Be Productive

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

Growing Your Business

Hi again. Well it has been a great week!   Thank you for all your questions and energetic comments regarding frames.  The response has been so overwhelming that we have put together a Webinar regarding frames, their Uses and were to get them.   Join me as I present "Hoo... [More]

Quick Launch Toolbar and Password Tips

  I enjoy working with computers and the software that runs them.  I will try to have my tips cover both XP and Vista when possible.  I know that so many of you are really MAC fans, but I do not have MAC tips, sorry. If there is something I love more than machine embroidery (and I r... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Buttons and Bows

Being the "Meesy" to two beautiful granddaughters I am always on the lookout for cute things that I can make for them or with them.  They are very girly girls and love fancy ribbons, barrettes and bows.  Last weekend I went on a getaway with a friend and we browsed through shops ... [More]

Creating a Niche with Embroidery Frames

Hello, My name is Scott Phillips and I am happy to have you here with us at Scott's Corner. I have been in the embroidery industry for 20 years and my family has nearly 30 years experience in production embroidery and monogramming. I believe that being an informed embroiderer on the latest te... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts EXPERIENCE, not best teacher

Hello there, everyone.  First, I want to tell you the reason for the title of this BLOG. Monday, I did exactly what I’ve been telling you all this time NOT TO DO.  I cut MY finger with the rotary cutter.  Yup!  I did it.  I am glad to say that it’s not very ba... [More]

Monogramming your own Wedding Gifts !!

So, in the last year, I was lucky enough to get engaged, survived the familiy phone calls asking me about her, made it through an engagement party, a bridal shower, meeting her family and more people than I could ever hope to remember .. and, tomorrow is the rehear... [More]

Threads are not all the same and neither are the methods to embroider towels

Threads for Thought: Two New Lines for Your Next Project Experienced decorators know that quality lies stitch deep. With so many thread options to choose from, embroiderers can customize the look and feel of every project they produce. Further expanding its line of quality threads, Brother Internat... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Halloween Costumes

Halloween is closer than you think! I always get excited now that I have two granddaughters to watch. It makes the holiday so much more fun.  I love listening to the older one tell me what she wants to be and deciding for her sister. Last year they were invited to a party. We had a great time c... [More]

Sewing in the kitchen with NS40 Project Runway machine!

You just never know who is going to be on the other end of the phone line when you get a call these days!  Just the other day my phone rang at 4 pm on a Friday and it was the "Rachael Ray" show calling.  Honest!  An associate producer of the show was wondering if I had ... [More]

Keeping It Simple – Mouse Pad Revival

This was not the original project that I planned for this week but was inspired out of necessity.  I am forever trying to do more than one thing at a time and this morning was no exception.  I was going along answering emails, downloading some items that I needed and eating break... [More]

LaRueSews-Your Wish Is My Command

Hi Everyone.  It’s been a few weeks since I met you here at LaRueSews-Quilts.  I’ve taken a little time off to re-group, rest and plan.  Now as you asked, it’s time to announce the LaRueSews Block of the Month.  I will go along with the government and provide an... [More]

Fleece Neck Roll Cover with Contour Cut-Outs

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 sizes,choose the size you wan... [More]

It's HOT!!!

It's HOT!!! Here in NJ it has finally passed the 90 degree it's summer for real.    It's HOT!!! Remember that I promised that there would be great new machines introduced at the annual Brother convention?  When our dealers convened in Memphis last week the... [More]

The embroidery business in today's marketplace ..

"Hello, yeah, it's been a while / Not much, how 'bout youI'm not sure why I "blogged" / I guess I really just wanted to talk to you" ~ hmmm, that sounds familiar .. OK OK .. I've taken some time off, but wedding plans are really eating up my free time ..I long f... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Strap Covers and Handle Wraps

Well, it's August and the "Dog Days of Summer" have finally arrived here.  That means it is hot, hot, hot and when the temps get up around 100 degrees it is time to let the garden go and sew.  I am done putting up corn, beans, berries and peaches.  I do not wish to see a... [More]

Using Up Those Embroidery Test Sews

I would have to call myself a fabric junkie. I love solid colored fabric and prints and buy it even when I have no earthly idea of what I will do with it. I have so much fabric that my daughters always come by and "shop" in my sewing room before making a trip to the fabric store.  And... [More]

A Challenge, A Surprise, and A Win

Yesterday was a day of fun and prizes for the members of the Memory Makers Quilt Guild.  At the first meeting in 2009, I gave the members of my guild a Challenge.  The Challenge was to make a quilt that fit all the requirement sets out in the rules of the challenge.  The challenge was... [More]

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]
Learning as a lifelong adventure-Summer Time Tip

Learning as a lifelong adventure-Summer Time Tip

When I hear kids say "just 2 more months of school" or "just one more year of school" I laugh to myself because I know a lot better.  You all know what I mean, learning is not 9 months a year (antiquated as that is) or just a few years, learning is a lifelong journey of discovery and - if you are open to it - an awesome journey.  When I taught Microsoft Software, I often told my adult students that if they were not in this class, or one like it, they were not just standing still, they would be losing ground. 

That is enough about structured education.  My point today is that not only is learning a lifelong journey, it is also everywhere around us.  Most people understand learning from a well educated and knowledgeable people.  BUT, have you considered the opposite of that coin, learning from a less educated or less successful people/projects/ideas around us?

How do we know who is the knowledgeable versus the one who you believe to be all knowing?  How do we discern the difference between a real leader and a "I believe I am a" leader?

My point here is knowledgeable people can be wrong from time to time.  Conversely, someone who is lacking in formal education or knowledge can have a totally brilliant moment, day or life.

I have wanted to learn to digitize for a long time.  I see digitizing as a creative form of art that has many facets to it.  Once a site puts a vendor's design on their sales page, that site owner is saying that they believe in the vendor's ability to create a perfect design every time.  While that may be a little naive, it is a must for doing business.  That is one of the reasons that sellers must have some sort of return policy. 

In the case of the design I am highlighting today, the vendor is a very well known site for designs.  They have quality, interesting designs and a very good client base.  So, this issue that I am discussing will remain anonymous because, they normally have much deserved reputation and they are allowed to be wrong once in a while. 

I really love this design and on my sales site, it is VERY popular.  Therefore, I have done it probably 20 or more times.  When you have done a design that many times, you really get to know each stitch.  Furthermore, this has over 50,000 stitches, it is not a quick one to complete.  It has 12 color changes as well.  It is also 'cast iron' to sew. 

My Embird software allows the viewing of the stitches in a density format.  This is a little section showing 'normal' density.  In this case, I say normal loosely.  In some cases, you will want the density to be light.  An example would be if you want some of the background to show through.  A more dense example might be if you are trying for a more three dimensional look.


The focus is naturally blurry to show the areas as they blend together.  Incidentally, the dots of orange are the very dense areas.

Here is the photo of the density map of the design. 

There is one point of red, extremely dense and the lines are all orange, very dense.  The remaining stitches have a small smattering of green, normal, in them. 

I have already reduced the density and removed any small stitches that were less than .7 mm.  This is the after picture.  I always hear my machine pounding in the stitches.

Part of the problem is that few openings are left for the next layer of detail. 

Believe me, the design is beautiful and very detailed.  But I use a fresh needle at the beginning and around the midpoint (26K stitches), I put in a new one. Breaking needles is dangerous.

Another issue is the jump stitches.  I have asked digitizers about this issue and they all say that short jumps tend to pucker the design, so they may opt to make a jump go in a different direction to prevent the squeeze from creating a divot or poof. 

The grid in the background is 1" square.  The jumps crisscross and this particular thread is the last one of the design.  So these jumps are not under all the design, they are on top.

I can vouch for small jumps being tight.  In my hankies, between words there are jump stitches.  Each time I cut those jumps, I can actually feel the release of the pull.

Lastly, I have been using 4 layers of heavy duty cut-away AnnTheGran Stabilizer and still get the puckering on the sides of the design. BTW, I only use 60 weight thread on this design.

While you cannot see these sorts of issues before you buy a design, it is always a good idea to check out their 'freebies' so that you can check their work.  Don't forget to test that design and take a good look at it.

Learning to spot a bit of trouble before you purchase it can help save your sanity.  It is part of the learning curve of embroidery.


Nothing says Summer more than watermelon (unless it is corn on the cob and barbecued chicken).  Here is a fun trick to make watermelon cubes!

First, quarter your melon. Then, make slices straight down the melon.

Next, slice at desired spacing from right to left.

Turn your watermelon to the opposite side and do the same cut as above.  Your cubes will start to fall out of the melon.

Cut the cubes away from the rind and enjoy.  This will work for cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes and other soft fruits or vegetables.  Toss them all into a great salad and you have a HIT!


I always love Audrey Hepburn - Katherine as well.

Comments (5) -

Pat,  I do designs with over 60,000 stitches and 20 or more color changes and I use only 1 layer of nylon mesh cutaway and float 1 piece of medium weight tearaway and never, never and any puckering.  Also I never hoop anything but the stabilizer.  Try it and let me know what happened.

Marsuz - I took your advise and guess what????  It worked.

The reason that I was hooping was because I was concerned about the registration going out the window with so many stitches.

This is an interesting (sorta) contradiction.  It would seem to be a good idea to keep this nailed down, yet floating actually does a better job.

It is these types of exchanges of ideas that make this site a great place to visit.  

BTW, I did not put all of the jumps that have to be removed and are crisscrossing the design.  Of course, we all have to deal with jumps, but this design is a barrage of jumps that are more than 5 to 7cm (about 2 to 3").  

I am hoping that someone can give me a logical reason that some jumps must form an "M".

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

That last sentence should say "form an "X".

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

I would like to hear more from Marsuz regarding her techniques.

Pattiann, I have asked Marsuz multiple times to just put together a little of her thoughts.  Give her an email to see if you can convince her!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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