My House is my home

  Home can mean different things to different people. To many of us home implies the house we live in, with solid walls and floors.  To many in Africa, home is a hut with thatched roof, known as a “rondavel’   South Africa, the country in which I was born and grew up, i... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Embroidered Boxes for Trinkets and Gift Cards

Summer is here to stay I think.  The vegetable garden that I planted in April has started to produce... I have little green tomatoes on each and every plant.  We will soon be able to pick the first zucchini and I think there will be lots more coming on!   I have cucumbers that wi... [More]

Free Fun Fonts For Family - Friends

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. I like to be a little more individual than most; I change my colors of my embroidery at will, and I use many different fonts when I am able t... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts--Major Project Finished!

Some of you may remember that I have been working on a complicated project.  I called it my "1,000 year project" when I began in 2003. Well, I am 993.5 years ahead of schedule. I finished it after having surgery on my hand in March.  Here it is:  Indigo Sunset. This time ... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Covered Cookies for a Charity Auction

My Brother is quite involved with a fundraising group here for kids with cancer.  Last week they had a  group walk, a big dinner and a silent auction.  There were all kinds of items in the auction for  almost any dollar level including a $10.00 purchase table that did not require... [More]

Two More Really Terrific Free Software Programs

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. I had a lot of difficulty with my Adobe Reader recently.  All things considered, it was a very bad situation and I wanted to drop kick t... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Did You Needle Turn Today?

I just finished a dress for a friend this week.  I seem to have a hard time getting to my quilting projects.  Saying “yes” to too many things besides quilting keeps me from doing what I love most.  Right now I have at least five quilts in progress.  That is not to men... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Embroidered Baby T-shirts for Cool Summer Fun

I am not sure why but many of our favorite shops for infant clothes have gone out of business over the past year or so.  These shops featured handmade items that were unique but really reasonable in price.  In the past, when life was too busy to sew we frequently bought clothes for the gir... [More]

Post That Project Proudly

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. If you ask me what I most enjoy about the AnnTheGran site, it would have to be the people on both sides of the computer who make up the commu... [More]

Show Me Your Jumbles

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets andindividual designs can be found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available inpacks, as described in this blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs ava... [More]

Nine of the Best Internet Sites - IMHO

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary. If in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. Here is my version of great Net information and money saving tips and tricks.  I love finding these, and get a lot of my links from high... [More]


This Blog is a week later than it should be because I have been on the mend from a little surgery that I had three weeks ago.  I had a trigger finger on my right middle finger.  That is a very important finger for me because it is my “needle-pusher” finger when I am quilting.&n... [More]

Two Great Freebies

The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. I hope by now everyone has read my blog on Rogue Software.   Protecting yourself and your family on the computer is really important. ... [More]

Silk ribbon in African Folklore Embroidery

I recently began teaching a new class called: "The application and inclusion of silk ribbon in your African Folklore Embroidery design". The class focuses on using the silk ribbon as one would regular embroidery thread. Silk ribbon is wonderfully versatile and forgiving fiber. For those of... [More]

Keeping It Simple- Lollipop Covers In-the-Hoop

I am convinced that clutter multiplies all by itself.  I have been trying to clean closets and drawers and am amazed at the number of bags we have to give to the local charity.  Not to mention how many times I have filled the recycle and trash bins with stuff that someone "just had to... [More]

New Trends in Embroidery - Create More Business

I just got back from the Atlantic City Trade show and I noticed some very interesting trends.  Diversification is moving ahead full force.  Companies that only offered 1 decorating type have now branched out into many different areas.  After all, you can only sell the same embellishme... [More]
Ribbon Trim Adds a Special Touch to some Really Trendy Linens!

Ribbon Trim Adds a Special Touch to some Really Trendy Linens!

I've been looking through Spring catalogs from some of our suppliers and I'm seeing lots and lots of damask patterns and designs.  It inspired me to think ahead to next year because I'm sure you'll be seeing lots of it too!  It may be a little late to get something done for this holiday season, but how would it feel to actually be ahead of the game for 2010?  And be ahead of the trend, to boot!?

I started with some basic linens that hang beautifully in your home.

I found a damask design that suited my taste and gathered up some coordinating ribbons from my stash.  And this is what I created in just a short morning!

Supplies Needed:

Embroidery Blanks of your choice.  We used Hemstitched Guest Towels, Border Guest Towels, & 8x8 Hemstitched Pillow

Medium Weight Tearaway Stabilizer, Temporary Spray Adhesive (Or Sticky Stablizer if you prefer that method), straight pins, a couple safety pins, and coordinating ribbons of your choice.

RIBBON ACCENTS:  Sometimes I stitch a design and it just needs a little something MORE, but you can't quite put your finger on it.  ALWAYS keep a stash of ribbons on hand.  They are fairly inexpensive if you buy them on sale, and you only use a little at a time.  It will last forever.  And usually it adds the extra something you were craving on your finished design!

GUEST TOWELS:  The guest towels are super simple to do!  Stitching the design is so easy when you print a paper template of your chosen embroidery design.  This helps me so much in placement choices.  I decide where the stitching should go and where I think the ribbon bow will look most pleasing to the eye.


Then it’s time to stitch.  I don’t actually hoop the linen towel.  I believe in using temporary adhesive spray on a medium weight tearaway stabilizer, or you can choose a sticky stabilizer if that’s the kind you like to use.  I also like to pin around the edges—it makes me feel like everything is nice and secure.  You avoid leaving hoop marks on the linen towel if you do it this way.

After your stitching is done, just pin the bow to the towel where it looks best.  That way, if it ever needs to be laundered you don't have to mess up that beautiful bow you just tied!  Just remove it and put it back on when the towel is clean.  Easy!


HEMSTITCHED PILLOW:  Pillows are a little trickier than guest towels-mostly because you have to open up a seam to make room to do the embroidery.  But don't let that frighten you.  It really only takes an extra minute or two and you're on your way to a beautiful project.

One word of advice---ALWAYS determine your design placement with the pillow insert inside.  What looks good on the pillow sham when it's flat, is very different from what looks good with the pillow form inside.  Once again..paper templates are the best way to go!


Here's what my pillow looks like before stitching. It's supposed to be 8" square, but honestly, it had a mind of it's own.  It looks more like a rectangle to me. So I turned the design around so it "fit" the personality of the pillow. Every pillow is different! That's why it's so important to determine design placement with the pillow form inside.

Next, open up a seam on the back of the pillow sham so you can get the area to be stitched down onto your hooped stabilizer.


Stitch your design.  When complete, thread your machine with white thread, switch to a simple straight stitch, and top-stitch the back flap of the pillow sham into place so it’s back where it started.  Just follow the line of the hemstitching and you’ll make a perfect row of stitches.

Pin the ribbon into place and you’re done.  GORGEOUS!!!

These projects are exceptionally trendy and modern---you’ll start seeing more of the damask patterns in both housewares and fashion accessories.  But don’t limit yourself to just damask.  These embroidery blanks lend themselves to any style…it’s all about what YOU like!


Happy Holidays everyone!



Comments (3) -

thecomputerist 12/23/2009 4:41:55 PM

I really love your products.  I am always certain that I will get the quality that I demand.

Happy holidays to you and yours, Pat


  The pillow and towels are beautiful.  Where can I find the design that you used?



Hey Reita-

Email me at and I'll fill you in.  It was from my stash of designs...I think I have a problem with design "collecting".  LOL

Can you relate??


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