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Behind the Scenes with the Volume 91 March/April 2015 issue

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Here’s a never-before-look at what goes on at a planning meeting for a magazine photo shoot!

New projects arrive at our offices to be featured in upcoming issues of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  But what happens between the time the project arrives and the photography shoot?  One word:  Planning!

In fact, planning, coordination and even shopping are involved.  The Designs Team meets with the photography studio to go over the shot list.  This is when we have the opportunity to unveil all the pretty projects to our photographer and team:  Steve Woods, Angie Brindley and Andrea Huffman.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

We not only discuss what we are photographing but more importantly, how we are going to present the project in the magazine.  What type of scene do we need to set up?  A living room?  A child’s room?  Or maybe a kitchen or bathroom?

Creative Director, Sam Solomon, guided the team on how to photograph the Sweet Springtime Banner by JoAnn Connolly.
Behind the Scenes with the Volume 91 March/April 2015 issue

Additional decisions need to be made for other projects.  Do we photograph against a sweep?  (A sweep by the way is when we use a long roll of paper suspended from a rack and let the paper ‘sweep’ all the way to the floor, creating a seamless edge.)  If we do use a sweep, what color paper?  If you ask Denise what color paper to use, 9 times out of 10 she will answer blue!  In fact when any question is asked related to color, her answer is blue!  This time however, you’ll notice as you flip through your current issue, we used lime green and also white backgrounds for the model shots.  Speaking of model shots… another important topic of discussion is the selection of models!

Managing Editor, Denise Holguin is always eager to model the garments during the planning meeting.  While it may seem like she’s just playing dress-up—there is a purpose.  We look at fit and also study the embroidery placement on the garment.  This gives us ideas on the type of model we need and the type of shot we need to take when the model is wearing the garment.

Behind the Scenes with the Volume 91 March/April 2015 issue

Editor, Eileen Roche holds up the Blooming Buttons dress stitched by Tari Intardonato.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

A week or two pass and it’s time for the photo shoot!

Here’s a look at the white sweep we used.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Looks a lot more interesting with a model!  This garment is the Flirty Feminine Sheer Over-blouse by Sue Ann Obremski.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Next we used a green sweep to showcase Evy Hawkin’s Machine Embroidered Cutwork Vest.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Earlier in this article I mentioned shopping is involved.  Oftentimes additional props are needed like the fresh flowers featured in the Blooming Buttons scene.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Would the photograph have worked without flowers?  Yes.  But our team takes pride in the presentation of a great looking product.  It’s the difference between photographing a sample from a basement home studio and photographing a sample with the complete expertise and attention of a professional studio and staff.  It matters!

A living room scene is set up to photograph the heirloom inspired pillows by Kandi Christian.  The photo below is the shot used in the magazine.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Few people would have guessed the chair was propped up on wooden blocks!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
Here’s a look at the cover project, Crazy Quiltin’ by Eileen Roche.  Steve added flowers to enhance the beauty of the photograph.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Sam and Steve discuss how the photo will be cropped for the magazine.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Meanwhile Denise added miniatures for a whimsical touch.  I wonder what song the band is playing?

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I suspect the band is playing a jingle to let you know we have a free design download for you!   Download the half triangle design featured on the Crazy Quiltin’ project by visiting the magazine page.

Behind the Scenes with the Volume 91 March/April 2015 issue

All this and more is featured in the Volume 91 March/April 2015 issue.  Be sure to pick up your copy from your local retailer or subscribe.

Volume 91 March/April 2015


Here’s your assignment this week:Who is your favorite advertiser in Designs? One random comment will win a one-year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine.
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:
What thread color combinations would you have chosen for the monogram?  One random comment will win a $25 gift certificate to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!
The winner is: Bonnie G. – “Every embroidery you do for a special person should take into consideration their favorites. That is what you did and that makes it meaningful for the people receiving it. Great job.”





  • Sherrie

    I think it would be the Nancy Zieman/Sewing with Nancy ads.

  • Lori E

    My favorite advertiser would have to be Embroidery Library as I seem to spend money with them every month. According to my DH, too much money.

  • Kristal

    My favorite advertiser in Designs is Embroidery Library. I have a wish list as long as my arm! Their designs stitch out beautifully.

  • Linda W

    Not so easy to choose — I enjoy looking at all the ads. But, I really like Urban Threads. Many of their designs are quite unique.

  • Kathy

    I love looking at the ads and seeing what new designs the web sites have. I especially love Zippy designs and urban threads!!!Keep up the good work on a beautiful magazine.

  • Jean

    My favorite advertiser in Designs would have to be They offer so many unique designs for various projects and they stitch out beautifully.

  • becky3580

    Guess my favorite would be foe the magazine Designs in Machine Embroidery! They have a very good magazine full of great designs, helpful tips, educational information and fun. Second would be for Stitching Sisters, which is great fun. I have attended several. Third would be embroidery library.

  • Donna G.

    Anything with Nancy Zieman and Embroidery Library! They’re where I get most of my machine embroidery supplies.

  • Judy graczyk

    Oh, definitely Urban Threads. I always find designs I can use for my friends and adult children.

  • Sandy

    Urban Threads!

  • Ellen Perry

    Urban threads, embroidery library
    Can’t for Five star fonts
    These are my favs

  • Pat

    Urbann threads they have designs that work for every occasion.

  • Gail Beam

    Oh my gosh! I have so many designs from so many of the designers that advertise with you and I love them all, that I could not possibly choose just one favorite!

  • Lauretta Greathouse

    My favorite tends to change at the different times I look through the magazine, according to what project I am working on. Urban Threads’ designs I like for adults and Embroidery Library for children.

  • Judy Williamson

    Embroidery Library- beautiful designs- option to purchase what you need, not an entire package!

  • Martine

    My favourite is Urban Threads. I love their designs.

  • Cathy G

    Urban Threads, hands down!

  • Nancy Weber

    It’s so hard to choose but my favorite is Embroidery Library. Wonderful designs, tons of tutorials and great customer service. Hugs.

  • Kim

    Toss up between Embroidery Library and Urban Threads

  • Orvalee Roe

    I would have to say Urban Threads.

  • Valerie

    My favs are Kreations by Kara and Urban Threads.
    But I check out them all!

  • judy

    Designs in Machine Embroidery always has a great selection of designs and they are always having sales and freebies.

  • Erich Campbell

    Urban Threads by a mile. Love those folks.

  • Darlene Bares

    That is a hard decision, i have bought from Urban Threads, i Love their designs, Embroidery Library, i can always find when looking for something last minute, Kreations by Kara, Zippy designs and always enjoying learning from Nancy Zieman/Sewing. I love all the designs offered and always check out what’s new with the sales and freebies. I’m a design junkie.

  • Connie

    Love DME, Embroidery Library is my favorite, designs stitch out beautifully and service is exceptional.

  • Christina

    That’s easy, all about blanks. They are my favorite.

  • Allen

    I like all the ads but Embroidery Library is the one I use the most.

  • Audre Gaer

    Urban Threads is my hands down favorite. Although Kreations by Kara is a close second. They both have a design sensibility that matches my own.

  • Bertie L Stringfellow

    I love Deb’s embroidery library, embroideryonline, GardenofDaises. I do lot of children’s things, quilts, dresses, etc.

  • Sara Redner

    Has to be Embroidery Library. The designs always stitch out correctly, and Kenny’s tutorials are so helpful.

  • Cheryl Ruhnke

    Urban threads always peaks my curiousity

  • Dee Dickerson

    What catches my fancy depends on season and what is featured in the projects showcased.,a lot of times you present a design in a way I would not have thought of. Then I try to figure out how I can use and personalize! I have purchased designs from embroidery library,urban threads,kreations by Kara,Molly mine, based on your articles. Just renewed my subscription!

  • Vicky Isliefson

    My favourite advertiser is Urban Threads. They are always so “out there”.

  • Brenda Shelton

    My favorites – too hard to choose just one – are Nancy’s Notions, and Embroidery Library.

    They are all great, huge selection, good prices, reliable in both quality and service and all wonderful places for tutorials or help.

  • Carren Yuppa

    I enjoy using Bunnycup Embroidery designs. They are so cute for projects for children.

  • Marsha Storms

    My favorite ads are between Embroidery Library and Urban Threads. Emblibrary is common for everyday life and Urban Threads is more unusual and fun designs for holidays. I have to pick both of them half and half. Plus I spend a few dollars-$$$$$ on both weekly.

  • Karen Roop

    Embroidery Library would be my first choice, but I love to look at all the adds and websites I visit them often. By the way, Eileen and Denise would be beautiful models for the magazine.
    Karen R.


    Love Urban Threads and Nancy’s Notions and of course Designs and all thing embroidered machine and by hand

  • Gina piazza

    I love Urban Threads!

  • JudiC

    I will say Embroidery Library because they are my go to when looking for a specific design because they have pretty much every design you could possibly imagine. However I do go to the “Buyers Guide” at the back of DME and check out all the advertisers every month to see who/what is new & inspiring.

  • Leora B

    i tend to check out all the ads, for any thing new, urban threads have some unique and different designs.

  • Kathleen Crabtree

    I love Embroidery Garden.

  • Deanna

    Embroidery library is my favorite. But I love looking at other websites and often buy from them.