Search here...

Wrapped in Embroidery


Joanne Banko

Joanne Banko

We’ve been drooling over our latest book release, “Wrapped in Embroidery, Machine Embroidered Wraps and Cozy Cover-Ups” by Joanne Banko.  If you love to wear your embroidered creations, then you”ll understand why.

I’m so excited about this book. Joanne really gets how a fashionable woman wants to look and she’s tuned into how busy we all are! She made her techniques simple to master and enjoyable to wear.  I recently had the privilege to interview Joanne. Read on to learn more.

Tell me three things our readers would be surprised to know about you.
I purchased my first embroidery machine almost 20 years ago and still have the first project I ever made. It was a vest with paisley designs and I almost wore it out.I still have the second project too. I made a pillow and I never closed the back opening. To this day it still has pins in it!I scribble down ideas when they pop into my mind but I sometimes “lose” the thought because I can’t read my own handwriting.
Describe your perfect vacation day.
My perfect day would be warm and sunny. You would find me lounging outdoors (in a shady spot!) with a pile of magazines and books by my side. A refreshing swim followed by a delicious stir fry would complete a perfectly relaxing vacation day.
Describe your perfect work day.
My average work day can be quite varied. I may be home designing, writing and stitching, or I may be away at a sewing event or teaching a class. No matter where I am or what I am doing, my perfect work day ends with the hope that I have taught a fellow sewing enthusiast something new or inspired them to stitch something special, enjoying every stitch along the way!

Joanne's work room/playroom

Joanne’s work room/playroom

Finish the sentence: Nobody knows …
wanted to be a cheer leader but I could not do the splits, so now I’m happy to cheer on fellow sewing fanatics.
What is your favorite thing to do other than sewing/embroidering?
Swim in the summer, read in the winter.


What is your favorite project you have created over the years?
I have many, many favorites and usually I am highly enthused about whatever I am currently creating. However, I think one of my all-time favorites was a small sewing themed wall hanging. I scanned and then printed “antique” pattern envelopes onto fabric and pieced them together with sewing themed embroidery designs. I gave the finished item to a friend and she hung it in her office for years.
Do you prefer to design from scratch or do a makeover?
I would prefer to design from scratch, partly because I love the make it yourself process from start to finish. Even trimming pattern pieces is fun for me. However, when I do embellish a ready-made I get the same “I made it myself” satisfaction. After all a makeover is basically a blank made beautiful!
Share one embroidery tip that every embroiderer should know.
Buy it when you see it and you’ll have it when you need it . . . stock up on commonly used basic supplies like needles, thread, and stabilizers. Nothing kills creativity like having to stop to go shop
What 5 things can you not live without?
I’ll stick with the subject of sewing or this list could get really long.

  1. My sewing and embroidery machine of course, for turning my “want to do list” into my “can do” list.
  2. My full featured software program. Combined with my machine the possibilities are limitless.
  3. My students and sewing friends. They inspire me with their talents and make “sew business” so much fun!
  4. My Snap Hoop. I make lots of greeting cards and this hoop holds cardstock and blank cards in place as I stitch away meaningful sentiments.
  5. My curved tip scissors for embroidered cutwork, appliqué, and trimming itty bitty thread tails nice and close.
  6. Bright daylight bulbs in my sewing room ceiling fixture. They make me feel like nighttime never comes which is great for sewing after dark.
What is your favorite afternoon snack?
Toasted almonds along with a yellow delicious apple.
What one item do you cook or bake really well?
Veggie style pizza.
When you were 12 years old, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
Honestly, at 12 I didn’t have a clue. However, once I started sewing at 13 I wanted to own a boutique full of my own creations! I dreamt of sewing and sleeping upstairs, and filling the storefront below with unique garments and accessories.

Are you more creative during the early morning hours, midday, or do you burn the midnight oil?
While I love mornings I have to say I am an incurable night owl. I get my best ideas when I should be sleeping.
What is your motto?
“To test is best”, make lots of samples. You’ll learn from your flops and failures, and be energized by your success stories.
Name one talent or skill you wish you had.
I wish I could knit or crochet.
Which do you prefer—milk, white, or dark chocolate?
I could say all of the above but when push comes to shove dark chocolate wins!
What one word best describes you?
Finish the sentence:  My mother taught me….
Enough to write a book . . . but above all she taught me to be thankful and to stick to your core beliefs and values

Thank you to everyone that has voted for this blog in the Craftsy Blogger Awards. The final round of voting has begun and thanks to you I’ve made it! Please vote for me in the final round here and by doing so you’ll be entered to win a free Craftsy class of your choice. Good luck and thank you for your support!

Here’s your assignment this week:

It sounds like Joanne’s mother taught her all the right things. If you finish the sentence: My mother taught me…4 lucky jewels of wisdom will be chosen to receive a $25.00 gift certificate to Katelyn’s Kreative Stitches.* Good luck!

Katelyns Kreative Stitches

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us a feature you’d like to see in our magazine! Are you interested in a column about stabilizers? Want to see a dedicated piece on wall decorations, lamp shades – whatever it is let us know! One lucky reader will win Volumes 80-82. Comment below to win. Thanks and good luck!

And the winner is…“I want to finish my post about table linens. i would buy a book on how to make fine table linens. i am interested in where to get good fabrics and how to finish the edges as well as how to stabilize for layering designs and embellishment.” – Kathy F.




  • Donna

    “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It made me cringe when she would say it to me but as I grown older I see the truth in it. If you really have a will to do something, you will find the way to make it happen.

  • Nancy Hewitt

    “Despite everything, kindness always wins.” Mom – you are still right and I try to remind myself of this sentiment each and every day

  • Diana kohle

    Always try, you can’t lose if you at least try.

  • Karin

    I think it was my father who taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing right. I’m pretty sure the only thing my mother taught me was ummm…well, let’s just say she was a good example of how not to cook.

  • Karen

    My mom taught me ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all’. I have taught that to my children too! I think this is a great lesson in always looking for something positive even in a bad situation.

  • Carolyn H

    My Mother taught me how to cook.

  • Lori Mehrer

    Sometimes you learn more by what parents do and how it effected your life. I learned it doesn’t matter what the neighbors think and it’s a wonderful feeling to gift someone with something you make. You give a little bit of your self to each person you gift and they remember you for a long time because of it.

  • kathy

    What my mother has taught me to keep on doing things. She is 82 years young and won’t stay sitting. She sews often for others and love to learn new things.

  • Barbara McKenzie

    My mother taught me to sew, even though she didn’t particularly care for it. She sewed out of financial necessity, but she gave me the gift of a hobby that has lasted for nearly 60 years! Thanks, Mom!

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    Actually she taught me how to use a sewing machine along with a few other things. One of the many things I will never forget is the old adage “You can catch more bees with honey instead of vinegar” and it is so very true.

  • Beth R

    that I can do anything that I set my mind to!

  • Linda Seemann-Korte

    My mother taught me how to sew especially how to set in sleeves! She also taught me how to knit, crochet and embroider. I guess she taught me the love of creating hand made articles and the pleasure you get from wearing them or giving them as gifts. Most of all, she taught me to treasure your talents and use them in every way possible!

  • Nancy Drake

    My mom taught me that the dust will always be there so do things like sew with your kids. I sewed with my daughter and both of my sons. We had fun and all learned a lot.

  • Sheila Wagner

    My mom taught me to laugh at myself. To not take myself too seriously. Life is too short and to enjoy each moment along the way.
    I think this is why I don’t let sewing mishaps hold me back but I can laugh at my mistakes and move on. After all we don’t make mistakes,
    we make creative opportunities.

  • Linda Burwick

    “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.” There are enough people negative people in this world; finding the good about a person encourages a positive thinking and attitude. I tried to pass this thinking along to the students in my classroom.

  • Sandra

    Moma taught me to stand up straight because I was 5’11” and slouching would keep me from being Miss America. Thankfully, good posture is still important to me.

  • Shirley

    My mother was not the greatest teacher it was my father.
    He always said not matter what you do in life do the best you can and when you go to bed and lay your head on your pillow you know you did the best you could. Also every one is the same, we all put our pants on the same way one leg at a time.
    Sure miss you dad

  • Karen

    My mother taught me to pick out the stitches that weren’t up to par. She was a very fine seamstress and I had to work harder to please her than to please my home ec. teachers. I am glad she taught me to do my best.

  • Patty

    My mother taught me to treat others as you would want to be treated. I have never gone wrong with this.

  • Gail Beam

    My mother taught me to always say thank you, not to say anything if I could not say anything nice and to appreciate the little things in life.

  • Casie Williams

    “Can’t isn’t part of your vocabulary.” You can do anything you put your mind to. This was during a time when women were being taught by society that they were limited — they could be housewives, teachers, secretaries or nurses.

  • Shirl R

    My mother taught me to always tell the truth and to do my work first and play later. That work ethic still sticks with me to this day, many years later. (Maybe that is why I don’t get to embroider and quilt as much as I would like – there is always work to do, lol!)

  • Susan Wilson

    My Mother taught me that the mark of a good hostess is to always make people feel comfortable in your home. She always had time to give me her undivided attention, and I try my best to do that for others.

  • Terri

    My mother taught me the concept and importance of being generous. Generosity is not something only wealthy people do…generosity comes from the spirit and it is a willingness to extend yourself outward and to share your abundance…and that doesn’t have to mean money or things.

  • Carolyn Cohen

    My mom taught me so much by example as well as her wonderful sayings i.e. as long as your clothes are clean it doesn’t matter what’s on the label or enjoy today because it is gone tomorrow (took me a few years to really appreciate this one).

  • Jean Kocik

    “Everything happens for a reason.We may never know why or how come.” My mom said this to me more times than I can count. She was 100 percent right. She was teaching me a lot with that statement and I have passed it on to my children and to their children. It is true in everything we do including embroidery projects that go snafu, to find there was something we didn’t do.

  • Janie Mason

    My mother taught me that even though she didn’t know how to do something such as sewing, I could still learn how to do it. We were a small farm family and didn’t have much money for extras but she bought a nice sewing machine because I wanted to learn to sew.

  • Lynn

    My Mom taught me that I am not better than anyone else and no one else is better than me. It taught me to always be humble but also not to be intimidated. She also taught me to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I try to live by both! Love you Mom!

  • Diane Miller

    “Always look at what is inside to see a person’s beauty.” also “Treat other’s the way you would like to be treated.” Mom was very wise and compassionate. I miss her everyday.

  • Jean Lowenberger

    My mother taught me to believe in myself. You don’t know if you can do something unless you try.

  • Frances Powell

    My mother taught me to love the Lord with all my heart, treat others as I want to be treated, not to rush through projects or I would be ripping out what I had done, and to do the best I can in life and when working on projects.

  • Jacque

    Mom taught me practice makes perfect. I am a perfectionist and if my first sewing attempt did not come out perfect mom would keep having me rip and out and do again all the while telling me “Practice Makes Perfect”! I got so tired of hearing that phrase, but I kept practicing until I got it right – it taught me a lot about not throwing in the towel but to keep on keeping on!

  • Laurene Shewan

    My Mother taught me that you can dress nicely and look great, even when overweight.

  • Liz

    What I learned from my mother was not what she taught, but how she lived. I learned that in the face of tragedy we are so much stronger than we ever knew; I learned that friends are precious gifts; I learned that the high road is the only road to take and above all else I learned that having your mother as a best friend is the greatest gift of all.

  • le floch

    .. if you want at least one chance to succeed, you just have to give it a try!

  • Patty Sack

    My mother taught me to sew and crochet! I still do both to this day and love them. I have also incorporated knitting into the group. I just don’t have enough time to do all I want to.

  • Shirley Clark

    My mom always taught me to NEVER go in a neighbor’s house and look in their refrigerator! I guess she meant looking for something to eat, but she thought it was rude to ask someone for food. LOL
    Ok, she really taught me a lot about surviving with a limited income. She also taught me how to sew for which I am eternally grateful!

  • Enis

    that I can do anything I put my mind to not matter what my age. This coming from a woman who never rode a bike, drove a car or finished high school until she was in her 50’s!

  • Emily Simmons

    My mother taught me that life is worth fighting for. She was diagnosed with tongue cancer and we were all so scared. She had to have a life changing surgery and the recovery was long and at many times awful. But she did it with grace and lots of faith and endless amounts of prayer..

  • Sherrie Lilly

    My mother taught me to finish what I start, do it right, and appreciate what I have to do it. My grandmother taught me to be creative you must think outside the box.

  • Colleen Gnehm

    my mother taught me to sew and be creative with my talents. The most important thing my mom taught me was to be true to yourself and your faith, not to falter in ones beliefs because society says to.

  • Vicki in MN

    My mother taught me that sometimes the best thing to say is… nothing. =D In other words: Don’t respond to haters.

  • Cheryl

    My mother told me I could do anything if I just put my mind to it! I used to watch her and try to copy what she did. That’s how I learned to sew and cook!

  • Bonnie Gray

    My mother taught me that “Patience is a virtue”, which has helped me persevere and get things accomplished.

  • Barbara

    My mother taught me about creativity — and how to be left-handed in a right-handed world. Fortunately, she DIDN’T teach me how to cook or clean — that’s why God gave me my mother-in-law. IT’s the best of both worlds!

  • Norma Jean McDarmont

    “You can get more with honey than vinegar” was one of my Mom’s favorite sayings. She applied to a lot of situations but always in settling disputes with my brothers. I was always trying to make them do as I told them, not as I asked them. So throughout my life I have used this in many life situations. It is better to be nice and sweet than sour and bitter.

  • Karen

    Mom taught me how to pray and love the Lord.

  • Vici Fallin

    My Mother taught me to have a positive attitude and to try almost anything before you say no you cannot do something.We enjoyed many projects together even when I lived in Texas and she was in Louisiana. Sometimes we worked on quilt blocks and then met and put them together. A couple of things did not work out, like the basement room we dug out until my dad found out, Luckily we did not under mine the foundation of the piers. We had a lot of fun until she left me at age 89. Surely do miss her enthusiasm and encouragement.

  • Vonda

    My mother taught me never to give up on something or someone I believe in, that there is trial and error in all but, worth every second in the end !!! R.I.P. Mom see you on the other side Love and miss you bunches……

  • Gay Lynn Gremmel

    My mother taught me her sense of design. How to put things together to make everything look the best possible way.

  • Debe

    How to sew & try new techniques. Also, she spent many hours making her 5 children items, not worrying about the house, but enjoying her children while they were young, I did that & now my daughter is, also. I really appreciated this philosophy after our son died at 10 yrs, I didn’t have regrets about spending time doing things with him.

  • beth daniels

    SHe taught me how to make clothes by sending me to my first sewing class at an old Sewing store “Cloth World” (which now is JoAnn’s Fabric Stores). She taught to take my time making clothes and now making quilts and machine embroidered projects.

  • mOm

    When I would ask her how to spell something, or a question about something I was learning, she would say look it up. I think that taught me the skills I use today to keep learning and creating. We never STOP LEARNING!!!! What a gift I got from her.

  • Pam

    Take your time!

  • Tamra Botkin

    My mom often reminded me of what my favorite Disney character was reminded by his mom too: If you can’t say something nice – don’t say nothin’ at all! (Thumper in Bambi). I still work on not putting my foot in my mouth! Bite The Tongue, Tamra

  • carol k.

    My mom taught me to be patient and giving both of which is a requirement for the sewer to do the best job that can be obtained! Patience we all can identify with! And the giving is why we don’t have anything lying around the house to show for our efforts!!!!!!!

  • Audrey P.

    My Mother taught me everything—-knitting, crocheting, crafts of all kinds and sewing. In a family with 6 brothers, how she had time to spend with me (I was the middle child), I’ll never know. I’m remember knitting as Brownie Girl Scout, many long years ago. I have passed all this onto my three girls. My middle daughter is always telling her friends, my Mother was my Girl Scout Leader and she taught me how to do Everything! That’s exactly what Mother did for me. (Not much in the cooking area though.)

  • Bobbieann G.

    My “other Mother” said “If you don’t have anything nice to say…come sit next to me”. 🙂 She always took life as it comes. The Lord said it wasn’t going to be easy.

  • Right now i am learning embroidery work because i love it. thanks for sharing this useful post. hope it will helpful for me..

  • Laurie A

    Common sense is worth as much or more than book sense

  • Marsha N.

    She taught me to never say “I can’t”. She also taught me to stick to my values.

  • Myrna

    I would love to have detail by detail, step by step of sewing lace onto a shirt. Right on the color, ciff or neckline. Not make the lace and then sew it on. I want a one step, no fault directions. That would be so great.

  • Myrna

    My mother taught me that you didn’t have to have all the latest equipment to do fine work. We sewed on her treadell until I left home and her work was as good as anything you find today.


    My mom taught me to be willing to take chances, that if you don’t try you might always have regrets. Her favorite saying was” You have to take a chance, Columbus took three”. She was right, I can’t imagine what my life would be like had I not followed her advice.

  • Embroidery Digitizing

    Try your bests…….!!!

  • D

    Currently it sounds like Drupal is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  • cheap logo

    Very good written article. It will be beneficial to everyone who employess it, as well as myself.

  • Jane

    My mother taught me to never say “I don’t have anything to do…” She’d find some task around the house! As a result I am never bored, I always find something fun and interesting to do–usually I’m making something!

  • Suzanne

    My mother taught me to persevere if I wanted something. Her own mother died when mom was 6 years old and she was raised by a mean aunt who treated her like a slave. In order to finish high school, she had to do her homework with a flashlight under the covers as her aunt did not think girls should go to school at all.

  • Cindy West

    My mom taught me to be patient. The love of reading and understanding. She let me sew on her machine until I learned a lot and then she got me my own and we would sew at the dining room table. Not a lot of room in our house for a sewing room, but we made do. I miss her very much but when I finish something I’m working on I think of how she would enjoy seeing it.