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Just for Fun Planning Embroidery

What type of designer are you?

What I’ve learned from many Designs readers is that they’re pulled to projects featuring massive amounts of embroidery. They love to read about them, drool over the beautiful photographs and colors. But in reality, when it comes time to create their own embroidered projects, time is usually of the essence and they opt for simple, one-design projects.

But simple one-design projects don’t have to be dull and boring – they can be elevated to the luxurious with the right appliqué fabric, thread selection and proper sizing. The latest issue of Designs features quite a few projects that fit this bill. You’ll find cute baby gifts from Rehbecca Lowder and Marie Zinno. Joann Connolly’s one-word totes – Read – are perfect for back to school and Paula Spoon’s ghoulish flag celebrates the spooky holiday. Kandi Christian is back with two garments – one denim suit and a pin-tucked t-shirt.

Speaking of t-shirts, I’ll be wearing our cover garment – Wow! What a Neckline! whenever I hit the road to teach this season. I love to wear our samples, in fact, when I make a garment for the magazine I make it in my size so I can show you just how wearable embroidery can be. Our motto here at the magazine is if I wouldn’t wear it, then we won’t make it! After all we’re not a runway fashion magazine, we’re a how-to magazine. And what’s the point in learning how to make something you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing?

And oh yes, the t-shirt on the cover features designs from Nancy Zieman and my new collection: Embroider It Yourself Designer Necklines, available mid-September. You’re gonna love these techniques! Feel free to call the office to pre-order Designer Necklines, 888-739-0555.

This week we’re giving away Teddy, The Amazing Huggable Stitchable Bear! Teddy is part of our Bear Hugs! Stitch-A-Bear Charity Campaign!  Leave a comment and tell me if you like to duplicate a project shown in the magazine step by step or do you see a project with various potential and run with it on your own. We love learning how you use the magazine. 

The winner of last weeks coupon is…Jan Boggan Henson!

I have been machine embroidering since 1997 when I also started my website for inspiration and ideas. I have tried many types of editing software but still prefer Embird to the more expensive offerings. Embird does everything I need to do in manipulating designs to my preference. I do not digitize since I have more designs than I will ever use. I now own a Designer SE from Husqvarna Viking and the Creative Vision from Pfaff. I don’t think I will ever tire of creating with machine embroidery. Thank you for your magazine and all the inspiration it provides.

Congratulations, Jan !




  • Pat Snyder

    You are right on the mark, as usual. I love to own and view beautiful designs, but when it comes to projects, I look for simple and quick designs.

    I do consider my stash of designs in the same manner as a collector of fine art, regardless of the price, I love to look at them and appreciate the artistic workmanship.

    Thanks for a great blog!


  • Lila W Smith

    I look forward to each “Designs in Machine Embroidery. I find them very informative and will begin reading it on the day that it comes in the mail.

    I’m glad that you do clothes for women and hope that you will continue to design them. Don’t forget us older (seniors) folk. We like to embroider and make clothes also.

    Thanks for the great job that you and your staff do!


  • Karen Trott

    I do love your neckline design and I do like simple projects. However,I find myself never being able to to leave things alone. It may start simple but, before I’m through it can be pretty complicated/more embellished.

    My design stash is larger than my fabric stash and like Pat is a joy to look through and one of these days, I will get around to stitching them all. (yah, right)
    Keep simple and elaborate coming, I’ll collect them all.

  • Judy Inhoff

    If I do a project and the technique is new to me, I’ll make it step by step. After I know how to do it, I may go off on my own and change a few things.

    Thanks for a chance to win.

  • Kelly

    I am always taking a little here and a little there. I am working on bridal and groom say hankies right now

  • Debbie

    I love the inspiration that I receive from reading each issue, and will sometimes follow the directions as written, But most of the time by brain is going off in a million directions. Where else, what else oh oh oh it would be great there!!!! So most of the time I will just use them as inspiration or pass them along to the unfortunate that don’t get the magazine, lol.

  • Susan Spiers

    I just recently received my trial issue & am very impressed with the great ideas enclosed. This is what I get-great ideas! Uses of machine embroidery that I would not have thought of which leads me to more & more ideas-it gets my creativity flowing!

  • Gail Beam

    I love to droll over all of the creative and inspirational projects in “Designs in Machine Embroidery” and try to incorporate some of the ideas into my projects on a simpler basis. My embroidery projects usually involve combining several designs so that I can stitch out the embroidery for a particular area all at once. Sweatshirt jackets are some of my favorite items to embroider for both my granddaughters and grandsons. The zippered ones make it easy to embroider a vertical combined design on each side of the front with a large combined horizontal design on the back. Since my granddaughters are into the rhinestone embellished clothing or items, I like to add hotfix rhinestones to as many of the items that I embroider for them as possible.

  • Melinda

    It depends on the project and how involved it is. Right now, I don’t have alot of “play” time, so I go for the quick, simple, easy to do, type projects. It it is more involved, I might just use part of it and go from there.

  • Jackie

    I enjoy the step by step instructions as there have been times when I learnt a new way of doing something, other times I just use the pics and do my own thing. Having step by step instructions also gives me confidence to try something new. Love the magazine.

  • Danyl

    I like to use the magazine as inspiration for my own projects and use the step by step to try new things.

  • April

    I love so many of the magazine’s ideas. I usually put my own spin on the idea to make it my own, or appropriate for the intended recipient. But who can’t use more wonderful ideas to add to our some day list?

  • Kathy Meyers

    I too use the magazine for inspiration. I am not real keen on regular sewing projects so if it isn’t real simple I prefer to start with a premade shirt/bib/whatever.

    I have tons of designs, but usually only use one per project, it makes it quicker and easier. I usually add a name to things I’m doing, I like personalization.

    I get so many ideas from your magazine there isn’t enough time in the day!!

  • Janice Murry

    I usually like the step by step projects to learn new techniques, then branch out from there. The magazine is great for that kind of inspiration. It also keeps me informed about what is new. I like that alot.

    I have just pre-ordered the Designer Necklines and looking forward to receiving it. That is just the type of project I like! Thanks for offering it.

  • Mitzi

    I enjoy seeing the design ideas in the magazine and then branch out on my own; rarely do I make a particular project exactly the way it appears in the magazine, but enjoy figuring out a way to use the idea in another way.

  • Ruth

    I love pouring over the magazine from cover to cover. Then I go back through and see what I would like to try. Usually if I find something I want to make, I will attempt it just like the entry in the mag., but if it doesn’t turn out quite right I will adjust it and make it work for me.

  • Enis

    Oh, I do whatever seems to work for the specific project. Sometimes I follow a project from the magazine step by step and maybe just change the colors up a bit. But other times I use different embroidery designs, colors, fabrics and maybe even change a project to make something based on the step-by-step project, but made with my own twist.

    And, I totally love DIME. I can’t wait for each issue and then I have to scan the entire magazine cover to cover, then go back and read each and every article and ad. Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Kelly

    I just received my huggable stitchable bear it is amazing and will make an incredible baptismal gift. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Kelly

    Ok I just read the post about the bears…should haven’t read that first, I will be stitching it and sending back for the kids in the hospital. New to the blog and the store.

  • suba suba

    Well I truly liked reading it. This post procured by you is very practical for accurate planning.

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