Memory Hearts - Valentine Special

Valentine's Day is less than a month away, so here is a project with heart! Memory Hearts can be created for any special occasion: births, baptisms, engagements, marriages. These were made for a baby girl and baby boy. Actually, I made two sets of each so that the grandmothers, both first ... [More]

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

Like many of you, my heart ached for families affected by the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. So, after reading Pattiann’s post about making snowflakes for Sandy Hook, I deciced to stitch up a few. They were being collected by the Connecticut PTA and forwarded to Sandy Hook elementary for cr... [More]

The Advanced Embroiderer’s Bucket List

Continuous embroidery   Since we love embroidery, we also love LOTS of embroidery!  Filling a border or quilt strip with continuous embroidery is number one on the advanced embroiderer’s bucket list.  There are several ways to attack connecting designs end to end but they all ... [More]

Cutwork Snowman Gift Bag

I've had the idea for this design since this time last year, so it's well overdue! The design is part of the Christmas Cutwork Collection by Dakota Collectibles. I added two variations on this design. Originally, the thread colors were shades of blue and plum, but I had a piece of... [More]

Clippie Fun - Zipper Charm designs

I love to make things from embroidery designs that were not created for the purpose I have in mind.  Hair clippies are so popular, I thought of Dakota Collectibles' Zipper Charm designs.      I used these designs: Turtle Flower Frog Owl Penguin Ladybug Heart ... [More]

Snowflake Window Ornament

Applique designs are so versatile. They can be used as a traditional applique on apparel or a quilt and they can also be used as a stand-alone piece, much like freestanding lace. The Window with Snowflakes ornament (XM1791) from the Merry Christmas Ornaments set by Dakota Collectibles features ... [More]

Baby Activity Book Project

Individual designs can be found here, as described below.  The complete set is now available, t [More]

Happy Haunting October Fest

Don't be afraid to change up the colors in your embroidery designs. Just because it shows up as an o [More]

Painted Embroidery

Like to color? Add a new dimension to traditional embroidery with fabric painting. I first read about fabric painting in an Anita Goodesign newsletter. The idea is to stitch an outline design and color it, giving it a watercolor appearance. They used Copic markers and a Copic blending tool wh... [More]

What is a Kaleidocycle?

The kaleidocycle designs are available now.  They are available in the design packs mentioned, and also individually.      A while ago, a friend sent me a link to a website that discussed an unusual geometric form.Created by a math student, the form is called a Kaleidocycle... [More]

The Intermediate Embroiderer’s Bucket List

The Intermediate Embroiderer’s Bucket List Last week, I posted the Embroiderer’s Bucket List for newbies. If you missed it, click here.   Many of you commented on the list – some of you have already checked off all 10 items while others promised to work through the l... [More]

Freestanding Organza Leaves

I am fortunate to live in an area where I am surrounded by autumn's brilliance this time of year. With some water-soluble stabilizer, an applique design, and organza in shades of red, orange, and gold, fall leaves can be enjoyed well beyond their typical lifespan. Using the same Amazing Design... [More]

Crafty Cupcake Coasters

Make an assortment of cupcake coasters to bring a smile to your guests.  You can select fabric to reflect your favorite flavors or your party theme.  Supplies Dakota Collectibles Crafty Cupcake design pack #970443 or purchase the single designs.  I have used these 4X4” des... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Embroidered Book Slings

Do your kids love to read?  Ours do, but keeping track of the library books can be a challenge.   And while our daughter was reorganizing their schoolroom area she wanted a reading nook and a place to keep those library books.  Here is what we came up with:   The original ... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Create A Fabric Background and Embroider Some JOY

Have you ever just had an idea that kept calling out to you?  This is one of those projects.  More than a year ago I found this pile of blocks in the clearance section of a local department store.  The packages had been broken open and a couple of the lettered blocks were missing.&nbs... [More]

What’s on Your Bucket List? by Eileen Roche

What’s on your embroidery bucket list?  Want to get the whole embroidery experience?  Then write an embroidery bucket list.  You’ll find if you write it down, you’re apt to tackle some of those easy-to-put-off complicated embroidery projects. And once you do, y... [More]
The Avid Embroiderer Presents – Cool Tips surface post Polar Vortex! And, a Freebie that will help in the cold (well a little).

The Avid Embroiderer Presents – Cool Tips surface post Polar Vortex! And, a Freebie that will help in the cold (well a little).

On January 29, 2019, USA Today said “Yes, Chicago will be colder than Antarctica, Alaska and the North Pole on Wednesday”. My son, in Lake Forest, verified that it was indeed minus 24 degrees for two night. His car would not start. I hope you all were warm and comfy wherever you are.  (Unique Cold Weather Tips are at the end of this blog.)


Well, while it is not as cold here in Arizona, it still can be a bit on the chilly side. This year, winter in San Diego is a little warmer than the metropolitan Phoenix area. To keep warm, I decided to find some new sweatshirts.


That was easier said than done. Everything I found just did not work for me. But the best idea I saw  was the ones that look as if they are inside out. Enter light bulb just above my head. . .


My old shirts were not in great shape, but they were favorites of mine that I did not want to part with. They had been purchased at special locations and occasions and I did not want to lose the memories that were attached. Additionally, some of the fleece that is the hallmark of sweatshirts may be matted and that makes them scratchy.


I turned my shirts inside out but then the front had a background of stitching and stabilizer from the original design. You will immediately note that the stabilizer, still attached, is a cut away that will stand up to washing and wearing for years. In order to keep the original design, I decided, for my first attempt, to use denim for the inner cover up and cut away stabilizer.



fish out of water outline 4x4 5k 4 colors The Avid (105.6KB)

While my design is a 4x4" (100mm x 100mm) size, I made the denim a 10 x 10" (25cm x 25cm) because the original design is 7 x 8" (17.5cm x 20cm).  That 10 x 10 will allow for trimming or cutting a pattern. Once sewn, I did make 1" (25mm) cuts around the denim to facilitate the fabric raveling. You can make this with or without the edge around the fish.

When I was happy with the placement, I used my glue gun to attach the embellishment.


Sorry I forgot to take a photo of the denim sew out. But here it is on the sweatshirt after it was washed. Now you have the original sweatshirt along with the reversible side. I hope you like the freebie, but you may have just the favorite design in your personal stash. After completion, I saw that I should have used a more 'filled' design for greater 'pop.'

Cold weather tips –

Cellphones?? Extreme cold can also affect cellphones. (You may need it to call for help.) Most manufacturers recommend using cellphones in temperatures ranging from 32 to 95. The battery’s ability to power the device is compromised at extreme temperatures, it may shut down. Keeping the phone close to your body, say in a pants pocket, should keep it warm if you’re outside. And it should work fine once it’s back in normal temperatures.

Frost Bite Tips. The body’s first reaction to extreme cold is to restrict blood and oxygen flow from its extremities, in order to preserve major organs. Your fingers, toes, ears, nose and exposed skin are very susceptible to frost bite in as little as five minutes.

Rubber gloves, like those that medical professionals use can be very helpful. Remember how they sweat when wearing them for a task? Well, that is heat being trapped in those thin gloves. Cover that with two pair of winter glove and you have warmer hands and toes (they fit there as well). Fingers, toes and the face are most often affected by the harshest cold.


Layering of multiple items on your body is very efficient. Wearing two or three long sleeved shirts create a barrier that is very beneficial. Here in the Southwest, a lot of homes have double pane windows. That doubling of glass helps trap both heat and cold. Layer hands, layer head, layer chest and legs.

Thank you for joining me again. I enjoy writing this blog and hope you get some enjoyment from it as well. Pat

Please login to comment