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Stitching Sisters

On the Road Again…

Atlanta was crippled last week under several inches of snow and ice. Mild winters are the norm there so it’s no wonder it took days to clear up the mess. I am just so thankful it happened last week because my Stitching Sister Marie and I are headed there on January 28. It’s our first visit to Georgia and we are so excited to connect with our southern embroiderers! Discover Sewing is host of this 2-day event and I understand the event is just about sold out so if you want to join us, please call them now, 877-497-2973! Click here for more information.  Click on newsletter to download more info.

You’ll learn over 50 techniques for making your embroidery look fabulous. And you don’t have to bring a thing! Brother is supplying the top-of-the-line embroidery machines so you’ll be stitching in pure luxury. Marie and I handle all of the supplies – so your success is guaranteed. The event is being held at the lovely Sheraton Perimeter North. I hope you’ll join us!

Two weeks after the Atlanta event, we’re heading back East to Langhorne, PA. Stony brook Sew & Vac is the host and they are a New Jersey dealer! So the Stitching Sisters – born and bred Jersey Girls – are going home! We won’t be alone – we’ll have three generations with us, our 82 year young Mom (I am her clone so if you want to know what I’ll look like when I’m 80+, come meet Betty!), a few other sisters (there are six of us – yes, all girls) and my daughter, Janelle. This event has only a couple of slots left, so call 609-372-4018 if you’d like to join us.

Marie and I are anxious to get back on the road and meet you. Last year, we did over 13 events and enjoyed every single one of them. We’ve met the most fabulous ladies – each one brings her own flair to every project and we love seeing all the different results. We’ve watched many students blossom and gain confidence in their embroidery skills after just the first day!

Here’s what some recent attendees had to say:

I attended your 2-day class in San Antonio last weekend. First, I would like to say, WOW, that was probably the most worthwhile class I have attended in a very long time. Thank you for your time, your great class and your great products.  Marcella Lagleder, Rio Medina, TX

Eileen and Marie,
Thanks so much for coming to KC! LOVED the event and all your stories/energy. WOW! It was awesome to have a brief two days to get to study under you and learn so much. LOVE the Stipple products and techniques. Looking forward to seeing you again!  Judy Brennan

Have you seen the new video showing projects found in Volume 66 Jan/Feb?  If you haven’t be sure to take a look on YouTube.  We know you don’t want to miss out so this week we’re giving away a one year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery! 

To be entered into the drawing post a comment under this posting telling us how you learned to embroider.  Did you learn from a family member, a video, a book?  Or maybe you just jumped in head first on the machine!  Post a comment by Jan 20th and you’ll be entered to win a one year subscription!   

Last week we wanted to know what your New Years resolution was.  The winner of the stitchable note cards is…Donna G.!

I make one resolution every year: Not to make resolutions! Actually, I set goals each year for various parts of my life so I have something to aim for. I don’t reach all of them, but at the end of year I can see what I have accomplished.”

Congratulations, Donna!

We recieved our first set of Project Gratitude cards this week!  Thank you Susan Walker for stitching out these adorable gifts for our troops.  We’ll start an album over on Facebook and post pics as they come in. 

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  • Beverley Hilton

    The first sewing I ever learned was embroidery, taught to me by my “Granny,” the wonderful woman hired by my Mom to be my babysitter. (Mom was a working woman, a registered nurse, back in the 40s!) Granny became much, MUCH more than a babysitter to me. She taught me embroidery stitches first, then got me some of those preprinted pillowcases and tablecloths to work on. I had some of them long into adulthood, until they were lost in 1976 in a house fire. While I lost much in that fire, it was those impossible-to-replace items that I miss most. After I had a pretty good grip on embroidery, she taught me to crochet. Embroidery is still a love today. Of course it’s done with far greater speed and perfection using an embroidery machine.

  • Donna G.

    I learned to hand embroider from my mother, who learned from her mother. In the mid-1990’s we both bought a computerized embroidery machine and took classes, read books and helped each other. Even now, almost 15 years later, we still enjoy getting together to talk about our newest projects and latest information!

  • Peggy Schroeder

    Hi Eileen,

    I am looking forward to you and Marie coming to Santa Rosa, California the end of March. I attended your seminar in Sacramento last year, and am so looking forward to this coming one. I have knee replacement surgery Feb. 9th, but timed the surgery so that I would be able to come to the seminar!! I don’t want to miss a thing—I have a friend who recently purchased a Babylock embroidery machine just like mine and she is going to the seminar with me. What fun!!!!


    • eileen

      Hi Peggy,
      How sweet of you to attend two Stitching Sisters seminars! The Santa Rosa event is shaping up quite nicely – please make sure you identify yourself so we can get a photo together!

  • Wien

    The first machine my Husband bought for me had an embroidery unit built in. After just a couple of months I realized that I wanted one that would embroider something bigger than 4″ x 4″. We bought a bigger one that did exactly that. The first night I had the new machine home I downloaded a design that we both loved but didn’t realize had 64 color changes!!!! Wow, it took over four hours to do that design but it was beautiful when finished!!!! I haven’t looked back since then. I can’t wait to retire so I can do this every single day.

  • Karla Tschida

    Twelve years ago I bought a used embroidery machine (a Babylock Espree EM1), some BBD design cards, some thread and stabilizer, and I just started embroidering! It was trial and error for a time, but then things started to click. A few months later I got the Internet (dial-up!) just so I could download designs.

    My first big project was embroidering kitchen linens for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law’s wedding shower. Everyone was so impressed and amazed with what I had done.

    • eileen

      Just like you, Karla, some of my early successes really gave me the confidence to keep learning. It sure has been a fun journey.

  • Danyl

    I just read the instruction book that came with my machine and learned as I went.

  • Karin

    I taught myself counted cross-stitch, but one day, at a craft show, I spent four hours, yes, FOUR HOURS, watching a Babylock dealer play with his machine & some toweling. Oh, was I hooked. We went to his store the very next day & came home with my first embroidery machine. Hubby watched the video & read the book, and I just sat down and started pushing buttons & feeding fabric.

    Boy, the mistakes I’ve made & the things I’ve learned along the way – probably could fill a book! I’m proud to say hubby is still buying me machines (I’m on my 3rd embroidery plus a serger) and supporting my habit…I mean hobby.

    Our little camper is simply over-run with fabric & embroidery supplies, and he just sits back and lets it happen. I love him so!

    • eileen

      Wow – he’s a treasure!

  • Gail Beam

    I bought my D1 on ebay and had to teach myself. I learned a lot from yahoo groups and did a lot of testing designs from a number of different digitzers who helped me learn a lot of different techniques. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned a lot from those mistakes.

  • Enis

    For sometime I had been wanting to take my sewing to a more creative level. Machine embroidery was just the ticket. I purchased my first machine and dug right into the books. I suppose I was self-taught, but then again, I got my hands on every book, video, class and group I could find to learn, learn, learn. I just purchased digitizing software, so now I’m off to learn that too. Jump in and dig, that’s the way I learned.

  • Shirley R

    My dear Grandmother taught me to hand embroider as a child; she was always making something for my “hope chest,” even when I was a little girl, so by the time I married, I had quite a collection of embroidered items, crocheted doilies and bed spreads. I first became acquainted with quilting as she and a friend we all called Grandmother Alley were hand quilting a quilt for me when I was about six or seven. I still have that quilt, it has been used for many years, a testimony to the exceptional work done by those ladies in those bygone years. Now, I am a senior citizen myself. Currently, I love machine embroidering with my Babylock Ellegante, and quilting is my second love.

  • Judy Forkner

    I did a little bit of hand embroidery when I was a little girl. Then when I was a young Mom, I took a class in adult education which touched on embroidery, needlepoint & macrame. Shortly after that I checked a book out from the library & dabbled a little more. Many years later (after the 1st grandchild), I purchased a Bernina 200 E, & have been enjoying emboidery more than ever. The shop where I bought my machine used to have Embroidery Club once a month to teach us how to use our machines. That was great, but they seem to have dropped that program. I have purchased a number of books about machine embroidery, which are great references when questions arise.

  • LeAnne

    I learned on my own for the first three years. I didn’t really get comfortable with embroidery until I took a 10-month class where I learned not to be afraid of my machine.

  • Mary L Haggenmaker

    I got started embroidering as a young girl. Since I am almost 75 you know that my beginnings were all by hand. My mother did a lot of hand embroidery including very large table cloths and of course pillow cases. When embroidery machines started coming out I got very excited and I considered a small used machine but it just wasn’t what I had really wanted. Ten years ago my husband thought he had talked me into getting a brand new one. (I let him think he talked me into it.) I recently purchased a new one and I just stay busy busy busy.

  • illyse

    My Bubby (grandmom) taught me how to hand embroider as a young child, she did beautiful work. As adult I got back into sewing 5 of years ago. I made a photo quilt for my Bubby’s 90th birthday. Going through pictures of her throughout the decades was fun. Seeing that she had bathing suits in the 60s and 70s that matched the curtains of the time, more funny than one can imagine. I wanted to put the quilt together and didn’t know how to machine quilt. I went searching… my local sewing store ASC with Barbara and Ann helped me pick out the right machine. I decorated as well as batted down the quilt with flowers matching both top and bottom sides of the quilt. Bubby LOVES it, she turns 95 this year and she wants a new quilt with the latest youngsters – it covers her with love at night. I have been hooked on embroidery ever since.

    • eileen

      That’s beautiful story, thanks for sharing. What a blessing to have Bubby for 95 years!

  • Sherrie

    Eileen – I have sewn since a high school “home ed” class, but I learned to embroider – on a machine! My neighbor has a Bernina with a small 4×4 embroidery area. we embroidered a baby’s name on a blanket and I was hooked! 3 years ago, I bought my Janome 10001 and have had more fun that I ever thought! Besides giving my sewing capabilities with ease than I even dreamed, I can embroider to my heart’s content. I still have my first sewing maching – it was a high school graduation gift (and used, already). I sewed on it for 35 years but it became more and more tempermental. I can now sew anything and embellish it and personalize it. So much fun! My goal is to learn more heirloom sewing so that my neices (and hopefully a granddaughter, someday) will have beautiful dresses from “Nana”. Thanks for your beautiful magazine. It is an inspiration!

  • Jean Hollis

    I pretty much learned machine embroidery on my own. I took a regular sewing machine into a local store (Lakeshore Sewing) for repairs. As I walked to the customer service counter, I passed an embroidery machine that was running. My feet kept going forward but my eyes were glued to the machine. I said, “I think I need to find out about this.” It was love at first sight.

    The following week was a sewing extravaganza will all the dealers in one place showing off regular sewing machines, embroidery machines, sergers, software and notions. I attended that with the idea that I wanted to see what was out there and which embroidery machine would be best for me. I did return to Lakeshore Sewing to buy my first machine (and second).

    They offer owners classes to encourage you to buy notions and supplies, but also to teach you tecniques and get you using your machine. I had already made some things before the first class came along and I’m still going strong. If I can get in under the pressure foot, I’ll try to embroider on it!

  • Kathi Miller

    My dear mother taught me to embroider when I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember embroidering pillowcases and then learning how to crochet the edges of them. In the late-70s I became a cross-stitch addict. With encouragement from a friend, I purchased my first embroidery machine in 2007 and was hooked from that point forward. I picked up the basics in owner classes provided by the shop where I bought my machine (Quilting Delights in Clackamas OR). After absorbing the basics, I learned by doing and before long even found myself teaching machine embroidery. I still have much to learn about the software so my education is a work in progress.

    Want to hear the sad part? I’ve purchased a second embroidery machine just over a year ago and switch off between the two machines. Sometimes though I have both of them stitching their little hearts out at the same time!

  • Myrna Leard

    I bought my first embroidery machine in 1999, then traded up to the Des. 1 in 2000 and retired in May 2000. I have learned a lot since then; I took classes at the retailer’s store and have bought books, most of them from Designs in Machine Embroidery. Three years ago, a friend taught me to hand embroider and I must say I don’t know which type I enjoy more. My only problem is finding enough time to do all the projects I plan on doing. I bought another embroidery machine a year ago so I do produce a lot of items at a time; both machines can be going as well as my hand embroidery, all at the same time.

  • Rhonda Gillette

    I brought my machine home, and immediately got out my manuals and started embroidering. I also started digitizing that same day with my new program. That was 10 years or more ago and I’m still loving learning more and more tech.
    Great prize this week. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway. : )

  • Susan Burns

    I learned to embroider by myself, and with the help of The Sewing Room in Tucson where I bought my machine. Caroline and Becky who work there are both GREAT and got me on my way. I was raised with an independant mom who had a no nonsence personality, and set aside no time for hobbys or crafts. She did teach us that if you want something, you better go get it yourself, as no one would get it for you. I certainly followed her advice when it came to embroidery, and bought a machine that would do it for me!

  • Kari

    My Mom got into computerized embroidery (though she had always done some sort of beautiful handwork, like crewel, as well). I didn’t think it was going to be for me until she showed me her embroidery software. I loved it! I started reading everything I could about machine embroidery. My favorite thing to do is digitize my own designs (well, actually my husband and daughter create the artwork and I digitize it).

    • eileen

      Awesome! Such team work!

  • Belinda

    My mother taught me to embroider. I don’t remember who old I was, but I do remember embroidering pre-stamped pillowcases. In the 80’s I taught myself to cross-stitch after seeing a friend cross-stitching. I purchased my first embroidery machine in 2000. I was living in Japan at the time and was back in the US having carpal tunnel surgery and recuperating at my best friend’s home. While I was there she was embroidering a blanket for a grandchild. I thought ” Wow, this is cool!”. I called mychusband in Japan and asked if it was ok to buy a “new” machine (it was the floor model) and he said if I would use it, I could buy it. Well, Duh, of course I would use it because it was also a “regular” sewing machine!! When he found out how much it cost he told my friend that “it had better sew by itself for that price”, to which my friend replied “it does”. I took 2 days of classes provided by the shop in 1 day (the day before I flew back to Japan). I basically learned by doing after I returned to Japan.

  • Liz W

    In jr. high a family friend taught me how to hand embroider & it has been a love affair with thread & cloth ever since. My husband bought me an embroidery machine 6 years ago & I am still learning all the in’s & out’s of machine embroidery. When I got my machine it came with a free class at the shop & that gave me the confidence to explore on my own. I’ve learned a lot from trial & error, & I read everything I can get my hands on at the library. I’m just starting to explore the world of blogs & am so excited by the wealth of information I’m finding! Thanks!

  • Mary

    I learned to had embroider when in elementary school, and then junior high. Mostly self taught. When my brother passed away, a little money was given to me and I knew he would like me to have a new sewing machine, thus, an embroidery machine was purchased and enjoying it very much and knew he would have liked to see what was being made on it.

  • Grace Chapa

    I am a self-taught machine embroiderer. For years I watched Aleene’s Craft Shows that featured the Janome Sewing Machines and when I came into a little money I bought an MC-10000. I do craft projects for gifts and keep up with techniques & supply info via various Yahoo groups and newsletters. YouTube is a great source of info and I subcribe to different newsletters and magazines. I just love this hobby!!

  • Mitzi

    I’ve dabbled in the graphic arts for many years. I got into machine embroidery when my husband saw a Bernina 180 Artista demonstrated at a county fair in California and thought it was the most fascinating thing he’d ever seen; he immediately bought me one, and the Designer software to go with it. I’ve upgraded both the machine and software and enjoy adding this design dimension to my quilting and other fiber art pursuits.

  • sjc

    I am a jump right in sort of person. I push buttons and see what happens. I was so anxious to machine embroider that I bought a Deco 500 when they first came out in the early 90’s. I didn’t even know you needed to stabilize the design…Duh! The fact that I was living overseas at the time meant I didn’t much access to training or information. I was lucky and found a list serve, the old BDD List, online and learned a lot from the folks on that list. I also found the earliest version of Designs in Machine Embroidery, I think it was called “Designs in Motion.” I still have those early magazines and consider myself lucky to have found this resource at a time when there were a lot fewer resources available. I still consider DIME to be a great resource for education, ideas, and inspiration. I look forward to each issue. Keep it coming!

  • Susan Weber

    I did hand embroidery while in high school and college but when I tried to embroider while I was pregnant I could not remember how. When the first embroidery machines came out I longed for one but knew we could not afford it. In 2001 my husband surprised me with my first Brother sewing/embroidery machine for Christmas. I was totally shocked that he had been listening to me. I took the classes to learn to use the machine and then virtually taught myself how to do many different types of embroidery on it. I watched a lot of videos and went to a lot of classes also. I have now upgraded to the Brother Quattro 6000D and am having so much fun.

  • Susan Weber

    I just received my DVD for Embrilliance Thumbnailer and I don’t know how I lived without it. I have been looking at all my designs using it and it is so nice to see the designs without actually going into PE Design. I also realized how many zipped files I need to unzip. Thank you so much for coming up with this software. This will make it so much easier to find just what I am looking for.

    • eileen

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying Embrilliance Thumbnailer. We can’t take credit for creating the product – it’s a nifty software by Briton Leap Inc.

  • Linid

    My husband bought me a machine with embroidery capabilities, (after he broke my old cast iron machine when he dropped it), so I looked at magazines, dove into it and have been hooked ever since. L

  • Cindy

    I sold a week of vacation at work and bought myself an embroidery machine. Learning to use it came by trial and error. I was very nervous when I first started, but have really enjoyed the things I have made.

  • Nancy

    Wow! Nearly every article in volume 66 included something I’d like to do. It’s not very often that I find that many articles in one issue that get my attention and keep it. I thoroughly enjoyed the YouTube video too!
    I learned to hand embroider from my grandmother. Crochet and cross stitch followed thereafter. I learned to machine embroider by teaching myself, with the help of magazines like DIME! The local PBS station rarely broadcasted any sewing programs, so magazines and books were my teachers.
    I started out with a small Kenmore embroidery machine about 15 years ago. I then purchased a Brother Disney ULT2002D machine and ran both of them for several years. Recently I graduated to a BabyLock Embroidery Professional Plus. 6 needles! What a luxury. I keep both the Brother and the BabyLock machines busy with personalized gifts, designs for my daughters’ team sports, the school’s science fair team, and my husband’s golf, fishing, bowling hobbies, as well as his uniform shirts for work. I try to carve out some time for garment sewing and quilts too.
    Several times through the years I’ve been asked to ‘teach’ my friends who own embroidery machines. while I have organized a couple of classes, I almost always refer them to your articles and products.
    Thank you Eileen for your magazine and your products.

  • Chrystie Pitts

    I started embroidering about 15 years ago. I’m still learning. I only do it as a fun way to chill out from a stressful day. It just amazes me to watch the design just appear out of nowhere. The way I got started was I was looking through a Crochet magazine and saw an add for the Brother PE 100 and told my husband I thought it would be fun to learn. He surprised me one afternood with the machine. We had no idea what we were doing!! The first thing I sewed out just blew me away! and I was hooked from that moment on. I still have a LOT to learn and would love to one day be able to design my own things…

  • Susan Slottke

    My mom didn’t sew but she did know hand embroidery. She taught me some basic stitches and gave me some floss and a few needles. I was probably about 8 or 9 years old. I taught myself from magazines and library books. For a long time I thought machine embroidery was cheating — well, until my husband bought me a small embroidery machine, and the rest is history! I love decorating things for my granddaughters, who always have opinions about what looks good and where it should go. They’re already doing small hand projects at ages 4 and 9.

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