautiful trees as they bloom. That is here in New Jersey, apparently Mother Nature has a few things confused and my grandchildren in Colorado are still wearing their snow boots. Don’t forget though that ... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Batting, Which One Will I Choose?

We are nearing the time when you will be getting your quilt ready to quilt.  That means that you have to make some choices about batting. First of all, just what is batting.  Batting is the middle layer of the quilt that provides warmth and comfort that we all know as a quilt.  In wa... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Keeping It Simple - Create A Fabric Background and Embroider Some JOY

Have you ever just had an idea that kept calling out to you?  This is one of those projects.  More than a year ago I found this pile of blocks in the clearance section of a local department store.  The packages had been broken open and a couple of the lettered blocks were missing.&nbs... [More]

What’s on Your Bucket List? by Eileen Roche

What’s on your embroidery bucket list?  Want to get the whole embroidery experience?  Then write an embroidery bucket list.  You’ll find if you write it down, you’re apt to tackle some of those easy-to-put-off complicated embroidery projects. And once you do, y... [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]

Embroidery Advisor Presents: Ice Cold Beer

Football season has begun and you know what that means!  A lot of us will be glued in front of our HD TV screens watching and cheering on our favorite football teams and Fantasy players.  Sipping on an ice cold beer can really enhance the viewing pleasure though while your favorite team an... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Is it a Snake or a Caterpillar?

Now, here is a fun idea, complete with designs to make it, that would make a great stocking stuffer or busy bag learning toy for any preschooler on your list.  My daughter was looking for ideas one day and came across one of these cute little guys that had been made with colored felt squares.&n... [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]

Simple Casserole Carrier

              These casserole carriers are simple to make and are perfect for upcoming pot luck gatherings.  You can make them different by using an assortment of fabrics (maybe from your “stash”) and embroidery designs. Materials: 2 pieces o... [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]

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]

Keeping It Simple - Pillows with Flapped Edges

Our girls love to read.  So much that our daughter is making a special reading nook out of a closet in her schoolroom area.  The seven year old, who always wants to add her thoughts to a project brought me a picture.  The pillow had these different,  flapped edges and she asked i... [More]

Celebrate Christmas in July

We’ve just passed the halfway mark of the year, so it is time to get a jump start on your holiday projects. Whether you like to create to give or make things to decorate your home, this Christmas Tray is sure to please. Featuring the Baby Lock Enterprise 10-needle embroidery machine, our ... [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]

How To Embroider Those Adorable Stuff Animals!

Following are the instructions for embroidering these cuties!  You'll need the following: Embroiderable Cubbie of your choice Temporary Adhesive Spray Water Soluble Stablizer Medium Weight Tearaway Stabilizer       CHECK OUT ALL CUTE CUBBIES AVAILABLE HERE

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]

Sewing Box Hero

As a Quilter and Sewer I know how important it is to find products that make my projects better and easier without blowing my budget or potentially damaging my work by using something complicated or harsh on fabrics.  It is a balancing act when shopping for supplies, tools, and accessories ... [More]

10 Household Tools for the Machine Embroiderer Part 2

By Eileen Roche We received such a positive response from my recent blog: 12 Household Tools for the Machine Embroiderer that I decided to revisit this subject. JoAnn Connolly of Garden of Daisies Embroidery thinks craft foam and a cardboard carton are great reusable items ... [More]

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]