If You Really Want to Know . . .

I asked you all to let me know what you’d like me to tell you. Haven’t heard from anyone except Pat, so I’ll answer her questions. Maybe that will help you think of some more things you’d like me to write about.

Pat asked: I would LOVE to know what types of embroidery do you do now.

I‘m afraid I haven’t done any machine embroidery, or any sewing at all, in the past few years. I kind of lost my enthusiasm when I lost Bill. I do plan to get back to it soon and I’ll keep you all apprised about my projects. I have one hurdle to jump, though. This is the present condition of my sewing/crafting room:

ann's sewing room

How did it get this way you ask. Well, I had a sewing room and an office. I did embroidery in my office and sewing in my sewing room. Recently my grandson came to stay with me so my sewing room has become my guest room. In recent years, being retired, I moved my computer into the den and was using the former office for crafting. Now the sewing/embroidery machine, the cutting table, the ironing board, the sewing books, the thread, the . . . well you get the idea . . . as well as 15 plastic tubs, three of them double wide, full of fabric, are all crammed in there. It’s a mess and no, I am NOT a hoarder. If anyone in the Central Florida area would like to help me get it all sorted out I’d be glad for the help and you’ll definitely go home with an armload of “door prizes.”

Pat asked: When you embroider for fun, what do you actually enjoy doing.

When I was embroidering I liked doing sayings on tee-shirts, cute designs on clothing for the grand kids, and some gifts. When I get back to it I think I’ll be making lots of totes to use up some of that fabric.

Pat asked: Are you still traveling?  Where have you been?  (that is a double question?  - where the heck have you been and where have you traveled)

Of course I’ve been back and forth to Kentucky many times to visit my daughter’s family and back and forth  to Tallahassee many times to visit my sister. I’ve been on two cruises, one from England to the Caribbean and then back to Florida with my cousin and one by myself to the Caribbean where I was able to inter Bill’s ashes at sea during a lovely ceremony. I’ve been to Holland twice to visit my dear friends Loes and Theo van der Heijden (www.artistitch.com.)  This is a picture taken of Loes and me in Middleburg this past September:

Ann and Loes Blog

I would love to travel more and will once I’ve saved up some more airline miles.

Pat asked: Share a tip that you think is really obscure - we all have them.

I can’t think of any tips right off hand. I’m so pleased to see that you’re still using and purchasing more of my alphabets. A few years ago, when I was still teaching, I prepared class notes for using alphabet letters. You can download the PDF here.

I think that’s about it for now. The folks here at AnnTheGran tell me that you want to keep hearing from me. If y’all won’t give me any ideas for things you’d like me to talk about I’ll have to think of something on my own.

Until next time, be kind to each other,


Comments (6) -

For anyone who is relatively new, Bill was a very special man to all who knew him.  I remember that there was a Convention in progress as Bill was in the hospital.  Ann was courageous despite the sadness she must have been experiencing.   Grace under the circumstances was her only shield from the worry.  

For all embroiderers, Ann is a wealth of information and experience.  She is a pioneer in the embroidery on the Internet and allowing her knowledge to languish is a shame.  I can think of a few things, so here is my first one -

I have never been happy with my work on t-shirts.  I think that the different quality of knits have a lot to do with my "acceptable but not high quality" work on them.  There are multiple places to see 'experts' advise.  Sometimes they say so little and other times, difficult to follow.  

Could you give some tips on the really stretchy ones versus the more constructed ones?  Is there a way to determine which stabilizer is right?  I always do a 'discovery sew' (my term for a test) but I am looking to have information on the test sew so that I am not dealing with 3 to 5 differing issues.  I want to stack the deck so to speak with all the tips available.

I do recognize that a failed project is often the result of more than one error, how can I determine which may have affected the outcome?  (This assumes that you have had a failure or two. . . LOL)

I do remember one of my favorite designs from the original site, it said - "I am the Queen, my panty hose say so!!"  It made me laugh!!  Now the designs say things like - "Put on your Big Girl panties and deal with it!" www.annthegran.com/.../46876.aspx">www.annthegran.com/.../46876.aspx  

How time flies!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

tourlady522 11/22/2013 4:38:55 PM

Great questions Pat.

My question for Ann is how do I get my material tight enough but not too tight so it does not pucker? I did some pictures last year and they all puckered a bit and one more than the other. I used a heavy cotton material for all of them because I thought that would help but it did not.

Tourlady522, while waiting for Ann to respond (busy time of the year getting ready for the Holidays, travel, etc).

I have found if it attach the stabilizer to the fabric and then hoop I get no puckers.  Basting can also help.

You can use an iron-on stabilizer or spray.  Check the label on the spray.  I like Sulky, but one formula dissipates with the heat of a warm iron or short span of time and the other lasts a little longer.

I also use Organ brand Titanium coated needles.  The coating strengthen the needles and also keeps them cool so they do not soften adhesive and gum up the thread.

You may already know some of these techniques, but perhaps someone new can benefit from all of our experiences.

Best wishes for many sucessful project.s

mrspamelajean 12/15/2013 8:43:06 AM

I just wanted to comment on the annthe gran site which I discovered in 1999 when I bought my first embroidery machine, a Singer XL1000, learning all the ins & outs was scary  sometimes, but I found that I wasn't the only newbie that  had learning problems, you all have helped me so much through the years. I have more confidence to try projects that I would be beyond my skill but tried it anyway & had success. Ann, I remember when you lost Bill & I know that's a life changing situation, best wishes to you & your staff from Kentucky & a happy New Year!


I can empathise with you Ann. My husband had heart surgery two years ago (aortic valve replaced). During that time, he was so bad he could not get up two stairs without stopping to rest. Six months after this surgery he had a stroke, after recovering from this stroke, he had another. After he recoverd from his second stroke, I was diagnosed with cancer. I am currently under chemtherapy. I had lost my incentive to embroider or sew. Then, I had a long talk with God. I have finally gotten my incentive back. Not gung-ho, but it is there nevertheless......

Questions????? I have a few. What is the best technique for embroidering on felt? This year I decided on a felt Christmas Tree and am embroidering ornaments on the same color felt, which I will cut out.  Which is the best stabilizer? How do you know where to put a company name or logo on shirts? How do you measure it?

Thanks for all you have done for all of us.

CME,  Here is a free placement chart - www.emblibrary.com/.../Projects.aspx">www.emblibrary.com/.../Projects.aspx  You can also find a free tutorial for embroidering on felt (cut away stabilizer) at the same site.   EL used to be listed on the Links option at ATG, but I have not been able to find it since the ATG site was revamped.

There also are kits for placement sold at ATG Shop.

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