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Look What I Found in My Mailbox

A catalog for embroidery designs!  It’s been ages since I’ve had the pleasure of receiving a catalog (all 40 pages) of luscious embroidery designs.LionBL

At first glance, I thought it was Nancy’s Notions late summer catalog. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and saw page after page of embroidery designs.HalloBL

You might think my reaction is funny but I’ve been at the helm of Designs in Machine Embroidery for over 16 years and have seen so many industry changes.  Embroidery catalogs were a regular occurrence in my mailbox ten years ago. In fact, I took them for granted.  Postcards announcing the arrival of a new collection were commonplace. Today, promotions are sent digitally and often ignored with the old ‘been there done that’ mind set.

But for someone like me and maybe you – it’s delightful to browse through page after page of beautiful embroidery. It’s a printed version of today’s digital ‘look book.’  But you know, I’m old school – I still love to hold pages in my hand whether it’s a book, magazine or catalog.  I enjoy that uninterrupted experience – it’s my time on my terms – and I get lost in the pages.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m attached to a computer most of my waking hours and I hang out on Instagram and Pinterest. But in today’s image consumption environment, we tend to forget just how much effort goes into those images we flip by or ignore. Some are WORTHY of print. For instance, look at this spread on page 10-11.GardenBL

There are three towels and four potholders showcasing the designs. A lot of effort went into that! I love seeing someone’s interpretation of how to use a design. I know a catalog is selling designs but for me, it’s eye candy. Those images are springboards for more ideas.

How about you, do you enjoy print or digital?  And why?




  • Kay Azzi

    I do look thru my digital catalogs, but I have to admit, I still love looking at a paper catalog with my cup of morning coffee!

  • Alice Cornelson

    For me, I enjoy both — the digital at night on my Kindle because I can read it without disturbing my spouse because I do not need a light. But, I also enjoy the paper catalog because I can get a better feel/look at the pictures and descriptions and can go back and forth with substance in my hands instead of scrolling. I can lay it open and audition the designs as I pass by it, too.

  • Bernice

    I, too, use a computer all day, every day, but I ‘m still old school and love printed catalogs. I like being able to cut out a picture and put it up on the wall to remind me and give me inspiration if I want to.

  • Luci Slywka

    As much as we are all attached to computers, I still prefer to have written instructions and books. I just don’t like reading on a computer.

  • Karla

    I still like the paper version of things. I have a kindle, but with a “real” cataloge
    I can see the stitching better. I too am on a computer most of the day with my work, and it isn’t nice things, insurance claims are a far cry from the pleasures of embroidery designs.

  • Debbie Smith

    I still love to have a print catalog in my hands. I will turn a corner down and star a part that I want to think about or go back to later. When I have gone through it a second or third time, I will tear out pages that I file for ideas for later. When I retire, I can have so… much fun playing by creating.

  • Sandra Sanders

    I enjoy looking at a paper catalog. I guess it’s half logistics and half the fact that I too, like to look through a real paper catalog. I only have a computer; and it isn’t easy to carry it and all the paraphernalia from the living room upstairs to the bedroom, just so I can look at the designs while I’m sitting in bed at night.

  • Linda

    I would prefer paper catalogs as you can take it anywhere and not worry about draining the battery. Digital is ok in its place as well but I prefer the paper version.

  • Susan Fiondella

    It’s more relaxing to look at a paper catalog. They don’t distract you like the computer.

  • Marcia

    I also love to browse through paper catelogs while I am relaxing with a cup of coffee. It is much easier for me to flip back & forth. I also prefer to hold my books & magazines, while reading, as opposed to digital items.

  • Ruth Peterson

    Paper, please! I can dream or think about projects easier with printed copies. Since I recycle when done, I don’t feel guilty in the least. I don’t mind ordering on-line from the catalog, but it is easier to look at things in print version.

  • Irene

    Looks like all of us ladies are “cut from the same cloth”, VBG I also will tear out a page and pin up, just for inspiration. Sew, I a big fan of Nancy’s catalogs, and now one with designs? Perfect

  • Thurma Livingston-Morrison

    I’m also an aficionado of the written word and graphics in catalogs, so how do I get a copy???

  • Sue Winnie

    Print wins most of the time for me. Love the feel of paper in my hand, I want this catalog!

  • Judy G

    I love to flip through the printed catalog. Then, I go to my computer to order online some of the designs I saw that I just had to have.

  • Dee

    Paper ! I may glance at a digital catalog, but a paper catalog gets mulled over and over again !

  • Chris Horton

    I would like to know how to get this catalog. I like to hold something in my hand and leisurely look without connection to the web.

    • Julie Daugherty

      There is a place on Nancy’s website where you can sign up for catalogs.

  • Laurie

    I agree with everyone! I too love my catalogs and magazines with my afternoon tea!c

  • Wendy Espie

    I prefer a paper catalogue. You can see more of the depth and detail on paper which seems to get lost on the screen. I keep and treasure any catalogues I receive for future reference and I must look through them at least a dozen times within the first month whereas I look at a virtual catalogue maybe once or twice.

  • Becky

    I have a home embroidery business and prefer the catalogues. Much easier to show the customer a specific design they are looking for. I keep the catalogue and refer to it many times.

  • susan james

    i prefer print where you can sit in a chair relax and look at printd imagfes

  • susan james

    i prefer print. you can sit in a chair relax and view images on paper

  • Lou Bush

    I love getting the paper catalogs. It’s too easy to be too busy to look through the digital format and hit delete. With the paper, I can set it aside and look when I have the time. Look again and look again however many times it takes to make up my mind:)

  • Stella

    Paper! I received that same mailing and I grabbed a cool drink and sat on the porch and browsed each page. There is something that is still exciting for me to open the mailbox and find something fun to look at. I am on my tablet a lot, and it makes me tired. That mailing was a real treat.

  • Karen S

    I like print better. I must say with more things being digital I spend less money they just are not as tempting. I have very limited time to spend on a computer.

  • Sandra

    I also love the feel of paper or material in my hands, love her catologues

  • Susanne

    I absolutely agree! I love to browse through the catalog and I especially like the way this was put together rather than a large sheet folded different ways. The examples also gives me ideas and a few, “I could do that” float through my head.

  • Julie Daugherty

    I love so many things about my computer, tablets, phone, and etc but I also prefer paper catalogs and books. I read that you retain more of what you read when it is paper over a screen, something to do with physically having to turn a page.

  • Francine

    I prefer paper over digital hands down. Many times I save it to a USB and take it to staples to print. I can Make notes and find them much better.

  • barb dircks

    Love paper catalogs so i can envision projects better and pick the ones i just have to do! Need to bring back the paper….

  • Joan Shriver

    I’m in the minority, I guess. I like the designs on the computer, then I can look at magnified versions of something I like. I hardly ever buy a collection anymore as they cost so much and are so similar, I probably wouldn’t use them all, so why pay for all of them.


    Print catalogs are so great, seeing how the embroidery looks on certain applications and you can go back and visit in the comfort of your lazy-boy in the evening, when things are quieting down and imagine how I would use this or that design.

  • Janis O'Connor

    I would like to know how to get the catalogs.

  • Barbara

    Digital is convenient, however, printed catalogues that give ideas to springboard from…fabulous!

  • Jo Mimms

    I do both, but with the printed catalog I can revisit the ‘eye candy’ without having to wait for a page to reload!

  • Linda Wagner

    I still love my printed CATALOGS. I always love to go back when I need them, I am not so computer guru so I would have to say printed catalogs for sure.

  • Linda Davidson

    I got that catalog and haven’t had a chance to look through it yet. I had no idea it was a catalog full of embroidery designs. I can’t wait to look through it now! I, too, prefer print catalogs. It is eye candy; then I want to visit their website to see (and maybe buy) more!

  • Sherry Machemer

    Getting the printed catalog for me is like getting the toy catalog as a child. I can go through it at my leisure no matter where I am. I circle my favorites and plan or dream my next project.

  • Deb

    I like the paper copy best! I look at the DIME on my Ipad as it comes before the paper copy, but I personally find it frustrating at times, so look forward to it in the mail when I can get into it properly(IMO).

  • Marti Morgan

    I too am a paper person – emails are scanned, but the book goes next to my chair to be viewed time and again. my only problem? I look and look and by the time I think I might want to buy it the catalog is out of date – oh my!!!

  • It’s an remarkable article for all the online visitors; they will
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  • Bruce

    I both love printed and digital, but I love to keep printed.


  • doree m shandera

    I love going through catalogs and magazines. I especially miss your magazine. I enjoy the Facebook live, but you showcased so many different designers with so many different approaches to creating. I cherish the ones I still have.