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A Tribute to Daisy

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

by: Denise Holguin

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Several of my friends have had to say goodbye to their pets due to old age and diminishing health. Dealing with death—even when it involves the 4-legged type or feathered-type isn’t easy. Pets become part of our lives—they become family—and serve as faithful companions. Saying goodbye and dealing with their absence is very difficult.

As a friend, I often wonder what to do? What do I say? How can I offer consolation? That’s when I decided I’d put the embroidery machine to work.

I did a simple search online to find a quote. I typed: “quotations + deceased pets” and several options came up. I found this quote that seemed fitting: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”-Roger Caras.

Using the Calligraphy Project Designer, I typed the quote and selected the Arial Central Run font. I selected the Path option.

Next, I selected “Edit the Baseline.”

This is where you create the path for the text to follow. I created a freehand heart shape by moving the end points and adding some additional points. I’m not going for perfection—just a simple heart!

After creating the heart shaped path, the text automatically rearranged itself.

The text didn’t wrap all the way around the heart. So I used one of the editing buttons to extend the text all the way around the heart shaped path. Very fun!

Additional edits can be made at this point. You can move or rotate individual letters and you can also slide large portions of text.

The center of the heart looked empty – I decided to add the dog’s name. I rotated the font to make it more playful, as I would imagine Daisy would be. I also enlarged the individual letter, “D”.

I sent the design to the embroidery machine and began stitching. When I reached the “Daisy” portion of the design, I decided I’d get a little ‘adventurous’ and stitch each letter a different color. (Since this decision was made at the last minute, I stopped the machine after each letter and switched the thread colors. Sometimes you just have to improvise!)

Once finished, I removed the fabric from the hoop. I printed a template of the design to use as a pattern to trace the heart shape on the fabric. I added about an inch all the way around the heart to ensure there was enough fabric for a seam allowance.

Next, I carefully sewed the heart and stuffed with batting. Before sewing the pillow closed, I realized the pillow needed something extra. I went to my local Michael’s and picked up some dog themed charms to add to the pillow. I sewed the charms and stitched the pillow closed.

I’ll present to my friend the next time I see him. It’s not so much that he needs a heart shaped pillow. But it’s the sentiment behind it.

The next time you are at a loss for words to express to a friend in need—let the stitches do the work. It’s a loving gesture and an opportunity to use your embroidery machine to make someone happy.

Is there a project you have stitched for a family member or friend to help them cope with loss? Share your story.





  • Sharron Prickett

    Denise you are so inventive. Good job. Nice thought I’m sure your friend will be so touched.

    • Denise Holguin

      Thank you Sharron!

  • Caroline Burzan

    What a great idea. This would even work for beloved cats too!!

    • eileenroche

      Hi Caroline,
      Yes indeed. Most of my friends have cats too!

  • Clem

    What a great idea! A card is so overused nowadays. This shows thought and feelings went into this, that you really care for your friends loss. This is going to be my next purchase! Love it! Thanks.

  • Maxine Mac Neill

    This truly touched my heart as I just put down my precious Sadie-Lyn of 15 1/2 years, Black Lab Retriever.

  • Beverly

    Thanks for the idea. Our very good friends had to have their 15 year old English setter, Trixie, put to sleep Thursday. They have no children so she was their child.

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  • ang

    Thank you so much for this project. My knitting teacher lost her long time faithful dog rather suddenly. Her pet would accompany her on the short walk to and from the knitting class a couple times a week. I wanted to do something special for her, since I was almost certain that all the’ pet sympathy’ cards were picked out by the other ladies in the group. I just got my machine out of the box last week, but I think I can create something special with your inspiration. It won’t be as advanced as yours, but it will be from the heart. Once again THANK YOU!!!

    • eileenroche

      Hi Ang,
      I think anything you make will much appreciated. I’m still a novice embroiderer — I just focused on doing my best– and I think if you do the same, your gift will turn out very special.

      Take care,

  • Beth R

    Very nice – such a sweet idea that would be treasured for a long time.

  • Nancy Weber

    I like to keep freestanding lace angels made up to give to those who are down or have a loss. They can easily be tucked into a card to send off. Hugs.

    • eileenroche

      That is a good idea Nancy!

    • Clem

      This is a wonderful idea… this is always something that can be done up when you want to embroider something small and get it finished in a short time. Making some in masculine colors would work too. Thanks Nancy… I will steal this idea if you do not mind?

  • Dale Fedor

    I wish someone who digitizes would do the rainbow bridge poem. I know it is long but with a couple of simple hoopings, it would be doable.

    • Jeanne Healey

      Where can I find the rainbow bridge poem? I used to have it on my computer but it has got lost.

      Lovely idea to help a friend who has lost their animal companion.

  • Czrolyn

    So touching. I love this quote. Have stored it in my library. What a wonderful gift that only a pet owner can understand.

    • eileenroche

      You are right about that! Until I had a dog I didn’t understand– in fact, my dog is part human.

  • judy

    We have lost so many pets – dogs, cats, horses. They were part of the family.

  • Karen

    What a great idea. I have sent free standing lace designs to people to say thanks or for a pick-me-up.

  • Darlene

    So sorry to hear about Daisy. She was a beautiful dog.

  • Annette

    Through the years,our pups have become a part of our family. We began to treat their passage with a bit of ceremony when our very first Cocker spaniel, Honey, passed away in 1990. She got her very own handmade wooden box with a lid that had her name carved into it. Before we put her into it I made her a small puffy quilt. We make sure that her first collar, dish and favorite toy were in it with her. She went under the oak tree where many others have gone when they left us in subsequent years. I really helps all of us deal with losing our loving and loyal companions. They have each gotten the same treatment as Honey when their time came.

    • eileenroche

      That is beautiful– and I’m sure it helps with the grieving process.


  • Maryanne Perry

    I just lost my very precious greyhound, Gypsy, to bone cancer. I think I will make something like this in my sweet girl’s memory. Thank you for the idea.

    • eileenroche

      I’m sorry for your loss. Greyhounds are beautiful dogs and I’m sure Gypsy brought you much joy.

      Take care,

  • June Codding

    A granddaughter of mine lost her beloved cat in an accident and was devastated. I took four photos she had of Ashley, printed them on fabric on my computer and made a pillow with each photo framed. She loved it.

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