Category: Embroidery

Breakdown Sewing Tasks to Finish those Christmas Presents

Do you like to sew for your family and friends?  And who doesn’t!  Have you started making your gift list?  Are your projects ambitious or simple?  HINT:  It may be too late to start that Heirloom Quilt you’ve been thinking about all year, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make anything and have a great time doing it!

You are a wonderful group of creative people with great skills!  Use those skills to sew something quick & fun!  Check out the list below.


  • Snappy Bags with clips for keys
  • Zippered Pouches
  • Pillowcases
  • Wet Bags
  • Pot holders
  • Kitchen towels
  • Wine Bags
  • Message Cup Cozies
  • Zipper Box Pouches
  • Key Chains
  • Luggage Tags


This is a short list of some of the easy, quick projects you can make in a couple hours.  And if you decide to make the same gift for several people it will cut down on your prep time.  Layer different fabrics and cut out the same project.

You can also use the bags/pouches and pillowcases as ‘wrapping’ for another gift.  Gift cards/toiletries will fit in the smaller items and you can use the pillowcases for larger gifts.  For the price of fancy gift wrap and bows you can have 2 gifts!!

I love 10/20/30 minute sewing.  I first saw this in a Nancy Ziemann book years ago and have tried to adopt that with my sewing also.

  • 10 Minutes to Make a List of Recipients
  • 20 Minutes to Gather Patterns & Supplies (lots of these gift ideas use small amts of fabrics) I use gallon ziplock bags to separate the projects.  That way I can ‘grab & sew’.
  • 30 Minutes to Cut out the First Project

Start to think of your sewing as small chunks of time.  In this busy season we can usually eek out a bit of time here and there but it’s a lot harder to think of having a whole evening or day to sew.  It’s alway easiest to have that list & bags to go back to.

If you’re using machine embroidery you can always be prepping something else as that machine embroiders.  I know that it’s hard not to watch it work!   And if you don’t have an embroidery machine?, there’s always appliqué.  I love Wonder Under and my Word program.  Just remember to mirror image any letters so they come out correctly.  BTW this usually only happens once!

Happy Stitching and please share the projects you were able to complete!

The studio is being set up!

Getting the embroidery area(s) set up has been a little challenging.  Since the room is smaller I’ve had to give up one table top  (a big one) and had to cut down the embroidery bar top that I’ve used for years.  Thanks to my wonderful husband and his handy jigsaw skills the table has been cut and the embroidery bar is getting set up.  This took away the space for the thread cabinets so those were hung on the walls of the landing to the studio.  Now there’s a splash of color as I come up the stairs!  A very inspiring sight as I start to work.


Towels Are the Gift of the Year!

This year seems to be the gift of embroidered towels!  Wedding showers, birthdays, thank you, etc.  I have embroidered so many towels for gifts this year that I might have to look for something else to give.  The embroidery was done with my Brother 4500D and the designs came from Embroidery Library.

Recycled Jean Quilt Rows

Jean Pile Divided

After collecting all of our old jeans, I embroidered them with my kids activities throughout the years.  Everything from preschool thru high school.  It’s been a lot of fun remembering all the different activities and sports throughout the years.  It’s a wonder that we’re not exhausted from all the driving, chaperoning and running around!

I laid out all the squares on my living room floor and made a pattern with the embroidered blocks and filled in with the extra plain blocks.  Then they were stacked into rows.  Each square has a jean square top, batting center and flannel on the back. (I used 2 different flannels)  The batting was cut 1/2″ smaller all around.  The blank squares were embroidered with designs from a quilt software pack from Anita Goodesign. Quilt Feathers & Quilter’s Paradise.  The squares with the activities were freehand quilted with stars and hearts.

Acrylic Painting

I spent a lovely evening at the Mint Hill Arts listening to a lecture given by Nancy Cook.  What she does with fabric, ink and quilting is truly art.  She was so open and forthcoming about how she makes her art.  She reminded me how much I really do like to paint.  I’m still a fill-in-the-numbers kind of girl.  I came across a fun little piece that I made.  I used a design from Anita Goodesign and then painted with acrylic paints.  There was a lot of trial and error, but I was pleased with the way it came out.  After seeing Nancy’s work, I see where I could have used quilting to suggest flow and motion and maybe made it look a little more artistic.  If you get a chanced to visit her website, I think you will find it worth your time to see her pieces.  I can honestly say that the photography doesn’t do it justice.  There is so much detail that it’s phenomenal.

Embroidery Club is Here Again!

Embroidery Club starts at Creative Sewing,, next month and two of the samples are done and in the shop.  Here’s a quick peek.  February is going to offer The Patchfolio for an 8×11 pad with room on the left for papers, pens and a business card.  It’s a wonderful gift or place to keep papers from class and notes.  I will also be offering directions for an ebook holder as an extra or alternative project.  I just received a kindle for my birthday last year and I love it!  I honestly didn’t know if I’d miss my “real” books, but I have to admit that I like the size and weight of the kindle.  It will make traveling soooooo much easier this year.  Last year for vacation I took a BUNCH of books and was stuck at O’Hare airport rearranging my luggage so that I wasn’t over weight and had to pay extra.  Not fun at all.  April will bring the Quilting Laptop Case.  This was a wonderful project to practice free motion quilting.  It’s small enough that shouldn’t prove too frustrating and I sure need the practice.  I usually quilt with my mother’s long arm. Moving the fabric instead of the machine proves to be very different.  I will definitely need more practice!  I honestly think this bag could be used for anything.  I’m off to finish that last project, which will be a cutwork pillow.  I found that cording for it today and will sew it up tomorrow.

Happy Stitching!