Zero calorie cupcakes

When I was a little girl growing up in South Africa, Fridays were always special baking days and cupcakes were my favorite thing to bake with my mother and sister. Even better than baking the cupcakes was the frosting and decorating of them afterwards. My mother would decorate each cupcake with twir... [More]

New Contour-Cut Outs Alphabet from Fancy Jumbles

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

LaRueSews-Quilts,1/2-Square Triangles, Easy?

This blog could be considered as an Anniversary Blog, since it has been a year and seven days since I posted my very first Blog.  I didn’t think it would last this long.  But thanks to all of you and your faithfulness, I’m still here.  Also, I’d like to give a lot of... [More]

Girl Friend Get Togethers

As it happens I have 2 daughter in laws who are quite entrepreneurial!  This week Kendal was invited to bring her Pampered Chef product to an event that had 50 attendees who also got to look at other wares that included aprons.  As it happens a local gal has begun a business making aprons,... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Binding Isn’t the End

The subject matter this time is probably one of the “testiest” that I have approached.  We are nearing the end of making a quilt from start to finish.  Adding the bind is the best part, right up to stitching down the binding on the back.  The photos I am using were ma... [More]

Keeping It Simple with a Quick Casserole Carrier

If you are like me, you subscribe to more than one embroidery and quilting magazine and scour them all front to back when you finally get the chance. Sometimes I'm inspired by the projects in the magazines but many times I'm overwhelmed. And any time that I sit down to sew I'm likely... [More]

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?

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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]
Straight from the horses' mouth

Straight from the horses' mouth

If you can stand just another blog about 60 weight thread, I was looking through some of the designs that will lend themselves to enhancement by lighter weight thread. This blog about horses and 60 weight thread will delight and please any animal lover but especially horse fanciers. (OK, maybe not. . . . )

Unparalleled beauty, a rich history and a unique ability to bond with their owners.

From the ancient deserts of the Middle East evolved the oldest known breed of riding horse, the Arabian. Now one of the most popular breeds in America, the Arabians' incredible energy, intelligence and gentle disposition allow riders to excel in most equine sports and activities. Today, Arabian horses spend as much time on the trail as they do at horse shows and other competitive events.  (To read more about these magnificent horses, click on the photo.)


Photo courtesy of:

For the truly beautiful embroidery of just about any subject, use of the 60 weight will give more elegance in subtle highlights, shadows, delicates, dainty designs, baby items and details.  Using it with a detailed embroidery design is just what your embroidery needs to get to the next level.

Think in terms of using an extra sharp pencil, giving points that are viewed by the eye as just a dot - but that dot is a WOW!  If you have ever looked at a bitmap, those dots make a great photo.


Just as the dots do their work almost anonymously, so does each of the stitches of embroidery.

And, when we go one step further and use a lighter weight thread, we may well have something worthy of a treasure for your personal best project and a possible museum piece!

I recommend having on hand several colors of 60 weight.  Additionally, I also recommend having metallics in their most used colors:  Here is my suggested colors for the 60 weight:

  • white
  • brown (I prefer brown to black)
  • red
  • beige
  • green
  • blue, light and deep
  • pink or salmon
  • grey

For metallics, I keep these on hand:

  • silver
  • gold (more than one shade, if available)
  • copper
  • brass
  • blue
  • red
  • green
  • white

I might even make use of a little metallic on a horse design as well.  Just a glint of sparkle can be a defining project.  In the following photo, use of a silver metallic thread on the harness would be fantastic.  (I am using all these 'extreme' adjectives because I think the Arabian Horse is so incredible.)

The following design, available here at AnnTheGran, is one that comes to my mind as the prize for a horse lover or just someone who loves mind-boggling artistry.



Since there are 11 colors to create this design, you have multiple opportunity to for light weight threads to shade and show the details.  I personally would review the colors and the sequence to determine where I want to make alterations that will make my project really outstanding. 

My testing of this concept is below.  Obviously, I sewed this on a much too light a fabric (and did not compensate with stabilizer) for the weight of the stitches.  Nontheless, it gave me a lot of information. 

As is common for my camera, the photo does not clearly indicate what I hoped to show you.  However, the 'in person' design has silver for the blade on the left skate, and the 60 weight was only used on the shadow.  There IS a difference in person that you cannot view.


You are always more judgemental on your work that the average person.  Most people looking at your final results would be in awe.  Not everyone knows the difference between good and acceptable embroidery.  Other embroiderers will see or wonder what you actually did.  It is truly subtle.  But you can see the finer points that you personally created.  You are the expert of your project, my blog on your knowledge is worth a second look. 

Lastly, when I have a design that has many facets to it - like the skates - adjectives can be winter, skates, shadow, sports among other things, the use of Catalog Xpress 2.5 is just the ticket.  You save your designs on a hard disk with a back up on a USB drive.  Then, you place your LINK (only) in various folders that describe the content.  Therefore, your design link can be in one place or dozens and easier to find.  Catalog Xpress DOES NOT save your designs, it gives you a link to your actual design.  

(Also Note: Madeira Incredible Threadable Gift Boxes are on sale this week!)

Comments (3) -

I love catalog Xpress. Love the horse embroidery as well as the picture. I never thought of using the 60 weight in small increments. What a way to make a certain area special.


It is difficult to see the difference in a photo, but I can see it very well.

One thing about most people is that they don't know good embroidery from bad.  But when I am done with my projects, I want to be proud.  It does not matter to me if they know the difference.  

It is interesting that when you start thinking about 'stepping' up just a little, ideas will come to you.  Sometimes it takes practice to point your thinking that way, but it will happen.  

As the tree is bent, so the tree is inclined.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Ooops, that should be "as the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined."

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