Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Embroidery Machine is hummin!

I haven't posted in such a long time. I hope to do better in 2010. I love to embroider snowmen, so this year's gift towels will once again have snowmen on them! The designs I picked are quite large in terms of stitchcount, so it takes a while. I have cranked the machine up pretty high...except for when it is stitching metallic thread, which is more fragile and requires a slower machine speed. Just ordered 150 additional microfiber waffle weave towels, with hopes of getting my Etsy shop stocked. I haven't used the cream colored towels before, so ordered 30 of those, as well as some dark brown towels which are nice, too. I am loving the olivey-green ones for these snowmen...the burgundy is a nice contrast. Well, back to the grind. Hope everyone is getting everything done! Seems like December runs on a faster clock! Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunflower Splendor

I think I want to hold on to summer! Sunflowers seem so summery. Lately our weather has been anything but "summer-like". It has been unseasonably cool even for autumn.

This design is another one of Sonia Showalter's, available here.  Lots of pretty embroidery designs to browse through! If you are an embroider, these original designs by Sonia are superbly digitized.

The Etsy shop is bare right now. Hope to remedy that this week! Thanks for stopping by. The sun is out today, yay!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wedding Cake and Card

This design was embroidered on a beige microfiber towel, using the colors the bride has chosen for her wedding. Lots of texture and dimension in this design. The card has similar browns and pink, and was made using images from a Stampin Up retired set called Natural Beauty. I was pleased with how this gift turned out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Christmas Horn and Pines

Here is another of Sonia Showalter's embroidery designs. All may be found here. This one was embroidered on a microfiber waffle weave dishtowel, with a fabric panel attached to provide a nice flat area to embroider the design. If you want to do this, just cut a strip of fabric the width of your towel x the heighth of your design, allowing for about 2 extra inches so that the design doesn't sit on the edge of the panel. This also gives you some extra to turn under a hem. My towel was a 15" wide. The horn design was about 4" tall, so I cut my panel 16" x 6". Press under half an inch all the way around the fabric rectangle, and then stitch it to the towel. One nice thing about microfiber is that it tends to cling to the cotton fabric, so you hardly have to use any pins to keep the fabric in place while you are sewing it down. I used a decorative stitch, but a straight stitch would work just as well. 

The horn is stitched with Madeira 1792 as Sonia recommended. I tried to capture a closeup that would show the sheen of the thread. It really resembles metallic. The pinecones have great texture as well. This is the first time I have used a fabric panel on my towels. It really provides a fabulous surface to embroider on. Every tiny detail of the embroidery stands out. Normally, I use topping on the microfiber, but there is no need for topping when you have the cotton panel. Think of all the possiblities when you combine great designs with your favorite cotton prints! Here are a few more closeups.(click on photos for larger view) Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, September 21, 2009

A Fabulous Pumpkin

 This is a great seasonal embroidery design, appropriate for the harvest season as well as halloween. The design was digitized by Sonia Showalter. You can see all of her fabulous designs here. I stitched it on a floursack dishtowel, and added a few buttons for embellishment. The little spider card was made from a digital stamp, that will be released later this month at BeanPodFrogShop.

Here are a couple of closeups. Notice the twisty stem on the pumpkin. Photos do not capture all the reflected light and how the embroidery seems to change color as you rotate it towards and away from the light.

Thanks for stopping by. Check back tomorrow to see a pretty Christmas horn design.

Autumn Gift Set

This little gift set went together quickly. The design is one of Sonia Showalter's gorgeous embroidery designs, found here. The design was stitched on a flour sack dishtowel as well as onto a linen square. The little 3 x 3 gift card features a wheat design from Papertrey Ink's First Fruits set, stamped in a subtle Memento Cantaloupe color. A vintage button sits atop a punched paper circle. Quick, easy and fun...and Sonia's designs give the elegant touch!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ducky Themed Baby Gift

Several items were included in this baby gift. In the background is a fuzzy duck blanket with a froggy design. The small print blanket has the baby's name on it. The burp cloth features a cute duck and the baby's name and is backed and bordered with a cheery yellow polka dot print. A coordinating ducky card finished off the ensemble. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Fruit, Shades of Blue

I love sweetcorn. My daughters' neighbors gave them a dozen ears of the best sweetcorn ever! They shared with the whole family. We all enjoyed it, and to thank them I embroidered this dishtowel, and made a little card to go along with it. I hope they like it as much as we liked the corn!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tiny Apron Cards!

I found the cutest little apron card on Anna Wight's blog this morning. She included a tutorial as well as a downloadable template. I downloaded the template and was inspired to make a couple of little fabric aprons. I embroidered them instead of using the pocket piece.

The next thing was trying to figure out where to put a sentiment on a fabric apron and make this into a card! I ended up using the Stampin Up Top Note die. My sentiment and stamping is on that cutout, and then the apron is clipped to the Top Note.

I found the clothespins at Stampers Ink in Shawnee Mission, Kansas (thanks Heather!) The recipient of this card could use the apron as a little decorative piece in the kitchen, or I think it is just the right size for an American Girl doll! Thanks, Anna, for the inspiration!

Black Bean Corn Mango Salsa

I made this recipe by combining several recipes I have tried over the years. You can adjust it easily, or leave out some ingredients if you prefer. This also can be used as a salad. If I serve it as a salad, I will add olive oil to give it more of a dressing. But for scooping up with chips, the oil-free salsa is very tasty and almost fat-free. The jar idea was shown recently on Michelle Wooderson's blog. She put a corn salad in her jar which sounded very tasty.

Here is my salsa recipe. Click here to go to a page where you can download a Word document containing a printable version of this recipe.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Party and Dishtowel Favors

Every year my sister and her family hosts an annual Memorial Day party. It is always a fun get-together, and this year was no exception. We had gorgeous weather which allowed for my nephew, Brian, to do all the grilling. A net was also set up for volleyball and badminton. Everyone who attends the party brings a dish. I took the easy way out this year and brought potato chips and baked beans....I much prefer making the party favors for events such as this, so this year, I decided that a patriotic dishtowel would be useful and pretty. I made little cards to go along with the towels. I was informed that each year I have to "top" the previous year, ha. At least with the favors, I have plenty of time to make them advance and not have to scramble to make an impressive dish to pass!

Friday, March 27, 2009


This cute little appliqued bunny dishtowel is available in my Etsy Shop. The white fabric is the so-soft minkee. I love this little design! My granddaughter also loves it, and when she saw this bunny she said "I NEED that bunny". She is just 2 yrs. old, so of course she will be getting a bunny for Easter. I am making little stuffed bunnies.
I also made some cute little Easter cards yesterday, using a dollar stamp from Michael's. 
I am seeing some Etsy cards shops that are doing fantastic. Wish I knew their secret! Would love to make and sell cards.
All for now. Back to embroidery.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This is a little decorative floursack towel. I sketched the owl and digitized it, creating the stitching so that it resembles a hand-embroidered backstitch, also known as redwork. Owls are popular now, so I had to join the frenzy and come up with a cute one! If I do more of these, each one will be unique because I will use my button stash for the eyes, and I have all kinds. These particular buttons said "Made in Italy". There were 3 on a card for $2.75...I hope I didn't really pay that much!!! My camera has an issue...seems to be 2 spots on the lense that show up on every photo. I am not sure how to remedy this. Perhaps it is the CF card...heaven knows it has been in and out of the camera a million times and perhaps has developed a flaw. Here are a couple more photos of this towel. I think I may even try stitching this design on one of my microfiber towels just to see how that goes.... This towel has been listed on my Etsy shop. I think that a Zak happy spoon and this towel would make a great gift.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Save the Kangaroos

Edited: I decided to switch to the serger and am using some nice soft flannel sheets for the pouches. To start the seam on the bags, I have clipped the seam allowance about two inches down. To finish off the seams, I have encased the serger tails into the seam allowances above the clip that are folded over and machine-sewn to finish them off. (pictures below)

One of the devastating effects of the Aussie bushfires has been the injury to animals. There are rescue groups taking care of baby animals that are hurt or lost their mothers in the fire. They need pouches for these animals, to take the place of their mother's pouch. I belong to the Sergeit list, where an effort is being put forth to make knitted (or other woolen fabric) pouches and  cotton liners to assemble pouches for these poor little baby animals. I am a slow knitter, so I opted to sew liners. They go together fast, and will be so useful to the groups handling the rescue.It is a small thing to do, but maybe it will help an animal in need. I love animals and can't stand it when I hear of hurting animals, or heartless dumping of animals. If you love kitties, a very good book is Dewey. It is about a rescued kitty who became the beloved library cat in Spencer, Iowa. Enough blogging, back to the little kangaroo bags!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Healthy Living

The items pictured are an attempt on the part of my whole family to get healthier in the new year. The little Healthy Living journals took longer to make than I anticipated. Also, I punched the covers incorrectly, so that they didn't line up with the pages, which necessitated remaking the covers. Moral of the story...start out by punching ONE booklet and see how that goes!!! Then do the other seven! I made one for myself, one for each of my five daughters, one for my sister, and one for my sister-in-law. The embroidered towel is part of the package, too. The design is offered on the Bernina website, and is given to those who make a donation to the American Heart Association. I thought it tied in nicely with the theme of getting healthy. I will give these out as a sort of Valentines gift, since I really didn't get in gear quickly enough, and have been cited as the REASON why no one can stick to their exercise and eating routine!!! We all NEED the journals, ha....we'll see how it goes!
Heather took pictures of the individual journal pages here.

The journals have several pages with pockets for inserts. One is for exercise. I printed out 12 narrow pages, one for each month, with spaces to enter any exercise done for that day. Another pocket has inserts for recording your vital statistics, and hopefully seeing a change. We will record these things quarterly. Another pocket, and one which might be the most important, is for tips, tricks, strategies, motivational writings...anything that will help encourage each other in the quest to be healthy. I have offered to compile and print these off and give or mail to all of us to include in the journal. Oh, and lete's not forget recipes. Another page has a pretty band with a huge paperclip for compiling great tasting healthy recipes. Again, I will take care of the printing (and will maybe fancy them up, because I love an excuse to use my stamps, ink and paper for any reason).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentine's Day dishtowels

Last year I designed a cupcake applique embroidery design, and used luscious light pink Minkee fabric for the frosting portion of the design. It looked great on dishtowels. It was a fun design to use on baby bibs as well.

Another design that is great for Valentine gifts is this "Sweetie Pie" design by Sonia Showalter.

I haven't designed or purchased my 2009 Valentine towel design, but will have to do so fairly quickly! This year I did purchase some Kohl's dishtowels, and embroidered names on them. Actually, the Kohl's towels were quite pretty, and this was a quick option for a pretty gift. Normally I only embroider on my microfiber dishtowels, but couldn't pass up the Kohl's towels because of their sale price and how cute they were. Here is one style I used.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Survival Kit

WINTER SURVIVAL KIT......that is the title I have given to this gift!!! It is mostly items that are useful for the frigid temperatures that Illinois has had this winter. It is actually a Christmas gift for a friend. We had planned this gift exchange for January 13th, but cancelled due to extremely cold temperatures and the fact that we would each be driving home late in the evening. Soooo......the get-together has now been rescheduled for this Wednesday, and of course, more cold temps and more snow are forecast.

You might notice that my friend's name is embroidered on the grocery bag. I decided to package the gift in something that would actually be a useful part of the gift....a reusable grocery tote. I have embroidered quite a few bags for family and friends. It is kind of useful to have your name on your bag in case you are like one daughter whose bags fell off the cart and she knew they were hers when she went back thru the store to find them, and came across the ones with her name on them.....

OK, what else is in this bag? Well, handcream is an essential this time of year. This particular hand cream potion was from a recipe on Splitcoast Stampers. Everyone seems to love it. The snowman tag is actually on top of the lid, but you can't see it in the picture, so I put one next to the jar.

I also included a plastic batter bowl....for baking up some warm muffins which as we all know....comfort food is a necessity in frigid winter weather. There is a big, white plastic "happy spoon" by ZAK Designs, as well as an embroidered snowman towel. Oh, and a Jamani Java thermal mug for the hot tea, cocoa or coffee.

And a couple pair of Polarfleece (tm) socks that I made.

And a light blue bath sheet that was too great of a sale price to pass up!

This post doesn't really fit in to the Dishtowel Dame focus of this blog, except to point out that an embroidered dishtowel can fit into almost any theme you can dream up.