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Color and Design Just for Fun Seminars and Conventions

I’m so proud of my students from the Sew Expo!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

What do you get when you mix three embroidery designs, 100 fabrics, dozens of trims and 30 creative people? 30 gorgeous, different pincushions!  I just returned from four fun-filled days at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington where I taught a hands-on class on how to make these three-tiered pincushions as featured in the book Posh Pincushions, In-the-Hoop Floral Pincushions.   Take look at my students’ very creative pincushions!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

No two were alike, and every pincushion was gorgeous. This class involved very little stitching so it was quite different than the classes I normally teach. The pincushion class involved more ‘crafting’ (pressing, turning, stuffing, trimming) than embroidery so it was quiet.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The calming atmosphere invited everyone to get to know each other and enjoy a little peace and solitude during a very busy show.


This week’s assignment:

As I mentioned in this blog, the pincushions are so addicting to make.  There are endless variations you can come up with.  Now think back on all the embroidery projects you have made.  Is there a project that comes to mind that was so much fun and addicting to make you had to make more… and more?

Post a comment for a chance to win the book, Machine Embroidered Monograms for the Home.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Machine Embroidered Monograms for the Home includes a CD with embroidery designs– including alphabets and frames that you can use to personalize everything for your home.  (Yet a wonderful new addiction!)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Do you remember the day you bought your first embroidery machine?  Tell us about that big event.  One comment will be randomly drawn to win a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

We received so many heart-warming comments.  Thank you so much for sharing the memory of purchasing your first embroidery machine.  We are truly touched.

We randomly chose the following winner:  
Suzan Maxwell:

“I remember my first machine! I watched my last child Amber off to College, I decided to start a Monogramming Business, so after researching for a year…I bought Big Momma, my Babylock EMP6.

I had never even sewn much less turned on a Large piece of machinery.  Oh yeah, nor did I know a thing about computers, I looked at her for one week before I even turned her switch to on. That has been 7 1/2 years ago..Monogram Madness was born along with a thriving business. I now have Big Daddy a Brother PR650. I love love love my MACHINES!!!” – Suzan Maxwell

Suzan, what a great example you are to everyone!  You didn’t let the obstacles of not knowing how to sew or use computers prevent you from achieving great accomplishments through your embroidery business.  Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.  Give our best regards to “Big Momma and Big Daddy!”





  • Mitzi

    Freestanding Lace angels! So much fun to make and give!

    • Virginia

      Hoopsisters quilt projects. Everytime they come out with a new design I have to try it out. It is so addicting.

    • Tammy

      my very first design I did on my machine, it just got me started on being addicted to machine embroidery!!

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    3D flowers are the things that are addicting to me because I can use colors that the recipient likes and they always look different.

  • Wanda White

    My first embroidery machine was a husqvarna Rose. I traded it within the year to the D1. I traded the D1 on my Designer Diamond and am loving the embroidery. I have always wanted an embroidery machine and was able to afford one later in life!

  • Margaret Pepper

    I made an Owl Pincushion! It was so fun to make.When I started choosing the fabrics for it I found so many fat quarters I forgot I had!

  • Beth R

    Fabric poinsettias with the petals done on the embroidery machine! They take some time to put together, but I LOVE them; after making a few Christmas wreaths using the flowers, I started more for a table wreath – still have to finish that one!

  • Paula Roney

    When I made my first in the hoop project,which was a monogramed key ring purchased from Five Star Fonts, I was hooked. My family and friends all got monogramed key rings because they were so fast and easy. I love making in the hoop projects that are so fast and easy!!!!

  • Carol Seavitt

    Bookmarks … designs with personalized names. Gave them as Christmas gifts, friend gifts, birthday gifts. Whew! So much fun.

  • Jennifer j

    Burp cloths. I work with many young mothers and newly weds so there are babies hatching all the time. They are much needed yet soooo cute and unique. they are almost expected at showers now. I’ve been able to even sell them in little boutiques and gift shops in hospitals too.

  • Connie Walsh

    My project would be the in-the-hoop microwavable “heat pads” that I made family and friends this past Christmas. I made them in the shape of a hot water bottle, used flannel for the outside fabrics, personalized them with a name or monogram, lined them with batting and muslin, added quilting lines, and filled them half full with shelled field corn. They heat up nicely in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes and hold their heat for about an hour. I love to use mine in the evening on my neck or lower back.

  • Barb King

    I just recently made a small purse tote, it was to be something an older friend could carry her Bible in to church, but she decided it made a nice purse. Really enjoyed making it. Went to the work of quilting my own fabric that coordinated with the Cross/rose design I embroidered on it. Now I plan on making more. Every since buying my first embroidery machine in July of 2009 I’ve been addicted to embroidery, I’ve sewn since I was about 8 when my mother taught me how on her machine.

  • gayle Hill

    I just love In The Hoop Projects, once I start I can’t stop. I especially like making hair clippies and I don’t even have a girl, so I have started giving them away. Machine embroidery is so addictive. Love it!!!!!

  • Kandy Lewis

    I think 3 d flowers and doorhangars for Halloween. Family and friends really enjoyed both. Then there was the towels I did for kids and they really enjoyed those.

  • Gail Beam

    I love doing projects that have to do with machine embroidery applique. Every project looks different because you can use so msny different fabrics, threads, and trims.

  • Charlotte Brincat

    I would have to say In The Hoop pouches. I have made so many of them. I might never have tried them because of the fear of messing up the zipper. Now I always have extras done up because they make such great little gifts 🙂

  • Terri Vanden Bosch

    I love to do the days of the week dishtowels–they make great gifts and by doing redwork type designs I can usually get whole set finished in an afternoon.

  • Pat Janowiak

    I am so addicted to Pincushions and am always looking for new ones. Was so pleased to see that you had made this the centerpiece of one of your classes. They all look beautiful!

  • Robin Welsh

    The most fun projects I have had were stitching on toilet paper. It is so fun to watch peoples reactions to it! I also love FSL projects and anything I can give as a special unique gift for people I love.

  • Janet L.

    I love in the hoop projects. Making play felt food was crazy fun. I made fried eggs, bacon, and waffles. Then made a hamburger with all the fixins’.

  • Cathy Griffin

    One of the most fun projects I have ever done was to make fabric dolls that were given to the Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department to be given to children experiencing trauma. They are a simple rag doll pattern with yarn hair and sewn on or drawn on faces. Part of the pattern is the dress if a girl or overalls if a boy doll. A group of ladies from our church got together and made these unique, simple little dolls to comfort children in need.

  • le floch, anne

    In the Hoop candy cane holders, I liked making them so much, that between halloween and Xmas, I made roughly 110 of them, all dispatched all over the world.

  • Linda Coleman

    In the hoop wallets, they are a great little extra in a present

  • Joan Davidson

    The pin cushions your students made are totally awesome. Lots of very creative ideas. The 3D nature of them looks complicated, but I am sure it is not. Such a wonderful idea.

  • sharon F.

    After I made my first mug rug, which was also my first ITH project, I knew I had added another layer to my ME addiction!

  • Patty Sack

    In the hoop cosmetic bags! I couldn’t make enough of them! Everyone wanted one.

  • Patricia Chambers

    I wanted to learn to make lace. I started embroidering when I was 74 years old. I took one step at a time. I saw this beautiful Christmas bulb wrapped in lace. I said to myself, can I do that? Yes! I have made many now and everyone is in awe over them. They are so simple yet beautiful and done in the hoop.

    • eileenroche

      Just goes to show you, we’re never too old to start a new challenge. I’ll bet your embroidery hobby keeps you young, Patricia.

  • Doree Shandera

    I made a 3D book by OESD and it was so fun that I ended up making 8 more! Potatoe bags for the microwave is another one that I made a lot of. Quick, easy, and so very usefull.

    • eileenroche

      OESD’s 3D book is to die for! What an awesome technique!

  • Carol Howell

    I often sew for charity and I got hooked on Tea Towels. I’m always looking for new embroideries, fabric and ribbon to add to them. I always gift them to my friends and family too!

  • Sue Duisenberg

    Having had an embroidery machine since 1995(and up graded 4 times–each one to be my last) I have been hooked on embroidery a long time. each time a new in-the-hoop project shows up I have have it. coin purses have been a great item for all the nieces and grand children. but then, they have them! And, I have to find something new. this year for birthdays they are getting door hangers with their names and a flower or design I know they are interested in. I keep thinking I will do something else but I am pulled to the machines. I have done quilt squares, Christmas Ornaments, window sun catchers, plus, plus plus. Love it! thank you for keeping us creative.

  • Jean

    I make alot of flour sack towels for gifts. I enjoy digitizing new designs to personalize the towels for the recipient.

  • Bernice Keller

    I love ith cosmetic bags or Kleenex holders. So cute, functional and easy to do.

  • betsy

    I teach an embroidery class for beginners. This could be a great class! We did placement first – using your great guides. Love those!

    • eileenroche

      Thanks, Betsy, glad the Perfect Placement Kit helped you and your students.

  • Dee

    I became addicted to the tissue holders that say “God Bless You” Made for friends and for many committees at church as favors for luncheon. Just can’t stop!

  • Margaret Ann

    Making free standing snowflakes at Christmas is addictive. I make them for my tree and to give away to friends. I include them in Christmas cards or tie one on a gift.

  • Karen

    I Have done lots of lace items, towel toppers, and hooded baby towels.

  • Lillian Moser

    I love doing machine embroidery applique. It makes each outfit a one-of-a-kind, especially when monogrammed.

  • Darlene Jacolik

    I started making monogram bookmarks last year and ended making 2 or 3 of each family member’s initial, so that they could pick the color they liked. It was so much fun making them and giving them.

  • Linda

    The In the hoop zipper bags, I couldn’t stop making them! all styles and colors, made them for family and friends and will begin making them soon for my sunday school classmates.

  • Nancy B

    Beer koosies! I personalize them for my friends. Whenever someone else sees them, they request one for themselves. So easy to stitch. Some are their names, some want monograms. Some want a theme, etc. the options are endless and my friends love them! I love their reaction when they receive their gift!

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    I have really become addicted to the free standing lace. At Christmas time I make bells and then when I am finishing them off I put one of those “jingle” bells in it so it really rings. My grand daughter’s baby shower gave me a chance to make one of the beautiful bibs of free standing lace with flowers on it.

  • Jacque

    From Five Star Fonts the heart coin purse. I love it and it is quick and I have made several for friends and I keep making them – I love them and I get excited about picking out material for them and finding just the right lining to match. I love most in the hoop projects but this one is my all time favorite that I will keep doing over and over and never tire of it.

  • Kathy

    I enjoy making greeting cards by stitching on cardstock. I am glad there are so many designs to use from redwork to designs digitized for cards. They are so adictive that sending out cards are even more special!

    • eileenroche

      Kathy, there’s nothing as touching as a handwritten note in a personalized card. I’m sure you’re sending smiles across the country.

  • Colleen Bell

    Those free standing snowflakes have got to be it!!! My daughter and I fell in love with these when we purchased my sewing machine and we haven’t stopped making them. We make them and give them away for any reason we can think of. We gave them to each of our librarians as a Christmas thank you card and one of the librarians collected everyones and is making a quilt from them. Obviously she loved them as much as we do.

  • jane moffitt

    hi eileen i met you at the sewing expo in puyullup at the quality sewing booth. i was the one with the embroidery block. i brought your embriodery was so nice to meet you in person.i remember my first embroidery machine it was about 7 years ago it was viking with a card that you had to down load a design to the card then you could stitch it out. now i have two machines that embroidery my viking designer se & my brother 600 i love doing embroidery.

    • eileenroche

      Thanks for stopping by the blog, Jane. It was great to meeting at Puyallup! Keep stitching!

  • charlene phillips

    I remember the excitement buying my first embroidery machine. My sister went with me for her guidance. She used one for years! Loved it and now on nh third one. Each just gets better and loads more fun. Am very addicted to embellishing my quilts. One Christmas everyone at work got their very embroidered roll of toilet paper. Love to try embroidering on anything! Balsa wood is just unbelievable. Anything that stands still, I will embroider!

    • eileenroche

      Hi Charlene, I’ll try to remember not to stand still if I ever get the chance to meet you! I don’t want to wind up in your hoop!

  • Sandy L

    It esd good to see you at Puyallop and was so glad to get two more stipple embroidery CD’s.I just upgraded to the hus. diamond. I love in the hoop projects and the zipper pouch was awesome. Now I will be availing myself to get totally addicted to pincushions after seeing the exampls of your students and I want to do the tissue covers for handouts for homeless next christmas. Thankyou for all you do and the insirations.

    • eileenroche

      Hi Sandy! Thank you for your kind comments!

  • Evelyn Gonzzlez

    My first machine embroidery project that really got me hooked was a purse/clutch with 3D applique flowers, vines and leaves. Gorgeous! Easy to make! Couldn’t stop making them — everybody who saw one asked for one!

  • Tina Williams

    Well, I just started Machine Embroidery the middle of Jan 2012, So it has been 2 months? Well, The first embroidery design I did on a sweatshirt was a groovy owl from Embroidery Library, I was totally hooked!! I love doing the in the hoop projects, as a matter of fact I got Designer Handbags today and I can’t wait to do one!!! I have been trying to learn all I can. The bags are so gorgeous in the videos, will see how I do!! Thanks

  • eileenroche

    Hi Tina! Sounds like you’re having a lot of fun. Take your time on the Designer Handbags, watch the video and read the instructions before starting on a bag. Take your time, they’re not meant to be finished in a flash. But the results are very professional – that’s the look you’re going for with Designer handbags. Let us know how you make out – post photos on our Facebook page, we love to see what everyone is stitching!

  • Marcene Lay

    We had so much fun at Expo this year and your class was the topper on the cake! Thanks for being there and having this class. Expo is awesome but after 4 days of non-stop go, I’m sure you were ready for it to be over. Thanks again, it was so much fun I went to Quality and picked up the book after Expo was over. I think you got me hooked and this will be one of those more and more projects. (I’m the silly person who thought she could untangle the embroidery floss.)


  • eileenroche

    Hi Marcene! I remember you – you made a gallant effort with that unruly floss. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  • Donna G.

    One year I made free standing lace Christmas ornaments, and like potato chips, I couldn’t stop at one! They were so much fun and so easy to do. No thread changes, no worry about design placement, and so many compliments – what else could I ask for in a project?

  • Judy Wentz

    I just love making FSL Angels. I also like to make little ITH zippered purses for my granddaughters.

  • Coreen Holle

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  • Jeff Kamstra

    This is really great tips i will link this information to my blog, keep posting!

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