The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Don't toss your favorite, comfy old shoes. And a freebie bow that you will adore.

Today's blog is an interview with John Deer, owner of Adorable Ideas. There are so many of his designs here at AnnTheGran and at the LOW PRICE OF $3.95. 

Here is our exchange, I hope you find something interesting in it. 

  • After seeing all these changes over the years, what is the one thing that is historically not ever going to change about embroidery?
Over the years I’ve seen manual punching evolve into modern software and mechanical machines evolve to camera, auto threading and speeds that in some cases exceed 1500 stitches per minute. With all these changes taking place the fundamentals of having a thread, bobbin, material and stabilizer working on the principles of tension to create a flat stitch has and will remain the same. The technology has changed but the original medium has remained the same. 

  • If you could step back in time, what would you like for today's embroiderers to see it in action?

I would love for today’s embroiderers to witness a mammoth Schiffli machine in action, hundreds of tons of battle ship cast iron embedded into concrete. The rhythmic beating of the needles creating hundreds of emblems spanned across 15 yards of material, all running flawlessly.

  • What are the most exciting things you see about Embroidery's future?

Like any industry, the development of “bells and whistles” we see being developed and implement are a direct result of the sales and volume of users getting involved. The thing I personally consider most exciting is the quality of equipment and lower price points to entry level embroiderers coming into this industry. By reaching a larger volume of startup customers it will ensure our industries survival and growth, as well as justify manufacturers investing and developing new technologies. are a direct result of the sales and volume of users getting involved. 

  • With the melding of computers and digitizing, what might you like to see for your grandchildren in embroidery. 
Embroidery has traditionally been founded within its practical & commercial attributes. Meaning that it has mainly originated and developed in relation to demands in traditional manufacturing. What I’ve personally witnessed is the shift over the last 20 years to a hobbyist market, the primary benefit being that creativity in this market doesn’t take second place as it tends to in the commercial markets. My hope is that future generations can enjoy the creative aspects of embroidery, using thread as a medium within technology.  

  • What is the most frequently asked question from a newbie point of view in digitizing?
How long does it take? My answer is always the same, “a lifetime!” Then I expand, the software has its own learning curve. Then comes the part that’s not in any software manual, the old-school theory of stitch types, underlay, push & pull compensation and mapping. These also can be taught and in theory memorized quickly, leaning how and when to apply them in different situations is what take many years of practice. 
  • What would you like to see that is not possible now. (I am awaiting the method to embroider on a spiderweb.)
This answer will probably surprise you, more than any advance in software technology or new features within a machine. I would like to see two things come to be in our industry that I personally feel very strongly about.

One is “honesty”. I see so many individuals selling and buying designs which are in direct violations of copyrights and they actually get offended and angry when confronted. It creates a very unfair playing field for companies which are trying to do business legally… how can an honest company compete with a website who is ripping off Disney, Marvel or Harley Davidson? I might be wrong but I feel both the thief and the person who buys their stolen goods are morally in the wrong. Oh… as unpopular this will also be… “Sharing is Stealing”!

Second is “quality”. There are many reputable companies in this industry that sell quality designs. At the same time there are 10 times that amount selling designs that simply run terribly, this affects the embroiders over all experience. Our designs run as well on a single needle machine using polyester thread as they did when you ran multi-head commercial machines using rayon thread in the 80’s!

It’s the difference between Frustration and Fun! Finding and supporting companies who do good work will help this industry grow and survive.

I feel that the only reason my families business is still around after all these years is that my Grandparents founded their business on both honesty and quality. God willing that, alongside the amazing deal we provide with our new Ultimate Ladybug Club, will remain the recipe for our success moving into the future.

Here is my project for this blog. I love these old shoes, they are dirty, well worn, and on their last legs (huh?).

I am using some spray primer and gold outdoor paint. I did not do badly for an amateur. 

Of course, I am using my favorite water soluble stabilizer, Badgemaster.  Did I ever mention that I have had an occasion to remove stitches from this stabilizer and resew a design without Badgemaster ever failing? I have done that on several occasions. Here are some of the photos of my creation. I used earrings and pins for adding to the bow.

John graciously is giving one of the heirloom designs. It is an FSL simple bow that I used for today's project. You can use to add to another design to liven it up. Just because it is FSL does not mean that you can't sew it out on fabric.

FSL Bow from The Avid Embroiderer and Adorable Ideas. (431.9KB)

John Deer/Adorable Ideas also has over 11,000 designs available here at AnnTheGran. Check it out.

Comments (2) -

maria-colon 11/4/2017 6:01:45 PM

Thank you for sharing this discussion. I went to one of John Deer's seminars about 3 years ago and really learned a lot. I know that I will never be as skillful as he is! I love his designs. They sew out very well and are beautiful.

John is an inspiration for many of us (the rest have not worked with him yet).

He not only is knowledgeable, but caring and thoughtful. Revisit his site:

I personally own some of his Cds and refer to often. If you look at my latest blog,

where I discuss learning and retention. You may find it enlightening.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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