Rise Above the Ordinary with Silk Flower Embroidery

It’s great to find a new embroidery effect, and it’s even better when it’s as easy as the silk flower technique. Jackie Woods of www.greatnotions.com introduced me to the concept, and I found it absolutely stunning.   Jackie u... [More]

Keeping It simple - Frosty the Minky Pink Snowman

One of our granddaughters loves Frosty the Snowman.  We sing the song daily - even when it is 100+ degrees here.  We read the book almost as often.  So I decided to create a Frosty sweatshirt for her even though winter isn't here yet.  When I asked her what color sweatshirt s... [More]

Spooktacular Halloween Projects

I really enjoyed locking myself into my sewing room and creating these Halloween projects.  I think the color combinations of Halloween must be very pleasing to me, so I tend to collect lots of designs and fabrics for that holiday.  It was easy to dip into my stash of designs and work up a... [More]

Back to School, TGIBTS

[View:/cs/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/avid-embroiderer.Back+2+School+2010/A-Haunted-Moon.zip]It may be true that in the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.  However, it is autumn that has a parental dance called, Thank Goodness... [More]

Hooping from the Inside Out

 Bag from www.embroiderthis.com Have you ever tried to embroider something and thought you would have to crawl inside it to hoop it?  Well, sometimes that is exactly what we have to do! Many items that have small openings are challlenging, but they can indeed be embroidered with a l... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Tags All in the Hoop

I went to have lunch with my granddaughter this week.  It was fun but one thing that amazed me was how many lunch boxes looked just alike.  And they were all jumbled together in huge tubs so it took the kids some time to find the one that belonged to them.  So, this week we made In-th... [More]

FREE: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on Sky Drive and Catalog Xpress Tip #6 Multiple Sorting

It seems like it was very recent when we were learning computers, the Internet and cell phones.  I am on my sixth computer and I cannot remember how many cell phones I have had.  Change is inevitable; stand still and you will be run over.  Sky Drive, a program by Microsoft, is one o... [More]

Fancy Jumbles Diaper Changing Pad

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets canbe found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available in packs, as described inthis blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs available in multiple size... [More]

Keeping It Simple Embroidered Magnet Mania

Kids love to display their art on the fridge.  Adults too seem to stick up lists, reminders and notices where they can be easily accessed..  So, many marketers send information to us printed on these soft magnets in hopes that we will put them in this often viewed place in our homes.  ... [More]

Freebies, Dead Links and a Puzzle, and Catalog Xpress Tip #5, Recoloring and Backgrounds

If you have been online more than 1 week, you probably have a lot of "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" that you have accumulated.  I am a collector of links.  If I think I may be interested in something, but don't have the time at the moment and I create a Favorite. Beca... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Big Kid Hooded Towels

The girls are growing fast.  They love their baby towels with the hoods but are outgrowing them now.  When they complained about being cold after their bath the other night mom and I decided to make them larger "big girl" hooded towels for Christmas.  Then we remembered that... [More]

Free Artwork Software and Catalog Xpress, Tip #4, Conversions.

Drawing and designing is usually limited to those who have talent, I am not included in that group.  However, I did find a method of creating interesting designs that is fun and amusing for me.  I hope you like it too. Livebrush, is a fun way to create some interesting effects.  If y... [More]

Summer is super busy with African Folklore Embroidery

It was such an honor being invited by the South African consulate to exhibit my art-quilt, BEADED AFRICAN VILLAGE, for the hosting of the final game of the world cup soccer.  I got to meet and spent time with the delightful Vice Consul general as well as other African consulate members who were... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Sewing for Sunday

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Our youngest has a baby girl now overdue.  But for several weeks she was put on bed rest - mostly due to extreme swelling.  So the rest of the family shared taking care of the other two (five years and two years old).  We kept them at our hous... [More]

Free Taskbar Calendar and Catalog Xpress Tip #3, Resize

This is absolutely my favorite computer clock and it includes a calendar!!!  I am not happy with a calendar that is on my desktop because it seems like it is always in the way.  In the Taskbar (lower right hand corner of most screens) is perfect because it shows me the day of the week, dat... [More]

Wedding Handkerchiefs - Stitch Out and Touch Someone

It's summer and wedding season is in full swing! I still get lots of requests to make keepsake wedding handkerchiefs. These are very personal and are the very best gift for the bride or groom to give to the special people in their life on the special day. Many people like to give them at th... [More]

South Africa, soccer, art and culture.... African Folklore Embroidery Exhibition and Competitions

In the next few weeks’ world attention will be focused on South Africa as a million visitors arrive for the FIFA 2010 world cup soccer. Not since the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 has so much attention been given to this country of forty-eight million people at the southern tip of... [More]

Keeping It Simple- Lampshade Makeovers

Our oldest grandaughter is getting a new room.  This has been in process for some time since her parents are updating their house at the same time.  So new trim, new doors and flooring were needed as well as paint and décor.  Papa will paint the trim next week end and... [More]

Hanging Zipper Caddy

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

Great Photography and Catalog Xpress Tip #2, Search

  If you enjoy good photography as much as I do, you will love this freebie.  National Geographic is one of the most outstanding photographic presenters of the world and I believe it will remain so for eternity.  Others may come and go, but some things are enduring.  Check this ... [More]

The Ultimate Baby Basket

Hello Fellow Embroidery Lovers!I am so excited to be writing my first blog entry at an Institution among us long-time embroiderers – annthegran. I have known Ann for many years and I can tell you that she is the real deal – what a treasure she has been to all of us who love embroidery a... [More]
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

Halloween Applique: Not Just for Clothing Anymore

Applique is usually reserved for embellishing clothing or quilted items. Unfortunately, that doesn't allow for much face time. Holiday applique is especially vulnerable to a short shelf life. But by it's very nature, applique is perfect for holiday decorating where it can be v... [More]

Bobbin Tails

There are many kinds of bobbins available to us for embroidery, but and there is no single answer to the best bobbin type for every embroiderer or every machine. There are metal, plastic  disposable, plastic reusable,  cardboard and sideless. Bobbins also come in colors. Colo... [More]

Sweet Sweet Shoes

Our baby girl just loves shoes, anyone's shoes will do.  She brings them to be put on and clomps around, falling about every other step.  She carries them around hugging them like they were baby dolls, pushes them in her stroller and throws them in the trash (then wants them ... [More]

Easy Trick or Treat Bags

Hello all!  I am Virginia, an embroidery enthusiast and an educator for Dakota Collectibles.   I love creating things with embroidery and thought it would be fun to share my projects and ideas with others, so I am entering the world of blogging.  I use Dakota Collectibles' designs... [More]

Battenberg Lace Tree Skirt Makes a Unique Wedding Gift

Typical gift ideas for newlyweds include linens, fine china, or kitchen wares. But if you are looking for a wedding gift unlike any other, consider a monogrammed Christmas tree skirt. Ann's Battenberg Lace tree skirt looks quite elegant and is perfect for beginner ... [More]

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]