Shopping Up A Storm

HH all my fellow ME’ers….I’ve been SHOPPING up a storm!!!!!….Thread Pilot

Actually it started right there in Orlando at Ann’s Community Circle the day BEFORE I won the machine last April… and it sort of hasn’t stopped….but I THINK, finally, I am getting really close to having what I need -  in bulk -  (& actually soooo much more!!!!!) to seriously “ get started.” I now need to STAY PUT for awhile  & ME up a storm!!! Big Smile
(For those who didn’t read my last blog, I was attending summer school in more than one place and didn’t sew a stitch….or blog a word.)

Since my last ‘book/blog’ was extra extra long and wordy…I’m giving you a break. Today’s blog is mostly pictures. (Well that might not turn out to be  possible, but I will at least try!!)

Some of the items you can get @ Ann the Gran’s store (ex. The BadgeMaster stabilizer that I wrote about has been added to Ann’s store.)  It is a wonderful product for doing ‘lace.”  Ann carries the Thread Pilot too and some great scissors. I just got in the mail the  Gingher 6” Applique Scissors  Knife Edge that one of you suggested as s favorite. I just used them to cut the thread making the cherry design on my PE700 to top our canned cherries made earlier today. (And total oops….I made matching a matching red thread bobbin because of my ‘lace’ in my head lesson I guess…and did NOT remember to use BOBBIN thread. Will one of you experts tell me WHY I am suppose to NOT use the same thread????

I’ve  purchased several items from Wendy (my instructor)  @ the SewingRoom & the Mill End store both in Beaverton, Oregon and NW Quilts in old stompin’ grounds…. and some  additonal big items from ‘on-line’ stores.

All you ‘newbies” like me  (& golden oldies for that matter) know what I am talking about as far as ‘setting up” & starting a ‘new hobby.”   -   WHERE DOES one begin/ WHAT should I buy!!??? What are the basics??? (The same thing happened with water colors this last grad class…but that’s another story!)

Gingher Applique ScissorsI REALLY really appreciated everyone letting me know what your favorite gadgets were too !!! It helped a lot!!! Ann’s store has some of these items I have pictures of today. Also, if you are reading this for the 1st time  -  since I “won my machine” - I did not get ‘free lessons’ that usually come with a purchase. I think that it is super important especially if you are completely new at it. Just find a good teacher. You CAN find knowledgeable people to help you. For some ,sitting down with the manual is just fine.  For me, I am all for a WARM body helping me & preferably right beside me.….(It helps reduce my frustration.) I did buy a phone and phone head set for ‘long distance learning!” Pat I will be calling you and any others who’d be willing to share your knowledge.

Those of you who are in the market for an embroidery machine, I think it’s super important to meet owners/instructors and shop around for a store you like.  It can be a great experience or just the opposite.

My friend Kitty who is a total die hard quilter enthusiast …gave me a piece of wonderful advice which I somehow ignored initially….but OH so how true it was…She said, “Cathy, go around to different shops and see how they treat you. Get a ‘feel’ for the place.”  She goes where she feels ‘part of the family.”

Well I was originally ‘locked into thinking BROTHER machine only” and had tunnel vision period.  I somehow had my thinking set that I also had to go to the closest Brother dealership too. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the close local Brother wanted to charge  $75 per hour for lessons. It seemed really high. (As a professional teacher with a gazillion years of college credits and 28 years of experience, I NEVER made that an hour.) So, to be honest, I felt that quote was WAY way over priced.)….

When you consider I was a brand new newbie and would be buying hundreds of dollars worth of items in the future….(which I have since done but not from them.) it was short sighted in my opinion. Anyway,  I now order items from other Brother dealerships in Portland, Oregon City and even Missouri!!! Stuff

Oh, another biggie that might be helpful to you….. I was also very shocked to find out the difference in prices that different dealerships charge for the very SAME machines!!!! (It may hold true for other brands too..I don’t know.)  For example, the top of the line Brother model was $6,000 just down the road (@ that $75 an hr place) - which I ended up not getting right before I left for Orlando because of a glitch to finance it for 90 days – ( which turned out to be a GREAT blessing as I won Ann’s machine etc.) …Anyway,  it turns out that if I DID want to get that same machine…  I can get it for under $4,000 from Mike in a Michigan’s Brother dealership!!!! Holy cow… NEWBIES….shop around…& don’t let someone pressure you into a fast buy or assume all stores charge the same amount. They don’t!!!! I initially went in for a PE700 demonstration just prior to leaving for Orlando…and ended up ALMOST ended up paying  $6,000!!! for their top model.

I had assumed ‘same model machines’ would be about the same price, but they’re not!!! (A $2,000 difference….are you kidding me!!!???) There is a brand new Brother machine coming out in a couple of months ….not sure what it will do and what ‘bells and whistles’ it will have!!! I’m sure just great & I will love hearing about it from any of you who do end up getting one!!!

(Oh any visitors to Ann’s site… you might be very pleased (& surprised) at the price of the PE700 @ Ann’s store compared to ANY on-line Brother store etc that I found that carrying the same model.) I am getting a bit more educated in machine embroidery…and FOR ME, I STILL love the idea of having a ‘dedicated embroidery machine.” I DO now see the reason to have a sewing machine, but having the PE700 is FUN!!!!

Another idea is to buy a good used machine if you are starting out. My sweet Wendy at Pfaff  is willing to sell me a  great floor model at a really great price too on one of her favorite machines….(which still may happen down the road) but for now I am trying to  just learn my Brother.  But my point here is….Don’t be afraid to  shop around.
Find people who are nice and supportive & that you make a connection with!!!

Brother SE-270I LOVE to shop and will continue to do so, but now I also really look at how I am treated-  be it for a $5 purchase or $500  & perhaps $5,000  or more down the road….Ok…enough….off that soapbox….

My biggest new purchase……TA- DA… my new ‘other Brother SE270 ” machine. It is almost a twin to my PE700, but it is the DISNEY model YEAH…DOUBLE YEAH!!!!! ( Well actually the newest and somewhat more expensive purchase was the Dell laptop - so that I can EVENTUALLY download what I bought in Orlando (Alphabet Express and its buddy…but I’ll write about that in another month or 3 . Maybe a whole blog could be dedicated to just that. I have YET to download one purchased design…etc….SIGH….talk about putting the cart before the horse….gee…how about a warehouse of carts before the horse!

My new Brother  is also is a “sewing machine”. With a gazillion grand kids you can see the ‘WHY’  of  a Disney machine….(what an excuse that is…. because … …I TOTALLY LOVE Disney myself!!)  (Just yesterday we had 6 grandchildren picking fresh raspberries in our yard and one had a Disney shirt on….I asked them all…How many of you like Mickey Mouse?….They ALL did!!!….My point exactly.  (I actually met Walt Disney accidentally  when I was 5 or 6 right there at Disneyland.)  He was as sweet and kind (and offered me a bite of his chicken leg) as you saw him on TV. I have been hooked ever since. I have a darling Mickey Mouse watch I wear a LOT and I have visited Tokyo Disney & the ones in Florida and California…Anyway….back to embroidery…

Since E has been helping me since day one and he ENJOYS MEing too…We now  have side by side machines!!!! Yes!!!! and we  can use the SAME hoops & bobbins!!!!!!! -  and for now I really need “SAME!!!! “  (Once I get the basics down, I am open to a more expensive machine….but for now I am ONE very happy camper & have more than enough stuff  to keep me busy.

My next largest purchase was a steam press iron under $250.  I read Ann’s site and several others on the internet & decided I wanted a large (even though it takes up space) steam presser so I can iron several blocks of  material quickly. (I bought one entire bolt of black Kona cotton so I can FINALLY stitch out each ‘ built in sample’ now for  both Brother machines.)  Yeah!!!! I also bought a bolt of black stabilizer to go with it, so I should be set for quite awhile. I will let you know how the iron works etc in a later post.Steam Iron

All I can say again is that FOR ME…I really just wanted 1 type of material (oops fabric), 1 machine, 1 stabilizer, 1 needle & thread brand ( loved Madeira colors)  1 hoop, 1 design company, “1 everything” …. so that I could minimize the variables & that I had a really good chance of ‘mastering’ the basics while trying to learn to even thread a machine. I SO wanted to keep it simple…I did not.

I ended up NOT going that route….but now I am going back to go back to GROUND ZERO and will start FROM the beginning and approach it as if I had JUST started, only this time E will be beside me and we will stitch together with our 2 new basic Brother machines. I can hardly wait.

E is away clamming in Alaska, but once he’s back we will take those machines down to the ALMOST completed new art studio and stitch away, stitch away, stitch away….(Can’t you just hear Enya singing that instead of Sail Away which is just about my theme song…I want it played as  my casket is leaving the church.)

OK ME’ers I  promise – I’ll do more projects (for beginners.) I will do a few more new-for-me projects and will write those up for you too. In the meantime, the other ladies are blogging up a storm with such GREAT projects, helps, photos and ideas!!! They are the experts and can help you a lot!!!! For now I’m here just journaling my baby steps, my shopping sprees, etc & walks down memory lane. I really don’t know if I am helping you much, but perhaps I can save you some $ from my experiences.
This is a good time too to thank those of you for taking the time to write me! I really appreciate it!

Have a really GREAT August everyone!!!!

Chatty Cathy in Hillsboro

Comments (44) -

jalcumbrack 8/2/2008 9:39:26 AM

Hi Cathy!

Welcome home from the beach! I am going to keep this short and sweet as I am having some sight issues this morning for some reason,but I do also use the same thread for my bobbin thread anly if it is something that can be seen from both sides such as a towel. Otherwise I use bobbin thread,either cream,white or black according to what colors I am using. The main reason I do this is to save a bit of money. typically bobbin thread is much less expensive to use than matching embroidery thread.I do tend to like the looks of usning the same on both ,as I just think the whole embroidery looks better when you do. I guess again it is a matter of personal taste.

i hope you have a great day with E today as I know he is just getting home from his extrordinary fishing trip! Hope this helps my friend...........

As Always,


travelbug1237 8/2/2008 10:21:52 AM

HH Judy!!!,

   Thanks...I appreciate an 'expert' telling me it WAS OK to use the same colored thread & for explaining the 'cost' reason for not (...I just want to make sure I don't mess up my machine by clogging the bobbin area etc...but since it can be used for 'lace' then logically it should be capable of handling it for anything else.)

I'm sorry to hear about your eyes....(maybe overuse???)....That happens to my wrists and it seems logical it can happen to the eyes too.

OK, now I have used the word "logical' twice now....hmmmm...

I think I am still groggy from the late phone call last night from E - He

missed his flight from Anchorage...... Sigh....

jalcumbrack 8/2/2008 11:58:38 AM


I am so sorry E missed his plane,Oh No! I know you were so looking forward to his return! I can only imagine the stories he has to tell you!

Still don't know what is going on with my eyesight,for some reason today I woke up and I am seeing sort of like this awful light in them,like I was out in the sun too long,or was looking directly at it. I can't explain it,but it sure is messing up doing anything! If it does not clear up by Monday ,I will go see the eye doc. this is just weird!

Loved your blog!What I can read of it,you are just so refreshing! You just seem so excited over everything you do!

Keep up the good work,I am certainly looking forward to more.! I hope my spelling is alright ,boy this is weird!

Talk to you later ,my friend! I hope E gets home soon!


dailylaundry 8/2/2008 12:10:35 PM

Hi Cathy,

I have a machine similiar to your Disney machine.  Will your Thread Pilot work with it?  I have thread cartridges with my machine (which has worked out great) but I don't want to invest in a Thread Pilot if it won't work correctly with my machine.

Now, there, you see, here is a Newbie asking a "New Expert" a question!!!!!!!

Thanks bunches for your blog!


jalcumbrack 8/2/2008 1:38:41 PM

Hi Laura,

Judy here,and I have a Thread Pilot, for my Janome. The answer is Yes,it will work with any machine. That is what it is designed for. I can attest to the fact that it is one of the best investments you will make for your machine embroidery. You can set up more than one design at a time ,providing it doesn't have too many color changes.All of the Posts (thread) are numbered so you can set your design up according to the stitch chart. Make sure however that you don't attach the thread to the tension spring on top,unless the thread is just resting there. You cannot run it through the spring if you are sewing with it, a lot of people get confused about that one.The thread guides help to keep the thread from tangleing while sewing.When changing the colors you can simply cut from the machine end,attach the new color ,and pull it through to the needle.I also used tools like this when I worked in the factories and they are a big help,while you can set up ahead of time,it makes it easier to do your color changes along the way. If you are doing a large stitch out it is particularly useful. If I were just starting out this would be a must have!.Again, a lot is personal taste as to what tools are the most useful,this one for me is at the top of my list. It will save you a lot of time in the future.

Hope this helps you out with your decision!


jalcumbrack 8/2/2008 1:39:30 PM

P.S. I love your screen name! dailylaundry

travelbug1237 8/2/2008 2:52:52 PM

HH Judy and Laura!!!,

  I am going to make this kind of quick because it's Saturday and I need to get to the bank ( unfortunately ) , sigh, and haven't heard from E  yet today to find out if he can get on a flight tonight....I shudder to think what the 'last minute' cost for a flight is going to be for him....yikes...or if he can even get on a seat. Summer travel to and from Alaska is 'tight' with all the tourists, workers,  cruise ships etc etc.

  Judy, I hope your eyes are MUCH better by the time you read this!!!

Resting your eyes is a really GOOD start. It might just be eye strain...reading all our blogs and now writing your own one!!! You are SOOOOOO appreciated!!!

  I'm happy you think it's refreshing- ( my blog) ..holy cow...I read it today when I turned on my computer to see the 'final' after Greg does his editing magic to see what pictures get in and what paragraphs/pages he's had to eliminate to make it somewhat 'blog ettiquettey" point is that I could not believe

how 'not over' I am about the experience(s) I had with the local dealership.

Man....I was kinda 'harsh' there but I do think it's important for newbies or golden oldies...either check out how you are treated before you spend a chunk of money on a machine etc.....Phew...sorry folks...I'm usually kinder than that....yikes.

   Laura....You DO????? Tell us about your machine...!!!!

and YES I can say almost for 100% sure that the thread pilot WILL work with your machine!!! I believe it will work with any personal home ME machine.

( I think those big honking commercial ones are already set up to keep the threads all straight I will wait for an 'expert' to tell you about that.)

I personally have NOT taken the Thread Pilot out of the box yet....THAT's how much MEing I've been doing this past month. I just shopped like crazy and

now I have boxes ( like Christmas) waiting to be opened and to be used.

Thanks Laura for letting me feel I have 'learned something ' to share

with readers. I have heard ONLY great great things about the Thread Pilot & I will let you know how personally wonderful I think it is once I get back to 'normal'....but not sure when that exactly will be. If E is in Alaska for a week I will just bite the bullet and start doing this on my own here in town.

( I am so reluctant to do anything completely on my own because I don't want to wreck my machine and have another 'repair bill' right off the bat...) So far my Brother PE 700 is doing just fine ( it was our 2 cars this month both needing 'repairs."

  Well I need to get crackin....the banks will be closing early today ' cuz it's Saturday


Wish me the banks!!! SmileSmile

Anyway...I'm feeling 'very single' again and need to get some $ transferred to pay off my Visa bill due Tuesday...


Oh E just called ....He is coming home tomorrow!

Hi Cathy,

I go to the same shop as you..The Sewing Room and Mary the owner told me about Bobbin Thread.  Bobbin thread is thinner than regular embroidery  thread and the bobbin holds much more. In fact my last project, a shirt, I used one bobbin to make four patches, sew them on and sew 5 other designs on the same shirt.  Mary also told me for special projects she uses matching thread top and bottom for different effects such as your project. So from the expert you did fine. Love reading your blog......your a hoot.  From another Kathy in Hillsboro

travelbug1237 8/2/2008 3:20:45 PM

HH "K" Kathy....

    There are 2 of us MEing Cathy's here in Hillsboro!!!????? Wow...We must get together if you'd like!!I met Lynn recently at the Sewing Room & she and I have gotten together once now too.

I'm sooooo glad you are enjoying my blog....I don't mean for it to be a 'hoot' but they sure all seem to turn out that way....goodness...thankfully I took a minute to 'proof read' my response to Laundry Ladies' question about the Thread Pilot.

( I originally put 10% instead of 100%....nothing like emphasizing 10% confidence!!) Holy glad I caught that. Smile

  Thanks "K" Kathy for sharing your knowledge!!!...What a small world too that you go to the Sewing Room also. ( Mary sure knows her stuff too!!!) I'm so lucky to have found them and their store. They have taken me 'under their wings' so to speak and I just love going in there. It is SO clean, bright and cheerful in there. I don't speak their language yet but they are so patient with me. i just LOVE the monthly get togethers and the tips day. The items the women bring help me learn too!!! SmileSmile

So a big HI this is really neat!!!


I totally understand the "shop till you drop" attitude when you begin a new hobby. I've done the same thing. I may not be great at the new hobby, but I sure LOOK professional!

Judy....PLEASE go to the eye doctor!!!! Your eyes are nothing to mess with. Think about it........what are you doing now that you could still do without your sight? Sewing would be out and that sounds like your first love. PLEASE, PLEASE don't wait. Get to the doctor!!

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.....I just had to say it though!


tourlady522 8/2/2008 4:54:18 PM

Hi Cathy,

I love to read your Blogs too. I sure wish I lived closer to you so we could get together once in awhile. As far as I know in my area I am the only one with a machine. It would seem to me that more people in a city the size of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada would have a machine or be interested but so far I have not come across anyone. We do not have many stores here to shop from either. I am now buying my thread direct from Marathon Threads Canada They have a factory here in Winnipeg. Web site is if any one is interested.

If anyone lives near me please feel free to contact me I would love to meet some people from my area.

I can't wait to get back to Florida and hope Ann has another conference this year.


Hi Cathy,

It sounds like you had fun at the beach, I have not been to the Oregon beach in a long long time. I like Bend but I am not a skier as whoosing down the mountain on two pieces of wood or even one piece of wood does not appeal to me. It is wonderful that  you met Lynn and Kathy who live in your area on this blog. The greatest thing about sewing and ME'ing is that we meet new people in our area and outside who become our friends.

Wow, you have really been shopping and it looks like you have bought a lot of neat stuff. I have not done alot  of shopping lately but I did get one of those stitch erasers that Ann has for sale. I did not get it from her though, I was planning to but I was at Nancy's Notions as part of a tour that the American Sewing Guild had after the conference in Chicago and decided to get it.

I know of a great site for Hawaiiian embroidery designs  that is based in Hawaii and not sure if I can share it here but it is okay to do that I will. The site also has Hawaiian music to entertain you  too.


travelbug1237 8/2/2008 8:49:24 PM

HH Rosie,Bonnie, Laura and Fuzzy ...,

    Fuzzy I am going to address you 1st since you wrote me privately, but it came through on AnntheGran's e-mail....and in the past I have made errors by answering them ...SOOOOO I am answering you here.

Did I understand you to say you are here in Oregon too???!!! AND same town???....This would be a complete shock a roo to have found 3 of us in the same town on the same day!!!  As far as 'puckering' I'll leave that advice to one of our experts...but there is a real chance it has something to do with

the amount of stitches done on a particular fabric, the 'stabilizer' is also a major culprit and sometimes it has to do with the 'tension' but I am so not there yet.

  Laurie...tell us more about your purchase...Readers LOVE to hear about 1st person experiences with 'gadgets.' Tell us if it all went smoothly...or does a beginner need to be REALLY careful with the shaver etc...just any tips you can tell us would be great. Thanks!!!

  The reason I asked you if you did Hawaiian quilts is because my friend Kitty really wanted me to get her a pattern book and I did for her birthday...but I thought I could 'connect you 2' via e-mail if you actually did that. I took her to Bend for her birthday a couple of years ago so she could also visit Sisters where they have the famous quilt gathering.

( I ended up in the ER in Bend. that trip...but that's another story..)

  What pictures I have of my gadgets in this blog only scratches the surface.

I'll share more as time goes on...(in a couple more blogs & once they are out of their packages and I have a place to put them!!!) With E still in Alaska, my handyman carpenter guru is not available and my shelving, organizing designs etc have come to a screeching halt.  I'll give him a few days off here before it's 'back to the salt mines." lol

  ( He is just as excited to start MEing too, the key is going to HAVE A PLACE for EVERYTHING and everything in it's place, right? the saying goes. Right now...I have them in their shipping boxes except some stuff is 'stored' on the computer ( designs GALORE, Catalog Express and the Alphabet helper from Ann's store.) Nope they haven't been organized yet...they are just waiting patiently in la la land waiting for me to download them!!! That's going to be a major undertaking. Had I know EACH design needs to be put into a 'category' individually I just may have cooled my jets on

buying every design I loved that was 'on sale!!!!"  So beginner's I don't want you do dampen your spirit here and your shopping delights....but know that

to FIND them once you buy them...we need to ORGANIZE them and that will take some time....but I have heard that Ann's Catalog Express IS really a great great tool and was one of the 1st if not the 1st out there to help organize all those designs. ( I bought it in April and I still have NOT used it!!!!) It involves

a computer....enough said! SmileSmileOh and you can't 'download the entire pack at a time either...correct me if I am it does need to be individualized.

    Thanks for asking about whether it is OK to advertise in the blog. regarding companies and/or other commercial sites....I'd say it would be a 'no'...(probably even a BIG no ) because Ann's site does have an on-line store ....

(not to say we HAVE to buy just from her) but out of courtesy since we are on her site. it's best that we are 'general & not specific' in our supporting other companies.  I think I messed up royally by mentioning some places that I have gone to locally that have helped I did not set a good example and I will correct that (...I was SO grateful to have the help and Ann didn't sell some of the stuff I needed at the time....( fabric for example.)

  Since I don't make anything to sell; I am not 'promoting me' or saying "Come  to 'my site' and buy from me'....but I have mentioned other places and I will stop doing that.

    My apologies to Ann's directly and her website....

  I have NO clue what it costs to run a business or to have a web site etc with a staff that keeps it running etc....but IF I did, I would probably be cringing in my shoes when I saw a competitor being highlighted on the one I was paying for (and that was near and dear to my own heart since I created it and was paying all the bills.)

 SOOOOO....I for one...will zip my lips on this particular matter....& on this..I DO think I can remember. Smile

 Thanks Bonnie....You sure are welcome to be adopted into Oregon's group.

We're gonna be one happy ME family for a week next summer. If you can make it....GREAT....then you will get cyber hugs from afar from those who have met you personally!!! you were at Ann's in Florida last April??Is that right???!!! Oh wow...I wish I could have met you personally....but we're all in high hopes that she will have another one there in Florida  or....?????

 Rosie....I know EXACTLY what you mean about 'looking the part,"

Yes I can at least LOOK like a professional .....SmileSmile You should have seen me at the beach with the instructor....All I needed was a French beret and I'd have had all the passers -by fooled!!! SmileSmile Well. maybe not.... I could't believe how many people stopped and took a look...(.I Tried (lol)  to sell my 1st painting of Tillamook Head and all I got was a smile from the tourist and a shocked look from my teacher!) ( I was kidding of course!!!)  She IS a professional artist and teacher and she wouldn't have dreamed to have done something like that, but she did end up laughing!!! Smile

   Oh I just have to throw this in....In our class in Astoria, one of the teacher 'students' who was earning credits along with the rest of us...said she loved 1 of my water color paintings that was of a landscape with varigated colors done in a wash..She must have said it at least 5 times that it was beautiful...WELL...that being said ( and she was sincere no less,) I knew that NO one on this earth was ever going to love that painting like she did....SOOOOO

    I wrote on the back of it $250..... paid in full.... and did my name/date  in as flourished of a manner as I could!!!!) At the end of the week I handed it to her and at 1st she didn't want to take it...She said .."OH's too beautiful."..((They do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder)...& she finally took it. She turned it over and got quite a chuckle out of it. She said she was going to have it framed! She LOVED it!!! Go figure. ?????

  ( I'd been writing notes on the top of each of my 'masterpieces' lest one could not tell what it was suppose to be...) On one exercise we were to do 'people's faces'.)...Well one thing led to another ( I kept adding and adding..)  and on this one particular 'lady face' I wrote a note...

"Big hair is Back...and no, my lips aren't too Big...My Botox just over reacted.)

    I was doing this all week long....My H2O's just did not look like the example....but in time it will get the mean time I have had fun being that kinder kid. Smile

Rosie, Oh true that is....and I THINK part of my thinking is...IF I have 'all the stuff'' then it will all be easier to do when I do do it. ( Was that clear???) lol I have every water color brush of one brand & every color made of water colors made here (with honey) in Oregon.....and now that I have had 3 classes ....There is ONE  brush size that I use 90% of the time ( I really don't 'need all the others' except a liner and a 'wash brush'.....The one 1/2" brush I totally love, and now I know what  'feels right for me."  I'm sure each of the MEers feel the very same way about a machine you have had or still have..., right??? When I love something...I LOVE it...and I no longer have to 'experiement' finding out what else I l might like. The spendy part is trying to find that 'right fit."

       Sort of like kissing a lot of frogs as the saying goes...Once you've found your favorite frog that rings your bell...that's it unless down the road you lose that frog ....then you might want to be open to some new frogs/brushes/  or embroidery machines.

Phew....So many phone calls and I have not gotten this off to you!!!

      Well...I'm signing off for right now.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!

Thanks for all your support and nice comments. It sure is a wonderful thing to be happening!!!!


CinO ( Cathy in Oregon )

HH to you CinO,

Just love your blog! I am a visual person so thanks so much for the pictures. Now about the shopping, shopping, shopping. You must stop for a moment, do some actual stitiching out on the machine, you know ....Machine embroidery, then you will see that you do actually need a few more items, gadgets, accessories and this will justify....more shopping. No, seriously, I know how you feel but sometimes if you just stop a moment and work on some designs you will become so happy with the items you bought. They will make your work effortless. I don't have the Thread Pilot (yet). It looks great. My only concern is that I do alot of big pieces and I do wonder if the Thread Pilot might get in the way a bit? I guess it could be moved over, but it really seems like a time saver.

I too am considering another E Machine for a larger hoop specifically for quilting. I have learned my lesson about buying from a "place" where you feel comfortable and regarded as a customer instead of a bill payer. That's one of the things I love about AnnTheGran site they care about the customer here.

I must agree with Kathy about the bobbin thread. For many projects having the thinner thread will work much more effectively than the heaver top thread. When you stitch 50,000 stitchess in one design it does make a difference in the total density of the design, not to mention the price of the bobbin type thread when compared to the 40 wt M E thread.

Well I've given you my two cents worth for now. Keep up the good work on your bloggin and on the Oregon Bound Bunch!

Til Later,



I just love your make me laugh. Why? I'm just like you....I plunge in with everything I have and buy all the things I think I need.  I agree with Al, take a deep breath and sew for awhile....after you complete a few items you'll really see whats missing and what you need.  Love the idea of the thread pilot....I may have to get that.

I would love to meet you, how do we do it  privately?  

I also have another hobby, I carve wood.....have for about 7 years now.  I also started after I retired.....I have every carving knife known to patterns, wood, apron etc. etc..  The last piece I did was and indian face for a native American friend....he loved it.  I enjoyed giving it to him.   I get so torn between ME and carving it drives me crazy sometimes but ME & quilting  always comes out on top.....there is something about little pieces of fabric that fascinates me (until I see some carved santa or animal....then I start carving again) I think it's an illness.  I even carved myself a santa holding a quilt so I could connect the two.  You'll have to water color yourself a picture of an embroidery machine.......HA HA......I think we are alot alike.....let me know how to contact you.....affectionately....the other Kathy in Hillsboro, OR

travelbug1237 8/3/2008 11:05:16 AM


  Just a quick note this Sunday morning...busy day today...

& hopefully E gets ON the plane!!! Smile

His bags of "clams on ice' leaked in the chest over night when he missed his flight ) but he did find a detail shop who could clean out the smell....never a dull moment. He's been a very  happy camper even though in their excitement to go King salmon fishing their 1st night, they forgot their sleeping bags! ...but ever the resourceful one...found a benevolent shop owner out in the toolies who loaned them 3 blankets for the night.

"K" Kathy....Let's meet at 1 of the 2 monthly get togethers at our favorite shop and make plans from there. How would that be? They are on Thursdays & we  just need to check their calendar for the dates and times. ( usually 2 pm towards the end of the month.) How'd that be?

I think it is TOTALLY cool you have another passion and that you found a way to 'blend them'!!! So you have EVERY tool huh? That is really neat!! My husband would flip if you'd be willing to show him them too. (He was a journeyman carpenter before he got into the fire dept.)

   Yep, I think you would love the Thread Pilot.....Everybody I've heard from, who has one, loves it and also feels it is worth every cent they paid for it MUST be THAT great. A quilt expert on AtG will be able to tell you if you can quilt and still use the Thread Pilot. ...& I'm sure at least one will.

There are great experts who read these blogs and help me out since I'm new.

  Yep..I need to take a deep breath, that's for sure...but, I do do that every time I go to the beach. That's why I love it there so much.

It's my place to relax and I do so do that....Some days I just stay in my pj's and let the salt air in and let the seagulls do their dance in the sky and I watch....It's when I get 'back into town' that I do just the opposite and stop 'breathing'.

  Oh and please tell us how you got started in wood carving???? Really...I'd LOVE to hear about it...Did your dad do it, was it from a tv special that sparked your interest, or......? Please do share.

( I know a lot of the ladies who ME and/ or sew and quilt  - had Moms or grandmothers who taught them. How nice!!!) How about sharing a picture with us with the Santa holding the quilt!!!?   I think you just click on the new site  'media'  (up by blogs)  and go from there. Smile

  SewWhat2 Al,

        Another 'visual person'...yes..although it really helps me when I do the hands on thing too. My weakest learning modality is 'auditory.' If I just am listening to a demonstration or a lecture....ugh!!!! ....

    I sure loved your thought you wrote,

" They ( gadgets) will make your work effortless."  WOW....THAT is music to my ears!!!  ( work effortless) THANKS for saying that!!!!

 In the 1st year of our marriage, I knew from watching E that he would 'make due' with whatever (to save $) and yet he'll spend hours doing something that I'm thinking...surely there is a better tool out there to do that etc....Well...once I saw what was up, and how he never complained either, I found myself at the closest home improvement store and went to the store's manager and said..." If YOU could buy ANY tools in here....What would you buy and why?" ( I was teaching school then and so it would not impact E's paycheck.) So "some carts later"  and Christmas wrapping galore...It was a major shock for him that coming Christmas ....and I have been doing it ever since...Boy does he love his 'tools.' There is a new generation of them out now too and there is an outlet store of a famous brand there in Seaside & it's fun to shop for him there too. ( I have also called the firefighters at his station to find out what tools they like too so I can surprise Ethan for his birthdays etc etc.) ( I told you I love to shop....SmileSmileSmile

More power to those who HAVE learned to"make due' with what you have and have lovingly done projects and beautiful items on a shoe string. There is great value in that! and I really DO admire that!

I did not grow up with many siblings nor did I have a large family

for me....I go for all gadgets on sale that MIGHT ( even if it is only in my mind)

will help me succeed in doing whatever 'new' thing I am doing.

   Of course....E  'earns' all those tools!!! SmileSmile lol   He does lots of projects! Smile

I for one LOVE pressure washers....what a great invention!...Talk about saving time & it get's things so clean so fast!!! ya gotta love it!!!  So....I think the same can be said for MEing etc...& it's just about getting 'educated' and finding really the 'right tools' that will make it easier and/ or more enjoyable to do. Smile

    OK folks....E SHOULD be at the airport in awaiting his call.




P.S.  Laurie....I had to smile when you were talking about 2 pieces of wood whoosing down the ski mountains in Bend....Smile Girl....there are those who feel the same way about 1 piece of wood wooshing in the water in Hawaii! Smile

Did you surf???? Also, were you a nurse at the hospital in Bend?

Just curious...SmileSmile


How do you find the time to do all you do.  You and Judy amaze me with all you do.  I'm really going to have to pick up the pace down here.



travelbug1237 8/3/2008 12:57:10 PM


To answer your 1st question....

   We are both retired for starters......Then we ( well I should speak for myself)

were so use to working hard with LOTS of responsibilities and time once we were out of that pressure's gonna take us a long time to

completely slow down & 'give ourselves permission to do so-  and smell the roses. I think I wrote in an earlier blog that I LITERALLY planted LOTS and lots of roses so that I would remind myself to SLOW DOWN & smell them! ...It really has helped!!!

I really do think though LInda...I do take major breaks...but I HAVE to do it PURPOSELY do so ....It did not come naturally not to be going a mile a minute and having so many things going.  (Lots of this comes from earlier life situations etc.)

    My car wreck slowed me WAY down and that was a HALF TO slow down...and there have been other things that have come up.. too...usually medical  but once I am over it then I get back into a faster paced routine etc,

but that is not to say that is always good. Learning to be good to yourself and body takes some of us 'wake up calls' to get our thinking correct. It's a process at least for me & I still have areas that need lots of work....but I am taking some baby steps there too.

 For me...I know in order to really take a break...I either go to the beach or I take a trip - in some cases we take back to back trips and usually a cruise.

( I don't have to cook or clean on a THAT is a vacation.) Camping does that  too so it doesn't have to be something really expensive.. If you are asking my advice....& not sure that you are....but if I were in your shoes...I would purposely NOT 'pick up your pace.' If you are happy and content at the pace you are going...ENJOY IT. Really LInda, I am trying to learn to "slow down' and not always try  to be doing so much and doing it 'well'. I have shades of perfectionism ( not in all areas thank goodness) but in areas I do think are important. I then put a lot of extra pressure on myself...

(but not in all things thankfully just certain areas.)

    I don't , for example in golfing...and I KNOW there are VERY serious golfers out there who could not for a minute understand  where I am coming from...(our table mates from West Palm Beach/New York maybe..???( By the way ladies..I haven't heard from you in ages...How are you doing??) .but when I use to golf...I wouldn't have cared  if my score was 300..(Now if I was bowling..that was serious & I DID TRY to get a 300 score) but for whatever reason, IN GOLF, ....just being out on the green and hitting the ball was fun enough for me. I could have cared less if I ever made par,  birdied or got a hole in one....actually I preferred just the opposite ( which was good considering!!!.....)) .....For me...IF it took me several attempts to get the ball in the much the better!!!! With the price of green fees ...why hurry and  not get your money's worth...take your time....hit the ball a gazillion times ( but let the fast golphers through of course) and that was half the fun too. ( You'd meet a lot of interesting people that way.) I just never could understand why anybody would pay money to be stressed out. Golfing should be FUN!!!!

  A real riot  (and splurge for me ) was to get a golf cart...NOW THAT was really really fun!!!!!....I LOVED zipping around the greens....Apparently they didn't have security cameras back then!!!!??!!!....I sure made use of them going back and forth and around& around (& floor boarded) much fun!!!

( I never did get kicked off a green...on my 1st day skiing I got kicked of the mountain...but that's another story...but had a happy ending!!!) Smile friends who DID golf seriously did not enjoy golfing with me at all because I  much preferred and LOVED getting to hit the ball as many times as possible before it got to the hole.... It was just SO opposite of the game's intent.

(I worked at 17 mile drive (Pebble Beach) famous golf course in Carmel, Ca one summer..) Oh what a summer that was and what stories I could write!!! Talk about FOND memories!!!- well most of them anyway! Smile

Since you have written me privately Linda...I feel I can share all that with you.



Guess who I just talked to on the phone???..Greta Van Susteren...!!She was in airport security with Ethan...(He knows I tape her shows & he said. PLEASE say hi to my wife for me!!! ) She did. What a doll!!!




That's a great idea, I'll make it to one of the 2 meetings...I'll call the sewingroom and get the dates and you tell me which day and time.  It will be fun to meet you.

Carving....well...I didn't even think of it as a hobbie for me untill a couple of good freinds retired at the same time as I did.  I worked for the State of Oregon in Washington County, I was the Jury Coordinator for 14 Judges....for many years.  One of the Judges secretaries and the lady that owned and ran the drug & alcohol school and I all retired about the same time.  We treated ourselves to a cruise to Alaska, the inland passage.  While on the ship my freind brought a small piece of wood and carved while we watched the fabulous coast of Alaska go by. (If any of you haven't taken that cruise, treat's pristine, awesome and amazing).  I was fascinated by the whole carving process, she invited me to a class. I went and the teacher, whose name was Harry, told me "no one just sits in his class" he told me to pick out some wood and he handed me a knife (and a safety glove) That was it . I was hooked. It was my first santa.  Luckily I live off the sunset highway on West Union Rd.......not to far from North Plains where The Heritage Art Studio is. We don't carve during the summer, but from October till June we meet once a week.  Great group of ladies.

I missed a lot of the classes this past winter because I had a granddaughter born Jan 6th (Maryam) she spent her first 6 months in Doernbecher's Childrens Hospital, she was born with a heart anomaly.....the left side of the heart didn't develop properly...and she had two of the three open heart surgeries to repair, reroute and improve her health.  Unfortunately she got the dread staff infection and had over 15 more surgeries.....but I am happy to report she is home, doing well just being a baby and learning how to eat by mouth,,,,she was asleep for most of the 6 months.  She will need one more operation when she is 4 or 5 years old.  And should live a normal life, she just won't beable to do any contact sports.  Some of you may have heard of this condition......"Hypoplasty Heart.".....there has been some articles written lately and Oprah did a secment about it.  Some children need heart transplants but so far Maryam is doing well and this has not been mentioned.  Doernbecher's staff do amazing things....the doctor's are miracle workers and the nurses, well they are "angels" in funny  blue and green smocks with animals and fish on them....they are truly special people.

I tell you we God has been truly blessed us this year......6 days after Maryam was born I became a great grand mother....our little Kaylee was born and she was perfect.  Both girls are 7 months old and no carving for me but lots of sewing, ME and quilting.  Life is good!!!!  I hope to get back to carving in Sept or October when they start back up. But I don't know if I can drag myself from my sewingroom.

The other thing I just had to mention is the "Power Washer"  Oh my goodness,,,,,I can't belive you like to power do I!!!!!  I bought myself one a few years ago and every spring I power wash the building we live in (That's another story for another day) the warehouse, barn ,trucks, cement patio etc etc.....takes me a day or two to finish but everything is so clean (I don't let my husband use's mine)....In fact he thinks I'm a little strange.  How many woman do you know that wants a 5 foot stainless steel tool box......they have one at Costco's and I want it so organize my tools of course.  He laughs and says don't you want some pots or pans or diamonds or something girly....".no not me."...just get me a BIG TOOL BOX.....with that I'll leave you for now.....I'll try to get some photos on here the next time I write.....Kathy in Hillboro

travelbug1237 8/3/2008 5:29:20 PM

HH Kkos Kathy,

  Oh my goodness...your little grand daughter...15 surgeries...oh man...but it is SO great she is doing so well!!! And yes....Doernbecker's- What a wonderful wonderful success rate filled with such warm and wonderful workers!! So you have 2 little ones now that you have in your life! How special is that!!! ???Congratulations!!! have a lifetime of items you can be stitching for -for those little 7 month old girls. Smile

 SO you are a fellow PERS retiree...ya gotta love it. Somebody knew what they were doing!!! How fun for you to get to know all those judges.

I didn't realize there were so many! ( Thankfully I never had to 'stand before one'...just got called to jury duty interviews. Smile

  I usually go to both meetings and once a month they have been having a special 'class' on different ME projects. E and I both did hand towels...They had an extra set of materials so I called E and he came in for it?

Would your husband do an embroidery session with E and us???? Just checking!!!

    OH wow....I SOOOOO agree....pressure washers are the greatest!!!

I have a 'personal one too!!!" Because of my carpal tunnel I have to have E 'start it for me' but once it's fired's outta my way....any dirt, web etc - you're history!!!! Isn't it the best on white vinyl too!!! ( Well I do blow the chairs around a bit, but the fence is better!!!!) I did have a learning curve there too and so it's helpful to have some extra paint around if you wash the house if you're just getting started!!!....but I'm getting the hang of it now! lol.      

Hmmm so far I haven't had a urge to buy the 5' stainless steel tool box....but best I not see it....especially if it's on sale!!! LOL

    Well E should be coming in the next half hour...He was taking the max line to downtown and will be 'catching up' at the fire station with all his 'fish stories.'

      I'll check back with any of you readers on if I don't get back to you....I'm not ignoring you....just spending time with my hubby. Smile


Keep us posted on your MEing and projects etc.!! Smile

tourlady522 8/3/2008 8:33:38 PM

Hi Cathy,

I guess I should also apologize to Ann for mentioning a site I buy things from but it is only because it was local and easier for me when I am in Canada. I do of course buy from Ann's store as well. I guess it was ok as it was left in my last note to you. I hope so anyway.


travelbug1237 8/3/2008 9:18:36 PM


   Don't feel was just a question brought up by one of the other ladies this post and so I answered her. I've mentioned places besides Ann's  myself so please don't lose an ounce of sleep over it.

   We love hearing from you and I am in HIGH hopes you will be able to come to Oregon for a visit. I could learn so much from you!!!!


HH Cathy,

You totally continue to amuse me to the max!!! You are a riot!!! The lady I met at the Orlando event just keeps on going like the bunny with the special battery. I guess you have so much in common with so many of us out here we can really relate to you in so many ways! I think that's why we love ya so much! Smile

Greta Van Susteren...!!....Now come on!!!!!!!!! I got to know her during the Murder Trial of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. Any time a major news story is out, I look for her reports, just gotta love her. You lucky, lucky spirit, not to mention E being lucky to meet up with her.

Well I'm watching the news of a potential hurricane Eduardo coming our way so I'll sign off for now. It's now a tropical storm and we are under a "warning" which means we'll be feeling the winds real soon.

Keeping watch....



I should mention I have 10 other 11 grands and 1 greatgrand....lots of good ME projects there.  Seven of them are teenagers (Lord help us)....all great kids, smart and sport soriented all heading for college and one to the Coast Guard and college.  I've really been blessed.....and thank God everyday.

Yes, PERS.....we where in the right place at the right time.  For anyone not living in Oregon, PERS is Public Employees Retirement System.  Best retirement system in the state (until it runs out of money like Social Security) but until then things are good.

I'll be at the Sewingroom on Thursday, Aug 14th at'll be taking a class?  Will we have a few minutes to talk?  We can exchange information, emails etc. and go from there.  I'm very excited to met fact I think I saw you at the sewingroom the last time I took my machine in....Tony was showing me the emroidery stitchout she had done on my machine and you where sitting in front of a machine by the back turned around and smiled, I know that was you....because of the photo you put next to your name....TravelBug 1237.  

I told my husband, Mike about you, your blog and your husband and he thought the same thing "small world".  You asked if he would ME.......never, not my Mike.  My husband is almost 80, he's been a small business owner for all his life (except for serving in the US Navy during WW11 and Korea.)...and being a policeman in Colorado years ago...when he came to Oregon he went to Portland State University for awhile, then openned his first bar & restaurant on third & Washington called "Little Mike's" he went on to own several places over the years but finally ended up in Beaverton....a place called "The Green Meadows" dine & was the only country western place this side of the river (Willamette) he had that for 35 years.....all the while he loved gambling and horse races, when he retired he owned, trained an ran horses up and down the Pacific coast from Canada to Mexico......since he has retired from the horses he has two old timers like himself  that he cares for everyday.....Big Red and Face of Circle....they keep him going as far as sewing not my Mike....give him a horse or a deck of cards and he's in. But he's very happy that I enjoy fact I'm off to meet a friend for lunch and I'm expecting a delivery of a EM I bought ,UPS is bringing it today and he's already waiting for it....what a sweetheart.  Oh, he also loves to'll have to tell me about Ethens trip in Alaska.

The first thing I want to know when we meet is "where do you get all your energy"  Like the other blogger said you're like the energizer bunny....God bless you....and thank you for all the info you have given us.....I've been sewing ME on an off for 10 years and you have learn more in your short time then I had all those are a wealth of information and I'm sure I can say that for everyone that reads your blog....."thank you for taking the time to share with all of us"....can't wait to meet you....hugs, the other Kathy in Hillsboro

travelbug1237 8/4/2008 6:20:21 PM

THANKS!!!!  SoWhat2..Smile...

    How did you fare with that storm??? I hope you are OK and your property is not damaged!!!

   I think I have a lot of energy  because I don't use up my reserves on a daily basis anymore since I quit teaching. I use to put 110% in each & every day...that was just my body is saying...huh....What's up. SmileSmileSmile

 E is taking a nap so I made a quick trip to my computer to write updates...but HE is the one that has the most energy usually....way more than me and he's 10 years older!!! (& still going VERY strong. )

  ( We just went to the bank to pay off my Visa & apparently that was enough to knock him out cold ...even in our 90 degree weather todaySmileSmile LOL...

  Yes don't you just LOVE Greta???? I just 'gushed' over the phone...she's SO SMART and well I just flat out admire her....( and she's a wonderfully modest

woman too) who I think may have blushed as I told her how I just "LOVED her" and that I thought she was THE BEST commentator and how smart I KNEW she was etc. etc etc....) She was very gracious ..and said for me to write to her 'blog'.... I had to laugh...but at least I KNEW what a blog was ( and that is progress since a few months ago!!! Smile I didn't tell her I write one too....She might get a kick out of reading it if she is on one of her major international flights...although she just might be reading 'news' stuff galore instead, but if she ever needs a break from the real world...she might get a kick out of reading about machine embroidery and the people who enjoy doing it all over the world & the happy, funny ( sometimes sad) and varied personal lives we each live SmileIt might be a really nice change for her since she covers so many 'missing children, etc etc.'

  HH K Kathy....WOW what an INTERESTING background....holy cow!!!

I bet your husband has a MILLION stories he could tell.  ( & you too) I sure hope he has written his life history....those grandkids would love it along with anybody he was in the service with etc etc. Horse racing huh? That's a whole other life right there!!!

 I don't gamble...( well I did twice, nope make that 3  times in my entire life, except for Bingo...does that count??If so....I guess I have gambled a bunch at times.)  Anyway...) The 1st time is a REALLY really  funny story ( Las Vegas)  I'll share sometime if you like! The 2nd time I was at the Oregon State Fair with a fellow whose mom LOVED to bet the horses. Well I knew absolutely nothing about it and there are those who are very serious and study those 'odds' sheets etc.... Well in brief, he told me I could bet on any horse I wanted to. I said...OK...and I borrowed his binoculars ( I had no interest whatsoever in trying to figure out those 'helper' sheets.) and so I just

checked out the horses themselves from the bleachers. I chose the one that I thought had the BEST LOOKING LEGS & it won!!!   He couldn't believe it!!! That horse was NOT suppose to even place.....but I'm telling you, it had the best legs in the race! Smile SO that's my tip for the day!!! SmileSmile lol

   Oh and yes Thursday the 14th @ 2 pm will be great! Why don't you plan on's a free of charge demonstration.The ladies are REALLY nice and fun to get to know there & I mean ALL of them too !!!! SmileSmile

   Well I just heard some stirring...E must be awake.

Talk to you soon!!!  

Hugs back!!! Smile

beamishboy 8/4/2008 8:07:14 PM

For Bonnie (tourlady): There is no need to apologize. If you don't know whether that's acceptable or not, that's our fault for not being clear about what our Community users could do and what we would prefer that they didn't do. So, I'm going to write my next Magic Bookshelf blog post on the "rules of the community" and hopefully I'll get some feedback. If any of the ones I come up with don't seem reasonable, I will certainly listen to suggestions about changing them.

The great thing about having this community is that it gives us a great insight into what our users (and we hope sometimes customers) want, and it also tells us when we are not properly communicating our message to the people we want as customers.

Thanks, Bonnie, for bringing it up, or I might never have even thought to make any rules. I'm not a rules person - I've been breaking them all my life!

WOW!  What a blog this one is!!!

So much to comment upon.  I think I will just say that we all have to make decisions about our purchases.  Naturally, ATG would love to have all your business and, we want to support ATG for giving us this great place to meet and exchange ideas, feelings and stories.  But, it is OK to pick up items when it is 'right' for various reasons.

ATG has some really great buys!  Did you see that CatalogExpress is on sale for $99.00!  If you did not pick this one up yet, get one while it is on sale!!">  I know I have used it so many times since I got it.  

We all want a bargain, but I personally also believe that when people do the work (software is a LOT of WORK), they deserve to be paid a fair return.  

My next blog is coming on August 8, Friday, so watch for it!


And, BTW BB, you obviously break rules, I just think that orange shirt and socks is definately a terrific rule breaker!  

It shows you are not the shy type for sure.


Thanks, Pat, and by the way, Cathy, I have no problem with you talking about your great relationship with your local dealer. There is a commonly-held perception among some dealers that Internet embroidery sites are the enemy, but my view, and yours too by the sounds of it, is that people will bring their business where they are comfortable. If you are comfortable with a local dealer and you are also comfortable with a web site, my feeling is that you'll bring your business to both.

Cathy (CinO),

I will stay and visit with everyone on the 14th....thank you.

I have to tell you...picking the horse because it has good a great way to pick a Mike does it all the time.  If a horse doesn't have good legs what will it run on.  Bravo glad you won.

And I must agree with Beamishboy, I think they both compliment each have to have a physical store to take your machine when it goes belly-up...but I think  it's more fun to check the websites some are better then others and ATG is one of the best.

Looking forward to your next blog on the 8th...."K"inO

travelbug1237 8/5/2008 10:32:03 AM


  That is SO great you are going to stay and visit on the 14th!!! I'm REALLY looking forward to  meeting you personally!!!!

As far as the 8th goes, that came from another blogger advertising her next launch.  Sorry it confused you...confuses me too to be honest, so Pat please stop doing that!! SmileSmile!!! THANKS!!!

(Greg has one more of my blogs in the hopper....but he hasn't  told me when that is coming out, but probably later in the month.)

See you soon!!!  

PS How about this heat!!!!?????

travelbug1237 8/5/2008 11:09:36 AM

HH Greg,

   Thanks for your input. Yes for me, I surely like to do business where I feel comfortable ( & just the opposite if I don't!!!!!) .,,,,,Also, if the key words  ap......' ON SALE"   appear - then that is music to my ears!!! SmileSmileSmile & CaChing CaChing That's my hook Greg in a nutshell....well that and 'free shipping'. Smile

   There are very few businesses that I won't go back to, but once in awhile that is the case - as what happened locally, (& I only shared one example of what happened there- there was more to get me so totally ticked off) ....but if some one or some place treats me with respect  & values me as I do them..... then I am a friend for a very long time, and in the case of a business I will spend freely there for years to come.

 My grandpa once told me ( who was wealthy), "Cathy if you can count 5 true friends throughout your will be rich. " I have never forgotten that!

(He was SO loved and he was "rich' in the way it was important to him....and his monetary wealth never got in the way of being SO kind, gentle and loving to every single person he met. He had learned to speak 14 languages over the years (& my grandmother 7). ( They were Norwegian immigrants but lived in different parts of the world when he worked for Standard Oil in Aruba and mining companies on the border of Mexico when he was a very young man.)

 One of the most unusual things he did, would be to go down town to skid row to a bar in order to "practice his Spanish" .(...back in those days that was NOT at all a common occurance! He would offer to buy drinks to the migrant workers so he could practice his Spanish!!!!) He'd borrow a pair of jeans from my dad and go down there.

   ( For those of you who may not be following this an earlier blog that had to be cut down size wise...I lived with my grandparents for most of my 1st 10 years of life.) Grandpa Holtane was my favorite mortal person on earth.

(I did have the opportunity to visit with several relatives over the years and spent one summer in Norway doing genealogical research....I found 500 relatives!!!) I did a family tree in honor of him and gave  a copy of it to his

surviving daughter, my Aunt who is still alive.

 Anyway, I do have my '5' but would like to be more like him and have that special gift of making everyone feel special and to know that there is 'no competion here' so to there is no need for anything but positive

supportive comments etc. and I for one hope that I did not hurt any ones feelings even in the slightest.


kimberly51 8/5/2008 1:41:52 PM


Good Luck with your new machine.  My first machine was a Brother 270D.  Mine was very temperamental and I had to learn quickly what to do and what not to do.  My suggestion is only use bobbin thread in the bobbin, be patient and take the time to learn your machine.  The embroidery part of my machine cause me a lot of frustration.  The sewing part of my machine worked great, no complaints.  Some of the features I really liked, once I got used to it was the thread cassette.  I also liked the thread trimmer and the Disney designs.  A lot of my problems at first, were operator error, but not all of them.

It didn’t take me long to realize that it wasn’t the machine for me.  It wasn’t going to do what I wanted to do and had limitations I wasn’t willing to live with.  I had waited too long to get an embroidery machine and I wasn’t going to happy until I got what I really wanted.  As a second machine it would probably work fine, but I didn’t have the time or space for it.  I considered the Brother PE700, but instead, I when with the machine I had originally wanted, a Singer Futura 250.  I wanted a machine that could do embroidery and sewing, I wanted to be able to hook it up to my computer and I wanted the larger hoop.  I know Singer it’s the same as it was, but I am very happy with this machine.  I have another Singer sewing machine; it’s a Slant o Matic made in the 60’s.  It was my Mother’s sewing machine and the one I actually learned to sew on.  For general sewing, it still does a great job after all these years.

Enjoy the adventure!

kimberly51 8/5/2008 2:41:53 PM

Opps, I know Singer is not the same as it was.

Cathy-I too was fortunate to have a wonderful Uncle whose name was Julius.  He always was so kind and gentle to everyone he met.  I miss him and know he is smiling at me right now.

Kimberly51-That is one beautiful baby!  Is she married yet?  LOL.  Singer and so many of the 'granddaddy's' of yesterday have had their hands full keeping up.  Some have done so, but others have not fared so well.

I think of the old phone company and the new phone companies.  The old phone company is burdened with old items, inventory and properties that are no longer useful.  The new phone companies are not so labored with such items.  I am reminded of a story I once read about a third-world country that had few if any 'phones' until cell phones came  upon the scene.  Then that country had cell phones everywhere in a short time.  

All of these things drive us with new and fun gadgets.  Singer may want to wipe the screen clear and start from the beginning.  That can be a really successful and mind clearing event.


kimberly51 8/5/2008 5:21:56 PM

That beautiful baby is my oldest Granson, he turned 4 last week.  His younger brother looks just like him.  Heartbreakers of tomorrow.

travelbug1237 8/5/2008 7:33:19 PM

HH ME'ers....

    Just got back from a luncheon/lecture that my girlfriend invited me to & ...had the best chicken cordon blue in my life! Yum....& the secret ingredient was paprika!!!!!...The chef was willing to share that!!! Also our table had a really sweet server...She really went the extra mile!!!

(I really did not want to go out in this heat, but we had planned this a couple of weeks ago)....Also my car I just got out of the repair shop - has to go back in!!! How can this be?????  

I am trying to have a stiff upper lip here folks!!! ...but they're starting to wobble fast. I just got my Visa paid off!!! they say it's my transmission!!!  Oh dear....the electrical cost over $1,500....Does anyone know how much the transmission in a Miata can cost???

  I did have one really nice thing happen today though...I won the door prize! It's a book by the author who did the presentation. that you have my daily update....back to MEing!!!

Thanks for letting me get car woes out though. Smile It helps....(E's at the station.)

Kimberly51.....SOOO sweet....

    OH and THANKS A MILLION for the 270D tip!!! E and I ran out of time

yesterday so we didn't get it going or even out of the box for that matter....but THANKS so much for giving me the thumbs up on USING BOBBIN THREAD....sounds like doing lace on that machine is not an option.

  I am sure I will be asking you a gazillion questions about it before it's over if that's ok with you. I'm so happy you found a machine that you are happy with!!!

I don't know if I shared with you or not that for Christmas last year I got a Futura350. It never got out of the box ( or store )  because I wanted lessons 1st. Since the 350 was a brand new model no one was fully trained on it yet.....I called every few weeks to see if the gal had been trained but she wasn't sooo the mgr was really really nice and gave me a full refund on it just before I left for Orlando for Ann's Community Circle last April.

I'm so glad to hear yours is working for you!!!! SmileSmile Be sure to feel free to

send in photos of your projects/gifts etc!!! We'd love to see it.

    Hmmm the thread cassett on the 270....OK I will really pay attention to that when we get to it. It's really nice to hear what's good and what I need to be careful of. Thanks Kimberly.

  Yesterday E and I spent, I bet at least an hour,  trying to iron hand towels. (I bought several solid rainbow  colors of them....enough for one each family member and friends for Christmas gifts.)

     I don't know WHAT I did wrong, but surely there is an easier way to do this!!! ( I had already washed all the towels a couple of weeks earlier ( to remove the sizing) in a recommended laundry soap from the health food section of a major grocery chain.I put them in the dryer and they came out looking like mechanic's cleaning cloths!!! I was horrified!!! (They are the 100% cotton towels that also were recommended.)  Also, they were terribly terribly wrinkled.

   I went over to my new ME friend Lynn ( a couple of weeks ago after having just washed and dried them)  who was duly shocked too and well she tried to be very encouraging...but we ended up not using a one of them that day. She gave me one of HER towels for an upcoming birthday gift to another friend. (It looked really nice and she used her Brother Innovis machine. (She got the SAME towels at the SAME store!!!? ) Sigh.....

So we are thinking it may have been the detergent....??? Anyway...E and I did not get to ME yesterday as HE had wanted!!! SmileSmile because we could NOT iron the wrinkles out!!!!!

We  sprayed and sprayed and sprayed water & pressed....and it still did NOT look good. I finally just re wet them (really wet)  one by one...then E used the small iron 1st to try and get the towels flat enough to put into my brand new steam press  iron.  I can tell you right now....that I am NOT going to want to iron like this -  so my career in machine embroidery may be limited to 'lace',  or only use  a fabric that does NOT wrinkle much - if at all. I thought cotton kitchen towels were a BASIC 1st project and would be easy.  ( E and I did do a successful 'similar type towel' for a 'lesson' though at the sewing center, but they were not washed before hand for that particular lesson.) They look really crisp and neat as a pin. Smile and we loved them and my next blog is on them.

  I guess I could have just disregarded everything I have heard about 'getting rid of the sizing' and just embroidered on the new towels & they would have looked good...well until they were washed.

  SO if you  have any ideas/tips  on how to SUCCESSFULLY wash and iron 100% cotton hand towels...please let me know. THANKS!!!

 Well folks, I'm calling it a night.  Will check back with you tomorrow.

I hope at least SOME of you are embroidery tonight!!!! Smile

I want to hear success stories!!! SmileSmileSmile I need a little encouragement right now with these towels....Ya know, the thought just hit me...I could just embroider a 'garden snail' or worm and then they would make great garden sink towels.....Yes...that would work!! All is not lost...yeah! Smile Now to get those designs downloaded into Cat Express...that will be the next challenge...but I will keep plugging away here!!! This WILL all come together sometime!!!!

I'm just in molasses so to speak for right now, but I know there's living proof of it ( successful embroidery and the joy it brings)  out there when I hear from you-  and your encouraging words -  and what YOU have already done!!! Thanks!!!

OK I feel better...



annthegran 8/6/2008 1:27:50 AM

Oh, Cathy! I get tired just reading your blog, but I do enjoy it so! I'm sure glad you got your ME shopping in before getting the bad news about the car repair. And you're getting so smart about ME so FAST!  

travelbug1237 8/6/2008 11:59:36 AM

HH Ann...

What a pleasant surprise to read your note to me!!! I'm sorry though that you got tired!!! That's sure not my intent...just know for you and Greg can "un-blog me" at anytime and it will be OK. It's been quite an experience from winning the machine 'till now!!!

  I am glad to know you enjoy it anyway!

Yep, I did get A LOT of shopping in before the cars went kaflooey....& continue to go kaflooey...Frown

So, you think I am getting so smart about ME ( & fast ) no less.??!! Well, thank you for that....Oh Brother ... (PE700) SmileSmileSmile ..I am glad someone thinks so!!!

  I am still totally in awe to know YOU DIGITIZED those darling darling designs!!!!

  Well take care...Take a nap on me....well not really ON me, but you know what I mean....and I hope to see you next year at a 2nd ATG Community Circle! Smile or here in Oregon!!!


I won't be able to attend the meeting next week.  I received devastating news regarding two dear friends, both in Oregon but each on  different ends of the State.  I need to deal with this first....I'll keep in touch or just introduce myself if I see you at the sewing store again.  Keep sewing.....don't give up....I'll be back (as Arnold says)....KinO  ( the other Kathy n Oregon)

Cathy - about those wrinkled towels - do you have one of those machines that don't have a center post, such as the Maytag Neptune?  If so, that may be the problem.

I finally had to replace my 30+ year old Lady Kenmore and wanted to have a "green" machine.  The Neptune is supposed to use less water and less energy, etc.  I paid BIG bucks for it, and it is the WORST machine I ever had.  It wrinkles everything so much that I have to use the low spin cycle and that means I lose the efficiency of the dryer because the clothes aren't spun as dry as the high spin would be.  It also tangles my clothes so much that I can barely get them apart - literaly they are tied in knots.  The wrinkles can never be ironed, steamed, whatever, out of the clothes.

I've heard other sewers say the same thing when they prewash fabric.  I'm about ready to dump my machine and get a new "old-fashioned" one.  Sometimes newer isn't better!!

I just told another new embroidery friend about the planned get-together next summer, and she's on board to come also!  It should be a great gathering!

I don'tr know how many people you've got confirmations from, but if your place gets too full, let us know.  We can camp at the Thousand Trails campground and leave space for others that don't have that as an option.  I want whatever makes it work for all of us!!

Pat (SunRai)

travelbug1237 8/9/2008 12:02:36 PM

"K" Kathy...I am SO sorry to hear about your devastating news of your 2 friends.

We'll get together another time. It will be great getting to meet you when the time is better.HUGS, hugs, hugs...( It's so sad to lose friends...I'm still sad 3 years later of the passing of one of my college roomates.)Frown  I'll be thinking of you!! Take care and have a VERY safe more than 1 direction it sounds.


SunraiPat....Yep,I have a new-ish 'energy efficient" w/d. could be SOOOOO right on this about the machine and the wrinkles!!!  YES....they were TIED IN KNOTS!!! Yes, exactly. They were a MESS and I'd never seen anything quite like it. THANKS for your input!!!!

(I just could NOT believe how they looked and STILL look after SO much labor!!!) To be honest, one couldn't ever PAY ME ENOUGH to iron OVER and OVER and OVER again

Thanks too for the thumbs up on the

reality that they may NEVER looked completely ironed. ( I recently washed a new pair of 100% cotton seersucked and they look horrible too!!!) I tried pressing those also and just decided....I'm buying 'blends' from now on.

My heart goes out to ALL the ladies who use to have to iron wrinkles out on a regular basis.....NO WONDER that had a hand towel embroidered saying

Monday washing, .Tuesday IRONING.......Good was no exageration!!!

It took all day. ( IF anyone else has IRONING stories...I would LOVE to hear about them.....current or in the 'olden days!" Really, I mean it...I'd love to hear about it.

I REALLY don't want to be spending moolah this month ( or year...SmileSmileSmile ) on another washer and dryer. Not only do I agree with your washer/dryer going back to the "old-fashioned kind" I also think it can apply to OLD  'NON- computerized automobiles!!!! ( We still have one sputtering.....Smile

 Oh and as far as 'how many are coming for sure'...Well either way will be fine, but the 12th park you'd be in is REALLY REALLY close to the land w/the garage and just 5 miniutes to the beach house. You could walk to the land where people can camp. ( It's like 1/2 block from the big RV park) I'd go ahead and make reservations  for 1-2 weeks if they'll let you!!!  We're still trying to solidify the dates....but I have gotten private e-mails telling me that they are trying to co-ordinate Seaside with the Sister's Quilt show about 3+ hours from Portland. Some REALLY want to come the 1st week of July...which is's just SUPER crowded then because of the fireworks in Seaside each year.

I'm really flexible and can hardly wait to have you all come!!! Smile

I'm sooooo glad your friend is planning to come too. Seaside is a very fun place and lots to see and enjoy!!! I'm excited!!!

Just a quick comment about the chicken cordon blue.  What the chef did not tell you is that you need to use "Hungarian Paprika."  Paprika is a 'pepper' product and mostly has a slightly bitter bite.  Hungarian paprika is more on the sweet side, not sweet, just not bitter.  Hungarian peppers are known world wide as the best of the best.  

Hungarian down (such as in a pillow or quilt) is also the best in the world.  You can expect to pay twice as much for this down as other down, but you will find it to be incredibly soft and extra long lasting.  It defines luxury in bedding products.  

Pat, Hungarian Desent

travelbug1237 8/9/2008 2:12:02 PM

Hungarian Paprika....OK great....!!!

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