Journaling for Embroidery

When I first started embroidering, one tip I often read was to keep a record of details as they relate to embroidery design stitch outs. I thought this was supposed to be fun. A lab manual; what's the use? You just press a button and stitch, right? I didn't see the importance then, but ha... [More]

Fancy Pocket Pinny

     My brother rides a trike.  (No, it is not a tricycle like we had whenwe were young.  He rides one of these, an elliptical exercise machine.  Hesays that it's a lot more fun for him than a stationery machine in his basementwould be.)  I bet you are won... [More]

Embroidering Lace

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog : We discussed five tips for expanding your embroidery expertise. One tip – Don’t Think Project &ndas... [More]

Needle Knowledge

Here's something I didn't know. Quality needles are made to break. Really. Klassé needles, an indus [More]

Save Your Sanity; Read Your Manual

Blog.  When I first saw this word I though it peculiar.  That was a long time ago and there are words and abbreviations now being used that are much more peculiar. So, I decided to read a “blog” (pre-ATG).  So long and boring I cannot even remember the subject!  ... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Elegant Wedding Shower Decorations

My best friend's daughter is getting married.  And I was going to give a shower at my home in April.  The colors were ivory and pale gold with touches of red.  It was the nearing the end of March and although there was still plenty of time I had been thinking about how to dec... [More]

Last Minute Men’s Wear for Your Man

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog : Looking for a last minute personalized gift for your man? Want to get your guy to wear embroidered duds? Thin... [More]

Avoiding a Major Stabilizer Malfunction

 My name is Debbie and I was a victim of a stabilizer malfunction. I have been doing this long enough to know better. Remember this reversible applique project? It's one I won't forget any time soon. At the time, I didn't tell you about the huge blunder on my part. What I thoug... [More]

Hand is a Four-letter Word

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog : I’m a machine girl, always have been, always will be. I’m amazed, impressed, in awe, humbled by tho... [More]

Fancy Scrap Bag

     When you sew, what do you do with your fabric trimmings and thread ends?  Doyou reach for a trash can?  Mine is too far away -- I can't put it as close to me as I want,because it gets in the way of my desk's drawers.  Instead, I keep a scrap bag right ... [More]

Tips for Applique Using AccuQuilt for Machine Embroidery

Hopefully, you took advantage of the AccuQuilt sale. These tips were written for embroidering applique shapes cut with AccuQuilt dies, but are just as valuable if you tack and trim your applique designs by hand. New Addition, Just in Time for Wedding Season Great news- Ann has added the AccuQuilt ... [More]

Hold towels for embroidery the easy, loop-free way

If you have ever used self-adhesive stabilizer to hold a towel for embroidery, it may have seemed easy at first. But when you have to remove the self-adhesive, the going gets tough. After removal, you have pulled loops on the back of the towel that look terrible. In this video excerpt from my video ... [More]

Back Side Up

Sometimes, the best side of the fabric is the back. I found that out while making a throw quilt for my daughter. It was based around a Catkin panel by Julie Paschkis. I love her folk/carved block-style approach to her fabric designs. My daughter loves cats so it was perfect. The surroun... [More]

Machine Features Everybody Needs

  We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog :When Nancy and I were creating Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons series, I delved into the b... [More]

Fix Loopy Threads

When you remove your embroidery work from the hoop, here's something that ranks up there with crooked embroidery - loopy threads from poor tensions. I have two methods to repair them. In this video exceprt from my video "Repairing Embroidery Mishaps", I show you two ways to secure tho... [More]

Stabilizer Tips and Tricks

Stabilizers are the workhorse of the embroidery industry. Since they are used literally every time we stitch, it helps to share tricks of the trade. Keeping Waste to a Minimum I have found that keeping the stabilizer width intact, rather than trimming it to the hoop size, eliminates unnecessary ... [More]

Going to the Dogs -- In Style!

     A young woman, who uses a service dog to help cope with certainhealth issues, asked me recently to make a pouch to contain the dog'sofficial ID card, a bag for waste, and a few dog treats.  I was happyto oblige and created this simple pouch.  I had time to crea... [More]

Please Welcome Me

Hello Everyone..... First of all let me introduce myself, my name is Pardeep Takhar. I have been working here at AnnTheGran (ATG) since 2007...... that's 6 years that's a really long time, time really does fly by. Here, at ATG, I have been involved in customer service, adding new pr... [More]

Upscale Bed Linens – Tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets

  We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here a... [More]
Finished Objects

Finished Objects


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

     Have you ever wondered just how many beautiful, handcrafted treasures you have made for family, friends and yourself?  I used to wonder that, too, until I started keeping a record of every sewing project I complete.  Let me tell you why I started doing that, and maybe you'll want to do so, as well.
     Thirteen years ago, I learned that the fabric store at which I worked would soon be closing.  In the hectic few weeks while we cleared the store out, I had very little time to myself for my hobby.  I thought of things I wanted to sew and told myself I would do them "when I'm not working...." and "once I have time...."  I was worried that I would continue to procrastinate but wanted to believe that I would, in fact, find more time to sew.
     I decided to keep a written record of all my finished projects, hoping that this list would help me see how much I was accomplishing.  I started by keeping a handwritten list, noting the description and recipient for each item.  I now use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, which lets me add new columns for information and automatically calculates totals for me.  You can view my model spreadsheet here.

     Another thing that motivates me to complete projects is the simple act of starting them.  In recent years I discovered that I DON'T like having un-finished objects (UFOs) in my to-do pile.  Once I start a sewing project I want to finish it within a few days.  My personal preference is to have only a single project started at a time.  Any project I am working on calls me to finish it, if only so I can start another!   

     The best way I have found to get myself started is to spend at least a short period of time in my sewing room most mornings before proceeding to other household tasks.  This is in part due to the way the light hits my cutting table in the morning, and in part because my energy level is at its peak early in the day.  If another time of day fits your routine better, by all means enjoy your sewing then!

     A good way for me to start is by clearing my cutting and sewing tables, putting away scraps of fabric, notions, and recently-used embroidery threads.  Sometimes I locate fabric for a new project and just spread it out in preparation for the next day, while at other times I actually start the embroidery or cutting for my project.  Any of these is enough to put me in the mood to create.

two eyeglass cases in progress

     This past Tuesday morning I entered my sewing room with every intention of finishing two eyeglass cases for a friend.  I had embroidered on them a few days earlier and was looking forward to completing these projects, but found that I didn't have the zippers that I needed.  I cut out the linings, fusible fleece and embroidered outer fabric, and fused the fleece to the embroidered fabric.  When the zippers I ordered arrive I will be able to get right to work on the eyeglass cases.  (See my Zip-Around Eyeglass Case blog for the instructions for this project.  I embroidered "RBH" with Pinstripes Vertical alphabet and "Jan" with Contour Script 75 alphabet.)
     I hope my record-keeping idea will help you to increase your productivity.  The new year offers a fresh start and a good time to start a new plan for a creative 2009.  Happy New Year!

Comments (3) -

What a great idea. I started keeping digital photos of everything I did.

I started crafting when my kids were small, I did fabric painting and made my kids some clothes, especially the girls dance dresses. I did not keep any records of any of these things, just looking at old photos and saying...."I remember making that"

Then I started beading and the digital era was upon us. I took photos of most things I had made. As time passes and I look upon some of those photos, i say..."I made that???"

Now that I have the grandkids and friends and other family members, I take photos, and have a folder called "my projects" I took a quilting class and the instructor showed me her book and I loved the idea. She took pictures of her finished project, wrote on a 3x5 card how long it took her, the approximate cost and who she gave it to. Then she took scraps of all the fabric in that project and placed all of these in a scrap book. One page per project only. She said you cannot always tell what the fabric  really looks like from a far off picture.

I love your idea of the spread sheet., I can add this to the front of the scrap book. It sure saves time in counting the pages in the scrap books. Not that I have lots of pages yet, but who knows?

Thanks for the information and a copy of your spread sheet.

cme    8^)

This spreadsheet is a great idea!  I know that sometimes I look for something, not realizing that I had found a good home for it!

Thanks for the idea!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

CME and Pat,

I'm glad you like the idea of the spreadsheet.  I have digital photos of almost everything I made since I first bought a digital camera.  It's wonderful to know instantly that we do indeed have the picture rather than having to wait to develop a roll of film.

I haven't yet given something away without remembering I did so, but can see it happening.  Most of the gifts I gave were made with the recipient in mind, since personalization is sort of my "thing."  I did give a caddy to a friend who admired it, so I could indeed forget.

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