What does it take?
They say if you choose a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. But if you take a closer look, even your favorite hobby can become frustrating. There are the days the needle breaks, bird’s nests inexplicably happen and you make bad thread color choices on the very last remnant of fabric you had for a special project. Dwelling on those frustrations doesn’t do any good—except to learn from them.
There are also the momentous days when you complete a project and it looks fantastic. Or those days when you learn and master a new technique on your embroidery machine or you learn a shortcut in your embroidery software.
The tiring days along with the triumphant days of accomplishment; get woven together to create a wonderful and unique story about our lives. That is what has happened at Designs in Machine Embroidery.
(Left to Right) Stephanie Sanders, Eileen Roche, Gary Gardner, Sandy Griggs, Denise Holguin, Samuel Solomon celebrated their 100th issue by taking a cooking lesson at Sur La Table
A wonderful story of hard work, big dreams and even a little bit of crazy made it possible for Designs in Machine Embroidery to start with Volume 1 and progress to Volume 100.
The magazine would not happen without a dedicated team. The team is led by Editor and Founder, Eileen Roche and her business partner, Gary Gardner.
Samuel Solomon, the Creative Director, has been with the magazine since Volume 6.
Aside from being the magazine historian (we often go to him and ask, ‘do you remember what issue the embroidered project was in?’) he is responsible for laying out each page from cover to cover. He’s also responsible for the cover. Plus Sam is our go-to for last minute ideas and special details. “Hey! Let’s add decorative flags to our celebratory cupcakes for our 100th issue. Sam! Will you make them…now?”
For this photo shoot, we stacked all 100 issues in the scene with our special decorated cupcakes
Details take more time but they make the difference! You’ll find this “Simply Charm-ing” project by Katherine Artines on page 40 of Volume 100.
Sam, Eileen and Managing Editor, Denise Holguin, spend a good portion of their time planning the cover. The beauty is in the details—from selecting the cover project, to determining how the project should be photographed and what text and colors should go on the cover. If you’re not a detail person, you might say, “it’s just a quilt”, or “it’s just a garment” but it’s more than a quilt or a garment. It’s a project we have selected because it represents what our magazine is about and also our hope for what will inspire you.
If you have Volume 100 handy, take a look at the front cover. It has a beautiful silver sheen to commemorate our 100th issue. This is also the very first issue we’ve published without a project or model on the front cover.
Once you open the cover, you’ll see the contributions of Eileen, Denise and a talented team of writers who stitch original projects to inspire and educate our readers.
In Eileen’s spare time, she contributes to every issue with a project or article. You might ask, with such a busy schedule, why not outsource all the projects? Why should Eileen spend her time stitching? The answer is simple: It’s fun! She loves to create, design and develop new embroidery techniques she can share with you. She remains as passionate about machine embroidery as she began with Volume 1.
Volume 1 of Designs in Machine Embroidery. Yes, Eileen made that beautiful butterfly quilt!
Eileen used vintage linens to make this project – it’s one of our favorite creations she’s made over the years.
Left: Eileen purchased this hoodie and added the “LOVE” applique. It’s #cute and #cool enough for even the toughest of critics! Right: Eileen understands her readers love t-shirts but want to look fashionable while wearing them. This t-shirt remake meets that goal.
This love has also spread to Managing Editor, Denise Holguin who has launched her first-time project series, “Subtle Tees.”
Here’s a behind the scenes look at the photo shoot for Subtle Tees. If you had seen Denise at the shoot, she was ready to spontaneously combust with the excitement of having her garments photographed. We’ll feature more t-shirt behind the scenes in an upcoming blog.
You remember this blog began with doing what you love. Denise is an avid photographer and is generally seen carrying two cameras around her neck. Choosing the first theme for her Subtle Tees series was an obvious choice. She found a way to incorporate her love for photography with embroidery.
Stephanie Sanders began working for Designs in Machine Embroidery when she was still Stephanie Stubbs. She started her career in our Circulation Department (with Volume 12), answering the phone, entering subscription orders and handling the day-to-day duties of magazine circulation. Now she handles our accounting department and countless other duties too numerous to mention! So many large and small tasks magically get complete because of Stephanie’s efforts. She recently got married and now has a baby girl we hope to recruit for the magazine someday!
As ubiquitous as we think machine embroidery has become, it’s still a niche market. Learning about the latest embroidery products and innovations from reputable sources is made much easier by flipping through the pages of Designs in Machine Embroidery. Sandy Griggs, our Advertising and Sales Manager, has been responsible for building relationships with our advertisers.
The magazine could not be printed without the support of our advertisers. Every advertiser featured has contributed to the magazine’s success. We have the privilege of informing you of new embroidery products and innovations that will fuel your creativity.
We also love the new innovations because it fuels our passion to create new projects. From improved hardware and software to a broader selection of stabilizers and threads and a wonderful array of embroidery designs that span every conceivable theme or interest you can imagine.
Speaking of designs, the clever innovation of in-the-hoop embroidery designs is a relatively new development. Who would have imagined taping fabric to the underside of the hoop as you stitch? In the early days we were too busy stitching teddy bears on our garments.
One of our favorite in-the-hoop designs that is functional and can also be displayed as art! The project was made by Tari Intardonato for Embroidery Online and was featured in Volume 99.
We’d like to hug all the innovators in the industry for helping the market grow.
What good is producing content if no one is willing to purchase a magazine? We are grateful to our readers who have supported us through the years. Many of our readers have been faithfully supporting the magazine since Volume 1. Whether you have been with us since Volume 1, started halfway or just picked up a copy recently, we are grateful.
This has been our small but mighty team’s livelihood for 17+ years. During those years, our kids have become adults, we’ve been blessed with marriages and even babies. We’re all a little older and wiser but one thing remains the same. Machine embroidery is our shared passion and we can’t wait to bring you another 100 issues!
Eileen Roche, Samuel Solomon, Denise Holguin, Stephanie Sanders, Sandy Griggs
As a special token of our gratitude, please enjoy this free applique heart embroidery design.