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Who makes a difference in your hobby?

People often ask me, what do I love best about my job? The answer – the people. You can’t believe the wonderful people I meet. Just last week, I hit the road to drive from Dallas to San Antonio for a Stitching Sisters event. I stopped to see my good friends, Barb and Ron Goldkorn, owners of Sew Much More in Austin. They were getting ready for a big event – an Anita Goodesign Embroidery party. They have a delightful store – a treasure trove of products and inspirational samples overseen by a warm and talented staff. Who could ask for more in a dealer? Barbara even displays her personal collection of dress forms.

If that’s not enough, how about this really cool – and really Texan – t-shirt Ron gifted to me? Love that! I think you can order one, just give them a call at 512-452-3166.

Then off to San Antonio to work with Terry and Vince Soll, owners of Creative Sewing Center.

Set up was a breeze because they had everything we needed, the venue was perfect and everyone willing pitched in to get the job done. Good thing, because we had 100 embroiderers arriving early the next morning. Of course, my Stitching Sister Marie and I couldn’t resist stopping at their store on the way to the hotel. Wow – it’s gorgeous! Terry has spent hours, okay well, years, creating a colorful inviting store that’s a must-see on any visit to San Antonio.

Stop in, drool over the gorgeous fabrics and take a peek at Brother’s latest inventions. Visit their website at

The weekend flew by – made many new friends over the two-day event. If you’ve ever been to one of my presentations, you’ll know I openly claim, “If you want to be disappointed look inside my garments and at the back of my quilts!” I’m the first to admit it’s more important for me to finish the fronts flawlessly than the inside or back because most of my work is done for photography. The audience laughs along with me and understands. But one kind soul, Cindy McCord, just couldn’t bear to let me show an unbound quilt (honest, there was only one!). She took it home on Friday, purchased the perfect fabric, bound and returned it to me at the start of class on Saturday morning.

Wouldn’t you love your job if met wonderful people like I do?

Even my machines depend on people because I’ve learned I often need someone’s help to keep my machines purring.  Here at Designs we are often bailed out of jams (thread jams, that is), from our friends Antonio Orozco and Walter Castro at Mr. Sewing Machine on Harry Hines in Dallas.

We are also blessed with technical assistance from the talented crew over at Arlington Sewing Center. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for these great people who are so willing to assist.

Tell me who makes the difference in your hobby? Is there someone you turn to for help, for inspiration or even mechanical assistance?  Tell me your story by leaving a comment and you just might win…Machine Embroidery with Confidence by Nancy Zieman!

And the winner of the Little Black Tee from last week is…Pamela Wilson!

My favorite techneque to pass on is the keep your fingers from getting sore. Many of us have embroidery machines with the hoops that have turn screws. My fingers used to get sore turning the screw, so I cut one of the foam colored pencil grippers in half lenghtways and worked it over the screw. Now my fingers aren’t sore and by using different colors of foam, it is easy to tell by color which hoop is what size.

Congratulations, Pamela!

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  • Enis

    There are so many people and venues that inspire me. I love my local Viking Sewing Gallery crew. Jackie and Linda (as well as the others) are so creative and helpful. I can always count on them to spur me on to something new. I also find loads of inspiration from books and magazines — of which, of course, DIME is my favorite!

  • Janice Murry

    My dear friend Sharee has been embroidering for years. I think she has gone through three machines over the years, so any time I have a problem she usually is able to help. Articles in DME also are a big help because I still consider myself a beginner. I love learning new things.

  • Shirley Rawlinson

    I have been so lucky to live in Salem, Oregon and be the recipient of the expert, friendly and thorough advice I receive from Sally and Julie, Sewing Advisors at Rich’s Sewing and Vacuum here in town where I have purchased my Babylock embroidery machines. When I run into a snag on a machine embroidery project that seems impossible to resolve after trying my best, it is so great to be able to hop in the car and drive a short distance where I know I can count on one of them to help me come up with the solution. I am new to machine embroidery, so their support means a successful project every time. Thank you, Ladies!

    • eileen

      Hi Shirley,
      You are a lucky girl to have the help of Sally and Julie. I’ve had the pleasure of working with both ladies and they are uber professionals! I believe they could solve any dilemna you encounter!

  • joanne frey

    I honestly couldn’t get along without Sharon at Joyce’s sewing and quilt shop in Oshawa, anytime I have a question about why my embroidery doesn’t do what it is supposed to, or what fabric I need to “finish ” something, she just works, I hope she stays at Joyce’s , (a great shop) but if not I’ll follow her. So glad to post this.

  • Peggy

    I am so lucky to have my Mother, at 88 years young, she is my biggest fan and always enjoys seeing my projects.

  • Karin

    I have been blessed with a loving and patient husband…he drives me all over looking for fabric, then waits while I look at and touch everything and read every pattern. He helps me coordinate colors and patterns, then he helps me tote everything to the cutting table & stands in line while I continue to look around. Then, we go up to the cashier’s stand, and he very calmly waits for it all to get rung up, then pays for it, all without complaining. Then he drives me home & we put it all away. When I create, he always tells me it’s beautiful and the workmanship is just perfect. And I always listen, ‘cuz he just couldn’t be wrong! I just love him to pieces and couldn’t do all that I do without him!

    • eileen

      He’s one of a kind!

  • Susan Spiers

    Although I have been embroidering for several years now, I find myself so involved with a problem, I need a fresh look at a problem. My sister-in-law, who is new to embroidery, helps me to take a deep breath & look at a problem from a different viewpoint. She’s great & truly my inspiration!

  • Martha

    I have to say the Village Sewing Center is a wonderful store with very helpful people. They have free clubs that teach and inspire me to try all aspects of sewing. I bought my embroidery machine there ten years ago and they have always been helpful and friendly.

  • Dianne J

    I have received so much good advice from new embroidery friends at Miss Sammy”s sewing nite in Jasper,Texas.It is a huge help to get help from a lot of ladies that have been there and done that.They have helped me tremendously.

  • Jan

    My inspirations come from my childhood. My grandmothers’ and Aunts’ got me started at a very young age doing all kinds of crafts, sewing, hand embroidery, etc. My Mother kept me going with my dreams of my own business of sewing and embroidering. She helped me to buy my first machine, and continues to support me and encourage me. She is 81 and we live in different states which is difficult at times. But we talk on the phone and I have hooked up on the Internet with a local sewing store in her area so she can see the different materials and machines and see what I am doing. I make things for her and Daddy for special occasions. That way she shows off her daughters skill to her friends.

  • Karen Trott

    My inspirations are everywhere, books, magazines, greeting cards, catalogs and of course the Embroidery blogs, newsletters, websites, and new products. I keep Email folders for Machine Embroidery, Nancy’s Notions, and many other quality sources of ideas, design, tips, & how-tos,
    I print out many ideas and keep them a a folder called ‘Ideas”

    I will need several life times to work up all my inspirations, but I’m never at a loss for ideas.

  • Betsy

    My husband was the first to come to mind. He is very supportive of my hobby and thinks I am a genius even though I’m pretty new to machine embroidery and quilting. I run into a lot of people who tell me how he brags about my talents. A few weeks ago he even brought a few of my embroidery and quilting projects to his dental appointment to show all the girls in the office! Of course, my local sewing center gals are my go-to people for assistance and classes to learn new techniques…..AND I couldn’t live without my books, magazines and online resources for tips and inspiration!

    • eileen

      Another lucky lady! It’s so lovely to hear women rave about the men in their life!

  • katrina

    The person who makes a difference in my hobby is my husband. He finances it, lets me run with it, and even allows me to take over our home at times with it. He flies my sister and mom to come here to Canada to be with me and my children and manages to not kill us when the weekend becomes a massive 24/7 sew/embroider/eat athon. A great husband is my difference.

  • April

    My youngest daughter is always sitting next to me helping to hand me threads for the next thread change. She plays with my thread rack and loves the different colors as she stacks them, claiming her favorites. She’s three, and she hopes that everything we embroider is for her to keep. I think she’s more enthusiastic than I am most days. Hopefully I’m raising an embroiderer/quilter/sewing enthusiast to share my hobbies.

  • Wendy

    My friend Gretchen is the person who makes a difference in my work. She has been a big help in encouraging me to venture out into a business. She is my number 1 fan.

    Unforutentaly my #1 machine go-to Ivan, passed away. He was the best ever for fixing my babies and getting them right back to me. No waiting two to six weeks for my machine to come back.


    My grandaughter who is 17 inspires me. She is so full of ideas, but says she doesn’t have the creativity like her grandma, so we work very well together. IT IS SIMPY GREAT. I have a few projects that hopefully I will complete in my lifetime, but if not I know Krista will do it for me…. I also have a friend who is the owner of the Woodburn Sew and Vac in Woodburn, Or. Debbie is so full of positive encouragement for my many projects and seems to always have a solution for my boo-boo’s particularly sewing. Couldn’t do all the the projects without help from a lot of family and friends…..

  • Kelly

    My daughter and her sorority have given me so many ideas, my husband and my mentally disabled son help me soon much with picking things up and getting things out, it is a family affair.

  • Paule-Marie

    I don’t know that I could name just one person, there are so many creative people I have met in my life.

    My grandmother. She taught me to sew, embroider, crochet,, cook when I was 6. She couldn’t of been more patient with an active child.

    Betty Thomason was my sewing/tailoring teacher senior year of high school. She helped with the patience part of sewing – I have more than I did then. I don’t mind sitting and doing hand work thanks to sewing on 11 yards of trim (on both sides – it was 2 inches wide) by hand. I stll have the dress.

    Pam Cortese at The Sewing Shop in Santa Rosa. She has one of the most creative minds I have seen. And when I have a problem with my machines, she’s my go to person even if I now live almost 1000 miles away. She is great at talking you through solutions on the phone.

  • Devora OLson

    I’m very lucky that I started shopping at Hancock’s in Tucson after I purchased my serger somewhere else. I connected with one of the saleswomen who was also one of the instructors for sergers. I signed up with her and took three private lessons. Pam was an incredible instructor and gave me her phone number. I started calling her (I’d like to say occasionally..a bit more). She was always so helpful. After a few months Pam and I started to develop a friendship and now today three years later continue our friendship…and she doesn’t even mind when I ask her an embroidery question or two.

  • Marge Geraci

    I am a definite beginner with machine embroidery and I’ve received much help from the DME, tips, hints and etc. from many internet sites. But I do believe my most help and support comes from my Hubby. Who is always complimenting me and is very encouraging and really puts his all in trying to help me in all ways possible. Don’t know what i’d do without him.