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 co... [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]

Olympic Rings, Cartoons, Questions and Paris!

  8/08/08 is a date that comes up only once in every century and it’s upon us as I write.  This time the date is even more special because it’s the date on which the Summer Olympics begins. I LOVE the Olympics, both Winter and Summer, and I’m so glad they they’ve s... [More]

LaRueSews - Things to Consider Before You Begin Quilting

Right from the beginning, I need to let all of you know that I am not a quilt/quilting expert. This blog developed because I spoke with the folks at AnnTheGran about something else and out came the idea of my writing a blog. I ask you all to take or leave what I have to say about quilting and then f... [More]

Shopping Up A Storm

HH all my fellow ME’ers….I’ve been SHOPPING up a storm!!!!!…. Actually it started right there in Orlando at Ann’s Community Circle the day BEFORE I won the machine last April… and it sort of hasn’t stopped….but I THINK, finally, I am getting reall... [More]

Hello All You Happy Stitchers !

Hopefully some of you already know who I am from popping in and out of the forums and blogs. For those of you that don't, this will introduce us to each other. Many of you have asked me how I first got started, not only with ME, but sewing in general. So, here it is! You can blame my Grandmother... [More]

. . . and a good time was had by all!

I’m not going to dwell on the fabulous lunch that we Central Florida machine embroiderers enjoyed a week and a half ago. Well, I MAY dwell on it, because it WAS fabulous. First of all, there were 24 of us, including four husbands, two of whom are into machine embroidery. You can find lots of p... [More]

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community!

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community! Many people know 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! If you have a question about anything related to you... [More]

An Addiction to Embroidered Greeting Cards

Can you believe that July is almost over?  We have the strangest weather here this year.   One day it’s about 100 degrees and the next it barely gets into the 70s.  The month has breezed by filled with gardening (my tomato plants are all dying and I don’t know why), g... [More]

Learning by Teaching, Teaching by Learning

HH Fellow MEers!!, HOW are you doing???!!! I’ve missed hearing from you !!! Warning….(If you want quick and easy and lots to do with embroidery…skip this blog and wait to read my next one that I will be posting very soon.) (Sorry on my part because Chatty Cathy wasn’t ... [More]

Quilters and Machine Embroiderers - Their Common Threads

I've been invited to Blog about quilting for ATG. I’ve used LaRueSews as a nickname because I do all kinds of sewing. But maybe sometime it will change or morph into something more "quilty."* My name is LaRue Jones. (LaRue is spelled with a big "R"). I was born in ... [More]

Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

Time flies, doesn't it? First I had a house full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids. Then my nephew in Tallahassee had a boat full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids again. Then I had no kids. Then I got on an airplane and spent 4 days in Kentucky with my youngest grandson, 3 1/2, who sa... [More]

Recent Changes and New Features - The Magic Bookshelf Under Construction

Expanding Bookshelf Hard to believe, but it's only been four months since my inaugural post here on the Magic Bookshelf. I've covered blogs, wikis, digital scrapbooks, tags, product ratings, and lots of other topics, and some great ideas have come back from you. The idea of this blog was to... [More]

Of course I like green but what’s this KIWI craze really all about?

Now, what is all this about green paper?  This was my initial thought when I first heard the term KIWI paper.  Oh, its paper and you can supposedly embroider on it.  We've all done that before but it is so hard to find really fun designs that don’t ruin the pa... [More]
The Avid Embroiderer Presents - That Old Ratty Mouse Pad and a Freebie for Dad's Day

The Avid Embroiderer Presents - That Old Ratty Mouse Pad and a Freebie for Dad's Day

I have discussed the computer industry before and I want to point out something that has been a thorn in my side for - - ever! The (insatiable) people who create the things for our electronic lives are constantly changing and tweaking things to their liking. For instance, programmers/hardware gurus will add or remove features to hardware, software and often recreate something that worked just fine in the first place.  

One of their objectives right now is to make cameras (and other things like watches - IMHO - in the future, only wealthy people will wear expensive watches to show off their status) obsolete. The Techies want their phone/device to out preform the 35 mm professional types of cameras. Hmmm. . . 

They have always pushed new innovations which is good and bad news. The good news is the quality, useful products get better and are stellar with buyers and the mediocre items go away (does anyone remember "plug and play"??). The bad news is that they are reaping lots of dollars, with lots of commas and zeros and that is what is driving the market. Years ago, a new invention was created out of need by someone with a little "want" and a lot of imagination. Now it is the other way around, the industry convinces you that you REALLY NEED THIS. Frankly, I wish I could never buy another phone or computer, that is a goal but not necessarily a reality.

Today's case in point is the lowly mouse pad. The industry feels the mouse has outlived its usefulness and it is time to bury the mouse in a pad like shroud.  Newer machines are driven mostly by a Touch Pad that takes some getting used to. I like my mouse and for now, I am not giving it up. If you feel the same way, here is my solution to the dirty, cruddy mouse - that does not clean up with soap. . . 

I experimented with a number of things including different fabrics and was surprised that almost every fabric I have laying around responded to the actions of my mouse.  My mouse is cordless and optical which is just about the standard right now. But even an old mouse works on fabric. The exception would be things like a glass coffee table or some see-through fabric, the mouse would likely be unable to read that you are moving it.

After reviewing the fabric, I thought about embroidering something on the fabric (which is going to be a cover for the original pad). I had several options:
  • Density of design 
  • Size of design
  • Usability of end product

 Here is a mock up of one of the ideas I have.  It is not necessary to cover the entire surface of the pad with stitches, just a little something in any corner is great. Another idea is to use a very simple design such as an outline of an apple or a frame for around the pad.

This design is in the 'Freebies' area of AnnTheGran and does have the fill in for the dog, I just eliminated that color and love how it would look. 
Then I started to work with my ingredients. First I am using a cut-away stabilizer. When I use a heavy stabilizer like these, I always put my stabilizer into the hoop and crease it so that when I put the fabric into the hoop, the stabilizer stays put.

I am doing a frame that will not fit into a single hooping. So, I use my template to make sure that when I place the second half, it will be lined up. In this case, just a small mark was all that was needed. I used the same mark to place the flip side of the design.

After the embroidery was completed, I assembled my pieces. 

I used simple white glue and watered it down just a little bit. I used a business card to distribute it evenly.

I am pleased with my completed project. I did consider placing a piece of foam or felt under the fabric for a little extra cushioning, but did not this time. 

It is time for a Father's Day design and I created this one myself with a little help from my friends.

My Hack/Tip for this time: I have a busy schedule for being 72 years young. I like to read, sleep, eat and repeat. However, after over a year of keeping up with my embroidery site, a Society6 site (I love to photograph) and doing this blog, my house really looked like a bomb had hit it. While I was in the hospital, all my relatives came through my house - I would have been embarrassed if I had not been in a coma for 10 days . . . 

I recently decided on a schedule that works, after three weeks, well for me.  I set my computer alarm for 'on the hour.' That is the time I take my 'break.' I actually start my day with a break, OK so far. Then at the 15 minutes after the hour the alarm rings and I sit down to work on my 'money' projects - work if you will - that have deadlines and commitments. 

So, for the first 15 minutes, I clean, find things to toss and other things to go to charity. When you have a near death experience, you start to see that all this stuff is not necessary. I do the laundry, etc., then do somethings for me like work in the yard.  Those 15 minutes can get a lot done and are more satisfying to me for sanity purposes.

The 45 minutes (very, very short) are productive.  I make notes if I did not finish my project so that I can continue later without much delay.

Does it work for me? Yes, but I am thinking of changing it to 20 minutes for break and 40 minutes for work. After all, getting things done in all areas is really satisfying for me.

If you have a system, please let us in on your idea. Life is too short for a house that make you a slave or one that makes you a hoarder. 

Here is your freebie - enjoy!

Happy Fathers Day (194.9KB)
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