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Quilt Market 2010

If you visited our brand new Facebook page last week, you probably saw pictures from Quilt Market. This event, held every fall, is for the trade only and it’s where new product is introduced, new fabrics are unveiled and old and new friends connect. And oh yes, there is the museum-quality quilt show. It is where I always end my Market visit. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

First off – Quilt Market was an explosion of color – brights and pastels filled the convention floor. The big names were there – Amy Butler, Kaffe Fasset, Anna Marie Horner, and now Ty Pennington. Florals were a huge trend –oversized whimsical blooms were in abundance. This season’s crop is not for the timid but boy are they fun. I’m not a big fan of homespun, dull fabrics so I happen to love almost everything I saw at Market. However, it was difficult imaging how to incorporate those exploding prints into garments and home décor, let alone how to work embroidery into the mix.

Of course, where would we be without new tools! Clover has introduced some nifty new notions – an oval yo-yo maker, Flower Frill templates, Door Knob Tips (not about how to install a door knob but rather sewing tips that hang on a door knob!) and Nancy Zieman’s Stack ‘n’ Stitch Thread Tower. Here’s a shot of Nancy demonstrating how the Thread Tower doubles as a thread feeder for sewing and embroidery. No more spool on, spool off – just spin the rack and thread the machine! The telescoping thread guide adjusts for all machines.

Earlier this summer I posted a free design for cutting the hole for large grommets. (You can find it here.) Well, grommets were everywhere at Market. The most interesting ones I saw where at The Junk Jeans People. Owner Luveta Nickels offers them in three eye-popping translucent colors (and metal finishes) – lime, turquoise and hot pink plus clear! Imagine the fun you can have with the clear version – so easy to insert another piece of fabric under the grommet. I think that’s something I’ll be incorporating into a bag pretty soon!

But let’s not forget the quilts. Walking amongst the quilts is like strolling on hallowed ground. As I glance at the work, I think of the hours each quilter put into her/his creation. The designing, cutting, piecing, quilting, inking, painting, texturizing, ripping, signing, finishing, packing, shipping and hoping. Each work is deserving of a ribbon or at least, a round of applause. My hat is off to each one of the artists – it is an accomplishment to have a quilt accepted into the International Quilt Festival competition.

After spending hours in the midst of all that talent, I wondered what makes us create. More specifically, why do you embroider?  Post your comment and you could be the lucky winner of Machine-Embroidered Monograms for the Home and a 15 Minute Embroiderable Nightlight!

Last week we asked if you had tackled something that you thought was going to be easy but instead was humbled by the challenge?  The winner of Machine Embroidery with Confidence by Nancy Zieman is…Linda Kwolek!

“Yep, I’m there. My current project is making shoulder patches for a friend at work for his Salvation Army Unit. What started out as one, became 3. He only has pictures of what he wants, colors, size and dimension. I’m just getting into digitizing and said I’d be happy to volunteer my time and would enjoy the challenge. Little did I realize how out of my territory I really am. He has come up with many different ideas for the now 3 different patches. I’m happy to say, they are ready to be embroidered out.”

Congratulations, Linda!


Since so many of you have been participating on this blog, one of our partners has taken a notice and wants to reward one of our readers with an embroidery machine. Check back Monday afternoon to see what all the hype is about and enter for a chance to win a new embroidery machine!

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  • Nancy Hunter

    I love to embroider, mostly because I am left-brained…what I call non-talented. This way, I can think up lovely things and do them with with great pride, even when the project has already been done. I am presently embroidering the monograms from your book onto pillowcases and linen guest towels for gift giving. My family will think I am so talented!

  • Karin

    Most of my creations are given as gifts – either we give them to friends & family, or someone has commissioned me to make something special for them to deliver as a gift. I have a not-very-successful or profitable shop (heck, it’s barely even known!!) on etsy (you can click the link above to see it), and most of my items live there until they’re sold or pulled off the market to be given away. 🙂 But, I do love to create, just for the sake of creativity & to learn new techniques.

  • Diane Hilton

    Why do I embroider…
    First of all , I like the creativity..I first learned to do embroidery in a shop that a friend owned..That was 15 years ago on a rather large machine..We were limited to names,monograms[3 letter] and company logos..
    Now, many years later, I have my own home machine and the designs are endless.I love being able to create “one of a kind” fashion for myself and family and friends..It is great for last minute gifts with a personal touch…I always keep a supply of items on hand for emergency gifts…
    I love reading this blog for the tips and ideas it brings..
    Diane from Louisiana

  • Sue R

    I love to embroider! I am doing it more and more. The reason being is when I make a gift, it is usually because it suits that specific person. Embroidering allows me to personalize it even more whether it be monogram, or a picture of something they would like. It makes the gift even more special and they appreciate it even more. I love that!
    Thanks for the chance to win – check out my blog if you like:)

  • Ruth

    I feel compellled to try and make something better and make it less expensive than what I saw in stores. To take something inexpensive and turn it into something great is very satisfying.

  • Shirley R

    I embroider because I love to work with fabrics and the beautiful colors of the embroidery threads. It is also a way of giving a special gift to family and friends, which I find I is the main focus of my endeavors. I always have four or five projects in the wings while I am finishing up the present one, but don’t we all!

  • Peggy

    I have always enjoyed making gifts. When I got my embroidery machine I was able to make even more items. In the hoop projects are currently my favorite.

  • Patti Johnson

    I have 2 special needs adult children so my life is quite complicated at times. I have always found that doing some time of creative hobby always help calm me down. Years ago it was more sewing, now it is a combination of embroidery & sewing. I do more projects as gifts than I do selling & that is ok. People would always question how I had time to do my sewing/embroidery & my answer continues to be the same: It helps keep me sane!
    I still love watching the embroidery machine “create” the design…& see the finished project come to life!

  • Penny Kitzmiller

    You ask what makes one create for their sewing? I ,along with just about every other sewer and embroider, sew with inspiration from my grandson. I love to sew for him and for other children at my church. If I didn’t have him I would sew for the newborns at our local hospitals. I crochete caps and butties right now for them. I also look around me and look at what a wonderful world the Lord has made for our enjoyment, and get inspired by all of the fall colors. They make me warm inside. Thank you for this blog and thank you for allowing us “blog candy” as they say.

  • Judy

    I love machine embroidery. I love stitching out beautiful designs that talented digitizers have created and coming up with ideas on how to use them or reading new ideas in magazines to see what I can do and have everyone ooo and awe over what has been done. With the holidays around the corner my machine will be non-stop as I have to start embroidery my table settings and guest gifts. How exciting.

  • Deb

    I really enjoy embroidery, especially by machine! My husband bought me my 1st embroidery machine for Christmas 18 yrs ago. He used the money paid to us by the insurance company when our 10 yr old son died. He said it was fitting, because our 3 children loved the items I sewed for them. Sewing & emb was very healing for me. Now I coordinate a machine embroidery club & teach all kinds of classes. I love the challenge to learn new techniques & use new notions. DIME gives me many of those ideas, not only for my lessons, but for my many gifts, made with love.

  • Cindy Jordan

    I first fell in love with machine embroidery when I saw a demo at a local fabric store and sat down and put my monogram on a hand towel. INSTANT GRATIFICATION!!!!!! I was always starting projects and never finishing them, (I have since found that those are called UFOs) I have many. With machine embroidery I can sit down at my machine, get a pattern for a key chain, wallet, or beautiful crocheted lace like I used to do by hand (and very rarely finished) and in less time than it takes to wash and dry two loads of clothes, I have a beautiful, finished gift. Even better than that, those who receive those gifts are absolutely amazed and thrilled that I made it for them.

  • Wendy M

    I embroider because it relaxes me and it fascinates those who I give my creations to.

  • Gracia Borchard

    I embroider, because I get hypnotized by the rhythmic movement of the machine as it stitches out its patterns. It always fascinates me that the machine doesn’t finish a particular part of the design in the sequence I would have expected it to do. The gentle hum of the machine as it goes about its business, calms me, and in that time, I’m able to forget all my day-to-day worries and cares, while I bask in the serenity of my machine-embroidered world!
    Ah…now THAT is bliss!

  • Vee Race

    I embroider because I love it. I love the creativity of choosing design ,colors, the process & the results.

  • Jean Hollis

    I embroider because the artist in me wants out! I cannot draw to save my life, and machine embroidery fills the hole in my soul that wants to use color and texture to make beautiful pictures. Add that to a love of giving gifts and you have a well used embroidery machine.

    When we traveled to China to adopt our daughter in 2001, I filled a suitcase with embroidered blankets and bibs to leave with the orphanage so that these babies would know that they were loved.

  • Susan Spiers

    I luv to embroider, machine embroidery for instant satisfaction & hand embroidery for a satisfaction knowing after a few combinations of stitches, I will have a creation to be proud of. It amazes me that in both instances, a few pieces of simple colored thread can become a beautiful accent to clothing, acessories or a gift!

  • Janice Murry

    With all of the things we do day in and day out, it is important to be able to express who we are through some creative outlet. Embroidery is a means that lets us express the beauty we have inside. It is a way of painting a picture. Being able to create something beautiful is satisfying to the soul.

  • Valerie Usowicz

    I’ve been doing hand embroidery since I was a child, even had to learn how to embroider in grade school in England, so when I first saw machine embroidery I was hooked right away. I’m so glad that as of this week I am retired and can give more time to learning the program that I have with my machine and can really get into embroidery more. I was so busy with my own business that I didn’t have much time to learn all the things you need to learn to do successful embroidery. I’ve had a few, well, shall we call the learning curves. I’ve been collecting the essentials and reading magazines and books. I’ve bought lots of designs and loved all the information that Eileen shares with us. Now I’m ready to play and I’m so looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing your passion with all of us, I can’t wait to bring all my ideas into reality.

  • Enis

    Why do I embroidery? Wow, that’s a great question. I love to embroider because it is so versatile. You can personalize just about anything. Adding names, monograms, initials and a myraid of designs to suit any taste. You can stitch out a design in any pleasing color combination, make something larger or smaller, place a design anywhere that it will fit. I mean, you can do so much with embroidery. And, why not!?!

  • Sophia

    I love to make things for myself and others—when I make my own, it is a ONE OF A KIND! Embroidering is my therapy session–it is refreshing to create beautiful things.

  • Nancy Drobniak

    I’m not sure if I can explain why I embroider as much as what drives me to embroider; Creating something that I feel proud of, have some control over, makes me happy. I guess that after so much effort, the end result is something that makes me happy.

  • Claudia

    I too took on a project I had no idea would be so much frustrating work! My friend has a light plane and wanted 4 hats with the picture of his plane. No problem I thought, I can autodigitize the picture and use my hat hoop. Of course, I didn’t tell him I had never used the hat hoop before! Neither did I tell him this would be my first picture auto digitized!
    Well after a month of trying to ‘auto’ digitize a picture, I discovered I could sent the picture (on the net) to a digitizer for an extremely low cost. Whew!, I thought. It came back and I embroidered a patch to show him the results. ” Oh, Oh, the right aerolaran was not distinguishable”, he said. I was very proud of myself for ‘tweeking’ that to his satisfaction.
    But, now the hat hoop didn’t want to flatten out the hat above the bill. The bill was extremely hard and the front of the hat was very firm. My first attempt was terrible, came out of the hoop midway and was a disaster. Why did I ever let him purchase the hats? I then took the 2nd hat apart and did a perfect job. BUT, I had to hand sew it together again because it was too thick for even my strongest machine with a leather needle. I then made three patches and hand sewed them to the the two remaining caps and over the disaster. He liked the one I hand sewed and told me to keep the others. Woe is me. I learned to buy the caps that I could sew on OR hand the digitizied pattern to a professional embroidery company and let them do the caps. I could then play middle man and still reap a profit. BTW, we are still friends.

  • Claudia

    I’m back again. I agreed to do the staff shirt embroidery of our logo as compensation for an air conditioner in the Quilting Room. Every time I showed the director the ‘patch’, he wanted it ‘tweeked’ a little different. We went thru several juniper trees, many many fonts, centering vs off center, mountain sizes, etc. 3MONTHS it took for the okay! So this winter I will be making many dozen patches which I will sew on the shirts when I get back to my Summer Home. I wasted a lot of time and energy and we are now in a different room at the arts and crafts center that needs no air conditioning.
    My advice is to get a contract, stating how many designs the purchaser can choose from and what the dollar amount of the finished product will be. (I still don’t whether I will be paid or the sewing/quilting/ embroidery group will recieve anything for the staff shirt patches.

  • Claudia

    Even though I wrote the two above comments, I still love machine embroidery! I love the creativity it gives me, the choices in colors and design. I love making gifts for my family and friends and hope they consider them to be an heirloom to pass on. I love embroidery sooooooooooo much that I have to have every new notion or gizmo that comes along. I have several different brand machines because I want to know what is different, best in them all. I have 4 different kinds of software and am still looking for the best one. Selling some of my embroidery allows me to do the ‘hunt’-similar to the ‘stash’ that quilters have. (I have a sizeable stash too as I quilt also) In fact I got started on machine embroidery when I started to get carpel tunnel and wasn’t comfortable hand quilting any more. Now a lot of my quilting friends are getting into embroidery too at both my Summer home Craft Center and my Winter home Craft Center.

  • VickiT

    I love embroidering because I love making things and love even more giving nice gifts to friends and family all throughout the year. Being able to personalize those gifts makes them even more special. Plus I have always been a crafty type person and embroidery on my machine I think is my most favorite so far and relaxing to me.

  • Wendy

    I went in to the store to get a new sewing machine and ended up buying the Viking Rose. Back in 1996. I love to embroider things for friends and family. I do a lot of charity quilts and love to “Quilt them” with my embroidery machine.
    Now I have both the Rose and D1, both are over 10 years old. Time for upgrades but my budget will not let me at this time.

  • Re

    I should say why do WE embroider.

    My husband and I love to make things for our grandchildren. We just finished some headbands, which we are told, are the in thing to wear to school these days! We also embroidery wedding gifts, sweat shirts, place mats as gifts. I feel so talented when we do these items….yet I really let the machine do the work.


  • judy

    Using my embroidery machine relaxes me. I have always loved creative pursuits – sewing, painting, and drawing. When my daughter was young, I loved to make her clothes. If I had had an embroidery machine then, she would have been the best dressed little girl around. Now, I look at all the cute baby things and think – If I ever have a gandchild, I want to make one of those, and one of those – I’ll be sewing all the time!

  • Gail Beam

    I love using my embroidery machine because I can personalize items for a specific person for a specific occasion, holiday, room decor, etc. My grandchildren love to have their names or certain designs embroidered on items that they wear or use. They can pick out what designs, fabric, or item of clothing that they want personalized. This makes gifts from gramma extra special because they get to choose what they want.

  • Debbie

    Why do I embroidery, well I love the many possibilites that I have with this medium. I spend hours on the internet looking at all the lovely designs that have been created to inspire me or just because I am looking for a specific design for a gift or project. I created a small wallhanging last spring for a friend who was moving back to Ohio from Florida and was very sad to be leaving the beach and its surroundings so I made her this lovely wallhanging with many different designs to remind her of the many friends she has her and can always come back anytime. I love to create anything that will tell any person, whether a frend, family or a stranger that I care!

  • Becky Muns

    I love to embroider. I work a full time job and have little time to actually sew anymore. I fill my craving to sew by embroidering whenever I can. I love to monogram gifts as it adds that personal touch. I especially love embroidering on baby items. They are usually a big hit with new moms. Since most embroidery is on ready made items, I can still spend at least some time at my machine even though that time is so limited.

  • Cheryl Ruhnke

    What makes me create with embroidery is I love watching a design stitch out and come to life ,it’s mesmerizing and addictive!! You become the artist by choosing the color of thread which at times can make a design beautiful or awful.I just love seeing ther different colors of thread come together into a work of art.
    At first machine embroidery was cheaper than therapy, but now I can never have enough thread or designs, which is why I would love to have another machine humming along in my sewing room.

  • Jackie

    I embroidery for the pleasure of watching the design stitch out, I’m always looking at clothes and trying to figure out what design I can do and where. I also think it’s important to keep learning and trying new things.

  • yvonne davison

    Why do I embroider? OMG let me count the reasons! The number one reason I embroider is because it takes me to a world of creativity that no other art form can match. Reason number two would be because I become totally lost and mezmerized watching the machine bring the design to life. The third reason I embroider is that I just LOVE doing it. It lifts me out of any slump life throws me. I could list other reasons, but they would all spell “JOY”
    Thanks for the opportunity to express my love for machine embroidery to the publishers of Designs In Machine Embroidery, it felt so good to put in in writing!!! I wait for each new issue with great anticipation and read it from cover to cover the day it arrives. I guard all my issues and refer to them often, finding something useful each time.