Embroidering for Pets

  Identify your pet and add fun sayings to pet bandanas. Make a patriotic one for the 4th of July - and then keep it rolling, making a new one for each holiday or mood. Rather than regular tie-style bandanas, you might want to make a slip-ver-the-collar bandana. This type of ban... [More]

Reusable Grocery Bags

USING CREATIVITY TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT In the next few weeks many cities are enacting a law that will allow grocery stores to charge for plastic bags. Some of you have already been using reusable tote bags; some purchase these bland reusable bags from the store at which they are shopping. Howe... [More]

An Easy Way to Keep the Dust Away!

My cousin just came to visit and helped me do some Spring cleaning (yes...it's Summer already).  I was forced to face the dust that has been finding it's home on my sewing machines over time.  It's really not fair to the machines and I'm sure machine repairmen would tell me... [More]

Pucker-Free Quilt Squares

Because quilt fabric is usually lightweight, embroidered quilt squares are often puckered. To avoid puckers on your squares, fuse a piece of ShirtTailorÒ by PellonÒ to cover the entire back of your square. It will not be removed after embroidery. Rather, it adds body to the quilt squar... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents "Sweet Dreams"

Good Night! SleepTight!  Now that is something we all hope to do each night.  Whenever we don’t get enough sleep, there is usually something we can do about getting more and sounder sleep so we can stay in dream land longer each night.  Some people prefer to have it totally da... [More]

A Quick Gift for Father's Day

At our house we always seem to be slightly behind and end up cramming to get our father's day gifts done the night before that special day.  Sometimes they don't go as planned and we spend a frustrating time figuring out what to do.  This year we decided to change this (maybe the r... [More]

Would you like to win $500 Cash?

Would you like to win $500 Cash? YOU are invited to enter your completed African Folklore Embroidery in the upcoming challenge. Entry forms are on online at www.aflembroidery.com. THE GRAND PRIZE is $500 cash, 2nd prize $50 and 3rd prize $25.00. All entrants will receive certificate of part... [More]

Loosely Woven Fabrics ? Control Them with Ease

  Fear No Pashmina! One of my favorite newer stabilizers is the self-adhesive wash-away mesh type. This stabilizer can be pricey, but it stands alone when you need the unique advantages offered by this highly evolved specialty product.The item being embroidered must be compatible with wate... [More]

Look Mom! No Zippers!

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents Sew Story Books

Remember as a young child and one of your parents, or grandparents, would cuddle up next to you and read you a story before bedtime.  You would listen to your favorite story until your eyes slowly closed and you drifted into fairy-tale dreams.  Now that you have grown up and have children ... [More]

Leftover Minky and those Elusive Binks

A friend gave me some leftover 5" squares of minky fabric the other day.  There were not enough to make a quilt so I pondered what to do with them.  In the meantime someone stepped on the clip that held the baby's pacifier so it didn't get lost.  She really only gets it w... [More]

Junk in my trunk - African Folklore Embroidery Elephants

 JUNK IN MY TRUNK and the African Folklore Embroidery Elephants One of my favorite animals to observe while on safari is the elephants. I love watching the baby elephant walk in between his mom and dad and seeing how protective the moms are toward their babies. The elephant is the largest... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Owls Are In

I know that I have told you about all the babies that are on their way.  And their mother's are now doing the decorating.  Many of our daughter's friends have seen her baby's room and when she asked them what they would like as a shower gift several requested the fram... [More]

Multi-Media = Major Fun!

As exciting as standard embroidery is, you'll reach a creative crescendo when you add other elements. When you incorporate everyday elements with even the simplest embroidery, the result is almost always a pleasing surprise. In this example, "The Busy Bride" from the Circle of Life des... [More]

Easter Goodies for Infants

"What will the Easter bunny bring for the baby?" our grandaughter asked.  Now, this is the same [More]

The Computerist Presents - Steampunk and other Freebies

What the heck is Steampunk?  Well, its called steampunk because it is a mix of steam powered era style and futuristic style, sort of as if the future happened in the past (if that makes any sense). Its punk because its a bit of that style thrown in. So really you can call anything that loo... [More]
I want to be a better embroiderer!

I want to be a better embroiderer!

Raise your hand if you would like to move your skills to the next level in embroidery!  Yes Yes  I get to vote twice because it is my blog. . . .

All around the Internet and my neighborhood embroidery shops I see everyone stretching themselves with new designs and techniques.  We are trying to do things that were merely ideas just a few years ago.  Free Standing Lace is not the only WOW factor in embroidery.  There is placing bling in and around designs, creating 3 dimensional flowers, stitching an animal where you can see each hair lying in perfect position to mention just a few.  I loved doing embroidery with my grandmother.  We did pillow cases for my Hope Chest and towels that would eventually find their way into the kitchen to dry dishes after daily or special family dinners.  It was very important to her and she passed the love on to me.  I think it skipped a generation but my mother could crochet with the best of the best!

I had been wanting to make my sales site at Etsy more interesting for brides for a long time.  I was doing things such as writing my own text.  I have a couple of them I am exceptionally proud of, this one for a flower girl kept yelling at me in my head the opening line - Your smile completes my special day - .  I would have loved to tell a little girl just exactly that.  She would have the hankie to use on her wedding day as well, at least I hope.

Next, using my AlphaXpress, writing is easy and beautiful.  It is adjustable in so many ways.  You can read my ad hoc 'manual' that I posted right here on AnnTheGran.  AlphaXpress is the most simple to use of so many programs that are more expensive with steep learning curves.  I am adding embellishments to my items that are 'no charge' at this time.  I think I can charge for it but for now, I am delighted to offer simple and beautiful adornments at the end of the hankies I sell. 

If you have software that will accept TrueType Fonts, you can use this font:  Nymphette and you are going to be so delighted with the designs available! (Note: Nymphette cannot be used in AlphaXpress directly.)


So, I wrote my own words and worked with embellishments but there is something still missing.  Getting to the next level meant I needed to think outside of the box.  Being more creative was on the tip of my tongue but not quite on my brain.  I looked through Ann's site and low and behold, I was totally inspired by John Deer.  You can get his Creative Digitizing Educational Bundle for $129.95.  Let me count the ways that is an EXCELLENT VALUE:

  • John is a third generation digitizer (imagine your father and grandfather critiquing your work!!)
  • There are seven (7) DVDs (DVDs, not to listen to but to see and learn from) and one CD that has the files you will be working with.
  • Cost Effective! If you went to a Community College and took 2 semesters at 3 Credit Hours (@ $36.00 per credit hour =$216.  here in San Diego) Plus incidental costs like gas, supplies and snacks for the kids. . .
  • The information is NOT software specific.  Understanding the ins and outs of embroidery that any embroiderer can benefit from.
  • The 'bundle' (some people are over using this word, but in this case, it is true!) takes you from basics to detailed digitizing like animals and fully featured designs.
  • John instructs in a very relaxed, comfortable style as if you were having coffee with a friend.
  • I really could go on an on with the excellence that this program has been produced.  Quality is always appreciated.


I am working my way through the package and already I have learned a great deal about embroidery, not just digitizing.  I can tell a good digitizing from one that is mediocre.  I thought I understood "push/pull" control but now I really understand its part in the workings.  Letterings is my 'thing' and I am getting better at it as well.

If John or one of his crew is having a seminar in your area, be sure to see the dynamics at work.  Additionally, if you get your Creative Digitizing Educational Bundle here at Ann's for $129.95 right now, you will be prepared to talk during the breaks with the very knowledgeable people who are there to help you.  Being ready to talk with experts makes those events even more valuable. 

Imagine being able to do this kind of work:


Imagine learning with these excellent visual aids:


Talk about quality - and add 'free' - and here is a terrific offer:


So, VALUE is the word for the day. 

Sometimes I am asked if I am paid to make comments about products.  While AnnTheGran does pay me for creating a blog, these are my experiences only.  I would not ever compliment something I did not try and LIKE.  I really do like this training.  I know I am going to be a better embroiderer.  I never think of embroidery as work, it is a labor of love and embroiders are the BEST!


Comments (7) -

bellisimi e utili

sono contenta di ricevere le vostre mail per avere questi ricami

vorrei poter scaricare qualcosa

i appreciate all the tips! however, the FREE for the cutwork lace b'fly did not work -- said "bandwidth exceeded."  I'd

appreciate a correction so that i can download and try it. thank you!


when I tried the butterfly download, it says site owner has exceeded bandwidth.  do i have to try another day? another hour? please let us know.  thanks.

I will check into the Free butterfly.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

The link has been fixed.  I am sorry for any inconvenience.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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