Olympic Rings, Cartoons, Questions and Paris!

  8/08/08 is a date that comes up only once in every century and it’s upon us as I write.  This time the date is even more special because it’s the date on which the Summer Olympics begins. I LOVE the Olympics, both Winter and Summer, and I’m so glad they they’ve s... [More]

LaRueSews - Things to Consider Before You Begin Quilting

Right from the beginning, I need to let all of you know that I am not a quilt/quilting expert. This blog developed because I spoke with the folks at AnnTheGran about something else and out came the idea of my writing a blog. I ask you all to take or leave what I have to say about quilting and then f... [More]

Shopping Up A Storm

HH all my fellow ME’ers….I’ve been SHOPPING up a storm!!!!!…. Actually it started right there in Orlando at Ann’s Community Circle the day BEFORE I won the machine last April… and it sort of hasn’t stopped….but I THINK, finally, I am getting reall... [More]

Hello All You Happy Stitchers !

Hopefully some of you already know who I am from popping in and out of the forums and blogs. For those of you that don't, this will introduce us to each other. Many of you have asked me how I first got started, not only with ME, but sewing in general. So, here it is! You can blame my Grandmother... [More]

. . . and a good time was had by all!

I’m not going to dwell on the fabulous lunch that we Central Florida machine embroiderers enjoyed a week and a half ago. Well, I MAY dwell on it, because it WAS fabulous. First of all, there were 24 of us, including four husbands, two of whom are into machine embroidery. You can find lots of p... [More]

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community!

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community! Many people know AnnTheGran.com for free embroidery designs, and that's great, but now the site offers so much more. If you've just been using my site to get free designs, you've been missing out! If you have a question about anything related to you... [More]

An Addiction to Embroidered Greeting Cards

Can you believe that July is almost over?  We have the strangest weather here this year.   One day it’s about 100 degrees and the next it barely gets into the 70s.  The month has breezed by filled with gardening (my tomato plants are all dying and I don’t know why), g... [More]

Learning by Teaching, Teaching by Learning

HH Fellow MEers!!, HOW are you doing???!!! I’ve missed hearing from you !!! Warning….(If you want quick and easy and lots to do with embroidery…skip this blog and wait to read my next one that I will be posting very soon.) (Sorry on my part because Chatty Cathy wasn’t ... [More]

Quilters and Machine Embroiderers - Their Common Threads

I've been invited to Blog about quilting for ATG. I’ve used LaRueSews as a nickname because I do all kinds of sewing. But maybe sometime it will change or morph into something more "quilty."* My name is LaRue Jones. (LaRue is spelled with a big "R"). I was born in ... [More]

Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

Time flies, doesn't it? First I had a house full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids. Then my nephew in Tallahassee had a boat full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids again. Then I had no kids. Then I got on an airplane and spent 4 days in Kentucky with my youngest grandson, 3 1/2, who sa... [More]

Recent Changes and New Features - The Magic Bookshelf Under Construction

Expanding Bookshelf Hard to believe, but it's only been four months since my inaugural post here on the Magic Bookshelf. I've covered blogs, wikis, digital scrapbooks, tags, product ratings, and lots of other topics, and some great ideas have come back from you. The idea of this blog was to... [More]

Of course I like green but what’s this KIWI craze really all about?

Now, what is all this about green paper?  This was my initial thought when I first heard the term KIWI paper.  Oh, its paper and you can supposedly embroider on it.  We've all done that before but it is so hard to find really fun designs that don’t ruin the pa... [More]

Grandchildren, gotta love 'em!

Here it is July already. Where in the world has the year gone? One place it went was lickedy split right by me and until today I hadn't seen any of my grandchildren since Christmas, two of them since before Christmas. But today was delicious. DD's 3 oldest are in Florida for the month with t... [More]

Hand Cross Stitch leads to Machine Embroidery Cross Stitch

With so many gorgeous designs available in machine embroidery, why choose Cross Stitch?  Don’t Cross Stitch designs take forever to stitch? What about all those thread changes and jump stitches that need to be clipped? These are all legitimate questions for machine embroiderers. My name is Don... [More]

Time to Get Comfortable - Making the Magic Bookshelf Your Own

Digital Hugs  People are really starting to have some fun in our community. Many of you are taking advantage of some of the great features that make it possible to really share yourselves and the results of your creativity. A number of you have commented on the blogs and fo... [More]

Does size matter? Well, that all depends.

Size matters if you have a design that’s 5 inches wide and your largest hoop is 4 inches wide. Size matters if you want to make a border along the edge of a tablecloth. Size matters if you want to combine two or three designs, each the size of your largest hoop, into one big design. Firs... [More]

When you need really BIG letters

Hello, all ME blog readers.  I got to know many of you at this year’s Community Circle in Orlando. If you were there and don't remember me, there's a picture of me on our About Us page. I also post from time to time in the forums under my username db1921 and I created the cof... [More]

What's in a name (tag)?

A while ago I nudged y'all a little about forming local "Community Circles" so you could get together once in a while to have lunch, chat, make projects and generally help each other out. Believe me, it was NOT my doing, but the "How many live in Central Florida?" thread has ... [More]

Fathers and Dads and Daddies and Grandpas and Poppies, oh my!

This one's for you, DaddyWhen I was small we didn't have a lot of money. Sometimes I don't think we had any. As time went on my parents incomes improved. But they didn't really change their lifestyle very much. Oh, the year I left for college they did carpet my bedroom (which had bec... [More]

GETTING ORGANIZED...or one can at least hope!

HH ME’ers!!!, (Hello Hello, Machine Embroiderers)Just back from a glorious trip to the beach. Yeah!!!! While there, I came to the conclusion that before I take another embroidery class in order to blog about it,I needed to …… Whoa! …… Stop!......... & GET ORGANIZED!!! I needed to:1.  &... [More]

Lace - The Ultimate Beginner's Project

Hear Ye’ Hear Ye’ …STOP the PRESS ….  The ULTIMATE Beginner’s Project is………….. LACE!! HH ( Hello Hello )  all you fellow ME’ers!!! I have been shopping up a storm!... and MEing too…. Speaking of shopping, Ann’s store has some good specials right now!!!!! Have you gone to her ‘shop' ... [More]

A Whirlwind of a Week - AnnTheGran in Toronto

It feels as if I was just packing for this trip and here I am home again! Bill and I had a fabulous time in Toronto. First and foremost it was a delight to have a 3rd annual "Spring Fling" with our dear friends Loes and Theo van der Heijden from the Netherlands. Second, it was wonderful to... [More]

Fun in the Magic Bookshelf - What's Your Idea?

Recent Brainwave   Believe it or not, it only occurred to me very recently that, with all the wonderful things available on our new site, we had never actually asked our loyal users where they want us to go next. I’ve told you on my blog here what we’ve planned, but I haven’t asked you w... [More]

Even If I can't Hoop it, I can Embroider it!

Hi, folks,  Had another great question in last week's post from gpleasant, who asked how to hoop towels, under and over. I can tell you how I hoop towels. Bath towels are as liable to be viewed from the back as from the front, so I want both to look good. That means two things. First,... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung in New Jersey.  Everyone is out and about walking and enjoying the beautiful trees as they bloom. That is here in New Jersey, apparently Mother Nature has a few things confused and my grandchildren in Colorado are still wearing their snow boots. Don’t forget though that ... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Batting, Which One Will I Choose?

We are nearing the time when you will be getting your quilt ready to quilt.  That means that you have to make some choices about batting. First of all, just what is batting.  Batting is the middle layer of the quilt that provides warmth and comfort that we all know as a quilt.  In wa... [More]

Art to stitches - what kind of art works well

Q:  You hear stories of beautiful embroidery designs created from sketches on a bar napkin.  Is that true?A:  Though I may have had gotten ideas from sketches, the better the art, the better the embroidered design will be. Your software undoubtedly can import a wide array of art.&nbs... [More]

Starting an online business

Q:  I heard that online businesses were a fad and that in time physical storefronts will emerge on top again.A:  Ask your local travel agent what they think of it being a fad !! Online stores are more popular than ever before, as a matter of fact, I was working on a deal with a large fran... [More]

Basic embroidery digitizing

Q:  How does the embroidery machine know where to put all the stitches?A:  You just scan the image and the software analyzes the art and tells the machine where to place the stitches. Well, that's what our customers think.  I wish it were that easy.  Actually, I don't ..... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilt-By Request, My Woodworker

I am taking a little turn in the road this time.  Before Greg left AnnTheGran, he requested that I write a blog about Ralph and his woodworking skills.  After attending the ATG Community Circle, and meeting Pat Snyder, she also requested the subject.  My daughter, has asked me also to... [More]

It's Over (Sigh) for Another Year II - Coffee Cup Wraps

The sun shone on us all in Orlando and we had a great time at the second annual Annthegran Community Circle gathering.  We met up with old friends and made some new ones too.  For two days we learned lots, laughed lots and ate lots. Mary Mulari and Rita Farro kept everyone in stitches as ... [More]

Being Creative with few resources- Basket Weaving, Arts & Crafts in South Africa

Dear AnnTheGran readers, thank you so much for your comments and your excitment regarding South Africa. I so enjoy sharing this information with you and giving you a small taste and experience of African art and culture. I am always amazed how creative people can be with so little! Creativity does ... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Hand quilting, It’s Personal!

If you have worked along with me, you will soon need to decide if you will quilt by hand or by machine.  I have a friend who began quilting a little more than a year ago.  As we talked, one day, I asked how she planned to do her quilting.  She quickly said, “by machine.”&n... [More]

Party Time ! 12.5 years of Artistitch

Twelve and a half years ago I wrote my first tutorial! Can you image? Twelve And A Half years of Artistitch. That's one eighth of a century. And isn't it great that AnnTheGran is organizing an event for me to celebrate this? Kidding of course! My first book for PE-Design version 1, in Du... [More]

Magic Bookshelf - Re-Connecting with Distant Family & Friends

Hello, AnnTheGran Community!It's only been about a month, and I miss all of you already, so I thought I'd come back and say hello. More importantly, I have unfinished business. I had some great requests from a previous Magic Bookshelf post about technology aspects to talk about, and I never ... [More]

Enjoy The Moment

I was supposed to write a blog last week – but I was just getting home from the “Sewing & Stitchery EXPO” in Puyallup, Washington – and then my son Elliott and his wife Emily had our FIRST GRANDCHILD – a beautiful baby girl named Lillian Claire. One of life’s... [More]

All Jazzed Up for Community Circle 2009!

Here at home in Minnesota, the ground is white and the sky is gray, so once again it's great to have Orlando and my trip to Florida to think about. I did get a break from winter when I traveled to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup WA last weekend. Rita and I were both there and we did... [More]

Brother and Jillian Lewis Dedicate a Beautiful Red Dress to the American Heart Association

Last week many folks in this country were shoveling the white stuff.  I even got stuck in Seattle on Sunday evening because my flight into New Jersey was cancelled.  What I cannot understand is how my Colorado grandchildren were playing in their new playhouse in 70 degree weather duri... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts - Borders, Square, Miters, and Fabrics

On this sunny, beautiful,  but cold day in Alabama, here’s wishing you a March that goes out like a Lamb.  Since much of the USA saw a snowy and cold first day of March, It must have come in like a Lion, so it should go out like a Lamb.  To all of you in the southern hemisphere,... [More]

The Redwork Wizard - a mini tutorial

Here's a mini tutorial, showing my sheer admiration for Design Center as "Redwork Wizard". Try and see if you can find a continuous path, without jumps in the above image If you are one of the embroiderers who consider PE-Design's / Palette's Design Center to be "beginne... [More]

Random Thoughts and Mindless Miscellany

Ways to save! I’m not unaware of or unaffected by the present state of the economy and I know that this isn’t the time to be asking you to spend money on non-essentials. On the other hand, when times are difficult it’s more important to connect with friends and take time out for o... [More]

SEW CRAZY for Community Circle 2009

Hi everybody!  This is Misty and Greg from Sew Crazy in Lake Mary, Florida.  We are SEW excited to be featured as the store at this years Community Circle 2009 event in Orlando, Florida.  We look forward to seeing some familiar faces from around the area and also meet new friends from... [More]

Autopunch and bean stitch tutorial

As promised here's a mini tutorial on how to use PE-Design Lite in combination with our Pre-Design Studio program. It's getting the best of two worlds: create filled areas using the AutoPunch function in PE Lite on the basis of an image made with Pre-Design Studio and create bean stitch line... [More]

Behind the scenes at HGTV on Uncommon Threads

My Television experience on the show Uncommon Threads with host Alison Whitlock.Leora Raikin, African Folklore Embroiderywww.aflembroidery.cominfo@aflembroidery.com(818) 999-6094Click here to view clips from the HGTV show. Back to Our RootsDuring summer I spent seven weeks in South Africa, regroupin... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Square it up!

OK, Everybody, If you have followed this blog from the beginning, and have been making quilt block as we go, you should now have enough block to make into a quilt. “How do I do that?” someone says.  Well, that’s the purpose of this blog.  Let’s put those little bugg... [More]

My Valentine Box

Here we are coming up on Valentines Day, coincidentally Bill’s and my half year anniversary. Coincidentally because we first met on the 14th of August and, when we decided to marry, set the date at one year from our first meeting. There wasn’t any thought about Valentines Day and it was ... [More]

Graffiti Glam Coming To Community Circle 2009

Mary and I are so excited about coming to Florida for the Community Circle Event the last weekend in March!!  What perfect timing.  It's been a bitter cold winter here in Iowa -- and I am really looking forward to FLORIDA.It is always a joy for me to present my seminar, "Life Is N... [More]
px;">

Taming Metallic Threads

  Metallic embroidery threads adds a touch of class to any project—if you can stand to use them that long! Here are some tips for avoiding pitfalls typically associated with metallic threads.   Although this design is beautiful stitched in rayon, the metallic snowflake is exquis... [More]

Every newbie wants to know…

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog:  By Sherry McCary, Product Development, Designs in Machine Embroidery How do I get designs from the... [More]

Winter Door Sock Project

Dear Readers, Create this Winter Door Sock for your door this winter. See below for project instructions on how to make this project. Materials: Winter Scene Door Sock designs Polyester Fiberfill Sewing Machine Matching Fabric Thread Hand Needles Cutaway ... [More]

Choosing the Right Stabilizer

With the multitude of choices now available, choosing a stabilizer can be daunting. Cut away. Tear away. Fusible. Melt away. Wash away. Which do you use? There is no iron-clad, 100 percent, always-work option. It depends on the stitch count, fabric used, and sometimes the thread, machine, or stabil... [More]

Quick Gift Bags

Create quick and easy gift bags with fabric scraps and a wonderful fusible by Allstitch. This is a fun activity for kids, doesn't involve any sewing, and can be adapted for any occasion. I've made matching gift tags and you could use the same techniques to create cards. Fuse-n-Bond is ... [More]

A few of my favorite things…Tools!

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog: : As an embroiderer, sewer and crafter you can never have too many tools. Here’s a look at some of my fa... [More]

Keeping It Simple – Narrow Holiday Runner

Do you have unfinished projects from past years?  I do.  I am always inspired at the beginning of the holidays and have lots of ideas.  Then it seems the season always gets hectic and some of the things I start just do not get finished.  So, this year I decided to finish those it... [More]

I've Got You Covered

     Have you ever wanted to cover a ring binder or album?  As an example, here is a 3-ringbinder that I covered to use as a photo album.  (Keep reading for more information aboutpages for the binder.)     When I open the binder, you can see how neat... [More]

If You Really Want to Know . . .

I asked you all to let me know what you’d like me to tell you. Haven’t heard from anyone except Pat, so I’ll answer her questions. Maybe that will help you think of some more things you’d like me to write about. Pat asked: I would LOVE to know what types of embroidery do you... [More]

Quilting with Embroidery

My eldest favorite daughter (I also have a youngest favorite daughter) decided she wanted to make a rag quilt. They are shabby chic, typically created with muted colors, fringed all around and stitched with ragged edges showing on one side. The more they are washed, the more comfortable they become.... [More]

Napkin Ring Project For This Holiday Season

We have some great ideas on how to accessorize your holiday table with embroidery. One way is to create your very own decorative napkin rings. They are quick and easy and will take no time at all to finish. Then you can also embroider wonderful placemats, napkins, table cloths, towels, curtains, etc... [More]

Adding Sparkle to Embroidery

In the words of the late Andy Williams, "It's the most wonderful time of the year," and it's never been easier to add sparkle to embroidery designs than with hot-fix crystals. Christmas embroidery begs for embellishment. Crystals are easy to apply with a heat tool like the DalWan... [More]

Monogrammed Napkins Tutorial

Monogram a napkin for every guest at your next dinner party. It’s the perfect way to personalize a seat and makes a great party favor. MonogramIt! from Amazing Designs has numerous fonts to choose from so you can customize every napkin to match each guest’s style... [More]

What’s with Lower Case Monograms?

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog: You see it everywhere today – lower case monograms catch your eye and make you wonder if it really is a ... [More]

What’s in a name?

If you remember from my last blog post, the AnnTheGran web site got its name from my AOL sign-in. I promised to tell you the story of how annthegran became my AOL sign-in. Like most stories like this it’s pretty simple and fairly silly. The year was 1994. My daughter, son-in-law and three ... [More]

AlphaTricks Tricks!

All we can say is “WOW!” We have been completely overwhelmed with everyone’s  enthusiastic response to the announcement and release of AlphaTricks! As we’ve worked with users, we’ve uncovered some common questions, as well as tips that it seems everyone would like... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Bricks and Banners

It's here again.  Already!  Halloween, apple picking, pinecones and colored leaves.  The season's fly by so quickly I can hardly keep up.  We took a trip out to the Old Town main street the other day to pick up our fall and winter spices.  It is an all cobblestone st... [More]

Learn Basic Applique

Applique has become one of my favorite techniques in machine embroidery. Designs are now so inclusive, that even the least experienced among us can easily create beautiful applique their first time out. I created a Basic Applique video showing just how easy it is using the Applique Quilting Hearts ... [More]

Tall and Skinny

     What's "Tall and Skinny"?  It's the name of my new embroidery alphabet [More]

Hello All I'm Back

Last night I was watching the Million Second Quiz on television. One of the questions, which the contestant missed by the way, was which one of several brands was not named for an actual person. The answer was Betty Crocker. That got me to wondering if AnnTheGran had been one of the choices, how man... [More]

Get Variegated!

Much like pigments of the master painters, threads create pallettes for machine embro [More]