Embroidered Gadgets Caddy


     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets can
be found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available in packs, as described in
this blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs available in multiple sizes,
choose the size you want in the drop down menu box.

I love bright colors. I especially love them on a black or very dark background, where they can really pop. I also love designing and sewing useful totes, bags and caddies of all sorts. The Caddy for sewing gadgets pictured here is one gadgets caddy vvlrexample of the way I combine my interests. I'll talk about this Caddy later in this post, but first let me introduce myself.

Born and raised in St. Louis, I now live about 40 miles west of Chicago. Like many of you, I started out by sewing doll clothes. I made clothes out of felt for my troll dolls. It was in junior high (too many years ago!) that I learned to sew on a sewing machine, and I kept on with it ever since.

I started designing bags when my children were in school. I discovered that teachers love tote bags, so I made them as gifts. I also learned how useful they are for me. I can always find an excuse to make myself another tote bag.

In 1994 I first became aware of automated machine embroidery. The idea of being able to create my own designs really interested me. I finally bought my first machine, a Husqvarna Viking Designer I, in 1999. I also bought the then-current System 5 Professional embroidery software. Since then, I have upgraded to each new version of the software. I particularly enjoy digitizing alphabets. There are so many ways to play with color and personalize an item at the same time.

The Fancy Jumbles alphabet pictured on the Gadgets Caddy is one example. There are ten alphabets, all with the same shape but each with a different "fill pattern" (stripes, polka dots, etc.). Choosing a different fill and color for each letter and slightly tilting the letters creates a fun and playful look suitable for almost any kind of project.

If you want a more tailored style of lettering, look at the Pinstripes alphabet shown on this water bottle caddy. The caddy was a gift for the husband of a cousin, so I wanted the lettering to look masculine.

Contour Script is my newest alphabet. The latest upgrade to my software includes a new contour fill pattern. The stitching fills an area by following its shape. Tone on tone, this fill can be very subtle. Variegated on a contrasting background? Wow! I have had many complements on this lettering, and also requests for me to offer it for sale.

Now, back to my caddy...

We all have sewing gadgets that go astray on our sewing table. They get knocked to the floor when we move large amounts of fabric and they never come when we call them! This caddy will keep your gadgets and tools handy and out of the way of danger. The instructions include specific measurements for pocket divisions, but you can adapt the divisions to fit your own collection of useful gadgets. You can also add your name to the embroidery to make it more personal. 

When some members of my internet sewing group met last month for a party, I decided that this caddy would be fun to make for our gift exchange. I found some multi-colored jumbo rickrack and then matched the letters in the Fancy Jumbles embroidery to the colors in the rickrack. The friend who "won" this gift will certainly think of me whenever she sews. I will soon make one of these caddies for my own sewing room and will remember the fun for years to come.

Would you like to make your own Embroidered Gadgets Caddy? Click here to view a .pdf file with instructions. The sewing is easy (just straight seams), but it does take some time to bind the pocket edges and attach the pockets. I recommend allowing yourself four to five hours for completion, but you probably don't sew as slowly as I do. I enjoy myself too much to rush.


Sheldon wbc

You will need these products for your Embroidered Gadgets Caddy:


Fancy Jumbles Alphabets, available here.

Denim or other sturdy 60" wide fabric.

Embroidery machine. (Mine is a brand-new Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond.)

150 mm x 240 mm embroidery hoop or bigger, depending on your embroidery design.

Extra-wide double-fold bias binding.

Jumbo rickrack (optional).

3/4" wide sew-in hook and loop fastener.

Tear-away stabilizer.

Embroidery thread.

Thread for sewing.

Plastic or wooden clothes hanger with base at least 15" across and no vertical divisions.


Have fun with your Embroidered Gadgets Caddy!


- Carol

contour script sample

Comments (23) -

WOW Carol- I just printed out the instructions for the caddy and you have done an excellent job!

Teacher Tote Bags are one of the things I do most.  I have a design that says "There is no substitute for a great teacher."  


I am interested in your fancy jumbles contour scrips,

but I don't understand the sizing,  I don't know mm

so I need to know ins.  and/ or hoop size.  Can you help


I printed instructions for the tote bag.  Very nice.  I plan on

making one.  I have a Pfaff and will probably use it.  I could

use my new Brother.  Thanks for taking the time to  give it

to us.


Nice to hear from a St. Louisan! Yes, I'm down here just across the river from your "home town," in Columbia, IL watching the flood water receed!

I just read your blog & "about cabrownbag"  WOW! You have a talent! I love your gadgets organizer & water bottle cozy. Your Contour Script is great!

Hope to see more of your blogs....and more patterns!

Thanks for sharing!


travelbug1237 7/19/2008 11:45:06 PM

HH Carol!!!,

  Welcome!!!!  and my goodness...such an expert person to have on board!!!

Boy, Ann sure is getting some great experienced ME'ers+ contributing!! ...Yeah!!!

 I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your alphabets!!!  They are beyond cute!!....It's hard to decide which one I like best...the circles or the fishnet looking one: the stripes are SO cute too....well like I said...I just LOVE them all and the great big size! Before I ever got to Ann's community circle I was checking out designs on line and FELL IN LOVE with your alphabets!!!! I never bought any because I didn't know ANYTHING about MEing ( nor did I even have a machine" but I sure fell in love with your alphabets!!!

Now you are connected to AnntheGran. Isn't it a small world isn't it???

I too love black (and bright colors)sure do pop!!! I just wrote that in my blog earlier this week. ( I ordered a bolt of Kona black...what do you use?

I also heard that Amish black is really great too. I'd love to hear what you use.

  Thanks again for sharing,  and continued success with all those DARLING designs you come up with!!!! It will be really fun trying to make a 'gadget tote"..

well when I learn to sew AFTER I learn to ME...that is!!!


Cathy in Oregon

Hi, Pat71896,

I am glad you liked the instructions I wrote.  I hope you will try the project and let me know how it works out for you.

I like your saying for teacher bags.  My kids were all done with elementary school before I had my embroidery machine so I didn't decorate the bags I made.  I used to use really pretty upholstery fabrics.

Carol Brown


Thank you for your interest in my alphabets.  The 60 and 75 in the Contour Script names refer to the heights of the rectangles around the letters.  Those rectangles are used for aligning the letters into words or names.  You can read more about this in my "Guide to Contour Script" which is part of the free download.

The capital letters in the 75 set are about 42 mm high, or about 1.68".  In fractions, they are about 1 2/3" high.

The capital letters in the 60 set are about 34 mm high, or 1.36".  These letters are just over 1 1/3" high.

The hoop you will need for these alphabets depends on the length of the name or word you are creating with the letters.

"Pat" with the 75 letters turns out to be 42.5 mm high x 83.9 mm wide.  This will fit in a 100 x 100 hoop.

I hope this helps.

Carol Brown

Hi, Loretta67,

The tote bag offered with the alphabets is a gift from Ann the Gran, but the Gadgets Caddy is my own.

Both of your embroidery machines will work fine since the alphabets are available in multiple formats.

Have fun!

Carol Brown

Hi, Rosie (rnh)

It's great to hear from a "near neighbor."  Thank you for your kind words.  The Water Bottle Caddy can be found in the July/August 2003 issue of "Designs in Machine Embroidery."

I will be blogging here from time to time so keep visiting!

Carol Brown

Hi, TravelBug1237

Thank you for your kind words.  You must have a strong interest in machine embroidery since you like visiting Ann the Gran.  One day you will be ready to take the leap and you will know where to come for information, designs and supplies.

Do you have your ME machine but haven't learned to use her yet, or are you still deciding about that purchase?  Having a local dealer or embroidering friend show you the process can be a very big help.

Have fun!

Carol Brown

Just going thru & learning the site.  OMG!  I soooooo enjoyed  hearing that you started making clothes for your troll dolls.  I thought I was the only one that started that way.  I still have a collection of troll dolls today.  I recently bought a case full of them @ a yard sale.  I was taken back to childhood.  Trolls are still my favorites over any other dolls I ever had except maybe Thumblelina.  i'm into caddies & bags too so will have to try them.  Thanks for sharing, Sherry

jalcumbrack 7/21/2008 9:49:36 AM

Hi Carol,

I am finally getting caught up on my reading here.Wow I go away for a week or so and the site has exploded! Welcome,I so enjoyed your blog. I have been drooling over the Jumbles Alphabets for some time now,I am having trouble deciding which ones I want to start with.The gadgets caddy will go well in my sewing room,and save me even more space. I am very much looking forward to your next blog.

Hi, SMayLee,

I only have two troll dolls and I bought them both after trolls "came back" in the 80s.  I knew they would eventually and just waited for them.  Right now they are sitting on a shelf on my cutting table still waiting for new clothes.  I'll have to see what I can do about that!



I love your organizer. I also love embroidering on black. I have been searching for some nice good quality neon threads. I have the Maderia polys. Are there any other vibrant ones that you use?


Hi Carol,

I love to buy a set of the your jumbles sets , and would like to do that while the offer of the 12 filler desins are still available free with the purchase, however i own a bernina 730E and couldn't find an art format in these sets, i'm expecting to receive my software this week  which allow me to convert from other formats but not sure what format shall i buy??

If you have the option to buy one font which one you'll choose??it's difficult to choose from all those beautifull designs, and my budget is a lil tight this month, :-(



It's good to hear from more Ann the Gran friends.  Jalcumbrack and Susana, it is hard for me to choose a favorite fill pattern.  I like all of them.  I think that one of the stripe patterns would probably look best jumbled with other letters of the same pattern since the stripes would be at different angles, so I'd recommend one of them.

Grammy12, I haven't used neon thread.  I love bright colors, but tend to like rainbow shades rather than the neon colors.  Check the brand of thread you normally use and you may find some neon offerings.

Susana, I do not use Bernina software.  My friend who does has been able to convert .hus to the .art format she needs.  She may be able to translate others, too.  I suggest you ask your Bernina dealer what formats the software can handle.

Thank you all for your kind words about my alphabets and caddy project.


Travelbug asked me what fabrics I like to use.  For bags and purses and the Gadgets Caddy, I use denim.  For fancier things like small totes and eyeglass cases, I like to use doe suede.  I am sure Ultrasuede would be gorgeous, too, but the budget doesn't allow it.  I used Trigger poplin for the water bottle caddy.


OMG Carol-I just read your 'bio' and cannot imagine where you find the time for all those things.  You must have started when you were 3 years old!


Thanks Carol for your reply,

Regarding the format my dealer is out of town for a week or so, appreciate if your friend ( who has a bernina software)  advice me which format is best purchased for my bernina,what format do you digitize your jumbles before converting to other formats if you don't mind asking?

Is everybody facing the same problem of not knowing what to choose or it's only me, i like movement filling so do you think the waves  will jumble as good as the stripes ? and what is the diference between the stripes and the vertical stripes both look the same in the photo

Best Regards

Susana in Kuwait

i meant whats the difference between the pin stribes and ordinary stripes, do the pin stribes have dots in the lines ,or they are cutted lines???



The fonts on which Fancy Jumbles and Pinstripes are different.  You can see them on the page with the alphabets.  Just go to Themes > Alphabets > Fancy Jumbles and you can see examples of all the letters.

The stripes themselves are regular stitches.

I played with all the alphabets in the last few days, and all can look nice jumbled when used alone.


I have been sewing for about 40 years so have had plenty of time to do all those things.  I'm not even quick at sewing.


travelbug1237 7/27/2008 2:10:40 PM

HH Carol...

  Yep I DO have a strong interest in MEing.Smile...ever since I won Ann's machine in Orlando SmileSmileSmile!!!  ...It's been quite a 'journey' since April. (TravelBug1237 is aka Crash Course Cathy). Don't feel bad for 1 minute that you didn't make the connection...I still am trying to keep people's REAL names with their

'ava- thing".

    I just LOVE your blog and you are doing such a NICE nice job!!!


Cathy in Oregon


How exciting to win an embroidery machine!  How is the crash course going for you?  Are you comfortable running your embroidery machine now?

I wasn't part of the community yet when the gathering took place in Orlando so didn't know you won a machine.  I hope it gives you years of creative enjoyment.


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