Search here...

Be The Difference

Be The Difference Foundation

It saddened me beyond words when I learned that Helen Gardner, my friend, my peer, my fashion icon and the wife of my business partner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I spend most of my days with her family members in our office and see her occasionally but her presence in our building is all around us. A very talented lady, she designed our office building, selected the artwork and oversaw the installation of all the art. She reads Designs and when she sends in a note of approval on a project, I know we’ve hit our mark. She’s a tough lady to impress. She’s also the right lady to fight this terrible disease.

Diagnosed three years ago, Helen has taken charge of her treatment. She knows more about ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment than most doctors. She researches, meets with oncologists across the country, has entered clinical trials, underwent two debulking surgeries, welcomed twin grandchildren into her family, started a foundation, climbed mountains and toured the countryside on two wheels – bicycle wheels that is. So it is only fitting that Designs magazine is participating in Wheel to Survive Dallas on February 17, 2013 benefitting the Be the Difference Foundation founded by Helen Gardner, Lynn Lentscher, Jill Bach, and Julie Shrell – all ovarian cancer survivors.

Will you join me in our quest to find a cure for ovarian cancer? The facts are brutal – there is no cure for this disease and no test for detection! Imagine! Great advances have been made in the fight against breast cancer, now’s the time to turn our attention and resources to ovarian cancer.

Here’s how you can help. Click on this link to learn more about the Be the Difference Foundation. Sponsor the Designs magazine team on Wheel to Survive Dallas as we spin for a cure. Every penny helps, even if it’s just a few dollars, it all goes to finding a cure for ovarian cancer. In the near future, Designs is partnering with other industry companies to build awareness through a Love My Scarf drive. You’ll learn more in the coming months. But for now, let’s show cancer who’s boss! Click here to learn more.



Here’s your assignment this week:

John Deer’s Adorable Ideas is giving away FIVE $20 Design Points! To win simply leave us a comment below and tell us what you’re working on and how these Designs Points could help you. Good Luck!


The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Great things come in pairs. Shoes, diamond earrings, Stitching Sisters! Comment below on why you’d like to attend a Stitching Sisters event or if you have, what you liked most about it. We’ll award one lucky winner with two $20.13 gift certificates, one for you and one for your own stitching sister to spend on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website. Good luck!

And the winner is… “I attended Stitching Sisters in Mystic, CT. Loved everything you did. I learned more in those 2 days than I had in all the other classes I have taken in the past! Would live to go again. Would you be doing new things, different than what you did in Mystic?” – Bonnie




  • Donna G.

    I’m working on towels and kitchen linens for my brother and sister-in-law’s new motor home. There are so many great designs at Adorable Ideas that to win points for designs would be awesome!

  • Jean

    I’m working on custom iPad cases – It would be great to win points from Adorable Ideas to get some additional designs.

  • Barbara

    I’m working on gifts for my aging mother and mother-in-law. The Adorable Ideas points would help me find the perfect embellishment for a blouse, handbag or kitchen accessory.

  • Becky

    I am working on several different projects. I have several senior friends that I am making adult bibs for and it would be a great way to jazz them up so they look lively. Another one is an in the hoop project and the designs would be great plus next month on February 22 and 23 Debbi Denny from Adorable Designs will be teaching at an embroidery event sponsored by Jeff’s Sewing and Vac in Martinez, Ga and I think it would be great fun to have design points so when I go to the embroidery event and get inspired then I will be able to purchase some of the designs. Not to mention I can combine the Adorable Idea designs with some of the techniques I learned last year at the Stitching Sisters event in Atlanta. What a great combo of designs and techniques. How much fun can you have!

  • Susan J

    i am getting an early start on Christmas 2013 with projects that I didn’t finish for Christmas 2012. I would love to choose some new designs from Adorable Ideas to inspire me.

  • Lynette Panozzo

    I am working on lavender sachets for coming Christmas gifts. I love all of your designs and of course John Deers Adorable Ideas. I would absolutely love to attend a Stitching Sisters day if they ever decided to travel to Victoria, Australia!!! Count me in!!!!

  • Rosalyn Schultze

    For the new year, I am working on six hand towels for my powder room and six kitchen towels for my kitchen. It is seldom that I do things for myself and I decided it was time. I would love to be able to select new designs from Adorable Ideas to help spruce up my home.

  • Susan Wilson

    I’m working on Aline dresses for several small girls in my family, and I’m sure I can use the Design Points for not only “Special” days but designs to make every day Special for them 🙂

  • JoAnne Freeman

    I am working on many things: potholders (three sizes) for a local thrift shop that supports a domestic violence shelter, play dress-up doctor coats for my two grand daughters, several styles of bibs and aprons for all my female relatives for gifts throughout the year. These design points would be a wonderful treat, especially for some really special new designs. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Beth R

    I am stitching out designs I’ve done in my embroidery software – trying to learn some ins and outs of the software!

  • Linda Turner

    I am working on an corduroy jumper in black and white for my little grand daughter. I plan to embroidery her monogram on the front of the jumper. I do not have anything from John Deer. I think it might be nice to add to my collection.

  • Paula Henry

    This week I am working on comfort cushions for my friend who just had a double masectomy, hope it will give her a little comfort from the surgery

  • Helen Gardner

    Thank you Eileen for supporting Be the Difference Foundation in this very special way. You are helping us get the word out there. Women need to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer as this disease takes the lives of 70% of women who are diagnosed. We need to get talk louder so that our voices are heard and people become aware.

    It is your unending support and friendship that inspires me to Be the Difference in the fight to end ovarian cancer.
    Hugs and love to you, Helen

  • M Kirby

    I’m working on a fleece robe for my grandson for Christmas–last Christmas, derailed by illness!–and a formal for my 15-year-old granddaughter to wear in three weeks. I’d love to do a small subtle embroidery as a secret “Grandma loves you” message.

    Thank you for the inspiring message about Helen–I’m currently awaiting results from an endometrial biopsy and finding I’m really not good at waiting.

  • Deb

    I want to get some baby quilts made with my new AcuFil hoop, a housecoat for my mom & some fleece pants for my grandson. Also, I NEED to get some UFO’s done.

  • Vicky Isliefson

    I am working on a computer/tote bag featuring the Wichita, KS Quilt Shop Hop fabrics from last October. The fabric is a batik with multi-colored sun flowers, so I have embroidered my “logo” and monogram along with some stock design sunflowers by Brother on the pocket flaps and the top of the bag. (City Market Tote by Amy hamberlin, Unique Sewing Patterns, Kati Cupcake Pattern Co.)

    I have take a class at the KC Expo from John Deere, and he is an excellent teacher and extremely talented digitizer, so I would be happy to receive his disigns as a prize!

  • Doreen

    I’m working on bunny angel gift card holders. They were supposed to be hand embroidered, glued and hand sewn. I used my specialty stitches and machine embroidery and my machine blanket stitch. I could really use some nice designs.I have a lot of Adorable Ideas Designs already but one can always use more.

  • Terry Colucci

    I’m working on some walker bags for my mother-in-law. I made her some last year, and she loads them up to get from one part of her home to another. She’s wearing them out, so I decided to make some more. It would be fun to embellish them with Embroidery!

    I also have a basket of projects that are cut out, or partially finished, and for whatever reason, got set aside. There aren’t really a lot of them, and it is my goal to have that basket empty by the end of this month. Guess I’d better get busy!

    Anyway, I will find many uses for Adorable Ideas Designs. Sure would love to win some!

  • Shannon Curtis

    I have everything ready to start but I am having a hard time taking my new machine out of its box – scared I will mess it up… I know I can do as I use my serger all the time – so until I get over my stage fright I am enjoing reading all the blogs!

    • eileenroche

      Shannon – I want to give you a gentle nudge to take that machine out of the box! You can do this – you’ve mastered a serger, now you can handle any embroidery machine.

  • Jamie Honley

    I am working on making annd sending free standing lace angels, and snowflakes to send to the new Sandy Hook school in the aftermath of the tradgety,t the children will be attending a new school and they have requested that embroiders send winter items, and, they are being used to decorate the new school. and winning the points would be a Blessing. thank you

  • Carrie Burzan

    I am actually finishing up some christmas gifts. I adore adorable ideas. I did their Christmas angel as ornaments for people at work. I have some napkins and towels to finish.
    Thank you.

  • DeeLyn Marshall

    I work with the local senior center with a wonderful group of ladies. Together, we make quilts and other hand made items to give to community members who are going through a very difficult time. Recently, we donated a large stack of quilts to victims of a horrendous fire that burned most of a nearby town, displacing a large number of families. Some of our quilts go to elderly, frail or ill members of our own community who are ill, or battling cancer or other life changing challenges. We also keep a stash of quilts for the little ones who have more of a burden than they deserve. This winter has been tough, and our “stash” is empty.
    I’ve found that adding some machine embroidery to the quilts gives each a personal touch beyond the standard needlework of quilting. It takes that “something special” and bumps it up a notch. Having a selection of embroidery designs would go quite far in being able to more accurately personalize that special “get well” gift, etc. The outreach of warmth and love could be documented for sake of remembrance.

  • Peggy Schroeder

    I have been working on embroidered labels to go on the back of quilts that our quilt group makes and gives to the District Attorney’s office, who in turn give them to victims of abuse, etc. We also make them for the battered women’s shelter, and some of the nursing homes. Our other quilt group makes them for “wounded warriors’, and they fit on the gurneys of the soldiers coming home from the war zone. They go in the planes, and are given out as the gurneys are put on board. I have had a rough year healthwise, so I am way behind in my label making, thankfully, other ladies have taken up the slack.

  • Wanda Leffingwell

    I embroidered a top for my granddaughter and the design ended up close to sleeve instead of left shoulder I was way off shirt looked to terrible to wear! I need help placinf where design is to be stitched!

  • Cathy Dykes

    I am sooo in need of any help I can get! I have taken on the task of sewing not one but two very difficult dresses for my granddaughters for Easter. Since Easter is coming fairly early this year and I work full time it has got me under the gun. However, it is a learning curve but very doable with all the help you guys offer out there to assist us in getting things “just right”. One of the dresses has lace sewn on a scollop hem. Boy, is it a brain teaser. Thanks for all you do.
    Cathy in Bama (AKA on a job in Philly right now 🙂

  • Wandra Dees

    I am currently working on patches for our upcoming annual Rock Painting Party in June. Each year (for 13 years so far) I have sttiched patches for each person who attends our Rock party. (Rock party to paint rocks) This year our theme is Hawaiian. I used the Hula girl from Anita Goodesign Steve Wilson Collection. I LOVE my collection of designs and one more would be great!

  • Warner Brown

    I’ve read this article this is an amazing.

Pingback: Sew a Makeup Bag/Be The Difference Embroidery/how to embroider | Nancy Zieman Blog on January 16, 2013

Pingback: Sew a Makeup Bag/Be The Difference Embroidery/how to embroider | Nancy Zieman Blog on January 16, 2013