The Prom, the Purse and the Lady

Last time we met here, I left you with two photos that I said I would Identify when I came back from my little sojourn from the BLOG.  Here’s some answers for you.  Several months ago, my granddaughter told me that she planned to make her prom dress.  Since she was a senior... [More]

How a computer stopped an embroidery business ..

Computer repair can be costly, I don't just mean out of pocket cash .. but, cash that doesn't reach your pocket because your computer issues are halting business.  As you can probably tell, I have been MIA for the last 2-3 weeks.  Blame the computer .. I spent hours of my time tryi... [More]

Flag Day Celebration

Did you know that Flag Day is this Sunday?  It is nice to take a moment and remember how gratef [More]

Tea for two

Some people are surprised by our African tea cup designs... Why tea cups? What do tea cups and teapots have to do with Africa? Good question. What many people do not know is that South Africa used to be a British colony. For many years the British ruled South Africa and as a result many of the Briti... [More]

Where exactly did I put that? You mean I could make money tagging other people's precious items?

Every month is Start Your Own Business these days, but Brother has gotten serious about this concept.  Infact if you go to our website you can see a great financial opportunity that we have for you all.  You can actually save lots of money if you buy a PR-620 NOW!  Whether you are an ... [More]

Twitter - An Annual or Perennial in Your Social Media Garden?

Inspirational PlaceMy family is very fortunate that our home has been blessed with a beautiful garden in spite of having nary a green thumb in sight. When my wife and I first saw this property two-and-a-half years ago, it looked like something out of a magazine - the inside was pristine and the outs... [More]

June Brides...Old and New!

Did you hear me laughing this morning? I was reading an email from Quilter's World magazine and they were recommending that you re-purpose a wedding dress into a christening gown.  Not a bad idea, but for me that would never have worked because I had a mini-length wedding dress! I rem... [More]

A new roommate, a new niece and a new quilt!

You may remember my January 17 post "What is all this stuff and how did it get into my house?" Well, the situation has worsened. There is now 3 people's stuff in a house that was already overstuffed with 2 people's stuff. How in the world can this have happened? I was just beginnin... [More]

It seems the art has 100 colors, what is a digitizer to do??!!

I just had one of those embroiderer and 'can't make up her mind' customer interactions. The antagonist of the story, played by the customer, is a great water color painter -- if you don't believe her, just ask her -- and, she brings in 3 water color paintings.  Well,... [More]

I get by with a little help from my friends

Although I haven't posted in my blog for more than 10 weeks, you all have always been close to me in my thoughts and I've felt your warm collective hug. With the help of your prayers, warm thoughts, words of condolence and encouragement I've been able to somehow get through the dark days... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts- Quilting and ME Working Together

Yes, friends of Ann The Gran, Quilting and Machine Embroidery are great partners.  They can be used in ways other than making a quilt with machine embroidered blocks.  The two following photos are the first of a number of photos what will appear on LaRueSews-Quilts in the not too distant f... [More]

Digitizing Training ~ The RUN Stitch

Sorry for taking the week off .. I really like to prep for Mother's Day .. after all, my Mom is THE Queen and I really like to dedicate the whole weekend to her .. cooking, cleaning, taking her shopping and and out to a nice dinner and maybe a movie (though there isn't much at the movies her... [More]

A Social Media Star is Born - The Many Facets of Facebook

Celebrity GossipThe prevailing wisdom of our celebritized culture seems to tell us that, when everyone has an opinion about you, you know you've done something right. Facebook is a celebrity, a big star. It's a cultural phenomenon. Everyone has an opinion on Facebook. And just as the tabloid... [More]

Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung in New Jersey.  Everyone is out and about walking and enjoying the beautiful trees as they bloom. That is here in New Jersey, apparently Mother Nature has a few things confused and my grandchildren in Colorado are still wearing their snow boots. Don’t forget though that ... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Batting, Which One Will I Choose?

We are nearing the time when you will be getting your quilt ready to quilt.  That means that you have to make some choices about batting. First of all, just what is batting.  Batting is the middle layer of the quilt that provides warmth and comfort that we all know as a quilt.  In wa... [More]

Art to stitches - what kind of art works well

Q:  You hear stories of beautiful embroidery designs created from sketches on a bar napkin.  Is that true?A:  Though I may have had gotten ideas from sketches, the better the art, the better the embroidered design will be. Your software undoubtedly can import a wide array of art.&nbs... [More]

Starting an online business

Q:  I heard that online businesses were a fad and that in time physical storefronts will emerge on top again.A:  Ask your local travel agent what they think of it being a fad !! Online stores are more popular than ever before, as a matter of fact, I was working on a deal with a large fran... [More]

Basic embroidery digitizing

Q:  How does the embroidery machine know where to put all the stitches?A:  You just scan the image and the software analyzes the art and tells the machine where to place the stitches. Well, that's what our customers think.  I wish it were that easy.  Actually, I don't ..... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilt-By Request, My Woodworker

I am taking a little turn in the road this time.  Before Greg left AnnTheGran, he requested that I write a blog about Ralph and his woodworking skills.  After attending the ATG Community Circle, and meeting Pat Snyder, she also requested the subject.  My daughter, has asked me also to... [More]

It's Over (Sigh) for Another Year II - Coffee Cup Wraps

The sun shone on us all in Orlando and we had a great time at the second annual Annthegran Community Circle gathering.  We met up with old friends and made some new ones too.  For two days we learned lots, laughed lots and ate lots. Mary Mulari and Rita Farro kept everyone in stitches as ... [More]

Being Creative with few resources- Basket Weaving, Arts & Crafts in South Africa

Dear AnnTheGran readers, thank you so much for your comments and your excitment regarding South Africa. I so enjoy sharing this information with you and giving you a small taste and experience of African art and culture. I am always amazed how creative people can be with so little! Creativity does ... [More]
It's Good to be Home

It's Good to be Home

Just to clarify, the rumors that I fell off the face of the Earth are patently false. While it’s true that I was skipping about all over the face of the Earth, at no time did I actually tumble into the stratosphere. So, where have I been? First I went up to Kentucky for two weeks with my daughter and her brood.

Then I flew out to Los Angeles with my sister to spend a week with her daughter, my dear niece, and her daughter, my new grandniece. We pondered the question of why, while I’m a great aunt, baby Eliza is my grandniece. After all, I’m the grandmother to my grandchildren and, someday (not too soon, please), will be the great grandmother to my great grandchildren. At the conclusion of that two or three minute discussion, my niece decided that I would be Grant Ann from then on. While in Los Angeles I visited the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach, attended performances of Fiddler on the Roof (with Topol!) and Spamalot, ate all manner of new to me foods and spent countless hours enjoying that baby.

After that I flew to Holland to visit with my friends Loes (Pre-design Studio II) and Theo van der Heijden. I re-visited a Rijker’s Naaimachines in Veghel where I was greeted warmly and generously by Leo Rijker and his staff, after which we drove to Denmark, visiting Odense (Hans Christian Anderson), Legoland, and Roskilde (the Viking Ship Museum) before heading to Copenhagen for a two day Pre-design seminar sponsored by Conny Rasmussen’s AJ Strik. I got to actually take the classes for Pre-design in English and get a real handle on this helpful program. Whenever Loes had been teaching here, I’d been teaching at the same time and whenever she has been teaching in Holland she’s been teaching in Dutch so this was my first opportunity to spend some quality time learning my way around the program.

In October I spent 5 days at Disney World with my Kentucky daughter and her family. Living in Orlando I’d been to the Disney parks numerous times but this was the first time I actually stayed down there and played tourist. It was great fun, especially with a 5-year-old along.

I wasn’t home long before I left to spend 10 days with a dear embroidery friend in Maryland. We visited Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon and the World War II Memorial in D.C. and spent a day scrapbooking.

Interspersed with those travels, I drove up to Tallahassee six or seven times to visit my sister, who is undergoing treatment for CLL, and my mother, who is slowly forgetting the names of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and for Thanksgiving and an after Christmas family get-together.

Now I’m out of frequent flier miles and grounded for a while. What did I learn from all that traveling? I learned that there’s no place far enough away to escape your heartache and that you can be lonely in a room full of people and surrounded by friends and family in an empty house. When push comes to shove, there really is no place like home.

Buried Treasure

While digging through my linen closet I found this little treasure. It’s the only thing I have made by maternal grandmother, after whom I was named. Annie May Brobst Levenson died in 1933, when my mother was only 14 years old, so, of course, I never knew her. That makes this little embroidery even more precious. I’d like to find a way to display it safely and with honor and am open to suggestions. It’s a rather large towel and the design isn’t centered. I do think I’m going to trace the pattern with Pre-design Studio II and create a new pattern. Thankfully, now, I can do the whole job in one program.

On My Agenda

Other than the usual eat healthfully, get some exercise, finish combining my office and sewing rooms into one room (more about that later), get out more, sew something, etc., the first item on my agenda is to finish the bibs I started for my grandniece. I’ve finished the embroidery on 4 and need to finish about 6 more. I’m not happy with the way the backs of the bibs look so I’m going to line them. I’ve figured out a quick and easy way to do it and will post pictures and instructions in my next post. That will give me the incentive I need to get those bibs finished and in the mail before Eliza doesn’t need them any more.

That’s all I’ve got. It’s good to be home. Let me hear from you. TTYL


Comments (12) -

thecomputerist 1/15/2010 4:44:37 PM

It is great to open the Blog page and see you!  You have been in my thoughts and prayer since we last met in March, 2009.  

We, and I speak for the many friends I have made here at AnnTheGran, welcome you back with loving arms.

As for the lovely, tresured towel, I recommend a shadow box large enough to include not just the towel, but something from your monther's works and something from your own projects.  I would then call it, Three Women.  WHAT A TRESURE!

Stay well, and delighted to see you again.

Pat, The Computerist, (aka The Avid Embroiderer)

tourlady522 1/15/2010 6:56:58 PM

Hi Ann

So happy to have you back. We sure have missed you.

Is there any word on whether or not there will be a Community Circle this year and if there is when will it be. Can't wait to get back to it.


gillrichards 1/16/2010 7:36:17 AM

Welcome back home to wherever your home is now!

Seeing your picture of your Grandmother's towel reminded me I have the cushion slip cover that my mother made when she was about 14 (in 1928) and for which I have the original winning vellum scroll for the Handicrafts Show for Portsmouth in the UK that year for which she won First Prize.  She died in 2008 at the age of 93 and talked about her success all the time when we were children.  She was an avid embroiderer and half-made thousands of items and only finished items she was being paid for - or fancy dresses for my sister and I!

Seeing your passion to display the towel has re-ignited my aim to show her piece.  Thank you and welcome back to all your "sewing family".

Gill, Winchester UK

Hi Ann,

Good to *see* you again here. We sure had a wonderful time together in Holland and Denmark.

Let's start cooking up ideas for the next trip - in USA!

Theo and I  will be in Kansas Overland Park in May to launch our new Art and Stitch digitizing software. Will stay over for a couple of days in Newark/New York, so we will have to find a way for a quick nice trip together then.

Curious about what the new ArtandStitch software for longarm quilters can do? Then look at the YouTube movie here:">

Isn't it great that you were actually with us in Canada when this all started?



Ann it sure is wonderful to have you back!! Have wondered how you were doing and hoping that everything was settling down for you. Glad to see that you have been doing some traveling and have had a chance to meet up with lots of your old friends.  There is nothing better than good friends to help heal. Welcome back!

Hi Ann,

Like everyone else says 'Welcome Back', the site really hasn't been the same this year.  Maybe it will get back a little of its spark now that you will be blogging once in awhile.


I love your tea towel..for displaying it why not take it to a frame shop and have them frame like a wonderful photograph. If you have several items you love dearly you could also get a display box ( a photo frame type available at Michaels) Or perhaps even a glass topped serving tray where you could disply it under the glass and hang the tray on the wall...or under a glass topped coffee table.  just a few suggestions! Sounds like you had a wonderful time on your journey!

dianegarner 1/16/2010 12:37:28 PM


We have never met, but it is good to know that you are pressing forward.  Women like you give encouragement to those of us yet to experience such sadness -- you light the path for us that most of us will have to walk.

A suggestion for the bibs.  Our granddaughter's other grandmother and I teamed up to make bibs for her.  Grandma Louise cut out the bibs, and before finishing stitching them, I embroidered designs on both fabric pieces.  That makes them reversible and the back side of the embroidery does not show.



thecomputerist 1/16/2010 1:33:10 PM

Sorry for the spelling error - TREASURE is what it will be!!


sweetness1950 1/17/2010 2:35:21 PM

Ann,  I have just joined Ann the Gran and although I thought of it as a design resource I am feeling that there is a wonderful group of women who have come together thru it.  I don't know what you have experienced that was so very sad but I know that sadness and grief do get better thru the comoraderie (sp) of friends and family.  I just began quilting a couple of years ago and of course it also flowed into embroidery.  I have found a love for this craft that I didn't think possible.  I found it while going thru cancer and a divorce at the same time and though I had many friends,  lost alot of them thru divorce and illness.  I watch as they slowly drifted away.  Anyway so I am fairly lonely in my endeavors and would love to share in the adventures of Ann the Gran and would really love any get togethers or meetings you may embark upon however near or far.  My prayers are with you.


Happy to see your  return Ann. You are correct, there is no place to escape what is within our hearts., once again correct when saying there is no place like home.

Happy to see you back in any way you feel comfortable with.....................

cherrylmaree 1/19/2010 7:42:11 AM

What a lovely, newsy blog....welcome back have been in my is lovely to hear about your adventures and thankyou for sharing your 'Grant' niece with us.

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