My Most Rewarding Embroidery Task

J5Yesterday, I had the honor of embroidering my daughter’s white coat for her graduation ceremony at University of Texas, Pan American. Janelle has completed her Master’s degree and will be a certified Physician’s Assistant.

It’s been a long journey. Her path included several semesters spent in a cadaver lab during her undergraduate studies where her passion for medicine was ignited. That was followed by intense study to pass the GREs. Sweating out the application process (50 available seats for 1000 applicants) and then waiting for the acceptance letter.  The jubilation that her goals were within reach pushed her into the next phase: twenty-seven months immersed in medical studies – orthopedics, cardiology, obstetrics, gynecology, internal and pediatrics. Testing, testing, testing and finally, clinical rotations in the field. Last week, she passed her final exams with flying colors. Today, she graduates and will wear her white coat – monogrammed by her mom.

My life is a whirlwind often swirling so fast it’s hard to catch my breath. On Wednesday, Janelle brought me the white coat, fresh out of the shipping bag and asked me to embroider her name and credentials above the left pocket. She was kind enough to write it out for me first (and smart enough – maybe because she remembered just a few months ago when I embroidered linens for her friend’s wedding gift with the bride’s maiden initials! They look just great on my bed now). She dropped the coat (and her significant other’s) in my office and we went on to other tasks.

The next day, I looked at the pristine coat, tags still attached and thought about how hard it was to earn that coat. The sacrifices she made along the way and the sacrifices I made to get her through undergraduate school at the University of Oklahoma. As a single mom, I was determined to see both of my children graduate with a bachelor’s degree. It wasn’t easy but they both have succeeded.

Janelle did graduate school on her own and is now empowered to enjoy a career she loves. If she’s as lucky as me, she’ll never work a day in her life because she’ll love what she’s doing.

So, it was with great honor that I opened Perfect Embroidery Pro and clicked on the Text icon. I typed in Janelle Roche….in the properties box and scrolled through the fonts to the mini fonts.J7


I selected the Diana font and hit Apply.j1

Suddenly, there it was on the screen – all those years of preparation. I couldn’t wait to see it stitched.

I measured the pocket – 5” wide and adjusted the size of the text. I hooped tear-away stabilizer and similar fabric and stitched a test. Perfect!

I placed a target ruler above the pocket and inserted a target sticker into the hole. J3

I hooped the coat with tear-away stabilizer in Snap Hoop Monster, centered the needle over the sticker and pressed start. I have to confess, I stayed with the machine and watched it stitched every letter. I didn’t really relax until the machine stopped. Those mini-fonts in Perfect Embroidery Pro are perfect!J4

After clipping the thread tails and removing the stabilizer, I fingered the white cloth and experienced a little déjà vu remembering another white coat – her baptismal gown. Oh, how time flies.


Janelle and Kegan Milstead Graduation Day University of Texas, Pan Am, 2014

Related posts:

Follow Us On Facebook

55 Comments on My Most Rewarding Embroidery Task

  1. Lori Woodward
    December 13, 2014 at 6:24 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to Janelle and Kegan! What a great accomplishment, I know that you are proud.

    • judy merchant
      December 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm (5 years ago)

      Congratulations to Janelle. My son went back to school 10 years ago to become a Med Tech. He had 4 sons, who are now in college or Air Force, and he was4 45 years old and it wasn’t easy – but then not finding a job, went on to become a Physcians Assistant & is in Family Praactice and Wound Care for 2 years now. So know it isn’t easy.

    • Sandy Franklin
      January 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh I know how proud you are . Having happy successful kids are the best validation a parent could have. My two daughters have also attended Tx schools and are living their dreams with amazing careers. By the way I miss your Stitching Sister’s production soooo much. Are you ever coming back to Texas ? Best Regards Sandy Franklin, Huntington Beach Ca. ( orange county )

  2. Claudia Hall
    December 13, 2014 at 9:07 am (5 years ago)

    What a beautiful tale which has such a beautiful beginning of a new career at the end of their year! Congratulations!

  3. Nita W in OK
    December 13, 2014 at 10:51 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations Janelle, Kegan and Eileen!!

  4. Christine
    December 13, 2014 at 3:38 pm (5 years ago)

    you are to be congratulated….what a double accomplishment!!!!! cmc

  5. Dottie K
    December 13, 2014 at 9:04 pm (5 years ago)

    How exciting! Congrats to Janelle, Kegan and you, Eileen!
    Wonderful and so fulfilling.

  6. maria elena blecha
    December 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm (5 years ago)

    what a thrill, congratulations to you and them

  7. Lynda Ward
    December 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm (5 years ago)


  8. denise
    December 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm (5 years ago)

    Congratulations! You too mama, How proud you are of them! How exciting!

  9. Janet
    December 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm (5 years ago)

    How exciting for you and your family. Congratulations

  10. Aprille Sweatt
    December 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm (5 years ago)

    Congratulations! This brought tears to my eyes. My youngest daughter is about to begin that same journey. She will graduate high school as well as two years’ worth of college credits (which she earned in four years of high school time) in the spring and will begin her undergraduate studies next fall. I hope that I will be able to embroider her lab coat as well. I am older than most moms who have “children” the same age, so I hope to live long enough to join in her celebration. In the meantime, I embroider several items for her friends who admire the things that I embroider for her. I took a brief break from embroidering using my NEW DIME monster hoop, and I love it! THANK YOU for ALL of your help! I am sure that your daughter is very proud of YOU, just as you are so very proud of her. BEST WISHES!

  11. Barbara G.
    December 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm (5 years ago)

    How proud you must be. Congratulations to you & your daughter Janelle & Kegen also. It is so wonderful–what you all have gone thru & accomplished.

  12. Sandy D
    December 13, 2014 at 10:15 pm (5 years ago)

    I was so touched reading this. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  13. Jean
    December 13, 2014 at 10:42 pm (5 years ago)

    What a beautiful daughter and a touching story. Congratulations and all the best to Janelle.

  14. Cindy Baker
    December 13, 2014 at 10:59 pm (5 years ago)

    Oh Eileen, How very proud you must be of such a beautiful daughter. She looks much like her mama.
    Congratulations to both of them. What a great day to embroidery such an important thing on a jacket for them.
    I am sure you will all have a wonderful Christmas. And they are looking forward to a great new year.

    Btw. I love my Baby lock ellisimo gold I got when you were in Tucson.

  15. Cathy
    December 13, 2014 at 11:21 pm (5 years ago)

    Congrats to you and your daughter
    Absolutely fabulous

  16. Donna Siler
    December 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm (5 years ago)

    Thinking of you Eileen and so glad you have had this wonderful experience!

  17. Karen Roop
    December 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm (5 years ago)

    Oh, what a beautiful Christmas story. Congratulations to you and your beautiful daughter.

  18. Sandy P
    December 13, 2014 at 11:45 pm (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to your daughter and to you for being such a great mother.

  19. Kathe pollard
    December 14, 2014 at 12:25 am (5 years ago)

    My best embroidered item was for my husband’s business logo on his work coat. It pleased me when he asked because he is fussy and now felt I would know how to do a good job. Wish i did. Good feeling.

  20. Karen Poole
    December 14, 2014 at 1:37 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to your daughter and her significant other on their fantastic accomplishment!! And congratulations to Mom for raising such a successful young lady!

  21. usairdoll
    December 14, 2014 at 1:50 am (5 years ago)

    What a wonderful accomplishment! Congratulations to Janelle and Keagan! Congratulations to you too Mama, hehe.

  22. Denyse Rose
    December 14, 2014 at 3:30 am (5 years ago)

    In this age where the news seems to concentrate on kids who do such awful things, it is so much pleasure to hear of one who worked so hard and took the bull by the horns, reaching her goal and making you (and herself) so proud. Her life will be fulfilling not only because she will be doing something she loves, but because she will have faith in her abilities to finish whatever she tackles. I also think you deserve so much credit, because being the mother of two who have also succeeded, I know you have helped her along the way with questions she must have had, pep talks when thinks got a bit rough, and just giving those much needed hugs from time to time. Congratulations to BOTH of you for all your success. The future looks very bright for you both from where I sit! Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!!

  23. Roxanne
    December 14, 2014 at 5:29 am (5 years ago)

    What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing and Congratulations to all!

  24. Linda lee
    December 14, 2014 at 6:50 am (5 years ago)

    What a fabulous and heartfelt story. Congrats to you, Janelle and Kegan. As a single mom – you did a wonderful job with Janelle’s education and you are certainly to be commended. The jackets turned out great. It was even good to hear that even you pros get antsy or nervous when you embroider on something special…there is so much that can go wrong.

  25. Karen LaMendola
    December 14, 2014 at 7:39 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to you and your daughter and all the graduates!!! Time to start the next adventure.

  26. Sharen Dahlke
    December 14, 2014 at 8:17 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to you and your daughter. A job well done.

  27. susana M
    December 14, 2014 at 8:27 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to you and all your family,this proves that
    the fruit never falls far from the tree.Great mama,great daughter.
    Enjoy your Christmas & hope we see more goodies in the New Year.
    Thanks for sharing.

  28. Shea
    December 14, 2014 at 9:40 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations Eileen on a job well done, both with your kids and the coat. I know just how challenging putting a child through college as a single mom can be as I did the same thing (also requiring that Bachelor’s Degree). You deserve a big pat on the back. A huge one. Thank you for sharing the story and I grinned at the part about you babysitting the stitch out. Can’t say that I blame you! Merry Christmas and I’m looking forward to more adventures in the coming new year!

  29. Bonnie Gray
    December 14, 2014 at 10:10 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to all! Time flies – I remember Janelle inyour early issues of Designs! My how she has grown up!

  30. M
    December 14, 2014 at 10:26 am (5 years ago)

    This is a beautiful post from a beautiful mom about a beautiful daughter! It brought tears to my eyes. Made me think of my son’s hard work and all I have done to do to as much for him as I can. You deserve to enjoy this wonderful embroidery project!!!

  31. Joni Weed
    December 14, 2014 at 10:52 am (5 years ago)

    I am so happy for you and Janelle. As someone who worked in the hospital from High School, through college and then beyond, I know she will have a rewarding life that will make many happy and semi sweet memories. May you both be happy in that small embroidery that will last a lifetime!

  32. Cathie Paski
    December 14, 2014 at 11:13 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations! Years of hard work do pay off! What a great embroidery project.

  33. Selena Wright
    December 14, 2014 at 11:23 am (5 years ago)

    What a great accomplishment for you and your daughter! Congratulations!

  34. Doree Shandera
    December 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm (5 years ago)

    What a thrill that was to watch that embroider out. Congratulations to your daughter and also to you Eileen. A JOB WELL DONE!!!!

  35. Erin
    December 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm (5 years ago)

    Not only congratulations to Janelle & Kegan, but mega congrats to Mom (Eileen)! I too was a single mom (six years), my career was in acute care hospitals (health information management), and my son’s father is a physician. Know what it takes to get through medical training and certification, and know the challenges of bringing up children on your own. God carried me through and I believe He did the same for you.

  36. Robin Sankbeil
    December 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm (5 years ago)

    Isn’t this the best feelings? Who knew when you bring your baby into the world that that feeling could even be duplicated, but with more zeal?
    Congratulations to your daughter, and your family! Enjoy this feeling because as life happens, we sometimes forget the joy right in front of us.

    Wishing her a lifetime of successes! Regards, Robin Sankbeil

  37. Judy O
    December 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm (5 years ago)

    congrats!!! My daughter is a PA also. Most people do not realize it is harder to get into PA school than medical school!! Loved ur post.

  38. Gail Beam
    December 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm (5 years ago)

    Congartulations to you and your daughter!

  39. marie zinno
    December 14, 2014 at 2:58 pm (5 years ago)

    Awesome!We are all so proud of Janelle. Beautiful embroidery Eileen.

  40. Royce Zook
    December 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to you both! Such a moment to be proud of and to be a participant with a memorable honor of more than being the mother. Once more providing an adornment for your daughter to wear.

  41. Terry senko
    December 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to each of you! Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

  42. Maxine Macal
    December 15, 2014 at 12:36 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations and blessing to you and your family Happy Holidays. With much love Maxine
    I will be at the Ricky Tim’s event in San Antonio and also at Sew Special event next month.

  43. Maxine Macal
    December 15, 2014 at 12:41 am (5 years ago)

    I forgot to tell you Edinburg, TX. is where I grew up and attended Pan American when I graduated from High School at the age of 16 years. What a small world.

  44. Susan
    December 15, 2014 at 7:18 am (5 years ago)

    What a wonderful blessing for all of you. Congratulations!

  45. Sharon R
    December 15, 2014 at 11:35 am (5 years ago)

    What a beautiful story! I hope to do the same for my daughter’s coat when she graduates as a Nurse Practitioner, but can’t seem to find out if her college does a white coat ceremony. Online blogs are mixed about preferences for even wearing the white coat once licensed.

  46. Nancy Zieman
    December 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm (5 years ago)

    I cried! Congratulations to mom and daughter.
    Your WI friend.

  47. Carol Seavitt
    December 17, 2014 at 7:37 pm (5 years ago)

    May they have wonderful success and joy!

  48. Lisa S
    December 18, 2014 at 9:59 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  49. Karen W
    December 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm (5 years ago)

    Congrats to Janelle! I just completed a “4 Seasons Tree” wallhanging for my husband’s surgeon. It was an undertaking, as the pcs were cut from the Accuquilt “Heather Feather” dies & each piece then arranged to make the shape of a tree. Using embroidery designs from Sarah Vedeler, I embroidered each component in a variety of embroidery motifs & outer edges. This project made me practice centering, orientation & isolating individual components within each design, using colors to indicate the 4 seasons. I have to admit I was scared of making a mistake, but I’m so glad for the experience.

  50. Becky Thompson
    December 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm (5 years ago)

    What a wonderful accomplishment for your daughter!! I can only imagine how proud you were to do that project for her. The gift of giving is special for both the giver and recipient. Congrats!

  51. Beth R
    December 28, 2014 at 12:12 am (5 years ago)

    Congratulations to your daughter on her accomplishment and sticking to making it to her goal! Her hard work has paid off, and I hope she has a wonderful and successful career.

  52. Ellie Stratton
    December 30, 2014 at 7:19 am (5 years ago)

    My heartiest Congratulations to you and your daughter. Definitely, It would have been a great moment for you to embroider on your daughter’s white coat. It is a good achievement for your daughter.

  53. Lucy Anderson.
    August 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm (2 years ago)

    I remember meeting your daughter on the sewing cruise. Pete was along and you two were engaged. Since then your wedding and Janelles graduation. how busy you’ve been.

    Congratulations all around on a busy 5 successful years absolutely packed with embroidery opportunities.

    Lucy Anderson


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *