Merry and Bright: Christmas Embroidery with Lights!

The blog below was originally published in November 2011. The Merry and Bright bundle is currently on special right now and can be found here. The new Merry and Bright collection from Amazing Designs incorporates blinking lights with embroidery for an adorable holiday accent unlike anythi... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents : How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?  With silver bells and cockle shells & pretty 3D Flowers all in a row? Isn’t that how the nursery rhyme goes?  It does here at Starbird Stock Designs.  We can’t always rely on the weather here in Minnesota to grow... [More]

Applique Santa Ornament

It's easy to create unique freestanding ornaments using applique designs. Much like freestanding lace is constructed on water-soluble stabilizer, freestanding applique is made stable from the applique base. With satin stitching all around, they can stand alone. Thi... [More]

Machine Embroidered Buttonholes

  Click here to download this article as a PDF for future reference. Many of you wrote that buttonholes are a struggle when it comes to sewing. I agree! One of the worst parts about adding a buttonhole is it’s just about the last thing you do when making a garment. I begin to swe... [More]

Unique Uses for Test Stitchouts

Ever wonder what to do with all of those test stitchouts? Bonnie Welsh from has put hers to some of the most uniquely versatile uses I've ever seen and, fortunately, has given me permission to share them with you. I just adore this tote bag. It uses mylar in the de... [More]

Hot Iron Carrier

I originally created this project for my daughter, a cosmetologist, so that she could take her curling irons and flat iron home before they were cool enough to handle. Then, I decided it would be perfect for transporting mini irons when traveling or taking classes.It is very simple, particularl... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Polka Dot Aprons with Accessories

Lucy's birthday party is coming up in a couple of days.  She wants an apron, and those things you wear on your hands (oven mitts).  My daughter said it should be bright and colorful and wanted to make it herself but there just isn't much time and I was busy getting ready for a rath... [More]

Designs in Machine Embroidery Hoop Comparison

  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 : Last week, I wrote about fishing, I mean teaching, in Bend, OR and while I was there, I introduced my... [More]

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]
Unique Bridal Linens

Unique Bridal Linens

Every day I see digitizers trying to create something new for machine embroidery.  I see things like candy holders, free standing lace items, beautiful floral designs and lettering - of all sorts.

Additionally, I frequently see letters attached the strangest things - bunnies, cupcakes, Christmas Lights, toys, cars and all manners of items that someone might use a single time.  Frankly, when a site says they have a new font design and I see a smiley face with a letter on it, I really don't see any imagination at work.

As frequent readers know, I do items for brides and gifts for weddings and anniversaries. Among those are linens of all sorts. I even include the ‘baby bump' items because many brides do have babies on their minds.

There are many ornate, attractive and simple monograms to choose from but sometimes I seek items that are really unique. I want the truly one-of-a-kind (known as ‘ooak') on many of the sites.

Since I don't digitize (not to any degree of proficiency) I look to my stash of lovely and interesting designs to create something for my brides.

I have been thinking of how to do just that for some time now and after a few set backs, I have come up with a few ideas. My original idea was to start with one of my designs and remove some of the stitching. It would work something like this (example of my thought, not really a good working idea):




My original thinking was to remove (by stopping my machine or through software) a color or two to leave room for a letter/name. I wanted to be sure that the original design was still recognizable. This design worked, I could still see the milk can but it did not leave a lot of empty area. It would have made a great kitchen towel design and putting a name or letter in the collar area might just be great. It is just not linen workable.

If you don't remove some stitching, you might get ‘bullet proof' embroidery. Just like its name, it is dense and difficult to stitch the final stitches. In fact, you will hear your machine pounding on the fabric.

The next thought was to use something that was simply an outline. That works well, especially if you use a thick monogram to offset the outline.




There was little or nothing to do on that design. It was quick and easy to do. A cat lover will enjoy summer napkins for a fun BBQ will be terrific with this one. Don't forget to put this on an apron with a name rather than the monogram to add to the festivities.

Here are some of my designs that I am going to be putting on my site. They will be eye catching - IMHO!

Watch for areas that lend themselves to a monogram.



Make the placement off center for more interest. I am an asymmetrical kind of person.



Do the letter on top or bottom of the design.


The look changes so much with just a little tweaking.


Make sure you have the recipients' interests in mind.


I like to have contrasting colors as much as possible. However, if you are doing everything in a single color, such as white work, that is great as well. But for real "pop" give me high contrast every time.

If you did not notice that the Dakota collections are on sale, you need to check it out!  This one is part of the Heirloom 4 Collection and ONLY $11.98. I personally have never seen Dakota that inexpensive! These are perfect for this technique.


Lastly, for baby's first bib - - - - ta da . . .


It says "S S Mason." Most machines have the ability to slant letters and with a little discovery sewing on scraps of fabric, you may have the best of the best bib for a child.  And the bonus, these bibs are on sale!!!

I hope you like my ideas as much as I like sharing them. It is a fun part of embroidery.

Comments (5) -

euginamorin 3/5/2011 9:22:42 AM

WOW! what a great read - and full of ideas that will come

in handy. Thanks  Eugenia

Thank you Eugenia!  I am so inspired by Comments. When I get a lot of them, I just go into 'idea' mode. (Truly, Comments make my day!!!)

I feel like ideas beget ideas. You read mine and you add something of your own. Or you see a use for something that is not necessarily related - like an applique and combining it with something else.

As I always note, I love sharing and getting new ideas from you as well.


Thank you for your ideas and pointers, my sister is getting married next month and I'm trying to decide what to make/embroidery for them.

Sherry - I hope you get a chance to photograph your items. I often forget to do a photo so I have only a few of my items to show.

You can put those photos in the Forum area, the upload is in the film strip icon when you start your discussion.  

I do recommend that you do things that are for daily use (like kitchen towels and pillowcases) and one special item as an heirloom (perhaps table cloth and matching napkins).  The daily items are a great way to remind your sister of you and the heirloom is to have for generations to come.

As you are working on those items, you will feel so much joy!


nancymichalek 4/13/2011 12:32:02 PM

Hi Laughing  I am late responding because of surgery.

In a month is a Bridal Shower for a close friends' daughter.

Perhaps you can help me.  I am trying to create a handerchief for the Bride  to use at the ceremony.  I want lace on 3 sides of the handercief but on the last corner I want a lace that drops down & then above it on the handerchief corner I will embroider her new initials.  I'm haveing trouble finding the corner drop lace (& even the lace on 3 sides.  Hard to find something 'lacey' enough for a wedding.

Any ideas?  Thanks for your help.

Please login to comment