Create special Christmas Treasures with our 9 Santas Quik Quilt Book and CD!

We have found that by making our cross stitch designs the centerpiece of a quick-to-quilt piece, a lovely finished result is achieved. Many embroiderers also love to quilt, so combining the two “media” seemed like a natural! Cross Stitch designs, especially the small ones, can be use... [More]

My First Christmas Project - Stylish Cocktail Napkins

Hello everyone! I’m Susan from and we work with the folks here at to offer you some of our best-selling embroidery blanks right here on Ann's website.  What a nice surprise it was to be asked to participate in the world of blogging here at AnnThe... [More]

A Fall From Grace

  Here it is, the second day of Fall, and it’s already cold in the mornings here in Orlando. By “cold” I mean 68° (20° C) which, for me here in Florida, is sweater weather.  It doesn’t usually cool off until the middle of November, so this is quite a treat ... [More]

The Spool Mini-Series

         Hello all of you Happy Stitcher's! Wow, can you believe it? This is the 5th edition of this blog! It is hard for me to imagine that I have written 5 already! It sure doesn't seem like it at all. I guess that must mean I enjoy what I do and sharing this ... [More]

LaRueSew-Quilting-Design, You Can Do It!

Sometimes we quilters and ME's want to do what we want to do. We buy books with patterns made by somebody whose tastes are similar to ours, but we want to do it our way. How can I arrange my favorite quilt blocks in a new and different way without taking hours with graph paper, a ruler and color... [More]


Do you have your binoculars ready, camera and  hat? Remember, keep your hands inside the jeep. While on this visual African Safari  remember the animals are not in cages, do not pat or feed them and most importantly remember you are a guest in thier environment!   You can expect to ... [More]

Calling All Experts! - Help Us Expand the Magic Bookshelf

Everyone is an expert at something. This is something I have always believed, and continue to believe. Sometimes that expertise extends to a broad subject, like embroidery or cars or lawn bowling, and sometimes it's very specific, like telling "Knock-knock" jokes, or knowing how ... [More]

June From Brother - One other thing...

Not sure where someone got the idea that we are already making an upgrade for the new Quattro....not true!  Trust me, I would know.....I still reeling from what it took to get this one done.  Nite all!

June From Brother - This and That

Well ladies, there certainiy has been lots of discussion about what to pay for a machine.  I have to say once Brother sells the product to the dealer, it is up to the dealer to set a reasonable price. They do that based on many things.  The most important thing for all of you to remember w... [More]

The Thrill of Digitry and the Agony of the Foot

    It seems like I’ve been away for a long time, even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since I’ve written. So, so much has happened. First of all, July-August is our family’s big birthday season. We have a couple of stragglers, the twins in October and t... [More]

Gizmos, Squissors, And Feed Dogs

  You had all better put on a pot of coffee and grab a couple of danish for this folks!It is going to be a long one this time, I have so much to share with you! First I would like to start with a brief history lesson. Did you know that the first commercially successful sewing machine was bui... [More]

New Dream Machine From Brother

  Hello! I am new to blogging, but there is no better time than now to jump online to tell you about the new machine that we at Brother have just introduced! If you haven’t already heard, our new top-of-the-line 'dream machine' was released a few weeks ago and it is truly a machi... [More]

LaRueSews - Quilting - BASIC TOOLS

Before I start to tell you about tools, I want you to know that I have been working on quilt projects that have been stacking up on me for years. The one I have done the most on is a quilt that goes back at least ten years. It is a scrap quilt that was a Guild project. It left me with ten blocks tha... [More]

Crash Course Cathy - WHERE in the WORLD are you?

WHERE in the WORLD are you ME’ers ( Machine Embroiderers(???!!!) FINALLY……….Here’s your opportunity to share WHERE YOU LIVE with AnntheGran’s Community!!!! It will be SO MUCH FUN to see where you ARE!!!! I hope you will SHARE!!!!! Those of you who have ... [More]

Safari in Africa

Hi, my name is Leora Raikin, and my company is African Folklore Embroidery. I am so excited to be a new blogger on the ATG website. I have just returned from four weeks in South Africa,(incredible!). In this blog I will be sharing with you a little about my experieince there, my connection to S... [More]

Time For Kangaroos And Pop-Up Baskets?

    Hello Everyone! Now that you have some of the basic things down pat (right?), we can move along to some other things, like the fun stuff with ME and sewing! This selection will include a simple project I think everyone will not only enjoy doing, but giving as a gift as well. Fir... [More]

LaRuesews- Rotary cutter, freezer paper and quilt shops

Well Quilters and ME’s, it’s time again for me to give you a few words of wisdom on the subject of quilting. Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my last blog. That gave me ideas of things to talk to you about this time. Pat asked me in one of her comments to talk more about free... [More]

Embroidered Pillowcases with Fancy Jumbles

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

Fay, Fay, go away!

and take your wind and rain with you! Although we havent had any flooding as some of our Central Florida Embroiderers have suffered, or gale force winds, the constant rain and wind for 5 days has my brain jumbled and I'm ready to tear my hair out. But, as far as I know, all of us embroiderers he... [More]

Test Blog

Test Blog Well, Quilters and ME’s, it’s time again for me to give you a few words of wisdom on the subject of quilting.  Thanks to everyone who read and c... [More]

The Floor Beneath the Magic Bookshelf - Ground Rules for our Community

Maybe it's because I'm a man, but when something is new, I just want to dive right into it and try it out. Forget the instructions, just let me rip open the package and figure out how to make it work. I guess old habits die hard, as it never occurred to me when we were preparing to lau... [More]

International Love of Cross Stitch and Hints for Perfect Stitching Result!

Why Cross Stitch? With the Olympics going on in China, it seems that some of the members of the Chinese teams share our love of this wonderful craft. Please go to the following webpage to see a fascinating article about how internationally loved, Cross Stitch can be! See Article…  ... [More]

Oh, Brother, are my brown eyes green!

  Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely LOVE my Brother machines, especially my Innov-is 4000D. I purchased the 4000D several years ago with the intent that this was to be my last and greatest machine. I have been happily sewing and embroidering with it ever since... [More]

Redwork - A Super-Simple Beginner's Project

Directions start @ paragraph 9 - Just a  hint to save you some time if you want to go to the project directly. (Chatty Cathy is going strong 1-8)   HH  (Hello Hello) Fellow M’Eers,   I hope all is going well for you and that your MEing is going great! I h... [More]
Five Embroidery Things to Try in 2016

Five Embroidery Things to Try in 2016

As the year winds down, we often reflect on what we've done and what we would like to accomplish in the new year. Here are five ideas you should consider.

1. Make Time

As makers, we continually do for others. Take time for yourself.

Practice makes perfect. All artisans spend time at their craft, and embroidery is no different. Be sure to allow yourself time to perfect your skills. Block out time every day, whether you are at your machine, reading books and magazines, and even following social media. 

Forums, like those on, provide technical assistance in addition to project ideas. They also typically focus on specific brand equipment like Brother.

Everyone has a different take on the same project. Website galleries are wonderful resources for design ideas. 

2. Take a Class

There is so much to learn. I know I am always learning something new. Whether you enroll in a class at your local dealer, quilt shop, or take an online class like those at Craftsy, you are sure to learn a thing or two!

Craftsy classes are available any time, day or night, and can be taken over again or paused and reviewed as you complete your projects. Students have access to instructor feedback and share their work with fellow students who offer tips, encouragement, and kudos for jobs well done.

Dealers often provide refresher courses in machine use or special techniques. Discounts are typically given to students for class supplies. Be sure to sign up for newsletters and social media posts so you are aware of what's available.

3. Be Brave: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Ever think you might like applique? How about cutwork? Want to make a quilt? Make 2016 the year that you try something new. Take a class or elicit the help of someone who has some experience with the technique you wish to try. What can it hurt? It will be fun and you may even like it!

4. Get Organized

This time of year, my sewing room looks like a crafting and sewing apocalypse. I have found that if I don't routinely straighten things up and put everything where it belongs (or at least in the vicinity where it belongs) working on projects is often an effort in futility. I can accomplish more in much less time when my supplies, designs, threads, and stabilizers are easy to find.

Sometimes, finding designs is the most frustrating part. We download throughout the year and somehow the designs disappear with the same frequency as mismatched socks. Try out an embroidery cataloging program.

5. Stop Procrastinating

This year, we almost lost Pat, The Avid Embroiderer. I also lost a very dear friend unexpectedly. She had recently retired, bought an embroidery machine, and we were going to get together for some "lessons." Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I am a master procrastinator and that needs to stop. Make today count; sometimes, tomorrow doesn't come. 

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!

Debbie SewBlest

Comments (3) -

Thank you for the mention.  Each day I  know that I had a stroke of luck.  I had 9 doctors attending me during my heart and kidney failure event.  Four doctors told me that one doctor saved my life when it looked rather bleak.  I walk each day and listen to the birds and other urban noises and am grateful for those things.

Regarding your 5 things, I think those items go for life as well as embroidery.  
1.  Take time for yourself, if you are drained, you cannot be effective in your life.
2.  Keep learning all your life.  I was reading that for better brain health, scientist encourage you to try something truly new to you.  
3.  Your comfort zone is almost a negative thing.  Reaching to new things (there is a lot out there) makes you more well rounded.  
4.  I cannot comment on organization.  I am constantly working on having my life more organized, it is always a work in progress.  
5.  Procrastination (see #4).  

I want to be the best me, for me, by me and demonstrated by me.  May you be blessed in ways you have not yet imagined.  


Doing machine embroidery has been a wonderful blessing to me. The creative aspect of it has helped me in many ways. I agree with the great advise given re the 5 ways to try new things in the upcoming year and will refer to that often. Thankyou!

Great - thanks  bjfarms and keep on stitching!

Please login to comment