AnnTheGran's Spring Cleaning Challenges

I've read all the forum posts from folks saying how much they enjoyed our (first annual??) Community Circle. Thank you so much for posting. I want to add, though, that no one had a better time than I did. I arrived home invigorated and ready to get back up to my elbows in embroidery.  Tote... [More]

Community Circle Thanks and Video Demonstrations

Hi, everyone!  Well, I think I've recovered from our fabulous Community Circle! I want to thank everyone who attended as well as Diane and Pardeep for keeping things running smoothly and, of course, Greg, for overseeing everything. Thanks also to Eileen Roche for her terrific classes,... [More]

Brotherly Love, Online Scrapbooking & Ideas from Down Under

Greetings, friends! Once again, I have been truly humbled by the sheer numbers of you who took time to consider and respond to my last post. I received hundreds of e-mails from well-wishers as far away as South Africa, Korea and Australia, all with essentially the same message: we wish we could joi... [More]

Ruffled Crib Quilt from Down Under

Every grandmother counts it a blessing when another child comes into her life.  Each set of tiny hands and feet hold a special place in her heart forever.  When the newest addition made his appearance to the Jenkins family it was just what Leanne needed to inspire her to expand her embroid... [More]

The Digital Scrapbook - Memories in the Magic Bookshelf

(If the text is cut off on the right side of the screen, please click on the post title above to view a corrected version)  Where's Your Shoebox? Whoever you are, wherever you are, the chances are pretty good that, at some point in your life, you've taken some pictures, and there... [More]

Easter Break to Prepare for Community Circle

Hi, everyone, The gang here is taking a little break for Easter and using the time to polish off some final preparations for my Community Circle event in Orlando, so I thought I'd just put together a brief note to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking -- well, moving my le... [More]

On Feeling Young, New Friends & Lunch in Orlando

Thanks for your Feedback I'm really pleased that all of you really took to heart my request in my last letter to get involved with commenting on the new site. We had the most comments and participation we've had since I started blogging. Your feedback really does encourage me and my guests ... [More]

Putting Knowledge in The Magic Bookshelf - What is a Wiki?

Who do You Trust for Information?  Where do you go when you need to know whether something is true or not? Is there a person you ask, or a place you go? Think about it -- everyone needs to have somewhere, something, or someone to help establish what is fact and what is fict... [More]

Introducing....Deegee!

Who’s Deegee, you may ask?  Well, for those of you who don't know me, please permit me to introduce myself. I live in Southern Texas, I’m married, mom to 4 wonderful adult children and “Nanee” to 3 beautiful granddaughters and 1 very special little grandson.  And I’m like so many... [More]

Blouse Border Design using Shoes

I created this blouse border design by lining up various different shoes from my Fancy Footwork collection. To make the shoes fit together as a cohesive group it was necessary to reverse and rotate most of the designs until they created the right flow. Click here for a larger view of the screenshot ... [More]

Texas Hold-em T-Shirt

This t-shirt design, perfect for Friday night's poker game, was created by combining the cards and chips from my "It's A Boy's Life" collection. I then simply added the lettering "Texas Hold'em" using the Fairbanks block, which is a standard font included with Com... [More]

Paisley Stripe T-Shirt

Three designs make up this paisley stripe around the entire T-shirt when made from combining designs from my Paisley Passion collection. These surprisingly versatile designs can be combined to create an unending number of designs from tiny to all-over designs. Click here for a larger view of the scr... [More]

Embroidered Sheepdog Wallhanging Using Photos

Like many of us, Barbara Schleter has more than one passion.  Here she has combined her long time love of Shetland Sheepdogs with her more recent passion for embroidery.   Barbara has done a great job of sharing her thoughts on creating personalized gifts for those who are special to ... [More]

Welcome to the Magic Bookshelf - What is a Blog?

The Magic Bookshelf Imagine that you sit down at your machine one day to make something for someone, and you realize that there is a part of your project that you aren't sure how to complete. Imagine if you could then point your hands toward any bookshelf in your house and summon it to float th... [More]

Chanel Inspired Tee

The Chanel inspired jewelry design on this black t-shirt was created from the chains, pearls, and heart charm from my "Beads, Baubles and Bling" collection. This fun collection allows you to create necklaces, bracelets, pins and rings from a large variety of gems, charms and chains. C... [More]

Orlando Itinerary, Handsome Men & New Project

So Much To Share!  I have so much to share with you this week that I hardly know where to begin. Like many of you (but not all of you ), I love our new site, especially the way it lets people in our community talk to each other. Free designs are great, and I know that's why many of yo... [More]

Brighten Someone's Spirit with a Verse Lap Quilt

Quilts, whether large or small, can brighten the spirit and bring a bit of joy to those who need it in almost any situation.  Made with love and detailed with words of comfort, Susan Osborn shows us how a simple but heartfelt project can help make the days a little better for others.&... [More]

Western Wedding Quilt

Keeping up with traditions can be a challenge when you are as far away from your family as Debbie  Martin is.  But she obviously spends a lot of time and energy to share her love with family as shown in the wedding quilt as well as others who will appreciate the warmth of a handmade gift -... [More]

Community Circle April 3-4 in Orlando - Registration Ready at Long Last!

It's the gathering of the year and even if this is the first time you have joined me I know you'll be re-energized and ready to go after two full days with Eileen Roche and me. We'll share our best techniques and insider tips for expressing yourself through embroidery. For all the detai... [More]

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community!

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community! Many people know AnnTheGran.com for free embroidery designs, and that's great, but now the site offers so much more. If you've just been using my site to get free designs, you've been missing out! Answers to All Your Questions If you have a questio... [More]

Embroidered Hot Cup Wraps

We had so many requests for Diane’s hot cup wraps from an earlier promotion that we decided we shoul [More]

AnnTheGran Community Circle in Orlando - A Few More Hints

OK, gals, mark your calendars today – April 3rd and 4th – less than 9 weeks away. It’s time to get together and re-energize our passion for embroidery at the first annual AnnTheGran Community Circle retreat. I love sunny Orlando and we’ll spend two whole days exploring innovative techniques, inspira... [More]

Japanese Embroidered Full Length Women's Wool Coat

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who sent in feedback about my Community Circle event in April. It was a deluge! So many people responded that we needed to step back and re-plan the event to make it bigger. We're almost there; I'll be announcing all the details, along with r... [More]

I'm Having a Party, and You're Invited!

Let's face it, gals, it's been far too long sinced I've rubbed elbows and shared stories with most of you. So, I've resolved this year to put myself back into circulation, at least a bit and, unlike most of my New Year's resolutions, this is one I intend to keep!To celebrate the ... [More]

Framed Letters for a Personalized Nursery

For Diane Brown, embroidery started as a hobby to get away from all the stress of her job as a bank compliance officer. It didn’t take long, however, for her obsession to blossom into a new career. For a number of years she has been working behind the scenes in the development of software and embroi... [More]

AnnTheGran is Getting a Facelift!

Dear Friend, 2008 is going to be quite a year for me, and I hope it will be for you as well. My big news is that AnnTheGran is getting a complete facelift! No, I don't mean me -- I like myself the way I am (well, most days anyway) -- I mean my site! You see, as we've grown, some of my s... [More]

Personal Holiday Greeting from Ann (AnnTheGran) Cobb

In December, 1996, AnnTheGran's Design Exchange had been online for 2 months, and it was all very, very new. Our small community had shared a hundred or so designs and I sent the Christmas greeting you see on your right, created around my greatest blessings at the time.AnnTheGran, my Internet ni... [More]

Charity Project - Star Bunting with Polar Fleece Blanket

Every child is precious but sometimes the families of certain little ones face unique challenges. The charity FHCS (Faith Hope & Charity Stitches) has a very special way of sharing their love of sewing and embrodiery. The tiny buntings and quilts they make are a wonderful gift to those babies, k... [More]

Embroidered Shirt to Honor a Veteran’s Commitment

Each of our veterans is a true hero who has made a commitment to serve in times of war or peace. Our veterans deserve the full measure of our respect. This project was submitted by Sue Ellen Parker. Sue Ellen used her creative talents to show her loved one and others how proud she was of their dedic... [More]

Embroidered Greetings Cards

Our international trend continues this week with a project from Jean Isley in England. Growing up du [More]
The Avid Embroiderer Presents – Yes, size does matter and a freebie for your Spring Embroidery

The Avid Embroiderer Presents – Yes, size does matter and a freebie for your Spring Embroidery

I was just looking at some of the responses to the Blogs here at AnnTheGran, and I noticed one person who asked for a different size in the freebie that was offered. She wanted it to be double the size. Perhaps she is not aware of sizing issues that can occur. Let me demonstrate -




Each of those white, circled areas represent a 'hole' in your embroidery. There is no way to fix this because most software is not sophisticated enough to do it unless you are using an EXPENSIVE program. Some of the machines that are higher priced can do this for you, but be prepared to spend up to around $12,000 to $15,000 for a machine that can do it. (Brothers Dream Machine was the one I saw do it, I had better watch for a HUGE sale on that one!!)

Most software and machines recommend not to exceed 20% differential for your pattern. That is why you get multiple sizes for many designs. As time has enriched the embroidery tools, this 20% may have already been superseded.  I am not aware of that but the essential issue is that the computerized information in programs/machines can only change so much. A human digitizing a design can make these adjustments very easily.

Conversely, if you change the decrease of stitching will cause problems as well. Out of necessity, I had to reduce the size of a design that had daises in it. I did a reduction of 40% and when it was sewn, the daisy centers had a nearly sharp point on the back side. Again, software/machines can only do so much for us. As they improve (I think the first programmers had no idea what embroidery was. . . ), I feel like this will be an issue of the past. But until then, we must use common sense.

This is just one of the reasons why you hear us Bloggers constantly use terms like - "discovery sew," "sew out," or "test" your design on the same fabric (or as close as you can come), same design, same threads (you do know that different types of threads, polyester and rayon blog, create differing results, right?).

There are a lot of ins and outs of embroidery which you have probably noticed. It is just like any other hobby or job; anyone can make a pie, right? Well, I cannot make a noteworthy pie like my grandmother did, mine is a pale comparison. Doing exceptional work means reading blogs, learning from others' mistakes and making some of your own. I have been embroidering for 15 years, 8 of which I have been selling my goods. I work at it nearly every day of the year. I still learn something new on nearly every project.



You may have noticed that Peggy's Stitch Eraser is on sale this week. I recommend this product because of the RESULTS. Don't tell AnnTheGran, but I did try a shaver from Walmart. . . Don't go there for that one!  I also recommend that you get the unit that is plug in because you will have even cutting. A battery operated may be convenient but it can slow down when you need it most. Batteries are not as reliable as a straight current.

My tip for you today is likely one that you mean to do but don't get around to. . . I was just trying to loosen one of my hoops from a project and realized that it has been a long time since I last 'siliconed' my screws. I never use oil because it can (and will) leave a coating to stain everything it touches.  After that, I used an old cloth with alcohol on it to clean the hoops. I was so surprised by the amount of black on the hankie when done. The hoops looked "clean enough" but I managed to get them cleaner.  Then I used a cotton swab with alcohol to get into small places and now everything is so much cleaner for my next projects.











As promised, here is your freebie and I just love it, hope you enjoy it too!
april.zip (72.1KB)

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