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]

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]

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]

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]

Sun in Florida - Shade in Holland (quick and easy project)

Only a couple of weeks to go before I meet you all at the Community Circle Event in Orlando Florida. I will meet you all, right? You just have to come: in two days you will learn more than you could learn in two years on your own. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then lecture demos are worth ... [More]

What Makes Our Furniture Different - Construction Boards and Finishes

At Sylvia, we pay attention to detail and quality.  Period.  So if we plan on spending quite a bit of time and money on the hardware we use, the dowels necessary to hold tight the joints of the cabinets, and even the lift for the sewing machine, it only makes sense to use quality construct... [More]

Greetings from Mary Mulari - Looking Forward to Sharing Project Ideas

Greetings to the Community Circle participants and those of you who are still thinking about attending! Rita and I, the Midwest YaYa Sisters, are eager to come to Florida for this event. Both of us are looking out our windows at lots of snow. Here in northern Minnesota we've set some records fo... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts - Tricky Triangles

Hi there, all of you Ann the Gran readers.  Welcome back to LaRueSews-quilts.  This is a bright and sunny day in east central, Alabama.  It is, however a bit chilly outside.  But I guess that’s better than cold, cloudy and rainy.I have said before, and I’d like to say... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

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]

Polka-dots, Stipple Blocks and Creativity, Oh my! Part 2

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 :  If you missed Part 1, click here. I was making excellent progress this afternoon—stitching block... [More]

New Site Features

Hi All, I hope you all had a nice summer  and are perhaps looking forward to the slightly colder months. This is my favorite time of the year, not so hot and not so cold. The last time I blogged there were a few complaints about the new site, so this time round I thought that I'... [More]

Design Organizing Basics

  With so many embroidery designs available digitally, and countless free designs offered online, it helps to have a plan when it comes to organizing them all. The task can seem daunting, but getting started is really the hardest part.  Make a Structure Remember when you had to create a... [More]