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

Hard to believe summer is almost over and Autumn is right around the corner.  Autumn can be a beautiful time of year though with all the colors changing, and is a good time to start on your embroidery projects for all of the upcoming holiday and seasonal events.    &n... [More]

Introducing Pre-Design Studio III

It has been a while since I posted here at the AnnTheGran site. Earlier this year we have released a new version of Pre-Design Studio, named "Pre-Design Studio III". We have added many functions that make it even easier to quickly create your own artwork for embroidery digitizing sof... [More]

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

You don't need a $100,000 embroidery/laser cutting combo machine to create the reverse applique look that's so hot in retail stores right now. And it's the perfect time of year to put this impressive technique on sweatshirts. You can put this technique on lots of fabrics, but I particula... [More]

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]

Reusable Grocery Bags

USING CREATIVITY TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT In the next few weeks many cities are enacting a law that will allow grocery stores to charge for plastic bags. Some of you have already been using reusable tote bags; some purchase these bland reusable bags from the store at which they are shopping. Howe... [More]

An Easy Way to Keep the Dust Away!

My cousin just came to visit and helped me do some Spring cleaning (yes...it's Summer already).  I was forced to face the dust that has been finding it's home on my sewing machines over time.  It's really not fair to the machines and I'm sure machine repairmen would tell me... [More]

Pucker-Free Quilt Squares

Because quilt fabric is usually lightweight, embroidered quilt squares are often puckered. To avoid puckers on your squares, fuse a piece of ShirtTailorÒ by PellonÒ to cover the entire back of your square. It will not be removed after embroidery. Rather, it adds body to the quilt squar... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents "Sweet Dreams"

Good Night! SleepTight!  Now that is something we all hope to do each night.  Whenever we don’t get enough sleep, there is usually something we can do about getting more and sounder sleep so we can stay in dream land longer each night.  Some people prefer to have it totally da... [More]