Redwork - A Super-Simple Beginner's Project

Directions start @ paragraph 9 - Just a  hint to save you some time if you want to go to the project directly. (Chatty Cathy is going strong 1-8)


HH  (Hello Hello) Fellow M’Eers,


I hope all is going well for you and that your MEing is going great! I hope too that your machines are purring and you are still happy and excited about your hobby!!!! Even if you’ve had some glitches, I hope you are at least DOING something with your machine!!!

(I am speaking more to myself than to you, here.) I was so swamped (and stressed) with “other things’ (summer school, kids crisis, renters, c- tunnel flair up, canning, July blogs not done on time, & a very excited husband not packed but headed for Alaska to fish with some sons etc)  Everything is getting back to normal now finally with the exception my home looks like a cyclone went through it!!!.:) I don’t do well in chaos and clutter and it sure has been both to the max.

One special friend (with whom I did share all the gory details of ALL that’s been going on) suggested I needed to go to a spa & drink a bottle of wine.

Well         1. I can’t afford a spa. (since I bought so many THINGS) and:

               2. I don’t drink alcohol,

 but I  did tell her that I was going to drink my home-grown  grape juice - STRAIGHT - completely UNDILUTED!!!!   - We’re talking strong stuff!!! L0L

Now that’s getting serious!!

(I bought an entire case of Pepsi when I went through my divorce but that’s another story.) I’m off caffeine except for chocolate; & it would behoove me to drop that too.

I’ve done almost nothing on my machine for the last few weeks…although I did make up for it  shopping for things to ‘help me embroider better ’!!!!  Not all stress is bad, right???? (Well not until the Visa bill comes at least, - but unfortunately/fortunately I just learned how to do online banking…holy cow…now that is an eye opener to see what one can do to themselves shopping with on-line shopping now too !!!!!! ) I used to pay off my visa once a month…then had to do it twice a month to keep on top of it…lately it’s been every 2- 3 days!!! Enough is enough!!!

I guess I should give a word of warning to any of your newbies….PHEW…It can be addictive and at least for me…since I am so new…I just got “ALL EXCITED” when I saw NEW designs that I thought I just HAD to HAVE  right then etc  (oh and ALWAYS the ‘carrot dangling ’ …” ON SALE” …well if it’s on sale then I had ‘better hurry’ or I might miss out!….Those marketers have me all figured out!!!! (My son, who DOES have a degree in marketing from UNLV, sat with me one day while we were at a ‘presentation’ and he explained what the steps are that sales people were going to use (which they did) …so it isn’t that I have never been told….Well I am now “putting the BRAKES on until I take care of , & find a place for WHAT I already have, & USE it -   at least SOME of what I have!”

Now THAT is a good plan!

Cathy's KitchenOK don’t faint…. I am actually going to share with you a REAL project for any of you beginners out there like myself -  who might not know where to begin. It’s been awhile…sorry!!! Really I am!!!

You might have heard many different terms describing various types of machine embroidery;  appliqué, trapunto, rosemaling, FSL ( free standing lace- which is really easy – honest), etc etc  ) and you might feel a bit overwhelmed. I did and still do, but I personally am GOING BACK to the BASICS here and I am going to do more of them!  I am truly a beginner and it’s where I’m at & need to be because I am just learning. I felt somehow that I needed to hurry up and learn as many new things so I could be blogging about them….but now I am SO happy because there are more and more bloggers coming on to Ann’s site who can help those who are advanced and/or wanting to learn a specific technique. They KNOW what they are doing & HAVE EXPERIENCE…)  I think it is so great too that Ann is adding a quilting section…that is SO very popular!!!!! My friend Kitty will be beyond thrilled! She’s been at it for a long time and so far I haven’t gotten into it because I see fabric stashes in the horizon if I do and I don’t need ANY more stashes of ANYTHING for awhile!!!

So I am going to take a new fresh deep breath, drink my grape juice (diluted in the near future I hope)  and enjoy the rest of this embroidery journey I started just a few months ago. It’s time to HAVE FUN and ENJOY embroidering!!!! I can’t wait to do projects and give them as gifts …be they small or humble to begin with. 

**** OK. Let’s begin the PROJECT of RED WORK

A very basic, but still VERY nice gift to give is called “REDWORK. “

 I believe it is usually done on kitchen hand towels but could be done on napkins, a quilt square, baby receiving blanket, gardening towel, purse, eyeglass holder, napkins and probably a golf towel too. I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of ideas once you do it yourself. Then please DO share it with me in Ann’s community. We’ll love to see and/or hear about it!!!

I didn’t know (prior to doing it) that REDWORK is almost identical to BLACKWORK & GREEN WORK and I am pretty certain BLUE  work could be found too,  so why stop there?????…Why don’t the EMBROIDERY gurus on high out there just call it COLORWORK????   Hmmmm??? I am serious! It would be easier for us beginners….plus it would be like getting 3 + things for the price of one training!!!… (What a bargain!!)

The ONLY thing I found out to be different was the color of thread you use!!!! …although when looking at different designs you can buy, they were separated into different categories.  Why????? Hmmmm someone more advanced than I can set me straight, but to me as a beginner, I could have missed out on black work for example, and think it ( ‘blackwork’ ) was a completely different embroidery type that may have used a different technique/stabilizer/ etc etc.

Not so!!!! So why make something so simple – harder???? They’re  all SIMPLE!!!!

Until an expert sets me straight I think they are INTERCHANGEABLE.

OK…enough editorializing…here we go….

Supplies needed for the project Ethan and I did (besides your machine and hoop)

1.   Hand towel

2   Embroidery thread

3.  Bobbin  thread ( I used white.)

4.  Tear away stabilizer

5.  Redwork/ blackwork  etc ‘design’ (It has many fewer stitches than many designs and NO fill.)Ethan's Kitchen

6.  Rick Rack (optional but I really thought it added A LOT)

7. Alphabet for name/ or day of the week etc  (optional) We did it and we really liked the individualization.

Hint…..In the embroidery class when we did it, the towels were NOT washed in advanced and they looked crisp and wonderful. They still do because I haven’t used them yet because I knew once the dust settled, I’d be blogging about it and wanted to photograph them while they still looked really new.

Yesterday I bought SEVERAL similar towels but ALL in SOLID colors (from the same store the teacher bought ours) and WASHED THEM IN ADVANCE, so as to remove any sizing. I also put in one sheet of Color Catcher (recommended by a quilt shop) into the washer (made by Shout that says it “traps color –runs to protect clothes.) I got the box - a pkg of 24 for less than $5. I put all 75 (of them into the dryer (2 loads ) also in order to make sure that they would NOT shrink after the stitching was done so no puckering would occur.

WELL…. ALL the new towels/napkins I bought FADED, and my rainbow of colors now look like worn-out  wanna-be cleaning cloths. I am SOOOO disappointed. (I washed the colored ones in COLD water…& only the very light yellow ones in warm water.) I am going tomorrow to Lynn, who is a professional embroiderer that I met in ‘ embroidery group’, to see what she thinks. Rather than fancy napkins for each person, I think I’ll change the theme to ‘gardening’ this next Christmas or bike rags for one family who designs racing bikes etc.

I’ve heard so many times to do a ‘test’ on your patterns…well I suggest you do a ‘test’ on ANY new fabric before you even do a stitch.

Had I NOT done that 1st step of getting rid of any sizing….they would have been beautiful at least at first glance…I’m not a quilter so it could be worse…had I done them all up into squares thinking they’d be a beautiful rainbow quilt and then given as a gift…only to have it all faded whammo fast would have been so disheartening…

OK…. Back to the DIRECTIONS for doing the dish towels.

The only ‘hard’ part (& it wasn’t that hard ) one could say, is getting the PLACEMENT of the design WHERE you want it on your towel. You may want to measure it so that it is up from the bottom edge about 4 or so inches & get it centered. (You can fold your towel 2 directions to get the center or use one of the fancier ‘gadgets’ to get it centered.).

Once you place the tear away stabilizer UNDER  the towel  (& some put a water soluable on the top…but we didn’t in class) and then HOOP it  tightly…Snap it all into your it it  machine & then sit back and be thoroughly AMAZED how QUICKLY it stitches out and then you are done. VOILA!!! Well except for a few tiny thread clippings & tearing the stabilizer off the bottom. Sad I think you will love it!!!

Finished redwork and blackworkHint….Just select your designs in advance if you know for sure who it’s going to.…E SHOULD have gotten a rooster for example rather than a hen….but we’ll do better next time!!! (He’s so flexible…He just went with the flow being a black hen instead of a rooster!!!! ) Not all men would go for that!!!  What a guy!) Big Smile

His towel is called BLACK WORK and my towel is called RED work.  EVERYTHING  was done exactly the same EXCEPT for the color of thread used!!!! See I told you….Now you can do MULTIPLE types of machine embroidery EVEN if this is your very 1st project!!! It takes just a FEW minutes to get the design on the towel!!!  REALLY FAST!!!

We did add the rick rack on both of ours. I think they turned out really cute!!! IF you do put rick rack on, your machine must be able to do a simple sewing stitch or hand stitch it on.

I may NEVER ever WASH them….but for now I just love them. (SO I also would not use water soluble because that would need to be removed with H2O, and I am not high on ‘washing with water right now.”). BRAND NEW, they would make a darling wedding or hostess gift.

SOOOOOO good luck on your NEWEST PROJECT. If you try to choose this. I will love hearing from you!!!!


Cathy...speaking of  ‘hens’ this one needs to ‘fly the coop’ for a week at the beach & I will!


P.S.   For Newbies' eyes only… what do you say…Shall we unite and start using the term “COLOR WORK “ and see how soon it catches on in the embroidery world.???!!! Hmmmmmm  We’d have our very OWN NEW technique called COLOR WORK…..we could make it famous.!!!  We need to be brave and expand our vision….!!! Hmm , sort of like when the “Fosbury Flop” was 1st shown publicly to the world of track and field.  Do any of you remember when 1st did it ???- It was a new style for high jumping which now is used in the Olympics instead of the scissor style. BtW  we went to the same high school & I saw him practicing!!! I just stared at him and he just smiled back. To finish the story, I scissored 4’2” when I was younger…went to Europe gained 30 lbs and jumped 2’6” when I got back!!!) True story! My track days were SO over!!!!

So, what do you say newbies…Shall we start a NEW movement??? Heavens… I can see it now!!! I LOVE hot pink, purple, violet and lots of other colors. I also LOVE SIMPLE and quick….I couldn’t help but think it sure would be nice to be in the position of agranddaughter of Ann's - getting to do a project already selected and having it completed in a short time under her trained and experienced eyes!!!!  Lucky girl!!!! Ann, do you want to become even MORE famous than you already are??? How about doing a collection of SUPER SIMPLE designs that you did for your granddaughter by putting them into a new package marketed  “especially for beginners’ and calling it COLOR WORKS. It could be the newest and hottest trend !!!! We’d love it, right!!!

Let’s hear it for Ann !!!! (We’d just have to change embroidery threads.) Yeah!!!! Just think you could be right on the cutting edge and we readers on AnntheGran will KNOW exactly what it is…right off the bat…even before the golden oldies know what it is?? Yeah for us newbies!!

Comments (46) -

Hey, Cathy! We have a One-Color Work page in the Free Designs sectionI I even contributed a couple of them myself. Well, at least one that I can remember! Great blog! One-color work really is a time saver.

jalcumbrack 8/15/2008 8:44:34 AM

Hello Cathy!

Yes I can see where that would be confusing for a newbie. A lot of people refer to them as One Color Work. I think there is another set out there called Colorworks,which involves up to 4 colors,usually in a vintage type design,such as a bowl of fruit,for example, where the bowl would be one color,the grapes another ,the cherries another and so on. I could be wrong on that but I think that is how it is referred to.

Great Blog My Friend! I just did a set of napkins in blackwork!(LOL) They look awesome and are for my step-daughter. They have kitties on them so she will like them. You are so right,if you have forgotten to make a gift for someone's birthday or what ever,they are a quick and easy,yet stunning gift at the last minute!(like I have never done this, right?)

I hope you are enjoying your time at the beach!(envious person here,who lives 7 miles from gulf and hasn't been there in a year!)Getting some much needed rest I hope,and some painting done as well!

I love your towels,and yes you have to be careful of the quality of towels especially. They seem to be the one thing that just are never the same,but you are right to have washed them first,otherwise you may have given them to someone only to discover too late that it was going to happen. There is nothing worse than finding out after the fact,meaning after you have put all the love,time and work into them only to discover that they would do that,after you had already given them to someone. That is why we wash everything first! I have done that,without washing first but only on a brand that I have used before and know how they come out.( and only because I needed the gift like an hour ago)

Congrats on getting a project done,and hope we see more of them as you go along on your journey to embroideryland!!(well it sounds really cool,sort of like Oz or something like that!)Have fun at the Beach,sift some sand for me or better yet find me that really cool shell!!


Cathy-Great Blog!  I like the idea of "one-color work" because it describes so many things.  Even if it says 'redwork' I sometimes break the law and use blue!  WOW, am I the wild one!

I even use a single color on some designs, the lay of the stitches still shows the design and can have a 'cameo' appearance.  Therefore, we don't hav to have 'cameowork,' we can have 'one-color work.'


Hi Cathy,

Love Redwork.  Oh, okay, Bluework, Blackwork too.  I love the look of the 1930s so when I first started the embroidery thing, went to the Redwork instantly.  But, I have not stopped because I love simple designs.

Maybe a die-hard would not interchange the colors for the specific groupings, but I do.  Judy is correct with the multi-color work.  They are found in the vintage designs; flowers and the cutesy animals.  A more intense 30s design and coloring would be the Oilcloth .

You are certainly embroidering right along.  Did ya see that new  Brother Quattro machine???  Huh, huh!



The designs look good in varigated colores also. I made a round cloth doily with birthday designs to go under my cakes for birthdays, I used pink varigated thread. Any color can be used.


squaredancer73 8/16/2008 12:04:16 PM

Just finished a quilt in redwork for a little girl was wondering if the little boys design would be okay in royal blue, thanks Cathy, love your blog...glad you are enjoying that embroidery machine...

Using variegated threads also gives "colourwork" a new dimension. You can stitch out the one design in several different variegated threads for a whole new effect each time.

Cathy.  Love your colorworks.  I am also a beginner and would like to make some towels like yours.  I do have a question.  On one picture you are showing your towels as if the picture was shot from above.  My question is, there looks like some design on the bottom of the towels under the ric rak.  How did you finish off the bottom.  The towels you purchased, were they one color or several.  

travelbug1237 8/18/2008 5:44:57 PM

HH Everyone.....I just got back from the beach and had 6 glorious days out of the sun and heat wave. I'm a bit behind in reading the blog's final published

version and your comments.

Thanks to each of you for taking the time to write.

Cettlb....The towels we used in the lesson had colored borders at the bottom of the towel already. So we just added the red/black work design, the lettering and then the ric rack.  The towels already were hemmed....yeah!!! Smile

jennja - I love the idea of 'varigated threads!!" I think they would be REALLY spectacular on Christmas cards too....( once I'm there...) but I have purchased some of the threads and am excited to try them. Feel free to share any photos with the group of your completed 'varigated thread' projects. We'd love to see them.

HH SquareDancer73....don't tell me that's your age? You look younger than that!!! You could use royal blue for a little boy's design!!! Please share it with us when you are done!!! Oh and glad you enjoyed my blog. I haven't heard from you before so am not sure if you've read any of the others....but I'm so glad to hear from you now!! Smile

HH Lynn..... are you my Oregon Lynn friend???? Anyway....WHAT a GREAT idea to make a ME'd doily with birthday designs!!! What creativity!!! So tell us more.....How did you do it??? Remember I am a true beginner here and so I ask LOTS of questions & appreciate so much your input! Smile

HH Joan in New Jersey!!!! I have missed you!!!!! Goodness've missed out on the Miata messes I was in......but so good to hear from you again. ( My car is OK again after a 2nd or 3rd trip into the dealership! ) Anyway..back to MEing....Oilcloth??? You are going to need to fill me in on that? in REAL cloth that has been oiled special??? If you went into a fabric store they would have a bolt of 'oilcloth"??? Do they come in lots of colors??? Totally curious here....Was that something from the 30's???

Would you have to use special needles????

  Well to answer your question Joan...I have ONLY seen the new Brother machine on-line.....It looks like a machine made in heaven for die hard ME'ers...I've heard they are $9,000 though and that is a lot for this beginner....but I will love hearing from any and all of you who do get them!!! SmileSmile

  Pat...somewhere I actually SAW 'bluework' patterns...not sure where now though.

Judy... You mean somebody already has coined the term "colorworks"...Bummers...I thought us newbies could create a term on Ann's site that would be HELPFUL to all beginners...but that is still nice to know.

Did you do the blackwork on WHITE napkins??? Just curious....I like to picture things in my mind so it helps me remember.

 Oh yes...the beach was out of the heat here in town....yeah...

I just got back and now it is raining and will be cool for a few days....then back to heat...but to be honest...I have nothing to complain about...I am more concerned about all you folks in Florida!!! I hope you are all fine!!!! HUGS!!!

ok ok...I will go ahead and WASH the towels ahead of time....but I sure don't want to!!!! Just so you know! Smile I understand the theory now behind it...I just don't like the result so far....and I refuse to wash my cute new ones we did in they are just a decoration.....SmileSmileSmile

Thanks Ann....I really will look that up. I was hoping to be a proxy grand daughter for a minute and have quick access to all the designs you had chosen in advance for your grand daughter...although I am beginning to be able to tell which ones I should do first by looking for the 'stitch count." The

fewer the better if one is in a hurry.

Oh and thanks Marge and Alssweetheart....I appreciated hearing from you personally!!!

travelbug1237 8/18/2008 5:48:14 PM

cettlb...Oops I forgot to answer your 2nd question...

Each towel was white with ONE additional color at the bottom....mine was red and E's was black. I used red thread and red ric rack on my towel. E used black thread and black ric rack on his white towel with a 'black bottom' on the hemmed towel. Hope this helps. ( I can't believe I am giving ANY answers to any questions....but I guess it shows I am making some progress because I DID know the answer to that question!!! Smile That just tickles me!!!

Hi Cathy...Oh "our" Miata going through aches and pains?  Oh no.  Oilcloth is a shiny, slippery fabric; basically material prior to our vinyl/flannel backed fabric these days.  But the 30s oilcloth had fruit designs and flower designs.  Bright colors...perfect for Fiestaware.  Well, there are embroidery designs that are called oilcloth designs.  They are fruit like they appeared on these 30s oilcloth pieces and the thread color is set to mimic the colors used in oilcloth.  I have made 1940s aprons from the oilcloth fabric.  Use mine to bathe the dogs but wish I had them back in the days of bathing my kids!!!!  Also use on outside table.  Can make tote bags/beach bags from oilcloth as well.    Are you doing tons of Disney for the grandkids getting back to school???   Joan/NJ

jalcumbrack 8/18/2008 8:25:26 PM

Hi Cathy,

Yep ,I'm afraid so,they beat you to it,sorry. No, I did the Blackwork on some sage green gingham fabric and it looks really cool!

As far as heat,we will send you some,LOL! it has been horrible here for days now in lieu of the storm,hubby was out putting up shutters,(i got to hand him the nuts and bolts) we were both just drenched when we got done from the humidity here.

We will be fine,we have taken all the necessary precautions,spent today calling the elders here in the neighborhood to make sure they all had enough water and supplies and made several trips to the stores for them. We have so many that are so much worse off so we try to take care of as many as possible. We are the youg kids on the block so to speak. Wanted to make sure everyone is safe,hubby was out helping some with shutters and moving things in,and just gerneral making sure they are all set. that is why  we start early so in case others here need help we are available to them.

So I guess we just wait now and see what mother nature has for us,nothing to do but wait and see. Hopefully it will blow over and not amount to much but at least we are ready for it.

Take care all,will stay online if I can and tell you all what it's like here,sort of a weather update to you all.

Thanks Cathy for yours and everyones concern but we should all be fine,my angels tell me not to worry so I won't!

Missed you while at the beach,we really have to get you so you can take the laptop with you!!

Take care.......later!!

I loved the dishtowels would like to know where you got the chicken one color designs at. Sooo cuite. I had some towels cut the hem off the bottom and added gingham and rick rack design used anns kitchen one color. Looked good but still like the chickens.  What kind of one color design would be good one napkins have a set to do and don't know what to use. thanks again Helen from Muldrow OK

Hi to all,

I am a "newbie"....on it all.. I have just started to embroidery (PE-700II) and have just found Ann the Grand (LOVE) and now the blog(??) ...all I know about a computer I can put in a thimble..I am hoping I can find some help..I am trying to do some sashes for the local beauty contest....What was I thinking???  I am doing pretty good except for he thread is breaking all the time...wondering is it the thread..needle..backing..??? is there anyone willing to give a little advice..I am an old nanna having fun !!!  thanks




I love redwork as it is so quick to do. You are right about embroidery being addictive as I am  guiltyof buying a design that is on sale.

We need to get togehter when I go up to Portland  which may be a bit more often as my younges daughter got accepted to Cascade College ( it is on E Burnside) and I will be going up there once in awhile and we need to plan to get together.  I am sure you can get my email  from Ann so you can contact me. It would be so much fun to share our l ove of ME,

Laurie in Bend

travelbug1237 8/19/2008 10:50:18 AM

HH everyone!!

  I just need to tell you how wonderful it is for me to come to my computer early in the morning, after having answered comments from last night....and then to have NEW comments from other readers. It is really really neat!!! Thanks!!!!

  HH pualele...Absolutely let's get together!!! E Burnside is about an hour from my home in a west suburb of Portland. It would be so fun to have you visit!!!

We have an African guest room just waiting for you here in town for an overnighter ! We'll just have to coordinate when we're actually in town.

What's your daughter's major???? you know exactly the 'hook' of a 'design on sale'!!! Yep....they are addictive but oh so cute/beautiful/funny etc etc. I just LOVE all that creativity!!!!

 HH ( hello hello ) Nannah in Arkansas......

WELCOME NEWBIE!!!!! Oh wow!!!! You are so welcome to this site....& you have a PE700 too ....There are more than a few of us that have the PE700 machine. If you have time, you may want to go back to the blog and forum sections and start reading the different bloggers also. I am brand new

and my blog is from the perspective of someone JUST starting out.

The other bloggers have chosen topics that you may find VERY interesting and helpful. (Not to say you won't learn anything from my earlier blogs...but fair other name affectionately given to me is "Chatty Cathy"

so you'll need to 'plan to spend some 'extra time' getting through mine."

My blogs are a 'journey so to speak" and it starts with 'Introducing " me.

The others you can just click on....Anyway.

  Ann the Gran herself is a wealth of information ( & by the way...she IS a real person and she writes a blog also.)  In the few short months since April...

we have had several new entries and LOTS of readers give VERY helpful hints too along with the experienced ME'ers. ( machine embroiderers)

Nannah...believe me when I say...I totally relate to where you are.

You will DEFINITELY find help here on the site. There are at least 2 bloggers who REALLY know their stuff when it comes to computers and I know some of the readers have incredible backgrounds too ( Marge in Florida....table mate!!!) just let us help you along the way. I'm just a few steps ahead of you.....others are miles ahead &  they will help you with ANY of your questions....just ask away. You can ask me and if I don't know, they will offer you suggestions etc right here on my blog.  

HEY....tell us more about those sashes????? How did it come to be and what do they say etc????

As far as 'thread breaking'....Usually I believe the culprit is the "tension'

in the bobbin and/or the thread itself. If you hold the thread up to the light and you see 'whispy' things ( not a strong solid thread ) it means your thread can break more easily. ( Now that's my 2 cents worth...) and now let the  'experts'  answer more....

You can go back to the blog section and click to go back to earlier blogs to check for topics that might help you.

( Some I will be going back to when I get more advanced, & it is great to know they are there for reference.) Another  very helpful place to go for answers is "forums". You'll find that next to 'blogs'. There have been MANY many

questions asked that have been answered in there.

Let me know how that goes for you.

  Oh and if your needle is breaking...I had that happen DAY ONE and it was

not the way I wanted to start out. It turns out that my thread was getting caught

at the top of my machine. There is a certain way the thread needs to 'come off' the machine. ( over, not under).....but there are 'gadgets' that can help alleviate that too. The one gadget that everyone raves about is the "Thread Pilot' that you can find on Ann's store.

Do keep me informed of your progress!!! It will be fun to hear your experiences too. You didn't mention if you bought a machine on line or if you got it from a local dealership. If you bought locally, hopefully they are giving you 'free lessons' on your machine. If not, we'll help you the best we can

via the internet. ( I'm learning 'computer stuff too" but that's a whole other story on my other blog.)  It sounds like you are 'having fun' even though the thread & needle are breaking.) If you can still have FUN after that you are destined to be a very happy embroiderer!!!! Good for you!!! Keep us posted!!! Smile

  HH Helen in Muldrow, Oklahoma!!!

Thanks.....yes they were cute chickens weren't they? Well, I took a 'class' at

the sewing room where I connected with a teacher/owner there who took me 'under her wing'......honestly, no pun intended. The design was put into the floor model machine I used for the day for the class with a little stick the size of a toe nail clipper. ( It was new to me...) Anyway,

I am not sure what company the design came from but I can try and find that out.  There is a good chance that Ann has something similar. Have you checked her designs out yet? Let me know if you still need me to check that specific design out for you.

As far as your napkins you have a particular 'theme' you want?

Have you had a chance to go to Ann's 'shop' up on the same line as

blogs and forums. Click on that and go to 'passions' and then to embroidery...

You can then click on 'designs' and Ann has ONE COLOR Work in her FREE designs section.( She just wrote that to me in the blog so that's why I know that for sure! Smile  Let me know if that is what you are looking for. I am definitely going to be checking it out myself more thoroughly. Smile

 It sounds like you are a seamstress already....being brave 'cutting and adding gingham!!!" ( & then having to sew it back together!) Smile Good for you....!!!

if you already sew you are ions ahead of me...You can help me when I get brave enough to start 'cutting'....yikes....( I just read a blog on basic terms like cutting on the 'bias'....OH I am so not there...I am going to stick to a piece of fabric in a hoop for the time being....and being thrilled about that when it turns out SmileSmile

Oh as far as the napkins go...sorry I got side-tracked and didn't finish answering your question....Napkins don't just have to be 'color work'...but you can use other designs that do have 'fill'. The important thing is to make sure

that your fabric is strong enough to take the stitches you're going to be putting on it, hold (If the napkin fabric thread count is high then you can use a design with more stitches in it.) Color work is a safe bet though I think when you are first starting out. There are SOOOOOO many darling designs out there it is hard to decide where to begin. I'd suggest picking a design YOU LOVE and check the amount of stitches it has in it. If it has just 3 or 4,000 in it...vs 25 or 35,000 stitches I'd say you are pretty safe. ALWAYS though do a PRACTICE one to see how it goes.  ( Oh and STAY by your machine in case something clogs up etc. ) ( Also, it is highly recommended that you wash the napkins ahead of time to get the sizing out and then press them to make sure there are no wrinkles in them before you start MEing.)

Hope this helps. Keep me posted on your projects. I 'd love to hear about them!!!! SmileSmileSmile

HH jalcumbrack in Florida....My thoughts are with you this day!!!

That is just SOOOOO wonderful that you and your husband are being such 'good neighbors' to those that need your help!!! Talk about angels....sounds like you and your hubby are those 'angels' for those who are living near you!!!

  Hmmmm taking my laptop with me...what a novel idea...I don't even want to move it an inch in my craft room. ( I have it 'working' where the technician got it set up for me by my Brother machine and I don't want to mess anything up!!! I SOOOO need to download my designs that are still sitting in cyber space...paid for....but not downloaded yet. Anyway.... I don't have wireless at my beach I don't think it would work there, correct?

Joan in NJ....Yes..."our Miatas' were under the weather. If you go back and read my last blog or 2 you can read all the gory details. I haven't driven it

since it came out of the shop since the last time...but will this week.

I went to the beach with a girlfriend in her car....but I'm back for at least a couple of days. So good to hear from you. I missed you!!!

Thanks for all the info on 'oil cloth'.  Man....there is real history with that isn't there??!!!

Oh as far as Disney designs and grandkids....Sigh....once you read my prior blogs you'll know what has been going on....everything but machine embroidery!!! Frown We haven't even taken the Disney machine out of the box!!!)

I do think that WILL happen this week though. E is going to be home for the next 2 days and we are 'staying put' and getting things done here instead of going in different directions. ( The art studio is coming along but it is quite a drive from here....Friday E and his youngest son are going there and

the floors will get really cleaned and E will do more electrical.) Once the floors are cleaned then we'll put in some cupboards etc and start getting that organized.....Remember....I was going a WHOLE different direction prior to winning that machine in Florida.....Oh things aren't on the same schedule of completion as before etc. Anyway....there is hope and I'm going to

do MEing in town....water colors at the beach and silk painting etc etc at the art studio. I really think we will end up selling the farm with the art studio down the road though.... We are just pulled in too many directions & we aren't getting any younger as they say!!! The art studio though is a perfect setting for retreats....& there is a part of me that really really wants to have a place for women especially ( who are stressed ) that just need a place to 'play' and not go bankrupt in the process of having a place to go and 'play'. So many spas and retreats are so very dream is to make it very affordable and fun, but time will tell.

One step at a time here. SmileSmile

Joan...if you have pictures please submit them....we'd love to see them!

Thanks everyone for taking the time to write me!!! I love hearing from you!!! Smile

Have a GREAT DAY....!!!

Sorry Cathy...thought I read your blogs completely.  Knew you had the grandkids visiting.  Lots of grandkids!  I may have skipped around (old habit from my corporate days....sorta ignorance is bliss mode!).  Also jumping between my days with grandkids right now.  My free time is when they are in the shower!  Waiting to see those Disney designs on clothing excuses.  Yeah, love old stuff and the oilcloth, flour sacks and feed sacks are right up my alley.   Take care until your next blog.  Joan/NJ

Hi Cathy!  Just a quick note to let you know that I have started a 'Tutorial 101' for PE700 and PE700II users.  You can find it at:">  

I will be getting into moreof the machines in about 2 more weeks.  Time flies when you are an Avid Embroiderer!


travelbug1237 8/20/2008 10:18:33 AM

HH everyone....Yesterday was productive although no MEing occured....I'm getting closer and closer to actually sitting down and 'playing' and 'creating'  on my PE 700.....( How GREAT is THAT to have a tutorial for it!!!!) WOW THANKS A BUNCH!!!!! That will help so many of us 'newbies'.!!!!

I have another blog I need to prepare  for August before my Apple tutor helps me send it off to Greg to do his magic. (I have had no less than 6 tutors who have EACH done the sending differently..(????) Anyway, I go to the Apple store (with blog stored and camera in hand.) One never knows for sure who you'll get, but I really really like them young and bright!!! Oh my goodness these kids these about smart and sharp!!! Holy Cow!!!

   Anyway... our attached greenhouse/entrance is all *** and sparkling clean along with the side walkway and driveway. It's like a breath of fresh air

walking in now.  ( Yep, "K" Kathy I got to use the power washer again!!! SmileSmile's a nutshell....I blew the 8 volt (?) fuse which is highly unusual...

and it shut my car down on the way to the beach. It was a bit scary because it happened on an incline into the coast range just as the 4 way highway went down to 2...It cost over $1,500 to 'fix'.....( E was in Alaska fishing & clamming.)  Got to 'visit' with a motorcycle officer while I waited for the tow it towed back in to town ....& got it fixed ...or so I thought...

  Then got up for church on Sunday and it was 'dead again' and so it went in another time and it turned out my radio was draining the battery.....( another $125 to find out what was draining it.) little Miata has just been sitting in my driveway and I don't even want to get in it. I think it is going back to hibernate for the winter earlier this year. (Our other car is still not working correctly either because we put in the 'new gas' (based on what was told to us at the station that it was FINE, but it was NOT ) &  it has messed up the fuel system. Never a dull...

I ordered a Smart Car but it won't be here for 18 months???

Anyway...that's life in the 'stalled' lane for right now..but E is home now and

that really helps. Oh man I sooooo did not need those added expenses but

that is life sometimes, huh?....When it rains it pours...but the really good thing though is that I did not cause a wreck and no one got hurt when I had to try to get off the road with quickly diminishing power etc. new ME friend....You asked for my advice on Ann's blog specifically,  but I will answer you here so I don't hog her space...

Hmmmmm WELL...since you asked!!! SmileSmileSmile I think you should KEEP the machine you LOVE ( 4000D) and I would SELL the other honking big professional one you've got that you never got trained on. THEN...if you want to & can afford it, I'd for SURE get the new Quattro.....oh my goodness it seems so incredible!!!! (on -line)

   Since you DO professional makes sense to me.

SO....that's my opinion. Smile  Hope that helps.

  (I totally understand you not wanting to go into I'd weigh the

monthly payment with what you you sell teach month to see if it indeed covers the expense....then also I would ask myself IF I could not sell anything due to an illness etc etc COULD I and WOULD I feel comfortable making that $250 payment each month for the next 3 years???? You're still young and

there is a good chance you will be able to enjoy that machine for the next 10-20 years  or more!!!

  Sometimes in the past I have 'bought things on sale' that I 'liked' rather than pay full price for something I REALLY "loved".......

For me I just had this instilled something inside that wanted things 'on sale'...

which I NOW have started to get over.....

I may totally confuse you here but I will try to explain.....

If you were to a pair of shoes 'on sale' for $25 that you liked but didn't love ...but....they were on sale....vs...paying $100 for a pair of shoes YOU LOVED but weren't on sale -  but you have them both for 10 years....

which would you rather have had the opportunity to wear those 10 years?

( I have so many shoes they never wear out so I have lots of shoes that are 10 years old...) anyway...

WOULD I be willing to pay $10 a year to wear a pair that I LOVED

vs wearing a pair that cost me $2.50 to wear that I just 'liked."

Does this help or am I just confusing you?????

What I am trying to say is that I NOW buy things that I LOVE vs things

that I just "LIKE" and if I am fortunate to get it on sale....SO MUCH THE BETTER....but I'm not getting any younger and so I don't usually 'over spend' but an item does not HAVE to be on sale anymore for me to get it....& even better...I don't buy things 'just because they are a good price or on sale."

Where I REALLY get myself 'cluttered etc' is when it is stuff I love AND it's on sale.....( Case in point....embroidery designs!!!!) Holy Cow....I have not sat down to even figure out how many I have now...and how long it would take me to even do just ONE of EACH design that I have???? Probably for the rest of my life....yet new ones are being created all the time. AT LEAST they don't take up much space!!!!! SmileSmileSmile

 I personally would just LOVE to have the new Brother machine, but for right now I just can't justify buying it because I am SO new and I don't have my Brother PE700 working at capacity etc. I have so much yet to learn and do on it. (I'm just hoping that by the time I know what I am doing...they will have

a "SALE" on the Quattro.)

  Talk to you all later!!! Smile

Hugs and have a GREAT day everyone!!! Let me know how you are doing and if you are completing any ME designs or projects!!!!

Cathy and Lynn, I'm getting in on the middle of the discussion about maybe selling the commercial machine.  First, what kind of machine do you have and why didn't you get training on it?  Is training still available?  Second, if you've already paid for it, I'd get trained and USE it before you make the decision to sell.  I have a commercial machine (SWF) and although there are trade-offs, it does do things with ease that the home versions can do, but with more work - especially lots of color changes and high thread counts.  Having one of each is a great advantage, but if I could only have one, I'd take the commecial one.  They look scary, but really aren't any harder to use than the home versions, maybe easier in the long run!  But they are big and not portable.  LIke I said - trade-offsf!  Just my opinion!  Pat (SunRai)

HH Cathy,

You may need to rename your "Blogs"  to..............  Novel Blogs  Smile  You are such a trooper! You have so much going on and you still think of the MEing daily. I just can't get it out of my system either.  The last thing I me'd was a quilt label and I was just as pleased with it as if it were a big ole design on an outfit!

Your "color work" is so cute and inspirational. I have lots of  "color work" designs that I could put to use for cute gifts like yours. They really came out just precious.(YOURS DID) The people that will receive the gift sould just love the personal touch and it won't take me all year to make it.

I have lots going on around here too (nothing compared to you), so I'll be short, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your latest blog. You are really getting very informative in the M E world! Thanks for boggin, chattin and  m e ing!

Take care,


travelbug1237 8/21/2008 4:25:51 PM

HH AL, Yes Novel Blogs are more like it. They don't call me 'Chatty Cathy' for nothing!!! SmileSmile I think since I have so little knowledge of MEing for the time being...I am 'filling' in with 'other stuff..." but it has been really fun to hear from people and them 'sharing' all kinds of things! Smile My blog TRIES to impart knowledge to help a beginner and the advanced people just try to help me any way they can and are still supportive even though they have to 'cut through' a lot of NON Meing topics etc.

 Yep, actually I have been doing a lot but don't think I am ALWAYS siree...It was terribly hectic when I was trying to go to summer school full time and blog at the same time along with everything else that was happening.

   Right now I am trying to get my home REALLY clean and organized so that I can just SIT and ME to my heart's content.  E and I did 2 more rooms yesterday top to bottom so it's getting close to being done...although I still have a LONG ways to go until I have a room ( or 2) really set up for all the MEing and crafting. I've cut back on taking classes for the summer but will

take some ME topic classes starting this fall again and it will be really fun!!!

   SO what was the quilt label you did? Did you have a design pattern for it or did you combine some elements? How big was it?

Thanks...I'm glad you liked the 'color work!!" I'm telling ya' I SOOOOOO love getting to see the designs stitch out!!! I'm not real fond of the 'hooping' aspect of it....but the end result sure is great!!!

And thanks again sewhat2 for your nice comments!!!

HH SunRai Pat!!!! It's good to hear from you again!!! Lynn has a 6  .....????something but she can go into more details about it. She's the knowledgeable one about it. It's sort of a long story about the 'training' etc and I will let her share what she wants about it.  She has a 'one day only' opportunity to trade in her 4000D that she loves for a good trade in price.

  Like I said son 'educated me a bit' on sales tactics and

I stick by what I said earlier in a previous blog. Those of you who have found a shop that you like and trust-  means a lot. If not, I'd go elsewhere even if it's a longer distance away. Also, I have found out that there ARE different prices for that brand new machine that is beyond spectacular according to at least one store owner (I talked to)  who went to the Brother's training in Las Vegas on the new Brother Quattro. We're talking ----TOTALLY totally impressed with it!  Those of you who do get it...I will LOVE hearing about it!!!! Please do share!!!!

  Yes...I could see how a professional machine could save on time etc etc if you've been trained on it correctly etc...and it does do things the personal ones don't do like pant legs getting to stay in tact to do a design etc.

Just last April at Ann's convention I was at a table where I believe everyone there had at least 2-4 machines!!! ( I had none.) I was shocked.....but I do now see how it can happen! SmileSmile

  Well I really need to get crackin' on my next blog. It should be SHORT!!!



travelbug1237 8/21/2008 4:36:33 PM

Oh and Ann...I did go to the 'free designs' and clicked on One- Color Work and looked at the cute designs! I especially love the 'turtle ironing!"Smile Thanks for the tip to find them!!! Smile

I also went to the free designs and love the turtle ironing as well!  Now I want to do some Colorwork towels for myself!!

I just got home from the Brother Quatro show, and WOW!!  It does some amazing things - like the auto alignment thing for embroidery, and the ability to keep an even distance from the edge when sewing!  It's tempting!

We just got back from camping with friends at a lake near the base of Mt. Adams (in WA).  It was just beautiful, quite hot and very buggy!  I started a "toothbrush" rug while there.  I just wanted something to do while the guys went fishing.  I'm having fun learning something new, although I really don't need another hobby!

Tomorrow we're leaving for another camping trip, with different friends, to Deception Pass, WA.  When we get back from that I need to get back to business and accomplish some embroidery and sewing projects that are waiting!  Summer can be SO distracting!

And Cathy, you're learening so much!  It's amazing how much we learn when we just jump in and start doing!  I learn something new just about every time I make something.  And I like eto pick projects that use a different technique or fabric just to keep on learning!  And the sharing of ideas and learning with others just multiplies it!  Thanks for making this such a fun and personal blog.  It's like sitting with friends and sharing our passions and frustrations, and getting support from each other.  Since we don't often have that in our own local community it's great we can have it in cyberspace!!

Happy Stitching to all you friends out there!  SunRai Pat

P.S.  Somewhere in one of the blogs or forums someone said that it would be fun to hear about how we choose our online 'Names".  Mine is the name of our business SunRai Specialties, which is named after our Granddaughter, Sundis Rai - thus SunRai!

travelbug1237 8/22/2008 8:39:32 AM

HH Sunrai,

     It sounds like you are having lots of fun camping with friends!!! Good for you!!

Thanks too for saying you think I am 'learning so much." Well OK if you say so!!!SmileSmile Seriously though, SOME stuff IS starting to make sense and I can actually follow some of the other bloggers instructions because the vocabulary words that were totally foreign to me before, now make sense! SmileSmile    So yes...there IS progress being made. If I could just REALLY get myself organized and have my 'ME Center" set up the way I want it, I could really go to town. Right now I am constantly 'moving things' and it is spread sideways instead of "UP" so that it has a permanent place with easy access.

I'll get there and when I do have the design I want ( & E having built the

built ins etc) I'll share it with some photos. I have decided I want my large craft table OUT of the ME room so that I can have a place for both the machines in the same proximity to each other so E and I both can ME at the same time.

   The steam press iron is still in the 'undecided'location" mode. I do know it NO LONGER has a temporary home in the master bedroom! That was SO not OK!!!I had it on top of 2 filing cabinets I'd taken out of the office for pete sakes.

What a mess I have been creating...just to create!!! That did not work well for me!!!

  I did buy some 'trolley's I guess you call is for my

Apple computer to take to class ( since it's a desktop rather than a laptop)

and one is for my Brother PE 700 machine that I take for lessons etc.

THAT has helped-  to NOT try and use the same one for both.  I really really want to EMBROIDER a cute Apple to put on my black trolley for my Apple machine.  I think embroidering a 'patch' is the way to go for that....once I get my designs downloaded into my pc...which is NEXT Friday's project.

I have a conference lesson all set up for that and am SOOOOOO looking forward to that.  

If anyone can learn from my trials and errors, that would be great. It could save you time, $ and energy.

 Yes Pat....I DO love the 'sharing' we do on this blog. I learn so much from each of you who take the time to give input!!! Yep.....I'd say most of us here are 'friends' - cyber-like, but still a kind of family for those of us who aren't connected to a local Brother dealership etc etc.

    Hey and good for you on that 'toothbrush' rug! Let us know (or show us )

the details!! Smile

   Stay safe out there in the 'wilds'. SmileSmile

Hi MEers:

This is a reply from the "organize" blog. Cathy suggested I post here. sooo here goes..

I like the idea of drawer dividers. I will go to the plastic wharehouse in Tacoma and see what they have and I can cut it my self. Thanks. I did not think of plexiglass. I do my own cutting and stuff like that. I also use the scroll saw, band saw, etc. I made my first granddaughter her own rocking horse... None of the other kids want something that large for the rest of the grand kids...(big sigh... oh well)

Glad to hear you are getting your room organized also. I found I was doing less and less MEing when I was less and less organized...

You know, I just thought of something... It seems when we retire, instead of downsizing all of us MEers seem to need to upsize... we need more room for the hobby we did not have time for while have young children Smile)). I am not quite retired, but my kids are now giving me grand kids and they are lots of fun :^)))

Yes, I have a brother PR600 and I love it... love it... I also have the brother 2500D

That is why I can use a base cabinet for the PR600, I don;t have to sit under it.

Now about pictures, where would I post it?

About the bins... I have not seen ones that hold sooo much. I started out with two of those large ones and figured I would never need anything more because I would never have that much material and stuff... HA!!!  I don't know who I was trying to kid...those bins are full and then some and some and some... ha ha

I have not seen those pull out bins that are large enough to hold a bolt of fabric. Where did you get it?

Now the closet.. it only has one door and i love it.. once i can get it organized...the function of this closet is to use it for all my MEing stuff and my bead stuff. Hubby has his own storage issues.... i cannot help him there. I will need to store my materiall and clothing that i buy to ME and give away.. ie. baby onsies, bibs I make blankets for the little ones and of course the ever popular changing pads.

Can you tell most of what I do is for the grand kids? Of course I am starting to do things for my friend's daughter and her horse ie boots, blankets, etc.. I have also done redwork.. (one color work) and I just love love love the free standing lace. There are soooo many designs out there. I have done Christmas ornaments with the glow in the dark thread.. they turn out wonderful. I have also done picture stitch.. they take time,,,, but well worth it...

OOps back to the closet.. it has three walls and I have to leave one portion of the ceiling free from anything because it is the opeing for the upper crawl space.

As I said I love the plexiglass thing. I am thinking of re-doing my kitchen.. just a re-face. taking out the center panel of the cabinets and adding the plexiglass there for a brighter look.

You asked for tips? Well, I have learned never try to do tooo many free standing lace in one hooping. the wws will not hold up and the design shifts. So,  do not use the large hoop and try to do 3 or 4 bookmarks, use a smaller hoop and just do two at a time.

I have not learned how to do split designs yet, but any help would be wonderful. My machine does not do that for me either.

Today I am going to the showing of the new Brother machine. I haev read in the blogs here that it is wonderful... can't wait.. I will wear one of my bibs for my drool factor... ;)

travelbug1237 8/23/2008 3:01:12 PM

HH ( Hello Hello ) cme,

  Good to hear from you!!! Thanks for switching over to my newest blog...that really helps me answer you quicker because I check my latest blog for questions & comments sooner than going back to the older ones.

 OH so you are going to SEE the new Brother machine!!!! Do tell us your impression and what your favorite features are. I have only seen the photo on-line...It's safer that way!!!! SmileSmileSmile If you have time, I hope you will write about it today.

 Yeah!!! A kindred spirit who LOVES lace!!! ( I did a blog on it and tried to let newbies just how WONDERFUL and easy it is to do!!! Thanks for the tips!!!

Although, you MIGHT want to try Badgemaster. I mentioned it in that lace blog I wrote and AnntheGran has since started to carry it. (It comes in a BIG size from Ann which is nice to know. I have a smaller sized roll that I bought from my instructor who LOVED it....and it just was so strong and sturdy! I did several small FSL designs in my 5X7 hoop and had no trouble. ( I have NOT tried any of the other brands and I do have some that I bought a couple of months ago.)

   I'm so glad you liked my plexi-glass idea. I just LOVE the stuff and use it A LOT. You may not know but it is better to just use water to clean it rather than 'glass cleaner'....just a hint. It can scratch easier than glass but so far we have had great results. are already handy with tools and saws!!!! Good for you! I think you will LOVE your new 'dividers' that you've done yourself.

You will save a ton of money over those 'sock dividers'. Let me know when you get your dividers done and if you have any more tips for the readers.Smile

With plexi glass you are going to want to GO SLOWLY with the saw and it helps to put tape on it to if I remember correctly. I will double check with my husband. (He's at the fire station for 2 days again though, but I will call him if you are ready to start making them.

     That is really great that you have your OWN personal closet for your goodies!!! I understand needing to leave a space to get up into the attic!")

But we have a 'removable' shelf that we take down to get into ours. ( We have our small kitchen appliances stored in a special 'open closet' area between the kitchen and my office/ME room & I designed the area and E built it.

So if you find that you are 'short on space' you could make a 'removeable shelf up top there) and put something LIGHT weight on it that would not hurt anybody if it came down on you. (I'd put a bolt of prewashed fabric WITHOUT the cardboard into a zippered CLEAR garment bag and put it up there maybe with one fold. You could also keep NEW ( in the wrapping) batting or covered pillows.  

 Since you have 3 walls you have got a gold mine there dear!!! You can

use 1/2 of 1 interior wall to the closet ( or more ) for 'hanging clothing items.)

I use to do ballroom dancing ( & love Hawaiian moo-moos ) so if you have items that long be sure to have the rod up high enough so the items clear the floor. Also another good use of having a HIGHER rod is that you can double

the use IF you have lots of jackets you want to embroider and or capris etc

You buy the extra "hanging rods with a hook at each end and hang it from the higher pole and have double the hanging space. You could also buy handing shoe racks to store things. I have put plastic containers IN a closet that have pull out drawers also and some come stacking so you can get A LOT of stuff in there. I personally love CLEAR and I also label them. ( I like the Brother's labelers too!)

 Split designs are too advanced for me yet, but someone may read this who is advanced and can answer you there.

 BEFORE you do anything to the closet...( I'd sit down with GRAPH paper and  get the dimensions down both as if you were looking down from an airplane AND as you look INTO the closet from the opening. I'd make COPIES of the 2 styles of drawings and SAVE your ORIGINALS and put them in plastic cover sheets. I'd also think WHAT function the closet is going to have and what and how much do you want to store in there BEFORE you ever put one thing in it.

If you have a large area to 'sort' and 'gather' ALL your ME goodies in ONE

place PRIOR to you starting to put things in the closet.....You are half way there. You can CUSTOMIZE your closet to fit YOUR needs!!! It will be really fun and you'll be soooo happy to do it in a logical way. ( unlike what I have been doing in my own space!!Holy Cow....this is NOT the way I normally do things....and I created such a mess. ( I so agree with you with the mess vs creating...)

    The large totes with clear fronts you can get at large chain stores.

(I have one entire (washed) bolt of black Kona fabric withOUT the cardboard in the top of one of the 3 drawers. It is 22" WIDE and 26" in height.

( II also bought some cute large 'treasure chests' that I loved on sale.(They are made of light wood so I can't see what's in them and I don't remember what is in it without opening it. ( I love it, but I do prefer I can see at a glance what color of fabric or if it is a draw of hand towels etc etc.

( I also have MANY plastic totes that have the flip tops but I don't like them as well even though they stack on top of each other. ( I used those for stained glass supplies etc etc.) They are ok and I will use them in the art studio, but they aren't convenient for MEing for I use the pull out draw kind.

Well hopefully this helps!!!

   Thanks again for writing your questions on the newest blog. It helps! Smile


Thanks for all the tips. It is a great help. Smile))

Yes, I went to SEE the new machine.... I LOVE IT!!!! I am seriously thinking of doing a trade in. I have to figure the financing part. They "give" you 36 months interest free.

It has an "eye" that lets you get perfect placement. You hoop your fabric, and if it is a bit crooked, who cares? If you are doing an ME on a striped material who cares? They have these little "snow man" stickers. You place these stickers exactly where you want the center of your ME and in the exact angle, left, right, up down. etc ( you know what I mean) and the machine finds the snowman and places the embroidery just right. Doing designs on those towels that have the band, you don't have to worry if the hooping is off. Doing a set you can have them all "match" What a treat. You can do picture print. (Alltho almost any of the software can do that also)

The light on this machine is great!!!. No more additional lighting needed.

You want perfect seams? You set the seam width (1/4, 3/8, 1/2 etc.) and you don't even have to do a straight seam. If you are doing a curved seam, (dresdan plate)( is that spelled right? )) quilt? it will go around that seam perfectly. No more going from that 1/4 inch to 1/8 because you are going around a curve. I know that a lot of you are great quilters and can do a straight seam with no problems... not me!!! Oh can turn your back as it is sewing this seam, and when it gets to the 3/4 mark, it stops.

Of course it has lots and lots and lots of built in designs too. And the new WallE movie? those designs are in there too.

There are 3 usb ports.

When you are MEing, and it is time to change threads, it plays a little 3 note ditty, and when it is done it plays a different little tune. Not that you would leave your machine without supervision, but if any of you are like me, I usually am doing something else while it is MEing. (and yes, I do leave the room)

You can needle punch without thread. Most machines now stop when there is not thread, this prevents you from sewinng and sewing and sewing while you don't have thread and getting frustrated. Now you can turn that feature off to needle punch a design and then turn it back on. Great feature if you want to make a template of a design. If you use a used needle it makes it perferated and you can tear along the dotted line. I can think of soooo many more uses for this.

It has a LARGE hoop, so you can do larger designs.

There are lots more features, but I saw sooo much that I forget all of it. I try and remember the things that I really like.

If any one else has gone to an unveiling and would like to share... feel free.

Of course they offer great packages. (You know the incentive things) I know what you mean about markups and "deals". I know what the employees can get this machine for, so I am thinking about it still. I put a fully refundable deposit down. I have until the machines come in to decide. I think that is October.

Like I said, I have to sell mine, so that is a thought too.

Of course one of the things they had was a couching foot. great thing. It is made for the Pfaff, but you can get an ankle so it fits the brother.

It really does not help when you have a hubby that says, "if you want it and will use it, just get it" Sometimes it is good when they say "you really shoudn't" But ... what can I say...

Well, any questions?

Off to the store to get the plexiglass.

Happy MEing to all


travelbug1237 8/24/2008 6:15:30 PM

HH cme,

  THANKS for sharing your impressions and excitement about the brand new Brother machine! It sure does sound like a dandy!!!.Hey...and with your husband giving you the green're half way there! Do keep us posted!!!

   Let me know how the plexi glass turns out for you too!!!


CinO ( Cathy in Oregon )

HH Cathy,

As usual your blog is great.  I always feel as if I'm right there talking to you when I read it.  Keep up the good work.

travelbug1237 8/24/2008 10:49:25 PM

Thanks LMJ !!!! & I'll try! Smile

Just a quick post, the last few weeks have been way busy.  Regarding gadgets . . .  The first item is 2" clear tape, keep a loop next to your machine, sticky side out, when you trim a thread, drop it on the tape, when your done with project just throw away the tape with the threads attached.  2" clear tape also works great for removing thread after you take out a seam (not that I would ever have to take out a seam LOL).  Second thing is for organizing thread for a design, use a muffin tin, I have a 12 cup one and I have numbers marked on the tin, color one goes in cup one, color two in cup two, etc, etc  The clear tape I have used for years, but I also saw it on a newsletter, blog or somewhere else on line.  The muffin tin was also taken from on line, so I can't take credit for it.  Both items are inexpensive and you probably already have around the house.  Til next time, when I have more time.  Keep on MEing.  Kimberly

HH Cathy,

I did it! It worked! The pic of the colorwork quilting is on the projects section of the MEDIA. I did not know how to put the pic here so it's there. Bethany (12 year old quilter) is still working on the quilt, she has pins in it and is working on the binding, so I only took a pic of a block. I did each block a little different, to address her personality. When she gets it finished I'll try to get a full pic of the quilt. I just love doing color work. It gets done so fast and it is part of the actual quilting in this quilt. It is not just on top as a block, it's thru all 3 layers. I know this is getting a bit into "quilting", but see it all works so well together.

Talk to you later,


travelbug1237 8/29/2008 8:41:07 AM

HH AL & Kimberly,

  Thanks for your recent comments!!! It's soooo good to hear from you!

( I actually wrote to you both from my beach house but it did not go through...I don't have the most reliable set up there!!!...but it IS relaxing none the less to be there.) Sorry I am having to write this so much later.


    Kimberly....I can totally relate to 'busy!!!'  OH...yes...I SOOOOOOOO love your idea about the tape!!! I came home and have some here and can hardly wait to use it. It makes TOTAL sense!!!  

And as far as seams.....congratulations that you are even brave enough to

do a seam. For me...I am just sticking to ONE piece of fabric, put into a hoop....boy once you start cutting then you need to try and get it back together and line it all up and make sure who have the same side of the fabric together etc etc.  Oh and quilting....multiply that by a gazillion cuts and piecing and sewing!!! I am in total AWE of anybody attempting a quilt!!!!

   AH..the muffin tin....another GOOD idea!!!! Please keep them coming!

  Hi sewwhat2!!!!  You did it....oh yes.....and it is becaue of you I went and checked out the new 'media' section on AtG. WOW OH WOW THANKS!!!!

I have really been missing out!!! I just LOVED the various photos and the quilt is CUTE. My friend Kitty LOVES "Sue" and I do too. I bet there is quite a history about her....Please share if you know ...or anybody else who knows.

I just love the 'quick stitch' stuff too!!! Yesterday E and I finally got out the new little Disney machine ( 270 ) and did Mickey Mouse....well...that's another story but at least we tried!!! He's going to use that machine and I am sticking to my PE700 until further notice!!!! SmileSmile

  Do continue to share!!!!

I've got to get going. It's 20 minutes to 6 and I am leaving at 6 a.m. for my computer tutoring lesson so I can get my latest 'mini blog' out!!!! LOL..

  I wanted to make sure I had 'talked' to both of you ladies before my next blog came out!!!




HH pualele...Absolutely let's get together!!! E Burnside is about an hour from my home in a west suburb of Portland. It would be so fun to have you visit!!!

We have an African guest room just waiting for you here in town for an overnighter ! We'll just have to coordinate when we're actually in town.

What's your daughter's major????


Have you made any more redwork items? it would be fun to see what you have made.

Thank you for the offer for an overnighter, I would love to take you up on the offer but I am not sure when I will be coming up to Portland. We will have to definitely coordinate to see if we can work each other in our schedule.

My daughter does not have a major yet but is going currently for a general liberal arts one and taking various courses to see what she wants to major in but she is looking forward to be able to go to another country with some kids at school on a mission trip.

I  belong to the American Sewing Guild and I am the president of the Bend  OR chapter and you can contact me at that email and I will write back to you. I was at theASG conference in Chicagoin July and I roomed with  president of the Orlando chapter and she talked about what a wonderful and lovely person AnntheGran is.

Laurie in Bend  


travelbug1237 9/1/2008 8:21:27 PM

HH Laurie,

  So Good to hear from you!!! I am with a tutor for downloading so I will write more to you later, but he is watching me respond to see how I input. I am trying VERY hard to get my interactive maps going...more later.



travelbug1237 9/2/2008 12:54:54 AM

HH Laurie in Bend !!!

 I just got home (8:30 pm) and it was VERY good and helpful day....but I still need help on my interactive maps.  My newest blog was suppose to be launched last Friday night...The written part is done, but the interactive maps aren't co-operating!!!

 I've worn out the last to Apple tutors though!!!! Smile LOL !!!

 Oh turns out they have never been trained on that...sooooo... my blog is in 'cold storage' for the time being!

  I can read it, but it's not out for the 'general public' yet. I thought it was 'launched' but it turns out, not.  Oh well....that's one less I need to get done for September!!! SmileSmileSmile

To answer your question about Redwork....nope, I haven't 'made' anymore....but I am pretty sure I made up for it in 'shopping' for Redwork designs!!! SmileSmileSmile  I WILL do it again for sure. The more I see them the more I love them with the thought of using various colors.

   I just got back from a FULL day with Lynn  (& hubby) who both helped me tremendously today!!! Rahoo....I AM making progress and am SO happy I'm learning new things that will help me actual M.E.!!!!! She is a REAL doll and he is pretty cute too!!! (They both know computers!) Someday....!!! SmileSmile

   I hope to really be 'MEing" more seriously in the next month. I don't know about other beginners, but I have been sputtering ( just like our 2 cars this month) trying to get all my 'ducks in a row' so to speak....but my M.E. room is starting to take shape once again and I'm seeing daylight!!!  YEAH!!!

   Best of luck to your daughter and her new college and mission endeavors!!!

Keep me posted...I would love to hear all updates!!!

  You fun it will be to 'connect' sometime. (While the weather is still good I am trying to be at the beach as much as possible...but I am in town sometimes.) The guest suite 'has visitors' at the moment...ALL my "STUFF" -visitors!!!!- that I have changed my mind about having IN my M.Eing room and now just moved outetc...I have a lot of my water color "stuff " & tons of crafts...Honestly!!! I think I could open up a mini-store!!! SmileSmile

...Just give me a couple of days  I can  clear a path for you!!!  LOL!!!

 Yes you mentioned before about your presidency etc. It will be VERY interesting to hear more about what that all entails etc!!!.

 Take care and DO tell me please WHAT embroidering you have been it big or small!!!SmileSmile



travelbug1237 9/2/2008 1:45:19 AM

Oops...I meant SOMEDAY I would 'know' computers!!! They already do!!!

Cathy do you ever shop at **** in Beverton on Walker RD.  My daughter is a quilter and a ME and works there full time to support her HABITS Her name is Karen and she just transferedfrom Dallas.  She really enjoys your beautiful scenery.  Love your blogs andbeleive me we have been beginners and can relate to your trials and errors.  Keep up the great work.  Bluebird 99

travelbug1237 9/3/2008 11:50:23 AM

HH ( Hello Hello ) kae149 aka Bluebird 99,

 SO good to hear from you. I believe this is the 1st time I have heard from you!!!

Oh...yes for sure I go in there. ( You asked if I ever shop there. The key word is's my 2nd middle name!!!!) I SHOP everywhere!!! SmileSmile Although I have cooled my jets some lately. I will definitely ask for "Karen" the next time I am in there. Is she in the SEWING section, general area or checkout??? Just curious.Does she teach any classes there?

 I don't know where you live, but now that she is out here...will you be coming out here to visit sometime? If so, I'd love to connect with you both!!!

There is an open invitation to anybody who will teach me a ME lesson I've got a guestroom at my beach I think that is a pretty good trade.

Also there is serious talk about an Oregon get together next summer around the 4th of July for a week so that we MEers can just get together and stitch up a storm and chat until the wee hours if we so desire.

   Thanks for the wonderful compliment.

I DO try hard to write my blogs....They sure could be marked up 'bloody red' by an English major or editor....but so far nobody has corrected me even once!!! LOL  

   I can honestly say though that I am NOW BEGINNING to see a bit of daylight and SOME stuff in MEing is starting to make sense to me.

Have you tried doing lace or redwork yet???? You sound like you have lots more experience than I....and also your daughter.

I can learn from YOU and will gladly do so!!!

 I'll try to get in there right away and say hi to Karen! Oh how fun....another MEer in my neck of the woods!!! Yeah. There are a few of us that are surfacing

and connecting!!! Smile

 HUGS and thanks again for taking the time to write me!!!

I just love hearing from you!!!


CinO ( Cathy in Oregon )

  Well a transplant from Dallas, Texas huh? I'm GLAD she loves our beautiful scenery. We certainly have the 'green trees' and it is quite a switch from

many areas of the USA.

I love reading all the blogs of everyone and have learned so much.  I don't ususally write  anything- just read but I like doing redwork also.  I make quilt blocks of different colors including varigated.  My latest project includes more quilt blocks of course and making greeting cards.  I use a redwork pattern or digitize a picture from a coloring book.  works great.  Also I am going to try embroidery on tin to put inside cards as an ornament.

hehe  I too have wondered about "redwork" & once in b lue moon I's see "blackwork".  I have been toying w/ the idea of doing "PURPLEwork", (love purple),   I've also thought about doing red/green simple designs for the season.  THANK YOU SEW MUCH for giving me not only permission to sew "outside of the box", but for getting my creative juices flowing !!!! Smile  Like I need one more project in my basket  haha

Your blog is so right on the money..been there, & still there on some issues.  Thanks for sharring with us

(your all of ours inner voice -)  Donna

travelbug1237 9/10/2008 2:46:43 PM

HH rosewilles,

 Thanks for taking the time to write me personally!!!

I'm glad too that you are enjoying the various blogs and are learning. That's what we're all about here, but I'm telling you that I am learning a TON from YOU and others. I am totally interested in how you are going to ME on tin....What kind of needle are you going to use....and I am thinking you might not even need stabilizer????? Right??? I don't want to be negative at all....but aren't you a bit afraid of wrecking your machine??? Is it the new Brother machine that can do 'crafts' too???

  I have 'drawn inspiration' from coloring books too ( for my water colors) but have not even a clue how you are digitizing them for your quilts. I'd LOVE to hear back from you!!!

 Thanks again for taking the time to write me!!!


HH Donna!!!!,

What a wonderful wonderful note to me!!! I really loved hearing from you and I noticed you on my "Where in the world " that you contributed too also!!!!! Greg ( Beamish Boy) will start any groups that want to get started in any state etc.) Just let him know.

  I TOTALLY LOVE PURPLE too!!!!! It is my favorite color!!!! I happen to love hot pink also and magenta...etc etc etc. I basically love color but purple is my favorite!!!

  OF COURSE to PURPLEwork!!! Yes...that's the whole idea...goodness...for sure and then please SHARE it with me (us)!!!

  Yep....mix up those colors and variegated however you like.....That's where the FUN and CREATIVITY comes in!!!

  I'm still a beginner and 'nervous' that I am going to 'break my machine' at worst and also worry that I can break needles galore....but so far it's only been the latter.....

  I don't know if you've had a chance to read my previous other blogs ( 1-6) before Redwork...but it explains that I REALLY really am a beginner in not only MEing but computers and blogging. I just got a cell phone that I used this past year!!! ( I had one to use for emergencies but never had to use it.) Anyway...

 SOOOOOO glad that you are reviving up those creative juices!! I sincerely will LOVE hearing from you and what you are up to!!!


Chatty Cathy in Oregon


Cathy, I found the patter in my embroidery machine essentials by Jeanine Twigg. Quilting Techniques.It says to use 36-gauge tooling foil.  It comes in bras, copper silver and some brands even comes in colors.  Use a very lart needle-100 or larger, and a piece fo felt or gleece slightly larger under your hoop.  Hoop adhesive tear-away.  do not hoop the metal. cut smaller than hoop and adhere to stabilizer.  Tape the threadabove the needel because you do not need thread but the sensors in the machine need to recognize that there is indeed thread there.Use a pattern that has minimal sttitches.  place fleese or felt under the hoop to portect the throat plate.  Slow thespeed. Carefully peel themetal off the stablilzer. cut iwth decorative scissors.  use thread or string to hang rornament.  Ihave a babylock ellure that is use all the time.  Iwill try to post picture when i get one finished.


Hi Cathy!  This is extremely late in response to your request on seeing Oil Cloth.  I had  difficulty in uploading my project photo.  The Oil Cloth is now in the MEDIA Section for your "look-see".  Joan/NJ

travelbug1237 9/16/2008 10:11:17 AM

HH Rose and Joan...

  Thanks for taking the time to write!!!

Rose.....thanks for all the that is impressive!!!

Joan...  thanks for the submitting the photo!!! Yes I went and 'looked'...

& you aren't  late at all!!!  SmileSmile

Oh and my Miata is fixed and the Kia is in the repair shop and will be DONE by have vehicles working!!!! Smile

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