Celebrate National Embroidery Month

To celebrate Embroidery Month, we’re giving away an embroidery design every Friday! I’ve been digging into the CME archives to find some of my favorite designs that you may not have seen recently.

2 1 NEM  1024x558 Celebrate National Embroidery Month

Today’s Groundhog Day, and while we don’t actually have a groundhog design, we do have the lovely Forest Friends collection. So, for today only, click the link below to download the Small Squirrel design. It’s 2.33” wide x 3.49” high with 3,246 stitches and two thread colors. The free download comes as a zip file and includes the following formats: EXP, HUS, JEF, PCS, PEC, PES, SEW and VIP.Squirrel 204x300 Celebrate National Embroidery Month

This freebie has expired. Please go to shopsewitall.com to purchase!

But join in next week for another free design. All through out National Embroidery Month!

Find the entire Forest Friends collection at shopsewitall.com.

Woodland Friends 500 300x300 Celebrate National Embroidery Month

 Hurry and download your free design for National Embroidery Month. This freebie has expired on 2/5/2018.

Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!

NEM image square Celebrate National Embroidery Month

Posted in Free Designs | 3 Comments

Easy To Make Bottle Koozies – Perfect For Game Day

Create bottle koozies by repurposing a men’s shirt and outfit your guests with personalized drinks for the big game.

Cuff Coozie Easy To Make Bottle Koozies   Perfect For Game Day

by Susan Clark


  • Button-down shirt
  • Thread: matching all-purpose
  • & embroidery
  • Tear-away
  • adhesive-backed stabilizer
  • Water-soluble topper
  • Rotary cutting system
  • Removable fabric marker
  • Prewound bobbin
  • Needles: size 80/12 universal
  • & 75/11 embroidery
  • Serger (optional)
  • Dad’s Ale embroidery design


• Install a size 75/11 embroidery needle onto the machine. Insert a prewound bobbin and thread the needle with the desired embroidery thread.

• Hoop a piece of stabilizer with the paper side up. Score inside the hoop using a pin, and then remove the paper backing.

• Place the shirt flat on a cutting mat. Cut each cuff from the shirt 3˝ beyond the cuff seam (A).

• Unbutton the cuff and fold it in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, matching the cuff edge and wrist seam. Draw a line along the fold; unfold. Fold the cuff in half widthwise; mark the cuff center at the line intersection.

• Position the cuff in the hoop, aligning the cuff and hoop centerlines. Finger-press gently to adhere.

• Download the chosen embroidery design. Load the design onto the machine and center it over the mark.


• Place a piece of topper over the cuff center mark; embroider. Remove the cuff from the hoop. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, remove the excess topper.

• Set the machine for standard sewing. Install a size 80/12 universal needle and thread the machine with all-purpose thread to match the cuff.

• Trim the cuff raw edges 2˝ beyond the wrist seam. Button the cuff, and then turn it inside out. Fold the cuff so the buttoned seam is centered over the embroidery.

• Stitch the raw edge using a 1/2˝ seam allowance and a 2.5mm-long stitch (B). Serge- or zigzag-finish the seam.

• Fold one cuff side edge to align with the lower seam. Stitch across the triangle 1˝ from the point (C).

• Serge- or zigzag-finish the seam. Trim the seam allowance just beyond the stitching (D). Repeat to stitch the remaining corner.

• Turn the cuff right side out and insert a bottle.

• Repeat to create a bottle holder from the remaining cuff. §

Screen Shot 2018 01 25 at 4.30.22 PM Easy To Make Bottle Koozies   Perfect For Game Day

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Date Night Inspiration: 4 Embroidered Looks Perfect for Going Out

If one of your personal goals for the new year includes more date nights, you’re in good company! And, if you’re like me, you tend to think about date night the morning of…as in, too late to make a totally new outfit. One way to avoid this scenario is to have some great separates in your closet (or patterns in your pattern library) that are easy to dress up. And, yes, embroidery is a great way to do that! You’ll find these great tips and inspiration in the Jan/Feb issue of CME.

First, consider adding a sequined something to your spring wardrobe! Sequins kind of make the outfit. Even better: add some embroidery to truly customize the look. Machine embroidery master Katrina Walker provides tips for the process and an inspiring sample: an open back tank using BurdaStyle #118 04/2016. Pick your embroidery design and stabilizer carefully…and you can totally recreate this look!

CME1802 SparklingRose 755x1024 Date Night Inspiration: 4 Embroidered Looks Perfect for Going Out I’m in love with raglan sleeves this winter and spring. It’s easy to update the somewhat sporty look of raglans with embroidery. Stacy Schlyer walks you through the process, with tips for design placement and creating balance in a top that’s totally upscale and feminine, perfect for date night. Bonus points: add a basic embellished pocket!

CME1802 LaSleeveBoheme 755x1024 Date Night Inspiration: 4 Embroidered Looks Perfect for Going Out

And yes, depending on the venue, we do think you can probably wear joggers for a date night, especially if they’re made from satin and include inspired large-scale embroideries. Seriously speaking, this look is the perfect blend of comfort and style and is a great way to upgrade an athleisure pattern you already have in your pattern library.

CME1802 EasternEvening 755x1024 Date Night Inspiration: 4 Embroidered Looks Perfect for Going Out

If a denim jacket isn’t on your to-sew list yet, let us change your mind. Jean jackets are truly the perfect go-to, when you need comfort and confidence. Seriously, is there an outfit that a jean jacket doesn’t work with? And hello perfect layering piece for spring. And while you’re at it, picking the perfect pattern and perfecting the fit, consider taking your customization a step further by adding some favorite embroidery motifs like these cuties form our Irresistible Insects Collection.

CME1802 DesignerDenim 755x1024 Date Night Inspiration: 4 Embroidered Looks Perfect for Going Out

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Embroidered Sachets: Tips and Tricks

I have a special place in my heart for the in-the-hoop sachets in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue. While the concept of the project was a group effort, I was the one who laid out the construction process for the digitizers. In fact, I actually digitized a test version myself as proof of concept, though I left the final digitization to the professionals. I love the way they turned out and really enjoyed making the set of samples.

Sachets group 1024x834 Embroidered Sachets: Tips and Tricks

Sweet Scent-iments

When we picked the essential oils to focus on for the designs (another group effort), we put a lot of thought into affordability and versatility. We thought about fragrances we thought people would like to have linger on clothing and/or enjoy tucked under a pillow. Cedarwood especially seemed appropriate to tuck in a drawer, and the relaxing scent of lavender is a lovely scent as you drift off to sleep.

We also purposely chose to use “citrus” and “spice” instead of more specific fragrances to make the sachets more versatile. There are a whole range of citrus oils available on the less expensive end of the spectrum — notably orange, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, lime and bergamot. Lemongrass, which has a citrusy note, could work as well. Cinnamon is the obvious go-to for spice, but clove is also readily available. Just like cooking, though, a little clove goes a long way, so add a little bit at a time until you like the strength. Or use some of both oils for a unique blend; just be sure to use more cinnamon than clove so the latter doesn’t overwhelm the former. Cinnamon and clove are the main spice essential oils you’ll find at most stores, but some places with wider ranges or online retailers like mountainroseherbs.com or brambleberry.com may have more obscure spice oils, like ginger, cardamom or black pepper. Expect to pay more for rarer oils.

Stuffing 281x300 Embroidered Sachets: Tips and TricksTo get the most out of your essential oils, add them to sachet stuffing made from natural materials, which will absorb the oil the best. There are lots of options here, and they don’t have to be expensive. Cotton balls work, as do scraps of cotton, muslin or linen. In the magazine, I also mentioned a product called “Nature Fix.” It’s an ingredient used in potpourri; basically, it’s a filler that holds on to essential or fragrance oil, while the dried flower petals, fruit peels, cinnamon sticks, etc. provide the visual appeal. Nature Fix is a natural product, made from absorbent dried corn cobs, and doesn’t cost much. It’s most likely to be found on the internet, though, so there may be additional shipping costs.

Remember that essential oils are very concentrated, so they’re very strong. Use them sparingly at first, then add more if desired. Never use essential oils undiluted on skin (mix them into unscented lotion if you want to use them on your skin), and never take them internally. Double-check warnings on mountainroseherbs.com to make sure the oil isn’t contraindicated for any condition you have. Pregnant people are recommended to avoid using essential oils.

An alternative to essential oil is fragrance oil, which I mentioned in passing above. The difference between a fragrance oil and an essential oil is that while an essential oil is extracted by one of several processes from a plant that contains natural oil, a fragrance oil is created in a lab by combining chemicals that product a fragrance. That can sound a little scary, but they’re carefully tested to ensure safety. The main benefit to fragrance oils is they allow for fragrances that can’t be extracted from plants. For example, a strawberry doesn’t have enough oil in it to extract, so strawberry fragrance has to be created in the lab. Scents like cherry, chocolate, honey and coconut are all available to us because of fragrance oils (coconuts product oil, but it’s scentless).

BohoRose 300x258 Embroidered Sachets: Tips and Tricks

Small Boho Rose, shopsewitall.com

Fragrance oils, while not necessary for these sachets (as they were designed for essential oils), can be used to expand your sachet options. For example, rose was not included in our collection because rose essential oil (actually called rose absolute due to the way it’s processed) is incredibly expensive — hundreds of dollars per ounce. However, a rose fragrance oil is much more affordable and may not be distinguishable from the real thing. If you have a favorite fragrance you’d like to put in a sachet, consider purchasing a fragrance oil and finding a coordinating design in the 2 1/2”x3 1/2” or smaller size range to embroider on the front, such as CME’s Small Boho Rose.

You can find fragrance oils at some craft stores in their candle- or soap-making sections. Be aware, though, that those oils may not be very high quality and as a result may smell fake or have strange undertones (I know this from experience). For good-quality oils, visit a soap- or candle-making supply store or website, like brambleberry.com. I get all my soap-making fragrance oils there, and I can vouch for their quality. That’s also where I get my Nature Fix.

I hope you give the sachets a try! They’re a fun intersection of several of my interests, and I’m happy I got a chance to share them with you in the current issue of CME. Make sure to pick up the free Lavender design and the in-the-hoop sachet design from cmemag.com/freebies before February 28, 2018, and find the instructions in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of Creative Machine Embroidery, available on newsstands until Feb. 12, 2018, and at shopsewitall.com.

Kate signature1 Embroidered Sachets: Tips and Tricks



Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!

Posted in Quick & Easy Projects | Tagged | 1 Comment

Embroider Tea Towels – In Time For Tea Month!

Embroidery on tea towels is one of the easiest machine embroidery projects you can do. And, it’s the perfect time to do so! Did you know that January is Hot Tea Month? Isn’t that just perfect? January is the perfect month for snuggling down under a blanket or four with a steaming cup of tea (for us in the northern hemisphere, at least). Of course, it’s fun to throw a tea party now and again, too! Whether you are enjoying a hot beverage all on your own or sharing with friends, tea time features several great canvases perfect for enhancing with embroidery.

Hot Tea Month  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!Tea towels are a traditional addition to any tea party. They originated inthe 18th century, when the lady of the household would use them to dry fine china and delicate tea sets — a job considered too important to trust to potentially clumsy servants.

TeaTowels  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!They would also often be wrapped around the teapot to insulate it and prevent inelegant drips. One might also use a tea towel to cover a plate of goodies before serving.

Noel Nostalgia 300x277  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!Tea towels were often used as a vehicle for showing off embroidery skills — which they’re still great for today (though the embroidery might be produced a little differently…).

For days when you’re not sharing your tea, I’m personally a big fan of mug rugs — essentially mini-quilts with embroidery on the top. Embroider a 5”-6” square of fabric. Place a second square face-down, place a square of batting on top, then place the embroidered square face up on the top. Quilt if desired (it’s not strictly necessary on such a small piece of fabric), then bind. Voila! Mug rug!

You can go with any theme you want for your tea accessories. I’ve linked my favorites here — just click on the picture to follow the link.

TeaTimeCollection 206x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Tea Time Appliqué Collection

Priscilla Lady 129x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Gloria McKinnon’s Priscilla Ladies










Doesn’t the Priscilla Lady look like she’s going to a tea party?

garden party collection 225x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Garden Party Collection

bugs 255x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Irresistible Insects Collection










You’d think the insects would be strange for tea, but they look great on a set of bright gingham towel blanks!

Clover Shamrocks 206x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Clover & Shamrocks Collection

Diner Delights 300x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Diner Delights Collection









Forest Friends 250x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!

Forest Friends Collection

Hot Cocoa 243x300  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!


And here’s a little wink-wink design: this one is hot cocoa, not tea (the marshmallows make it hard to pretend otherwise!). But it’s cute, isn’t it?

Happy sipping!

Kate signature1  Embroider Tea Towels   In Time For Tea Month!



Don’t miss out! Find more great projects and ideas in our newest issue, available on newsstands and at shopsewitall.com!

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Sewing A Coat This Winter? Read Our Tips!

Warm Up in a New Coat This Season

I grabbed my lighter weight puffy coat and headed out the door this morning not thinking about the frigid temperatures. Thankfully I was smart enough to don my snow boots, which are lined with faux fur and quilted for extra warmth. The office wasn’t as warm as we all expected either–the heater is working overtime. But it’s getting there and we’re seeming to thaw out as the day progresses.

Sunset Sewing A Coat This Winter? Read Our Tips!

The arctic chill has got me thinking–a nice wool coat would have fit the bill this morning, and would have been a much more stylish alternative to my puffy coat. And a longer coat that covers the top half of my legs would have kept me much warmer as I walked from my car in the parking lot to the front door of the office building. So, I’m looking to make the Night Sky Coat, featured in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of Creative Machine Embroidery

Screen Shot 2018 01 16 at 11.09.11 AM Sewing A Coat This Winter? Read Our Tips!This project begins with the BurdaStyle 11/2015 #116 pattern. It’s called a Menswear Coat, and actually I love it in this tan as well.

Screen Shot 2018 01 16 at 11.13.16 AM Sewing A Coat This Winter? Read Our Tips!The collar and center band make great canvases for embroidery. I particularly love the allover embroidery technique on the wool. Plus, if you choose the right wool fabric (wool melton) there’s no need to finish seams or insert a lining (unless you want the extra warmth from a lining, that is).

Screen Shot 2018 01 16 at 11.15.15 AM Sewing A Coat This Winter? Read Our Tips!

One Starburst design is available for free for a limited time, so get yours today!

Here are 5 tips to get you started when working with wool fabric, a luxurious warm coating that is super great for this project, and easy to embroider, too.


1. Always preshrink wool fabric. Position the fabric over a pressing surface and press, using a steam iron on the wool setting. Let each section dry completely before moving the iron to continue pressing the entire fabric length and width. Or have the fabric professionally dry-cleaned before cutting and sewing.

2. Select a universal needle, all-purpose thread and a 3mm or 3.5mm stitch length for sewing. Use a 75/11 sharp needle for embroidery.

3. Press straight seam allowances over a wooden seam stick and curved seams over a ham to prevent iron imprints showing on the fabric right side. After pressing a section, use a wooden clapper and firmly press down over the seam until cool.

4. Grade all seam allowances to reduce bulk.

5. Most embroidery designs work well on wool, even complex designs, because heavyweight wool supports the density. Use a topper to prevent the embroidery stitches from sinking into the fabric nap.

6. Find more coat sewing tips on Sew Daily. We have Lucinda Hamilton of Sew Wrong giving us her best tips for sewing that perfect winter coat!

LH Post PINTEREST 682x1024 Sewing A Coat This Winter? Read Our Tips!

Have fun!


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Basic Training: Color Theory For Machine Embroidery Projects

For expert use of color in your machine embroidery projects read below for tips and tricks. Follow these simple guidelines to successfully change the thread colors of an embroidery design for a professional look to all of your projects.

BT 1 thread  Basic Training: Color Theory For Machine Embroidery Projects HUE & VALUE

  • Hue refers to the actual color, such as blue, green, or red. There are many hues of every color, and colors can have similar hues. Value refers to a color’s lightness or darkness. Each hue can have myriad values. Two thread colors can also have the same value, but different hues. For example, a light green and a light orange might have the same value, though very different hues. Continue reading
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Sewing Toys For Your Pet

Did you get a Christmas puppy this year? I DID!

This is Leia.

IMG 1642 Sewing Toys For Your PetAnd, she’s super into biting and chewing, so I had to buy some rope toys and nylon bones right away. Of course I want to make her something, and a softie is a great toy for a dog of any age. Continue reading

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Remodeez Giveaway

Remodeez Giveaway

Start the year fresh and renew vintage fabrics from storage with the power of Remodeez Home Deodorizer. Simply place this deodorizer in your fabric stash and let it go to work. It lasts up to one year and should be placed in the sun monthly to recharge. This product is non-toxic, odorless and made from activated charcoal derived coco-nut husks.

CMERemodeez1 1024x767 Remodeez Giveaway

For a chance to win the below Remodeez Home Deodorizer simply tell us which fabrics you own that need some freshening up. One winner will be chosen on Monday the 15th of January!

Happy Fresh Year!


Posted in Wednesday Giveaway | 6 Comments

Machine Embroidery Goals for 2018

As I started thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, I was challenged to think of some embroidery “resolutions” — though I would be more inclined to call them goals — for 2018. It was an interesting thought experiement; does one really have goals for embroidery projects? I don’t generally think of embroidery in those terms. But once I challenged myself to think about it, I did come up with some!

Embroidered velvet top e1514918621553 1024x921 Machine Embroidery Goals for 2018

The back of my embroidered velvet top

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Close up of the embroidery on velvet









First of all, I like to challenge myself. About a year ago, I tried to embroider velvet and it went very badly. I tried again recently, better prepared Continue reading

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