. . . and a good time was had by all!

I’m not going to dwell on the fabulous lunch that we Central Florida machine embroiderers enjoyed a week and a half ago. Well, I MAY dwell on it, because it WAS fabulous. First of all, there were 24 of us, including four husbands, two of whom are into machine embroidery. You can find lots of pictures here. There were SO many projects. We’re such a talented bunch! We decided we need to do this again soon and we really do need a sleep-over in order to get better acquainted and have more time to share projects and expertise. One of the items on our agenda, choosing a charity project, we never did get to, so we’re discussing it in the forum and will choose sometime definite soon. If any of you have any suggestions, we’d be glad to hear them. Although all of us embroider, only some of us sew, so that will be a consideration.

How’s this for a conversation (pre-luncheon)?

  • CFME #1: I went to Florida State/
  • CFME #2: So did I. I was in the School of Education and I graduated in 1965.
  • CFME #1: I was in the School of Education, too, and I graduated in 1965!
  • CFME #2: Well, I lived in Florida Hall.
  • CFME #1: So did I! I lived on the 6th floor.
  • CFME #2: I lived on the 6th floor, too!
  • CFME #1: Wow! I can’t wait until our luncheon. I’ll bet we recognize each other!

Well, we didn’t recognize each other, but it was still a pretty spectacular coincidence and we did have lots of fun reminiscing about curfews and dress codes and lots of other things that the current residents of Florida Hall have never even heard of! Were those the “good old days?” You betcha!

I hope you’re all now inspired, both for projects and to get your local machine embroidering buddies together!

Now I lay me
I received several comments about the sampler my mother embroidered while she was waiting for the birth of my brother. Some asked that the verse be digitized, but I think this is something you all can do for yourselves. The original sampler is about 20" x 30", not something we could do on our machines, but the text is certainly easy enough. The text on the sampler is in cross stitch, but ny text that you have in Alphabet XPress, your machines or your digitizing software will do the trick for you. I'm not particularly fond of the "If I should die before I wake" part. I think it's a little scary for little ones. So I Googled the first line and came up with this. Lots of interesting information about the little prayer, as well as some not so scary alternatives for the text. I'm partial to this one:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
Guard me while I sleep tonight,
And wake me safe at dawn's first light.

Goody New-shoes

I know we've all heard the term "goody two-shoes" and some of us have even used it. The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes is a children's story by an anonymous author, published in 1765. The story is the origin of the popular phrase "goody two-shoes," often used to describe an excessively or annoyingly virtuous person. In more recent years, the phrase has developed a more negative connotation, implying that the virtuousness of a "goody two-shoes" is insincere. In any case, this is a different story about two new shoes. We never know what little thing we do will have a great impact. While I was in Kentucky we, DD, DSIL, DGS and I, drove into Indiana to an outlet mall. I managed to collect airline miles in several stores. It was a tough job but, hey, Bill and I like to travel and someone has to collect the miles. By the end of the day Reed was getting cranky, and justifiably so, hungry and tired as he was. Our last stop was at the Stride-Rite outlet store. Jen and Steve were looking at new sneaks for Reed and Reed was whining that he didn't WANT new shoes. Eventually, however, he did spot a pair that he liked. His parents were going to get a different, less expensive pair. In proud grandma fashion I took the shoes that Reed preferred, saying, "Oh, let me get him the pair he wants," and marched them to the register. When we got home, Reed took the shoes out of the box and found that he could put them on all by himself. He took them off and put them on and walked around preening. Jen said that she wouldn't be surprised if he took them to bed with him. I told her that I once knew a little girl who slept with her first pair of patent leather Mary Janes. Reed asked everyone he saw, “Do you want to see me put on my shoes all by myself?” and they all did. I don’t know if he slept with them, but those shoes were definitely the hit of my visit. As you can see, they’re wonderfully splendid shoes. For a wonderfully splendid boy.

Got letters?
I love digitizing alphabet letters, but I know that individual alphabet letters can be difficult to work with. Here are a few tips that I include with my Alphabets in our online store:

  • When you have a set of alphabet letters that you use frequently to spell out words or phrases, take the time to set up a “design” that includes ALL the letters, numbers and punctuation from that set by importing them one at a time. (Fig 1a) It takes fewer than 5 minutes. If the letters in a set are large, you may have to set up separate files for the capitals and lower case letters. Don’t worry about having the letters overlap each other, as long as you can see them, or overlapping the edges of the hoop. Save this file, even though you may receive an error message telling you that you will not be able to stitch the design. After all, you have no intention of stitching the design!  Some digitizing and editing programs lock all the objects together when you save a design. This tip won’t work with those programs.
  • The next time you want to use some of those letters start a new file, and reduce the view to 50%.  Then import the file you had previously saved and immediately move it over to the side. From there it’s a simple matter to drag the letters you want to use, duplicating as necessary, into the hoop and then delete the ones you won’t be using this time. Another minute or two to align the letters and you’re nearly finished.  The last step is to correct the stitching order so that the letters stitch from left to right.
  • If the letters have small jumps between them that may be difficult to clip, assign different colors to the odd and even numbered letters, forcing the machine to stop and cut the thread after each letter. (This trick works with keyboard lettering, too.)
    Letters, even in the same set, are of varying sizes. If you change the size of the letters, increase or decrease by a percentage rather than to a size.  This will insure that your letters maintain the same aspect ratio.
  • Different letters stitch out in different ways. For example a letter “l” will increase at both ends while being stitched while a letter “o” will draw up.  When you’re aligning letters, align to the middle rather than to the bottom or top.
  • If you’re setting up a phrase of more than one line of text, have the second line stitch from right to left, the third line from left to right and so on.  This will avoid that long jump thread between rows.  A long jump thread can catch the foot of your machine and throw the design out of registration or become buried in the next row of stitches and be difficult or impossible to trim neatly

Help me out here . . . please Wink
Believe it or not, sometimes I'm speechless. I love writing my blog, but sometimes I just don't know what to say. You can help me out by telling me what kinds of things you want me to write about. Once you get me started, I'm sure I can fill pages and pages!

Well, I'm off to greet August. How did it get here so fast? TTYL,


Comments (11) -

marciaelaine 8/1/2008 2:00:02 PM

Ann that was a great blog. loved the part about making up those flyer miles, you go girl.

We certainly liked having you and Bill at the luncheon, thanks for being there with us.  We wouldn't have gotten together without y ou saying why don't we write a question and ask if there are other people in our area.  Thanks again,  it was fun Elaine Sharrard

jalcumbrack 8/1/2008 2:22:50 PM

Hi Ann,

Great blog as usual! I loved the story about Goody-two-shoes!I also Loved the luncheon! I am so looking forward to the next one ,if it is a sleep-over that would be awesome,and would really give us a chance to get to know one another better.Thanks for bringing Bill,and being there with us,it most defianatly was a wonderful day!Nice people ! and good Cake!

I read everything I can get my hands on about that luncheon!  It sounded great and I know the people were just fab!

I am enjoying a mini vacation in Phoenix.  Just have a minute to stop by and say "Hello!"

If you are indeed, speechless, I would love to hear about your travels  more.  Perhaps you already did that, but those of us who may have missed it just might just enjoy it.  You may enjoy a trip down memory lane too!


travelbug1237 8/1/2008 6:37:10 PM

HH Ann,

   I loved the name tags....so cute.....!!

I think you did "real good" on those green shoes too...chances are he'll take really good care of them 'cuz he loves them.( & he'll no doubt think of you often as he puts them on.)

  Nice job too on the instructional part. For sure I will come back to it when I get to that point.



tourlady522 8/2/2008 11:46:10 AM

Thanks for all the info on the luncheon.

I sure hope the next one is in Nov. so I can attend. I would also love a sleepover.


The alphabet tips are excellent - they solve all the problems I have been having when sewing text. Thank you!!!

serenemachine2 8/3/2008 1:17:16 AM

Ann what a great blog for me!!!  If Grandma's can't be anything they can be a hero for a day!!!  I like the role and God belss my husband for making it possible to be Santa Claus at any time!!!

My older sister, now she was "godie two shoes""  Always the "right"one.  We both laughed at this blog.  Thanks for sharing.

serenemachine2 8/3/2008 2:03:05 AM

Also, I am going to try the tip on the Alphabets.  I have 4D so I'm not sure if it will let me save without combining the designs, but I will try!!  Thanks again

Hola me llamo Gladys soy de Chile, un gran saludo para Ann y estoy felíz poder compartir con Uds., encuentro todo maravilloso, lo único es que como yo no hablo inglés debo esperar a una de mis hija para que me traduzca los mensajes, pues yo los entiendo poco pero cuando ella llega se me aclara todo. Bendiciones para todos los participantes de este hermoso Club de Ann. Estoy fascinada pues el bordado me encanta. Muchas gracias Ann por permitirme pertenecer a tu gran grupo de seguidores. Bendiciones a todos y para ti querida Ann gracias y que Dios te ilimine cada día mas para que nos enseñes cosas hermosas. Adios Gladys de Chile.

Liked your blog. Some times I leave too much space between letters, What is the rule of thumb?

travelbug1237 8/4/2008 6:46:20 PM

HH Gladys ( hola hola!)

  Cual ciudad vive en Chile? Conoce Calama???? Yo se...hace color!!! Smile

( Ann I hope you don't mind me asking her?....This is your personal blog space but I saw hers in Spanish and I lived in Chile & was curious.!!!!!...Just erase me if you want to.



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