You did that?

 Teaching an African Folklore Embroidery class is one of my favorite things to do. In the last few weeks, I have taught workshops at quilt guilds in Washington, Visalia, Long Beach and Covina. I have had all types of people in my classes, from people who have been quilting for many years, but n... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Quick Wristlet Just In Time for Spring

Wristlets are great if you have lots of other stuff to haul around (like kids and diaper bags and laptops...) and don't want the extra weight of a purse.  But after a hard winter the ones we have been using look pretty bad so I decided to surprise the girls with new ones this week.  I ... [More]

Control Key Information and Rogue Security Software

These tips can be used for Windows XP and Vista - Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support.  It seems like everyone needs to save time. It is just a fact of life these days.  The following "Control Key" list is to help you do just t... [More]

Let's Talk About Terry---Terrycloth, that is!

(Baby Bibs and Burps are now available at AnnTheGran.com.  Click here , also click here to vew other new blanks on special)   Just recently we’ve had two customers call us to let us know they were unhappy with our baby items.  They said they “fell apart” and t... [More]

A Free Calculator and Reverse Engineering a Design in AlphabetXpress

I have never been certain why Microsoft does not place a calculator on a computer screen. There are a number of them on the Internet, and I have one that I like for several reasons. For one, I can turn off or on the keyboard. With the keyboard off, I can just use my computer numeers. You can find it... [More]

Thread Doll with Tote - No Batteries Required!

       Make a HoneyBea Thread Doll set for your little Honey – No Batteries Required! When I was little, I loved the Betsy McCall paper doll in the back of McCall’s magazine, and I even cut out paper dolls from the pages of my Mother’s Sears Roebuck catalog.... [More]

Increasing Computer Speed - - - Leather and Lace and Alpha Xpress

I am a big fan of free computer software. Some of it is worth free and some of it is quite valuable. One that I like, and have found to be praised by many computer professionals is CCleaner by Piriform.com.  This one has a very nice Pedigree - - If you are not using this software, you may wa... [More]

Threads from Africa- 30% off till Feb 9th

Thread colors and names inspired by African Savanah  From The COLORFUL world of African Folklore Embroidery we bring you a complete selection of multi-colored hand dyed variegated threads from House of Embroidery, South Africa.  Our exquisite hand-dyed threads are suitable for all types... [More]

Mural Painting- The Ndebele women-Creative Inspiration- Enter to win 4 African Folklore Embroidery kits

Mural Painting- The Ndebele women-Creative Inspiration- Enter to win 4 African Folklore Embroidery kits  While there are many tribes in Africa, the magnificent beadwork, doll- making and wall mural painting of the Ndebele tribe are a constant source of inspiration. The houses of the Ndebele... [More]

Embroidering Knits: Hooping is the Key

Embroidery on knits can be tricky, but the real secret is in the hooping.To get great results on knits, you must stabilize this stretchy fabric. You probably know that the text book rule for fabrics that stretch is to use a cutaway stabilizer.This should be followed, except in rare instances. If it ... [More]

World Wide Web, a Freebie and Hankies for Brides with Alpha Xpress

 You know that WWW stands for World Wide Web. Typing in WWW tells your browser that you are connecting to a Web server. However, as the Internet and related-technology evolved, prefixes became mostly unnecessary. But we are creatures of habit and many Websites use both WWW and non-WWW addresse... [More]

Back From the Workshop

Hello, Granners! It has been a while since I've been able to write to you, and I'm sorry about that. For the last year or so we've been working hard on some new products. But while products are under development I can't really tell you much about what we're doing.... [More]

A Freebie and Tip #4 Alpha Xpress Customizes Words

Some days I cannot find my keys, or my glasses or whatever I really need. Too often, I cannot find a file I need and that presents a lot of problems for me. I am always on a schedule and get frustrated with delays!  This small application is really worth its weight in gold and then some. Check... [More]

Make Patches and Emblems from Scratch

There are times when attaching a patch or emblem is a lot easier than trying to apply embroidery directly to a difficult item. Other times, it’s helpful to be able to change or remove the embroidered identification easily.  For these times, it’s nice to know how to make emblems... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Show and Tell

I hope your holidays were full of fun with family and friends.   I listened to people make their New Year's resolutions   the other night.  Some were new but many were the same old ones they make every year and find so difficult to keep.  So, we talked with the girl... [More]

Quick Coasters in the hoop- Designs Included

Quick Coasters in the hoop- Designs Included Ever need something right now!  Well last year one of the charity craft bazaars in my mom's neighbourhood needed lots of little things to fill in.  So we made a bunch of these in one night.  In sets of 4 of these quick coasters, tied i... [More]

Keeping It Simple - A Beautiful Lace Snowflake and Easy Turtles too.

Well, the Christmas music is playing everywhere, most of the shopping is done but the sewing pile still looms, at least at my house.  I have at least four more gifts to make before Christmas Day.  November and December have been busier than usually with things unplanned but just part of li... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

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]

A Quick Gift for Father's Day

At our house we always seem to be slightly behind and end up cramming to get our father's day gifts done the night before that special day.  Sometimes they don't go as planned and we spend a frustrating time figuring out what to do.  This year we decided to change this (maybe the r... [More]

Would you like to win $500 Cash?

Would you like to win $500 Cash? YOU are invited to enter your completed African Folklore Embroidery in the upcoming challenge. Entry forms are on online at www.aflembroidery.com. THE GRAND PRIZE is $500 cash, 2nd prize $50 and 3rd prize $25.00. All entrants will receive certificate of part... [More]

Loosely Woven Fabrics ? Control Them with Ease

  Fear No Pashmina! One of my favorite newer stabilizers is the self-adhesive wash-away mesh type. This stabilizer can be pricey, but it stands alone when you need the unique advantages offered by this highly evolved specialty product.The item being embroidered must be compatible with wate... [More]

Look Mom! No Zippers!

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents Sew Story Books

Remember as a young child and one of your parents, or grandparents, would cuddle up next to you and read you a story before bedtime.  You would listen to your favorite story until your eyes slowly closed and you drifted into fairy-tale dreams.  Now that you have grown up and have children ... [More]

Leftover Minky and those Elusive Binks

A friend gave me some leftover 5" squares of minky fabric the other day.  There were not enough to make a quilt so I pondered what to do with them.  In the meantime someone stepped on the clip that held the baby's pacifier so it didn't get lost.  She really only gets it w... [More]

Junk in my trunk - African Folklore Embroidery Elephants

 JUNK IN MY TRUNK and the African Folklore Embroidery Elephants One of my favorite animals to observe while on safari is the elephants. I love watching the baby elephant walk in between his mom and dad and seeing how protective the moms are toward their babies. The elephant is the largest... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Owls Are In

I know that I have told you about all the babies that are on their way.  And their mother's are now doing the decorating.  Many of our daughter's friends have seen her baby's room and when she asked them what they would like as a shower gift several requested the fram... [More]

Multi-Media = Major Fun!

As exciting as standard embroidery is, you'll reach a creative crescendo when you add other elements. When you incorporate everyday elements with even the simplest embroidery, the result is almost always a pleasing surprise. In this example, "The Busy Bride" from the Circle of Life des... [More]

Easter Goodies for Infants

"What will the Easter bunny bring for the baby?" our grandaughter asked.  Now, this is the same [More]

The Computerist Presents - Steampunk and other Freebies

What the heck is Steampunk?  Well, its called steampunk because it is a mix of steam powered era style and futuristic style, sort of as if the future happened in the past (if that makes any sense). Its punk because its a bit of that style thrown in. So really you can call anything that loo... [More]

Fabric Popped out of a Hoop? Re-Align It!

Here is how I recover almost designs that have hopped out of the hoop. 1. Walk away for a moment. Calm down and begin to work on getting it fixed. 2. Find some running stitches that are on a curve or angle. If you don't see any, you may need to remove some stitches covering them. For... [More]

Embroidery Advisor Presents Appealing Animal Apparel

Starbird Inc. has been dedicated to the embroidery industry for the past 25 years.  Our talented and educated staff has many combined years of embroidery digitizing experience.  Along with custom digitizing we also do stock designs which are all professionally digitized at our headquarters... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Introducing Crash Course Cathy...

Hello Hello fellow  AnntheGran Embroiderers & New Orlando Circle of Friends!!!! :):):), Who Am I?  For those of you who attended the VERY SPECIAL 1st annual AnntheGran's convention in Orlando in April, you may remember me...it was pretty hard to miss my loud scream and waving arm... [More]

But first, a word from our sponsor . . .

Okay, that would be me, but now that I've got your attention I want to first address a couple of questions that were posted in the comments from last week's post. I thought I'd answer them here, rather than there, because the answers might be of interest to many of you. For LolliConn, w... [More]

You Ruined My Brand New Silk Blouse!

Every now and then I'll receive an angry email that goes something like this: "I used one of the free designs from your site and it sewed out terribly and ruined my brand new silk blouse. Don't you sew out those free designs before you put them on your site?"Well the truth is that ... [More]

Sometimes the Third Time is the Charm...

Challenges & Lessons: So, I looked at the Laughing Cow box for a week. I picked it up. I measured it. I didn't want to do something with the box just for the sake of doing something with it. Now, this box is fairly flimsy. And shallow. Then I looked around for something that would fit in the... [More]

A Magic Bookshelf Game - What Are Tags and How Do I Use Them?

Let's Play Tags - I'm It!  My kids still play Tag, even though the oldest one becomes a teenager this month (), so I'm going to assume that, like me, you are not too old to play a variation of this age-old game. The game I want to play with you is called Tags, with an 's&#... [More]

AnnTheGran's Spring Cleaning Challenges

I've read all the forum posts from folks saying how much they enjoyed our (first annual??) Community Circle. Thank you so much for posting. I want to add, though, that no one had a better time than I did. I arrived home invigorated and ready to get back up to my elbows in embroidery.  Tote... [More]

Community Circle Thanks and Video Demonstrations

Hi, everyone!  Well, I think I've recovered from our fabulous Community Circle! I want to thank everyone who attended as well as Diane and Pardeep for keeping things running smoothly and, of course, Greg, for overseeing everything. Thanks also to Eileen Roche for her terrific classes,... [More]

Brotherly Love, Online Scrapbooking & Ideas from Down Under

Greetings, friends! Once again, I have been truly humbled by the sheer numbers of you who took time to consider and respond to my last post. I received hundreds of e-mails from well-wishers as far away as South Africa, Korea and Australia, all with essentially the same message: we wish we could joi... [More]

Ruffled Crib Quilt from Down Under

Every grandmother counts it a blessing when another child comes into her life.  Each set of tiny hands and feet hold a special place in her heart forever.  When the newest addition made his appearance to the Jenkins family it was just what Leanne needed to inspire her to expand her embroid... [More]

The Digital Scrapbook - Memories in the Magic Bookshelf

(If the text is cut off on the right side of the screen, please click on the post title above to view a corrected version)  Where's Your Shoebox? Whoever you are, wherever you are, the chances are pretty good that, at some point in your life, you've taken some pictures, and there... [More]

Easter Break to Prepare for Community Circle

Hi, everyone, The gang here is taking a little break for Easter and using the time to polish off some final preparations for my Community Circle event in Orlando, so I thought I'd just put together a brief note to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking -- well, moving my le... [More]

On Feeling Young, New Friends & Lunch in Orlando

Thanks for your Feedback I'm really pleased that all of you really took to heart my request in my last letter to get involved with commenting on the new site. We had the most comments and participation we've had since I started blogging. Your feedback really does encourage me and my guests ... [More]

Putting Knowledge in The Magic Bookshelf - What is a Wiki?

Who do You Trust for Information?  Where do you go when you need to know whether something is true or not? Is there a person you ask, or a place you go? Think about it -- everyone needs to have somewhere, something, or someone to help establish what is fact and what is fict... [More]

Introducing....Deegee!

Who’s Deegee, you may ask?  Well, for those of you who don't know me, please permit me to introduce myself. I live in Southern Texas, I’m married, mom to 4 wonderful adult children and “Nanee” to 3 beautiful granddaughters and 1 very special little grandson.  And I’m like so many... [More]

Blouse Border Design using Shoes

I created this blouse border design by lining up various different shoes from my Fancy Footwork collection. To make the shoes fit together as a cohesive group it was necessary to reverse and rotate most of the designs until they created the right flow. Click here for a larger view of the screenshot ... [More]

Texas Hold-em T-Shirt

This t-shirt design, perfect for Friday night's poker game, was created by combining the cards and chips from my "It's A Boy's Life" collection. I then simply added the lettering "Texas Hold'em" using the Fairbanks block, which is a standard font included with Com... [More]

Paisley Stripe T-Shirt

Three designs make up this paisley stripe around the entire T-shirt when made from combining designs from my Paisley Passion collection. These surprisingly versatile designs can be combined to create an unending number of designs from tiny to all-over designs. Click here for a larger view of the scr... [More]

Embroidered Sheepdog Wallhanging Using Photos

Like many of us, Barbara Schleter has more than one passion.  Here she has combined her long time love of Shetland Sheepdogs with her more recent passion for embroidery.   Barbara has done a great job of sharing her thoughts on creating personalized gifts for those who are special to ... [More]

Welcome to the Magic Bookshelf - What is a Blog?

The Magic Bookshelf Imagine that you sit down at your machine one day to make something for someone, and you realize that there is a part of your project that you aren't sure how to complete. Imagine if you could then point your hands toward any bookshelf in your house and summon it to float th... [More]

Chanel Inspired Tee

The Chanel inspired jewelry design on this black t-shirt was created from the chains, pearls, and heart charm from my "Beads, Baubles and Bling" collection. This fun collection allows you to create necklaces, bracelets, pins and rings from a large variety of gems, charms and chains. C... [More]

Orlando Itinerary, Handsome Men & New Project

So Much To Share!  I have so much to share with you this week that I hardly know where to begin. Like many of you (but not all of you ), I love our new site, especially the way it lets people in our community talk to each other. Free designs are great, and I know that's why many of yo... [More]

Brighten Someone's Spirit with a Verse Lap Quilt

Quilts, whether large or small, can brighten the spirit and bring a bit of joy to those who need it in almost any situation.  Made with love and detailed with words of comfort, Susan Osborn shows us how a simple but heartfelt project can help make the days a little better for others.&... [More]

Western Wedding Quilt

Keeping up with traditions can be a challenge when you are as far away from your family as Debbie  Martin is.  But she obviously spends a lot of time and energy to share her love with family as shown in the wedding quilt as well as others who will appreciate the warmth of a handmade gift -... [More]

Community Circle April 3-4 in Orlando - Registration Ready at Long Last!

It's the gathering of the year and even if this is the first time you have joined me I know you'll be re-energized and ready to go after two full days with Eileen Roche and me. We'll share our best techniques and insider tips for expressing yourself through embroidery. For all the detai... [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! Answers to All Your Questions If you have a questio... [More]

Embroidered Hot Cup Wraps

We had so many requests for Diane’s hot cup wraps from an earlier promotion that we decided we shoul [More]

AnnTheGran Community Circle in Orlando - A Few More Hints

OK, gals, mark your calendars today – April 3rd and 4th – less than 9 weeks away. It’s time to get together and re-energize our passion for embroidery at the first annual AnnTheGran Community Circle retreat. I love sunny Orlando and we’ll spend two whole days exploring innovative techniques, inspira... [More]

Japanese Embroidered Full Length Women's Wool Coat

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who sent in feedback about my Community Circle event in April. It was a deluge! So many people responded that we needed to step back and re-plan the event to make it bigger. We're almost there; I'll be announcing all the details, along with r... [More]

I'm Having a Party, and You're Invited!

Let's face it, gals, it's been far too long sinced I've rubbed elbows and shared stories with most of you. So, I've resolved this year to put myself back into circulation, at least a bit and, unlike most of my New Year's resolutions, this is one I intend to keep!To celebrate the ... [More]