Sweet Sweet Shoes

Our baby girl just loves shoes, anyone's shoes will do.  She brings them to be put on and clomps around, falling about every other step.  She carries them around hugging them like they were baby dolls, pushes them in her stroller and throws them in the trash (then wants them ... [More]

Easy Trick or Treat Bags

Hello all!  I am Virginia, an embroidery enthusiast and an educator for Dakota Collectibles.   I love creating things with embroidery and thought it would be fun to share my projects and ideas with others, so I am entering the world of blogging.  I use Dakota Collectibles' designs... [More]

Battenberg Lace Tree Skirt Makes a Unique Wedding Gift

Typical gift ideas for newlyweds include linens, fine china, or kitchen wares. But if you are looking for a wedding gift unlike any other, consider a monogrammed Christmas tree skirt. Ann's Battenberg Lace tree skirt looks quite elegant and is perfect for beginner ... [More]

Gotta Love a Baked Potato

For several years I have seen and heard about bags made to bake potatoes in the microwave. They are touted to produce fluffy, moist baked potatoes.  So when I had all the cotton stuff out to make the tortilla warmer I decided to make one and see.  Hey, what do you know, it works pretty wel... [More]

Yarn Threads

  This fall, you will be seeing lots of thicker threads – yarn-like in appearance – in retail stores. On my current trip East, I have seen tons of this decorating method on everything from sweatshirts to bags and even on the back of woven menswear shirts.     Industry su... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents: Autumn Toile Goodies

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Introducing Pre-Design Studio III

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What's a Tortilla Warmer?

Sometime ago, I saw an advertisement for tortilla warmers and loved the idea.  They looked fun and useful but the cost was $8.00 - $12.00 each, depending on the size, plus shipping.  "What a great way to use up scraps!" I thought.  So, I tore out the ad and saved it.&nb... [More]

The Hot Retail Look of Reverse Applique - You Can Do It Too

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An Oldie but Goodie - Bag Keepers Never Go Out of Style

As you probably know by now we have been slowly trying to go green.  So we use cloth bags (see designer bags)for most of our shopping.  Even so, we still end up with some of those thin plastic bags from various places.  They have some uses such as lining the bathroom trash cans, tying... [More]

Winners in the African Folklore Embroidery $500 Challenge

  The entries in this year African Folklore Embroidery $500 Challenge, were spectacular. Congratulations to first place winner, Roberta Peterson from Woodland, Washington. Roberta attended an African folklore Embroidery class that I taught at Monica’s quilt and bead shop in Palm Spri... [More]

Favorite Fonts Galore!

I’m often asked about the fonts we choose for various projects, and folks are sometimes surprised when they find out some of my most favorite fonts—the ones I go to over and over again—are fonts digitized by AnnTheGran herself!  If you search the www.annthegran.com website for... [More]

Stabilizing Super Stretchy "Technical" Fabrics

Fortunately, manufacturers have developed wonderful, lightweight, moisture-wicking materials to keep us dry and comfortable in this record-setting heat. Unfortunately, stabilizing these materials is not as simple as other knits. In addition to being very thin, they also have more stretch than typica... [More]

I know They're in Here Somewhere!

Have you seen the big purses, or should I say suitcases, that are in style this year?  They certainly hold a lot of stuff but I continually see women trying to climb inside them to find their key rings.  Watching them always made me smile until the other night.  The heat index re... [More]

Quick and Easy Sample Book

   Wouldn't it be great if you could turn your sew-outs into a well-presented sample book? One that you could use to seel from, or just to show off your workmanship? You can! It's easy, inexpensive and quick to use some of your existing stitch-outs that had been relegated to ... [More]

Teaching African Folklore Embroidery to children

The past four weeks of summer have flown.  For the sixth year in a row I have been teaching children African Folklore Embroidery at a summer art camp. The children from ages 7-11 have from over thirty different arts related classes from which to choose. It is an honor that African Folklore E... [More]

Keeping It simple - Bandanas - Perfect for Summer and No Need to Tie

Our girls have longer hair but it is so fine.  Pony tails and pig tails seem to last about 20 minutes before the hair starts creeping out and looks messy.  We saw the teens at the park wearing bandanas  to keep their hair back and the oldest commented that she thought they w... [More]

Holding the Slippery Stuff

Slippage and marring are the two biggest challenges when hooping satin. Because of its soft hand, it is necessary to hold it securely without damaging the delicate surface yarns. Hoops may have nicks, splinters or burrs that can catch and damage these long delicate warp threads. I prefer that the ho... [More]

Embroidering for Pets

  Identify your pet and add fun sayings to pet bandanas. Make a patriotic one for the 4th of July - and then keep it rolling, making a new one for each holiday or mood. Rather than regular tie-style bandanas, you might want to make a slip-ver-the-collar bandana. This type of ban... [More]
The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Patch it up with your favorite designs and a freebie for Mother's Day

The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Patch it up with your favorite designs and a freebie for Mother's Day

I consider my stash of designs collection in the same loving manner as a coin, stamp or even vintage car collectors. Nearly all of them are special to me in one way or another. If I find a design that does not appeal to me, I discard it. I have too many great designs to bother with some that don't work for me.

Tip: When you get a new design, rename it for future reference. These are some of my criteria:
  •  Style - Floral, Baby, Outline, Western, Sports, Abstract, Humor, etc.
  • Substyle - realistic, cartoonish, men, boys, rose, any specific unique details, etc.
  • The number of stitches in the design - 14k or 7k is enough info so that I know approximately how long it will take to sew. Sometimes I just want something quick for a last minute gift and sometimes I want something detailed and intricate for a special occasion.
  • The number of colors in the design - I chose the number of colors but you may wish to check the number of thread changes.
  • I leave the information that is already with the design from the creator.
So, the Freebie for this Blog would be named:  "Humor mom dad cartoon 4x4 7k 3color The Avid Embroiderer". Searches are more simple and accurate.

In this creation, I am going to pull my favorite floral designs. I plan to mix bunches of flowers with single ones. I have decided on about 10 different 'looks' (some are more refined than others, but that is not an issue.) You can also use a pack of designs like "Hanging At The Beach." And, it is on sale right now. Eleven designs for $21.89 and $18.61 for Ann's Club Members. That comes to less than $1.70 per design and they are coordinated very well.

These designs are all less than 4" x 4" (100mm x 100mm). Remember that is not advisable to expand or contract a design more than 20%. Depending on your layout, you may have to adjust some designs and/or combine designs, or use a beach design from your personal stash. In this case, the Beach Accessories might be flexible enough to do a single item to fill an open space, if needed.

Here is my layout. It is not as easy as it might seem to be. In this case, I selected a 16" square to create a pillow. You can make this project into a pillow, wall hanging or even a table adornment.  Use only whole numbers, 8"x10" or 12" x12" for easier computation.

I particularly wanted this to have at least one angle to make it more interesting. The square designs are great, but I wanted interest.

  • Make your template to scale, have a couple of copies.
  • Select about 12+ designs. For various reasons, some designs won't fit just right.
  • Chose the small, medium and large designs. The basis for this configuration is that there is no tic-tac-toe style, variations are the interesting part.
  • Print out your designs to scale.
  • Place those trimmed printouts on your template or work with them in a 'paint' program. If using the computer, you need to keep track of the exact size you want your design.
  • The design does not need to fill the entire boundaries.
  • Use an interesting fabric such as velvet, burlap or simple brocade. I purposely used a single piece of fabric, I did not want a 'crazy quilt' style. This is a little more refined.
  • Cut your fabric for sewing using your template area as a starting point. If you are doing a 4"x4", you will want to use at least a 2" addition to EACH side of each piece of fabric (8"x8").
  • For the next 'square,' turn your fabric about 45 degrees so that it adds to the unique look of the project. Velvet in different directions gives a very nice look.
  • Sew each 'square' with the normal colors OR, do one square in white, another in green, another in purple, etc. I have too much blue in my mockup. But I personally would do each design in a single color. The stitch direction will create the pattern.
  • Select a Grosgrain ribbon in a complementary color. Chose this color after the embroidery is done to determine a contrasting or complementary color. Get the ribbon in 2" minimum.

  • For the base of this design, use a piece of cotton or muslin again with 2" extra on each side. Mine would be 20"x20".
  • Trim the fabric with the design so that it fits its "position" with about 3/8" (10mm) wider than the square it will be placed upon.
  • When all are in place, make any adjustments needed. The fabric will overlap a little on each edge.
  • Spray the back of your fabric with 505-spray-temporary-spray-adhesive.

  • Lay out your Grosgrain ribbon to match your dividing lines, tucking over/under at points that don't end at the edge of your project.
  • Sew both edges of the ribbon to cover the seams.
  • Complete the project as desired, pillow or your selection of end product.

I apologize for not being able to complete the design and give you photos. I am still living with a relative and feel homeless. I am seeking a new place to live in the Peoria, Arizona (NW of Phoenix) and hope to be settled soon.

Here's the latest Freebie. There is no need to explain this design to Moms, but you might need to spell it out to Dear Hubby! I even did this one in two sizes.

I am still remembering my kids doing this stunt. And, we had lived in our home for approximately 7 years when my husband asked me - (with a straight face) "Where do we keep the bread?" That is a true story.

Happy Mother's Day to all. For those of us who only have memories, share some of those with our families, it is good for all.

dad where is mom 4x4 7k 3 color The Avid Embroiderer .zip (135.4KB)

Comments (3) -

Thank you,  Love that design, it's so funny and so true. Happy Mothers Day!

Hello Ann,
I have noticed over the past few weeks that I can no longer see images in either of the Ann the Gran or Avid Embroiderer posts.  I did write to the Avid Embroiderer one day and was advised the images were there and could be viewed when using Google Chrome or other browsers.  I use Internet Explorer and do not wish to use the other browsers.  Up until now for many years I have followed these posts without any problems.  Is there an explanation as to why this is now happening so I may follow up further, please?

Bevnorris - I recall this happening to me some time ago. I don't remember what fixed it.

Perhaps a techie in my readership can assist??

I will think about it and perhaps recall a solution. In the meantime, when you close your browser, make sure to close ATG as well. Don't use a previously used or automatic link for this site.

Check for any updates and/or redownload the IE program. Software can get corrupted along the way. IE would likely get rid of all your saved items, so you may need a list of them to use in the future. (That is one way to get rid of old URLs and those you don't use anymore.)

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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