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]

Christmas Tree Skirt from Table Runners

To take a simple or plain idea and mold it into something personal and unique is always rewarding. Michelle Gauthier created a special Christmas tree skirt to become a focal point for holiday cheer in her home. Without spending a lot she gave of her time and love to bring special smiles to those aro... [More]

Simple Baby Quilt for Cold Northern Winters

Creating keepsakes for loved ones is such a joy for those who love to sew. With her simple blankets, Sue Kerlin shows us how she continues her love of giving to family even when life is too full for intricate details.Sue's Description:I picked this pattern of baby quilt because I am not a detail... [More]

A Little Treasure - Should I Or Shouldn't I?

  Hi, Folks,I'm in a bit of a quandary. When I set up this blog, I made it clear to the team here who help me get this to you that I really wanted the blog to focus on projects contributed by the AnnTheGran community. So far, you've all been great with that, and we've seen some gr... [More]

The Perfect Gift - Embroidered Wine Bottle Bags

Tuck a bottle of their favorite beverage inside a festive wrap - no wrapping paper required. Trisch Rosema's embroidered gifts of wine got rave reviews even though they were quick and easy. What a lovely hostess gift one of these custom wine bags would make! Or you could do as Trisch did and mak... [More]

Race Car Themed Quilt for "Big Boy Bed"

Every child's first birthday is exciting and every mother wants to create great memories of the event. This race car themed quilt was created by Gina Martinez to complete her son's graduation to a "Big Boy Bed" and give him a special birthday memory to cherish for years to come.Gen... [More]

Blown Away By Baby Blankets

This project was submitted by Kim Yunkun. I chose to post this one because it is simple but beautiful and any level of embroiderer can do it. Not everyone is an expert, but everyone can share the sense of pride that we all feel when we've accomplished something. Sometimes, when we've been do... [More]

Share Your Creations with our Community!

Our creations are like our babies! The amount of time and care we expend on a cherished project makes those products of our hands and our hearts feel pretty special.You are currently resting your eyes on my new blog. If you don't know what a blog is, don't worry about it. Neither did I until... [More]

Quick Project - Blackwork Placemats

We wanted to create a design collection that you could use to add some classic style to your project whether you are embroidering evening accessories, elegant linens or an heirloom piece. My Blackwork collection is a versatile set of ornamental designs, professionally digitized for beautiful results... [More]
The Avid Embroiderer Presents - What's in a Word, like ITH? Part 2.

The Avid Embroiderer Presents - What's in a Word, like ITH? Part 2.

In Part 2 of What's in a Word, I am attempting to give meaning to some of the embroidery terms that may be familiar but I want to give a little background to them as well. If you want to add something to the definitions, please do so via the response area.

I personally believe that if you know the rule, that is fine. However, if you get some of the reasoning behind the action, it helps you to understand it better allowing you to do more troubleshooting on your own.

ITH - In the hoop - A design that completes your project without un-hooping the fabric. It is often a project with multiple layers. Some of the types are items like book covers with pockets or eyeglass cases and this great idea from Pat Williams -


Jump stitch – The movement of the needle from one stitch to another that is a lengthy distance. Many digitizers take great pride in having few if any jump stitches.

Lint brush – Certain threads, cotton is one, that leaves a great deal of fuzz under the needle plate causing possible malfunctioning of stitches. Checking and using your brush is a good way to keep your machine humming.

Memory card – Nearly obsolete, these were once the method of a company getting designs to clients. Costs were very high for ‘x’ number of designs, of which you might only use 1 or 2. The USB and/or simple download has become the norm.

Pucker - The dreaded pucker is something that a newbie will find to be confusing and often blame the design for the issue. The facts are that there many, many reasons why a design puckers. Among them are - a design too dense for the fabric/base; a hooping that is not sufficiently snug in the hoop; not doing a 'discovery' sew; and thread that is too heavy for the design. (See Thread Weight, below.)

Push-Pull compensation - Is created by a design's stitching causing corners and lines (such as satin) causing twists where there should be symmetry. The end user will not know that this method has or has not been used unless the design pushes or pulls the thread astray.

Registration - Puckering and Push-Pull compensation issues show up and are called registration issues. Often the applique satin stitches or outline stitches are the final step in a design. Therefore, while admiring your work, then adding the outline results a ruined project - well, embroiderers, that is one reason why you do a 'discovery' sew (see Discovery Sew in Part 1).

Spray Adhesive - Used for holding fabric in place when doing applique and in the hoop projects. Use of spray adhesive requires a well-ventilated area. Stabilizers that are pre-adhesive are very efficient.

Stabilizer - A material of various weights, types and construction that creates a strong base for your project. Stabilizers have been increasingly improved and made to handle special requirements. Some types are – wash-away, cut-away, tear-away, heat/iron away, and so many others. Guidelines are available for which one to use but experience is the best tutor. You may like to read one of my blogs on Stabilizers there is so MUCH to learn. No one answer/solution/expert can cover every issue. Learning is a must, read everything you can find. (This blog includes the part humidity plays in embroidery!)

Template – A software printout of the design that is used to ascertain placement of your design. Part of the “Discovery Sew” task, it will save a lot of frustration and issues. i.e., a design placed on a woman’s blouse will be affected by the curves of her body. Therefore, it is important to do an ‘on the model’ template placement.

Thread weight – A hold over from the ages, thread is measured by weight, not length. Possibly the first measurement was done by a distance from a person’s thumb to the length of an arm (my version). (60 lengths equal 1 standard weight - 40 lengths equal 1 standard weight. Therefore, the 40 is a heavier weight.)

Test sew - See (Discovery Sew). 

Topper – Every embroidery stitch has the ability to rise or sink into the base. Using a topping will prevent the thread from fading into, i.e., terry cloth or any fabric with a nap or depth. It would normally be washed out.

Underlay – While every component to embroidery is important, underlay is the footings on which you build your project. The underlay minimizes the puckering once you are done and removed from the hoop. Underlay binds your stabilizer and fabric together creating a firm surface. Underlay keeps your digitized stitches defined and sharp. It makes a foundation where you can decrease your upper stitching in the event of a design being too dense.


Thank you for joining me for this blog. I hope you find it helpful. If you would like to add some info, please feel free to do so in the comments.

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