Archive of ‘Marie Zinno’ category

Sharing the Craft   

What’s the best part of sewing? Inspiring others to learn the craft. Sometimes the ‘inspiration’ is subtle, not deliberate. You don’t have to sit someone at a machine and show them how to operate it. No, inspiration can happen by osmosis. Just exposing someone – specifically family members at a young age – to sewing. Leaving the sewing room door open, welcoming them into your creative space and answering questions.

Mothers and daughters can lock heads when it comes time to teach sewing. In fact, in many households, the love of sewing skips a generation.  But not always.  My niece, Lindsey Zinno (daughter of my infamous stitching sister, Marie Zinno), is the proud maker and owner of The Northern Market. Lindsey created NM to provide multi-functional fiber art for the modern home and lifestyle.  Her work is sold online and in boutiques across America and Europe.  And she started this company at the ripe old age of 17 – yes, SEVENTEEN!

Marie has always left her sewing room door open to Lindsey encouraging her to find her way and explore different mediums.  Lindsey witnessed Marie succeed in her commercial embroidery business and joined the Stitching Sisters on the road.  I think she couldn’t help being inspired by her surroundings.  

Today, she’s featured on Nancy Zieman’s blog as she was a guest on Sewing with Nancy. How did that come about? Well, I happened to be taping with Nancy in November 2016 when Marie sent me a link to a local newspaper story about Lindsey and The Northern Market. I showed Nancy and she was intrigued with Lindsey craftsmanship and minimalist style.  She wondered if Lindsey would like to be guest on Sewing with Nancy.  Not many people turn down that offer.

Lindsey’s success is due to her creative, open spirit. As a youngster, she was forever dabbling in art – drawing, painting, sculpting and music. She was like a sponge, drawing inspiration from everything and everyone around her. It was no surprise that she took to making rope baskets under the tutelage of another one of my sisters, Mary Pat Palombo (the oldest of my five sisters and the first stitcher).  While visiting Mary Pat, Lindsey watched her wrap clothesline with fabric and then sew the wrapped cord into baskets. Lindsey jumped into action and quickly made the technique her own.

Like many of today’s makers, she started selling her work on Etsy. As she poured her heart and soul into every stitch, The Northern Market’s popularity grew. She will graduate from the University of Cincinnati this spring and then, heaven knows what’s next for her.

You can watch Lindsey and Nancy as they share these techniques with you on, Rope Sewing Reinvented on Sewing with Nancy.  Click here to watch online now.

Thanks for letting me toot my horn – I’m so proud of Lindsey!

What Can You Learn in 60 Minutes?

In 60 minutes, you can learn everything you need to know about quilting with your embroidery machine. When can you do that? Tomorrow’s the big day!  if you’ve been wanting to learn how to quilt with your machine, register for my webcast with Sulky on Thursday evening (March 23, 2017) at 9:00 PM EDT, 8:00 PM CDT and 7:00 PM PDT.

You’ll learn everything from raw edge applique to custom quilting to overall quilting. I’ll give you three options for handling the quilt bulk while achieving perfect placement on every hooping.  Plus, you’ll learn what type of designs work on blocks and large negative spaces.

Included in this hour of education, is a downloadable continuous line design for 6” x 10” hoops*, a downloadable guide to my secrets of continuous line quilting on an embroidery machine plus a question and answer period at the end of the webcast.

Michelle Umlauf, Sulky National Educator, will be our webcast coordinator (which means she’s been keeping me on track for several weeks). She’s a stitch wizard herself as you can see if you visit her blog at  She’ll be joined by Sulky veterans Patti Lee, Ellen Osten  and Kelly Negal (like I can teach them anything!).

I conned, I mean asked, my Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, to help with questions during the webcast. So if you’re on the webcast and know Marie, give her a shout out. And while you’re at it, ask her a trick question – like how many inches of thread are on a Sulky 820 meter spool!  Oh boy, am I going to pay for that!

Today, we had a run through to make sure your experience is educational, comfortable and informative. It went very well with a ‘mock’ audience of 5 or 6 attendees. Intentionally, mock questions were sent and fielded by Patti, Kelly, Marie and Michelle. At one point, I had a vision of the infamous Lucy & Ethel episode at the chocolate factory.  You remember the one, the chocolates fly down the conveyor belt so fast, Lucy and Ethel can’t keep up with it. That was my vision today and hopefully, it won’t be like that tomorrow night.

Sounds like a funny moment, right? Well, the spirit at Sulky is one of fun and lightheartedness. I guess they were just trying to ease everyone’s jitters (technical difficulties can really rattle the nerves) because the first question that appeared on the screen was, “Who let the dogs out?”

I howled (no pun intended!). That moment put everyone at ease, now we’re ready and excited!  Sulky has some great product specials that they will announce towards the end of the webcast.  Two coupons (of the many specials they are featuring) will expire at Midnight EDT, Sept. 23, 2017. To take advantage of the specials, register for the webcast now, watch the webcast then make your purchases before Midnight EDT.

We are packing a ton of information into this webcast but don’t worry, after the webcast, you’ll be able to review it whenever you’d like.  Join us for this live webcast and later you can watch at your own pace.  Sign up now because seats are limited!  Just click here:   You’ll learn a lot in 60 minutes!

*Formats included are C2S, DST, EXP, HQV, HUS, JEF, PCS, PES, QLI, VIP AND VP3.


Monogram Mishap

It’s that busy time of the year for everyone; and especially true if you own a commercial embroidery business. We stitch and sell the items that most people put under the tree, not to mention stitching, cooking and shopping for our own families. I am grateful for my flexible schedule and choice of profession, but during the holidays I do second guess myself. As long as the orders are completed by the due date and look professionally done I am ready to move ahead with the next item.

Once in a while I move ahead too quickly and misspell a name or the order of the letters on a monogram. I have to admit that my eyesight has definitely declined recently, and the “readers” are all over the studio. I know I am not alone in this situation.readersblThis photo was taken at an office while I was getting my car registration.

A customer ordered 3 appliquéd monogrammed bath towels for her daughters. The appliqué fabric was a colorful Lilly Pulitzer brand. I mistakenly read my order form and stitched SBR when it should have been SBT in a script font. Luckily, the embroidery was on the fabric and was very easy to remove.

When removing the embroidered stitches, always work from the back of the fabric when possible. Purchase the Peggy Stitch Eraser! This tool has been invaluable to my business. Do not purchase am electric shaver, it is not the same. The tool works best if the stabilizer is still intact, use it gently and at an angle. I suggest testing it on a sample before an original.lily-towel1bllily-towel2bl The tool will remove the majority of bobbin stitches and you will still need a traditional seam ripper along with sharp tweezers, good lighting and your “readers”. Gently hold the Peggy Stitch eraser and start to cut the bobbin stitches from the back of fabric. Flip the fabric over and use the seam ripper as needed. I like to use the tweezers to pull out the loose threads.lily-towel3bl

Rehoop the towel along with the tear away stabilizer in the appropriate size hoop. The bigger the hoop, the easier it is to position the new letter for the monogram.lilytowel4bl The new initial “T” is going to be stitched on the appliqué fabric next to the “S”. The scanning function will be used to precisely place the letter.lilytowel5bllilytowel6bl The “T” is shown in black because it is much easier to see on the screen when adjusting the location. The zoom feature helps you to clearly see if the letter or design is in the proper place.lily-towel8bl

To change the thread color view ,touch the edit screen and use the jog keys.lily-towel9bllilytowel10bl Now you have a realistic view of exactly how the new monogram will look.

The final fix! The corrected monogram is a success.

Use the link below to save 50% on my Craftsy class; “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”


Multi-needle Monday: Personalized Christmas Stocking

It’s that time of the year again….time to handle the tricky task of stitching a Christmas stocking. Every year I am approached by customers who need their family Christmas stockings personalized. There are endless styles, sizes, and fabrics of stockings and I have embroidered them all. I will share my quick and painless technique for stitching the cuff area of a Christmas stocking. I always use a Target Ruler and target stickers.

Products used: Tear away stabilizer, Target Ruler contained in Hoop it Up book, target sticker, Snap Monster Hoop for Quick Snap (4X4, 5X7 combo with attachment).

Step 1: Find the exact center of the cuff by using our Target Ruler, insert a target sticker into the center hole (make sure the arrow on cross hair is facing in the proper orientation for the name to be stitched). Remove the ruler and keep the target sticker in place.stocking1BLstocking2BL

Step 2: Turn the stocking inside out with the target sticker still in place. stocking3BLstocking4BLMake sure the stocking cuff will slide over the Monster Snap Hoop frame. Remove the arms of the embroidery machine and attach the metal attachment of the Monster Snap Hoop.stocking5BLstocking6BL

Step 3: Measure the opening of the metal frame to make sure the text will fit inside the hoop.stocking7BLAlways use the “trace” feature before adding the garment or stocking onto the hoop . The embroidery machine does not “read” this hoop so you have to be certain the embroidery design or text will fit inside and adjust it if needed.

Step 4: Add a piece of tear away stabilizer to the top of the metal frame and hold in place with tape under the frame; slide the cuff onto the frame.stocking8BLRotate the text to stitch in the right direction.stocking9BLRemove the target sticker when the needle is aligned with the cross hair on target sticker.stocking10BLstocking11BLstocking12BL

Step 5: Embroider the text or name and remove the stocking from the hoop. Turn right side out.

*Sometimes you only have one hoop size that will fit over the stocking cuff. Therefore, adjust the text size to make the job easier to embroider. Always use the trace feature to double check that the embroidery will fit inside the hoop selected before stitching.

Click the link below for special pricing on my Craftsy class: “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business” with Marie Zinno.


Multi-Needle Monday: Camper Pillow

Do you just love stitching something special and unique? I know I do, especially when I have the chance to create a specific design from a photograph. The majority of finished embroidered items that I sell are usually personalized with monograms, text, and business logos so this request was really fun to recreate.

A close friend of mine wanted to give a simple pillow to a family member as a thank you gift. The pillow was going to have a design of their newly remodeled camper along with text.  My friend had a photograph of the camper and texted it to me to see if I had anything in my design collection that would be similar to the photograph. I realize with my Perfect Embroidery Pro software I could digitize the design if a stock design was not found. Unfortunately the deadline was just a few days away and many jobs to work on in addition to the pillow. Through my search for the exact camper I did find a few designs that could work. Generally I like to send 3 choices to a customer. I might have 10 or more designs to choose from but that is far too many items for the average person to consider. Here are the choices I emailed to her:camper1blcamper3blcamper4bl The perfect embroidery design was located at

My friend decided on the design I thought she would.camper4blThe sample colors were almost the same as the final photograph. The design was very dense so I selected cotton duck fabric for the pillow which was stable enough to support the 20,000 stitches. I also used a poly mesh cut away stabilizer along with a soft tear away stabilizer.

My friend was very pleased with the final finished product and I am sure the pillow will be used on many road trips to come.camper2blcamperpillowbl

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. Click the link below to save with a coupon.

Cruise 2017

My stitching Sister and I are heading back to sea and hoping you’ll consider joining us for a relaxing – and educational – cruise on the Harmony of the Seas on May 7, 2017.  Last year, we sailed with 70 embroiderers on the beautiful Royal Caribbean Allure. We all had a blast – so much fun that we didn’t want to leave the ship as evidenced in this photo: cruise1bl

Many came with friends or spouses and left with a slew of new friends.  Some of our guests from last year have already signed up for the May 2017 cruise but there are still spots available.  It will be a terrific way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. Think about it: top of the line Baby Lock machines, sewing room open every day, delicious food, interesting ports of call, beautiful ship and nothing to worry about except what color of thread to use next!cruise2bl

Many of our guests were students we’ve met around the country over the past ten years.  Marie and I were delighted to see each of them again. Of course, we hope to meet many more this year and make new friends!cruise4bl

What can you expect from a Stitching Sisters cruise? Marie and I take care of the details – along with our skipper, Harold Havard of Flash Sew and Quilt in Naples, FL. Harold has at least a dozen stitching cruises under his belt you can be assured each one goes off without a hitch.   Marie and I will guide you through three days of designing, digitizing, stitching and quilting with an embroidery machine.  But we’re not heading to sea by ourselves, oh no, we’ll also be joined by two of DIME’s Inspiration Consultants. You’ll be in good hands for three days of embroidery fun and exploration.

Of course the Allure has lots of fun night time activities like shows, music, contests and more.cruise5bl

Or you can sneak back into the sewing studio and stitch some more.cruise6bl

This cruise will be our second on the Allure and fourth with the Royal Caribbean cruiseline. Click here to see why we think this ship is the best on the water.

Marie and I have already booked our rooms and we’re working on the class materials now.  Since we want all of the projects to be fresh and new for this special occasion, we are making sure all of the latest techniques, ideas and trends are included in the three days of embroidery fun. So details on the stitching portion of the cruise will be available at a later date. But it’s a good idea to grab your cabin now!  Please call Lenore Deck Travel at 352-270-8658 or email to  There is limited space in the embroidery studio so get on the list today. Hope you’ll join us on the Allure!

You can learn more about the cruise and select your cabin at the special rate by visiting

We hope you’ll join us for a relaxing and educational vacation!  Just pack a bag, wear comfortable shoes and show up. We’ll handle the rest!

Mulit-Needle Monday: Your First Little Black Dress

I want to share an adorable and simple to make baby onesie that I created this week. It is a purchased black cotton baby onesie in the 6-12months size embroidered with the text “My Little Black Dress” in white thread at the center chest with a black tulle tutu added at the waistline. This was a special request from one of my loyal customers.

The elegant text was created in my Perfect Embroidery Pro software. The font selected was Diana-VS and it measures 6.62″ x 2.41″. The onesie will have to be embroidered in a 5″ x 7″ hoop in order to fit the wide text.

Cut fusible polymesh cut-away larger than the 5″ x 7″ frame. Turn the onesie wrong side out and adhere the fusible mesh to the center front.   Turn the onsie right side out and place it on flat surface. Use the Center Chest (3-6, 6-9, 9-12 month) template from the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit. Center the template on the onesie, aligning the template’s bold curved line on  the onesie neckline. Slide a target sticker in the hole with the crosshair’s arrow pointing to the top of the garment. Remove the template and keep the target sticker in place until hooped and aligned with the correct needle.blackdress1BLblack dress2BL

Insert the magnetic bottom frame of 5×7 Multi-Needle Monster Snap Hoop into the leg opening of the onesie.  Add the top metal frame and make sure the target sticker is centered in the hoop. Slide the hoop onto the machine, threading the machine throat through the onesie neck opening. Make sure no excess fabric is caught underneath the hoop. Feel free to smooth and tug the fabric because it is stabilized with the polymesh cut-away.   The stabilizer prevents stretching of the fabric.

Notice how the fabric is taut and centered?black dress hoopBL

Double check the orientation of the text on your screen. Line up the target sticker with the needle bar and remove the target sticker. Add a piece of water soluble stabilizer to the top of the fabric and hold in place with the basting file or tape.

Embroider the design and remove the hoop from the machine when complete. Trim thread tails and re-iron the wrong side of the fabric to release the excess stabilizer, trim ½” around the embroidery design.

The black tutu was simply made from bridal tulle which is sold on 6 inch wide rolls at most fabric stores in many colors. Measure the waist of the onesie while placed on a table, double that measurement and add 12 inches to make a soft skirt , make two dress10BLYou could make a removable tutu by sewing the tulle on a narrow band of elastic. I opted for the permanent skirt and used a long basting stitch 4.0 to attach the 2 layers. Sew the basting stitch 1″ from edge.blackdress11BLPull the bobbin thread at one end gather the tulle to make soft folds. Hold in place with a pin and stitch the short ends of tulle together to form the dress12BL

Pin the tutu to the center waist of the onesie, sew the skirt by gently holding the top of the tulle. Do not over stretch the onesie. blacl dress13BL

Learn more on starting a “Machine Embroidery Business” on my Craftsy class.

Hacked Fan Wear for the World Series


Yeah! It’s October which means World Series time. As you might recall I live in Ohio. If you follow baseball, you should know which two teams are in the World Series: Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. Both cities are extremely passionate and thoroughly excited to be in the World Series to say the least. As you can imagine getting to the World Series is a huge accomplishment and the process is very stressful for the fans as well.

Our Cleveland Indians had to beat the Boston Red Sox in order to win the American League Pennant, which they proceeded to do last week. Just before they clinched the title we had a family birthday celebration in Florida to attend. My brother in law is an avid, passionate Red Sox fan and life- long Bostonian. The entire family was going to be together in Florida for the party and watching one of the baseball playoff games. I had a fabulous idea of altering a purchased Red Sox hat with the following symbol over top of the famous Boston Red Sox “B”.redsox1bl

I know…brilliant! Before I left for Florida, I decided to “hack” the Boston hat to aggravate my brother in law.

I purchased two Boston Red Sox hats and used my software to create the “no symbol” design. I used my hat frame attachment on my 10 needle embroidery machine and actually stitched the symbol directly on top of the “B” in red thread.


Simple steps to follow:

  1. Measure the existing logo on the purchased hat. The hat hoop has height limitations and you will need to be sure the “no -symbol “will fit.
  2. Create the no –symbol in software. Select a circle and insert a straight line on a diagonal. Save the new design as symbol1.
  3. Hoop the hat in your hat hoop frame and center the symbol design. Use the trace feature or live camera to properly position the symbol design on top of the existing logo.

*Remember this design was used for personal use and will not be sold in anyway. Licensed merchandise is trademarked and cannot be reproduced for sale.

Join me in my Craftsy class : How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business

Multi-Needle Monday: Changing the Background Display

If you are a lucky multi-needle embroidery machine owner, you probably took your time reading the manual about how to change the needles and setting the thread color display among other instructions. As you gained confidence the manual has been pushed aside to make room for projects, hoops and stabilizers. Occasionally I like to experiment with the background grid options on my display screen. I also have started to change the background color display to help me visualize the way my final project will look. The Babylock Enterprise and Brother Entrepreneur machines are shipped from the factory with the default setting of a gray background color for the display screen. You can easily follow the steps in your manual for changing the background color but I will show you with my step by step photos how quick and easy it is. Check your manual if you are using a different model of embroidery machine for display screen options.

For example: My current project is a black tote bag with a tennis ball design and a handful of accent colors stitched on the pocket. I appreciate the ability to change thread colors at the machine if I change my mind (which is more often than not). Using the background color display quickly shows how the color changes will look on the finished product.

At the bottom left corner on the home screen, touch the paper icon.  display1BL

You will notice 7 pages of setting options.


Look at the bottom of page 1 and touch select “Background Color”.


Scroll through the color display area (there are 66 color display options). For my tote bag I changed my background color to black. Touch the desired color and touch “Close”.


Your background screen display will now always remain the color you selected, and can easily be altered as needed for different embroidery jobs.


Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. Click the link below and save $10 with this coupon

Multi-needle Monday: Using the Positioning Sticker


The needle camera and positioning stickers are one of the most efficient tools included in many Brother and Baby Lock embroidery machines. The higher end sewing/embroidery and multi-needle embroidery machines contain this fascinating technology. The live needle camera actually displays exactly what is placed under the needle such as: hooped fabric or even your hand (not while in operation please!)

The positioning stickers are included with the machine when purchased and are to be used in combination with the live camera. Baby Lock refers to the stickers as “positioning stickers” and Brother refers to them as “Snowman stickers”.To properly place an embroidery design, print a template on tracing paper or velum from embroidery software.sticker1BL Place the template on the garment. Locate the exact location for the embroidery design to be stitched. Slide the positioning sticker under the template cross hair mark and remove the template.sticker2BLsticker3BLsticker4BLsticker5BL

Hoop your item in the correct size hoop to fit your garment; in this case a 4×4 hoop is the correct hoop to use for a baby onsie.sticker6BL Select the embroidery design and always take notice of the actual size on the screen; the size 3.09×3.23inches. The design will fit in the hoop.sticker7BL Touch the positioning sticker or Snowman icon on the screen.sticker8BL The screen will most likely tell you the “the design extends out the pattern area”. Your first thought is to re-hoop the onsie in a larger hoop. But go back to the edit screen and decrease the size a bit.sticker9BLsticker10BLsticker11BLsticker12BL Now touch the positioning icon once more and it will fit as needed. You might have to re-adjust the size a few times at the screen, but it is easier than re-hooping a baby onsie. The reason for this message appears because the machine wants the ability to completely rotate the embroidery design within the hoop. If the positioning sticker is not completely centered in the hoop (especially if using a small hoop) it will want you to re-hoop the item.

Join me in my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”. Click the link to save with this coupon.

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