Keeping It Simple - A Beautiful Lace Snowflake and Easy Turtles too.

Well, the Christmas music is playing everywhere, most of the shopping is done but the sewing pile still looms, at least at my house.  I have at least four more gifts to make before Christmas Day.  November and December have been busier than usually with things unplanned but just part of li... [More]

Create Timeless Keepsakes with Shadow Work - by Machine!

Shadow Work by Machine is a technique invented, perfected and patented by designer Suzanne Hinshaw. Patented designs created Suzanne are the only genuine, legitimate designs for shadow work by machine. That's fine - because her designs are timeless and elegant and are totally goof-proof. I promi... [More]

Contour Clock Apron

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

Wrap up some Sweet Treats!

Seasons Greetings Everyone! If you happened to catch my blog around Halloween, you  may remember that I used the cutest designs from Amazing Designs---little candy corn characters dressed up for Halloween.  It was the “Sweet Halloween I” collection.  Well I had so much ... [More]

Free Slideshow Program and Alphabet Xpress Tip #3, stitch view

There are several very nice slideshow programs on the Internet, but I thought that this one was the best.   Most of the freebies are minimal and require that you download their data down to your PC.  As I have noted several times, more and more of the software will be purchased/used/a... [More]

Embroider Shirt Cuffs for Christmas

Do you love the look of monograms on men's cuffs? This is a stylish touch that almost any man can appreciate. The trick is to create these small wonders in the correct size, without bulky corners and with proper placement. You can get confidence to embroider cuffs by practicing on cuffs fro... [More]

New Holiday Designs from African Folklore Embroidery

Exciting New Holiday Designs from African Folklore Embroidery We have several new designs just in time for the Holidays. Some of these include the new Hanukkah designs (this year Hanukkah starts December 1st.) Two special designs that celebrate this holiday include the Hanukah Menorah; it is custom... [More]

Keeping It Simple - A Cute Christmas Stocking

I'm not sure why but I really enjoy making Christmas stockings.  I have made traditional ones, funky ones, country ones and elegant ones depending on who they are for.   We always make a stocking for each new addition to our family.  Some years, with weddings and births, we h... [More]

A Family Freebie, Scanners and Alphabet Xpress, Tip #2, Buying Fonts

There are many resources for looking for ancestors and relatives online.  www.FamilySearch.org reviews a number of sites, speeds up your search and is free.  Good luck finding those who may be related to you. You may already own a scanner or just be considering one for your home use. ... [More]

Keeping it Simple - Easy Runners for Small places

A while back, our oldest daughter painted her dining area walls orange.  We all thought she was a little crazy but with her black furniture it actually looks very nice.  She has a small table on one side and has been looking for a runner for quite some time now.  She really didn't... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Specialty Pillowcases

Last week Emma and I were at the fabric store picking up some fabric for my aunt who is 94 and still sewing.  While we were looking Emma saw this horse fabric and went nuts over it.  "Meesy, we just have to make something with this!" she said.  Now, why this little girl is s... [More]

Speed Up Start Up of your PC; Intro to Alphabet Xpress

Most Help Desk people will remind you to do certain steps, depending on your computer, to help speed up your PC.  Vista does the Defrag and Check Disk in the background, so you can do those if you like, but it is not likely to make any difference in start-up speed. It is a fact that getting ri... [More]

Paisley Apron Embroidery

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

Keeping it Simple - Easy Tutu skirts and Black Cats

Our family has been invited to several Halloween gatherings this year.  The first is this weekend - a whole week before the 31st!  This is Friday and the girls costumes are not quite finished.  But the girls are very excited about dressing up for  these events.  One dec... [More]

Christmas Stocking Embroidery

Christmas season always brings requests for embroidering names on stockings. This may make you wish that you could crawl into a cave and hibernate with the bears until Spring! Yet stockings can be conquered and in doing so, you bring happiness and create heirlooms. For this reason, I have always tri... [More]

Keeping It Simple - The Big Tote It

You can never have too many bags.  We use bags for everything from storing tiny toys to carrying our groceries in "green" bags.  But last week my daughter decided she needed a huge bag. She teaches science two days a week at a local Christian school.  But since she shares th... [More]

Skype and Catalog Xpress Tip #9, add Alphabet Xpress

If you have not yet tried Skype, you are missing one of the finest features the Internet has to offer. Most people know that you can call users worldwide if they have the correct equipment for free.  But did you know that: You can send files Send Instant Messages (IM) Create a conference... [More]

Winners in Creativity for African Folklore Embroidery

And The Winner is………   Over twenty thousand people viewed the African Folklore Embroidery entries at the International Quilt Show in Long Beach.  As many of my readers know I travel around the country lecturing and teaching African Folklore Embroidery. I am always a... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Spiders, Ruffles and Ghosts, Oh My!

Halloween is just around the corner and with so many costumes to make this year I decided two things: 1) They need to be fairly simple, and 2) I need to start earlier than I have in the past.  The two older girls each have a definite ideas of what they want to be.  But what ... [More]

Safety Information, Free Posters for your school and Catalog Xpress Tip #8, Printing Your Designs

We are all trying to be more ‘green' these days, but some things may remain in your home that you are uncertain about.  Green means more environmentally safe, but I use some items that I really cannot do without.   I want to know exactly what is in those products.  It m... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Great Embroidery Mysteries - The Case of the Messy Alphabet

  Digitizing Mystery  I began digitizing alphabets eight or nine years ago. I like doing it and I take a lot of pride in my work. You can imagine how distressed I was when I began receiving a few messages telling me that the capital and lower case letter "A' was appearing as a b... [More]

Tons and Tons of Questions - Who Has Answers?

HH (Hello Hello!) Fellow Embroiderers,  How are ALL of you??? What things are you doing these days???!!!!! How many NEW embroiders are out there like me. (I stitched my 1st design last week. Yeah!!!). It would also be interesting to find out who has embroidere... [More]

Introducing Crash Course Cathy...

Hello Hello fellow  AnntheGran Embroiderers & New Orlando Circle of Friends!!!! :):):), Who Am I?  For those of you who attended the VERY SPECIAL 1st annual AnntheGran's convention in Orlando in April, you may remember me...it was pretty hard to miss my loud scream and waving arm... [More]

But first, a word from our sponsor . . .

Okay, that would be me, but now that I've got your attention I want to first address a couple of questions that were posted in the comments from last week's post. I thought I'd answer them here, rather than there, because the answers might be of interest to many of you. For LolliConn, w... [More]

You Ruined My Brand New Silk Blouse!

Every now and then I'll receive an angry email that goes something like this: "I used one of the free designs from your site and it sewed out terribly and ruined my brand new silk blouse. Don't you sew out those free designs before you put them on your site?"Well the truth is that ... [More]

Sometimes the Third Time is the Charm...

Challenges & Lessons: So, I looked at the Laughing Cow box for a week. I picked it up. I measured it. I didn't want to do something with the box just for the sake of doing something with it. Now, this box is fairly flimsy. And shallow. Then I looked around for something that would fit in the... [More]

A Magic Bookshelf Game - What Are Tags and How Do I Use Them?

Let's Play Tags - I'm It!  My kids still play Tag, even though the oldest one becomes a teenager this month (), so I'm going to assume that, like me, you are not too old to play a variation of this age-old game. The game I want to play with you is called Tags, with an 's&#... [More]

AnnTheGran's Spring Cleaning Challenges

I've read all the forum posts from folks saying how much they enjoyed our (first annual??) Community Circle. Thank you so much for posting. I want to add, though, that no one had a better time than I did. I arrived home invigorated and ready to get back up to my elbows in embroidery.  Tote... [More]

Community Circle Thanks and Video Demonstrations

Hi, everyone!  Well, I think I've recovered from our fabulous Community Circle! I want to thank everyone who attended as well as Diane and Pardeep for keeping things running smoothly and, of course, Greg, for overseeing everything. Thanks also to Eileen Roche for her terrific classes,... [More]

Brotherly Love, Online Scrapbooking & Ideas from Down Under

Greetings, friends! Once again, I have been truly humbled by the sheer numbers of you who took time to consider and respond to my last post. I received hundreds of e-mails from well-wishers as far away as South Africa, Korea and Australia, all with essentially the same message: we wish we could joi... [More]

Ruffled Crib Quilt from Down Under

Every grandmother counts it a blessing when another child comes into her life.  Each set of tiny hands and feet hold a special place in her heart forever.  When the newest addition made his appearance to the Jenkins family it was just what Leanne needed to inspire her to expand her embroid... [More]

The Digital Scrapbook - Memories in the Magic Bookshelf

(If the text is cut off on the right side of the screen, please click on the post title above to view a corrected version)  Where's Your Shoebox? Whoever you are, wherever you are, the chances are pretty good that, at some point in your life, you've taken some pictures, and there... [More]

Easter Break to Prepare for Community Circle

Hi, everyone, The gang here is taking a little break for Easter and using the time to polish off some final preparations for my Community Circle event in Orlando, so I thought I'd just put together a brief note to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking -- well, moving my le... [More]

On Feeling Young, New Friends & Lunch in Orlando

Thanks for your Feedback I'm really pleased that all of you really took to heart my request in my last letter to get involved with commenting on the new site. We had the most comments and participation we've had since I started blogging. Your feedback really does encourage me and my guests ... [More]

Putting Knowledge in The Magic Bookshelf - What is a Wiki?

Who do You Trust for Information?  Where do you go when you need to know whether something is true or not? Is there a person you ask, or a place you go? Think about it -- everyone needs to have somewhere, something, or someone to help establish what is fact and what is fict... [More]

Introducing....Deegee!

Who’s Deegee, you may ask?  Well, for those of you who don't know me, please permit me to introduce myself. I live in Southern Texas, I’m married, mom to 4 wonderful adult children and “Nanee” to 3 beautiful granddaughters and 1 very special little grandson.  And I’m like so many... [More]

Blouse Border Design using Shoes

I created this blouse border design by lining up various different shoes from my Fancy Footwork collection. To make the shoes fit together as a cohesive group it was necessary to reverse and rotate most of the designs until they created the right flow. Click here for a larger view of the screenshot ... [More]

Texas Hold-em T-Shirt

This t-shirt design, perfect for Friday night's poker game, was created by combining the cards and chips from my "It's A Boy's Life" collection. I then simply added the lettering "Texas Hold'em" using the Fairbanks block, which is a standard font included with Com... [More]

Paisley Stripe T-Shirt

Three designs make up this paisley stripe around the entire T-shirt when made from combining designs from my Paisley Passion collection. These surprisingly versatile designs can be combined to create an unending number of designs from tiny to all-over designs. Click here for a larger view of the scr... [More]

Embroidered Sheepdog Wallhanging Using Photos

Like many of us, Barbara Schleter has more than one passion.  Here she has combined her long time love of Shetland Sheepdogs with her more recent passion for embroidery.   Barbara has done a great job of sharing her thoughts on creating personalized gifts for those who are special to ... [More]

Welcome to the Magic Bookshelf - What is a Blog?

The Magic Bookshelf Imagine that you sit down at your machine one day to make something for someone, and you realize that there is a part of your project that you aren't sure how to complete. Imagine if you could then point your hands toward any bookshelf in your house and summon it to float th... [More]

Chanel Inspired Tee

The Chanel inspired jewelry design on this black t-shirt was created from the chains, pearls, and heart charm from my "Beads, Baubles and Bling" collection. This fun collection allows you to create necklaces, bracelets, pins and rings from a large variety of gems, charms and chains. C... [More]

Orlando Itinerary, Handsome Men & New Project

So Much To Share!  I have so much to share with you this week that I hardly know where to begin. Like many of you (but not all of you ), I love our new site, especially the way it lets people in our community talk to each other. Free designs are great, and I know that's why many of yo... [More]

Brighten Someone's Spirit with a Verse Lap Quilt

Quilts, whether large or small, can brighten the spirit and bring a bit of joy to those who need it in almost any situation.  Made with love and detailed with words of comfort, Susan Osborn shows us how a simple but heartfelt project can help make the days a little better for others.&... [More]

Western Wedding Quilt

Keeping up with traditions can be a challenge when you are as far away from your family as Debbie  Martin is.  But she obviously spends a lot of time and energy to share her love with family as shown in the wedding quilt as well as others who will appreciate the warmth of a handmade gift -... [More]

Community Circle April 3-4 in Orlando - Registration Ready at Long Last!

It's the gathering of the year and even if this is the first time you have joined me I know you'll be re-energized and ready to go after two full days with Eileen Roche and me. We'll share our best techniques and insider tips for expressing yourself through embroidery. For all the detai... [More]

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community!

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community! Many people know AnnTheGran.com for free embroidery designs, and that's great, but now the site offers so much more. If you've just been using my site to get free designs, you've been missing out! Answers to All Your Questions If you have a questio... [More]

Embroidered Hot Cup Wraps

We had so many requests for Diane’s hot cup wraps from an earlier promotion that we decided we shoul [More]

AnnTheGran Community Circle in Orlando - A Few More Hints

OK, gals, mark your calendars today – April 3rd and 4th – less than 9 weeks away. It’s time to get together and re-energize our passion for embroidery at the first annual AnnTheGran Community Circle retreat. I love sunny Orlando and we’ll spend two whole days exploring innovative techniques, inspira... [More]