Posts Tagged ‘Urban Threads’

Software Saturday: Stitched Poetry!

Farewell to My Red Pen
By Denise Holguin

As Managing Editor, a portion of my time is spent editing the magazine. This includes making sure advertisements are placed, the Buyers Guide has the correct page numbers and the Table of Contents leads readers to the proper articles. I do all these tasks with a red pen.

And as strange as it sounds, I have only one (favorite) red pen that I use issue after issue. I was at a great loss the day it ran out of ink.

I penned a poem to commemorate the ‘passing’ of my red pen. Humored by the absurdity, I decided to take it one step further and embroider the tribute on to fabric.

Goals for this article:


  • Inspire you to start thinking about custom gifts you can make for family and friends that only they would understand.
  • Help you to discover your inner poet!
  • Practice your lettering and layout skills in embroidery software.
  • Problem solve on the fly.



Embroidery Products
Make Something UT5084 from Urban Threads (3.39” x 3.86”)
Free Skull Design courtesy of Designs in Machine Embroidery.

Embroidery software (Perfect Embroidery Pro was used)
Hoop Size: 300×200

At the Computer
First, we will type each line of text. Then we will rearrange and add other elements.

In Perfect Embroidery Pro, select the Text icon and type the words, “arewell, my friend.”

Click on the Text icon again and type, “You’ve served me well.”

Click on the Text icon and type, “When we, upon the page, would dwell”

Click on the Text icon and type, “To an editor, your color”

Click on the Text icon and type, “Was heaven, but now you’re dead.”

Select the Hoop icon on the left side of the screen. Select the 300×200 hoop. This will establish boundaries to rearrange the poem.

Select all the text. (Control-A). Change the font to “Times.”

Click on the first line of text. Go to the Transform tab and change the height to .69 inches. Repeat this step for each line of text.

Once finished, your text will look similar to the sample shown.

Click on File / Merge. Select the Urban Threads design. Place the design in an open space. We will be editing the design to fit our needs. Select the design. Right click and select Ungroup.

Select “Make Something” and delete it.

Since this is a tribute to a red pen, I selected and deleted the other tools that didn’t fit the pen theme.

You should only have two pens remaining.

Slide the last pen to the left of the marker. Then copy and paste the same pen and place to the right of the marker. Flip the last pen Vertically.

Copy the marker and place it to the right of the pen. Flip it vertically. Copy the first pen and marker and paste them to the right. Your version should look similar to the image shown.

Select all the pens and markers. Right click. Select Group.

Rearrange the rows of lettering to fit within the hoop. This isn’t the final stage of rearranging but it’s the first step.

Slide the pens to the right side of the hoop as shown.

Click on the Text icon. Type the letter “F”. Select Old English. Size the Width and Height to 1.77 inches.

Position the letter in front of “arewell”.

Select the Text icon. Type the word “red”. Select the Athletic font and resize it to 2.05” wide x .80” tall.

Position the word after “color” as shown.

Go to File / Merge Design. Select the Skull design.

Place the skull at the end of the poem.

Change the “F”, the word “red” and the set of pens to red.

I decided to change the word “heaven” to blue. There are three ways to do this:

Inconvenient & Hard:


  • Stop the machine before it stitches.



Too Much Work:


  • Edit the line of text so that it’s made up of three designs.



Easiest! (but you need to be responsible)


  • Select the last line of text. Right click. Select Break up text. Note, when you do this, the text is no longer a font.



Each letter becomes an individual design.

Select all the letters for the word “heaven”. Change the color to blue.

The third line of the poem is a little tight in the hoop. Change the height to .67 inches. Make any other last minute adjustments to the layout of the design.

Select All. (Control-A). Go to Edit / Optimize Sequence.

Save the design and send to the embroidery machine.

I framed the design and added the red pen to its final resting place.

Volume 103 Overspray Turned in to Opportunity

This blog is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees article featured in Volume 103 March/April 2017.  This post covers “overspray”.  

For spray paint tips, visit “spray paint

I did not heed my own advice when I spray painted the stencil on the t-shirt.  It was windy outdoors and I didn’t cover the shirt well when I appliqued the spray paint.

My heart sank when I removed the stencil.  The colors looked amazing.  But there was overspray.

No problem!  I decided to use the stenciled part of the shirt as applique fabric.

Overview of this Project:
I stitched the Ravenheart design on the spray painted (ruined) shirt first.  Then I cut the embroidered piece to use as applique fabric.  I embroidered the fabric on to the new shirt.  Since I was working with knit fabric, I chose to make my applique raw-edge applique.

The purpose of this article is to show mistakes can be salvaged. You just have to get scrappy!

Embroidery Designs:
Ravenheart from Urban Threads.  I chose this design because the decorative elements on the heart mimicked the stencil design.
Applique shape:  Created in Perfect Embroidery Pro but any digitizing software will work.

Step 1.  Make the Applique Shape

Determine the Size of Applique Shape
I printed a template of the Ravenheart design and placed it on the stenciled portion of the original t-shirt.  I didn’t love all the stenciled areas I spray painted, so I chose the area I liked best.  Feel free to experiment – you are creating a ‘new’ fabric.

This process helped me determine how big to make the applique.  I cut a square piece of paper  to audition how large my applique shape should be.

Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Click on the Drawing icon on the top toolbar. Select the Rectangle.

Draw a shape.  Don’t worry about the size.  You will make adjustments in the next step.

Click the Transform Tab.  Make sure the Main aspect ratio does not have a checkmark.  Type the proper dimensions for the applique shape.  (My example is 5.5″ x 5.75″.)  Click Apply.

Now it’s time to convert the artwork to stitches.  Make sure the artwork is selected.  Then right click, select Convert To / Run.

Change the Stitch length to 2.5 mm.  I selected Two ply for the stitch type.

Save the design as AppliqueShape.  Print a template of this design and send to your embroidery machine.

Step 2.  Prepare the Applique Fabric
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my ruined t-shirt.  Then I embroidered the Ravenheart design using Snap Hoop Monster.  (Snap Hoop Monster prevents hoop burn and let’s me tug easily on the shirt without fear of puckering).  Once finished, I unhooped the project.

Next, I placed the template of AppliqueShape on the embroidered design to get a sense of how much of the t-shirt I need to cut.  I cut a large enough piece of the t-shirt to use as applique fabric.  Remember, you can always trim but you can never add to an already cut piece of fabric.

Step 3.  Stitch the Final Shirt
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my new t-shirt.  I placed the AppliqueShape Template on my new shirt to determine where to place the applique on the t-shirt.  Next, I placed a Target Sticker to designate the center of the AppliqueShape Template.  The last step:  stitch the AppliqueShape design.  Trim the edges of the appliqued t-shirt leaving about a 1/4” all the way around.



Ribbed Knits

The stretch and texture of ribbed knit t-shirts present interesting challenges for the embroiderer. The fabric should be stretched during the embroidery process so it doesn’t ripple or tear when worn but the stretch should be controlled during the embroidery process. Here’s how to do it.


Select a water soluble adhesive stabilizer and remove the protective paper.  Carefully stretch the design area to mimic how the garment will stretch when worn.  Place the stretched fabric onto the sticky stabilizer. If the garment is for you, just put the garment on inside out and then place the sticky stabilizer on the design area. Remove the garment.


Slip the metal frame of Snap Hoop Monster inside the shirt centering the design area. Snap the magnetic top in place. Nest the shirt around the design area, use painter’s tape to hold the shirt out of the needle area.


I selected Urban Threads’ Anatomical Hand to decorate this t-shirt. HandBL

This very cool design features fill stitches with delicate outlines.  Due to the hills and valleys of the ribbed knit, I was worried the fill stitches would cave into the ribs so I placed a piece of crisp (or lightweight) tear-away over the design area. Hand1BLHand2BL

After stitching color 1, the fill stitches, I carefully pulled away the excess stabilizer.Hand3BL

I added a piece of film-type water soluble stabilizer over the design before stitching colors 2, the shading and 3, the outline.


Here’s the key, use a tear-away that rips clean. It will feel stiff in your hand, unlike a soft tear-away (or medium weight) that tears with a jagged edge and has a softer drape.  The final colors – the shading and outline- will cover any pokies remaining from the crisp tear-away.  The fabric won’t bleed through and the embroidery won’t sink into the garment even after laundering.


Don’t you get a kick out of edgy designs like the Anatomical Hand from this week’s blog sponsor Urban Threads? Well, it could be your lucky day because UT is kind enough to offer $25 gift certificates to four random winners on this blog. Here’s how to win:  jump over to Urban Threads and search for skeletons in their search box (found on the top left column of their home page).  Leave a comment here telling us how skeletons designs turn up in your search.  Four lucky winners will be randomly selected next week.  Good luck!

Beauty and Inspiration is Everywhere!

Sometimes you find inspiration in unusual places! This little fellow was spotted outside by my office mate who brought it to my desk.  She knew I wouldn’t be able to resist taking photos.  I’m not sure any of us anticipated I’d try to coordinate it with fabric, but the moth was cooperative – so I had to try!

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After spending time with my new friend, I felt inspired to find moth themed embroidery designs.  Here’s what I found….

I always enjoy browsing the Urban Threads website.  Click here to view the details on the Death’s-Head Hawkmoth design.

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Kreations by Kara also has an interesting design.

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Imagine striking black and orange colors for this design from Embroidery Library!

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This design from Embroidery Online reminds me of my last moments photographing the moth outside.  It started flapping its wings and then came at me.  I screamed for my life before it flew away.  It’s probably safer to stitch the design than to try to photograph a large, eager to escape, moth!

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Where do you find your inspiration?

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Here’s your assignment this week:

In what ways does nature give you inspiration?. We’ll pick a random winner here next Wednesday. If we pick your name, we’ll set you up with a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery gift card!

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

Pop over to My Fabric Designs and enter the contest. While you’re there, browse in the fabrics (click on Shop) and tell me what fabric you’d like to win. We’ll pick a random winner here next Wednesday. If we pick your name, we’ll ship you one yard of the fabric you mentioned in your comment.

The winner is:  

Laurel D: “What fun is this!!!???? Had to forward the news on to my sister who is a dedicated quilter (and a confessed fabric hoarder ). Can’t wait to try to create my own fabric — thanks for bringing this option to our attention … if I were to win, I’d choose the Happy Pigs to make something special for my best friend (of over 45 years) who loves pigs and is fighting cancer — what happiness that fabric could bring!”

Ribbed Knits

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Here’s a great tip for embroidering on ribbed knits.

Aren’t ribbed knits so comfy to wear? I love the stretch and texture but I’m not too fond of embroidering on that challenging fabric.  This weekend, I wanted to stitch something special for my daughter, Janelle. She’s in her second month of grad school – in two and half years, she’ll be a physician’s assistant.  So right now, she’s hunkered down in grad school life and just aced her first Anatomy test.  No surprise there, she got a 4.0 in Anatomy in undergrad studies at University of Oklahoma. It’s one of her favorite courses.

To celebrate her grade, I found the most appropriate embroidery designs at Urban Threads.  And yep, the title of the collection is Anatomy! Can you believe it? Aren’t we lucky? You can find ANYTHING in machine embroidery!

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Here’s where the ribbed knit comes in. I had a long-sleeve comfy t-shirt in one of Janelle’s favorite colors but I wasn’t so sure it was the right fabric for this hand design.  With a little ingenuity, I made it work.

First, I put the shirt on, inside out. Janelle and I are not the same size – I’m wider and shorter and she’s taller and leaner. But I needed to stretch the t-shirt to mimic the shape when she wears it. It’s a t-shirt, not a wedding dress, so close enough is good enough in this case.  Then I placed adhesive water soluble stabilizer (Floriani’s Wet N Gone Tacky) to the wrong side of the design area. Then I carefully took off the shirt and hooped it in Snap-Hoop. Love Snap-Hoop for t-shirt embroidery!

Once I nested the shirt around the design area, I used painter’s tape to hold the shirt out of the needle area. Due to the hills and valleys of the ribbed knit, I was worried the fill stitches would cave into the ribs so I placed a piece of crisp (or lightweight) tear-away over the design area.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

After stitching color 1, the fill stitches, I carefully pulled away the excess stabilizer.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I added a piece of film-type water soluble stabilizer over the design before stitching colors 2, the shading and 3, the outline.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s the key, use a tear-away that rips clean. It will feel stiff in your hand, unlike a soft tear-away (or medium weight) that tears with a jagged edge and has a softer drape.  The final colors – the shading and outline- will cover any pokies remaining in the crisp tear-away.  The fabric won’t bleed through and the embroidery won’t sink into the garment even after laundering.

This technique works wonders with faux fur (like Christmas stockings) or other highly napped fabrics.

This week’s assignment:

Fun stuff, wouldn’t you agree? Aren’t you amazed at the sheer number of embroidery designs available to us? Is there a design you’ve been looking for and have never been able to find? Tell us what you’re searching for and you could win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question

Let me know what you do when you want to try a new technique. Post your comment for a chance to win a $25.00 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner is: Brenda Howard
“I am new to machine embroidery so all techniques are new to me, with that being said I decide what I want to do and try to make sure that I choose fabric that is a good match to what I want in the final project so that if it turns out good I can use it too in some way. Next I take a deep breath and go for it!”



Savings Galore!

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Who doesn’t like a bargain? If you scour the pages of the July/August issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine (Volume 75), you’ll find dozens of coupons and specials. I thought I’d do some of the legwork for you and provide the links directly to those sites. So here goes!

Did you know that every time you make a qualified purchase at Planet Applique you receive free appliqué alphabet designs?  Now that’s a real stash builder!  Just visit

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With the holiday gift-making season just around the corner, you’ll love the personalized customer service at Visit the site to get started on your holiday stitching or call 1-866-210-0072 for more information.

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Visit and sign up for their monthly newsletter – jam-packed with coupon codes, offer and the latest features.  You’ll love receiving those updates in your inbox.

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Get a free fabric bundle just by test-driving the amazing Horizon Memory Craft 12000 at participating Janome dealers. Visit for more information.

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Check out the latest offerings at I love the fresh, floral linework designs in Doodle Flower Glitz.

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If you’re looking for affordable designs, view John Deer’s collections at where you’ll find all the information you need on the Ultimate Design Stash Club.

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You just never know what HoopSisters is up to until you visit You’ll find tried and true embroidered quilt patterns plus a whole new section titled, Young & Modern.

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If software programs seem overwhelming, visit and see why they’ve been helping embroiderers since 1997.  There’s a program for everyone – from BuzzXplore to BuzzSize to BuzzEdit.  There are 21-day demos available, tutorials to simplify the learning process and projects.

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ZippyDesignZ is the home of the original Rik Rak Lady and it’s where you’ll find cute designs, in-the-hoop projects and terrific ideas for kids. Visit

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A fast and easy solution to transferring designs from newer Windows computers and MAC is the The Ultimate Box. Learn how easy it is to use this clever tool by visiting

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Here’s the coupon you’ve been waiting for – Save 10% off your order when use coupon DZ75.  Shop now because it will expire on Oct. 31, 2012 – you can even order over the phone – 800-881-8144.

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Having trouble locating designs on your computer?  Install Embrilliance Thumbnailer and you’ll see every one of your designs in their folder – no need to open another program to view the designs. Visit to see how it works – on PC and MAC!

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Carry the spirit of the Olympic Games through the remainder of the summer with a USA crystal motif.  Fast and easy to apply, you’ll love the bling and embroidery designs at

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Save a whopping 20% off your entire order at You’ll find tons of designs – appliqué, in the hoop, designs for Mini LED lights and more. Stop by today and enter your coupon code: EGDME.

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Specializing in sports, mascots, double satin appliqués and more, visit for a unique twist on appliqués. Save 15% when you use coupon code dzgns15 at checkout.

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If you’ve never been to then now is the time. You’ll save 20% off your first order, just enter DIME20 in the coupon field and pocket the savings.

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Loralie is joining the August celebration of National Golf Month with 10% savings on all golf items at You can buy entire collections of You Golf Girl! CDs (there are four) or download individual designs. Stitch one of these golf girls and put a smile in your golf game.

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Speaking of celebrations, there’s a really big one going on at Sulky. In honor of their 25th Anniversary, Sulky is launching a sweepstakes. So easy to enter, just Like Sulky on their Facebook page or visit

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Have you seen the new jumbo fonts at EmbroideryArts?  They are divine – lush, historical, modern, Victorian, you name it, you’ll find it. Visit and save 30% on ALL products through August 31.

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You’ll find another August blowout at Deduct 35% off all orders during the month of August!  Stock up now and save big.

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Get your fix on over at and save 30% when you enter DIME in the coupon code.

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Oregon PatchWorks really does have it all – designs for children, teens, fabulous florals, home décor, quilts and apparel. There are thousands of the designs to browse and buy – visit to see current specials and savings.

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Looking for more specials? How about 24 pages of specials? Jump over to and click on Specials to see what’s on sale. And if you’re a new customer, just enter coupon dime-july and receive 20% off your first purchase. But hurry, sales ends September 15, 2012.

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The is a valued partner for locating affordable quality supplies and blanks at competitive prices. Visit to see what’s new.

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Love not-so scary monsters? Then you’ll definitely fall for the charming characters in the Monster Factory at

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And of course there are more generous folks in the pages of Designs. Receive 10% by entering coupon dzgns10 with your order. is the home of the ‘pick the item, and you pick the price’.

Some are favorite digitizers can be found out for great blanks with flat rate shipping.

This week’s assignment:

The dog days of summer are well under way!  It’s the perfect time to stay out of the heat and spend a little extra time in your sewing room!  Tell us about the embroidery project you are currently working on (or are about to start).  Post your comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winners of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

What colors would you choose if you were designing your own Stipple Bridge Club quilt? One lucky winner will be randomly chosen to win a Stipple Bridge Club!

The winner is:
Judy Wentz

“I would use a pale yellow or peach for the background of the blocks with purple thread for the background.  I would also use purple fabric for the setting triangles.  I would use a multicolored print with these colors for the hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds.”


Stitching For Guys Who Don’t Like Golf By Niamh from Urban Threads

Editor’s Note:

We are so excited to feature Niamh from Urban Threads as our guest blogger this week.  You may recognize her recent work featured in the May/June 2012 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  If you need a copy, give us a call at 888-739-0555 to subscribe!

A note on all garments shown:  all garments unless otherwise noted are great finds from department stores.  But have no fear!  At the end of the piece we’ll show you similar embroidery designs that you can use to achieve a similar effect.

Brand: Metropark


Let’s face it … stitching for guys can be tough.

It seems in many cases out there, embroidery for guys assumes that he loves  A) golf  B) hunting, C) grilling or D) beer. Or possibly golfing while flipping burgers and drinking beer, which sounds a bit hazardous to me, honestly.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with stitching for stuff like this. In fact, the fun of these occasions is that it is a great time to pull out that bright and bold GRILLMASTER design to splash across an apron, or stitch a big buck’s head across a bright orange sweater. Many of these occasions and hobbies call for bold, straightforward designs. The problem is in all other occasions, the fella might not wish that big bold solid stitch design to scream I LOVE GOLF with as much vibrance as a Hawaiian shirt at a Metallica concert. Guys sometimes want to be subtle.

Lucky for me, ladies are not always stuck with the assumption that we want our designs to loudly profess our love for a certain hobby or affiliation. Sure, we CAN have those designs (I myself am a proud nerd and will wear it with bold stitchy pride), but other times our designs can be things we think just look neat, and call for no occasion whatsoever. I don’t know a darn thing about koi fish for instance, but that won’t stop me stitching a light pretty design of them on a shirt, and it’s safe to say no one will assume it’s because I’m a koi farmer.  Why can’t we treat menswear the same?

Can’t we just stitch them something that looks cool, for no other reason than that?

Brand: Xelement


The first key to stitching modern menswear, then, is to find more subtle, decorative ways of using embroidery. If you walk into a modern menswear section at your local mall, you’ll actually find LOTS of embroidery and stitching on stuff for guys (in fact, I’ve had a hard time finding something without embroidery so I could decorate it!) but you’ll notice that most of it is tonal colors, running stitch, appliqué, or one-color decorative accents. These kinds of designs rarely proclaim any proclivity towards fishing but usually look cool and guy-friendly all the same.

Brand: English Laundry


The truth is, if we’re really talking apparel here, lighter designs are a natural choice anyway to ensure your design doesn’t pucker or cause weird draping issues, especially on lighter garments. For tees and button-ups, designs with more open areas will sit better on the fabric and let your design sit with a more subtle, masculine effect.  Try using tone-on-tone effects by choosing a thread color that mimics your garment.

You can also try branching out in subject matter. An easy way to stitch for contemporary men’s fashion is to not take the “subject” so literally and use decorative type designs instead. Heraldic motifs, tribal designs, and simple shapes like a cross or fleur-de-lis make great accent pieces that just look cool, and are all guy-friendly.

Brand: Mark Nason


So next time you fire up that embroidery machine to make a dude some cool embroidered wares, give your typical designs a pause, and try a design that’s light in stitch, subtle in color, and heavy on attitude. The guys will thank you for it.


Want to achieve a similar effect as the designer garments shown? 

Similar to Metropark shirt:

Branching Flourish

Tribal Waves


Similar to Xelement jacket:

Ruler of All I Survey

Skull Array


Similar to English laundry shirt:

Seven Deadly Seas Crest

Thistle Crest


Similar to Mark Nason boots:

Baroque Punk Dragon

Cross and Roses


This week’ assignment:

Mother’s Day is coming up.  That got us thinking… what has been your favorite Mother’s Day and why?”  Post your comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the question:

I need your help selecting a new design to feature in an upcoming project. So tell me, do you like design A, B or C? We’ll pick a random winner to receive a Magna-Hoop! Wow – you could win – just leave your comment!

The winner is… Sheryl Matthews!
“Definitely design “B”. I love anything Jacobean and this one screams Jacobean to me. I also love the stitching in the center of the leaves and flowers.”

Congratulations Sheryl!

Content in this feed is © Copyright 2012 by Eileen Roche and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.

Machine Embroidered Wedding Touches

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As tempting as it was to go overboard, I limited myself to make just one machine-embroidered element for my recent wedding: the table numbers.  In retrospect, I’m not so sure anyone noticed that the numbers were embroidered but that’s okay with me. I enjoyed the process.

Since our wedding took place in a natural stone setting (limestone floor, stucco walls, etc) I felt the table numbers and name cards should have an ‘old world’ feel.  So I used ink and water to age basic card stock tags and embroiderable paper. I had a blast doing that – I like to get my hands dirty so this was right up my alley!  First, I used two colors of Distress Ink (tea and coffee colors).

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Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I just dabbed the tea ink pad over the tag and then followed with the darker coffee ink.  Then I quickly swiped a wet paper towel across the tag to blend the smudges.  They dried flat and smooth!

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The next step was how to display the name tags.  I found a very affordable wire dress form with circular details and used it to hold (and transport) the name tags. Once I inserted the name tags in the dress form circles, I slid a large plastic trash bag over the dress form and tied it on the bottom. It kept everything in order for the big day.

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I applied the same ink technique to the embroiderable paper (The Sewphisticated Stitcher) but didn’t get the same results. That paper quickly absorbed all the ink so the blending wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. It seemed to call for another layer of ink. So I added a spray of paper ink.  The result? A slightly mottled paper.  Now for the embroidery.

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I used open, airy digits from Urban Threads ( I found I could fit two table number tents on each 8 ½” x 11” piece of embroiderable paper. I used a target ruler to mark the position for each letter and gently placed a target sticker in that location.  Too much adhesive might have harmed the paper but a soft touch did the trick.

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I placed the bottom frame of my 4” x 4” Snap-Hoop on the machine.

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Then I slid the paper under the needle, aligning the target sticker with the needle. I used the edge of the paper as a guide to make sure the paper was square on the hoop.  Then I snapped magnets onto the frame.

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I could have used the top magnetic frame of Snap-Hoop but I found just dropping the magnets (from my Magna-Hoop Jumbo) was much easier in this application.  Once I removed the target sticker, I embroidered the number.

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I repeated this for each number, rotating the number for the other side of the tent.

After completing the four numbers, I cut the paper, folded the strips and used double-sided tape to hold them together at the bottom.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

As it turned out, the table numbers weren’t the only embroidered items.  My dear friend Mary Mulari brought vintage wedding hankies for each female guest!  What a generous offer.  Many were embroidered (mostly by hand) – all were gorgeous.

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My Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, surprised with me an embroidered table runner for the unity candle table.  A treasured memento!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Personal touches are what make a wedding day an expression of a couple’s love.  When family members pitch in to do some of the prep – it makes for some wonderful memories. Since I have five sisters who are capable of pulling off anything, I knew we could handle doing our own flowers. So we did – centerpieces, bridal bouquets, boutonnières, and wall decorations.  I imported the flowers from South America and had them delivered two days before the wedding.  I captured two of my sisters, Marie Zinno and Kath Brown, to do the actual arranging in my garage the day before the wedding.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The groom and I hauled the flowers to the location a few hours before the wedding and then an army of family joined forces to transform the barren space. I knew I could count on another sister, Liz Scully, for her museum-quality bow-tying expertise.  Really, this woman would win a Martha Stewart bow-tying throw-down. I supplied the pretty ribbon and she made it look perfect! Here are four my sisters (from left to right): Liz Scully, Kath Brown, Marie Zinno, me and Mary Pat Palombo during set-up.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

And after.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

My oldest sister, Mary Pat Palombo, jumped into action and was a valuable set of hands.  My cousin, Pat Mulligan, climbed a 12 ft. ladder to help engineer the hanging of a 30-ft. baby’s breath/tulle garland.  Height is no issue for Patrick since he’s used to having his head in the clouds as a captain with American Airlines.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

It was a magical day.


This week’ assignment:

I need your help selecting a new design to feature in an upcoming project. So tell me, do you like design A, B or C? We’ll pick a random winner to receive a Magna-Hoop! Wow – you could win – just leave your comment!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the question:

Tell me what is your ‘go-to gift’ for bridal showers? Post a comment and we’ll select TWO random winners to win a $35 gift voucher courtesy of Designs by Hope Yoder!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

This week’s TWO lucky winners are…
Winner 1:  Sharon Aiken
“I like to make an embroidered ring bearer pillow with fsl and the couple’s monogram as well as an embroidered small satin purse for the bride to carry to the church with her essentials for last minute touch-ups.”

Winner 2:  Nancy Stringer
“My favorite gift for a bridal shower is handmade linen napkins, embroidered with something specific to the couple…something they couldn’t just buy.”

Congratulations Sharon and Nancy!

Special Program!

It’s Sew Easy is a unique how-to television program. You won’t find a host – instead, a selection of industry experts share their top tips with you. It’s an in-depth personal sewing/embroidery/quilting lesson in your own home.

Watch a special viewing of episode 105 of It’s Sew Easy at It will begin airing at noon EST on April 27th and be available for viewing for ONE week only. You’ll see my exclusive tips for monogramming napkins and towels which include speedy tips for embroidering multiples. And you can catch Tricia Waddell and Katrina Loving demonstrating how to use needle-turn appliqué on pillows and wall hangings. Finally, Pam Damour wraps up the show with 10 steps to the perfect pillow. Click here to watch It’s Sew Easy!

Content in this feed is © Copyright 2012 by Eileen Roche and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.


It’s time to discover great value, special offers and inspiration! (Part 1 of 2)

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

What makes the machine embroidery industry one of the most enjoyable and inspiring hobbies?  It’s made up of real people who love the art, craft and sheer joy of machine embroidery and it shines through with the products and services they have to offer.

Let’s take a tour of the highlights from the current issue, Volume 73 March/April 2012.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Planet Applique – wow!  Free alphabet appliqué designs with every order. Visit to see their adorable, affordable and to-die-for appliqué designs.

Planet Applique



Discount Embroidery Blanks has cozies, market totes, notebooks, key fobs, bath items…. Come to think of it there’s definitely something for everyone at

Discount Embroidery Blanks



It’s going to be another Flip Flop summer at DigiStitches.  Sign up for their newsletter and receive special coupon codes and offers to last you all summer long.  Visit today at

DigiStitches – Brother’s embroidery download center is at your fingertips – 24/7.  Find Disney, Disney-Pixar and more – only at Over 5,000 designs are a click away and there’s no need to purchase an entire collection. Look for Brother Sews on Facebook, You Tube and Twitter.



Love quilting with your embroidery?  Then you’re going to love Anita Goodesign’s Mix & Match Quilting.  Visit for more information. While there, check their schedule – they just might be coming to a local dealer near you.

Anita Goodesign



Trade-In and Trade-Up with Pfaff’s National Software Trade-In Event. Check out how versatile 5D™ Embroidery System is – works with any brand of machine.  You could receive up to a $400 rebate when you trade-in and trade-up!  Visit or call 1-800-997-3233.




Start a new journey with Janome’s Horizon Memory Craft 12000, it’s a perfect blend of advanced technology and signature ease-of-use all wrapped up in Janome’s superior stitch quality.  Visit today to begin your creative journey.




Want to stitch something different? Then  is for you. Urban Threads has put an edge into machine embroidery that appeals to a broad range of embroiderers.  Looking for something for that hard-to-buy-for 20-something?  Look no further – Urban Threads is your answer.  And I’ll bet you find something for yourself that you can’t live without! Urban Threads is not just for the young stitcher, it’s for all embroiderers.

Urban Threads



How does Embroidery Library do it?  They keep coming up with fresh ideas at low prices, tons of choices, a bevy of stitch knowledge all wrapped into one great world-wide community of machine embroiderers.  Visit, browse and shop – you’ll be entranced with this site

Embroidery Library



Feeling lucky?  Enter a once-in-a-lifetime contest at The winner will join Fred and Joyce Drexler, co-founders of Sulky of America (and one of the industry’s most charming couples) on an all-expense paid trip for two to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  Wow!  Just like Sulky on Facebook to enter,




It’s not too late to join Martha Pullen’s 2012 Internet Embroidery Club.  You’ll enjoy a value of over $700 in goodies for your one-time annual membership fee of $59.00  You’ll find tons of uses for the free-standing lace ornaments, 6 alphabet appliqué sets, in the hoop projects, vintage reproduction designs, shadow work and more.  Click over to to sign up today.

Martha Pullen



Looking for a user-friendly auto-digitizing software?  Then take a look at Buzz2Stitches® at Buzz says it’s as simple as Ready, Set, Go! A program wizard guides you through simple choices and automatically turns your artwork into beautiful stitches.

Buzz Tools



The search is over when you install Embrillance Thumbnailer.  This nifty (and priced-so-right) software program turns all of your embroidery designs into images – or thumbnails as they’re called in the graphics world.  You won’t waste any more time digging around computer files to locate your embroidery designs.  Now you’ll spot them in a flash.  What a time saver!




One dilemma we all have is what to do with that pretty embroidery collection we just purchased?  Project inspiration awaits you at Enter DMEMAR2012 in the keyword search box and the vault opens for you.  You’ll find dozens of embroidery projects such as quilts, jackets, shirts, home décor accessories to quick start your creative process.

Nancy's Notions



Easy Easter projects are waiting for you at Five Star Fonts and if you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll enjoy 20% off of your first order. Just type dime-mar in the coupon box and you’ll be all set. But hurry up – the coupon expires on May 15, 2012.

Five Star Fonts



I know what you’re thinking!  You need a little time to take all this in!  Enjoy your week perusing the websites and stop by next Wednesday for Part 2!


This week’s assignment:

It’s hard to believe we are 73 issues strong!  Every issue is near and dear to our hearts as if they were our own children.  Each project has special meaning and significance because they represent writers who love to create and design for you!  You, our readers also love to create, design and to be inspired.  When you look at it this way, machine embroidery isn’t such a solitary act!

Tell us what your favorite project is from any issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  One random comment will be the lucky winner of an autographed copy of Designer Handbags by Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

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.

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!)

The winner is… 

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 🙂 ”


Congratulations Charlotte!

We have a backup plan if Santa does not deliver the goods.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Don’t leave it up to Santa to deliver the goods you want this year!  Take advantage of your last chance to win some some unbelievable prizes!  All it takes are four simple steps to enter the Everybody Smiles with Designs contest. All you have to do is ‘like us’ on Facebook ( Post a photo on the Designs in Machine Embroidery Facebook page showing your winning smile while holding any copy of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. You can have a lot of fun with this – shoot it in your sewing room, in front of your favorite embroidery project, at your local dealer or buried in your favorite stash!Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
Tag Designs in Machine Embroidery in your photos, add a caption to your photo and consider yourself entered to win over $6000 worth of prizes – including the grand prize a Koala studio. You’ll find a ton of prizes from Klasse, Sulky, Creative Options, Clover, Madeira, Embroidery Library, Urban Threads, Oliso and Baby Lock.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog You have 19 chances to win. The top prize is a Koala Studio and you get to choose the style and color you want. Next, there’s a Madeira Thread Chest (fully stocked with 194 spools and Amazing Designs embroidery collections) followed by the Incredible Threadable Embroidery Box, a nifty double-duty thread storage system full of 80 spools plus bobbin thread.
Baby Lock has so generously contributed a machine trolley and trolley tote for hitting the road with your machine. Have you had your eye on that too-hot-to handle Oliso Smart Iron Pro? You might just win it if you enter the Everybody Smiles with Designs contest. If you do take home the Smart Iron you’ll find it’s not too hot to handle, in fact it’s quite cool. It’s a high tech iron that activates with the touch of your hand.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog If you’re a Sulky fan, you’ll be glad to know you might win Sulky’s Embroidery Starter Collection with 27 of the most used 40 wt. rayon colors stashed in a Slimline Storage Box.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Two lucky winners will enjoy $100 shopping spree coupons from two of our favorite design companies: Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Of course, what’s a sewing contest without some much-needed tools? Our friends at Floriani have donated Floriani’s Favorite Embroidery Tools Kit which includes EZ Snips, angled tweezers, 4 ½” large ring micro tip scissors, appliqué scissors and 5” straight trimmers.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog Hoping to win an heirloom to pass on to the next generation? The Nantucket Sewing Basket from Sudberry House could be yours. You’ll treasure the American dark walnut and maple dowel inlay on the lid and basket base.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog We all need something to stitch on and many of us turn to The Sewphisticated Stitcher for fun and funky blanks. They have contributed a Dream Bundle of Blanks that includes a sport bottle, damask apron, damask print canvas bag, zebra print mouse pad and a laptop sleeve – all tucked into the collapsible (and embroiderable!) Market Basket.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogTo round out the prizes you’ll find Designs’ bundle of Stipple! Collections, Designer Necklines and two one-year subscriptions; Clover’s Mini-Iron and Stack ‘n Stitch Thread Tower; Creative Options Craftician Bag and Klasse’s Embroidery Needle Value pack. Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Hurry!  The contest ends December 31, 2011.  To show our gratitude for your entry, we’ve posted a free design for you to download. Just click here for the rules, prizes and design.

Need inspiration?  Check out the latest entry we received from Beth Rowan below. Don’t miss out on your chance to win!  Click here to enter now! Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog“Look Ma, I’m stippling!! It may be winter, but the butterflies are still around and we’re having fun!” – Beth Rowan

Your assignment last week:  Tell me what Nancy Zieman uses to press the seams on her Designer Handbag and you could win a copy of Designer Handbags. Does she use a clapper, a seam roll, a wooden dowel or a pressing ham? Leave your comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Designer Handbags.Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog And the winner is… Lorie! “Nancy uses a wooden dowel.Nancy’s videos are so helpful! I always learn something new.” – Lorie Congratulations!

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